Nebraska's state motto is "Equality before the law."
Saunders County, Nebraska, located in the Eastern part of the state, has a rich history dating back to its establishment in 1867. The landscape of the area was originally inhabited by various Native American tribes, including the Pawnee and Otoe, who relied on the fertile soil and abundant wildlife for their survival.

In the mid-19th century, European immigrants began to settle in Saunders County, bringing with them their agricultural traditions. The construction of the Union Pacific Railroad in the 1860s further stimulated growth in the region, as it provided a convenient transportation route for both goods and people.

The county was named after Alvin Saunders, the second Governor of Nebraska, and its county seat was established in Wahoo in 1872. The town quickly grew, attracting new businesses and settlers, becoming a vibrant center for the county.

Throughout the years, Saunders County has experienced periods of both prosperity and hardship. The agriculture industry, particularly corn and soybean farming, has been the backbone of the county's economy, contributing to its continuous growth and prosperity. However, like many other rural areas, the county has also faced challenges, such as the Great Depression and the agricultural crisis of the 1980s. Despite these difficulties, Saunders County has remained resilient, with its towns and communities persevering and adapting to change.

Today, Saunders County continues to thrive, boasting a mix of agriculture, manufacturing, and service industries. It is also known for its scenic beauty, with its rolling hills, picturesque farmland, and charming small towns. The rich history and diverse culture of Saunders County contribute to its enduring appeal for both residents and visitors alike.

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

  • 1857 - Saunders County is established by the Nebraska Territorial Legislature.
  • 1867 - The first courthouse in Saunders County is built in Ashland.
  • 1868 - The first newspaper, the "Ashland Gazette," is published in Ashland.
  • 1878 - The county seat is moved from Ashland to Wahoo.
  • 1891 - The first hospital in Saunders County, St. Joseph's Hospital, is built in Wahoo.
  • 1901 - The Wahoo State Bank, the oldest bank in the county, is founded.
  • 1926 - The Saunders County Historical Society is established to preserve the county's history.
  • 1949 - Saunders County's first radio station, KWIC, begins broadcasting in Wahoo.
  • 1952 - The Saunders County Courthouse, designed by architect W.F. Gernandt, is completed.
  • 1973 - The Saunders County Fairgrounds, located in Wahoo, are officially opened.
  • 2005 - Ashland celebrates its 150th anniversary.