About the State of Nebraska
Ranked as the 16th largest state and 43rd most densely populated, the Cornhusker state is also one of the safest in the union, ranking as the 19th Safest Place to Live in the United States.
In researching the safest places to live, we also looked beyond each state to better understand the nature of the cities and towns that contributed to the relative safety.
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Nebraska’s Safest Cities
Ashland, Nebraska’s Safest City
Located in Saunders County, Ashland is located along a low-water limestone ledge near the bottom of Salt Creek. At one point, it was a popular point to ford the Salt Creek which was an otherwise mud-bottomed waterway. Today, situated near Omaha and Lincoln it is a popular “bedroom community”.
O’Neill is located in Holt County where it is also the county seat. It was originally platted in 1874 and incorporated in 1882. It is named after its founder, John O’Neill. The town was made up mostly of Irish settlers.
Located in Hamilton County, Aurora is also the county seat. The first permanent settler to the area was David Millspaw who arrived in 1861. Less than a decade later the town was officially formed and named by David Stone who named it after his hometown of Aurora, Illinois.
The town of Valentine is located in and the county seat of, Cherry County. It was founded in 1883 after the extension of the Sioux City and Pacific Railroad and named after Edward K Valentine. The town was almost destroyed by a strong wind storm in July 2005 and the Big Rock Fire in July 2006.
The county seat of Seward County, the city of Seward is part of the Lincoln Metropolitan Statistical Area and is well known in the area for their large Fourth of July celebration. The town was platted in 1868 and only a few years later, the railroad line was built through the town.
The county seat of Washington County, the town of Blair is part of the Omaha-Council Bluffs Metropolitan Statistical Area. The land was originally platted in 1869 as part of the expansion of the Sioux City and Pacific Railroad and was so named after the railroad magnate, John Insley Blair.
Founded in the summer of 1857, Falls City is the county seat for Richardson County. It is found on the north side of the Big Nemaha River in the southeast corner of the state. The town was named after a four foot rock ledge found in the river and known as the “Falls of Nemaha”
Central City is located in Merrick County where it is the county seat. It is considered part of the Grand Island Micropolitan Statistical Area. Originally occupied by the Pawnee Indians, it was later established as the town Lone Tree before eventually being named Central City.
Found in Platte County, the city of Columbus is also the county seat. It is located by the Platte and Loup Rivers. The site that would eventually become Columbus was first settled by the Columbus Town Company in 1856, taking its name from Columbus Ohio where many of the first settlers originated from.
Located on the Great Plains of central Nebraska just north of the Platte River, the city of Cozad is part of Dawson County. The city was founded by John J. Cozad in 1837 who was originally from Ohio. It is located along the Union Pacific Railroad line and was a Pony Express stop in the 1860s.
Located in and the county seat of Saunders County, the city of Wahoo was founded in 1870 and is named after a type of shrub which is found along the banks fo the Wahoo Creek. The town was originally settled by people of Scandinavian, Germanic and Czech descent.
The city of Gering is located in and the county seat of Scotts Bluff County. It was founded in 1887 at the base of the bluff that has become part of a national monument and was named after pioneer merchant, Martin Gering.
The county seat of Dawes County, the city of Chadron is found in the northwestern corner of Nebraska. The city is named after Louis Chartran, a French-Indian fur trapper who operated a trading post along the Bordeaux Creek in 1841. The town was officially established in 1884.
The county seat of Kearney County, Minden’s post office has been active since 1876. The city was named after the place of the same name in Germany. It is part of the Kearney Micropolitan Statistical Area and holds the state record for the highest recorded temperature of 118 degrees Fahrenheit in 1936.
Named after the town of the same name in Sweden, Gothenburg is in Dawson County. It was founded in 1882 by Olof Bergstrom after he had previously worked for the Union Pacific Railroad where he was a land agent after first working on the line.
The county seat for Buffalo County, the city of Kearney was born out of the westward railway line push that occurred at the end of the Civil War. Originally a settlement known as Dobytown, it was later moved and renamed after a nearby fort which was an outpost along the Oregon Trail.
Found in Phelps County, the city of Holdrege is also the county seat. It was established after the extension of the railroad line in 1883 and was named after railroad official, George W. Holdrege. It was designated the county seat just a year later in 1884.
Alliance is located in and the county seat for Box Butte County and may be best known for its tribute to Stonehenge, Carhenge, which is constructed entirely of automobiles. It was originally named Grand Lake when it was first founded in 1888 but was renamed at the request of railroad superintendent who wanted a name closer to the beginning of the alphabet.
The county seat of Dodge County and home to Midland University, the town of Fremont first saw its formation in 1856 in anticipation of the arrival of the railroad and was named after the American explorer, General John C. Fremont.
The ninth largest city in Nebraska, Norfolk is located in Madison County and is the principal city in the Norfolk Micropolitan Statistical Area. In 1866 the area was first settled by a group of 124 settlers who originally named the new colony “North Fork”. Despite the eventual change to the spelling of the town, the locals still pronounce it “north fork”.
The county seat of Keith County, Ogalla was a known stop on the Pony Express as well as the transcontinental railroad. It first gained prominence as a stop for those driving cattle from Texas to the Union Pacific railhead. The city was officially laid out in 1875 and incorporated in 1884.
Located in York County, the city of York is also the county seat and was platted in 1869. It is known for being home to both York College and the Nebraska Correctional Center for Women. It is located in the center of the county which is itself in the southeast region of the state.
Located in Douglas County, the city of Ralson is almost completely surrounded by Omaha, Nebraska. It was founded in 1907 with its post office being established two years later. Its public library was first opened in 1922 and has been moved three times since first opening.
The city of Lexington is located in Dawson County and is also the county seat. It is found along the Platte River and is also along the route of U.S. Route 30 and the Union Pacific Railroad and was a stop for the Pony Express. It began as a trading post in 1860 but was later destroyed and reestablished as Fort Plum Creek in 1864.
Found in and the seat of Cheyenne County, the city of Sidney was named after the president of the Union Pacific Railroad, Sidney Dillon. It was founded in 1867 and was built from the military base of Fort Sidney and later became the southern stop for the Sidney Black Hills Stage Coach.
McCook is the county seat for Red Willow County and was first platted in 1882 when the Burlington and Missouri River Railroad extension into the area was completed. The town was named in honor of the Union Army Brigadier General, Alexander McDowell McCook.
Found in Saline County, the city of Crete was first settled after rail lines reached the area in 1870 allowing settlers to reach the area easily. Originally two competing towns that merged, the newly formed town of Crete was named after Crete, Illinois which was the hometown of one of the early settlers in the area.
The capital of the state and the county seat of Lancaster County, the city of Lincoln was founded in 1856 as the village of Lancaster. When it became the state capital in 1867, it was renamed Lincoln. The state capital building, designed by Bertram G. Goodhue, is the second tallest in the country.
South Sioux City
The city of South Sioux City is in Dakota County and is located across the Missouri River from Sioux City, Iowa. The town was incorporated in 1887 after the two towns of Covington and Stanton were approved to merge in 1893.
The county seat of Otoe County, Nebraska City is recognized as the oldest incorporated city in the state. It was incorporated in 1855 by special act of the Nebraska Territorial Legislature. It is home to the Mayhew Cabin, the only site in Nebraska to be recognized by the National Park Service as a stop along the Underground Railroad.
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Don’t See Your City?
Your city or town may not have been included in our list of the thirty safest places to live in Nebraska or in our list below because the population may not have met our minimum requirement or we were unable to locate complete data in the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report.
7. Falls City
8. Central City
29. South Sioux City
30. Nebraska City
34. North Platte
35. Grand Island