Kearney, Nebraska: Wikis


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Kearney, Nebraska
—  City  —
The Great Platte River Road Archway Monument, which spans Interstate 80
Location of Kearney, Nebraska
Coordinates: 40°42′3″N 99°4′52″W / 40.70083°N 99.08111°W / 40.70083; -99.08111Coordinates: 40°42′3″N 99°4′52″W / 40.70083°N 99.08111°W / 40.70083; -99.08111
Country United States
State Nebraska
County Buffalo
 - Mayor Stanley Clouse
 - Total 11.2 sq mi (29.0 km2)
 - Land 11.0 sq mi (28.4 km2)
 - Water 0.2 sq mi (0.6 km2)
Elevation 2,152 ft (656 m)
Population (2000)
 - Total 27,431
 Density 2,498.5/sq mi (964.7/km2)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 - Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP Codes 68845, 68847, 68848 (P.O. Box), 68849 UNK
Area code(s) 308
FIPS code 31-25055[1]
GNIS feature ID 0830442[2]

Kearney is a city in and the county seat of Buffalo County, Nebraska, United States.[3] The population was 27,431 at the 2000 census. It is home to the University of Nebraska-Kearney. Kearney is pronounced /ˈkɑrni/ "kar-ney", not "ker-ney".[4]

Kearney is the principal city of the Kearney, Nebraska Micropolitan Statistical Area, which consists of Buffalo and Kearney counties.



Kearney is located at 40°42′3″N 99°4′52″W / 40.70083°N 99.08111°W / 40.70083; -99.08111 (40.700731, -99.081150)[5].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 11.2 square miles (29 km2), of which 11.0 square miles (28 km2) is land and 0.2 square miles (0.52 km2) is water.


Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1880 1,782
1890 8,074 353.1%
1900 5,634 −30.2%
1910 6,202 10.1%
1920 7,702 24.2%
1930 8,575 11.3%
1940 9,643 12.5%
1950 12,115 25.6%
1960 14,210 17.3%
1970 19,181 35.0%
1980 21,158 10.3%
1990 24,396 15.3%
2000 27,431 12.4%
Est. 2008 30,417 10.9%
Location of the Kearney Micropolitan Statistical Area in Nebraska

As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 29,952 people, 10,549 households, and 6,160 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,498.5 people per square mile (964.6/km2). There were 11,099 housing units at an average density of 1,010.9/sq mi (390.3/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 95.18% White, 0.63% African American, 0.38% Native American, 0.92% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 1.68% from other races, and 1.17% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.08% of the population.

There were 10,549 households out of which 30.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.7% were married couples living together, 9.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 41.6% were non-families. 28.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.37 and the average family size was 2.96.

In the city the population was spread out with 22.2% under the age of 18, 23.9% from 18 to 24, 26.2% from 25 to 44, 17.1% from 45 to 64, and 10.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 27 years. For every 100 females there were 92.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.7 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $34,829, and the median income for a family was $46,650. Males had a median income of $30,150 versus $22,366 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,713. About 7.4% of families and 13.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.8% of those under age 18 and 8.9% of those age 65 or over.

Famous People From Kearney


Parade of U.S. Infantry through Kearney, Nebraska, 1888.

Kearney is home to the Museum of Nebraska Art, the state's official art collection. Just 2 miles east of town, The Great Platte River Road Archway Monument, spanning Interstate 80, is a museum paying tribute to the area's pioneer history. It was featured in the movie About Schmidt. Located in the town's Central Elementary School is the Robert M. Merryman Performing Arts Center, a 929-seat theatre completed in 2006.

The city is also home to the Tri-City Storm, a United States Hockey League team. The team's home venue is the Viaero Event Center, an arena with seating for 5,000.

Two microbreweries, Thunderhead Brewing and the Platte Valley Brewery, are located in downtown Kearney.


Panorama c.1909

Before Kearney was named Kearney, it was called Dobytown and it was located 2 miles southeast of the present-day Kearney. Later the city was moved and renamed after the nearby Fort Kearny (with an extra "e" added, but pronounced the same), a United States Army outpost along the Oregon Trail in the middle 19th century. The fort was named after Col. and later General Stephen W. Kearny. The "e" was added by mistake sometime afterwards by postmen who consistently misspelled the town name.[citation needed] Eventually it just stuck. The current location of the city is on the North side of the Platte River and steadily grew as a result of the influence of the railroad.

Recent growth in the city has been dramatic. The city is expanding quickly to the North, East, and West. The biggest employers in the city are the Good Samaritan Hospital and the University of Nebraska at Kearney. Other major employers include The Buckle Corporate Headquarters, Eaton Corporation, Baldwin Filters, Marshall Engines Inc, and West Company Pharmaceuticals.

Kearney Tornadoes

On May 29, 2008 Kearney was hit by 3 tornades. At about 5:30pm tornadoes started to hit Kearney and lasted about 15 minutes. The majority of the damage was to the Northern part of the town.


The council-manager form is used in Kearney. The City Council makes legislative and policy-making decisions. There are five members elected city-wide to serve four year terms which are staggered. The council manager form of government was adopted in 1950.

The council appoints a City Manager to implement policies, prepare a budget, appoints department heads, and recommends areas that the council needs to attend. There are five members elected city-wide serving staggered four year terms. One member of the City Council is chosen by the council to be Mayor. Stanley Clouse is the Mayor.[6][7]

Gov. Dave Heineman has announced that Kearney is one of two cities that has been selected to participate in a new initiative designed to develop a new technology/data center park in Nebraska.


University of Nebraska Kearney (UNK) is located in the city. The campus is a 235-acre residential campus with more than 37 buildings. It was founded in 1905 as Nebraska State Normal School at Kearney and became Nebraska State Teachers College in 1921. Between 1963 and 1991 the school was named Kearney State College in 1963. The college joined the University system as the University of Nebraska at Kearney, in 1991.

UNK is one of four universities in the University of Nebraska system. The other three are University of Nebraska Lincoln (UNL), University of Nebraska Omaha (UNO), and University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC). UNK's colors are blue and gold. UNK is located at 905 West 25th Street Kearney NE 68849. UNK currently holds 6,478 undergraduate students and 1,006 graduate students. Students come to UNK from all 93 Nebraska counties, 36 states, and 47 foreign countries. Its sports programs include baseball, softball, football, volleyball, wrestling, women’s swimming, men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s tennis, men’s and women’s golf, women's soccer, and men’s and women’s track and field.

A list of UNK Sororities and Fraternities:


  • Alpha Omicron Pi
  • Alpha Phi
  • Chi Omega (Chapter was closed April 2009)
  • Gamma Phi Beta


  • Alpha Tau Omega
  • Delta Tau Delta
  • Phi Gamma Delta
  • Pi Kappa Alpha
  • Sigma Phi Epsilon
  • Sigma Tau Gamma

Outdoor Areas

  • Apollo Park
  • Buffalo Ridge Golf Course
  • Centennial Park
  • Collins Park
  • Cottonmill Lake Recreation Area
  • Dryden Park
  • Harmon Park
  • Harvey Park
  • Kearney Country Club
  • Meadowlark Hills Golf Course
  • Memorial Field
  • Pioneer Park
  • Nina Hammer Park
  • Ted Baldwin Field
  • West Lincoln Way
  • E.K. & Mary Yanney Heritage Park
  • Fort Kearny State Historical Park and Recreation Area

Schools in and around Kearney


  1. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  2. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  4. ^ "Nebraska Pronunciation Guide". Associated Press. Retrieved 2010-01-28. 
  5. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2000 and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2005-05-03. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  6. ^ The Kearney Connection. Retrieved 2009-08-13.
  7. ^ City of Kearney: Form of Government. Retrieved 2009-08-13.
  8. ^ "District Snapshot". Kearney Public Schools. Retrieved 2009-11-05.
  9. ^ "About YRTC—Kearney". Nebraska Department of Health & Human Services. Retrieved 2009-11-06. 

External links



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