In a city named after "The Pathfinder" John C. Fremont, it is only fitting that we recognize another trailblazer during its 150th anniversary - the Union Pacific Railroad.

Fremont and the railroad has a long, rich history. Union Pacific tracks arrived in the growing community in 1866, a little more than 10 years after Fremont's founding. Since the time those first rails arrived, the railroad has provided opportunity for Fremont's residents and its business community.

Much like it does today, Union Pacific provided jobs for our pioneer founders such as George and Tom Turner, who cut down trees as part of the track-laying crew. Today, the railroad provides jobs to thousands of Nebraskans, many of them living right here in Fremont.

The railroad provided the opportunity for Fremont's early settlers to grow their businesses, just as it does today. Back then, it was Theron Nye who built a vast complex of grain elevators and lumber and coal yards. Rail service allowed goods to arrive more quickly, allowing other businesses to grow and prosper. Today, several of our companies have rail spurs where goods are transferred to be sold elsewhere around the world or used right here.

Even in its infancy, the railroad provided farmers - the backbone of Nebraska's economy still today - a better, faster way to move their goods to market.

Fremont is a railroad town. Few other communities in the state or elsewhere can boast having two major rail lines run through town.

That's why ask you to join us in extending congratulations to Union Pacific as it celebrates its 150th anniversary.