Washington County
Washington County Courthouse in Blair
Washington County Courthouse in Blair
Map of Nebraska highlighting Washington County
Location within the U.S. state of Nebraska
Map of the United States highlighting Nebraska
Nebraska's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 41°32′N 96°13′W / 41.53°N 96.22°W / 41.53; -96.22
Country United States
State Nebraska
Founded1854 (created)
1855 (reorganized)
Named forGeorge Washington[1]
SeatBlair
Largest cityBlair
Area
 • Total393 sq mi (1,020 km2)
 • Land390 sq mi (1,000 km2)
 • Water3.2 sq mi (8 km2)  0.8%%
Population
 • Estimate 
(2018)
20,667
 • Density53/sq mi (20/km2)
Time zoneUTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district1st
Websitewww.co.washington.ne.us

Washington County is a county in the U.S. state of Nebraska. As of the 2010 United States Census, the population was 20,234.[2] Its county seat is Blair.[3]

Washington County is part of the Omaha-Council Bluffs, NE-IA Metropolitan Statistical Area.[4]

In the Nebraska license plate system, Washington County is represented by the prefix 29 (it had the 29th-largest number of vehicles registered in the county when the license plate system was established in 1922).

History

Washington County is in eastern Nebraska on the Missouri River. It was explored by Europeans as early as 1739 by Pierre Antoine and Paul Mallet,[5] who were on a trapping expedition to Canada. In 1804, Lewis and Clark reported the establishment of the new United States government to a council of Indian chiefs near the present site of Fort Calhoun. As a result of this Council, Fort Atkinson was established in 1819 and served as a key midwestern outpost until 1827.

The first permanent settlement in Washington County was in 1854. In that same year, the county was organized as one of the eight original counties proclaimed by acting Governor Thomas B. Cuming;[6] it was reorganized in 1855.[7][8][9] The county seat has been in three different towns: Fort Calhoun, DeSoto, and Blair, its present site since 1869.[10]

The Fort Calhoun Nuclear Generating Station south of Blair, which was North America's smallest commercial nuclear reactor by rated capacity, was closed in October 2016 to begin decommissioning.[11] An associated system of warning sirens was located in the southeastern part of the county for emergency notification in the event of a problem at the station.[12]

An Atlas missile launch site (Site B), formerly associated with Offutt Air Force Base and deactivated in the 1960s, lies east of Arlington.[13][14]

Geography

Washington County lies on the east side of Nebraska. Its east boundary line abuts the west boundary line of the state of Iowa, across the Missouri River. The Elkhorn River flows southeastward along the county's southwest border, and a smaller drainage, the Little Papillon River, flows southward through the center part of the county, discharging into Glenn Cunningham Reservoir south of the county. The county's terrain consists of low rolling hills sloping to the east, with several drainage channels eroded into its eastern portion sloping down to the river. The county's planar areas are largely devoted to agriculture.[15] The county has an area of 393 square miles (1,020 km2), of which 390 square miles (1,000 km2) is land and 3.2 square miles (8.3 km2) (0.8%) is water.[16] It is Nebraska's fifth-smallest county by area.

Adjacent counties

Protected areas

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
18601,249
18704,452256.4%
18808,63193.9%
189011,86937.5%
190013,08610.3%
191012,738−2.7%
192012,180−4.4%
193012,095−0.7%
194011,578−4.3%
195011,511−0.6%
196012,1035.1%
197013,31010.0%
198015,50816.5%
199016,6077.1%
200018,78013.1%
201020,2347.7%
202020,8653.1%
US Decennial Census[18]
1790-1960[19] 1900-1990[20]
1990-2000[21] 2010-2013[2]

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 20,234 people and 8,022 households in the county. The racial makeup of the county was 97.1% White, 0.8% Black or African American, 0.4% Native American, 0.4% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 1.2% from two or more races. 3.1% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 94.4% of the county was Non-Hispanic White.

As of the 2000 United States Census,[22] there were 18,780 people, 6,940 households, and 5,149 families in the county. The population density was 48 people per square mile (19/km2). There were 7,408 housing units at an average density of 19 per square mile (7/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 98.12% White, 0.34% Black or African American, 0.20% Native American, 0.29% Asian, 0.11% Pacific Islander, 0.30% from other races, and 0.63% from two or more races. 1.08% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 37.1% were of German, 11.9% Danish, 9.0% Irish, 7.8% American and 7.0% English ancestry.

There were 6,940 households, out of which 36.40% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 64.00% were married couples living together, 7.00% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.80% were non-families. 21.80% of all households were made up of individuals, and 10.10% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.63 and the average family size was 3.09.

The county population contained 27.10% under the age of 18, 9.30% from 18 to 24, 26.70% from 25 to 44, 24.10% from 45 to 64, and 12.90% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 98.70 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.20 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $48,500, and the median income for a family was $56,429. Males had a median income of $36,901 versus $25,893 for females. The per capita income for the county was $21,055. About 4.10% of families and 6.00% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.00% of those under age 18 and 7.50% of those age 65 or over.

Transportation

Major highways

Airports

Washington County contains Blair Municipal Airport, and several small privately owned grass airstrips, such as the Orum Aerodrome. There is also a helipad at the Memorial Community Hospital in Blair.

Communities

Washington County
Washington County

Cities

Villages

Census-designated place

Unincorporated communities

Townships

Politics

Washington County voters are reliably Republican. In only one national election since 1936 has the county selected the Democratic Party candidate (as of 2020).

United States presidential election results for Washington County, Nebraska[23]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 8,583 68.85% 3,554 28.51% 330 2.65%
2016 7,424 68.54% 2,623 24.22% 785 7.25%
2012 6,899 67.33% 3,132 30.57% 215 2.10%
2008 6,425 62.26% 3,711 35.96% 184 1.78%
2004 7,083 71.19% 2,754 27.68% 113 1.14%
2000 5,758 66.75% 2,550 29.56% 318 3.69%
1996 4,391 57.03% 2,248 29.19% 1,061 13.78%
1992 4,042 48.47% 2,116 25.37% 2,182 26.16%
1988 4,587 63.80% 2,567 35.70% 36 0.50%
1984 5,191 76.44% 1,565 23.05% 35 0.52%
1980 4,570 70.71% 1,454 22.50% 439 6.79%
1976 3,799 62.17% 2,233 36.54% 79 1.29%
1972 4,290 75.38% 1,401 24.62% 0 0.00%
1968 3,063 63.36% 1,279 26.46% 492 10.18%
1964 2,638 49.41% 2,701 50.59% 0 0.00%
1960 3,772 69.01% 1,694 30.99% 0 0.00%
1956 3,531 67.10% 1,731 32.90% 0 0.00%
1952 3,770 69.11% 1,685 30.89% 0 0.00%
1948 2,400 55.74% 1,906 44.26% 0 0.00%
1944 2,844 55.57% 2,274 44.43% 0 0.00%
1940 2,922 52.57% 2,636 47.43% 0 0.00%
1936 2,263 39.47% 3,426 59.75% 45 0.78%
1932 1,382 26.80% 3,709 71.92% 66 1.28%
1928 2,750 58.71% 1,912 40.82% 22 0.47%
1924 1,876 45.16% 1,231 29.63% 1,047 25.20%
1920 2,409 63.60% 1,295 34.19% 84 2.22%
1916 1,297 43.97% 1,555 52.71% 98 3.32%
1912 599 21.44% 1,180 42.23% 1,015 36.33%
1908 1,592 50.85% 1,460 46.63% 79 2.52%
1904 1,868 64.39% 795 27.40% 238 8.20%
1900 1,741 54.39% 1,412 44.11% 48 1.50%


See also

References

  1. ^ Chicago and North Western Railway Company (1908). A History of the Origin of the Place Names Connected with the Chicago & North Western and Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis & Omaha Railways. p. 136.
  2. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". US Census Bureau. Retrieved September 22, 2013.
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  4. ^ United States Office of Management and Budget. "Update of Statistical Area Definitions and Guidance on Their Uses" (PDF). pp. 5, 36. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 14, 2006. Retrieved July 21, 2006.
  5. ^ The Nebraska Blue Book and Historical Register. Legislative Reference Bureau. 1920. p. 13.
  6. ^ Johnson, Harrison (1880). Johnson's History of Nebraska. H. Gibson. p. 42.
  7. ^ Fitzpatrick, Lilian Linder (1925). Nebraska Place-Names. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Studies in Language, Literature, and Criticism. p. 142. Retrieved December 19, 2014.
  8. ^ Andreas, A. T. (1882). "Andreas' History of the State of Nebraska". The Kansas Collection. Archived from the original on May 7, 2003. Retrieved December 19, 2014.
  9. ^ "Washington County". Nebraska Association of County Officials. Retrieved December 19, 2014.
  10. ^ Buss, William Henry; Osterman, Thomas T. (1921). History of Dodge and Washington Counties, Nebraska, and Their People. American Historical Society. p. 323.
  11. ^ Fort Calhoun decommissioning is underway
  12. ^ Region 5/6 Newsletter
  13. ^ Military List (2008)
  14. ^ Atlas Missile Site B
  15. ^ Washington County NE Google Maps (accessed 24 January 2019)
  16. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". US Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Archived from the original on November 13, 2013. Retrieved December 12, 2014.
  17. ^ Neale Woods Nature Center Google Maps (accessed 24 January 2019)
  18. ^ "US Decennial Census". US Census Bureau. Retrieved December 12, 2014.
  19. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved December 12, 2014.
  20. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". US Census Bureau. Retrieved December 12, 2014.
  21. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). US Census Bureau. Retrieved December 12, 2014.
  22. ^ "U.S. Census website". US Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  23. ^ Election Results

Coordinates: 41°32′N 96°13′W / 41.53°N 96.22°W / 41.53; -96.22