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
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
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 PlacesGeneva, NE Historic Courthouses