In the fall of 1872, the village of Kearney Junction was formed paving the way for the City of Kearney to be incorporated a little over a year later.
The first courthouse of Buffalo County erected at Gibbon in 1873. In 1874, after considerable agitation for the relocation of the county seat, an election was held, and a majority was cast for the relocation of the county seat at Kearney. The incident which followed the results of that election is often referred to as "stealing the courthouse records." With the results of the election already in, the County Clerk, Joseph Scott, and his deputy, F.G. Keens, loaded the county records in a farm wagon, considerably after normal business hours and arrived in Kearney about 2:00 a.m. where they were hidden in the "Chandler Building" where the Telephone Company is today. Mr. Keens stood guard over the records for the rest of the night.
The Union Pacific Railroad donated a site for a new courthouse, and built a frame building which was not occupied until January of 1886. This building served as the Buffalo County Courthouse until a new county courthouse was built and completed in 1890. The frame courthouse was then moved to a new location on First Avenue and served first as a WCTU hospital and later as a home for the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
Complete histories of Buffalo County are exhibited and recorded at museum's in Kearney and Gibbon and The Great Platte River Road Archway Monument is a "must see" as the only museum that spans an interstate highway and brings the history of life along the westward trails in chronological dioramas putting you right alongside the pioneers and listening to their stories.
Explore Buffalo County
Crane Meadows Nature Center is a year-round educational organization dedicated to providing an understanding of, and access to, the ecosystems of the Platte River valley. Open daily, with expanded hours during the crane season (8 a.m.-6 p.m.), the center offers sunrise and sunset tours to a 25Kearney, NE Nature Centers
Buffalo Ridge Golf Course - 2,960-yard, par 36, nine-hole public course on gently rolling hills northeast of Kearney. Open year round with rental carts and clubs. Green fees: Weekdays - $13.00; Weekends - $15.00. 7005 Avenue N 308-271-3233 Meadowlark Hills Golf Course - 6,485-yard, par 70, 1Kearney, NE Golf Courses
The Buffalo County Historical Society/Trails and Rails Museum traces the history of transportation through Buffalo County on a site where the Mormon Trail once passed. Displays include a Union Pacific steam engine, an 1898 depot, 1898 church, 1880s Freighters' Hotel, an 1871Kearney, NE Museums
The John Barnd House, located in Kearney, is a large two-and-one-half-story frame dwelling built about 1892, and a good example of the Queen Anne style. Barnd came to Kearney in 1874, established a law practice, and later was elected Buffalo County judge for two terms. In 1888Kearney, NE Historic Buildings
The Frank House, built by George Washington Frank, was constructed in 1889. The three-story house listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is made of red Colorado sandstone, with English golden oak interior paneling and lumber, and hand carved woodwork and has seven fireplaces (10Kearney, NE Historic Homes
Fossil records reveal the sandhill cranes have been visiting this region for more than nine million years. For five weeks each spring, visitors to the Platte River valley in south-central Nebraska can enjoy the symphony of sounds and dancing rituals of 90 percent of the world'Kearney, NE Natural Attractions
This 1,150 acre wildlife sanctuary is operated by the National Audubon Society to provide habitat for sandhill cranes, whooping cranes and other birds. In March and April, Rowe staff guides groups to four crane viewing blinds (enclosed wooden buildings), which accommodate 16 to 36Kearney, NE Wildlife Refuges