Official Nebraska Government Website Nebraska State Historical Society

Nebraska National Register Sites
in Jefferson County


Rural Sites

Smith Lime Kiln Woral C. Smith Lime Kiln and Limestone House, pdf [JF00-029] Listed 1974/12/03

Located on the Little Blue River near Fairbury, the kiln was built in 1874 by Woral C. Smith, a native of New York. To show the durability of his products, Smith erected a large limestone dwelling in 1876. During the 1870s the limestone industry flourished in Jefferson County, and as a result, many buildings were constructed with the native rock. The Smith Lime Kiln is one of the few remaining examples of this important pioneer industry.

District #10 School District #10 School, pdf [JF00-036] Listed 1978/12/15

District 10 was organized March 20, 1869. Located near Powell, the present frame school building was constructed about 1900 and is a good example of a one-room rural schoolhouse. The property also includes a frame coal shed and boys' and girls' privies.

Survey Thematic Group Nebraska-Kansas Public Land Survey Thematic Group, pdf [JF00-072] Listed 1987/06/19

These surveyors' monuments, and witness stones which locate them, played a vital role in the survey of public lands in Nebraska, Kansas, Colorado, South Dakota, and Wyoming. A cast iron monument, located on a bluff above the Missouri River in Richardson County near present-day Rulo, marks the initial point for the survey. It was set in place on May 8, 1855. An 1856 red sandstone monument marks the intersection of the sixth principal meridian and the fortieth degree of the north latitude base line (the point where present-day Thayer and Jefferson counties, Nebraska, and Washington and Republic counties, Kansas, meet). The monuments remain major reference points to the present day in the rectangular land survey system. Broken off and reburied several times, the stone monument was most recently unearthed in 1986 by surveyors from five states who were sponsored by the Professional Surveyors Association of Nebraska.

Urban Sites

Diller Opera House  Anna C. Diller Opera House, pdf [JF02-001] Listed 1988/07/06

The opera house was built in 1912-13 by Anna C. Diller, daughter-in-law of Samuel Diller, for whom the town was named. The three-story brick building was designed in the Second Renaissance Revival style. The second level opera house has a raked floor, balcony, and orchestra pit. The walls and ceiling display stencil work and free-hand painting by Danish immigrant artists Charles Hansen and James Willer.

People's State Bank People's State Bank, pdf [JF02-003] Listed 1984/06/13

Located in Diller, the two-story brick building was constructed in 1892-93 as the People's State Bank. It became known as the First National Bank in 1904 and finally as the Citizens' State Bank in 1914. The structure is a fine example of Renaissance Revival architecture.

Colman House Colman House, pdf [JF02-004] Listed 1982/06/25

The Colman House, located in Diller, is a distinct and sophisticated turn-of-the-century residence, designed by German-American architect W. F. Gernandt. The house was built in 1908-9 by Andrew H. Colman for his wife Lillie. The interior contains an exceptionally fine collection of painted and stenciled walls and ceilings executed in 1912 by Charles Hansen and James Willer of the local firm "Hansen and Willer, Painters and Decorators." These Danish immigrant artists worked in Jefferson and surrounding counties. The firm also decorated the interior of the Anna C. Diller Opera House.

Fairbury Commercial Historic District Fairbury Commercial Historic District, pdf [JF04] Listed 1997/06/20

The Fairbury Commercial Historic District is historically significant for its association with the commercial development of Fairbury and Jefferson County. Fairbury's development and growth as a trade and shipping center were closely linked to its position on important railroad lines, as well as the prosperous surrounding agricultural community. The district is also significant for its groupings of buildings representing an array of architectural styles and forms that were popular in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. These buildings, enhanced by the accompaniment of brick streets throughout the district, display extremely intact exteriors and serve as fine examples of styles commonly erected in communities throughout eastern Nebraska.

Fairbury Carnegie Library Fairbury Carnegie Library, pdf [JF04-022] Listed 1985/09/12

In 1907 the Fairbury community received a grant of $12,500 from Andrew Carnegie. Ground was broken on October 5, 1908, and the library opened to the public December 10, 1909. The building is a fine example of the Neo-Classical Revival style, designed by the Lincoln

Rock Island Depot  Fairbury Rock Island Depot and Freight House, pdf [JF04-047] Listed 1996/06/21

The Fairbury Rock Island Depot and Freight House was constructed in 1913. The large two-story Renaissance Revival-style building served as a passenger/freight depot and the Rock Island's Western Division headquarters from the time of its construction through 1965.architectural firm of Tyler and Son.

Jefferson County Courthouse  Jefferson County Courthouse, pdf [JF04-050] Listed 1972/11/27

One of the state's finest courthouses, the limestone structure was designed in the Richardsonian Romanesque style and features a prominent central clock tower. Fairbury became the county seat in 1871, and the town was incorporated the following year. In 1890 plans submitted by Topeka, Kansas architect J. C. Holland were adopted, and the courthouse was completed in 1892.

Temple Building  I.O.O.F. Temple Building, pdf [JF04-062] Listed 1987/06/15

Built in 1894-95, the two-story brick Romanesque Revival commercial building was jointly constructed by Sarah Moulton, wife of a county judge, and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Lodge 54. Mrs. Moulton built the basement and first floor of the building, which houses commercial businesses, and the lodge constructed the second story, which served as the Odd Fellows Hall in Fairbury for almost seventy years.

Fairbury High School Fairbury High School and Auditorium, pdf [JF04-108,469] Listed 1999/03/25

The 1923 Fairbury Junior-Senior High School and Manual Arts Building, and the 1947 Gymnasium-Auditorium are significant for their association with the community's education system. The three buildings reflect the changes in educational needs for the city of Fairbury.

Steele City Historic District  Steele City Historic District, pdf [JF12] Listed 1972/03/16

Steele City was platted in 1873 and was named for D. M. Steele, president of the St. Joseph and Western Railway. This railroad crossed the town and stimulated its growth. The historic district comprises religious, residential, and commercial structures dating from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The buildings incorporate elements from various architectural styles, including Italianate and Romanesque Revival, and use wood, brick, and stone as building materials. Notable buildings in the district include the Baptist Church, a limestone building erected in 1882; the Zoellin House, an elaborate two-story frame dwelling, built around 1890; and the 1900 sandstone blacksmith shop.

Steele City School Steele City School District #48, pdf [JF12-022] Listed 1997/12/08

Constructed in 1914, the school is representative of a combined elementary and high school, considered a relatively rare building type of which few examples remain.


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Last updated 19 January 2010

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