Chadron ( SHAD-rən) is a city and the county seat of Dawes County, in the state of Nebraska in the Great Plains region of the United States. The population was 5,851 at the 2010 census. This city is the location of Chadron State College.
Chadron also is the United States Forest Service headquarters of the Nebraska and Samuel R. McKelvie National Forests, and the Buffalo Gap, Fort Pierre, and Oglala National Grasslands. The Museum of the Fur Trade is located near Chadron, at the site of the American Fur Company's former Bordeaux Trading Post.
Succeeding cultures of indigenous peoples lived in the area for thousands of years. In historic times, tribes such as the Oglala Lakota (Oglala Sioux Tribe), Cheyenne and others lived in the area. The Sioux used this territory as a hunting ground after pushing other tribes to the west.
Chadron is named for Louis Chartran, a French-Indian (Métis) fur trapper who ran a trading post on Chadron Creek in 1841. He was married to an American Indian woman.
In 1884 the town was formally established when the Fremont, Elkhorn, and Missouri Valley Railroad was constructed through the area from Omaha, Nebraska, en route to Wyoming.