Fort Lisa, Nebraska, was a non-military post established in 1812 by famed fur trader Manuel Lisa and the Missouri Fur Company. Lisa built the post north of present-day Omaha after abandoning his trading posts on the upper Missouri River — Fort Raymond in Montana and the original fort Lisa in North Dakota.
The fort traded in furs, cattle, horses, and land and served as a base from which Manuel Lisa traded with the neighboring tribes. Lisa spent the winter of 1819-20 at Fort Lisa with his third wife, Mary Hempstead Keeney, while his partner, Joshua Pilcher, moved from camp to camp trading with the Indians. When Pilcher returned to the post, he found Manuel Lisa in poor health, and Lisa soon returned to St. Louis, Missouri, for treatment. This was not successful; however, Lisa died on August 12, 1820, at the age of 48.
Pilcher then succeeded Lisa as the president of the Missouri Fur Company and ran Fort Lisa. He closed the post in 1823 after building Pilcher’s Post downriver at what became Bellevue, Nebraska. Today, nothing is left of the old trading post, but a marker indicates the site is located at the intersection of John J Pershing Drive and Hummel Road at the entrance to Hummel Park in Omaha, Nebraska.
© Kathy Alexander/Legends of America, updated January 2023.
Nebraska – The Cornhusker State