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Nebraska Counties Explorer

Richardson County

Communities and Development

Richardson County Seat: Falls City

Total County Population (2020): 7,871

  • Cities (pop. & class): Falls City (4,133 • 2nd Class), Humboldt (800 • 2nd Class)
  • Villages (pop.): Barada (21), Dawson (148), Preston (19), Rulo (145), Salem (83), Shubert (163), Stella (145), Verdon (164)
  • Unincorporated Pop. (% of county pop.): 1,810 (23%)

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

  • Agriculture: 78%
    • By method: Dryland (row crop/grain/forage) (62%); Pasture (pure grassland) (12%); Irrigated (row crop/grain/forage) (3%) • Neb. Dept. of Rev. - total equals agriculture's %
    • By commodity: Corn 33%, Soybeans 33%, Livestock (grassland) 16%, Other Hay 1%, Alfalfa 1% • USDA - equals agriculture's % plus some wetlands (2%) and minus public grassland/wetlands and reserve
  • Residential, Commercial, Industrial, Conservation Reserve & Exempt (combined): 13%
  • Timber: 9%

County Offices

Courthouse Address and Hours:

1700 Stone Street
Falls City, Nebraska 68355
M-F 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

County Board Chairperson: John Caverzagie

Complete list of county board members

County Board Meetings: Wednesday

View the County's Government Maps

Visit the County Fairgrounds

NACO District: Southeast

President: Misty Ahmic, Seward County Commissioner

Vice President: Patty McEvoy, Saunders County Clerk of the District Court

Secretary/Treasurer: Amber Mulberry, Saline County Clerk of the District Court

NACO Board Representative: Mark Schoenrock, Jefferson County Commissioner

Click for a live look at Richardson County (south of Dawson)


Population: 7,871
Land area (sq. mi.): 551.84
Population per square mile: 14.3

Race and Age


White: 90.2%
African American: 0.2%
American Indian: 2.8%
Asian: 0.4%
Hispanic: 2.0%
Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander: 0.0%
Two or More Races: 4.3%


0-17: 22.0%
18-64: 53.7%
65+: 24.3%


Personal income per capita: $60,001
% of Population in Poverty: 9.5%
# of Housing Units: 4,083
Owner-occupied rate: 75.9%
Median home price: $87,050


Access to broadband (100 Mbps via fiber or cable modem): 89.9%

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: 93.0%

School Districts: Auburn Public Schools, Falls City Public Schools, Humboldt Table Rock Steinauer, Johnson-Brock Public Schools, Pawnee City Public Schools

Bachelor's degree or higher: 18.8%

Community College Service Area: Southeast Community College

Countywide child care capacity: 15 providers; 253 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.

Richardson County Economy

Annual Gross Domestic Product (2020): $357,205,000

Cattle Producers: 218

  • Pastureland Cash Rent (avg.): $47/acre

Crop Producers: 49

  • Dryland Cash Rent (avg.): $200/acre

Dairy Producers: 3

Grain Co-ops and Purchasers: Ag Partners, Farmers Union Coop

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

Farmers Market: Falls City Farmers Market (May - September, Thursdays 4:00 - 6:00 p.m.)

Oil Wells Producing (barrels of oil/yr): 90 wells (65,000 barrels)

Electricity Providers: Auburn Board of Public Works, City of Falls City, Nebraska PPD, Omaha PPD

Wind Turbines Operating (MW): 40 turbines (60,000 MW total)

Rail-served Communities: Dawson, Falls City, Humboldt, Preston, Rulo, Salem, Stella, Verdon

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

Total Irrigation/Livestock Wells: 108

Surface Water Diversions (Irrigation): 159

Click for real time:

Streamflow data on the Missouri River at Rulo

Streamflow data on the North Fork of the Big Nemaha River at Humboldt

Streamflow data on the Big Nemaha River at Falls 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: $0.3940 per $100 of taxable valuation

County property taxes levied: $5,744,708

Total local government property taxes levied: $22,395,126

Total countywide taxable valuation: $1,458,130,429

Federal PILT payment to Richardson County (FY2022): $1,210 regarding 412 federally-owned acres

Click here for all levy rates in Richardson 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: Julie Slama (District 1)

Standing Committees (click for scheduled committee hearings): 

Select Committees:

  • Reference

Special Committees: 

  • Executive Board of the Legislative Council

Map and statistics for Legislative District 1

Map of all districts in the Nebraska Unicameral Legislature

Richardson County History

Number of Registered Historic Places: 12

Year Authorized: 1854

Year Organized: 1855

Etymology: William Richardson (Nebraska Territory governor)

Richardson County was among the eight original counties to comprise the Nebraska Territory in 1854. Located along the Missouri River in the far southeast corner of the state, the county was officially organized the following year by the Territorial Legislature and named after William A. Richardson of Illinois, who would serve as Nebraska's fourth territorial governor in 1858.

In the early years the area of Richardson County included what is today Pawnee County. But public sentiment in the western part of the county began to develop about creating a separate unit of government, primarily because most the of county offices were held by men living in the eastern part of the county. In 1856 the area was divided into two counties.

Embedded deep in the history of Richardson County is the famous John Brown's Underground Railroad, a secret network of cooperation which aided slaves in reaching sanctuary in the free states and Canada. Several of the network's stations were set up in this area. Ann Dorrington was one of the area's residents who befriended those fleeing slavery. Her kindness and compassion led to her being known as "Mother" Dorrington.

Falls City would officially become the county seat in 1871, a full 16 years after the county was organized. This brought to an end a hotly-contested campaign that Falls City and Salem were embroiled in for more than a decade.

In 1872 a proposal to issue $25,000 in bonds to build a stone and brick courthouse did not meet with the approval of the county's voters. The following year the proposal was scaled back to $15,000 and this time it was successful. The courthouse that was built would stand until May 1919, when it was destroyed by fire.

The following July an election was held to levy five mills on the county's valuation for the purpose of building a new courthouse. Although voters approved the levy, construction on the present courthouse did not begin until 1924.

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Local Highlights

License Plate Number: 19

Time Zone: Central

Number of Veterans: 676

Zoned County: No

Number of County-Owned Bridges: 201

Number of County-Owned Dams: 1

Election Data

General Election Turnout (2022): 56.54%

Total Registered Voters (2020): 5,571

Number of Precincts (2020): 15

Number of Election Day Polling Places (2020): 8

Land Area per Polling Place (avg.) (2020): 68.98 sq. miles

Intergovernmental Data

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

Natural Resource District: Nemaha NRD

State Lands (acres): Four-Mile Creek WMA (108.80), Indian Cave State Park (3,399.70), Kinter's Ford WMA (199.06), Margrave WMA (106.09), South Fork WMA (277.53), Thomas C. Matter WMA (145), Verdon SRA (74.66)

Federal Lands (acres): Cottier Bend (388)

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)