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Nebraska Counties Explorer

Hitchcock County

Hitchcock County Seat (pop.): Trenton (516)

Cities, Towns, and Villages (pop.): Culbertson (534), Palisade (294), Stratton (310)

Courthouse Address and Hours:

229 East D Street
Trenton, Nebraska 69044
M-F 8:30 am - 4:00 pm

County Board Chairperson: Paul Nichols

Complete list of county board members

County Board Meetings: 1st & 3rd Monday

View the County's Government Maps

Visit the County Fairgrounds

NACO District: West Central

District President: Cayla Richards, Red Willow Commissioner

District First Vice President: Brett Nason, McPherson County Commissioner

District Second Vice President: Corey Crandall, Keith County Commissioner

District Secretary/Treasurer: Penelope Cooper, Red Willow Deputy County Clerk

NACO Board Representatives: Earl McNutt, Red Willow County Commissioner

Click for a live look at Hitchcock County (west of Culbertson)


Population: 2,586
Land area (sq. mi.): 709.94
Population per square mile: 3.7


White: 93.4%
African American: 0.5%
American Indian: 0.8%
Asian: 0.3%
Hispanic: 3.9%
Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander: 0.0%


0-17: 23.3%
18-64: 51.0%
65+: 25.7%


Personal income per capita: $59,923
% of Population in Poverty: 12.0%
# of Housing Units: 1,570
Owner-occupied rate: 77.3%
Median home price: $89,650


Access to broadband (100 Mbps via fiber or cable modem): 17.7%

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: 93.5%

Bachelor's degree or higher: 15.8%

School Districts: Dundy County Stratton Public Schools, Hayes Center Public Schools, Hitchcock County School System, McCook Public Schools, Wauneta-Palisade Public Schools

Countywide child care capacity: 2 providers; 24 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.

Hitchcock County Economy

Annual Gross Domestic Product (2020): $149,505,000

Ag. Producers (Cattle): 145

Ag. Producers (Crop): 94

Grain Co-ops and Purchasers: Farmers Co-op Association, FVC

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

Electricity Providers: City of Stratton, City of Trenton, McCook PPD, Southwest PPD

Rail-served Communities: Culbertson, Palisade, Stratton, Trenton

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: $0.2595 per $100 of taxable valuation

County property taxes levied: $1,964,801

Total local government property taxes levied: $10,176,707

Total countywide taxable valuation: $757,275,137

Click here for all levy rates in Hitchcock 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: Teresa J. Ibach (District 44)
Committees: Agriculture, Business and Labor, Judiciary, Nebraska Retirement Systems, Rules, Building Maintenance, Legislature's Planning Committee

Map and statistics for Legislative District 44

Map of all districts in the Nebraska Unicameral Legislature

Hitchcock County History

Year Founded: 1873

Number of Registered Historic Places: 4

Etymology: Phineas Hitchcock (U.S. senator)

In the late 1860s and early 1870s an influx of cattlemen began moving into the area between the Republic and Frenchman River Valleys in Southwest Nebraska. By the spring of 1873 the population had increased so dramatically in this area that settlers sent a petition to Gov. Robert B. Furnas requesting that a county be organized.

The settlers' request was honored by the governor, who on July 5, 1873, signed a proclamation ordering an election be held to select county officers and a county seat. The area would become known as Hitchcock County, named after Phineas W. Hitchcock, a United States senator from Nebraska at the time. The first county seat was located at a site just west of the present town of Culbertson. Instead of building a courthouse, county officials' offices were located in the upper story of a store.

Early development of what is today Hitchcock County can be traced back to the days of the Texas-Ogallala Cattle Trail, which cut across the area diagonally. Years later the Burlington and Missouri River Railroad would have an even greater impact.

The summer of 1874 took its toll on the county, as a drought and an infestation of grasshoppers forced many settlers to pack up and move on. Eventually the county began to recover and in the early 1880s a series of townsites sprang up. One of these was Trenton, which was established near the center of the county in 1884 by the Lincoln Land Company. Trenton, located on the Republican River, would be named the county seat in 1894 and in 1906 the first courthouse was built. This building would house the county's offices until 1969 when the present courthouse was constructed.

With its dependence on agriculture, Hitchcock County realized early on the importance of conservation, flood control and irrigation. This led to the construction of a large dam on the Republican River just west of Trenton. In 1949, state and local officials dedicated the Swanson Reservoir. Today the large lake, named in honor of Trenton conservationist and civic leader Carl Swanson, is a popular recreation area.

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License Plate Number: 67

Time Zone: Central

Zoned County: Yes

Number of Veterans: 198

Voter Turnout (2022): 57.36%

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

Number of County-Owned Bridges: 35

State Lands (acres): Swanson Reservoir SRA (1,300), Swanson Reservoir WMA (8,325)

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)