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Nebraska Counties Explorer

McPherson County

McPherson County Seat (pop.): Tryon (107)

Courthouse Address and Hours:

500 Anderson Street
Tryon, Nebraska 69167
M-F 8:30 am - 12:00 pm; 1:00 pm - 4:30pm

County Board Chairperson: Jeff Arensdorf

Complete list of county board members

County Board Meetings: 2nd Wednesday

View the County's Government Maps

Visit the County Fairgrounds

NACO District: West Central

District President: Brett Nason, McPherson County Commissioner

District First Vice President: Corey Crandall, Keith County Commissioner

District Second Vice President: Ron Wertz, Hitchcock County Commissioner

District Secretary/Treasurer: Katherine Hoberg, McPherson County Clerk

NACO Board Representatives: Corey Crandall, Keith County Commissioner

Click for a live look at McPherson County (west of Tryon)


Population: 379
Land area (sq. mi.): 859.26
Population per square mile: 0.5


White: 95.8%
African American: 0.5%
American Indian: 0.0%
Asian: 0.3%
Hispanic: 2.4%
Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander: 0.0%


0-17: 17.9%
18-64: 55.4%
65+: 26.6%


Personal income per capita: $60,169
% of Population in Poverty: 10.6%
# of Housing Units: 232
Owner-occupied rate: 78.9%
Median home price: $183.310


Access to broadband (100 Mbps via fiber or cable modem): 60.3%

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: 92.4%

Bachelor's degree or higher: 23.4%

School Districts: Arthur County Schools, McPherson County Schools, Stapleton Public Schools


McPherson County Economy

Annual Gross Domestic Product (2020): $1,880,558,000

Ag. Producers (Cattle): 75

Ag. Producers (Crop): 32

Grain Co-ops and Purchasers: AGP, Aurora Cooperative, CHS, CPI, Central Valley Ag, Fairfield Non-Stock Co-op, Farmers Coop, Gottsch Cattle Company, KAAPA Ethanol, Pillen Family Farms

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

Electricity Providers: Custer PPD, PREMA

Rail-served Communities: Ayr, Gaines, Hastings, Hayland, Juniata, Kenesaw, Roseland

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: $0.2286 per $100 of taxable valuation

County property taxes levied: $777,159

Total local government property taxes levied: $3,605,267

Total countywide taxable valuation: $340,011,148

Click here for all levy rates in McPherson 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: Mike Jacobson (District 42)
Committees: Banking Commerce and Insurance, Natural Resources, Committee on Committees, Legislative Performance Audit, Statewide Tourism And Recreational Water Access and Resource Sustainability (LB406)

Map and statistics for Legislative District 42

Map of all districts in the Nebraska Unicameral Legislature

McPherson County History

Number of Registered Historic Places: 0

Year Authorized: 1890

Year Organized: 1890

Etymology: James McPherson (U.S. army general)

Although the original boundaries of McPherson County were established by the Legislature in 1887, settlement of this area in the southern Sandhills was relatively slow. The first settlers were primarily cattlemen who arrived in the 1870s and established large, free-range ranches.

McPherson County was officially organized in 1890 and named after Civil War Gen. James McPherson. At that time the county included the area that is today neighboring Arthur County, which was then known as Arthur precinct. For many years, a sod courthouse was used by McPherson County officials. Constructed in 1890, the sod building would be used until 1926.

Passage of the Kinkaid Act in 1904 is credited with an increase in the number of settlers who came to McPherson County. By 1910 the county would reach nearly 2,500 inhabitants, which would be its peak population. But within five years the sparse resources and the lack of a railroad forced many "Kinkaiders" to sell their holdings to some of the larger ranch operations. From that point on the county's population declined.

McPherson County encountered a stiff conflict in July 1912 when two jail cells were purchased at a cost of $1,300. Arthur precinct residents strongly objected to the expense and also to the location of the county seat in Tryon. Efforts to move the county seat to Flats were unsuccessful. The following year residents of Arthur precinct initiated steps to secede from McPherson County. Within a year the process was completed and successful, with McPherson and Arthur Counties being created and the current boundaries established.

Tryon, the McPherson County seat, is one of only two unincorporated villages in Nebraska to serve as a county seat. The other is Harrisburg, in Banner County. In 1916, efforts were begun to replace the sod courthouse with a modern building. Ten years later this dream became reality as a two-story brick building was constructed. The courthouse is now among those listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

McPherson County Excellence:

     Throughout the year, McPherson County Sheriff Thomas Burch and his deputy frequently assist local cattle producers during cattle drives. When producers move cattle around the county, the Sheriff's Department follows the herd and places lights on the herd which protect the cattle and local motorists.

     Cattle form an important part of McPherson County's economy, with at least 75 local producers responsible for 41,000 cattle and calves in 2022, according to the USDA.

License Plate Number: 90

Time Zone: Central

Zoned County: Yes

Number of Veterans: 2,223

Voter Turnout (2022): 64.93%

Emergency Mgt. Planning, Exercise and Training (PET) Region: North Central/Sandhills

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)