The population of Omaha is over 450,000 people according to the 2009 U.S. Census Bureau, making it Nebraska’s largest city. Omaha was established in 1854 by speculators coming from nearby Council Bluffs, Iowa, at the Missouri River crossing known as Lone Tree Ferry. Because of its central location in the Midwest Omaha became an important transportation hub for settlers heading westward, and was dubbed the “Gateway to the West.”