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Fillmore County, NE

Fillmore CountyThe lack of mountains and lakes has never been a drawback in Fillmore County, home to numerous historic places to visit and events throughout the year. Although early settlers came from many different countries and backgounds, they found much in common in their new home. During the 1870s a group of Swedish people took homesteads in Bryant Township, just west of the present town of Shickley. These families founded a school and church, still home to a congregation. The Czechs settled in the town of Milligan and established the only hall built by the association, Z.C.B.J. County history can be reviewed in museums in both Fairmont and Strang.

The first homesteads in what was to become Fillmore County were filed in 1866. Four years later in 1870, the first town, Fillmore City, was platted. The following year officers were elected to organize a new county, which was named for President Millard Fillmore. The election was held in the dugout of Nathaniel McCalla; the county seat was named for Geneva, Illinois, his former home. While settlers did not have to join forces to protect themselves from the Indians, they battled grasshoppers, prairie fires, droughts and blizzards.

When the Burlington Northern-Santa Fe Railroad extended its line from Lincoln to Hastings in 1871, it proposed naming the towns from Crete westward alphabetically. Taking over where Saline County left off were the Fillmore County villages of Exeter, Fairmont, and Graftton. The location of these towns provided them with opportunities for transporting and receiving goods via rail for many years.

Fillmore County realized an economic boost with the beginning of the construction of the Fairmont Army Air Field in 1942, housing B-24s, B-17s, and B-29s and nearly 6,000 officers and enlisted men. Fairmont Creamery Company which became one of the nation's largest dairy food processors was incorporated in 1884 in Fairmont.

Explore Fillmore County

Geneva Auditorium

The two-story brick Auditorium which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, opened in December 1915 as the new city hall and opera house. Its opening event that year was the local talent's production of the play "The Dutch Detective."

Geneva, NE National Register

Civil War Memorial

Standing on the grounds just south of the Fillmore County Museum in Fairmont is a Civil War Memorial "In Memory of the Unknown Dead," 1861 -1865

Fairmont, NE Memorials

Exeter Mural

This vivid mural, painted by Greg Holdren in 1998, shows activity in the town of Exeter in the early 1900s.

When Exeter was incorporated in 1879

Exeter, NE Arts

Strang District #36 Schoolhouse

The two-story brick building, built in 1929-30 in a simplified version of the Reanissance Revival-style, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Strang, NE National Register

Stockholm Swedish Church and Cemetery

While other county communities have no museum, some historic places are still making memories by preserving the past and serving future needs. In the summer of 2000, the Stockholm Swedish Lutheran Church celebrated its 125

Shickley, NE Historic Churches

Dempster Woods

Dempster Woods, currently a Bed and Breakfast, is the former home of two Nebraska senators, John A. Dempster and Charles H. Sloan. Their notable contributions to Fillmore County and the state of Nebraska add to the inn'

Geneva, NE Famous Homes

Fillmore County Museum

Can you visualize sitting at a soda fountain sipping a frothy or fizzy concoction? Or waiting to see the doctor in the early 1900s? It's easy to imagine in the Fillmore County Museum, where Fillmore county citizens have donated over 14,000 items in an effort to preserve their heritage.

Fairmont, NE Museums

Ceski Bratri Cemetery and Chapel

The Chapel at Ceski Bratri Cemetery is the oldest Czech Catholic Church building in Nebraska. Built in 1874 just northwest of the cemetery, it was moved to the current location in 1901. The earliest marked gravestone is dated 1876

Milligan, NE Historic Churches

Strang Town Hall/Jail

The Strang Library is housed in the former Town Hall/Jail building, which was built in 1907 and converted to a library in 1977. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Strang, NE National Register

Post Office W.P.A. Mural

In Geneva is the Geneva United State Post Office, a one-story, five-bay Georgian Revival-style building, constructed in 1939-40. One of its walls holds one of twelve murals in Nebraska listed on the National Historic Register commissioned by the Treasury Department'

Geneva, NE Arts

Fillmore County Courthouse

Completed in 1894, the Fillmore County Courthouse is a simplified version of the Richardson Romanesque style. The courthouse was designed by architect George E. McDonald and was modeled after the Gage County Courthouse in Beatrice. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places

Geneva, NE Historic Courthouses

George W. Smith House

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this house was built in 1890

Geneva, NE National Register

Explore Fillmore County