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During World War II, Nebraska was the site of several prisoner-of-war camps, which housed German and Italian soldiers.
Cedar County, Nebraska has a rich history that dates back to the early 1800s. The area was originally inhabited by various Native American tribes, including the Omaha, Otoe-Missouria, and Ponca tribes. The first European settlers arrived in the mid-19th century, drawn to the fertile land along the Cedar River.

In 1856, Cedar County was officially established and named after the Cedar River. The county quickly grew as more settlers arrived, attracted by the promise of cheap land and opportunities for agriculture. The town of St. James was initially designated as the county seat, but it was eventually moved to its current location in Hartington in 1885.

Throughout its history, agriculture has been the backbone of Cedar County's economy. The area is known for its productive soil, which has allowed for the cultivation of various crops such as corn, soybeans, and wheat. Livestock farming, particularly cattle ranching, has also played a significant role in the county's agricultural industry.

Over the years, Cedar County has faced its fair share of challenges and triumphs. The construction of the railroad in the late 1800s brought increased connectivity and economic growth to the area. However, like many rural communities, Cedar County has also grappled with depopulation and the loss of small businesses.

Despite these challenges, Cedar County remains proud of its agricultural heritage and close-knit community. The county continues to celebrate its history through various events and attractions, including the Cedar County Fair, which showcases the area's agricultural and cultural traditions.

This timeline provides a glimpse into the major events and milestones that have shaped the history of Cedar County, Nebraska.

  • 1855: Cedar County is established by the Nebraska Territorial Legislature.
  • 1860: St. James Catholic Church, the oldest standing church building in Nebraska, is constructed.
  • 1868: The town of Hartington is founded and becomes the county seat.
  • 1870: The Cedar County Courthouse is constructed in Hartington.
  • 1885: Burt Peterson becomes the first Cedar County resident to serve in the Nebraska Legislature.
  • 1892: The Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis, and Omaha Railroad reaches Cedar County.
  • 1928: The Cedar County Historical Society is established.
  • 1946: The Hartington Municipal Airport is opened.
  • 1973: The Cedar County Fair celebrates its centennial.
  • 1997: The Cedar County Museum is opened.
  • 2006: The Nebraska Legislature designates the town of Laurel as the "Limestone Capital of Nebraska."