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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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Burt County, Nebraska

Burt County Education, Geography, and HistoryBurt County, Nebraska Courthouse

Burt County is a county located in the state of Nebraska. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 6,858. Its county seat is Tekamah. The county was formed in 1854 and named after Francis Burt, the first governor of Nebraska Territory

Etymology - Origin of Burt County Name

Burt County was named after Francis Burt of South Carolina, who was appointed Nebraska's first territorial governor. Burt died Oct. 18, 1854, a mere two days after taking office.


County QuickFacts: Census Bureau Quick Facts

Burt County History

Burt County holds the distinction of being among the oldest counties in the state, as it was one of the first eight counties to comprise the Nebraska Territory. When its original boundaries were defined in 1855, the county actually included the entire northeast corner of the state, stretching nearly 100 miles westward from the Missouri River. In 1862 the county's boundaries were significantly reduced and redefined to present day 486 square miles.

The history of the area that is known as Burt County dates back to the early 1800s. It has been reported that Meriwether Lewis and William Clark stopped in the area to visit the grave of Chief Blackbird during their exploration trip up the Missouri River. There are also reports of settlers coming to the area as early as the 1830s.

The Nebraska Stock Company made the first organized attempt to settle the area in 1854 when a group of pioneers staked a claim on the site that is today Tekamah. With the claim, the town of Tekamah was founded on Oct. 7. Five months later, through an act adopted by the Legislature, Tekamah was named the county seat.

Although Tekamah was incorporated in 1855, it would be 23 years before a courthouse was built. For many years, meetings were held in various buildings in the town. An old blockhouse was used for court proceedings and the building's attic served as a jail. In response to the irritation expressed by citizens, petitions were circulated in 1877 in an effort to construct a courthouse. The following year a courthouse became reality when a building was constructed at a cost of less than $3,000. The courthouse served the residents of the county until 1917 when it was replaced by an elegant structure that still houses the county's government offices.


As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 497 square miles (1,290 km2), of which 492 square miles (1,270 km2) is land and 5.5 square miles (14 km2) (1.1%) is water.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • Thurston County, Nebraska - north
  • Monona County, Iowa - northeast
  • Harrison County, Iowa - southeast
  • Washington County, Nebraska - south
  • Dodge County, Nebraska - southwest
  • Cuming County, Nebraska - west


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