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Nebraska Counties Explorer

Deuel County

Communities & Development

Deuel County Seat: Chappell

Total County Population (2020): 1,838

  • Cities (pop. & class): Chappell (844 • 2nd Class)
  • Villages (pop.): Big Springs (394)
  • Unincorporated Pop. (% of county pop.): 600 (33%)

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

  • Agriculture: 93%
    • By method: Dryland (row crop/grain/forage) (61%); Pasture (pure grassland) (24%); Irrigated (row crop/grain/forage) (8%) • Neb. Dept. of Rev. - total equals agriculture's %
    • By commodity: Livestock (grassland) 27%, Corn 23%, Wheat 19%, Sorghum 3%, Millet 1%, Peas 1%, Triticale 1%, Alfalfa 1%, Chick Peas 1% • USDA - equals agriculture's % plus some fallow land (19%) and some wetlands (1%) and minus public grassland/wetlands and reserve
  • Residential, Commercial, Industrial, Conservation Reserve & Exempt (combined): 7%

County Offices

Courthouse Address and Hours:

718 3rd Street
Chappell, Nebraska 69129
M-F 8:00 am - 4:00 pm

County Board Chairperson: Steven Fischer

Complete list of county board members

County Board Meetings: 1st & 3rd Tuesday

View the County's Government Maps

Visit the County Fairgrounds

NACO District: Panhandle

District President: Rich Flores, Kimball County Commissioner

District Vice President: Susanna Batterman, Morrill County Commissioner

District Secretary: Kelly Sides, Scotts Bluff County Clerk

District Treasurer: Beth Fiegenschuh, Cheyenne County Clerk

NACO Board Representatives: Steve Burke, Box Butte County Commissioner

Click for a live look at Deuel County (south of Chappell)


Population: 1,838
Land area (sq. mi.): 439.85
Population per square mile: 4.2

Race & Age


White: 91.7%
African American: 0.1%
American Indian: 0.4%
Asian: 0.3%
Hispanic: 5.4%
Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander: 0.0%
Two or More Races: 0.0%


0-17: 21.8%
18-64: 50.7%
65+: 27.5%


Personal income per capita: $46,093
% of Population in Poverty: 10.3%
# of Housing Units: 1,048
Owner-occupied rate: 75.8%
Median home price: $106,070


Access to broadband (100 Mbps via fiber or cable modem): 0.0%

Sources: National Association of RealtorsNebraska Library Commission, U.S. Bureau of Economic AnalysisU.S. Census Bureau

Employment, Schools, and Child Care

Unemployment rate: 2.2% (as of September 2022)

County Employment Website:

High school graduate or higher: 89.9%

School Districts: Creek Valley Schools, South Platte Public Schools

Bachelor's degree or higher: 20.7%

Community College Service Area: Western Community College

Countywide child care capacity: 2 providers; 49 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.

Deuel County Economy

Annual Gross Domestic Product (2020): $81,100,000

Cattle Producers: 49

  • Pastureland Cash Rent (avg.): $16/acre

Crop Producers: 38

Grain Co-ops and Purchasers: Ag Valley, FVC

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

Gas Well Production (thousand cubic ft. of gas/yr.): 283,101 MCF Dry Gas

Electricity Providers: City of Chappell, Highline Electric Association, Nebraska PPD, Wheat Belt PPD

Rail-served Communities: Big Springs, Chappell

Well Locations (Irrigation/Livestock), Soils, Groundwater & Surface Water

Total Irrigation/Livestock Wells: 344

Surface Water Diversions (Irrigation): 17

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: $0.4704 per $100 of taxable valuation

County property taxes levied: $2,008,172

Total local government property taxes levied: $6,410,560

Total countywide taxable valuation: $426,862,014

Click here for all levy rates in Deuel County

County Levy and Taxation Laws

Levy limits

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

Statutes 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) (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."

Sources: Nebraska Department of Revenue

State Senator: Steve Erdman (District 47)

Select Committees:

  • Rules (chairperson)
  • Committee on Committees

Map and statistics for Legislative District 47

Map of all districts in the Nebraska Unicameral Legislature

Deuel County History

Number of Registered Historic Places: 5

Year Authorized: 1889

Year Organized: 1889

Etymology: Deuel family (early Nebraska settlers)

     Prior to the arrival of European settlers, Deuel County was the hunting ground of the Oglala and Brule tribes. As more and more pioneers moved into western Nebraska, frequent battles erupted between the settlers claiming land tracts and Native Americans protecting their ancestral homes.

     Originally, Deuel County composed the eastern part of Cheyenne County. At the time of its founding in 1889, Deuel County also included Garden County until 1909. At that time, Garden County split away, leaving the southern settlements to Deuel County.

     The county seat, Chappell, was named after Charles Henry Chappell, a key railroad official charged with numerous construction projects in western Nebraska. According to local accounts, shipments would arrive near the end of the line bearing very simple directions: “Send to Chappell.” The moniker stuck, and the settlement forever bore the railroad man’s name. The county itself was also named after a railroad official: Henry Deuel.

     However, designation of the county seat was another matter. Following the organization of Deuel County, three towns vied to become the county seat during a special election: Chappell, Big Springs, and Froid. Although Chappell had 275 eligible voters and Big Springs had 200 eligible voters, the special election witnessed remarkable and dubious tallies. Chappell reported over three thousand votes for their town while Big Springs claimed over five thousand votes. Deuel County’s early integrity apparently persisted in Froid though, which reported just under three hundred votes. Due to the obvious deceit in election reporting, a judge ordered a new election. Ultimately, it would take two more elections before Chappell claimed the prize as county seat.

     Today, Deuel County is a farming community responsible for growing oats, millet, milo, alfalfa, but most of all, wheat. Deuel County’s prodigious wheat production supports its motto: Deuel County, Where Wheat is King.

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Local Highlights

License Plate Number: 78

Time Zone: Mountain

Number of Veterans: 149

Zoned County: Yes

Number of County-Owned Bridges: 16

Number of County-Owned Dams: 1

Election Data

General Election Turnout % (2022): 54.54%

Total Registered Voters (2020): 1,395

Number of Precincts (2020): 3

Number of Election Day Polling Places (2020): 2

Land Area per Polling Place (avg.) (2020): 219.93 sq. miles

Intergovernmental Data

Emergency Mgt. Planning, Exercise and Training (PET) Region: Panhandle

Natural Resource Districts: South Platte NRD

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)