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.

Dixon County, Nebraska

Dixon County Education, Geography, and HistoryDixon County, Nebraska Courthouse

Dixon County is a county located in the state of Nebraska. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 6,000. Its county seat is Ponca. The county was created in 1856 and attached to Dakota County. It was later organized in 1858.

Dixon County is part of the Sioux City, IA-NE-SD Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Etymology - Origin of Dixon County Name

At the time it was established, the name Dixon was chosen in honor of an early pioneer who had settled in this area.


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

Dixon County History

Dixon County may be the only county in Nebraska that can claim a volcano as part of its history. It may not have been a Mt. Vesuvius, but the phenomenon of nature that occurred prior to the time the county was organized certainly generated as much attention from those who had settled in this area.

As the story goes, the waters of the Missouri River once undermined a large section of bluff along its south bank. As the bluff slid into the river, a chemical reaction occurred between the earth's minerals and the water and for days a column of fire, smoke and fumes rose toward the sky. As rumors began to circulate that a volcano had erupted, a steam-powered excursion boat from Sioux City would bring sightseers up the river at regular intervals to view this anomaly.

The original boundaries of Dixon County were created in 1856 and were redefined again in 1858 and 1860. At the time it was established, the name Dixon was chosen in honor of an early pioneer who had settled in this area. Ponca, said by some to be the fourth-oldest community in Nebraska, has served as the county seat since the days when the county was first organized.

Members of the Ponca Indian tribe inhabited this area long before the first settlers arrived. That changed the year the county's boundaries were created, as a group of 11 Easterners settled along the creek banks that would eventually become the town of Ponca. Despite a hand-drawn sign that proclaimed the area to be Indian territory, the settlers staked out claims and built sod shanties. In August of that same year, Frank West arrived from Sioux City. West had a reputation for being a great fighter and seeing that same hand-drawn sign, he kicked it to the ground. West would soon begin platting the first 24 blocks of the townsite that he daringly named Ponca, after the tribe.

The county's original courthouse was built in 1883, 27 years after West founded Ponca. A three-story brick addition was added in 1938.

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 483 square miles (1,250 km2), of which 476 square miles (1,230 km2) is land and 6.7 square miles (17 km2) (1.4%) is water

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • Union County, South Dakota - northeast
  • Dakota County - east
  • Thurston County - southeast
  • Wayne County - southwest
  • Cedar County - west
  • Clay County, South Dakota - northwest


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