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.

Greeley County, Nebraska

Greeley County Education, Geography, and HistoryGreeley County, Nebraska Courthouse

Greeley County is a county located in the state of Nebraska. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 2,538. Its county seat is Greeley

Etymology - Origin of Greeley County Name

Greeley County is named in honor of Horace Greeley, who said, "Go west young man and grow up with the country."


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

Greeley County History

Religion played a key role in the early development of Greeley County. In 1871, a group of Seventh-Day Baptists from Wisconsin settled on the north side of the Loup River. Nine years later, the Irish Catholic Colonization Association was formed in Chicago for the purpose of relocating Irish immigrants to the healthy atmosphere in Nebraska. It purchased 25,000 acres from the Burlington and Missouri River Railroad for its colony.

Greeley County is named in honor of Horace Greeley, who said, "Go west young man and grow up with the country." Enough settlers had come west to this area between the Loup and Cedar Rivers that in March 1871 the county was formed and its boundaries established. A post office called Lamartine, which was located on the south bank of the Loup River, was designated as the county seat.

A townsite called Scotia sprang up in the southwest corner of the county in 1874. Townspeople felt that their settlement was a better site for the county seat since the majority of county inhabitants were located in the Loup River Valley. An election confirmed their feelings and in 1885 a one-room courthouse was built.

That same year, a settlement called Greeley Center was established in the geographic center of the county. When the Burlington Railroad passed through Greeley Center two years later, the citizens there felt the growing economy and central location made it a better site for the county seat. A courthouse was built, complete with a jail, in an effort to relocate the local government. After several elections, Greeley Center finally prevailed over Scotia in 1890. Since the post office was known simply as Greeley, the word "Center" was dropped from the name some years later.

Greeley County, like most other counties in Nebraska, proved to be prosperous for the early farmers. In the northwest corner of the county, which is considered part of the Sandhills, ranching sustained the economy. A decade later, farming and ranching are still the principal industries.

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 571 square miles (1,480 km2), of which 570 square miles (1,500 km2) is land and 0.8 square miles (2.1 km2) (0.1%) is water.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • Wheeler County (north)
  • Boone County (northeast)
  • Nance County (southeast)
  • Howard County (south)
  • Sherman County (southwest)
  • Valley County (west)


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