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Nebraska County Countdown Number 68: Keith County -

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Home of Nebraska’s Cowboy Capital

One quick thought before we start on Keith County.

Would anybody mind if we just skipped the rest of the summer once the 4th of July hit and skipped to football season? The World Cup isn’t doing it for me and the CWS is about to end, July is a cruel month. Now that I’ve got that out of the way here’s everything I know, coming from my amateur historian roommate again, about Keith County.

Keith County was formed in 1873 and based off the 2010 national census it recorded a population of 8,368. There is some debate about who Keith County is named after, but it seems like it’s named after somebody from North Platte. There is only one official city in Keith, which is Ogallala. It is known for being the end of the major cowboy trials from Texas because cowboys would drive their cattle to the Ogallala railheads so they could ship their cattle east. The reason they did this is because cattle put on trains were up to ten times more than what they were worth in Texas. After the cattle drives, all the cowboys would spend their money on various activities such as drinking and gambling. A lot of them were shot in the streets of Ogallala, and are still buried up in Boot Hill. This is why Ogallala was coined “too tough for Texas.”

Other than Ogallala there are a couple villages in Keith County, including Brule and Paxton. Every year on August 1st Brule celebrates “Brule Day,” which from what it sounds like it a fair. This attracts a good number of people to experience the small town. One of the coolest restaurants in Nebraska calls Paxton its home. Ole’s Big Game Saloon has over 200 mounted exotic animals that were shot by Ole Herstedt on every continent.

Lake McConaughy is the largest lake in Nebraska, and over 200,000 people visit it every year. McConaughy was a New Deal project because the government built the Kingsley Dam, which was made to help irrigation. On the north side of Lake McConaughy is the “un-incorporated community” of Lemoyne, which is where Tom Osborne lived when he was in Congress. Under Kingsley Dam is Lake Ogallala, and on the south shore of Lake Ogallala is Cedar Point Biological Research Station.

Husker Stuff:

I’m switching over to everything related to UNL after that last sentence because Cedar Point Biological Research Station is operated by UNL. They teach classes in biological sciences and conduct research there.

The 1968 Nebraska Cornhuskers were coached by Bob Devany and finished with a 6-4 overall record with a 3-4 record in conference. Nebraska lost three Big 8 home games including a 47-0 shutout by Oklahoma.

The current Husker to wear no. 68 is Sophomore OL Will Farniok from Souix Falls, SD.

Last year Nick Gates wore 68

If I missed anything else let me know in the comments section.