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.

Pawnee County, Nebraska

Pawnee County Education, Geography, and HistoryPawnee County, Nebraska Courthouse

Pawnee County is a county located in the state of Nebraska. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 2,773. Its county seat is Pawnee City.

Etymology - Origin of Pawnee County Name

As one would conclude, Pawnee County and the county seat of Pawnee City were both named after the Pawnee Indians who inhabited the area. According to his tory, Turkey Creek, near where Pawnee City is located, was a popular campsite for the tribe.


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

Pawnee County History

The county boundaries were defined by the Legislature in 1855, redefined the following year, and reapproved in 1862. The first election was held in 1856 and it was decided that Pawnee City would serve as the seat of the government. The decision was made to build a courthouse, but due to continuous delays and a lack of funds, the two-story structure was never completed. Deteriorated to the point where it could not be repaired, the building was eventually leveled by strong winds in 1860.

Nine years latter, efforts were renewed to build a permanent structure and a two-story limestone building was completed at a cost of just over $15,000. Despite some remodeling and renovation projects, the courthouse proved to be too small. In 1911, $85,000 in bonds were approved for the construction of the present courthouse. Once again made of limestone and brick, the building features a decorative relief sculpture over the building's main entrance.

The earliest settlers of record to make a claim in this area were from Ohio. When they found no land available in Missouri, Christian Bobst, Robert Turner, Jacob Adams and Robert Archer crossed over into the Nebraska Territory and settled along the south forth of the Nemaha River, located in the far southeast corner of the county. The four settlers named the area Cincinnati, in honor of the city in their native Ohio. The area, however, would never progress to their expectations and eventually ceased to exist as a settlement.

In more modern times, the advancement of farming throughout the area and the coming of the rail lines helped Pawnee County established itself. Today, the rolling green prairie that greeted the first settlers has given way to prosperous family farming operations.

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 433 square miles (1,120 km2), of which 431 square miles (1,120 km2) is land and 1.9 square miles (4.9 km2) (0.4%) is water.

Pawnee County is covered with rolling hills and farmland.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • Richardson County (east)
  • Nemaha County, Kansas (southeast)
  • Marshall County, Kansas (southwest)
  • Gage County (west)
  • Johnson County (north)
  • Nemaha County (northeast)


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