Banner County, NE

Banner CountyOnce known as the "Pumpkin Creek Country," the first state legislature in 1867 included this area in Cheyenne County. Twenty two years later in 1889 it was divided into five smaller counties. A local committee selected the name "Banner" because it was to be "the brightest star in the constellation of Nebraska counties." Pioneers represented many of the same ethnic groups that had settled in eastern Nebraska earlier: Danes, Swedes, Germans, Scotch-Irish, Swiss, and others.

Where "soddies" and log houses formerly dotted almost every quarter section in the county's nearly treeless prairies, modern farmhouses and farmsteads are now marked by large windbreaks in keeping with Nebraska's tradition as the "Tree Planter's State." The once proposed railroad that was to cross Banner County did not materialize, and eventually this led to population shifts to the north and south. So, Banner County now has fewer people, but the most friendly and neighborly people you will not find.

Banner County now has only one unincorporated town, with minimal commercial establishments, yet the area has many claims to fame. Harrisburg, the county seat and only town in Banner County, boasts a modern Courthouse (all paid for), a modern fire department with rescue unit, complete banking facilities, two modern churches, several service industries, and a most unique historical Museum Complex.

Banner County's biggest asset is its neighborly people, brought together by countywide school activities (Banner County boasts the first countywide K-12 school in Nebraska), many community organizations, and the numerous activities of the Banner County Historical Society. County residents take great pride in their pioneer heritage and actively work to preserve and record the pioneer history of the area, in addition to promoting its future for succeeding generations.

Banner County has approximately 300 farms and ranches, with 285,000 acres under cultivation, and nearly 200,000 acres in good, hardgrass rangeland which supports a thriving cattle industry. Summer-fallow wheat and grazing have been the mainstay of Banner County agriculture over the years, but the development of pivot irrigation has increased the diversity of crops to include corn, beans, sugar beets and potatoes, and sunflowers, rapeseed, millet, and others have expanded the variety of dryland crops. Feedlot operations are also present in several county locations.

Come, and visit our Museum Complex, our people, our hills and valleys and experience life on the Western Plains for yourself!

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Banner County Museum

One of the best-kept secrets in the Nebraska Panhandle is the Banner County Museum. This museum is considered the crown jewel of museums in the area and houses hundreds of artifacts and articles from prehistoric times to the sod buster days. 10

Harrisburg, NE Museums


While visiting Harrisburg, you're welcome to stop by the Banner County Bank and appreciate the creative work in this mural of art in Banner County'

Harrisburg, NE Arts

Explore Banner County