The town was
originally named Grand Lake. When the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy
Railroad came to Grand Lake in 1888, the railroad superintendent, G.W.
Holdrege, wanted to change it to a simple one-word name closer to the beginning
of the alphabet, which he thought would be better for business. The U.S.
Post Office gave Holdrege permission, and he picked "Alliance"
for the new name of the town. Alliance was incorporated as a city in 1891
The Alliance Army Airfield
was established in 1942. Construction was completed in August 1943 and the Army
Air Corps used the facility as a training base until the end of World War
II. The facility was transferred from the federal government to the City of
Alliance in 1953 and is currently in use as the Alliance Municipal Airport.
In the Lakota language,
Alliance is known as čhasmú
okáȟmi, meaning "Sand River Bend"