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Nebraska County Countdown: #64 Morrill County

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Dean Friedrickson & the County Handyman Program

Jase Dean courtesy of Huskers.com

I’m back and I’ve brought Morrill County with me.

I hope you are all enjoying these (somewhat) daily county countdown’s to the kickoff of Husker football season. The “staff” here at Corn Nation has put a lot of time and energy into these county profiles leading up to our favorite time of year. Some are long and some are short but I guarantee you all come away with something that you did not know before.

Today we will be learning about the wonderful county smack dab in the middle of the Nebraska Panhandle called Morrill.

Do you want to know what’s cool about Morrill county? They have their own handyman program. How do I know this? There is a link for it on the front page of the county website. It even has a director, Nancy Eichthaler.

According to the information given it is a “unique” program geared for elderly citizens age 60 or older. Through the county the elderly folks who qualify are able to get handy work at a discounted price. This includes housework, yard work, lawn mowing, and snow removal.

When I first saw this I was a little perplexed. However, the more I read into this the more it sparked my interest. This type of program is a huge boon for our aging population in rural Nebraska. Many of these areas have a high density of elderly and a low population of affordable workers that are able to do these services.

I would imagine that the participation is high and I hope there are enough handy workers to go around. The population of the entire county is 5,042. The median age is roughly 40 years old. Out of that population roughly 41.2% are 45 or older. So there will be people who would be able to utilize this service for years to come.

That is if there is enough younger people to stay around. Only 27% of the county is under the age of 18 and 7.2% from age 18-24. Though, it does bump up a bit to 24.4% between the ages of 25 to 44 which tells me that some of those folks either have moved back or moved to there once they graduate trade school, college, or whatever wanderlust they pursued after high school.

With the exception of a slight bump in 2000 the county has seen a decrease in population each census. This, as we know, is not out of the norm for Western Nebraska.

I have not checked but I would not be surprised if more counties did this.

So, if you are someone who lives in Morrill County. Or, have an elderly friend or relative that lives there then maybe this will help you out in your golden year. Not that many would consider 60 to be the start of their golden years but I’m sure they have to start the age cutoff point somewhere.

Most of the folks out here live in Bridgeport which is the county seat at 1,545 people. Bayard is also out here and isn’t that much smaller at 1,209. After that there is a considerable drop off in population.

I am sure at this point you have either gone down to the bottom to comment on some random topic so to those of you who are still reading I thank you.

As for Husker greats, we have Dean Fredrickson from Bridgeport who played guard for the 1945 squad. That team went 4-5 under head coach George “Potsey” Clark. An interesting year as they lost the first 5 games and won the last 4. Not sure what happened to him after that year but Clark did go through a lot of players back then and Dean might have been one of them.

More recently there was Jase Dean who was a walk on defensive back in 2008 who also hailed from Bridgeport. Jase saw action his sophomore through senior seasons in Lincoln and had 12 total tackles and one forced fumble during his time wearing the scarlet and cream.

I hope you enjoyed your time today learning random facts about Morrill County and come back tomorrow when we will hopefully have Big Bad Boyd County ready for your reading pleasure.