Loup 

History

Loup County may very well be the only county in Nebraska that can make the claim that local tax dollars were not used for the construction of the county's first courthouse.

When Loup County was officially organized on Feb. 23, 1883, a local rancher wanted to see the county seat remain in Taylor. He decided the best way to ensure this was to erect and donate a building to the county that could be used as a courthouse. The following year, a two-story, four-room building was completed and would serve as the courthouse for the next 74 years.

During that time, the building would deteriorate to the point that it would become known as Loup County's "winter icebox." In 1958, despite a court challenge, the county unveiled its present courthouse. Gone were the days when county officials would have to brave the extreme elements to go outdoors to pump drinking water or walk a half-block away to a building where "Men" and "Women" signs were posted outside.

Loup County was originally created in 1855 and included land as far east as the present day Colfax County. The county received its name from the Loup River, which cuts across the southwest corner of the present county. In the northeast sector of this Sandhills County is the Calamus River, which empties into the Calamus Reservoir, the state's third largest lake located about 15 miles northeast of Taylor.

Before Taylor would become the official county seat, a fierce struggle developed between Taylor and the settlements of Kent, Almeria and Clarke's Point. In a special election conducted in May 1883, Taylor was chosen over Almeria by a mere two votes.

Several famous names in Nebraska history have a link to Loup County. First, Amos Harris, said to be Nebraska's first black cowboy, and his wife, Eliza, at one time ranged cattle in the North Loup Valley. It is also said that "Doc" Middleton and "Kid" Wade, notorious cattle and horse rustlers, operated out of the Loup County area in its earliest days.