city, Sarpy county, eastern Nebraska, U.S., on the Missouri River, immediately south of Omaha. The Lewis and Clark Expedition visited the area in 1804. Established in 1822 as a fur-trading post, Bellevue is named from the French for "beautiful view." It is the state's oldest continuous settlement and was an important missionary centre and agency of the Oto, Pawnee, and Omaha Indians. It moved its site in 1835 to bluffs overlooking the river valley and became a centre of trade between the eastern and western United States. The state's first newspaper, the Nebraska Palladium, was published there in 1854. It served as county seat from 1857 to 1875. An 1830s log cabin and the Fontenelle Bank, once used as the city hall (1856), are preserved. The establishment nearby of the Martin Bomber Plant (1941) at Fort Crook and of Offutt Air Force Base (1948), site of the U.S. Strategic Command headquarters, boosted residential growth. Bellevue's economy is now based on military services, defense contracting, food processing, financial services, printing, and the manufacture of concrete and wool products. Bellevue University was founded in 1966. Fontenelle Forest Nature Center adjoins the city to the northeast. Bellevue lies on the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail. Inc. 1855. Pop. (2000) 44,382; (2005 est.) 47,334.
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