National Register Listings in
Wheeler County, Nebraska

The name "Nebraska" is derived from an Oto Indian word meaning "flat water."
Wheeler County is located in the state of Nebraska, in the United States. It was established on February 17, 1877, and named after Daniel H. Wheeler, a congressman from Iowa who advocated for the creation of the county. Initially, the area was inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Pawnee and Omaha people, who used the land for hunting and gathering.

The first European settlers arrived in Wheeler County in the late 1870s, attracted to the fertile land and the potential for agricultural development. They faced many challenges, including harsh weather conditions and limited resources, but gradually established farms and ranches. The county quickly grew in population, and by the early 1900s, it had become a prosperous agricultural hub, primarily focused on livestock and grain production.

Throughout its history, Wheeler County has experienced both boom and decline. The construction of the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad in the late 1800s brought new opportunities for the county, increasing transportation and trade. However, the Great Depression in the 1930s brought economic hardships to the area, as many farmers and ranchers struggled to survive. The county's population has seen a gradual decline over the years, as younger generations have moved away in search of employment and educational opportunities.

In recent years, Wheeler County has focused on preserving its natural resources and promoting tourism. The county is home to several outdoor recreational areas, such as the Calamus Reservoir and the Fort Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge, attracting visitors who enjoy activities like fishing, hunting, and birdwatching. Today, Wheeler County continues to be an important agricultural region, while also embracing its natural beauty and promoting sustainable development.

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

  • 1877 - Wheeler County is established on February 28th.
  • 1880 - The town of Ericson is founded.
  • 1881 - A post office is established in Ericson.
  • 1886 - Bartlett is founded.
  • 1890 - The population of Wheeler County reaches 2,487.
  • 1892 - The town of Spalding is established.
  • 1905 - The town of Orchard is founded.
  • 1914 - The first courthouse in Ericson is completed.
  • 1919 - The town of Elyria is established.
  • 1949 - The current courthouse in Bartlett is completed.
  • 1965 - The last census reports a population of 2,323 for Wheeler County.
  • 1995 - Wheeler County celebrates its centennial.