Ogallala, Nebraska

Ogallala, Nebraska
Ogallala, Nebraska
—  City  —
Stores on Front Street
Nickname(s): "Cowboy Capital"
Location of Ogallala, Nebraska
Coordinates: 41°7′44″N 101°43′10″W / 41.12889°N 101.71944°W / 41.12889; -101.71944Coordinates: 41°7′44″N 101°43′10″W / 41.12889°N 101.71944°W / 41.12889; -101.71944
Country United States
State Nebraska
County Keith
Founded 1868
 – Type City Council/Mayor
 – Mayor Darrell "Buck" Bassett
 – Total 3.4 sq mi (8.8 km2)
 – Land 3.3 sq mi (8.7 km2)
 – Water 0.1 sq mi (0.2 km2)
Elevation 3,222 ft (982 m)
Population (2010)
 – Total 4,737
 – Density 1,472.4/sq mi (568.5/km2)
Time zone Mountain (MST) (UTC-7)
 – Summer (DST) MDT (UTC-6)
ZIP code 69153
Area code(s) 308
FIPS code 31-35980[1]
GNIS feature ID 0831832[2]
Sign for "Front Street" a popular Old West-themed tourist attraction in Ogallala

Ogallala is a city in Keith County, Nebraska, United States. The population was 4,737 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Keith County[3]. In the days of the Nebraska Territory, the city was a stop on the Pony Express and later along the transcontinental railroad. The Ogallala Aquifer was named after the city.



Ogallala first gained fame as a terminus for cattle drives that traveled from Texas to the Union Pacific railhead located there. These trails are known as the Western or Great Western trails.[4][5] The Union Pacific Railroad reached Ogallala on May 24, 1867.[6] The city itself was not laid out until 1875 and not incorporated until 1930.[7]


Ogallala is located at 41°7′44″N 101°43′10″W / 41.12889°N 101.71944°W / 41.12889; -101.71944 (41.128806, -101.719460)[8].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.4 square miles (8.8 km2), of which, 3.3 square miles (8.5 km2) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) of it (1.76%) is water.

Ogallala is in the US Mountain Time Zone (UTC-7/-6).

Ogallala is close to Lake McConaughy, a large man-made lake and a state recreation area with sandy beaches, boating, and swimming.


As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 4,930 people, 2,052 households, and 1,339 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,472.4 people per square mile (568.2/km²). There were 2,314 housing units at an average density of 691.1 per square mile (266.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 96.45% White, 0.02% African American, 0.87% Native American, 0.22% Asian, 1.68% from other races, and 0.75% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.79% of the population.

There were 2,052 households out of which 31.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.0% were married couples living together, 9.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.7% were non-families. 30.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.35 and the average family size was 2.94.

In the city the population was spread out with 26.5% under the age of 18, 6.7% from 18 to 24, 26.5% from 25 to 44, 21.9% from 45 to 64, and 18.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 89.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.0 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $32,141, and the median income for a family was $39,688. Males had a median income of $27,436 versus $18,292 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,674. About 5.0% of families and 7.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.3% of those under age 18 and 9.1% of those age 65 or over.


Public schools

Ogallala is served by the Ogallala Public School District [9]

  • High School—Ogallala High School
  • Middle School—Ogallala Middle School
  • Elementary Schools—Prairie View Elementary School (grades 3 to 5), Progress Elementary School (grades 1 and 2), and West 5th Elementary School (Kindergarten)

Private schools

  • St. Paul's Lutheran School (PreK-5)
  • St. Luke's Catholic School (PreK-5)



  • KOGA (AM) (930 AM) Adult Standards/MOR
  • KOGA-FM (97.7 FM) Classic Rock
  • KMCX (106.5 FM) Hot Country


  • Keith County News (bi-weekly)


  1. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. http://factfinder.census.gov. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  2. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. http://geonames.usgs.gov. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. http://www.naco.org/Counties/Pages/FindACounty.aspx. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  4. ^ Skaggs, Jimmy M.. "WESTERN TRAIL". Handbook of Texas Online. exas State Historical Association. http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/WW/ayw2.html. Retrieved 2010-07-20. 
  5. ^ Busby, Myra. "Along The Great Western Cattle Trail". www.greatwesterncattletrail.com. http://www.greatwesterncattletrail.com/along_gwct_a/along_gwct.html. Retrieved 2010-07-20. 
  6. ^ "Union Pacific End of Track Dateline 1865-1869" (GIF). Historical Maps of the Union Pacific. Union Pacific Railroad Company. http://www.uprr.com/aboutup/maps/graphics/goldspik.gif. Retrieved 2010-07-20. 
  7. ^ Seltzer, Leon, ed. (1952), "Ogallala, Nebraska", Columbia Lippincott Gazetteer of the world: Lippincott's pronouncing gazetteer, New York: Columbia University Press, p. 1378 
  8. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. http://www.census.gov/geo/www/gazetteer/gazette.html. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  9. ^ "Ogallala Public School District". www.opsd.org. http://www.opsd.org/. Retrieved 2010-07-20. 
Photo spot just off Interstate 80

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