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Nemaha County

Nemaha County is named for the Native American Otoe word “Ne-ma-ha” meaning “muddy water” or “swampy water” which applied to the Nemaha River. The word may have refered to “water of the Omahas”, “further up water”,”water of cultivation” or “no papose”.


Surrounding County Courthouses: 

N – Pawnee County, Nebraska and Richardson County, Nebraska

E – Brown County and Jackson County

S – Jackson County and Pottawatomie County

W – Marshall County


Created:  August 25, 1855                     Map of Kansas highlighting Nemaha County

County Seat:

Richmond  1855 – 1861

Seneca      1861 – present


County Courthouse – Seneca 


Location:  607 Nemaha Street / North 5th Street

Built:  1954 – 1955

Style:  Modern

Architect:  Thomas, Harris, Calvin & Associates

Contractor:  Edmonds Construction Company


Description:  The building faces south and is a one and two story light red-orange colored brick, glass and concrete structure. The building is located on spacious landscaped grounds in the center of Seneca. The entrance is along the east end of the south side. The entrance is recessed with glass doors. On the east side is a stone faced section and behind is a high brick section where the County District Court courtroom is located. On the west side the building is two stories and the roof overhangs. The roof line is flat. In the interior is a high north-south lobby area with stairs ascending and descending on the west side and the large courtroom on the east side. The building houses the County District Court of the 22nd Judicial District. To the southeast is the old red colored brick Sheriff’s Residence and Jail built in 1879.


See:  The 22nd Judicial District includes Brown CountyDoniphan County and Marshall County.


History:  The county was created in 1855 and Richmond was selected as the county seat. The store owned by A G Woodward in Richmond was the county office. The county was attached to Brown County until 1861 for judicial purposes. The first courthouse was built by the Seneca Town Company comprising S Lappin, F Lappin, R U Tory, JB Ingersoll and C G Scrafford in Seneca in 1858. The county seat was moved to Seneca in 1861 and the courthouse burned in December. The second courthouse was a one story frame structure at Main Street and Castle Street erected by the Seneca Town Company in 1861. In 1872, the third courthouse was a brick structure was erected at a cost of $29,173. The courthouse burned on March 4, 1876. The fourth courthouse was constructed by James A McGonagle, of Leavenworth in 1877 at a cost of $20,138. The courthouse was remodeled in 1896 and the architect was M Eckel and the contractor was D E Marshall. The courthouse was demolished. The fifth and present courthouse was constructed in 1954 to 1955.



County Courthouse – Seneca





















County District Court courtroom















Picture 1877 County Courthouse







Old Sheriff Residence and Jail – Seneca 



Photos taken 2009 and 2022