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Nebraska County Countdown 27: Wayne County

A historic courthouse, Sam Foltz, a Hail Mary, and Irving Fryar

wayne county nebraska courthouse

Welcome to Wayne County, home of the Wayne Chicken Show. The county was organized in 1870 and named after General Anthony Wayne, a Revolutionary War hero. The county seat is Wayne and additional towns are Carroll, Sholes, Winside, and Hoskins. Wayne County’s population is 9,595.

The city of Wayne is home to Wayne State College. From the official Wayne County website:

As early as 1871, plans were made for building a college. However, those plans were not carried out. In 1891, when classes began at Pile’s Nebraska Normal College, seven students enrolled. During the early days of the college, tuition was paid in eggs, milk and labor. In 1910, the State purchased the college and the name was changed to Nebraska Normal School at Wayne. Tuition was free, books were rented for $0.20 per semester, and dormitory rooms costs $0.50 a week.

Below is another view of the Wayne County courthouse, built in 1899. It is on the National Register of Historic Places.

The original county seat was LaPorte. When the rail line did not come through LaPorte, a new county seat was selected in 1882. Residents of LaPorte moved their houses and possessions and soon abandoned the town.

The town of Sholes had some interesting laws in its early days. From the Virtual Nebraska website:

Sholes was incorporated in 1913, at which time a book of ordinances was developed,including such laws as:

-- no person shall ride or drive through any street at a dangerous rate of speed greater than six miles an hour.

-- it is unlawful for any person to leave standing in the streets, hitched or unhitched, any horse for a period of six hours, without giving it food or water.

-- there will be no ball playing in the streets.

-- any person who shall injure or destroy the shade trees of another, or permit his animals to injure or destroy them, shall be liable to a fine of not less than $5 or more than $50 for each tree destroyed.

Notable Wayne’s:

Marjie Lundstrom, Pulitzer Prize winning newspaper writer.

Mary P. Romero Zielke Cota, a supercentarian (lived to 110+), mother of the first mother-daughter supercentarian pair. She lived to 112, her daughter lived to 111.

Notable 27’s:

Irving Fryar, lying shyster who threw the 1983 Orange Bowl for money. You don’t have to believe that. But he did.

Joe Blahak, defensive back on 1971 nat’l champ team.

Abdul Muhammed, wide receiver, 1994 nat’l champ team.

Sam Foltz

Current 27’s:

Mitch Steinhoff, Left Handed Pitcher, Crete NE

Grace Brown, Defender on soccer team, Iowa City IA

(No one on the football team wears 27 currently and probably will not for a long time, if ever)

More 27 Trivia:

The 1927 Huskers, led by coach Ernest Bearg, posted a 6-2 record (4-1 in the Missouri Valley conference). The losses were to Missouri (A 6-7 barnburner) and Pittsburgh (score: 13-21).

Nebraska football currently sports a 26-27 bowl record (.491)

2013 Nebraska vs Northwestern was a 27-24 win with the game-winning play a Ron Kellogg to Jordan Westerkamp Hail Mary.