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Nebraska Counties Explorer

Seward County

Communities & Development

Seward County Seat: Seward

Total County Population (2020): 17,609

  • Cities (pop. & class): Milford (2,155 • 2nd Class), Seward (7,643 • 1st Class)
  • Villages (pop.): Beaver Crossing (375), Bee (171), Cordova (92), Garland (210), Goehner (181), Pleasant Dale (218), Staplehurst (236), Utica (840)
  • Unincorporated Pop. (% of county pop.): 5,488 (31%)

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

  • Agriculture: 83%
    • By method: Irrigated (row crop/grain/forage) (40%); Dryland (row crop/grain/forage) (32%); Pasture (pure grassland) (12%) • Neb. Dept. of Rev. - total equals agriculture's %
    • By commodity: Corn 40%, Soybeans 32%, Livestock (grassland) 13%, Alfalfa 1%, Other Hay 1% • USDA - equals agriculture's % plus some wetlands (1%) and minus public grassland/wetlands and reserve
  • Residential, Commercial, Industrial, Conservation Reserve & Exempt (combined): 16%
  • Timber: 1%

County Offices

Courthouse Address and Hours:

529 Seward Street
Seward, Nebraska 68434
M-F 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

County Board Chairperson: Misty Ahmic

Complete list of county board members

County Board Meetings: Tuesday

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 Seward County (north of Pleasant Dale)


Population: 17,609
Land area (sq. mi.): 571.43
Population per square mile: 30.8

Race & Age


White: 93.0%
African American: 0.6%
American Indian: 0.2%
Asian: 0.3%
Hispanic: 2.8%
Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander: 0.0%
Two or More Races: 2.7%


0-17: 23.5%
18-64: 58.8%
65+: 17.7%


Personal income per capita: $58,829
% of Population in Poverty: 6.8%
# of Housing Units: 7,061
Owner-occupied rate: 74.4%
Median home price: $211,490


Access to broadband (100 Mbps via fiber or cable modem): 74.0%

Seward County Historical Populations

Seward County 2020   2010   2000   1990   1980   1970   1960
Incorporated 12,121   9,054   7,527   3,639   2,700   2,681   2,657
Unincorporated 5,488   7,696   3,357   3,794   4,105   4,602   5,648
Total 17,609   16,750   16,496   15,450   15,789   14,460   13,581
Milford (city) 2,155   2,090   2,070   1,886   2,108   846   1,462
Seward (city) 7,643   6,964   6,319   5,641   5,713   5,294   4,208
Beaver Crossing (village) 375   403   457   448   458   400   439
Bee (village) 171   191   223   209   192   156   149
Cordova (village) 92   137   127   147   129   141   152
Garland (village) 210   216   247   247   257   244   198
Goehner (village) 181   154   186   192   165   113   106
Pleasant Dale (village) 218   205   245   253   259   258   190
Staplehurst (village) 236   242   270   281   306   227   240
Tamora (village) -   -   -   -   50   93   88
Utica (village) 840   861   718   364   689   602   564
Townships (also includes village populations)
Precinct A 404   325           -        
Precinct B 401   420           468        
Precinct C 476   491           645        
Precinct D 126   156           208        
Precinct E 1,014   1,020           894        
Precinct F 304   284           399        
Precinct G 446   475           497        
Precinct H 860   781           822        
Precinct I 753   708           624        
Precinct J 338   391           497        
Precinct K 408   367           451        
Precinct L 193   181           900        
Precinct M 689   768           268        
Precinct N 261   260           308        
Precinct O 2,805   2,686           2,650        
Precinct P 488   473           445        

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

Employment, Schools, and Child Care

Unemployment rate: 1.8% (as of September 2022)

County Employment Website:

High school graduate or higher: 94.7%

School Districts: Centennial Public Schools, Crete Public Schools, David City Public Schools, Dorchester Public Schools, East Butler Public Schools, Exeter-Milligan Public Schools, Friend Public Schools, Malcolm Public Schools, Milford Public Schools, Raymond Central Public Schools

Bachelor's degree or higher: 30.7%

Community College Service Area: Southeast Community College

Countywide child care capacity: 27 providers; 904 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.

Seward County Economy

Annual Gross Domestic Product (2020): $745,294,000

Cattle Producers: 245

  • Pastureland Cash Rent (avg.): $49/acre

Crop Producers: 235

  • Dryland Cash Rent (avg.): $186/acre
  • Irrigated Land Cash Rent (avg.): $293/acre

Dairy Producers: 5

Farmers Market: Seward Farmers Market (May - October, Wednesdays s and Saturdays 5:00 - 7:00 PM and Saturdays, 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM)

Grain Co-ops and Purchasers: Farmers Union Co-op

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

Electricity Providers: City of Seward, Nebraska PPD, Norris PPD, Perennial PPD

Wind Turbines Operating (MW): 1 turbine (1,700 MW total)

Rail-served Communities: Milford, Pleasant, Staplehurst, Tamora, Utica

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

Total Irrigation/Livestock Wells: 1,556

Surface Water Diversions (Irrigation): 349

Click for real time:

Streamflow data on the West Fork of the Big Blue River near Dorchester

Click the section numbers in the grid below the map for annual groundwater levels.

Note: Geocodes in the map's squares are in the grid next to Township & Range (T&R).

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: $0.2943 per $100 of taxable valuation

County property taxes levied: $9,916,048

Total local government property taxes levied: $48,050,758

Total countywide taxable valuation: $3,369,187,368

Federal PILT payment to Seward County (FY2022): $2,007 regarding 683 federally-owned acres

Click here for all levy rates in Seward County

Agricultural Land Valuation Market Areas

Commercial Land Valuation Groups

Residential Land Valuation Groups

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: Jana Hughes (District 24)

Standing Committees (click for scheduled committee hearings): 

Select Committees:

  • LR135 Select Interim Committee

Special Committees: 

  • Building Maintenance

Map and statistics for Legislative District 24

Map of all districts in the Nebraska Unicameral Legislature

Seward County History

Number of Registered Historic Places: 9

Year Authorized: 1855

Year Organized: 1865

Etymology: William Seward (U.S. secretary of state)

The boundaries of what today is Seward County were defined by the Territorial Legislature on Jan. 26, 1856. The original name given to the county was Greene, after a Gen. Greene of Missouri. But when the Civil War broke out Gen. Greene joined the Confederacy so on Jan. 3, 1862, members of the Territorial Legislature voted to rename the county in honor of William A. Seward, Secretary of State under President Abraham Lincoln.

County organization began in 1865, but it was not until 1871 that a county seat was selected. The townsites of Seward, Milford and Camden each sought this honor. As can best be determined, the "election" that followed was simply a matter of "Seward, yea or nay." To quell any objections to the "election," a frame building was quickly put up to serve as a courthouse.

A unique part of Seward County's history was the development of the present courthouse and the benefactors who contributed to it.

As the number of county records accumulated, it became apparent that a larger fireproof building was needed. Several times between 1879 and 1900 the idea was proposed, but each time it failed due to the anticipated cost. In 1900, Lewis Moffitt, who owned the land on which the city of Seward is located, died. Moffitt's will stated that upon the death of his wife, Mary, his land should be sold and the money be used to build a courthouse and jail at a cost of not less than $100,000.

By 1904 a campaign was well under way to build the courthouse that Moffitt had envisioned. On Sept. 20, 1905, the cornerstone was laid amid a festive celebration that attracted what was estimated at between 8,000 and 10,000 people. As construction progressed there were numerous suggestions on how the county could show its appreciation to the Moffitts. Some even suggested renaming the county in their honor. It was ultimately decided that a plaque honoring the Moffitts be installed inside the courthouse. In 1980 the impressive building and tree-lined courthouse square that were the result of Moffitt's early vision celebrated its 75th anniversary.

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Local Highlights

License Plate Number: 16

Time Zone: Central

Number of Veterans: 1,030

Zoned County: Yes

Number of County-Owned Bridges: 183

Number of County-Owned Dams: 6

Election Data

General Election Turnout (2022): 59.52%

Total Registered Voters (2020): 11,564

Number of Precincts (2020): 16

Number of Election Day Polling Places (2020): 11

Land Area per Polling Place (2020): 51.95 sq. miles

Intergovernmental Data

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

Natural Resources Districts: Lower Platte South NRD, Upper Big Blue NRD

State Lands (acres): Blue River Rest Area EB (17.3), Blue River SRA (14), Branched Oak WMA (2,865.56 Lancaster & Seward), Burr Oak WMA (138.50), Goehner Rest Area WB (9.3), Oak Glen WMA (632.58), North Lake Basin WMA (364), Panhandle Research, Extension and Education Center (156), Shypoke WMA (160), Straight Water WMA (240), Twin Lakes WMA (1,270)

Federal Lands (acres): Freeman Lakes WPA (350 Seward & York), Tamora WPA (283.38)

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)