National Register Listings in
Garfield County, Nebraska

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Nebraska has a unique unicameral legislature, which means it has only one house of representatives instead of the traditional two houses found in most states.
Garfield County, Nebraska, located in the central part of the state, has a rich history dating back to the mid-19th century. The area was originally inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Pawnee and Omaha people, who hunted and lived off the land. In the mid-1800s, European settlers began to arrive, drawn by the promise of fertile soil and the opportunity to establish farms and ranches.

Garfield County was officially established on November 6, 1884, and named after President James A. Garfield. The first town in the county was Burwell, which quickly became the county seat. The arrival of the railroad in the 1880s was a significant development for the county, as it facilitated trade and transportation, allowing the community to grow and prosper.

Agriculture has always been a central focus of Garfield County's economy. In the early years, settlers relied on small-scale farming and raising cattle, while also engaging in hunting and trapping for additional income. Over time, advancements in technology and irrigation practices led to the rise of larger farms and more diverse agricultural production, including the cultivation of corn, wheat, and soybeans.

Throughout its history, Garfield County has faced its share of challenges. The Great Depression of the 1930s hit the area hard, as many farmers struggled to make ends meet. However, the resilience and determination of the community allowed it to bounce back, with the county benefiting from New Deal programs and the increased mechanization of agriculture.

Today, Garfield County continues to be a thriving agricultural community, with a strong sense of community and a dedication to preserving its heritage. Visitors to the area can explore historical sites, such as the Garfield Historical Society Museum, and experience the natural beauty of the picturesque landscapes that have sustained generations of residents.

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

  • 1884 – Garfield County established and named after President James A. Garfield.
  • 1887 – Burwell becomes the county seat.
  • 1891 – The railroad reaches Burwell, bringing economic growth.
  • 1896 – The county courthouse is built in Burwell.
  • 1912 – Garfield County High School opens in Burwell.
  • 1922 – A new courthouse is constructed after the previous one is destroyed by fire.
  • 1945 – The Burwell Rodeo begins, becoming a popular annual event.
  • 1955 – A tornado causes significant damage in Burwell and surrounding areas.
  • 1985 – The Garfield County Historical Society is established.
  • 2004 – The Calamus Reservoir State Recreation Area is opened.
  • 2019 – The population of Garfield County is approximately 2,049 people.