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Saunders County, NE

Saunders County

For many years, Saunders County had drawn people with its offer of a better life. The Otoe and Pawnee Indians followed the buffalo into this area and settled along its rivers and streams. Before the arrival of settlers, a Pawnee Indian village,
containing 50 or more lodges covering a four-block
area, was located in what is now the southeast part of
Wahoo. In the vicinities of Cedar Bluffs, Leshara, and Yutan there are other historic sites of early Pawnee and Otoe Indian villages.


The earliest settlers were predominantly Czech, German, and Scandinavians whose hard work, determination, and ingenuity turned their dreams into realities. The Ox-Bow Trail traversing across Saunders County is historically marked by one of the twin rocks that the Mormon travelers and other pioneers used as an identifying point along their journey west. In Ashland, built along the Ox-Bow Trail, the Beetison home is still in family ownership since its construction in 1874.



As the railroad came to the area, towns sprang up in the county with business, schools and churches to serve the area's growing needs. The Saunders County Historical Society invites you to relive the rich heritage of Saunders County at the museum in Wahoo, the county seat.


Explore Saunders County

St. Stephen's Episcopal Church - NHR

St. Stephen's Episcopal Church is a fine example of Gothic Revival architecture. Board and batten construction adds to its individuality, and the building has undergone only minor alterations since its construction in 1872. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places

Ashland, NE Historic Churches

Bethlehem Lutheran Church

The first Lutheran services ever conducted in Wahoo were in 1880. They were conducted by Rev. Nels Nordling, pastor of Edensburg church of Malmo and were held in the N.J. Anderson photography gallery. On December 25, 1883 the Swedes organized the present congregation. Lots 4, 5, and 6

Wahoo, NE Historic Churches

Saunders County Courthouse

In the early1900s the old courthouse building became inadequate which led to the construction of a new building. In 1903 a vote was held for the issuing of bonds and the construction of a proper kind of building for county purposes. It passed by a vote of 1,967 to 524

Wahoo, NE Historic Courthouses

Strategic Air and Space Museum

The new Strategic Air Command (SAC) Museum stands as a tribute to the men and women of SAC who safeguarded liberty around the globe for nearly 50 years. The story of SAC and its people is preserved for future generations within the wall of this extraordinary Museum. The Strategic Air &

Ashland, NE Museums

Wahoo Recreation Areas

The Wahoo Area Recreation Association operates a community recreation center (Civic Center) and senior center and has responsibility for maintaining the municipal outdoor pool and all Wahoo parks and

Wahoo, NE Recreation


Early Churches

Some of the early churches that are serving Valparaiso are:

Mary A. Johnson Episcopal Church was dedicated in 1881.

Church of Christ was dedicated in October, 1883.

The Baptist Church was built and dedicated about 1885 or 1886.

Saints Mary &

Valparaiso, NE Historic Churches

Ashland Stir-Up Celebration

Street Dance * Beer Garden * Carnival * Parade * Car Show * Teen Dance

Ashland Chamber of Commerce will host the Annual Stir-Up Days in July in downtown Ashland. The festival has been a continuous source of fun for over 60

Ashland, NE Festivals

National Bank of Ashland - NHR

The two-story brick and stone commercial building, which was constructed in 1889 in the Richardsonian Romanesque style, was designed by the architectural firm of I. and I. Hodgson, Jr., with offices in Omaha and Portland, Oregon. Between 1889 and 1947

Ashland, NE National Register

Burlington Depot

The Wahoo Burlington Depot, a two-story wood frame building on the Ashland-to-Schuyler line, was constructed in 1886, several months before the railroad's tracks were completed in 1887. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places

Wahoo, NE Museums

St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church

The first group of Czech settlers to come to the vicinity of Wahoo arrived in August of 1874. These settlers, who were of the Catholic faith, had to travel 15 to 20 miles in order to attend mass. For three years these settlers traveled to Plasi, Fremont or Abie to attend services. Finally in 1877

Wahoo, NE Historic Churches

First Congregational Church

The First Congregational Church was organized at Eldred, 12 miles northeast of Wahoo. Rev. Mr. Giddings was the preacher for both Eldred and Wahoo. The organizational meeting was headed by Rev. J.E. Heaton and took place on May 28, 1871. In 1880, a church was erected on the southeast corner of 5

Wahoo, NE Historic Churches

Explore Saunders County