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Nebraska Counties Explorer

Adams County

Communities & Development

Adams County Seat: Hastings

Total County Population (2020): 31,205

  • Cities (pop. & class): Hastings (25,152 • 1st Class)
  • Villages (pop.): Ayr (83), Holstein (191), Juniata (748), Kenesaw (919), Prosser (76), Roseland (263)
  • Unincorporated Pop. (% of total county pop.): 3,773 (12%)

Land Development (2022) (% of total land in county):

  • Agriculture: 90%
    • By method: Irrigated (row crop/grain/forage) (67%), Dryland (row crop/grain/forage) (13%), Pasture (pure grassland) (11%) • Neb. Dept. of Rev. - total equals agriculture's %
    • By commodity: Corn 50%, Soybeans 27%, Livestock (grassland) 11%, Alfalfa 1% • USDA (NLCD) - equals agriculture's % plus some wetlands (1%) and some wooded grazing land (1%) and minus public grassland/wetlands and reserve
  • Residential, Commercial, Industrial, Conservation Reserve & Exempt (combined): 10%

County Offices

Courthouse Address and Hours:

500 West 4th Street
Hastings, Nebraska 68901
M-F 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

County Board Chairperson: Lee Hogan

Complete list of county board members

County Board Meetings: 1st & 3rd Tuesday

View the County's Government Maps

Visit the County Fairgrounds

NACO District: Central

District President: Carrie Miller, Nuckolls County Clerk, Register of Deeds, Election Commissioner

District Vice President: Kali Bolli, Garfield County Assessor 

District Secretary/Treasurer: Cara Snider Wheeler County Clerk

NACO Board Representatives: Bill Maendele, Buffalo County Commissioner


Population (2020): 31,205
Land area (sq. mi.): 563.27
Population per square mile: 55.4

Race & Age


White: 82.6%
African American: 0.8%
American Indian: 0.4%
Asian: 1.3%
Hispanic: 11.7%
Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander: 0%
Two or More Races: 2.9%


0-17: 23.5%
18-64: 57.7%
65+: 18.8%


Personal income per capita: $58,072
% of Population in Poverty: 10.2%
# of Housing Units: 13,806
Owner-occupied rate: 66.8%
Median home price: $162,640


Access to broadband (100 Mbps via fiber or cable modem): 94.0%

Adams County Historical Populations

Adams County 2020   2010   2000   1990   1980   1970   1960
Incorporated 27,432   27,151   26,293   25,098   25,307   25,445   22,931
Unincorporated 3,773   4,213   4,858   4,527   5,349   5,108   6,013
Total 31,205   31,364   31,151   29,625   30656   30553   28944
Hastings (city) 25152   24,907   24,064   22,837   23045   23580   21412
Ayr (village) 83   49   51   47   54   56   65
Ayr (village) (pt.) -   45   47   54   58   84   46
Holstein (village) 191   214   229   207   241   231   205
Juniata (village) 748   755   693   811   703   480   422
Kenesaw (village) 919   880   873   818   854   728   546
Prosser (village) 76   66   94   77   98   70   70
Roseland (village) 263   235   242   247   254   212   163
Trumbull (village) (pt.) -   -   -   -   -   4   2
Townships (also includes village populations)                    
Ayr township 429   413           348        
Blaine township 180   497           1089        
Cottonwood township 285   317           384        
Denver township 978   958           941        
Hanover township 156   199           230        
Highland township 346   326           512        
Juniata township 987   999           978        
Kenesaw township 1056   1,003           980        
Little Blue township 197   193           260        
Logan township 54   66           100        
Roseland township 443   424           517        
Silver Lake township 77   96           160        
Verona township 254   241           330        
Wanda township 113   152           178        
West Blue township 294   321           304        
Zero township 204   252           300        

Sources: National Association of Realtors, Nebraska LegislatureNebraska Library Commission, U.S. Bureau of Economic AnalysisU.S. Census Bureau (demographics)U.S. Census Bureau (municipalities)

Employment, Schools, and Child Care

Unemployment rate: 1.8% (as of September 2022)

County Employment Website:

High school graduate or higher: 90.9%

School Districts: Adams Central Public Schools, Blue Hill Public Schools, Doniphan-Trumbull Public Schools, Hastings Public Schools, Kenesaw Public Schools, Minden Public Schools, Shelton Public Schools, Silver Lake Public Schools, South Central Nebraska Unified 5

Bachelor's degree or higher: 25.6%

Community College Service Area: Central Community College

Countywide child care capacity: 40 providers; 1,548 children

Find child care: For a list of child care providers in your zip code, visit Nebraska DHHS or the Nebraska Resource and Referral System.

Adams County Economy

Annual Gross Domestic Product (2020): $1,880,558,000

Cattle Producers: 144

Crop Producers: 335

  • Dryland Cash Rent (avg.): $134/acre/yr
  • Irrigated Land Cash Rent (avg.): $265/acre/yr

Grain Co-ops & Purchasers: AGP, Aurora Cooperative, CHS, CPI, Central Valley Ag, Fairfield Non-Stock Co-op, Farmers Coop, Gottsch Cattle Company, KAAPA Ethanol, Pillen Family Farms

Local Grain Market: Click for today's grain prices in Adams County

Farmers Markets:

  • Highland Park Farmers Market (June - October, Saturdays 8 a.m. - 12 p.m.; Sat)
  • Thursday Evening Downtown Market (Hastings) (June - Sept, Thursdays 5:00 - 7:30 p.m.; Thurs)
  • Tractor Supply Farmers Market (June - September, Thursdays 4 - 7 p.m. and Saturdays 8 a.m. - 12 p.m.; Thurs, Sat.)

Electricity Providers: City of Hastings, Southern PPD

Wind Turbines Operating (MW): 1 turbine (1,700 MW total)

Rail-served Communities: Ayr, Gaines, Hastings, Hayland, Juniata, Kenesaw, Roseland

Irrigation and Soils

Total Irrigation/Livestock Wells: 2,566

Total Surface Water Diversions (Irrigation): 149

Click the section numbers in the grid below the map for annual groundwater levels.

Note: Geocodes in the map's squares are in the grid next to Township & Range (T&R).

Sources: National Agricultural Statistics Service (USDA)Nebraska Cooperative Council, Nebraska Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary EducationNebraska Department of TransportationNebraska Office of the CIO, Nebraska Power Review Board, U.S. Bureau of Economic AnalysisU.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Census Bureau

2022 Levies and Valuation

County levy rate: $0.4235 per $100 of taxable valuation

County property taxes levied: $17,902,854

Total local government property taxes levied: $75,270,636

Total countywide taxable valuation: $4,227,782,280

Click here for all levy rates in Adams County

Agricultural Land Valuation Market Areas

Commercial Land Valuation Groups

Residential Land Valuation Groups

County Levy and Taxation Laws

Levy limits:

Since 1996, counties and other political subdivisions have been subject to the levy limits under Neb. Rev. Stat. § 77-3442 and Neb. Rev. Stat. § 77-3443.

Property tax laws and regulations:

Nebraska Revised Statutes (Chapter 77)

Nebraska Administrative Code (Title 350)

Local tax reductions, exemptions, and credits:

Neb. Rev. Stat. § 76-902(5)(a) (Deed "stamp tax" exemption): "The [stamp tax] shall not apply to: ... (5)(a) Deeds between spouses, between ex-spouses for the purpose of conveying any rights to property acquired or held during the marriage, or between parent and child, without actual consideration therefor."

Neb. Rev. Stat. § 77-201(2) (Reduced valuation of agricultural land and horticultural land): "Agricultural land and horticultural land as defined in section 77-1359 shall constitute a separate and distinct class of property for purposes of property taxation, shall be subject to taxation, unless expressly exempt from taxation, and shall be valued at seventy-five percent of its actual value, except that for school district taxes levied to pay the principal and interest on bonds that are approved by a vote of the people on or after January 1, 2022, such land shall be valued at fifty percent of its actual value."

Neb. Rev. Stat. § 77-2004 ($100,000 exemption per listed inheritance recipient): "In the case of a father, mother, grandfather, grandmother, brother, sister, son, daughter, child or children legally adopted as such in conformity with the laws of the state where adopted, any lineal descendant, any lineal descendant legally adopted as such in conformity with the laws of the state where adopted, any person to whom the deceased for not less than ten years prior to death stood in the acknowledged relation of a parent, or the spouse or surviving spouse of any such persons, the rate of tax shall be: ... (b) For decedents dying on or after January 1, 2023, one percent of the clear market value of the property received by each person in excess of one hundred thousand dollars."

Neb. Rev. Stat. § 77-6703(1) (Tax credit for school district taxes paid): "(1) For taxable years beginning or deemed to begin on or after January 1, 2020, under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, there shall be allowed to each eligible taxpayer a refundable credit against the income tax imposed by the Nebraska Revenue Act of 1967 or against the franchise tax imposed by sections 77-3801 to 77-3807. The credit shall be equal to the credit percentage for the taxable year, as set by the department under subsection (2) of this section, multiplied by the amount of school district taxes paid by the eligible taxpayer during such taxable year."

Sources: Nebraska Department of Revenue

State Senator: Steve Halloran (District 33)

Committees (click for scheduled committee hearings): 

Map and statistics for Legislative District 33

Map of all districts in the Nebraska Unicameral Legislature

Adams County History

Number of Registered Historic Places: 21

Year Authorized: 1867

Year Organized: 1871

Etymology: John Adams (2nd U.S. president)

     Officially established on February 16, 1867, Adams County was named in honor of John Adams, the second president of the United States. Originally, Juniata was designated as the county seat. However, a rival settlement called Hastings began rapidly growing as a result of its burgeoning railroad infrastructure. A decade-long fight for the county seat quickly unfolded.

     Juniata initially prevailed in the first county election in 1871. In response, Hastings residents held a meeting in 1873 where a special committee developed plans to locate the county seat in their community. Unwilling to surrender the county seat without a fight, Juniata residents adopted a resolution to build a courthouse in the community in 1874. The Adams County board began securing bids for the project’s construction.

     However, the Adams County clerk at the time declined to provide the necessary paperwork to open the bids for the Juniata courthouse. After the County Board vacated his position for failing to fulfill his office, the clerk then refused to surrender the keys to the office. Additional complications arose in the form of a restraining order preventing construction at the planned courthouse site in Juniata. In 1877, Adams County residents voted again. This time, Hastings was chosen as the county seat. According to local history, Hastings residents retrieved the county records and transported them to Hastings under the cover of darkness to avoid provoking any further altercations. 

     In 1889, Adams County built its courthouse in Hastings. The building lasted until the present courthouse was dedicated in 1964.

     Today, Adams County is part of an area of Nebraska known as the Tri-Cities. The county hosts two institutions of higher education--Hastings College and Central Community College--and has several hotels and a convention center.

Click to view an 1885 map of Adams County communities, schools, churches, and roads

Explore Adams County's Settlers and Homesteaders

Government Land Office Patent

(Map of all Settled and Homesteaded Lands)

Images of Federal Land Patents to Settlers

(Use the Doc # handwritten in the Quarter-Section on

the Government Land Office Patent Map Above)

Images of Government Land Office Survey Plats

(Before Settlement and Homesteading)

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Local Highlights

License Plate Number: 14

Time Zone: Central

Number of Veterans: 1,802

Zoned County: Yes

Number of County-Owned Bridges: 177

Number of County-Owned Dams: 1

Election Data

General Election Turnout % (2022): 54.24%

Total Registered Voters (2020): 19,843

Number of Precincts (2020): 28

Number of Election Day Polling Places (2020): 17

Land Area per Polling Place (avg.) (2020): 33.13 sq. miles

Intergovernmental Data

Local Services:

  • Adams County Services to Municipalities:
    • City of Hastings: Ambulance Service, GIS Service, Library access for rural residents, Emergency Management/Disaster Services
    • Villages of Adams County: Law Enforcement Services, Planning and Zoning Services
  • Emergency Mgt. Planning, Exercise and Training (PET) Region: South Central

Land Management:

  • State Lands (acres): Ayr Lake WMA (171.26)
  • Federal Lands (acres): Kenesaw WPA (231), Weseman WPA (163)

Water Management:

  • Natural Resource Districts: Little Blue NRD, Upper Big Blue NRD
  • Public Water System Wellhead Protection Areas (WHPA) (acres): Hastings Regional Center (state hospital) (2,654), Hastings (city) (50,911) Holstein (village) (1,098), Juniata (village) (2,127), Kenesaw (village) (1,917), Lawrence (village) (1,636), Prosser (village) (2,910), Roseland (village) (1,791), Trumbull (village) (914)

Map of Wellhead Protection Areas (WHPA) in Adams County

Sources: Nebraska Department of Transportation, Nebraska Emergency Management AgencyNebraska Game & Parks CommissionNebraska LegislatureNebraska Office of the CIONebraska Secretary of StateU.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (eCFR)