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Nebraska Counties Explorer

Hamilton County

Communities and Development

Hamilton County Seat: Aurora (4,678)

Total County Population (2020): 9,429

  • Cities (pop. & class): Aurora (4,678 • 2nd Class)
  • Villages (pop.): Giltner (406), Hampton (432), Hordville (131), Marquette (236), Phillips (320), Stockham (32)
  • Unincorporated Pop. (% of county pop.): 3,194 (34%)

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

  • Agriculture: 91%
    • By method: Irrigated (row crop/grain/forage) (79%); Pasture (pure grassland) (7%); Dryland (row crop/grain/forage) (6%) • Neb. Dept. of Rev. - total equals agriculture's %
    • By commodity: Corn 56%, Soybeans 27%, Livestock (grassland) 6%, Alfalfa 1%, Popcorn 1% • USDA - equals agriculture's % plus some wetlands (2%) and minus public grassland/wetlands and reserve
  • Residential, Commercial, Industrial, Conservation Reserve & Exempt (combined): 9%

County Offices

Courthouse Address and Hours:

1111 13th Street
Aurora, Nebraska 68818
M-F 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

County Board Chairperson: Rich Nelson

Complete list of county board members

County Board Meetings: Every Monday

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

Click for a live look at Hamilton County (north of Giltner)


Population: 9,429
Land area (sq. mi.): 842.11
Population per square mile: 17.4

Race and Age


White: 93.3%
African American: 0.3%
American Indian: 0.3%
Asian: 0.1%
Hispanic: 3.4%
Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander: 0.0%
Two or More Races: 2.4%


0-17: 24.0%
18-64: 55.5%
65+: 20.5%


Personal income per capita: $65,739
% of Population in Poverty: 6.7%
# of Housing Units: 4,088
Owner-occupied rate: 78.4%
Median home price: $193,590


Access to broadband (100 Mbps via fiber or cable modem): 79.6%

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

Employment, Schools, and Child Care

Unemployment rate: 1.8% (as of September 2022)

County Employment Website:

High school graduate or higher: 96.4%

School Districts: Aurora Public Schools, Central City Public Schools, Doniphan-Trumbull Public Schools, Giltner Public Schools, Hampton Public Schools, Harvard Public Schools, Heartland Public Schools, High Plains Public Schools, Sutton Public Schools

Bachelor's degree or higher: 24.6%

Community College Service Area: Central Community College

Countywide child care capacity: 9 providers; 213 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.

Hamilton County Economy

Annual Gross Domestic Product (2020): $662,747,000

Cattle Producers: 141

  • Pastureland Cash Rent (avg.): $41/acre

Crop Producers: 377

  • Dryland Cash Rent (avg.): $167/acre
  • Irrigated Land Cash Rent (avg.): $278/acre

Dairy Producers: 1

Farmers Market: Aurora Market on the Square  (June - September, Saturdays 8 - 11 AM)

Grain Co-ops and Purchasers: Aurora Cooperative, Central Valley Ag, KAAPA Partners Aurora

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

Electricity Providers: City of Giltner, Howard Greeley Rural PPD, Perennial PPD, Polk County Rural PPD, South Central PPD, Southern PPD, Village of Hampton

Rail-served Communities: Aurora, Giltner, Hampton, Hordville, Phillips

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

Total Irrigation/Livestock Wells: 2,932

Surface Water Diversions (Irrigation): 97

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: $0.1732 per $100 of taxable valuation

County property taxes levied: $5,284,306

Total local government property taxes levied: $38,501,780

Total countywide taxable valuation: $3,050,699,069

Click here for all levy rates in Hamilton 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: Loren Lippincott (District 34)

Standing Committees (click for scheduled committee hearings): 

Map and statistics for Legislative District 34

Map of all districts in the Nebraska Unicameral Legislature

Hamilton County History

Number of Registered Historic Places: 6

Year Authorized: 1867

Year Organized: 1870

Etymology: Alexander Hamilton (U.S. Secretary of the Treasury)

     A steadfast entrepreneurial spirit has always been the cornerstone of Hamilton County. In the early 1860’s, the first ranches in Hamilton County were established to provide goods and services to those traveling west in covered wagons, commercial traders, and soldiers traveling to and from Fort Kearney. Following the Homestead Act, a tight-knit group of families took out claims near Stockham, while others staked their claims and returned later with their families from back east. 

     In 1870, Nebraska Governor David Butler issued a proclamation formally organizing the county, and Hamilton County immediately elected its first officials and county board. Orville City was the original county seat and witnessed the early development of the county, including its first elections, school districts, and newspapers. 

     However, after only seven years, county residents began debating about moving the county seat to Aurora. An election in 1873 seemed to formally settled the matter, but after results showed that Aurora had won the county seat, the county commissioners refused to move the seat and instead appealed to the Supreme Court, who ruled against Aurora. The next year, another election was held and Aurora again appeared to have won the county seat. And again, the commissioners refused to honor the result of the election. Finally, in 1876, after three subsequent elections, proponents of moving the seat finally succeeded, and the county seat was moved from Orville City to Aurora.

     Aurora grew rapidly thereafter. The city welcomed the arrival of the railroad and the telegraph in 1879, as well as developers who built buildings for newspapers and banks. Other towns also followed Aurora’s upward trajectory, including Giltner, Hampton, Hordville, Marquette, Phillips, and of course, Stockham.

     One cannot describe the history of Hamilton County without noting its courthouse. In 1877, the county built its first courthouse, which burned down in 1894. In 1895, Hamilton County constructed the towering and iconic courthouse which still stands and serves county residents today.

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Local Highlights

License Plate Number: 28

Time Zone: Central

Number of Veterans: 703

Zoned County: Yes

Number of County-Owned Bridges: 128

Election Data

General Election Turnout % (2022): 61.64%

Total Registered Voters (2020): 6,809

Number of Precincts (2020): 11

Number of Election Day Polling Places (2020): 1

Land Area per Polling Place (2020): 542.11 sq. miles

Intergovernmental Data

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

Natural Resource Districts: Central Platte NRD, Upper Big Blue NRD

State Lands (acres): Deep Well WMA (238.30), Gadwall WMA (90), Pintail WMA (478.42)

Federal Lands (acres): Nelson WPA (160), Springer WPA (640), Troester WPA (421.50)

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)