North Platte, Nebraska

North Platte, Nebraska
North Platte, Nebraska
—  City  —
Grain elevator along the Union Pacific Railroad in downtown North Platte
Location of North Platte, Nebraska
Coordinates: 41°8′9″N 100°46′14″W / 41.13583°N 100.77056°W / 41.13583; -100.77056
Country United States
State Nebraska
County Lincoln
 - Mayor Marc Kaschke
 - Legislature Tom Hansen
 - U.S. Congress Adrian M. Smith (R)
 - Total 10.6 sq mi (27.4 km2)
 - Land 10.5 sq mi (27.1 km2)
 - Water 0.1 sq mi (0.3 km2)
Elevation 2,802 ft (854 m)
Population (2010)
 - Total 24,733
 - Density 2,281.5/sq mi (880.9/km2)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 - Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP codes 69101, 69103
Area code(s) 308
FIPS code 31-35000[1]
GNIS feature ID 0831719[2]

North Platte is a city in and the county seat of Lincoln County, Nebraska, United States.[3] It is located in the southwestern part of the state, along Interstate 80, at the confluence of the North and South Platte Rivers forming the Platte River. The population was 24,733 at the 2010 census[4].

North Platte is a railroad town; Union Pacific Railroad's large Bailey Yard is located within the city. Today, North Platte is served only by freight trains, but during World War II the city was famous for the North Platte Canteen. Tens of thousands of volunteers from North Platte and surrounding towns met the troop trains passing through North Platte, offering coffee, sandwiches and hospitality.

North Platte is the principal city of the North Platte Micropolitan Statistical Area, which includes Lincoln, Logan, and McPherson counties.



North Platte is located at 41°8′9″N 100°46′14″W / 41.13583°N 100.77056°W / 41.13583; -100.77056 (41.135914, -100.770501).[5]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 10.6 square miles (27 km2), of which 10.5 square miles (27 km2) is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) (1.04%) is water.


North Platte experiences a dry continental climate (Köppen Dfa) with moderately long, cold and dry winters and hot, relatively wet summers. Precipitation is low, with an annual average of 19.3 inches (490 mm), but is not low enough for North Platte's climate to be classified as semi-arid.

Climate data for North Platte
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F (°C) 34.5
Daily mean °F (°C) 21.6
Average low °F (°C) 8.6
Precipitation inches (mm) 0.358
Source: Hong Kong Observatory [6]


Historical populations
Census Pop.
1880 363
1890 3,055 741.6%
1900 3,640 19.1%
1910 4,793 31.7%
1920 10,466 118.4%
1930 12,061 15.2%
1940 12,429 3.1%
1950 15,433 24.2%
1960 17,184 11.3%
1970 19,447 13.2%
1980 24,509 26.0%
1990 22,605 −7.8%
2000 23,878 5.6%
2010 24,733 3.6%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 23,878 people, 9,944 households, and 6,224 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,281.5 people per square mile (880.5/km²). There were 10,718 housing units at an average density of 1,024.1 per square mile (395.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 93.47% White, 0.71% African American, 0.64% Native American, 0.39% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 3.30% from other races, and 1.45% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6.68% of the population.

There were 9,944 households out of which 31.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.8% were married couples living together, 9.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.4% were non-families. 31.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.34 and the average family size was 2.97.

In the city the population was spread out with 26.0% under the age of 18, 9.5% from 18 to 24, 26.8% from 25 to 44, 21.9% from 45 to 64, and 15.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 94.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.0 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $34,181, and the median income for a family was $42,753. Males had a median income of $36,445 versus $20,157 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,306. About 7.8% of families and 10.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.2% of those under age 18 and 9.8% of those age 65 or over.

Points of interest

North Platte is home to the world's largest railyard, Bailey Yard. The Golden Spike Tower and Visitor Center is an eight story building which overlooks the expansive railroad staging area. The tower and visitor center are open to the public year-round.[7]

Lincoln County Historical Museum contains a display detailing the history of the North Platte Canteen, which greeted 6.5 million service personnel from Christmas Day 1941 through April 1, 1946. It also contains a Prairie Village with local landmark homes and other buildings, including a Pony Express station and pioneer church among many others.

A landspout near North Platte, Nebraska on May 22, 2004.

Buffalo Bill Ranch State Historical Park is located near North Platte, a Nebraska living history park about Buffalo Bill Cody. The park includes his actual house known as Scout's Rest Ranch. The park is two miles west of U.S. Highway 83 along U.S. Highway 30.

Every June, North Platte hosts the annual "Nebraskaland Days". The event includes parades, art shows, rodeos, concerts, and food events. It draws over 100,000 attendees every year.[8]

The Miss Nebraska Scholarship Program was moved to North Platte in 1984. The pageant is held every June and provides thousands of dollars annually to young women. Teresa Scanlan was crowned Miss Nebraska on June 12,2010 in North Platte and then was crowned the 90th anniversary Miss America in Las Vegas, NV on January 15, 2011.

UFO Incidents In North Platte Area

Two deputies investigated the sighting of unidentified flying objects in the sky south of Brady Nov. 21, 2008 according to Lincoln County Sheriff Jerome Kramer. Although both deputies and the man who called to report the lights dancing in the sky observed them for more than 15 minutes, they could offer no explanation about what they were.[9]

Notable natives and residents

  • Howard Baskerville
  • Mobster Henry Hill used to work as a cook in North Platte.
  • The popular big band leader Glenn Miller lived in North Platte during his childhood and started his musical career there when his father bought him a mandolin.
  • San Francisco Bay Area disc jockey Dr. Don Rose, was born and raised in North Platte and frequently referred to the city on his morning show.
  • Ryan Schultz, professional mixed martial artist, Lightweight Champion of defunct IFL
  • Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel was born in North Platte.[10]
  • Professional football player Danny Woodhead attended North Platte High School
  • Chief Red Cloud, Sioux warrior, was born near North Platte in 1822.
  • Former PBR bull rider Mark Ward, 4-time qualifier to the PBR World Finals (1999–2001, 2004), currently a stock contractor.
  • PBR/PRCA bull rider Dustin Elliott, 2-time PBR World Finals qualifier (2007–08), and 2004 PRCA World Champion bull rider.
  • Nathan Enderle was selected by the Chicago Bears in the fifth round of the 2011 NFL draft.


Further reading

  • Once Upon a Town: The Miracle of the North Platte Canteen, Bob Greene, Morrow/Avon, 2002, hardcover, 256 pages, ISBN 0-06-008196-1

External links

Coordinates: 41°08′09″N 100°46′14″W / 41.135914°N 100.770501°W / 41.135914; -100.770501

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