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Nebraska Counties Explorer

Wheeler County

Communities and Development

Wheeler County Seat: Bartlett

Total County Population (2020): 774

  • Villages (pop.): Bartlett (109), Ericson (89)
  • Unincorporated Pop. (% of county pop.): 576 (74%)

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

  • Agriculture: 95%
    • By method: Pasture (pure grassland) (77%); Irrigated (row crop/grain/forage) (17%); Dryland (row crop/grain/forage) (1%) • Neb. Dept. of Rev. - total equals agriculture's %
    • By commodity: Livestock (grassland) 74%, Corn 10%, Soybeans 6%, Alfalfa 1% • USDA - equals agriculture's % plus some wetlands (5%) and minus public grassland/wetlands and reserve
  • Residential, Commercial, Industrial, Conservation Reserve & Exempt (combined): 5%

County Offices

Courthouse Address and Hours:

301 3rd St
Bartlett NE 68622
M-F 9:00 am - 5:00 pm (closed over noon hour)

County Board Chairperson: Travis Heinz

Complete list of county board members

County Board Meetings: Last Wednesday

View the County's Government Maps

Visit the County Fairgrounds

NACO District: Central

District President: Carrie Miller, Nuckolls County Clerk, Register of Deeds, Election Commissioner

District Vice President: Kali Bolli, Garfield County Assessor 

District Secretary/Treasurer: Cara Snider Wheeler County Clerk

NACO Board Representatives: Bill Maendele, Buffalo County Commissioner

Click for a live look at Wheeler County (south of Barlett)


Population: 774
Land area (sq. mi.): 575.18
Population per square mile: 1.3

Race and Age


White: 95.1%
African American: 0.0%
American Indian: 0.3%
Asian: 0.0%
Hispanic: 2.6%
Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander: 0.0%
Two or More Races: 1.9%


0-17: 21.9%
18-64: 49.7%
65+: 28.4%


Personal income per capita: $83,722
% of Population in Poverty: 12.4%
# of Housing Units: 503
Owner-occupied rate: 73.2%
Median home price: $114,450


Access to broadband (100 Mbps via fiber or cable modem): 65.8%

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

Employment, Education, and Child Care

Unemployment rate: 1.4% (as of September 2022)

County Employment Website:

High school graduate or higher: 95.6%

School Districts: Chambers Public Schools, Elgin Public Schools, Riverside Public Schools, Wheeler Central Schools

Bachelor's degree or higher: 25.1%

Community College Service Area: Northeast Community College

Countywide child care capacity: 2 providers; 24 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.

Wheeler County Economy

Annual Gross Domestic Product (2020): $73,454,000

Cattle Producers: 132

  • Pastureland Cash Rent (avg.): $34/acre

Crop Producers: 78

  • Dryland Cash Rent (avg.): $85/acre
  • Irrigated Land Cash Rent (avg.): $253/acre

Grain Co-ops and Purchasers: Country Partners Cooperative

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

Electricity Providers: Elkhorn Rural PPD, Loup Valleys Rural PPD, Niobrara Valley Electric Member Corp.

Wind Turbines Operating (MW): 29 turbines (80,220 MW total)

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

Total Irrigation/Livestock Wells: 907

Surface Water Diversions (Irrigation): 9

Click for real time:

Groundwater level data near 836th Rd. & 501 Ave. (6.5 mi. northeast of Bartett)

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: $0.2748 per $100 of taxable valuation

County property taxes levied: $1,756,783

Total local government property taxes levied: $6,587,214

Total countywide taxable valuation: $639,247,288

Click here for all levy rates in Wheeler County

County Levy and Taxation Laws

Levy limits

Since 1996, counties and other political subdivisions have been subject to levy limits under 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: Tom Briese (District 41)

Standing Committees (click for scheduled committee hearings): 

Special Committees: 

  • Executive Board of the Legislative Council (chairperson)
  • Reference (chairperson)
  • Legislative Performance Audit
  • Legislature's Planning

Map and statistics for Legislative District 41

Map of all districts in the Nebraska Unicameral Legislature

Wheeler County History

Number of Registered Historic Places: 2

Year Authorized: 1877

Year Organized: 1881

Etymology: Daniel Wheeler (Nebraska State Board of Agriculture Secretary)

On Feb. 17, 1877, the boundaries of Wheeler County were established by the Legislature and named the new county in honor of Maj. Daniel H. Wheeler, a long-time secretary of the Nebraska State Board of Agriculture. It would be four years later, however, that the county would officially organize.

Gov. Albinus Nance appointed a special board of commissioners and a county clerk who would be responsible for the organization efforts. At the time the county was being organized it included the area that is today neighboring Garfield County to the west. The commissioners agreed to meet at a county seat known as Cedar City because it was a central location. Cedar City, so named because three large cedar trees stood there, was located approximately six miles north of the present town of Ericson.

In 1881 residents in the western half of the county proposed their area should become a separate county and in November of that year Wheeler County was divided.

The question of where Wheeler County should locate its government offices became an important topic in 1885. Cumminsville, the first townsite in the county, sought the honor. So too did an area just south of where Bartlett is located today. The Bartlett site offered several incentives, including land on which to build a courthouse. After two special elections, Bartlett was selected over Cumminsville by a vote of 193 to 90.

A modest courthouse was soon built in Bartlett. A fire-proof brick vault was built in Ericson to hold valuable county records. This decision proved to be wise, as in 1909 the courthouse was destroyed by fire. Ericson made an effort to relocate the county seat there. But in a special election, voters rejected the idea and instead approved a $5,000 expenditure to replace the courthouse. This structure was completed in 1920.

In 1976 the courthouse building was condemned by the State Fire Marshal. Concerned citizens began efforts to replace it. After more than six years of study, the present courthouse was completed in May 1982.

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Local Highlights

License Plate Number: 84

Time Zone: Central

Zoned County: Yes

Number of Veterans: 33

Number of County-Owned Bridges: 9

Election Data

General Election Turnout (2022): 61.99%

Total Registered Voters (2020): 613

Number of Precincts (2020): 2

Number of Election Day Polling Places (2020): 2

Land Area per Polling Place (avg.) (2020): 287.59 sq. miles

Intergovernmental Data

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)