Kearney, Nebraska
The Great Platte River Road Archway Monument, which spans Interstate 80
Location of Kearney within Nebraska and Buffalo County
Location of Kearney within Nebraska and Buffalo County
Coordinates: 40°42′06″N 99°04′57″W / 40.70167°N 99.08250°W / 40.70167; -99.08250
CountryUnited States
StateNebraska
CountyBuffalo
Government
 • TypeCouncil–manager[1]
 • MayorStan Clouse
Area
 • Total15.15 sq mi (39.25 km2)
 • Land14.88 sq mi (38.53 km2)
 • Water0.28 sq mi (0.72 km2)
Elevation2,152 ft (656 m)
Population
 (2020)
 • Total33,790
 • Density2,271.29/sq mi (876.95/km2)
Time zoneUTC−6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC−5 (CDT)
ZIP codes
68845, 68847, 68848 (P.O. Box), 68849 UNK
Area code308
FIPS code31-25055
GNIS feature ID838076[3]
Websitewww.cityofkearney.org

Kearney (/ˈkɑːrni/ KARR-nee)[4] is the county seat of Buffalo County, Nebraska, United States.[5] The population was 33,790 in the 2020 census, making it the 5th most populous city in Nebraska.[6] It is home to the University of Nebraska at Kearney. The westward push of the railroad as the Civil War ended gave new birth to the community.[7]

History

Three streets stretch off into the distance, with old style buildings, in 1907
Panorama c. 1909
Parade of U.S. Infantry through Kearney, Nebraska (1888).
Streets of Kearney, Nebraska showing houses and one person, c. 1907
Aerial view of Kearney in 1925

In the late 1840s, American settlers traveling westward arrived in significant numbers along the Mormon Trail and Overland Trails. This marked the beginning of Kearney's role as a crossroads on major east-west transportation arteries. In 1848, to safeguard westward migrants traveling through the region, the US Army established a military fort several miles southeast of the present city. Named after famed frontier military officer Stephen W. Kearny, Fort Kearny would become the namesake of the present city and serve as a stopping-point for gold prospectors, Pony Express riders, and Union Pacific Railroad workers until 1871.[8]

The first permanent settlement in the area was called Dobytown, located 2 miles (3.2 km) southeast of the present-day Kearney. The "e" in Kearney was added by mistake sometime afterwards by postmen who consistently misspelled the town name; eventually the spelling became nomenclature.[9] [10] The region expanded in 1866 with the arrival of the Union Pacific Railroad. The fixing of a junction point with the Burlington & Missouri River Railroad in 1871 anticipated the establishment of a townsite in the summer of that year. The city of Kearney was incorporated on December 3, 1873, the townsite being fixed a mille north of the Platte River. In 1874, Kearney was chosen to be the seat of Buffalo County, experiencing great population, economic, and infrastructural expansion in subsequent years that transformed the nascent city into the local business, education, and transportation center it remains to this day. This boom would be sustained through the next twenty-years, fueled by a post-Civil War period of frenzied economic expansion and wealth generation (Gilded Age) that was transforming the whole nation. Enterprising investors poured into the burgeoning community from the East and elsewhere, hoping to enrich themselves through ambitious speculative development schemes that, more often than not, turned out to be ill-conceived and economically unsustainable. An irrigation canal, electric street railway, and a five-story opera house were some of the projects to ultimately make it off the drawing board. These flush times would grind to a sudden halt as a result of the agricultural depression and economic crisis of the early 1890s.[11]

In 1912, the Catholic diocese of Kearney was centered here. The diocese was suppressed in 1917, with the creation of the diocese of Grand Island.[12][13] In 1997, the historical diocese of Kearney began to be used as a titular see by the Catholic Church.[14]

Geography

Kearney is located on I-80 with access to the major markets of Omaha-Lincoln, Denver, Kansas City, Des Moines, Wichita and Cheyenne, Kearney is at the center of a seven-state region and 20 million people.[15]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 13.00 square miles (33.67 km2), of which 12.77 square miles (33.07 km2) is land and 0.23 square miles (0.60 km2) is water.[16]

Climate

Climate data for Kearney 4 NE, Nebraska (1991–2020 normals, extremes 1901–present)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 77
(25)
79
(26)
94
(34)
100
(38)
103
(39)
108
(42)
114
(46)
111
(44)
108
(42)
95
(35)
83
(28)
77
(25)
114
(46)
Mean maximum °F (°C) 59.6
(15.3)
65.4
(18.6)
77.4
(25.2)
85.1
(29.5)
90.8
(32.7)
95.8
(35.4)
98.5
(36.9)
96.0
(35.6)
93.1
(33.9)
86.8
(30.4)
74.0
(23.3)
61.1
(16.2)
99.3
(37.4)
Mean daily maximum °F (°C) 35.9
(2.2)
39.7
(4.3)
51.4
(10.8)
61.6
(16.4)
71.5
(21.9)
82.3
(27.9)
86.6
(30.3)
84.4
(29.1)
77.9
(25.5)
64.9
(18.3)
50.5
(10.3)
38.2
(3.4)
62.1
(16.7)
Daily mean °F (°C) 24.8
(−4.0)
28.1
(−2.2)
38.3
(3.5)
48.6
(9.2)
59.5
(15.3)
70.4
(21.3)
74.8
(23.8)
72.6
(22.6)
64.5
(18.1)
51.3
(10.7)
37.9
(3.3)
27.4
(−2.6)
49.8
(9.9)
Mean daily minimum °F (°C) 13.8
(−10.1)
16.5
(−8.6)
25.2
(−3.8)
35.6
(2.0)
47.4
(8.6)
58.5
(14.7)
63.0
(17.2)
60.9
(16.1)
51.1
(10.6)
37.8
(3.2)
25.3
(−3.7)
16.6
(−8.6)
37.6
(3.1)
Mean minimum °F (°C) −7.1
(−21.7)
−3.0
(−19.4)
6.5
(−14.2)
21.1
(−6.1)
33.0
(0.6)
46.2
(7.9)
52.8
(11.6)
50.1
(10.1)
36.6
(2.6)
21.3
(−5.9)
8.7
(−12.9)
−2.2
(−19.0)
−11.6
(−24.2)
Record low °F (°C) −28
(−33)
−28
(−33)
−21
(−29)
0
(−18)
19
(−7)
35
(2)
42
(6)
37
(3)
19
(−7)
6
(−14)
−13
(−25)
−30
(−34)
−30
(−34)
Average precipitation inches (mm) 0.51
(13)
0.59
(15)
1.46
(37)
2.68
(68)
4.40
(112)
3.90
(99)
3.36
(85)
3.01
(76)
1.84
(47)
2.13
(54)
1.00
(25)
0.68
(17)
25.56
(649)
Average snowfall inches (cm) 3.7
(9.4)
5.6
(14)
3.5
(8.9)
1.9
(4.8)
0.1
(0.25)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.8
(2.0)
2.8
(7.1)
3.4
(8.6)
21.8
(55)
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in) 3.8 4.5 5.9 8.5 11.7 9.6 8.8 8.4 6.5 6.6 4.2 3.5 82.0
Average snowy days (≥ 0.1 in) 2.7 3.4 1.8 0.9 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.5 1.3 2.4 13.0
Source: NOAA[17][18]

Demographics

Historical population
CensusPop.Note
18801,782
18908,074353.1%
19005,634−30.2%
19106,20210.1%
19207,70224.2%
19308,57511.3%
19409,64312.5%
195012,11525.6%
196014,21017.3%
197019,18135.0%
198021,15810.3%
199024,39615.3%
200027,43112.4%
201030,78712.2%
202033,7909.8%
U.S. Decennial Census[19]
2018 Estimate[20]

Kearney is the principal city of the Kearney, Nebraska Micropolitan Statistical Area, which consists of Buffalo and Kearney counties.

2020 census

The 2020 United States census[21] counted 33,790 people, 13,361 households, and 7,772 families in Kearney. The population density was 2,270.8 per square mile (877.0/km2). There were 14,370 housing units at an average density of 965.7 per square mile (373.0/km2). The racial makeup was 85.04% (28,734) white, 1.63% (551) black or African-American, 0.58% (196) Native American, 1.88% (634) Asian, 0.09% (30) Pacific Islander, 4.63% (1,563) from other races, and 6.16% (2,082) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race was 9.0% (3,200) of the population.

Of the 13,361 households, 26.6% had children under the age of 18; 44.2% were married couples living together; 29.2% had a female householder with no husband present. 32.3% of households consisted of individuals and 12.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.4 and the average family size was 2.9.

20.9% of the population was under the age of 18, 19.4% from 18 to 24, 25.6% from 25 to 44, 19.3% from 45 to 64, and 14.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32.1 years. For every 100 females, the population had 97.2 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and older, there were 94.1 males.

The 2016-2020 5-year American Community Survey[22] estimates show that the median household income was $60,755 (with a margin of error of +/- $4,444) and the median family income $85,444 (+/- $4,564). Males had a median income of $36,227 (+/- $3,446) versus $23,904 (+/- $2,231) for females. The median income for those above 16 years old was $29,317 (+/- $3,191). Approximately, 7.5% of families and 14.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.6% of those under the age of 18 and 10.1% of those ages 65 or over.

2010 census

As of the census[23] of 2010, there were 30,787 people, 12,201 households, and 7,015 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,410.9 inhabitants per square mile (930.9/km2). There were 12,738 housing units at an average density of 997.5 per square mile (385.1/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 92.3% White, 1.0% African American, 0.3% Native American, 1.8% Asian, 3.1% from other races, and 1.4% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 7.3% of the population.

There were 12,201 households, of which 29.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.7% were married couples living together, 9.9% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.0% had a male householder with no wife present, and 42.5% were non-families. 30.4% of all households were made up of individuals, and 9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.36 and the average family size was 2.96 .

The median age in the city was 29 years. 22.2% of residents were under age 18; 20.5% were between ages 18 and 24; 25.6% were aged 25 to 44; 20.6% were aged 45 to 64; and 11.1% were aged 65 years or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.9% male and 51.1% female.

2000 census

As of the census of 2000, there were 29,952 people, 10,549 households, and 6,160 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,498.5 inhabitants per square mile (964.7/km2). There were 11,099 housing units at an average density of 1,010.9 per square mile (390.3/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 95.18% White, 0.63% African American, 0.38% Native American, 0.92% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 1.68% from other races, and 1.17% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.08% of the population.

There were 10,549 households, out of which 30.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.7% were married couples living together, 9.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 41.6% were non-families. 28.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 9.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.37 and the average family size was 2.96 .

In the city, the population was spread out, with 22.2% under age 18, 23.9% from 18 to 24, 26.2% from 25 to 44, 17.1% from 45 to 64, and 10.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 27 years. For every 100 females, there were 92.6 males. For every 100 females aged 18 and over, there were 89.7 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $34,829, and the median income for a family was $46,650. Males had a median income of $30,150 versus $22,366 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,713. About 7.4% of families and 13.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.8% of those under age 18 and 8.9% of those age 65 or over.

Economy

Companies headquartered in Kearney include Citizens Telecommunications Company of Nebraska and The Buckle.

According to Buffalo County Economic Development,[24] the top non-manufacturing employers in the city are:

Top non-manufacturing employers
# Employer Employees
1 Good Samaritan Hospital 1,000+
2 University of Nebraska at Kearney 1,000+
3 Kearney Public Schools 750-1,000
4 Buckle (clothing retailer) 750–1,000
5 Kearney Regional Medical Center 500–750
6 HyVee 500–750
7 Cash-Wa 500-750
8 Walmart 250–500
9 Cabelas 250–500

The top manufacturing employers are:

Top manufacturing employers
# Employer Employees
1 Baldwin Filters 1,000+
2 Eaton 500-700
3 West Pharmaceutical Services 250–500
4 Chief Industries 100–250
5 BluePrint Engines 100–250
6 Morris Printing Group 100–250

Arts and culture

Kearney is home to several museums, many of which reflect its location on the California, Mormon, Oregon, and Pony Express trails, and the Lincoln Highway.

Sports

Government

The council-manager form is used in Kearney. The City Council makes legislative and policy-making decisions. There are five members elected citywide to serve four-year terms which are staggered. The council manager form of government was adopted in 1950. Michael W. Morgan currently serves as city manager.[citation needed]

The council appoints a city manager to implement policies, prepare a budget, appoints department heads, and recommends areas that the council needs to attend. There are five members elected citywide serving staggered four-year terms. One member of the City Council is chosen by the council to be Mayor. Stanley Clouse is the Mayor.[34][35]

Education

Primary and secondary schools

Post-Secondary Schools

Media

Main article: Media in Kearney, Nebraska

Newspaper
Radio
Television

Transportation

The city operates Kearney Regional Airport[39] located east of the city. Commercial air service is available via United Express with twice-daily service to Denver International Airport, as well as a daily non-stop flight to O'Hare Airport in Chicago, IL. The Union Pacific Railroad east-west main line runs through Kearney. Greyhound Bus Lines stops to pick up or discharge passengers in Kearney at 112 W. Talmadge Rd.

Notable people

In popular culture

References

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  2. ^ "ArcGIS REST Services Directory". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 18, 2022.
  3. ^ a b U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Kearney, Nebraska
  4. ^ "Nebraska Pronunciation Guide". Associated Press. Archived from the original on March 12, 2010. Retrieved January 28, 2010.
  5. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  6. ^ Giboney, Sara (March 14, 2011). "Indeed, yes: UNK students counted as Kearneyites in the census". kearneyhub.com. Local news.
  7. ^ "About Kearney". Kearney, Nebraska: Kearney Visitors Bureau.
  8. ^ "Fort Kearny State Historical Park". Nebraska Game and Parks. October 30, 2015. Retrieved March 6, 2022.
  9. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. U.S. Government Printing Office. p. 172.
  10. ^ Ellis, Mark (2006). Kearney. Arcadia Publishing. p. 7. ISBN 9780738541280.
  11. ^ "Historic Kearney". History Nebraska. Retrieved March 6, 2022.
  12. ^ "Diocese of Grand Island". Catholic-Hierarchy.org. David M. Cheney. February 13, 2024. Retrieved April 12, 2024.
  13. ^ "Diocese of Grand Island". GCatholic.org. Gabriel Chow. Retrieved June 4, 2013.
  14. ^ "Kearney (Titular See)". Catholic-Hierarchy.org. David M. Cheney. February 13, 2024. Retrieved April 12, 2024.
  15. ^ Buffalo County Economic Development[full citation needed]
  16. ^ "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on July 2, 2012. Retrieved June 24, 2012.
  17. ^ "NOWData - NOAA Online Weather Data". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved January 13, 2022.
  18. ^ "Station: Kearney 4 NE, NE". U.S. Climate Normals 2020: U.S. Monthly Climate Normals (1991–2020). National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved January 13, 2022.
  19. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 22, 2013.
  20. ^ "Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. 2018. Retrieved June 8, 2018.
  21. ^ "Explore Census Data". data.census.gov. Retrieved December 18, 2023.
  22. ^ "Explore Census Data". data.census.gov. Retrieved December 18, 2023.
  23. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 24, 2012.
  24. ^ Community Profile (PDF). www.ci.kearney.ne.us (Report). Buffalo County Economic Development Council. Archived (PDF) from the original on March 4, 2017. Retrieved March 6, 2022.
  25. ^ "Historical". visitkearney.org. Archived from the original on December 10, 2011. Retrieved January 24, 2012.
  26. ^ "Clinton to visit Nebraska ... finally". abcnews.go.com. ABC News.
  27. ^ "The Archway (Great Platte River Road Archway Monument)". roadsideamerica.com. Field review by RoadsideAmerica.com. Kearney, Nebraska. story 9790.
  28. ^ "Museum of Nebraska Art / MONA". Archived from the original on December 10, 2011. Retrieved January 24, 2012.
  29. ^ "Merryman". kearneypublic.org (blog). Archived from the original on January 21, 2012.
  30. ^ "About us / Our facility". kearneyevents.com. Archived from the original on January 13, 2012. Retrieved January 24, 2012.
  31. ^ "Shrine Bowl coming to Kearney". kearneyhub.com. Local sports. November 19, 2012.
  32. ^ "Bar or nightlife". Archived from the original on December 10, 2011. Retrieved January 24, 2012.
  33. ^ "About Us". Classic Car Collection. Retrieved August 24, 2016.
  34. ^ The Kearney Connection (PDF) (Report). August 2008. Archived (PDF) from the original on July 25, 2011. Retrieved August 13, 2009.
  35. ^ "Form of Government". City of Kearney. Retrieved August 13, 2009.
  36. ^ "District Snapshot". kearneypublicschools.org. Kearney, NE: Kearney Public Schools. Archived from the original on July 26, 2011. Retrieved November 5, 2009.
  37. ^ "About YRTC—Kearney". Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. Archived from the original on July 18, 2011. Retrieved November 6, 2009.
  38. ^ "Kearney Center". cccneb.edu. Nebraska: Central Community College.
  39. ^ "Airport". cityofkearney.org. official website. City of Kearney, NE.
  40. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (June 24, 2021). "'The Blacklist' Creator Jon Bokenkamp Exits NBC Series After 8 Seasons". Deadline. Retrieved November 9, 2022.
  41. ^ "Kyle Larson Stats, Height, Weight, Position, Draft, College". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved November 14, 2022.
  42. ^ "Brett Maher Stats, Height, Weight, Position, Draft, College". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved November 14, 2022.
  43. ^ Schmidt, Kim (October 2, 2011). ""Dexter" producer, a Kearney native, says episode will be set in Nebraska". Lexch.com.
  44. ^ Korbeik, Jeff (September 26, 2011). "In new season, 'Dexter' takes a closer look at its Nebraska roots". Lincoln Journal Star.
  45. ^ "The Echo Maker". Goodreads. Retrieved December 11, 2023.