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Nebraska Counties
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Nebraska Counties

There is ninety-three counties in state of Nebraska. Despite the fact that Sarpy County contained the oldest settlement in the state, it was one of the last lands along the river to be recognized by law. Finally, on February 1, 1857, the land "where the cities meet the country" was officially created.

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Antelope County, Nebraska

Antelope County Education, Geography, and HistoryAntelope County, Nebraska Courthouse

Antelope County is a county located in the state of Nebraska. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 6,685. Its county seat is Neligh. The county was formed in 1871. It received its name after a group of early settlers killed and ate several pronghorn, which, although not true antelope, are colloquially known by that name.

Etymology - Origin of Antelope County Name

State Sen. Leander Gerrard recalled an incident that had occurred to him in this area the preceding year. Tired and low on provisions, Gerrard's party was able to kill a young antelope for food. So in March 1871 when the Legislature defined the boundaries of this new county, Gerrard suggested it be known as Antelope.

Demographics:

County QuickFacts: Census Bureau Quick Facts

Antelope County History

When it came time to select a name for a newly-created county in Northeast Nebraska, State Sen. Leander Gerrard recalled an incident that had occurred to him in this area the preceding year. In 1870 Gerrard was a member of a party that was in pursuit of thieves who had stolen livestock in the Columbus area. The trail led to the northwest and Cedar Creek. Tired and low on provisions, Gerrard's party was able to kill a young antelope for food. So in March 1871 when the Legislature defined the boundaries of this new county, Gerrard suggested it be known as Antelope.

In June 1871 the county was officially organized and 202 votes were cast in the first election. The present site of Oakdale was selected to serve as a temporary county seat.

John Neligh led a party up the Elkhorn River Valley in 1872 to explore the area. Neligh was so impressed with what he found that he returned to Omaha and purchased 560 acres of land along the river. It was his intention to persuade Antelope County voters to select his site as the county seat. On election day a messenger carrying this notice from West Point became lost along the way. Neligh's message to the inhabitants of the county failed to arrive in time and Oakdale was subsequently victorious. A one-story frame courthouse was built the following year for $650. In 1874 it was destroyed by fire and residents decided at that time to move the county offices to a more central location. Neligh, the current county seat, was the overwhelming choice.

Early farmers in Antelope County gave considerable attention to planting fruit and forest trees. It has been estimated that by 1882 more than 15,000 apple, plum and cherry trees had been planted.

The Neligh community became widely known for Neligh Mills, built on the north bank of the Elkhorn River. Grinding began at the mill on Oct. 10, 1874 and within the first 2? months of operation 7,500 bushel of wheat had been processed. Today, Neligh Mills holds a prominent place in the area's history and is a popular stop for visitors to the area.

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 859 square miles (2,220 km2), of which 857 square miles (2,220 km2) is land and 1.4 square miles (3.6 km2) (0.2%) is water

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • Pierce County, Nebraska (east)
  • Madison County, Nebraska (southeast)
  • Boone County, Nebraska (south)
  • Wheeler County, Nebraska (southwest)
  • Holt County, Nebraska (west)
  • Knox County, Nebraska (north)

Education

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