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.

Valley County, Nebraska

Valley County Education, Geography, and HistoryValley County, Nebraska Courthouse

Valley County is a county located in the state of Nebraska. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 4,260. Its county seat is Ord

Etymology - Origin of Valley County Name

NamedOrd, in honor of Gen. E.O.C. Ord, who was commander of the Army of the Platte at the time the county was organized.


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

Valley County History

Valley County derives its name from the land conditions that exist in the area. Located between the North and Middle Loup Rivers, the terrain is mostly prime valley land which lies between the higher table lands.

The boundaries of what today is Valley County were originally created by the Legislature in 1871. Two years later the Legislature adopted an act to permit the county to organize. On March 18, 1873, the county's organizational election was held. In addition to the selection of the county's first officers, voters also selected the site of the present town of Ord to serve as the county seat. At the time it was selected, however, the county seat had no name. After it was surveyed in 1874, the site was named Ord, in honor of Gen. E.O.C. Ord, who was commander of the Army of the Platte at the time the county was organized.

The first settlers in this area are said to have been two distinct groups who had traveled from Wisconsin in 1872. The first was a small party of Danes who settled on the west side of the North Loup River near the present site of Ord. The second group of settlers consisted of a colony of Seventh-Day Baptists who homesteaded farther downstream near the present day town of North Loup. Their objective was to settle on the frontier in order that they might remain undisturbed by those who observed the first day of the week as the Sabbath.

Throughout the early years there were persistent rumors that Indian raids were about to occur in the county. Gen. Ord decided to station a company of soldiers in the northern part of the county just in case. Although there were some minor skirmishes and one that resulted in the death of one of Gen. Ord's soldiers, for the most part they were just rumors.

In 1884 the settlers of Valley County were looking forward to a large yield from their crops. That quickly changed when a wave of grasshoppers covered the state and completely destroyed every living plant in its path. Losing the crops they had counted on to survive the coming winter, many of the settlers left the area, never to return.

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 570 square miles (1,500 km2), of which 568 square miles (1,470 km2) is land and 2.4 square miles (6.2 km2) (0.4%) is water.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • Greeley County (east)
  • Sherman County (south)
  • Custer County (west)
  • Garfield County (north)


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