History Called Plum Creek by the original settlers, Lexington has a colorful and lively history. Lexington began as an early frontier trading post in 1860 when the Daniel Freeman family settled along the Oregon Trail near the Platte River. The trading post was prosperous, but not without problems. The Plum Creek Massacre took place August 7, 1864, in the bluffs near town. These bluffs were regarded as one of the most dangerous areas on the way west. The Freeman's were forced to flee to Fort Kearney and the trading post was destroyed. Fort Plum Creek was established near the ruins of the trading post later that same year. A cemetery is all that remains near the historic site today. It is estimated that during those early years, more than half a million Americans followed the nearby Oregon Trail until the completion of the Union Pacific Railroad. When the tracks had been laid, the Freeman's moved north to the river and named the town Plum Creek, which was incorporated in 1874. With the railroad established, many new settlers arrived in the area -- including railroad workers and homesteaders who came to farm the free land. Many large ranches were established along the Platte River and thousands of cattle roamed the free range. In 1889, the town's name was changed to Lexington in commemoration of the Battle of Lexington during the Revolutionary War. The Union Pacific Railroad, the arrival of the Pennsylvania Colony and construction of a bridge across the Platte River stimulated new settlements and made Lexington the center of activity in the area. Today Lexington continues to be an active, diverse community. The community's population has risen to more than 10,000.