Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
List of Nebraska county name etymologies
This is a list of Nebraska county name etymologies.
When many counties were formed, the bills forming the counties did not state the honoree's full name; thus several counties' namesakes are known by only last names. (Brown, Deuel, Dixon, and possibly Harlan to be exact.)
Counties, alphabetical by first letter
- Adams County, Nebraska: Adams is named for John Adams, the second president of the United States.
- Antelope County, Nebraska: Antelope is named for the pronghorn antelope in the area.
- Arthur County, Nebraska: Arthur is named for Chester Alan Arthur, the twenty-first president of the United States.
- Banner County, Nebraska: Banner is named for the hope of the early settlers to make the county the "banner county" of the state.
- Blaine County, Nebraska: Blaine is named for James Gillespie Blaine, the United States Secretary of State and presidential candidate.
- Boone County, Nebraska: Boone is named for Daniel Boone, the famous Kentucky frontiersman.
- Box Butte County, Nebraska: Box Butte is named for a large box-shaped butte located approximately six miles north of Alliance, Nebraska, the county seat.
- Boyd County, Nebraska: Boyd is named for James E. Boyd , the eighth governor of Nebraska.
- Brown County, Nebraska: Brown is named for any two of five members of the state legislature named Brown at the time of the county's formation (see above for explanation).
- Buffalo County, Nebraska: Buffalo is named for the American Bison which once roamed the present county.
- Burt County, Nebraska: Burt is named for Francis Burt , the first territorial governor of Nebraska who died after two days in office.
- Butler County, Nebraska: Butler is named for either David Butler, the first governor of Nebraska; or William Orlando Butler, the Kentucky statesman who declined an appointment to become the first territorial governor of Nebraska.
- Cass County, Nebraska: Cass is named for Lewis Cass, the American statesman and senator from Michigan.
- Cedar County, Nebraska: Cedar is named for the many juniper trees (locally mis-identified as cedars) in the area.
- Chase County, Nebraska: Chase is named for Champion S. Chase , a mayor of Omaha, Nebraska who served as Nebraska's first attorney general.
- Cherry County, Nebraska: Cherry is named for Samuel A. Cherry , a lieutenant in the U.S. Fifth Cavalry who two years before the formation of the county had been murdered north of Fort Niobrara .
- Cheyenne County, Nebraska: Cheyenne is named for the Cheyenne Native American tribe.
- Clay County, Nebraska: Clay is named for Henry Clay, the Kentucky statesman and presidential candidate.
- Colfax County, Nebraska: Colfax is named for Schuyler Colfax, the seventeenth vice president of the United States.
- Cuming County, Nebraska: Cuming is named for Thomas B. Cuming , the acting governor of the Nebraska Territory when the county was formed.
- Custer County, Nebraska: Custer is named for George Armstrong Custer, the U. S. Army general famous for his death at the Battle of Little Bighorn.
- Dakota County, Nebraska: Dakota is named for the Dakota branch of the Sioux Native American tribe.
- Dawes County, Nebraska: Dawes is named for James W. Dawes , the sixth governor of Nebraska.
- Dawson County, Nebraska: Dawson is named for Jacob Dawson , who was the first postmaster in the settlement of Lancaster, which is present-day Lincoln, Nebraska, the state capital.
- Deuel County, Nebraska: Deuel is named for a railroad official whose name has since been lost (see above for explanation).
- Dixon County, Nebraska: Dixon is named for a pioneer whose name has since been lost. (See above for explanation.)
- Dodge County, Nebraska: Dodge is named for Augustus Caesar Dodge, an United States senator from Iowa who was a supporter of the Kansas-Nebraska Act.
- Douglas County, Nebraska: Douglas is named for Stephen Arnold Douglas, the American statesman, U. S. senator, and presidential candidate.
- Dundy County, Nebraska: Dundy is named for Elmer Dundy , an U.S. Circuit Court judge from Nebraska.
- Fillmore County, Nebraska: Fillmore is named for Millard Fillmore, the thirteenth president of the United States.
- Franklin County, Nebraska: Franklin is named for Benjamin Franklin, the Founding Father, printer, scientist, and diplomat.
- Frontier County, Nebraska: Frontier is named for the fact that it was located in what was referred to at that time as part of the Nebraska frontier.
- Furnas County, Nebraska: Furnas is named for Robert Wilkinson Furnas , the third governor of Nebraska.
- Gage County, Nebraska: Gage is named for William D. Gage , a Methodist minister who served as chaplain of the state legislature at the time the county was established.
- Garden County, Nebraska: Garden is named for the hopes of two real estate agents and citizens of the county seat, Oshkosh, Nebraska, that the county would be the "garden spot of the west".
- Garfield County, Nebraska: Garfield is named for James Abram Garfield, the twentieth president of the United States.
- Gosper County, Nebraska: Gosper is named for John J. Gosper , the secretary of state for Nebraska at the time of the county's formation.
- Grant County, Nebraska: Grant is named for Ulysses Simpson Grant, the eighteenth president of the United States and American Civil War general.
- Greeley County, Nebraska: Greeley is named for Horace Greeley, the pioneering American journalist.
- Hall County, Nebraska: Hall is named for Augustus Hall , the chief justice of the Territorial Supreme Court at the time the county was created.
- Hamilton County, Nebraska: Hamilton is named for Alexander Hamilton, the first United States Secretary of the Treasury.
- Harlan County, Nebraska: Harlan is named for either James Harlan, who was the United States Secretary of the Interior in 1865 and 1866; or a revenue collector by the name of Harlan who once lived near Republican City, Nebraska.
- Hayes County, Nebraska: Hayes is named for Rutherford Birchard Hayes, the nineteenth president of the United States.
- Hitchcock County, Nebraska: Hitchcock is named for Phineas Warren Hitchcock , an U.S. Senator from Nebraska.
- Holt County, Nebraska: Holt is named for Joseph Holt, a U.S. Postmaster General and U.S. Secretary of War under James Buchanan.
- Hooker County, Nebraska: Hooker is named for Joseph Hooker, an American Civil War general.
- Howard County, Nebraska: Howard is named for Oliver Otis Howard, an American Civil War general.
- Jefferson County, Nebraska: Jefferson is named for Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the United States.
- Johnson County, Nebraska: Johnson is named for Richard Mentor Johnson, the ninth vice president of the United States.
- Kearney County, Nebraska: Kearney is named for Fort Kearny. When the county was created the fort's name was misspelled.
- Keith County, Nebraska: Keith is named for M. C. Keith , who owned one of the largest ranches in western Nebraska at the time.
- Keya Paha County, Nebraska: Keya Paha is named for the Dakota words Ké-ya Pa-há Wa-kpá, which, translated, mean turtle hill river.
- Kimball County, Nebraska: Kimball is named for Thomas L. Kimball , a official of the Union Pacific Railroad.
- Knox County, Nebraska: Knox is named for Henry Knox, the first United States Secretary of War.
- Lancaster County, Nebraska: Lancaster is named for the cities of Lancaster, Pennsylvania and Lancaster, England.
- Lincoln County, Nebraska: Lincoln is named for Abraham Lincoln, the sixteenth president of the United States.
- Logan County, Nebraska: Logan is named for John Alexander Logan, a general in the American Civil War.
- Loup County, Nebraska: Loup is named for the Loup River.
- Madison County, Nebraska: Madison is named for either James Madison, the fourth president of the United States; or, more likely, Madison, Wisconsin, where most of the new county's settlers were from.
- McPherson County, Nebraska: McPherson is named for James Birdseye McPherson, a general in the American Civil War.
- Merrick County, Nebraska: Merrick is named for Elvira Merrick , wife of Henry W. DePuy , a territorial legislator.
- Morrill County, Nebraska: Morrill is named for Charles H. Morrill , a president of the Lincoln Land Company .
- Nance County, Nebraska: Nance is named for Albinus Nance , the fifth governor of Nebraska.
- Nemaha County, Nebraska: Nemaha is named for Nimaha, the Oto name meaning miry water for a stream which crossed the county and emptied into the Missouri River.
- Nuckolls County, Nebraska: Nuckolls is named for Lafayette Nuckolls , a member of the first Nebraska territorial legislature; and his brother, Stephen Nuckolls , a pioneer Nebraska settler, businessman and banker.
- Pawnee County, Nebraska: Pawnee is named for the Pawnee Native American tribe.
- Perkins County, Nebraska: Perkins is named for either Charles E. Perkins , a president of the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad; or Joseph Perkins , a former resident of Grant, Nebraska.
- Phelps County, Nebraska: Phelps is named for William Phelps , a riverboat captain on the Mississippi River who is alleged to have settled in the area.
- Pierce County, Nebraska: Pierce is named for Franklin Pierce, the fourteenth president of the United States.
- Platte County, Nebraska: Platte is named for the Platte River.
- Polk County, Nebraska: Polk is named for James Knox Polk, the eleventh president of the United States.
- Red Willow County, Nebraska: Red Willow is named for Red Willow Creek , which runs through the area.
- Richardson County, Nebraska: Richardson is named for William A. Richardson , a governor of the Nebraska Territory.
- Rock County, Nebraska: Rock is named for either Rock Creek, which flows in the county; or the rocky condition of the soil in the area.
- Saline County, Nebraska: Saline is named for a belief held by the early pioneers that great salt springs and deposits could be found in the area, an hope found to be false.
- Sarpy County, Nebraska: Sarpy is named for Peter A. Sarpy , a commander of a trading post in the future county.
- Saunders County, Nebraska: Saunders is named for Alvin Saunders , a governor of the Nebraska Territory.
- Scotts Bluff County, Nebraska: Scotts Bluff is named for a towering bluff located in the Scotts Bluff National Monument, named in turn for Hiram Scott , a fur trapper who is alleged to have crawled seventy-five miles with a broken leg before collapsing and dying at the foot of the bluff.
- Seward County, Nebraska: Seward is named for William Henry Seward, the United States Secretary of State during the 1860s.
- Sheridan County, Nebraska: Sheridan is named for Philip Henry Sheridan, a general in the American Civil War.
- Sherman County, Nebraska: Sherman is named for William Tecumseh Sherman, the American Civil War general.
- Sioux County, Nebraska: Sioux is named for the Sioux Native American tribe.
- Stanton County, Nebraska: Stanton is named for Edwin McMasters Stanton, the United States Secretary of War during most of the American Civil War.
- Thayer County, Nebraska: Thayer is named for John Milton Thayer , the seventh governor of Nebraska.
- Thomas County, Nebraska: Thomas is named for George Henry Thomas, a general in the American Civil War.
- Thurston County, Nebraska: Thurston is named for John Mellen Thurston , an U. S. senator from Nebraska.
- Valley County, Nebraska: Valley is named for the many valleys in the area.
- Washington County, Nebraska: Washington is named for George Washington, the first president of the United States.
- Wayne County, Nebraska: Wayne is named for Anthony Wayne, the American Revolutionary War general nicknamed "Mad Anthony" by his troops.
- Webster County, Nebraska: Webster is named for Daniel Webster, the American statesman.
- Wheeler County, Nebraska: Wheeler is named for Daniel H. Wheeler , a secretary of the Nebraska State Board of Agriculture.
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