Historical Marker in
Grant County, Nebraska

Omaha is home to the world's largest indoor desert, located at the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium.
Grant County, Nebraska has a rich and diverse history that dates back to its settlement in the late 19th century. The county was established in 1887 and was named after General Ulysses S. Grant, the 18th President of the United States. Prior to its establishment, the area was inhabited by various Native American tribes, including the Pawnee and Sioux.

The first settlers in Grant County were primarily farmers and ranchers who were attracted to the fertile soil and abundant grazing land. They established small communities and worked together to build schools, churches, and businesses. One of the earliest settlements was Hyannis, which was founded in 1886 and became the county seat.

In the early 20th century, Grant County experienced a period of rapid growth and development. The construction of the Nebraska, Wyoming, and Eastern Railroad in 1916 provided a boost to the local economy, facilitating the transportation of goods and people. New businesses were established, including a bank, a hotel, and a newspaper, further supporting the growth of the county.

Over the years, Grant County has faced its fair share of challenges. The Dust Bowl of the 1930s hit the region particularly hard, causing severe drought and widespread soil erosion. Many farmers had to abandon their land and seek employment elsewhere. However, the county persevered and eventually recovered from this difficult period.

Today, Grant County remains a primarily agricultural area, with farming and ranching as the main economic activities. It is also known for its unique landscapes, including the Nebraska Sandhills and the Crescent Lake National Wildlife Refuge. The County continues to thrive, with a strong sense of community and a commitment to preserving its rich history.

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

  • Named after Ulysses S. Grant, the 18th President of the United States, Grant County is established in Nebraska in 1873.
  • In 1887, the village of Hyannis becomes the county seat.
  • The Union Pacific railroad reaches Grant County in 1914, boosting economic growth and transportation in the region.
  • In the 1920s, the Sandhills region in Grant County experiences significant agricultural development, with settlers successfully cultivating the land.
  • During the Great Depression in the 1930s, Grant County, like many other areas, faces economic hardship.
  • In the 1950s, irrigation systems are introduced, further supporting agricultural activities in the county.
  • In 1989, Grant County celebrates its centennial, marking 100 years since its establishment.
  • The county continues to be primarily rural, with agriculture remaining a cornerstone of its economy.
  • Over the years, Grant County has preserved its natural beauty and provides opportunities for outdoor recreation, attracting visitors to enjoy its landscapes and wildlife.