Skip to content
Home » US States » N » Nebraska » Harlan County

Harlan County


Harlan County is named for James Harlan, who was secretary of the interior or for the nephew of Senator James Harlan, which nephew was a revenue collector and lived near Republic City.


Surrounding County Courthouses: 

N – Phelps County

E – Franklin County

S – Phillips County, Kansas

W – Furnas County


Created:  June 3, 1871                           Map of Nebraska highlighting Harlan County

County Seat:

Alma  1871 – present


County Courthouse – Alma  


Location:  706 West 2nd Street / John Avenue

Built:  1963 – 1964

Style:  Modern

Architect:  George E Clatton and Associates

Contractor:  Chris Lien Company


Description:  The building faces south and is a one story buff colored brick and concrete structure. The building is located on landscaped grounds in the center of Alma. The building is square with windows that are vertical and framed in white colored trim. The south entrance is recessed with glass doors. The building has a flagstone faced base. The roof line is flat. In the interior he hallways form a square. The combined Count District Court and County Court courtroom is located on the southwest side of the building and on the north side of the hallway and has beautiful walnut paneling on the walls and is carpeted. The building houses the County District Court and County Court of the 10th Judicial District. 


See:  The 10th Judicial District includes Adams County, Clay CountyFranklin CountyKearney County, Nuckolls CountyPhelps County and Webster County.    


History:  The county was created in 1871 and Alma was selected as the county seat. The county has used four different buildings to house county offices with the first courthouse was the upper story of the private residence of Frank Shaffer located a half mile east of Alma and used from 1875 to 1877. The building was moved to Alma. From 1877 to 1880, the second courthouse was a log store built by John Guyer and used for the county offices. The third courthouse was a two story frame structure built by the Alma Township in 1880 at no cost to the county. In 1888 to 1889, the fourth courthouse, a two story brick structure was built by the Alma Township on the courthouse square, also at no cost to the county. The building was later stuccoed and the steeple removed. The courthouse was remodeled in 1922. The courthouse was torn down when the fifth and present courthouse was constructed in 1964 to 1965 on the same site at a cost of $320,000.



County Courthouse – Alma





















County District Court and County Court courtroom

















Cornerstone 1889 County Courthouse

Photos taken 2010 and 2023