National Register Listing in
Banner County, Nebraska

The state song of Nebraska is "Beautiful Nebraska," which was written by Jim Fras and Guy G. Miller in 1967.

Banner County, located in the western region of Nebraska, has a rich history that dates back to the mid-1800s. The region was originally inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Cheyenne and Pawnee. The area was later explored by European settlers, notably the famous fur traders and explorers like Jim Bridger and Kit Carson.

The county was officially established in 1888 and was named after the nearby Scotts Bluff National Monument, which acts as a symbol of the pioneers' journey along the Oregon Trail. The early economy of Banner County relied on agriculture and ranching, as settlers took advantage of the fertile soil and wide-open grasslands. Immigrants from various European countries, including Germany, Scandinavia, and Czechoslovakia, played a significant role in the county's development by bringing their farming and ranching traditions.

During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Banner County experienced both prosperity and challenges. The construction of the Union Pacific Railroad in nearby communities provided opportunities for trade and transportation, boosting economic growth in the region. However, the county also faced hardships such as droughts, harsh winters, and the Great Depression, which affected the livelihoods of many residents.

In recent decades, Banner County has seen a gradual decline in population due to advancements in technology and changes in agricultural practices. However, it remains home to a tight-knit community that celebrates its history and cherishes the natural beauty of the area. Today, the county thrives through a combination of agricultural activities, outdoor tourism, and the preservation of its historical and cultural heritage.

  • 1820s: The area that would later become Banner County is home to several Native American tribes, including the Cheyenne and Sioux.
  • 1840s: American fur trappers and traders begin to explore and settle in the region.
  • 1867: The first European settlers, primarily of German and Swedish descent, establish homesteads in Banner County.
  • 1888: Banner County is officially established, named after the prominent early settler and politician, Solomon G. Banner.
  • 1899: The town of Harrisburg becomes the first county seat of Banner County.
  • 1900s: Agriculture plays a vital role in the county's economy, with farmers producing crops like wheat, corn, and cattle.
  • 1919: The county seat is moved to the town of Gering, which remains the county seat to this day.
  • 1930s: During the Great Depression, Banner County experiences economic decline, but the construction of the Gering Dam brings employment opportunities to the area.
  • 1950s-1960s: The creation of Olga Coal Company Mine leads to a boost in employment and economic growth in Banner County.
  • 1990s: The county experiences a decline in population as younger generations move away in search of better opportunities.
  • Present: Banner County remains a small, rural community with a focus on agriculture and a population of around 700 people.