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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.

Boyd County, Nebraska

Boyd County Education, Geography, and HistoryBoyd County, Nebraska Courthouse

Boyd County is a county located in the State of Nebraska. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 2,099. Its county seat is Butte. The county was formed in 1891 and named after Governor James E. Boyd.

Etymology - Origin of Boyd County Name

Two years after the treaty was signed the county was established and named in honor of James E. Boyd, who was governor at the time the legislative bill organizing the county was approved.


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

Boyd County History

Situated between the Niobrara and Missouri Rivers, this area was once referred to as a "shoestring" county because of the configuration of its boundaries. From east to west, Boyd County measures 48 miles; from north to south it ranges from 6? to 15? miles.

In the early 1800s the majority of this area was part of the great Sioux Reservation, while a small portion of the land was a part of the Fort Randall Military Reservation. In 1889 a treaty was signed between the government and the Sioux which permitted the area to be thrown open for settlement. Historical accounts reveal that the Indians were at first reluctant to sign the treaty. When government officials arrived from Washington, the chief would pick up dirt in his hands and let it slip through his fingers while repeatedly saying they could not eat dirt. After hours of talks, the chief finally agreed to sign.

Two years after the treaty was signed the county was established and named in honor of James E. Boyd, who was governor at the time the legislative bill organizing the county was approved. The settlement of Butte was designated as a temporary county seat. Shortly thereafter, the Fort Randall Military Reservation was thrown open for settlement as well.

It was not until 1895 that the state line between Nebraska and South Dakota was accurately surveyed. Prior to that time the settlers who lived in an area known as the "Three Mile Strip" were uncertain of which state they actually lived in.

The county seat of Butte is said to have received its name from a rocky area south of the town that was thought to have been formed by deposits from an iceberg that moved through the area centuries before. The area is known as the Harvey Buttes. About eight miles west of the town is a prominent landmark known as Twin Buttes. The summits of these buttes rise about 200 feet above the county's 1,650-foot elevation. The caps of these buttes are hard rock, beneath which are sand, a second layer of hard rock, and a base of clay and shale.

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 545 square miles (1,410 km2), of which 540 square miles (1,400 km2) is land and 4.6 square miles (12 km2) (0.8%) is water.

Boyd County is located in Nebraska's Outback region

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • Charles Mix County, South Dakota - east
  • Knox County, Nebraska - southeast
  • Holt County, Nebraska - south
  • Rock County, Nebraska - southwest
  • Keya Paha County, Nebraska - west
  • Gregory County, South Dakota - northwest


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