National Register Listings in
Thayer County, Nebraska

The University of Nebraska was founded in 1869, just two years after Nebraska became a state.
Thayer County, located in south-central Nebraska, has a rich history that dates back to the mid-19th century. The area was originally inhabited by Native American tribes, most notably the Pawnee and Otoe-Missouria tribes. European settlers began to arrive in the area in the 1860s, attracted by the fertile soil and abundant natural resources.

In 1867, Thayer County was established and named in honor of Civil War officer John Milton Thayer. The county quickly saw an influx of settlers, primarily of German, Czech, and Scandinavian descent, who brought with them their unique cultures and traditions. Agriculture played a central role in the county's development, with the fertile plains supporting the growth of crops and the establishment of farms.

Throughout its history, Thayer County has experienced both prosperity and challenges. The construction of the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad in the late 19th century brought economic growth and improved transportation to the area. However, the Great Depression in the 1930s hit the county hard, resulting in widespread unemployment and economic hardship for many residents.

In recent decades, Thayer County has focused on preserving its agricultural heritage and promoting tourism. The county is home to several historical sites and museums that highlight its pioneer past, such as the Thayer County Museum and the Hebron Historic Buildings District. The county also hosts various events and festivals throughout the year, including the Thayer County Fair and Germanfest, which celebrate the diverse cultural heritage of the area. Today, Thayer County continues to be a vibrant community that embraces its past while looking towards the future.

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

  • 1856: Thayer County was established, named after the Nebraska Territory's Governor John Milton Thayer.
  • 1859: The first settlement was established in the county by William Dwight Brown and his family.
  • 1867: The town of Hebron was established as the county seat.
  • 1870: Thayer County's population reached 4,644.
  • 1872: The first courthouse, a 2-story wooden building, was built in Hebron.
  • 1878: The town of Hubbell was founded.
  • 1880: The county population increased to 8,310.
  • 1909: The current Thayer County Courthouse, a three-story brick structure, was built in Hebron.
  • 1920: The county's population peaked at 11,768.
  • 1934: The Civilian Conservation Corps established Camp Deshler in Thayer County as part of the New Deal program.
  • 1940: The county population declined to 9,766.
  • 1960: The county population further declined to 7,714.
  • 1973: A railroad line running through the county ceased operations.
  • 1980: The county population decreased to 6,688.
  • 1990: The county's population reached a low of 5,893.
  • 2004: Bruning State Bank, the county's oldest financial institution, celebrated its 125th anniversary.