Grand Island is located in the southern-central part of the state of Nebraska and a city and seat of Hall County and is in the western part of Lincoln. The name of the city was taken after the island that is located in the nearby Platte River that is called La Grande Ile or “Big Island” in French by the French fur traders who settled in the area during the 18th century. The area where the present-day Grand Island was inhabited by the Pawnee people of the Native Americans when the first Europeans came and visited in the late 1700s. The island became a landmark for the westward travelers that is located in Oregon, California, and the Mormon trails during the middle of the 1800s. In 1857, a German settlement was established nearby the river. However, it was moved to the present site for the Union Pacific Railroad that was then subsequently crossed by what is now the Burlington Northern Santa Fe line.