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Wayne County

Wayne County is named for Anthony Wayne, who was a general in the American Revolutionary War, and who lived from 1745 to 1796.


Surrounding County Courthouses: 

N – Cedar County and Dixon County

E – Dixon County and Thurston County

S – Cuming County and Stanton County

W – Pierce County 


Created:  March 4, 1871                         Map of Nebraska highlighting Wayne County

County Seat:

Wayne  1871 – present


County Courthouse –  Wayne 


Location:  219 West 6th Street / Lincoln Street

Built:  1899 – 1900

Style:  Richardsonian Romanesque

Architect:  Orff & Guilbert  of Minneapolis, Minnesota

Contractor:  Rowles & Moore of Omaha


Description:  The building faces south and is a three story Omaha pressed red colored brick, Lake Superior red stone and concrete structure. The building is located on landscaped grounds of the courthouse square in the center of Wayne. The building has a raised basement as the first story and a high tower on the southeast corner rising four stories and with corner turrets and peaked roof. The south front has four red colored columns rising to the top of the second story. There are arched windows on the third story. Along the west sides, a bay window is on the third story and on the east side a bay window is on the second and third stories. The hipped roof has a dormer window on each of the four sides. Three of the corners terminate with a pyramidal-roofed pavilion. In the interior, the floors throughout are finished in oak and hard maple, except the basement floor which is concrete. On the second story a spacious corridor bisects the offices. On the third story is the combined County District Court and County Court courtroom along the west side, a judge’s chamber, and three jury rooms. In the basement is the commodious space known as the farmers’ hall. The building houses the District Court and County Court of the 7th Judicial District. The architect was Orff & Guilbert of Minneapolis, Minnesota and the contractor was Rowles & Moore of Omaha. On the north side is a one story buff colored brick Courthouse Annex constructed in the 1970s as a jail and sheriff’s residence. Also on the north side is the white colored wood cupola from the 1874 to 1875 courthouse erected in LaPorte.


See:  The architect, Fremont D Orff, designed courthouses in Minnesota in Big Stone County, Red Lake County, Renville County and Waseca County


See:  National Register of Historic Places – Wayne County Courthouse


See:  The 7th Judicial District includes Antelope County, Cuming County, Knox County, Madison County, Stanton County


History:  The county was created in 1870 and LaPorte was selected as the county seat in 1871 when the county was organized. The county first met at the home of George Scott. The first courthouse was a wood frame structure built in 1971. The second courthouse was built in 1874 to 1875 and the cupola remains today. The county seat was moved to Wayne in 1882. The third courthouse was brick veneer structure built in 1883. The courthouse was destroyed by fire on June 4 1884. The fourth and present courthouse was constructed in 1899 to 1900 at a cost of $32,000.



County Courthouse – Wayne























County District Court and County Court courtroom



















Cupola from 1874 LaPorte County Courthouse 



Photos takes 2008 and 2023