Jefferson County History


Jefferson County History


JEFFERSON County was first set apart by the Territorial Legislature January 26, 1856, under the name of Jones County. Thayer, the adjoining county on the west, was designated as Jefferson at the same time. In 1864 Jefferson County organized by holding its first election at Big Sandy. February 18, 1867, an "act to enlarge Jefferson County" passed the Legislature, which untied Jones County to Jefferson. This gave the county 706,560 acres, which was deemed too large by the Legislature of 1870-1, and in 1871 an act passed providing for the division of Jefferson, which was effected in the fall by the election of two sets of officers, the Sixth Principal Meridian being the dividing line. The former Jones by the separation became Jefferson and the former Jefferson assumed the name of Thayer.

From 1857 to 1864 Jefferson was attached to Gage County for judicial purposes, during which time there was several important criminal cases of this county tried in Gage. The Otoe Indian Reservation cut off twenty-four square mile from the southeast corner of the county, but was about the first land of that Reservation sold to actual settlers. You can read about this early history in Andreas' "History of the State of Nebraska" (1882).


Click on the links to bring up a larger photo for easier viewing.


Tremont House
Hotel Fairbury 1873


Groff's Restaurant (ca. 1900)



Jefferson County Map

1882 Jefferson Co. Map

1885 Jefferson Co. Map

1895 Jefferson County Map

History of
St. Paul's United Church of Christ
link courtesy of Jared Scheel.

"IMMIGRANT ISSUE" of the Lincoln State Journal dated Sunday, 5 June 1887

Fairbury, Diller, Harbine, Jansen, Reynolds

Andreas' "History of the State of Nebraska, 1882"

Jefferson County Chapter

Jefferson County Townships

First Towns & Post Offices

1885 Towns & Post Offices

1900 Towns & Post Offices

 1917 Towns & Post Offices

Present Towns

Daykin Advertisement (1910)

Full page ad in the Fairbury Journal, listing Daykin businesses and all the good reasons to move there.

Endicott Business Cards

Business listings in the Endicott Call Newspaper (1882)

Harbine 1886 - 1986

Brief history of Harbine, by William Wrigley.

Jenkins Mill

Brief history of the former Jefferson County settlement

Mark's Mill

Brief history of the former Jefferson County settlement

History of Plymouth

Submitted by Delbert Grabowski

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