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.

Colfax County, Nebraska

Colfax County Education, Geography, and HistoryColfax County, Nebraska Courthouse

Colfax County is a county located in the state of Nebraska. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 10,515. Its county seat is Schuyler. The county and its seat are both named after former Vice President of the United States, Schuyler Colfax.

Etymology - Origin of Colfax County Name

Very few, if any, Nebraska counties can make the claim that Colfax County can. When the Legislature created the county and subsequently established the county seat in 1869, it looked to Washington, D.C. for a name. Schuyler Colfax was vice president at the time, so Colfax was selected for the county name, while Schuyler was chosen for the county seat. Ironically, only 15 years earlier Colfax was a vocal supporter of a group that opposed the creation and settlement of the Nebraska Territory.


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

Colfax County History

The organization of Colfax County came 56 years after the first documented report of white men traveling through the Platte River Valley. Seven members of a John Jacob Astor exploration party are said to have been returning from the Pacific Northwest when they came upon the broad valley that was inhabited by the Pawnee tribe. Over the ensuing 30 years an increasing number of traders, trappers, gold miners, and Mormon settlers passed through the area.

Farmer Daniel Hashberger settled near the future site of Schuyler in 1864. Within two years the Union Pacific Railroad was pushing westward and the Shell Creek station, later to become Schuyler, was established. By 1869, when the site was selected as the county seat, the railroad was the sole owner of the property at the site. Schuyler was incorporated in 1870.

When Colfax County was created it was actually divided from Platte County, whose inhabitants objected to the split. An agreement was worked out whereby Colfax County would assume its proportionate share of county indebtedness that existed at the time of the split.

As Schuyler and the surrounding area began to develop, it became apparent that a courthouse was needed. By 1872 a two-story brick and stone building was completed, complete with a tin roof and an ornamental tower. An interesting note is that the first floor was used for apartments for county officers, as well as for cells for prisoners. The second floor housed the court room. This building would serve Colfax County until 1922, when the present brick and terra cotta trim courthouse replaced it.

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 417 square miles (1,080 km2), of which 412 square miles (1,070 km2) is land and 4.9 square miles (13 km2) (1.2%) is water

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • Dodge County (east)
  • Butler County (south)
  • Platte County (west)
  • Stanton County (north)
  • Cuming County (northeast)


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