Falls City, Nebraska

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Falls City is a city in Richardson County, Nebraska, United States. The population was 4,671 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Richardson County.[3]



Falls City is located at 40°3′45″N 95°36′4″W / 40.0625°N 95.60111°W / 40.0625; -95.60111 (40.062447, -95.601173).[4]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.6 square miles (6.8 km²), all of it land.


Falls City was founded in the summer of 1857 by James Lane, John Burbank, J.E. Burbank and Isaac L. Hamby. The town is located on the north side of the Big Nemaha River. The river in 1857 had banks and bed of rock and stone. The town was located near where the river flowed over a four-foot rock ledge called the "Falls of Nemaha", for which the town was named. Over time the river has changed to the extent that the falls no longer exist.

The town was a stop on the Underground Railroad for escaping slaves during the struggles resulting from the Kansas-Nebraska Act. Early in the city's history, it successfully won a prolonged process to become the county seat of Richardson County. The county originally selected Salem, Nebraska to be the county seat, but due to Salem's lack of a suitable building site, a new election was held which Falls City tied in the vote. Finally in a third election in 1860, Falls City was declared the permanent site of the county seat.

Falls City grew in the late 19th century due the arrival of the Atchison & Nebraska Railroad in 1871 and the Missouri Pacific in 1882, for which Falls City was designated as a division point in 1909. The population of the city peaked at 6,200 citizens in 1950.

On August 6, 1966, Braniff Airlines Flight 250 crashed near Falls City due to bad weather, killing all 42 on board.

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