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Nebraska County Countdown to Kickoff: Day 92

Let’s take a trip to Grant County

Welcome to the great Grant County in north central Nebraska. Named after Ulysses S. Grant in 1887, there are four communities Ashby, Duluth, Whitman, and Hyannis, the county seat. Hyannis is also the largest boasting a population of about 190 and has a historical site of the Hotel DeFair.

I found the historical submission document online for the Hotel DeFair. Check it out!

Hyannis, Nebraska emerged as a “cowtown” of the Sandhills in the 1890s. Herds of cattle were brought to this small community from area ranches to meet the railroad for shipment to market. During this early period Hyannis was one of the heaviest shipping points on the Burlington railroad line. The town was also the commercial and social center for a very large area of sparsely populated western Nebraska.

In December of 1897 Mrs. Rena Fair purchased a corner lot on Main Street and proposed in the next few months to build a first class hotel which would cater to all classes of patrons. By January 13, 1898 the ground had been broken and the foundation was being laid for the structure.

In early April 1898, the Hotel DeFair was opened for business. The building, constructed under the watchful eyes of S.S, Sears, contractor, was considered the best hotel and restaurant in western Nebraska. The new hotel boasted a separate entrance for the ladies, to spare them having to pass by the men gathered in the lobby.

By 1928 the hotel was in a bad state of repair. The community, though, did not want to lose this commercial enterprise, so a group of five men decided to renovate the structure. New steam heat, indoor plumbing and a new kitchen were installed and new furniture, linens and dishes were purchased.

The old hotel underwent considerable alteration on the exterior at this time. The front porch was enclosed, an addition was constructed on the west, and the entire building was covered with stucco.

Though the appearance of the Hyannis Hotel has changed since the colorful era of the tierwn’s early cattle shipping days, much of its^ historic flavor is still intact. Upon entering the restaurant and lounge area, photos of cowboys of the area, past and present, cover the walls.

Whether it be a local cowboy winning the grand prize at a rodeo or a group of men relaxing during a recent spring roundup, a pictorial history of the western Nebraska cattle business is documented on the walls of the Hyannis Hotel. Other features of the decor on first floor are the designs of the local ranchers’ brands on the walls.

Upstairs, the sleeping rooms are comfortable, though simply furnished, and are still occupied quite regularly by tourists who want to say they have slept in the historic old hotel.

The Hyannis Hotel stands today as a landmark and reminder of the active cattle shipping days, and the impact that this business had on the settling of western Nebraska.


Smallest panhandle in the West.

Husker Stuff related to # 92:

  • The Huskers in 1992 went 9-3 under Tom Osborne with loses against #2 ranked Washington 14-29, unranked Iowa State 10-19, and #3 ranked Florida State 14-27.
  • Derrie Nelson (all-America and all-Big 8 DE 1980)
  • John Parrella (all-conf DT 1992)
  • My former boss and current friend Travis Toline (DE 1998)
  • Current player wearing 92 is Junior Chase Urbach, back up long snapper.

What other 92 related things did I miss?

What’s your favorite thing about your county in Nebraska?

In case you haven’t noticed we have started a countdown to the first Nebraska football game. While counting down to Scott Frost’s first game our fearless leader thought it would be appropriate to highlight a Nebraska county each day.

We have received some messages from readers telling us interesting facts about their own county. Keep them coming!

As a staff we will be writing articles about counties that we probably have never even heard of until this countdown so we need your help.

So please send us any interesting information or tidbits about your county if one of the following applies to you:

  • You were born there
  • You grew up there
  • You live there
  • You worked there
  • You drove through there
  • You flew over it
  • You drank a beer there
  • You met your future bride/groom there
  • You have an interest in that county, or
  • You have no interest at all.


Now we can’t guarantee that we will use everything that is sent to us, but we will do our best.

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