History Nebraska Blog

Marker Monday: Seward, 4th of July City

Marker Location


143 S 6th St, Seward, Seward County, Nebraska

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Marker Text


Since 1868, Seward has, with but few interruptions, sponsored a yearly 4th of July celebration which has gained national attention. This square, the original site of the festival, is today its focal point. Special trains once brought revelers here on the Fourth; today tens of thousands arrive by auto. With community young people having provided impetus for the celebration, Governor Exon in 1973 designated Seward "Nebraska's Official 4th of July City." In 1976 American Revolution Bicentennial officials cited Seward for its patriotic observances.

Named Greene in 1858, this county was re-christened in 1862 for Civil War Secretary of State William H. Seward. Platted in 1868, the city of Seward became the county seat in 1871. It is located at the confluence of the Big Blue River, Plum Creek, and Lincoln Creek. The Neo-classical Revival Courthouse was built in 1905 under supervision of architect George Berlinghof. Eastern farmers first settled the area, but beginning in the 1870's the population became infused with German and Czech elements. the fertile countryside is a diversified farming and livestock feeding area. Concordia Teachers College was established in Seward in 1894. 

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