Just west of the small city of Fremont, Nebraska, U.S. Highway 30 closely follows the route utilized by Brigham Young and the Mormon pioneer company in 1847. Several small towns and other sites along that stretch of highway have been identified as being part of that historic journey. Included in that group of sites would be Ames, Columbus and Monroe, Nebraska.
According to William Hartley and Gary Anderson in "Sacred Places, Vol. 5," the members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints camped near the site of the present-day post office in Ames on April 17, 1847. Journals noted that the ice on the water buckets was an inch thick. Here the camp was organized in military order by Brigham Young.
On April 20, the Saints camped near present-day town of Schuyler, Nebraska. At Schuyler (not so named at that time), there is a Mormon Trail interpretive panel in the community park on the west side of state Route 15.Comment on this story
The pioneer company continued on to Columbus, Nebraska, near the confluence of the Platte and Loup Fork rivers. This is sometimes called the Fish Camp. Camp member Norton Jacob recorded that some of the company members caught some 200 fish there (see "The Mormon Vanguard Brigade of 1847: Norton Jacob’s Record," edited by Ronald O. Barney).
Presently, there are several historical markers/panels in Pawnee Park in Columbus. Unable to cross the Loup Fork River at that point, Brigham Young and the Saints followed it west for a while. On April 21, 1847, they camped at the site of Monroe, close to where Looking Glass Creek (named by Heber C. Kimball) runs into the Loup Fork. Will Bagley in "The Pioneer Camp of the Saints," says the creek was 16 feet wide and 2 feet deep.