Tekamah, Nebraska

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Tekamah is a city in Burt County, Nebraska, United States. The population was 1,892 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Burt County[3].



A claim was staked to establish Tekamah as a town in October 1854. On March 14, 1855, Tekamah became an incorporated city by an act of the first territorial legislature of Nebraska.

A peculiar method produced the town's name. According to the diary of Colonel B.R. Folsom, who worked with the original townsite company, Tekamah was literally chosen by the luck of the draw. When the decision had been reached to make the location a settlement, a problem arose in naming it. It was agreed that each of the exploration parties should write their favorite name on a slip of paper and drop it into a hat. The first name drawn out would then become the official name of the community. The first name drawn was "Tekamah."

A surveyor, William Byers, contributed the name. An Indian translation defines Tekamah as meaning "big cottonwoods," and this is appropriate due to the large cottonwood trees that grew along the banks of Tekamah creek and were scattered over the territory. Another translation found through research says the name "Teka-mah" comes from the Egyptian or Arabic language and means "bloody battlefield." Researchers claim that centuries ago many tribes of Indians collided with a pale-faced foe in the Tekamah valley. During the years following the settling of the area, documentation was found indicating that many exposed human bones were found. The translation in either language is appropriate as there is evidence enough for both. It is unclear which translation prompted Byers to suggest it as a contender. To this day Tekamah is a name that belongs exclusively to Burt County. Pronounced Tek-KAY-mah


Tekamah is located at 41°46′41″N 96°13′21″W / 41.77806°N 96.2225°W / 41.77806; -96.2225 (41.778008, -96.222546)[4].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.3 square miles (3.3 km²), all of it land.


As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 1,892 people, 778 households, and 522 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,492.2 people per square mile (575.2/km²). There were 833 housing units at an average density of 657.0/sq mi (253.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 99.05% White, 0.11% African American, 0.48% Native American, 0.05% Asian, and 0.32% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.79% of the population.

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