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Grant County is a county located in the state of Nebraska. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 614, making it the fourth-least populous county in Nebraska and the ninth-least populous county in the United States. Its county seat is Hyannis. The county was founded in 1887 and named for Ulysses S. Grant, 18th President of the United States
Named: Named after President Ulysses S. Grant
County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts
In the years that immediately
preceded the establishment of what today is Grant County, this area in the heart
of the Nebraska Sandhills became knows as a favorite hiding place for outlaws
and other fugitives from justice due to the wide open, sparsely settled terrain
and the lack of local government authority.
The cowboys that drove the first herds of Texas longhorns north along the old Abilene and Chisholm Trails realized the Sandhills region was a perfect range for cattle grazing. Rolling hills covered with hearty native grasses and numerous natural lakes made the area a cattleman's paradise. But with the cattle came rustlers and then other outlaws. Finally, in 1887, Gov. John Thayer appointed R.M. Moran to restore law and order in the territory. Sheriff Moran quickly broke up the gangs of outlaws who hid in the area and captured many notorious characters.
Grant County, named after President Ulysses S. Grant, was created by the Legislature on March 31, 1887. At the time the settlement of Whitman was designated as the county seat. But Hyannis residents felt their town was more centrally located and was better suited to serve in this role. They petitioned for an election and were successful in their bid. When a delegation traveled to Whitman to retrieve the county's records, residents of Whitman refused. The delegation finally succeeded and for years carefully guarded the documents in Hyannis while the bitter feelings continued.
The Kinkaid Act of 1904 is said to have brought an end to the days of free and open range, as new settlers hoped to establish farms on their claims. These farmers quickly became disheartened as winds blew away the tilled soil and crops failed. They sold their claims to area cattle ranchers.
According to state statistics, less than a decade ago Grant County had a larger number of cattle per square mile than any other county in the United States. The importance of the Hereford cattle breed to this county is even depicted with a mosaic picture that is mounted on the side of the courthouse in Hyannis.
As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 783 square miles (2,030 km2), of which 776 square miles (2,010 km2) is
land and 7.0 square miles (18 km2) (0.9%) is water
Bordering counties are as follows: