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Nebraska Counties Explorer

Brown County

Brown County Seat: Ainsworth

Cities, Towns, and Villages: Johnstown, Long Pine

Courthouse Address and Hours:

148 West 4th Street
Ainsworth, Nebraska 69210
M-F 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

County Board Chairperson: Raymond Small

Complete list of county board members

County Board Meetings: 1st & 3rd Tuesday

NACO District: Northeast

District President: Monica Rotherham, Madison County Clerk of the District Court 

District Vice President: Lisa Lunz, Dixon County Supervisor

District Secretary: Sandy Zoubek, Stanton County Treasurer

District Treasurer: Krista Nix, Knox County Deputy Clerk 

NACO Board Representatives: Bill Tielke, Holt County Supervisor 



Population: 2,908
Land area (sq. mi.): 1,211.36
Population per square mile: 2.4


White: 91.4%
African American: 1.9%
American Indian: 1.9%
Asian: 0.2%
Hispanic: 5.1%
Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander: 0.1%


0-17: 21.7%
18-64: 52.4%
65+: 25.9%


Personal income per capita: $63,598
% of population in poverty: 10.8%
# of housing units: 1,639
Owner-occupied rate: 78.9%
Median home price: $100,520


Access to broadband (100 Mbps via fiber or cable model): 85.8%

Sources: National Association of RealtorsNebraska Library CommissionU.S. Bureau of Economic AnalysisU.S. Census Bureau

Unemployment rate: 2.0% (as of September 2022)

County-wide early childhood care capacity: 12 providers; 134 children

High school graduate or higher: 95.5%

Bachelor's degree or higher: 24.2%

County Employment Website:

School Districts: Ainsworth Community Schools, Keya Paha County Schools, Rock County Public Schools, Sandhills Public Schools, Valentine Community Schools

Grain Co-ops and Purchasers: Central Valley Ag, Pride Grain

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

Electricity Providers: Custer PPD, KBR Rural PPD, Nebraska PPD

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

Annual Gross Domestic Product (2020): $197,581,000

NOTE: For a list of child care providers in Brown County, visit Nebraska DHHS or the Nebraska Resource and Referral System.

Sources: Nebraska Cooperative CouncilNebraska Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary EducationNebraska Department of TransportationNebraska Office of the CIONebraska Power Review BoardU.S. Bureau of Economic AnalysisU.S. Bureau of Labor StatisticsU.S. Census Bureau


County levy rate: $0.2992 per $100 of taxable valuation

County property taxes levied: $2,675,560

Total local government property taxes levied: $11,839,166

Total taxable valuation: $894,125,478

Sources: Nebraska Department of Revenue2021 Certificate of Taxes Levied Reports

Statutes and regulations:

Nebraska Revised Statutes (Chapter 77)

Nebraska Administrative Code (Title 350)

Neb. Rev. Stat. § 77-201(2) (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. § 77-6703(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."

State Senator: Tom Brewer (District 43)
Committees: Agriculture, General Affairs, Government, Military and Veterans Affairs

Map and statistics for Legislative District 43

Map of all districts in the Nebraska Unicameral Legislature

Brown County History

Number of Registered Historic Places: 1

Year Founded: 1883

Etymology: Disputed; Brown family (early Nebraska settlers); legislators who sponsored bill creating the county

     The exact origin of Brown County’s name is disputed, as several early settlers and senators who sponsored the county’s creation bore the last name of Brown. Although on the northeast edge of the Sandhills, Brown County was once part of an organized territory that stretched as far west as Sioux County. In 1883, Brown County was organized, only to be divided in half in 1888, giving rise to adjacent Rock County. 

     The early years of Brown County were characteristic of many counties in the Sandhills, namely, residents were largely ranchers and cowboys, veterans of the dwindling cattle drives in the late 1880’s. Later, covered wagons and various railroad lines introduced farmers who would later grow award-winning wheat in the region. Ainsworth (named for an engineer who help bring the railroad to the region) became the county seat in 1883, firmly establishing the city as a central place of commerce in north central Nebraska. 

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License Plate Number: 75

Time Zone: Central

Zoned County: Yes

Number of Veterans: 182

Voter Turnout (2022): 54.24%

Emergency Mgt. Planning, Exercise and Training (PET) Region: North Central/Sandhills

Number of County-Owned Bridges: 46

Number of County-Owned Dams: 1

County Hospital: Brown County Hospital

State Lands (acres): American Game Marsh WMA (160.55), Bobcat WMA (893), Keller WMA (640), Keller Park SRA (196), Long Pine WMA (160), Long Pine SRA (154), Pine Glen WMA (960), Plum Creek Valley WMA (1,320), South Pine WMA (442.96), Willow Lake B.C. WMA (511), Yellowthroat WMA (480)

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)