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Broken Bow, Nebraska facts for kids

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Broken Bow, Nebraska
Broken Bow Commercial Square Historic District, centered on the public square, is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
Broken Bow Commercial Square Historic District, centered on the public square, is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
Location within Custer County (left) and Nebraska (right)
Location within Custer County (left) and Nebraska (right)
Country United States
State Nebraska
County Custer
 • Total 1.95 sq mi (5.06 km2)
 • Land 1.95 sq mi (5.06 km2)
 • Water 0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
2,477 ft (755 m)
 • Total 3,559
 • Estimate 
 • Density 1,790.58/sq mi (691.40/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 308
FIPS code 31-06610
GNIS feature ID 0827664

Broken Bow is a city in Custer County, Nebraska, United States. The population was 3,559 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Custer County.


Broken Bow was platted in 1882. Its name was suggested by a settler who found a broken bow in a field at the site of a former Indian camping ground. The railroad was built through Broken Bow in 1884, and the town was incorporated as a village that same year. Broken Bow was incorporated as a city of the second class in 1888.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.90 square miles (4.92 km2), all of it land.

The geographic center of Nebraska lies approximately 10 miles northwest of Broken Bow.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1890 1,647
1900 1,375 −16.5%
1910 2,260 64.4%
1920 2,567 13.6%
1930 2,715 5.8%
1940 2,968 9.3%
1950 3,396 14.4%
1960 3,482 2.5%
1970 3,734 7.2%
1980 3,979 6.6%
1990 3,778 −5.1%
2000 3,491 −7.6%
2010 3,559 1.9%
2019 (est.) 3,497 −1.7%
U.S. Decennial Census
2012 Estimate

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 3,559 people, 1,575 households, and 909 families living in the city. The population density was 1,873.2 inhabitants per square mile (723.2/km2). There were 1,730 housing units at an average density of 910.5 per square mile (351.5/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 95.7% White, 0.4% African American, 0.7% Native American, 0.1% Asian, 1.3% from other races, and 1.7% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.8% of the population.

There were 1,575 households, of which 27.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.8% were married couples living together, 10.3% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.6% had a male householder with no wife present, and 42.3% were non-families. 38.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 20.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.19 and the average family size was 2.90.

The median age in the city was 41.9 years. 24.8% of residents were under the age of 18; 6.4% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 22.4% were from 25 to 44; 24.1% were from 45 to 64; and 22.2% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 47.1% male and 52.9% female.


Nebraska's largest cattle feedlot, the Adams Land and Cattle south lot, with a capacity of 85,000 head, is located 2 miles south of Broken Bow. In the past, some locals have feared the potential of environmental damage from the feedlot, but the state's environmental agency has found the company in compliance with state standards.

A family owned feed store, Evans Feed, opened in 1927. The town also has a grocery and a nursing home.

Notable people

  • Bettina Bedwell, journalist and fashion designer
  • Solomon Butcher, photographer of the homestead era in central Nebraska, lived in Broken Bow from 1915 to 1926.
  • Earl Cooper, race car driver in Motorsports Hall of Fame of America
  • Augustin Reed Humphrey, Congressman
  • Omer Madison Kem, populist Congressman, 1890-1896
  • Kent McCloughan, football player for University of Nebraska and Oakland Raiders

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Broken Bow (Nebraska) para niños

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