Cities, Towns, Villages
Bladen; Blue Hill; Cowles; Guide Rock; Inavale; Red Cloud
The Territorial Legislature first established the boundaries of what is Webster County on Feb. 16, 1867. It would not be until four years later, however, that steps were taken to officially organize the county.
Webster County was attached to Jefferson County for a period of time. But in early 1871 the settlers in this area began meeting in dugouts to discuss what measures should be taken to petition for the separation of this area from Jefferson County and organize it as a new county. The initial meeting was held in the dugout of Silas Garber, said to be one of the first settlers in the area. As a consequence of this local effort, acting Gov. William H. James issued a proclamation on April 10 of that year calling for a special election to be conducted for the purpose of electing county officers and locating a county seat. The election was scheduled for nine days later.
Election day saw 42 votes cast. Among the county officers elected was Garber, who was selected to serve as judge. In addition, the site selected to serve as the county seat was located on Garber's claim. The area around Garber's homestead eventually became Red Cloud, the present county seat, and Garber himself would later be elected governor of Nebraska. Upon being organized, the county was officially named in honor of American statesman Daniel Webster.
The same year that the county was organized there were great fears of Indian attacks. Rumors persisted that Teton Sioux Chief Red Cloud, after whom the county seat was later named, was camped near the Garber stockade and accompanying him was a band of anywhere from 100 to more than 1,000 warriors. Following a period of confusion among the settlers, the rumor proved to be unfounded.
The year 1872 brought the first of real wave of immigrants to Webster County. Drawn by the Republican River and the fertile soil that could be found on both sides, these immigrants quickly began laying out homesteads and cultivating the land to plant crops. Webster County quickly began to prosper as a result of agriculture and continues to do so today.