Marker Monday: Clay Center
Welcome to Marker Monday! Each Monday we will feature one of Nebraska’s hundreds of historical markers. If you’d like to see a specific marker featured, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Tomorrow is Election Day, so today we highlight Clay Center, which was confirmed as the location for the Clay County seat through an 1879 election.
200 W Johnson St, Clay Center, Clay County, Nebraska View this marker's location 40.524850, -98.05608
The town of Clay Center was laid out in the summer of 1879. An election on November 4, 1879, confirmed Clay Center as the location for the Clay County seat, following months of heated competition with rivals Sutton and Harvard. W. D. Young erected the first building on the site, a frame structure, which was used as the temporary courthouse. In February, 1887, Clay Center became an incorporated village. Industrial development began in 1903 when M. M. Johnson built a factory to manufacture "Old Trusty" poultry incubators and brooders that were sold nationwide. The factory provided employment for hundreds of local citizens. The Johnson Company established radio station KMMJ in 1925 to promote its products, and the station made Clay Center a well-known and respected name in farm homes throughout the Midwest. Clay Center experienced dramatic change in 1942 when a Naval Ammunition Depot was built just west of town to produce bombs and shells during World War II. This property was later transferred to the U. S. Meat Animal Research Center.
Nebraska Marker Project
The Nebraska Marker Project is for the repainting, repair and in some cases, replacement of state historical markers throughout the state. Nebraska’s markers share our exciting history for generations to come. Please consider donating by visiting the Nebraska Marker Project webpage at http://nshsf.org/the-nebraska-marker-project/.