Nemaha County - Genealogy Trails



County Organization




    Under the date of November 12, 1854, Govenor Cuming, in a proclamation calling for an election, announced the boundaries of Forney County to be as follows:

      "Commencing at the mouth of Camp Creek, thence to the headwaters of the same, thence due >west to a point sixty miles from the Missouri River, thence due south twenty miles, thence east to the headwaters of the little Nemaha River, thence along the north bank of said river to the Missouri River, and thence along the Missouri River to the place of the beginning."

        It further stipulated that there should be one precinct or place of voting in said county. At the place known as Brownville, at the house of Richard Brown; Richard Brown, Allen L. Coate and Israel Cuming to be Judges of said election, and A. J. Benedict and Stephen Sloan Clerks of said election.

        It will be noticed that by the Governor's proclamation, the country lying south and southwest of the Little Nemaha was not then embraced in the original county. This was because of the fact of the creation of certain Indian reservations by the Kansas-Nebraska act.  A portion of one of these reservations was included that region.  These boundaries remained intact until 1855, when the Legislature changed the line on the north from sixty to twenty four miles, and also changed the south and west line so that the most valuable portion of the reservation was included within the boundaries of Nemaha County.

        The act of March 7, 1855, gave Nemaha County the following boundaries:

        Beginning at the northeast corner of Richardson County, thence west up the main channel of the Missouri River to the southeast corner of Otoe County, thence west along the south line of Otoe County twenty-four miles, thence south to a point due west from the place of beginning.

          At a subsequent session of the Legislature, held in the winter of 1857-58, the western boundary line of Nemaha County was changed, taking off half a township and adding it to the then sparsely settled county of Johnson.

          The act proclaiming Brownville as the county seat of Nemaha County was passed at the same session of the legislature. What is now Nemaha County (says ex-Governor. Furnas, from whom many facts of early history have been obtained, and whose valuable assistance is hereby acknowledged), was a portion of the land occupied by the Otoe Indians, and was originally designated as the "Otoe Country."

            > Ne-ma-ha is also an Indian word or name, Ne signifying water in the Otoe dialect, and ma-ha being originally the name of the tribe of Indians yet in the northern part of the State, and known as Omahas.

            The signification of the word Maha is furthest up, or up yonder, alluding to the fact that a portion of the tribe had remained up the river.   Nemaha, the name of the important stream that flows through some of the best portions of this section, was adopted as the name of the county.

              Nemaha County is divided into thirteen precincts:

                Nemaha City
                St. Deroin
                Glen Rock

                  The first six are the eastern or river precincts, Glen Rock, Douglas and Bedford the middle, and the last three the western.

                  The Little Nemaha River extends from the northwestern to the southwestern part of the county, dividing Lafayette, Glen Rock, Douglas and Nemaha City Precincts.

                  The river is of great value, especially to persons whose farms extend along its banks, as it furnishes the needed water for successful stock-raising.

                  Source:   History of The State of Nebraska