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Nebraska Counties Explorer

Knox County

Communities and Development

Knox County Seat: Center

Total County Population (2020): 8,391

  • Cities (pop. & class): Bloomfield (986 • 2nd Class), Creighton (1,147 • 2nd Class), Crofton (756 • 2nd Class)
  • Villages (pop.): Bazile Mills (26), Niobrara (365), Santee (424), Verdel (38), Verdigre (554), Wausa (592), Winnetoon (54)
  • Unincorporated Pop. (% of county pop.): 3,370 (40%)

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

  • Agriculture: 83%
    • By method: Pasture (pure grassland) (42%); Dryland (row crop/grain/forage) (29%); Irrigated (row crop/grain/forage) (12%) • Neb. Dept. of Rev. - total equals agriculture's %
    • By commodity: Livestock (grassland) 41%, Corn 20%, Soybeans 14%, Alfalfa 7%, Oats 1%, Other Hay 1% • USDA - total equals agricultures % plus some wetlands (3%) and minus public grassland/wetlands and reserve
  • Residential, Commercial, Industrial, Conservation Reserve & Exempt (combined): 14%
  • Timber: 3%

County Offices

Courthouse Address and Hours:

206 Main Street
Center, Nebraska 68724
M-F 8:30 am - 4:30 pm

County Board Chairperson: James Sokol

Complete list of county board members

County Board Meetings: Every other Wednesday

View the County's Government Maps

Visit the County Fairgrounds

NACO District: Northeast

President: Lisa Lunz, Dixon County Supervisor 

Vice President: Sandy Zoubek, Stanton County Treasurer

Secretary: Katie Hart, Burt County Assessor

Treasurer: Krista Nix, Knox County Deputy Clerk 

NACO Board Representative: Bill Tielke, Holt County Supervisor 

Click for a live look at Knox County (east of Verdigre)


Population: 8,401
Land area (sq. mi.): 1,108.44
Population per square mile: 7.6

Race and Age


White: 83.0%
African American: 0.2%
American Indian: 11.2%
Asian: 0.3%
Hispanic: 2.2%
Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander: 0.0%
Two or More Races: 2.8%


0-17: 25.2%
18-64: 49.7%
65+: 25.2%


Personal income per capita: $57,577
% of Population in Poverty: 13.6%
# of Housing Units: 4,502
Owner-occupied rate: 75.4%
Median home price: $109,020


Access to broadband (100 Mbps via fiber or cable modem): 39.2%

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: 92.9%

School Districts: Bloomfield Community Schools, Boyd County Schools, Creighton Community Public Schools, Crofton Community Schools, Niobrara Public Schools, Osmond Community Schools, Plainview Public Schools, Santee Community Schools, Summerland Public Schools, Wausa Public Schools

Bachelor's degree or higher: 19.7%

Community College Service Area: Northeast Community College

Countywide child care capacity: 22 providers; 349 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.

Knox County Economy

Annual Gross Domestic Product (2020): $507,534,000

Cattle Producers: 541

Crop Producers: 230

  • Dryland Cash Rent (avg.): $203/acre
  • Irrigated Land Cash Rent (avg.): $294/acre

Dairy Producers: 1

Grain Co-ops and Purchasers: CHS, Central Valley Ag, Farmers Pride

Farmers Market: Santee Farmers Market (June - October, Saturdays 9 - 11 AM)

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

Electricity Providers: Cedar-Knox PPD, Nebraska PPD, Niobrary Valley Electric Member Corp., North Central PPD

Wind Turbines Operating (MW): 49 turbines (123,000 MW)

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

Total Irrigation/Livestock Wells: 1,103

Surface Water Diversions (Irrigation): 201

Click for real time:

Streamflow data on Ponca Creek at Verdel

Streamflow data on the Missouri River below Ponca Creek near Verdel

Streamflow data on the Niobrara River near Verdel

Streamflow data on the Niobrara River at Niobrara

Streamflow data on Bazile Creek at Center

Streamflow data on Howe Creek below Walker Draw near Center

Streamflow data on Bazile Creek near Niobrara

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: $0.1576 per $100 of taxable valuation

County property taxes levied: $3,616,155

Total local government property taxes levied: $29,111,220

Total countywide taxable valuation: $2,294,475,228

Federal PILT payment to Knox County (FY2022): $43,843 regarding 14,923 federally-owned acres

Click here for all levy rates in Knox 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: Barry DeKay (District 40)

Standing Committees (click for scheduled committee hearings): 

Special Committees: 

  • State-Tribal Relations (vice-chairperson)
  • Justice Reinvestment Oversight
  • Statewide Tourism and Recreation Water Access and Resource Sustainability

Map and statistics for Legislative District 40

Map of all districts in the Nebraska Unicameral Legislature

Knox County History

Number of Registered Historic Places: 15

Year Authorized: 1857

Year Organized: 1857

Etymology: Henry Knox (U.S. Revolutionary War General and Secretary of War)

     Knox County has distinct French origins, including its original name. French trappers, traders, and explorers passed up and down the Missouri River before and after the Louisiana Purchase, some of whom explored and help settle the area which would become Knox County. The Legislature formally established the county in 1875, bestowing upon it the name “L’eau Qui Court,” or “running water.” This moniker was also in reference to the Native American name of the region, “Niobrara,” meaning “wide-spreading water.” In 1873, however, the Legislature changed the name to Knox County, choosing to name the county after Henry Knox, noted Revolutionary War General and the first U.S. Secretary of War (the famous Fort Knox bears his name as well).

     The county also has distinct Native American roots. Prior to the arrival of European settlers, Knox County was home to the Omaha Native American tribe, whose territory stretched south from the Missouri River to present-day Papillion and as far west as Neligh. Following the arrival of European settlers, tribes were forced to sign treaties that consigned them to reservations. The Santee Sioux Reservation remains a part of Knox County today.

     Following the territory’s settlement and formal founding, Niobrara became the first county seat. The decision would be contested for the next several decades. Niobrara was situated along the county’s far northern border and the early settlement routinely flooded. Multiple elections to move the county seat occurred, but none were successful until the community of Center was platted in 1901. A year later, the village assumed and still retains the county seat.

     Knox County is also a special part of Nebraska’s civic history. In 1934, the Knox County courthouse became the first building in Nebraska to be funded by the Civil Works Administration during the Depression. In 1990, the National Register of Historic Places added the courthouse to its registry.

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Local Highlights

License Plate Number: 12

Time Zone: Central

Number of Veterans: 639

Zoned County: Yes

Number of County-Owned Bridges: 268

Number of County-Owned Dams: 2

Election Data

General Election Turnout (2022): 70.91%

Total Registered Voters (2020): 5,620

Number of Precincts (2020): 8

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

Intergovernmental Data

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

Natural Resource Districts: Lewis & Clark NRD, Lower Elkhorn NRD, Lower Niobrara NRD

State Lands (acres): Bohemia Prairie WMA (680), Brazile Creek WMA (3,971), Greenvale WMA (200), Lewis and Clark SRA (672.81), Niobrara Confluence WMA (1,225.38), Niobrara State Park (1,236.59), Verdel Landing WMA (8.8)

Federal Lands (acres): Cook Creek (38.7), Deep Water Wildlife Area (68), Devils Nest Wildlife Area (137), Gavins Point Project (Lewis and Clark Lake) (6,307 Cedar and Knox), Santee (150)

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)