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    © 1999 Kris Jardine
    Dundy County Courthouse
    Benkelman, Nebraska

On February 27th, 1873, the Nebraska Legislature approved the boundaries for Dundy County. The 925 square miles [42 long miles by 24 miles wide] was bordered on the south by the State of Kansas and on the west by the State of Colorado. Due to a lack of population Dundy County did not become more than a geographic entity until May 18th,1884 when it became a political entity. Benkelman became the county seat by default, being the only community within the county.

Though the county began with only one village, there were four post offices. By 1888, six towns had been formed: Benkelman, Max, Ives, Haigler, Allston and Neel.

In 1888 these communities all tried to become the county seat because Benkelman was the seat by virtue of being the only town at the time the county was formed, not because it had been voted as such. The six newspapers in the county split evenly for Benkelman and elsewhere. The three in favor of Benkelman being the county seat were all Benkelman newspapers.

The matter was settled by the county commissioners causing an election to build a courthouse to be held in only two precincts. These two precincts -- Benkelman and Indian Creek -- were the only two precincts willing to build a courthouse in Benkelman in a previous election. Thus, because Benkelman, though far to the east and south of the center of the county became the county seat by virtue of having a courthouse.

The Courthouse pictured above was built in 1921. It was built adjacent to the old courthouse.


    © 1999 Kris Jardine
    Dundy County Courthouse
    Benkelman, Nebraska
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