Happy Birthday, Thayer County!
18 Aug 2021
For 150 years, Thayer County has been a prime Midwest place where residents come together to accomplish big things. From being home to the first four cities along the ABC railway back in the 1800s to saving a local restaurant and building a state-of-the-art wellness center in the 2000s, Thayer County continues to thrive.
Thayer County Beginnings
It all started in 1871 when the legislature decided to split Jefferson County in two. The western portion was named Thayer County after Nebraska’s U.S. Senator, John M. Thayer (1867-1871), who later served as the governor of Nebraska (1887 – 1892). Once established, it didn’t take long before Thayer County became part of history.
Historic Contributions & Achievements
Trails and Rails – As people journeyed West in search of land and gold, Thayer County was a popular stop. You can still see the largest marker along the Oregon Trail located north of Hebron on Hwy 81. Fort Kiowa also served as a pitstop along the Oregon Trail, providing settlers protection as they slept.
Art from the Great Depression Era – Hebron’s post office, in Thayer County, is home to one of 12 murals commissioned through the New Deal’s WPA Federal Art Project in 1939. This project was designed to bring hope during the Great Depression. The mural depicts a herd of buffalo running across train tracks as a train is coming. Four of the 12 murals were painted by women. It took three weeks for Ms. Eldora Lorenzini to paint this piece.
Women’s Suffrage – In 1877, Susan B. Anthony traveled to Hebron to speak on behalf of women’s rights. In 1879, Elizabeth Cady Stanton did the same. These women were forces to be reckoned with during the Women’s Suffrage movement, delivering speeches throughout the country.
Thayer County Created Stars
Every resident of Thayer County is a star! Yet these folks are celebrities outside of Thayer County and we enjoy supporting and watching their success.
- Russ Snyder – Starting outfielder for the 1966 World Series Champion Baltimore Orioles. Snyder played in the major leagues from 1959 – 1970.
- Lewis R. Hunter – TV producer, film director and screenwriter. Hunter worked on classic shows Batman, Bewitched and Little House on the Prairie.
- Treva Tegtmeier – Actress seen in Grey’s Anatomy, 90210, The Tonight Show, X Files, Passions, and a slew of other projects.
We have more! Each celebrity listed and not started their humble beginnings here in Thayer County. Some return to visit and some returned to stay.
These are just teaser-reasons to celebrate and commemorate Thayer County’s 150 years of thriving. We have so many accomplishments to be proud of and other ways we have thrived over the years. And guess what? We are not done! Thayer County has much more to do in the near and far future as we continue to stay progressive.
Join us on August 21st for fun, food, fellowship and family. It all starts at 3:00 p.m. Then, in the words of Kevin Bacon from the movie Footloose, “LET’S DANCE!” Yes, at 7:30 p.m. Thayer County’s birthday dance will begin, ending the celebration with a bang!