County Court Houses
Bond passed in April 1872
Opened Feb. 22, 1873
October 12, 1874 vote after a bitter fight.
Majority favored relocating county
seat to Kearney no record of # of votes for & against
Use of Gibbon Courthouse Building after County Seat was Moved
Used as an Academy established by Gibbon school Dist. 2 (basically their
Site of numerous Farmers Institutes
1882-1885 Nebraska Baptist College, moved to Grand Island
1886-1889 United Brethren collegiate institute, moved to York
1890s sold to Gibbon Dist. 2 for use as a commercial college
1908 torn down & Gibbon high school built on the site.
400,000 bricks from courthouse used
in the high school
Moving County Seat to Kearney
One night soon afterward the vote records were loaded on a farm wagon by
Joseph Scott, county clerk, and his deputy, F. G. Keens, then 21 years old
Arrived in Kearney Junction about 2 a. m.
Records deposited in a heap on the floor in the Chandler building on Central
Guarded until morning by Mr. Keens
Following summer, about July 1, 1875 to January 4, 1876 records moved to
the R. R. Greer building also on Central.
These two buildings were the sites of
much of the early history of county government
District Court sessions were held in Mores Hall, west side of Central,
first building south of tracks.
First courthouse in Kearney
inducement to move county seat to Kearney
South Platte Land company and the
Union Pacific railroad company would donate a site for a court house
Also they would erect a building
Site donated is the current site of the county courthouse
Deeded to the county December 27, 1875 for $1
In 1875 they erected a cheap frame building, two stories high
First occupied by the county in
County erected a small one story brick building beside the courthouse
Had vaults for storage of county records
When the 2nd building was built, the first one was moved off site to a new
location on 1st Ave, given a brick veneer, and used as the WCTU hospital
Second courthouse in Kearney
1889 Plans for construction of a new courthouse
June A Gibbon resident
unsuccessfully filed a restraining order against the county
to keep them from constructing a courthouse in Kearney
Feb. 1, 1890 Construction had begun
Size comparison The courthouse
occupies 269 feet less ground than the Opera House.
June 10, 1890 Buffalo head made of sheet metal put into place on the new
Plaque under it reads
July 12, 1890 Streetcar tracks had been extended to the courthouse
Sept 5, 1890 (Friday) County Treasurer & Clerk of the District Court moved
into the new court house.
Other offices would move in the
Furnishings furniture natural oak
desks with matching swivel chairs, a table for each office, book cases.
District court room 3rd floor - 8 foot desk for the judge with a large
and handsome chair behind it
several tables and cane bottom
Opera seats for the audience.
Venetian blinds in the windows of oak
Striped matting on the walls in the halls
Blackboard near the east entrance.
Statue of justice was placed on top
Nine feet tall, blind, balance in
left hand, sword in right
Oct 1933 Court house caretaker built a new vault in the basement to
store old county records.
No one ever looks at the old books, but it is against the law to throw them
away or destroy them, he explained.
The scores of books must be stored in a safe place.
[No one looked until local historians and genealogists began using them.
Many of those old books are now in the Buffalo County Historical Society
And Also----July 28, 1933 -
Retail committee of the chamber of commerce recommended all retail stores be
open 58 hours a week,
Retail grocers in Kearney passed a resolution to have their stores open 58
hours a week, 8 to 5 weekdays and Saturdays 8 am to 9 pm.
Present (at that time) employment requirements were for 40 hour work week
So downtown grocery stores were forced to hire at least 1 or 2 extra men
with the added expense being added to overhead costs.
Suburban stores adopted the schedule of being open from 6:30 am to 8:30 pm.
No store was open on Sunday.
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