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Nebraska Counties Explorer

Garden County

Communities & Development

Garden County Seat: Oshkosh

Total County Population (2020): 1,874

  • Cities (pop. & class): Oshkosh (809 • 2nd Class)
  • Villages (pop.): Lewellen (175)
  • Unincorporated Pop. (% of total county pop.): 890 (47%)

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

  • Agriculture: 93%
    • By method: Pasture (pure grassland) (80%), Dryland (row crop/grain/forage) (10%), Irrigated (row crop/grain/forage) (3%) • Neb. Dept. of Rev. - total equals agriculture's %
    • By commodity: Livestock (grassland) 81%, Corn 5%, Wheat 3%, Alfalfa 1% • USDA - equals agriculture's % plus some fallow land (2%) and some wetlands (5%) and minus public grassland/wetlands and reserve
  • Residential, Commercial, Industrial, Conservation Reserve & Exempt (combined): 7%

County Offices

Courthouse Address and Hours:

611 Main Street
Oshkosh, Nebraska 69154
M-F 8:00 am - 4:00 pm

County Board Chairperson: David Dymak

Complete list of county board members

County Board Meetings: 2nd & 4th Monday

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 Garden County (west of Lisco)


Population: 1,874
Land area (sq. mi.): 1,705.37
Population per square mile: 1.1

Race & Age


White: 91.9%
African American: 0.2%
American Indian: 0.2%
Asian: 0.1%
Hispanic: 4.7%
Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander: 0.1%
Two or More Races: 2.4%


0-17: 19.4%
18-64: 51.5%
65+: 29.1%


Personal income per capita: $57,475
% of Population in Poverty: 13.9%
# of Housing Units: 1,181
Owner-occupied rate: 69.2%
Median home price: $91,070


Access to broadband (100 Mbps via fiber or cable modem): 3.4%

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

Employment, Schools, and Child Care

Unemployment rate: 1.9% (as of September 2022)

County Employment Website:

High school graduate or higher: 94.4%

School Districts: Creek Valley Schools, Garden County Schools, South Platte Public Schools

Bachelor's degree or higher: 23.1%

Community College Service Area: Western Community College

Countywide child care capacity: 3 providers; 84 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.

Garden County Economy

Annual Gross Domestic Product (2020): $74,711,000

Cattle Producers: 89

  • Pastureland Cash Rent (avg.): $15/acre/yr

Crop Producers: 71

Grain Co-ops and Purchasers: Crossroads Cooperative, Panhandle Coo System, WESTCO

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

Oil & Gas Wells Producing (barrels of oil & thousand cubic ft of gas/yr): 4 wells (1,850 barrels; 950 MCF Dry Gas)

Electricity Providers: Nebraska PPD, PREMA, Wheat Belt PPD

Wind Turbines Operating (MW): 1 turbine (MW unknown)

Rail-served Communities: Lisco, Lewellen, Oshkosh

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

Total Irrigation/Livestock Wells: 1,365

Surface Water Diversions (Irrigation): 38

Click for real time:

Groundwater level data in Crescent Lake NWR (3.5 mi. NW of Crescent Lake)

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: $0.4520 per $100 of taxable valuation

County property taxes levied: $3,634,929

Total local government property taxes levied: $8,742,749

Total countywide taxable valuation: $804,143,030

Federal PILT payment to Garden County (FY2022): $588 regarding 200 federally-owned acres

Click here for all levy rates in Garden County

County Levy and Taxation Laws

Levy limits

Since 1996, counties and other political subdivisions have been subject to levy limits under 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

Garden County History

Number of Registered Historic Places: 7

Year Authorized: 1909

Year Organized: 1909

Etymology: Aspiration to become a "garden spot" of the west

     Along with Banner County, Garden County derives its name from the lofty aspirations of its residents. Established in 1909 after separating from Deuel County to the south, Garden County’s moniker was result of local real estate agents attempting to brand the area to attract more residents. The county also has strong ties to settlers who moved west from Wisconsin. In fact, the county seat, Oshkosh, was founded by the Oshkosh Land and Cattle Company, one of whose founders hailed from Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

     Garden County is rich in 19th century history. During the 1800’s, numerous groups of people passed through the area. The county was initially part of the Sioux tribe’s territory. Settlers headed to California for the gold rush, as well as Mormons traveling to Utah, passed through the arid land. As the U.S. government continued its westward expansion into Native American lands, battles between native tribes and soldiers increased, and Garden County was no exception. It witnessed several bloody battles between the U.S. Army and the Sioux tribes, including that of renown Lakota leader Chief Red Cloud.

     Though many settlers from the eastern U.S. arrived to farm the land, their early misperceptions about the soil and climate led to widespread agriculture failure. Instead, ranching emerged as the dominant livelihood, while farming became limited to near the North Platte River Valley. 

Each year, the Garden County courthouse employees reach out to help a person or family in need. Previous endeavors have included partnering with Volunteers of America to help local families buy toys for Christmas. Last year, the group raised money for a family with two members who were undergoing a serious medical procedure. This year, the group is helping a community member with numerous medical issues and bills. This spirit of public service and community care is a hallmark of not only the courthouse employees, but all of Garden County. 

Local Highlights

License Plate Number: 77

Time Zone: Mountain

Number of Veterans: 148

Zoned County: Yes

Number of County-Owned Bridges: 12

County Hospitals: Regional West Garden County Hospital

Election Data

General Election Turnout % (2022): 69.68%

Total Registered Voters (2020): 1,383

Number of Precincts (2020): 4

Number of Election Day Polling Places (2020): All Voting by Mail

Intergovernmental Data

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

Natural Resource Districts: North Platte NRD

State Lands (acres): Ash Hollow State Historical Park (389), Clear Creek WMA (6,118 Garden & Keith), Crescent Lake WMA (86.20)

Federal Lands (acres): Crescent Lake NWR (45,703)

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)