Chadron, Nebraska facts for kids
Quick facts for kids
The Chadron Commercial Historic District is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
Location of Chadron within Dawes County and Nebraska
Detailed map of Chadron
|• Total||3.90 sq mi (10.11 km2)|
|• Land||3.90 sq mi (10.11 km2)|
|• Water||0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)|
|Elevation||3,379 ft (1,030 m)|
| • Estimate
|• Density||1,386.98/sq mi (535.55/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−7 (Mountain (MST))|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−6 (MDT)|
|GNIS feature ID||0835519|
Chadron ( SHAD-rən) is a city and the county seat of Dawes County, in the state of Nebraska in the Great Plains region of the United States. The population was 5,851 at the 2010 census. This city is the location of Chadron State College.
Chadron also is the United States Forest Service headquarters of the Nebraska and Samuel R. McKelvie National Forests, and the Buffalo Gap, Fort Pierre, and Oglala National Grasslands. The Museum of the Fur Trade is located near Chadron, at the site of the American Fur Company's former Bordeaux Trading Post.
Succeeding cultures of indigenous peoples lived in the area for thousands of years. In historic times, tribes such as the Oglala Lakota (Oglala Sioux Tribe), Cheyenne and others lived in the area. The Sioux used this territory as a hunting ground after pushing other tribes to the west.
In 1884 the town was formally established when the Fremont, Elkhorn, and Missouri Valley Railroad was constructed through the area from Omaha, Nebraska, en route to Wyoming. Chadron was first named O'Linn for its founder Fannie O'Linn, who built a community at the confluence of the White River (Missouri River) and Chadron Creek. This is where the railroad was expected to branch. When it was built six miles away on Bordeaux Creek, the townspeople packed up the entire town—buildings included—and moved it to the new location.
Among the founders of the town were the businessman Charles Henry King and his wife Martha. King established retail and freight businesses and banks in towns along the railroad's route; he capitalized on the flow of settlers and pioneers to the region. Four of the five King children were born in Chadron, including their second son Leslie Lynch King. In 1908 the family moved to Omaha, the business center of the state. In 1912 Leslie married, and in July 1913 became the father of the future president, Gerald Ford. King and his wife divorced soon after that.
During the 1893 Chicago World's Fair, Chadron was the starting point of the 1,000-mile "Chadron-Chicago Cowboy Horse Race." Nine riders competed for the $1,000 prize to be the first to reach the entrance of Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show. Among the riders was the former outlaw Doc Middleton. John Berry won the race in 13 days and 16 hours.
Chadron State College was founded in 1911.
In the Lakota language, Chadron is known as čhápa wakpá otȟúŋwahe, meaning "beaver river city".
Geography and climate
Chadron is located at 3,400 feet in elevation. It is surrounded by prairie grassland, broken by a ridge of lightly forested hills to the south.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.85 square miles (9.97 km2), all of it land.
|Climate data for Chadron, Nebraska (1981–2010)|
|Average high °F (°C)||38.1
|Average low °F (°C)||14.0
|Precipitation inches (mm)||0.38
|Snowfall inches (cm)||5.4
|U.S. Decennial Census
As of the census of 2010, there were 5,851 people, 2,306 households, and 1,194 families living in the city. The population density was 1,519.7 inhabitants per square mile (586.8/km2). There were 2,559 housing units at an average density of 664.7 per square mile (256.6/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 87.8% White, 1.6% African American, 5.1% Native American, 0.8% Asian, 0.6% Pacific Islander, 1.1% from other races, and 2.9% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.6% of the population.
There were 2,306 households, of which 25.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 38.6% were married couples living together, 9.6% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.6% had a male householder with no wife present, and 48.2% were non-families. 38.3% of all households were made up of individuals, and 13.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.16 and the average family size was 2.89.
The median age in the city was 26.8 years. 19.5% of residents were under the age of 18; 27.5% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 21.5% were from 25 to 44; 18.3% were from 45 to 64; and 13.1% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 49.0% male and 51.0% female.
Every July, Chadron hosts an annual community celebration called "Fur Trade Days," in honor of its origins as a fur and hide trading post for French and other settlers in the Great Plains during the 19th century. Chadron's Museum of the Fur Trade is the largest of its kind in the United States and attracts thousands of visitors every year.
Chadron is served by Chadron Municipal Airport.
- Chadron State College
- Chadron Senior High School
- Chadron Middle School
- Chadron Intermediate School
- Chadron Primary School
- Poe Ballantine, novelist and essayist
- Don Beebe, former NFL wide receiver
- Justin Bruening, television actor
- James Dahlman, longtime mayor of Omaha, Nebraska
- Charles Henry King, businessman known for founding Chadron and other cities; father of Leslie Lynch King
- Leslie Lynch King, Sr., the biological father of President Gerald Ford
- Tim Walz, 41st governor of Minnesota (2019–present)
- Danny Woodhead, football player for the San Diego Chargers and NCAA record holder
Chadron, Nebraska Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.