West Point was first founded in the spring of 1857, when Omaha businessmen formed the Nebraska Settlement Association in order to find suitable townsites in the Elkhorn Valley. Uriah, John, and Andrew Bruner (three brothers originally from Pennsylvania), and William Sexauer chose the present location on a bend along a river, which they called New Philadelphia. The name was soon changed to West Point because it was the westernmost outpost along the valley.
West Point became the county seat of Cuming County on October 12, 1858 after winning the election over the community of DeWitt. A total of 19 votes were split between the two towns with West Point obtaining 12 votes. By the spring of 1859, over 4,000 Pawnee natives flooded the Elkhorn Valley during a hunting excursion and, displeased to find white settlers in the valley, burned several homesteads and killed livestock. The so-called Pawnee War ended near Battle Creek without a fight.
West Point grew slowly at first, but with the coming of the railroad in 1870, it boomed to a population of over 700.
The Chicago & North Western ended railroad service in 1982 after flood damage and declining freight traffic levels resulted in the track being abandoned. Plans were made to revive railroad service from the newly formed Fremont & Elkhorn Valley Railroad, who purchased the abandoned C&NW track. However, the costs were too high to revive railroad service, and the tracks were removed in 1988.
On August 26, 2019, the DHHS announced that the city’s water was unsafe to drink after a year of complaints from citizens of the town. The maximum safe level of manganese for infants had been exceeded by over 700 micrograms per mL
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.73 square miles (7.07 km2), of which 2.72 square miles (7.04 km2) is land and 0.01 square miles (0.03 km2) is water. West Point lies on the eastern bank of the Elkhorn River.