clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Nebraska County Countdown: #51 Harlan County

New, 5 comments

You’ll never leave Harlan alive

photo via

Welcome to Harlan County. Home of the Midwest famous Harlan County Reservoir. We hope you come for the man made reservoir lake and stay for the homemade walking tacos. It’s powerful fun for the entire family!

For most of the United States, Harlan County, Nebraska is not the first Harlan County that comes to mind. Most likely that distinction would be to Harlan County, Kentucky. An area known for coal and all the fun they had in the 1970’s during the Brookside Strike. There’s a great documentary that was made over the event called Harlan County, USA. I recommend you watch it at some point.

Anyway, back to Harlan County, Nebraska!

Harlan sits smack dab in the south central part of the state and butts right up to the State of Kansas to the south. It is a nice little square county that fits in well to the rest of the square counties in the state of Nebraska.

The Harlan County Reservoir takes billing as not only the top attraction in the county but also the area. Folks from all around come and utilize the second larges lake in the state behind Lake McConahay. It was built and is still operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The fishing is great as the lake is home to bass, crapie, catfish, wipers, and some northern pike. Vacationers also come to boat, water ski, and camp on the shores during the summer months.

(here’s a map for all of you map loving folks)

The county seat is Alma. A town of 1,133 people as of the last census. It is also the only “technical” city in the county. Even the Mighty Republican City of 150 people is a village.

Now, at its height the city of Alma held a population of 1,369 people way back in 1980. That was even before I was born so the data is quite ancient. So, you would think that a city that size over time might only produce so many Huskers. I did a search and found a total of 7 players from Alma starting back in 1941 with the mighty Joe Byer and the last one being Dave McCue in 1980. So at it’s peak it did have a native son playing for the scarlet and cream.

Again, not bad for a town that had a population of just over a thousand people at any given time.

So, there you go. Harlan County, the second largest county in the great state of Nebraska in 1922 when they designated the license plate.

Huskers #51

Big Bad Willy Compton - Linebacker 2008-12 and currently with the Tennessee Titans.

1951 Football & Basketball Season

Nebraska was 2-8 with their only wins against Kansas State and Iowa State. The Kansas State win was a forfeit by KSU due to an ineligible player that played during the game. Technically it was a 6-6 tie so for a time Nebraska had a 1-8-1 record on the season. Not that the win did much for the season but two wins always looks better than one.

The ‘50’s were bad for Husker football folks though I am sure you already knew that.

Oh hey, the basketball team did not do much better either. The Nebraska men’s basketball team went 7-17 and 3-9 in conference play. They ended the season 7th in the Big 7 conference. Not too great of a season either. It’s amazing we made it into the decade with these squads.