Cities, Towns, and Villages
County Seat: Columbus
Courthouse Address and Hours:
2610 14th Street
Columbus, Nebraska 68601
Chairperson: Jerry Micek
Senator: Mike Moser
Board Meetings: every other Tuesday of each month
View Additional Census Data
Named after the Platte River which makes up its southern boundary, Platte County was officially established by the Legislature on Jan. 26, 1856. Three years later its boundaries were redefined to include an area to the west known as Monroe County, giving the county its present boundaries.
In the summer of 1856, advance agents from the Columbus Town Company came to the area from Columbus, Ohio. Upon reaching the Loup River the agents marked the site for a future town to be called Columbus. The new settlement quickly grew and soon had a mill, hotel and general store. The first meeting of the Board of Commissioners was conducted in December 1857 in a log house and it would be more than 10 years before the county would have a courthouse.
When the Union Pacific Railroad headed west through Columbus in 1866, the area's growth accelerated at a faster pace. The following year a special election was held to approve the issuance of $16,000 in bonds to build a courthouse and jail. Construction was completed in 1870.
Another boost to the county came in 1881 when the Atchison and Nebraska Branch of the Burlington and Missouri River Railroad constructed a rail line connecting Columbus with Lincoln. Columbus rapidly became a flourishing railroad center and commerce hub.
The courthouse that was completed in 1870 was soon outgrown by the county. On June 26, 1922, the current courthouse was dedicated. The Grecian-Ionic style structure occupied a quarter-block in downtown Columbus when it opened. But in the early 1970s, the need for additional space once again became apparent and a $1.76 million addition opened in September 1976. The two-story addition houses the sheriff's office, civil defense office, County Board room, treasurer's office and the courtrooms.
Platte County enjoys a diverse economy today. Farming and livestock production, along with manufacturing, lead the way. Among the many manufacturing operations to locate in the county is Lindsay Irrigation, known worldwide for its center pivot systems.