National Register Listing in
Gosper County, Nebraska

During World War II, Nebraska was the site of several prisoner-of-war camps, which housed German and Italian soldiers.
Gosper County, Nebraska has a rich and fascinating history dating back to the mid-19th century. The county was officially established in 1873 and named after John J. Gosper, a local politician and captain in the Union Army.

The earliest settlers in the area were primarily ranchers and farmers seeking new opportunities in the vast open plains of the Midwest. They faced many challenges, including harsh weather conditions and limited infrastructure. However, their determination and hard work laid the foundation for the growth of Gosper County.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the arrival of railroads played a pivotal role in the county's development. The Union Pacific and Chicago, Burlington and Quincy railroads connected Gosper County to other parts of Nebraska and the rest of the country, facilitating trade and commerce. This led to an increase in population and the establishment of several vibrant communities, including Elwood and Smithfield.

Agriculture has always been the backbone of Gosper County's economy. Farmers in the area engaged in wheat, corn, and livestock production, making it a thriving agricultural community. Over the years, advancements in technology and irrigation techniques have further boosted agricultural productivity and transformed the county's landscape.

Today, Gosper County continues to embrace its agricultural heritage while diversifying its economy. It remains a close-knit community that values agriculture, family, and its unique history. With its beautiful landscapes, strong work ethic, and the determination of its residents, Gosper County stands as a testament to the pioneer spirit that helped shape Nebraska.

This timeline provides a concise overview of the key events in the history of Gosper County, Nebraska.

  • 1860 - The area that would later become Gosper County is settled by pioneers.
  • 1873 - Gosper County is officially established and named after John J. Gosper, a prominent Nebraskan.
  • 1882 - The first school is built in what is now Elwood, the county seat of Gosper County.
  • 1895 - The Burlington and Missouri River Railroad reaches Gosper County, boosting economic growth in the area.
  • 1900 - The population of the county reaches its peak at over 5,000 residents.
  • 1930 - The Great Depression causes a decline in population and economic activity in Gosper County.
  • 1947 - Gosper County Memorial Hospital is established in Elwood to provide healthcare services to the community.
  • 1970 - The construction of the Johnson Lake reservoir is completed, providing recreational opportunities for residents and visitors.
  • 1990 - The population of Gosper County drops to around 2,000 residents.
  • 2010 - Gosper County celebrates its 125th anniversary since its establishment.