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Nebraska City, Nebraska
—  City  —
Location of Nebraska City, Nebraska
Coordinates: 40°40′34″N 95°51′35″W / 40.67611°N 95.85972°W / 40.67611; -95.85972Coordinates: 40°40′34″N 95°51′35″W / 40.67611°N 95.85972°W / 40.67611; -95.85972
Country United States
State Nebraska
County Otoe
Area
 - Total 4.4 sq mi (11.5 km2)
 - Land 4.4 sq mi (11.5 km2)
 - Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation 1,056 ft (322 m)
Population (2000)
 - Total 7,228
 Density 1,633.6/sq mi (630.7/km2)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 - Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP code 68410
Area code(s) 402
FIPS code 31-33705[1]
GNIS feature ID 0831570[2]

Nebraska City is a city in Otoe County, Nebraska, United States. The population was 7,228 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Otoe County.[3] Nebraska City is home of Arbor Day, the Missouri River Basin Lewis and Clark Center (which focuses on the natural history achievements of the expedition), and the Mayhew Cabin, which is Nebraska's only site on the National Park Service Underground Railroad Network to Freedom Program.

Contents

History

Early exploration was reported in 1804 by Lewis and Clark as they journeyed west along the Missouri River. Nebraska City was the original site of Old Fort Kearny, a military post used by the government in 1846. It was abandoned several years later and relocated to central Nebraska, now south of present day Kearney, Nebraska.

Shortly after the post was vacated, John Boulware developed an important river-crossing and ferry service from Iowa across to present day Nebraska City. He and his father grew their business and built a ferry house, the first residence in Nebraska City in 1852 or 1853. Slaves were first bought and sold in the 1850s in Nebraska City.[4]

In 1854 the Kansas-Nebraska Act allowed legal settlement in the regional area. Three townships were incorporated by settlers: Nebraska City and Kearney City were incorporated in 1855, and South Nebraska City was incorporated in 1856. During those years Nebraska City competed fiercely to become the Nebraska Territory capital. On December 31, 1857, these three town sites along with Prairie City joined, incorporating as present day Nebraska City. Before the Civil War, Nebraska City was also noted as having the Territory's largest population of slaves.

In the mid 1800s, steamboats were the vitalizing force behind Nebraska City’s growth in bringing commerce, people and freight to the west. In the spring of 1858 Russell, Majors and Waddell started freighting from Nebraska City on a government contract to transport all provisions for all western forts. The supplies were brought up the Missouri River by steamboat and then taken out by wagon train. Nebraska City's favorable position (with a gradual slope from the river to the table land above) and good trail made it an important link to the west.

Since that beginning, the city was established as a regional transportation, economic, and agriculture hub for the three state area. Additional forms of transportation were important including the steam wagon and the first locomotive engine of the Midland Pacific.

J. Sterling Morton came to Nebraska City in 1855 to edit the Nebraska City News. He and his wife Caroline were originally from Michigan and they were lovers of nature. Morton served as Secretary of Agriculture under President Grover Cleveland’s administration and he was instrumental in establishing the annual tree planting day, Arbor Day in 1872. Governor Robert Furnas issued the first Arbor Day Proclamation on March 31, 1874. The holiday is celebrated around the world.

Geography

Nebraska City is located at 40°40′34″N 95°51′35″W / 40.67611°N 95.85972°W / 40.67611; -95.85972 (40.676247, -95.859659),[5] on the western bank of the Missouri River.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.4 square miles (11.4 km²), all of it land.

Nebraska City has its own hospital, St Marys Hospital. Being the county seat, it also hosts a courthouse.

Demographics

As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 7,228 people, 2,898 households, and 1,872 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,633.6 people per square mile (631.4/km²). There were 3,154 housing units at an average density of 712.8/sq mi (275.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 96.00% White, 0.37% African American, 0.30% Native American, 0.37% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 2.01% from other races, and 0.87% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.40% of the population.

There were 2,898 households out of which 31.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.3% were married couples living together, 10.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.4% were non-families. 30.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.40 and the average family size was 3.01.

In the city the population was spread out with 25.8% under the age of 18, 7.4% from 18 to 24, 25.4% from 25 to 44, 22.3% from 45 to 64, and 19.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 89.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.0 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $34,952, and the median income for a family was $42,860. Males had a median income of $29,507 versus $19,859 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,969. About 6.3% of families and 9.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.0% of those under age 18 and 7.7% of those age 65 or over.

Arbor Day

Nebraska City is known as "The Home of Arbor Day" due to its close propinquity to Arbor Lodge, home of the first Secretary of Agriculture of the United States, J. Sterling Morton, who enthusiastically promoted the planting of trees on the prairie for shade, fruit, and windbreaks. The National Arbor Day Foundation has its headquarters near his home in Nebraska City. [2]

Area schools

Notable natives and residents

See also

References

External links

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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
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From LoveToKnow 1911

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