Ghost Towns of Nebraska

Nebraska State Flag

Andrews

County: Sioux
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Latitude / Longitude: 42° 37′ 53 N, 103° 44′ 2 W
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Comments: Andrews is an unincorporated community in Sioux County, Nebraska, United States.
Remains: A post office was established at Andrews in 1906 and remained in operation until it was discontinued in 1951. Sources on the etymology of the name differ. It was either named for J. W. Andrews, a railroad engineer, or for a pioneer settler.
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Appleton

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Armour

County: Pawnee
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Comments: Armour is an extinct town in Pawnee County, in the U.S. state of Nebraska.
Remains: A post office was established at Armour in 1890, and remained in operation until 1934. The community may be named after the Armour and Company.
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Ashford

County: Banner
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Latitude / Longitude: 41° 38′ 27.6 N, 103° 40′ 30 W
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Comments: Ashford, now a ghost town, was a community in Banner County, Nebraska, United States. Ashford was named for its first postmaster, William Ashford.
Remains: Named the temporary county seat of Banner County on 25 January 1889, it possessed a post office that opened in October 1888 and closed on 24 July 1902.
Current Status: It was located on Pumpkin Creek, approximately one mile south of Funnel Rock, near the present-day intersection of Nebraska Highway 71, Nebraska Highway 88 (western portion), and Pumpkin Creek Road.
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Belmont

County: Dawes
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Latitude / Longitude: 42°32’59N 103°21’24W
Elevation: 4,498 ft (1,371 m)
Time Zone: Mountain (MST) (UTC-7)
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Comments: Belmont is a semi-ghost town in Dawes County, Nebraska, about 11 miles (18 km) southeast of Crawford. Originally known as Evergreen City, the settlement was existent by summer 1889, thanks to the construction of the Belmont Tunnel. However, when the townsite was surveyed in 1890, only five blocks were sold. Belmont reached its population peak of around eighty residents in the late 1920s. The trend of the declining population started with the Great Depression and accelerated with changes in transportation. Improved vehicles meant that shopping and selling of farm products could be done in larger towns nearby, and the Burlington Railroad ceased passenger service in 1969.
Remains: Shortly after the founding of Dawes County in 1885, two townships in its southwestern portion were designated the Evergreen Precinct. The Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy Railroad built a rail line through the precinct in 1888-1889 and decided the deep canyons of the area made a tunnel necessary. A construction camp was soon erected near the tunnel site, and by the time the railroad reached the temporary community, now known as Evergreen City, around two hundred men were employed working on the tunnel. When residents applied for a post office, their request was rejected, as there was already another Evergreen City in Nebraska. Ergo, the stop was renamed Belmont by the railroad, after one of its officials. The Belmont post office was established on November 9, 1889; its first postmaster was Clarence L. Phelps. It continued operation for 67 years under 18 subsequent postmasters before closing on May 11, 1956.
Current Status: The area was hit by a drought and economic depression in 1890-1891, and over the course of the next decade, the population of the Evergreen Precinct dropped by more than 50%. As a result, after Belmont was platted in 1890, only five blocks of the survey had been sold by 1893. However, by World War I, the rural economy had started to rebound, and Belmont reached its population peak in the late 1920s, with around eighty residents. At this time it boasted two general stores, two churches, a lumberyard, a brick school, and numerous residences. Unfortunately, the Great Depression began a downward trend for Belmont. Improved vehicles meant that shopping and selling of farm products could be done in larger towns nearby; Belmont’s last store burned in 1949 and was never rebuilt. Additionally, Belmont was economically dependent on the railroad, which ceased passenger service in 1969 because of society’s increasing favor of the automobile for transportation. Belmont’s depot was closed soon after.
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Bookwalter

County: Pawnee
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Latitude / Longitude: 40° 3′ 42 N, 96° 22′ 10 W
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Comments: Bookwalter is an unincorporated community in Pawnee County, Nebraska, in the United States.
Remains: A post office was established at Bookwalter in 1890, and remained in operation until it was discontinued in 1919.
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Remarks: The community was named for W. J. Bookwalter, the original owner of the town site.

Breslau

County: Pierce
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Latitude / Longitude: 42° 21′ 1 N, 97° 41′ 56 W
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Comments: Breslau is an unincorporated community in Pierce County, Nebraska, United States. It is located on U.S. Route 20, approximately equidistant from Plainview and Osmond, at the corner of 541st Avenue.
Remains: Breslau had its start with the building of the Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy Railroad through that territory. Breslau was originally built up chiefly by Germans. It was named after Breslau, formerly in Prussia (in modern-day Poland).
Current Status: A post office was established in Breslau in 1911 and remained in operation until it was discontinued in 1935.
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Butler

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Cincinnati

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DeWitty

County: Cherry
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Comments: DeWitty, later renamed Audacious, was a village in Cherry County, Nebraska, United States. The settlement, which was founded in 1907 and disincorporated in 1936, was located 10 miles (20 km) north and west of Brownlee. DeWitty was Nebraska’s “largest and most permanent colony” of African American homesteaders.
Remains: The 1904 Kinkaid Act amended the Homestead Act to provide particularly large allotments of land for settlers in Nebraska’s Sand Hills. This lured a number of African-American families to move to the area. By 1910 twenty-four families filed a claim to 14,000 acres (57 km²) of land in Cherry County. By 1920 185 African Americans claimed 40,000 acres (160 km²) around DeWitty, a small town named after a local African American business owner.
Current Status: On April 11, 2016, The Nebraska State Historical Society installed a roadside marker on U.S. Highway 83 to commemorate the DeWitty settlement. Approximately 200 attended the dedication ceremony, including 18 descendants who traveled from six different states to be there.
Remarks: Clem Deaver was the first African American to file a homestead claim in Cherry County as a “Kinkaider”. While working in Seneca, a railroad town, Deaver went to Valentine to claim land. There he learned that 50,000 acres (200 km²) of unclaimed land were available 10 miles (20 km) northwest of Brownlee. The tract bordered the North Loup River for almost 15 miles (24 km) in the eastern part of Cherry County. He returned to Seneca and started promoting the land. By 1907 sod houses of new settlers dotted the land. Within a few years, black Canadian farmers who settled near Overton in Dawson County joined the settlement, bringing the population to 66. By 1917, the settlement had 100 families.

Dobytown

County: Kearney
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Latitude / Longitude: 40°38’30N 99°2’51W
Elevation: 2,129 feet (649 m)
Time Zone: Central (CST) (UTC-6)
Established: 1859
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Comments: Dobytown is a ghost town in Kearney County, Nebraska, United States, three miles west of Fort Kearny. Officially named Kearney City, the community was established in 1859. The town was given the common name of Dobytown because it contained mostly adobe buildings.
Remains: As one of the most important stops for travelers between Independence, Missouri, and the West Coast, Dobytown evolved to meet the needs of the thousands of soldiers, traders, teamsters, and pioneers traveling west. Gambling, liquor, and prostitution were among its main attractions. Dobytown also served as the major outfitting point west of the Missouri River, the center of frontier transportation from 1860 to 1866. A Pony Express station was located in Dobytown and it was the first county seat of Kearney County.
Current Status: Although the community no longer exists, the site was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1974. The site is located at an altitude of 2,129 feet (649 m).
Remarks: One of Dobytown’s most famous visitors, General William Tecumseh Sherman described the horrible whiskey he was served there as tanglefoot. The completion of the Union Pacific Railroad in 1869 reduced the travel along the trail and by the fort. The U.S. Army issued an order for abandonment of Fort Kearny on 22 May 1871. This caused Dobytown to be abandoned.

Duff

County: Rock
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Latitude / Longitude: 42° 12′ 9 N, 99° 36′ 15 W
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Comments: Duff is an unincorporated community in Rock County, Nebraska, in the United States.
Remains: A post office was established at Duff in 1892, and remained in operation until it was discontinued in 1901. Duff was likely the name of an early settler.
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Dunwell

County: Hooker
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Comments: Dunwell, now a ghost town, was a community in Hooker County, Nebraska, United States. A post office was operated in Dunwell for over thirty years, opening on 27 January 1900 and closing in 1934.
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Current Status: The community’s elevation and geographic coordinates are unknown, although a 1914 map reveals that it lay midway between Mullen and Tryon.
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Factoryville

County: Cass
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Latitude / Longitude: 40°48’N 95°58’W
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Comments: Factoryville is a ghost town in Cass County, Nebraska, United States. Located approximately halfway between Union and Nehawka, the town straddled the Lincoln-Union Highway and neighbored a smaller village called Mount Pleasant.
Remains: It once featured a flour mill, stores, hotels, a post office, and a Methodist college called Factoryville College. Founded in the late 1850s, in 1873 its name was changed to Union Mills, and in 1880 it was changed back to Factoryville. The post office was established in the late 1860s when a local named Isaac Pollard was traveling to the Eastern United States. Along the way, he stopped in Washington, D.C., where he selected the name Factoryville, along with the name Nehawka for a neighboring town.
Current Status: The construction of the railroad on the opposite side of Weeping Water Creek from Factoryville led to the demise of the town, and by the 1890s there were only empty buildings.
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Glen

County: Sioux
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Latitude / Longitude: 42° 36′ 27 N, 103° 35′ 2 W
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Comments: Glen is an unincorporated community in Sioux County, Nebraska, United States. It was named for the surrounding glen.
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Homerville

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Jacksonville

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Koesterville

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Linton

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Marsland

County: Dawes
Zip Code: 69354
Latitude / Longitude: 42°26’38N 103°17’55W
Elevation: 4,160 ft (1,270 m)
Time Zone: Mountain (MST) (UTC-7)
Established: 1889
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Comments: Marsland is an unincorporated community in southwestern Dawes County, Nebraska, United States. It lies on the Niobrara River along Nebraska Highways 2 and 71, 18 miles south of Crawford, and southwest of the city of Chadron, the county seat of Dawes County. Its elevation is 4,160 feet (1,298 m), and its ZIP code is 69354.
Remains: Marsland was founded on August 28, 1889. The town was one of many that were located along with the Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy Railroad. Aptly, it was named after Thomas Marsland, who was the railroad’s general freight manager at the time. The post office at Corbin was moved into Marsland about the same time.
Current Status: Marsland’s population peaked at 200 in 1910. In the years immediately following, a number of fires consumed a large portion of the town’s business district. Over the next several decades, many families left because of drought and financial hardships, moving their houses with them. Today, only a minimal number of houses and several commercial buildings remain. Although it is still occupied by a small number of residents, Marsland is largely considered a ghost town.
Remarks: Originally, the town’s economy depended upon the construction of the Belmont Tunnel, located some miles north of Marsland near Belmont. The tunnel was finished in 1890, the year that many new businesses were established in Marsland, including a newspaper, grocery store, and blacksmith shop. In 1895 a hotel was built in the downtown district, and the year after, two churches were established. Several economies that kept the community’s workforce employed over the years included a flour mill and ice production.

Mayberry

County: Pawnee
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Latitude / Longitude: 40° 13′ 23 N, 96° 18′ 43 W
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Comments: Mayberry is an unincorporated community in Pawnee County, Nebraska, in the United States.
Remains: A post office was established at Mayberry in 1884, and remained in operation until it was discontinued in 1934. The community was named for Charles N. Mayberry, a pioneer settler.
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Minersville

County: Otoe
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Latitude / Longitude: 40° 35′ 49 N, 95° 47′ 21 W
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Comments: Minersville is a former railroad town in Otoe County, Nebraska, United States. It was located approximately 5 miles (8 km) to the SSW of Nebraska City and 2 miles (3.2 km) east of the Nebraska City Municipal Airport. It was founded in the 1850s and dissolved by the early 1900s.
Remains: It is believed that the area had first been inhabited by a Native American tribe. The village was incorporated on May 4, 1857. A couple of years later James Carmichael bought the town and renamed it Otoe City. In the early 1860s, a small coal deposit was found near the village. In 1864, the town was renamed Minersville, despite the meager quantity and quality of the mine. By this time, Minersville contained a general store, post office, saloon, blacksmith shop, and a Congregational Church.
Current Status: In 1874 the Midland Pacific Railway built a line through the town. Later the Burlington and Missouri River Railroad and Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy Railroads operated the track. The Minersville post office was discontinued in 1923.
Remarks: During its time, the town was on the Missouri River until the Army Corps of Engineers redirected the river 1.5 miles (2.4 km) to the East.

Mission Creek

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New Home

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North Summerfield

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Omadi

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Pittsburg

County: Seward
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Comments: Pittsburg is an ghost town in Seward County, Nebraska, in the United States.
Remains: Pittsburg was founded in 1873 at a location once thought to be rich in valuable peat, but the town was soon abandoned. The founder might have intended the name to be Peatsburg. A post office spelled Pittsburgh operated between 1873 and 1875.
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Pleasant Valley

County: Dodge
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Comments: Pleasant Valley is an unincorporated community in Dodge County, Nebraska, in the United States.
Remains: A post office was established at Pleasant Valley in 1872, and remained in operation until it was discontinued in 1903.
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Rock Bluff

County: Cass
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Latitude / Longitude: 40°55’45N 95°51’10W
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Comments: Rock Bluff is a ghost town in Cass County located approximately three miles east of Murray in the U.S. state of Nebraska. Once the home of an influential college called the Naomi Institute, Rock Bluff was instrumental in the 1866 vote that gave Nebraska statehood.
Remains: Rock Bluff was a pioneer crossing on the Missouri River. Settled in 1854 by a German named Benedict Spires, Rock Bluffs became a leading point for equipping freighting outfits to cross the plains during the 1850s. By 1877 it had almost 200 residents, as well as a Methodist Church, a post office, a mayor, the county fair, a common lodge hall for Masons and Odd Fellows, and a variety of businesses including three stores, two blacksmith shops, two saloons, and a billiard hall.
Current Status: After a railroad bridge was built in Omaha in the 1870s the town of Rock Bluff lost its importance, which was only exacerbated when the closest railroad tracks were built ten miles west. The post office was closed in 1904, and the town was completely abandoned by the 1940s.
Remarks: There was a race track near the steamboat landing and a coal mine south of town. Rock Bluff once competed with Plattsmouth to be the county seat of Cass County.

Scott’s Valley

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Schafferville

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Spring Ranche

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St. Deroin

County: Nemaha
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Latitude / Longitude: 40°15’19N 95°34’03W
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Comments: St. Deroin is a ghost town in Nemaha County, originally located below the river bluffs on the Missouri River. Formally chartered in 1854, the town had a popular ferry crossing over the Missouri River for more than three decades. The river changed course, ending the ferry. After a railroad spur bypassed the town, it drew off more commerce. The community rebuilt its school on the river bluff when it was threatened by flooding; this area was also used for the cemetery.
Remains: Since the 1840s, most of the town below the river bluff has been washed away by floods. Today only the cemetery and the St. Deroin School sit on the bluffs above the original location. The town was completely abandoned by 1920.
Current Status: The town was completely abandoned by 1920, as flooding had destroyed much of the townsite. The site is at the northern edge of Indian Cave State Park.
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Tate

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Tipp’s Branch

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Unit

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Violet

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