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Otoe County

Otoe County is named for the Otoe Native American tribe which is derived from “oto” meaning “lovers of pleasure”.


Surrounding County Courthouses: 

N – Cass County

E – Fremont County, Iowa and Atchison County, Missouri

S – Nemaha County and Johnson County

W – Lancaster County


Created:  November 23, 1854                Map of Nebraska highlighting Otoe County

County Seat:

Nebraska City  1855 – present


County Courthouse –  Nebraska City 


Location:  1021 Central Avenue / South 10th Street

Built:  1864 – 1865

Style:  Moorish and Italianate

Architect:  G Basset

Contractor:  W R Crag and F W Wood


Description:  The building faces north and is a two story red colored brick structure. The rectangular shaped building is located on landscaped grounds in the center of Nebraska City. The east and west wings of the building project from the main building. There is a rubble stone foundation finished with a rough ashlar face. The second story windows are arched and these windows feature a stone string course which forms the arch, and connects the springing lines of all the window arches around the perimeter of the building. The first story central entrance is framed with white colored stone. On the center of the roof is a high octagonal white colored cupola. The roof line is flat. In the interior, the long hallway runs east-west. There is a large mural in the first story hallway. The County Court courtroom is located on the northeast side of the first story. The County District Court courtroom is located on the east side of the second story in the east wing. The building houses the District Court of the 1st Judicial District and County Court of the 2nd Judicial District. Wing additions were constructed in 1882 on the west side and in 1936 on the east side, creating an “H” shaped building.


Note:  The courthouse is the oldest public building in Nebraska which has been in continuous use since its completion and the oldest former courthouse is located in Sarpy County.


See:  National Register of Historic Places – Otoe County Courthouse


See:  The 1st Judicial District includes Fillmore County, Gage County, Jefferson County, Johnson CountyNehama CountyPawnee County, Richardson CountySaline County and Thayer County.


History:  The county was created in 1855 and Nebraska City was selected was the county seat. Court was held in a log cabin and rented premises above downtown stores. The first and present courthouse was constructed in 1864 to 1865 at a cost of $22,500.



County Courthouse – Nebraska City




















County Court courtroom















County District Court courtroom















Photos taken 2008 and 2023