clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Nebraska County Countdown: #20 Cass County

The county I call home

I may be biased, but that is the best looking courthouse on the countdown so far. I also have to work in there from time to time, so that may be a part of it. 9/10.

Cass County was named in honor of Lewis Cass of Michigan, who served in the Army, was a Secretary of War, Territorial Governor of Michigan and U.S. Senator.

Established in 1855, with the county seat of Plattsmouth, Cass County is one of the few counties we have seen in this countdown which currently is peaking in regards to total population. In 2010, the population of Cass County was 25,241.

As a current resident of Cass County, I would say it is safe to say that the population will continue to increase as both Lincoln and Omaha continue to expand. Looking at the map below, many of the communities of Cass County are located somewhere between the two largest cities in the state.

New houses continue popping up in the county and I just wonder where all these people are coming from? Probably enjoying living the small town life while still being a short drive to the city.

ELECTION SCANDAL of 1866: “The Ballot Box That Went to Lunch”

In 1866, a referendum on whether Nebraska should become a state became contentious. Republicans favored immediate statehood and Democrats wanted to wait. In Cass County, 107 votes were cast for Democrats, more than twice as many as for the Republicans which put Cass County in the Democratic column.

A defeated Repulbican recalled irregularities on election day. The law requried that the ballot box would be in site of voters from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. However, the poll workers at Rock Bluff closed the election site for an hour at lunch and dinner and took the ballot box with them.

The County Clerk at the time, a GOP, and the canvassing board threw out all the votes cast in the precinct on the technicality. The result was that Cass County went Republican and it helped the legislature move ahead with statehood plans.

BESS STREETER ALDRICH: Nebraska Hall of Fame Author

One of Nebraska’s finest writers who wrote “The Rim of the Prairie” and other novels about rural life in Nebraska during the late 19th and early 20th centuries made her home in Elmwood, NE. They built a house there in 1922 and that house still stands there today and is run by the Bess Streeter Aldrich Foundation which gives tours of her home. There is also a beautiful mural on the main street of Elmwood which gives honor to their favorite author.

An Embarrassment of Riches

All within about ten miles of each other can be found the following: Strategic Air Command and Space Museum, Mahoney State Park, Wildlife Safari Park, Quarry Oaks Golf Course, Platte River State Park and Louisville Lakes.

Somebody smarter than me must have thought putting all these attractions halfway between Lincoln and Omaha was a good thing.

Strategic Air Command and Space Museum: Huge hanger with refurbished planes from the history of the United States. Everytime we drive by my daughter yells, “PLANES!” Kids love the place.

Mahoney State Park: The home of my second job is likely the most popular state park in the entire state. It has just about everything from a largest aquatic center with a wave pool and a small kid area. They have camp grounds and beautiful cabins that are books almost year round. Areas for sledding, crafts, horseback riding and fishing. They added a zip line course in the past year. Plus a large restaurant and picnic areas. Just yesterday we were bored so we went hiking at Mahoney which had beautiful views of the Platte River.

Wildlife Safari Park: We go probably twice a year at least. You don’t even have to get out of your car and you’re going to see Buffalo, Elk, Cranes, Eagles and Deer. If you are willing to get out then you can hike up a hill and see bears and wolves.

Quarry Oaks Golf Course: Golf Digest calls it the number #1 public course in the entire state. And every time I play there you forget you are in the state of Nebraska. You are completely isolated and it is great. This is where I got my first job.

Platte River State Park: Considered the hidden jewel of state parks. I love to take my kids fishing there because you can’t fish unless you’re under 12 I believe so there are a ton of fish for them to catch. They just added a shooting range and a splash pad. Great hiking and GLAMPING! Which is new to me.

Louisville Lakes: It has been there forever and I have been driving by it my entire life, but I actually drove into there a couple months ago and I was surprised by what I found. There is are “lakes” of course but there is also a beach area for kids to play and get wet and they just added a huge water playground that is actually on the water. I will have to check it out.

And when you are hungry after all of that make your way to...

Round the Bend Steakhouse: Home of the Testical Festival

Yep, the testicle festival which they have annually on Friday and Saturday nights of Father’s Days Weekend is a celebration of everything beef. They have music, beer, dancing, and food at a festival that people from all over the country have made their way to from time to time. In 2019, it is scheduled for June 14th and 15th.

Round the Bend Steakhouse is also home to one of the best Prime Ribs in the state. Routinely people from Omaha and Lincoln make the drive to exit 426 to get a steak at Round the Best Steakhouse.

Cass County Communities

Cities: Louisville, Plattsmouth and Weeping Water

Villages: Alvo, Avoca, Cedar Creek, Eagle, Elmwood, Greenwood, Manley, Murdock, Murray, Nehawka, South Bend and Union

Unincorporated Communities: Factoryville, Mynard, Rock Bluff and Wabash

Hey, here’s a map

Husker Stuff:

Great Huskers to wear #20: Johnny “The Jet” Rodgers tore them loose from their shoes, Josh Bullocks and Michael Booker

[Jon: Here’s an interview I did in 2007 with Johnny, where I actually asked him about robbing that gas station.]

Other Notables to wear #20: Marlon Lucky (RB)

Current Huskers wearing #20: None

What’d I miss?