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Nebraska Counties Explorer

Jefferson County

Jefferson County Seat (pop.): Fairbury (3,970)

Cities, Towns, and Villages (pop.): Daykin (153), Diller (247), Endicott (113), Harbine (56), Jansen (101), Plymouth (364), Reynolds (57), Steele City (44)

Courthouse Address and Hours:

411 4th Street
Fairbury, Nebraska 68352
M-F 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

County Board Chairperson: Mark Schoenrock

Complete list of county board members

County Board Meetings: Every Tuesday (except the 5th Tuesday)

View the County's Government Maps

Visit the County Fairgrounds

NACO District: Southeast

District President: Amber Mulberry, Saline County Clerk of the District Court

District Vice President: Emily Haxby, Gage County Supervisor

District Secretary/Treasurer: Candi Nicholas, Pawnee Clerk

NACO Board Representatives: Mark Schoenrock, Jefferson County Commissioner


Population: 7,176
Land area (sq. mi.): 570.18
Population per square mile: 12.7


White: 92.2%
African American: 0.8%
American Indian: 0.8%
Asian: 0.5%
Hispanic: 5.4%
Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander: 0.0%


0-17: 22.7%
18-64: 53.1%
65+: 24.2%


Personal income per capita: $56,274
% of Population in Poverty: 9.9%
# of Housing Units: 3,674
Owner-occupied rate: 70.7%
Median home price: $116,460


Access to broadband (100 Mbps via fiber or cable modem): 51.2%

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

Employment, Schools, and Child Care

Unemployment rate: 1.7% (as of September 2022)

County Employment Website:

High school graduate or higher: 90.4%

Bachelor's degree or higher: 18.3%

School Districts: Diller-Odell Public Schools, Fairbury Public Schools, Meridian Public Schools, Tri County Public Schools

Countywide child care capacity: 13 providers; 271 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.

Jefferson County Economy

Annual Gross Domestic Product (2020): $447,681,000

Ag. Producers (Cattle): 204

Ag. Producers (Crop): 199

Grain Co-ops and Purchasers: Aurora Cooperative, Farmers Union Coop

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

Electricity Providers: City of Fairbury, Norris PPD, Village of Endicott, Village of Reynolds

Rail-served Communities: Endicott, Fairbury, Jansen, Plymouth, Steele City

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: $0.3675 per $100 of taxable valuation

County property taxes levied: $6,902,084

Total local government property taxes levied: $29,427,166

Total countywide taxable valuation: $1,877,722,050

Click here for all levy rates in Jefferson 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: Tom Brandt (District 32)
Committees: Natural Resources, Transportation and Telecommunications

Map and statistics for Legislative District 32

Map of all districts in the Nebraska Unicameral Legislature

Jefferson County History

Year Founded: 1864

Number of Registered Historic Places: 14

Etymology: Thomas Jefferson (U.S. president)

It has been claimed that if an accurate map of the United States is folded from east to west and then from north to south, the creases would intersect at the point where Jefferson County is located on the map. Some believe this truly confirms that Jefferson County is literally located in the center of the United States.

Long before Jefferson County was organized, this area was possibly the site of one of the largest Indian battles on the American continent. It was reported that in 1832, 16,000 warriors from the Pawnee and Sioux tribes engaged in a battle near where the Big Sandy Creek joins the Little Blue River. After three days of fighting, more than 5,000 warriors had died and the battle gave the Pawnee control of the area.

Jefferson County was once part of a much larger county designated as Jones County. The Legislature determined that Jones County's land area of 706,560 acres was too large so in 1870 it separated the area into Jefferson and Thayer Counties. The county was named Jefferson in honor of Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the United States.

The Oregon Trail and Pony Express Route both passed through what would become Jefferson County, paralleling the Little Blue River. The famous Rock Creek Station was built along the trails. History has it that James "Wild Bill" Hickok first came into prominence as a result of a fight at the station. Hickok was apparently tending stock for the Ben Halliday Stage Company at the station when it was alleged that he killed three men. Hickok was put on trial in Beatrice and pleaded self defense. When no one appeared at the trial to testify against him, the case was dismissed.

The county seat of Fairbury was surveyed and platted along the Little Blue River about a year before Jefferson County was organized. The settlement was a popular place for the Otoe tribe to visit since it was close to their reservation.

Jefferson County's stately, ornate courthouse dates back to 1891 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

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License Plate Number: 33

Time Zone: Central

Zoned County: Yes

Number of Veterans: 527

Voter Turnout (2022): 57.31%

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

Number of County-Owned Bridges: 206

Number of County-Owned Dams: 1

State Lands (acres): Alexandria SRA (101), Alexandria WMA (1,204.54), Flathead WMA (259.20), Rock Creek State Historical Park (353), Rock Creek SRA (40), Rock Glen WMA (706), Rose Creek WMA (667.57)

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)