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Clay Center, Nebraska
Downtown Clay Center
Downtown Clay Center
Location of Clay Center, Nebraska
Location of Clay Center, Nebraska
Country United States
State Nebraska
County Clay
Area
 • Total 0.73 sq mi (1.89 km2)
 • Land 0.73 sq mi (1.89 km2)
 • Water 0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
Elevation
1,785 ft (544 m)
Population
 (2010)
 • Total 760
 • Estimate 
(2019)
724
 • Density 990.42/sq mi (382.32/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
68933
Area code(s) 402
FIPS code 31-09375
GNIS feature ID 0828169
Website claycenterne.com

Clay Center is a city in and the county seat of Clay County, Nebraska, United States. It is part of the Hastings, Nebraska Micropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 760 at the 2010 census.

Geography

Clay Center is located at 40°31′20″N 98°3′18″W / 40.52222°N 98.05500°W / 40.52222; -98.05500 (40.522291, -98.055076).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.72 square miles (1.86 km2), all of it land.

History

Clay Center was laid out in 1879. The city was named after Henry Clay, a statesman from Kentucky. A post office has been in operation at Clay Center since 1879.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 68
1890 390 473.5%
1900 590 51.3%
1910 1,065 80.5%
1920 965 −9.4%
1930 933 −3.3%
1940 715 −23.4%
1950 824 15.2%
1960 792 −3.9%
1970 952 20.2%
1980 962 1.1%
1990 825 −14.2%
2000 861 4.4%
2010 760 −11.7%
2019 (est.) 724 −4.7%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 760 people, 332 households, and 214 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,055.6 inhabitants per square mile (407.6/km2). There were 360 housing units at an average density of 500.0 per square mile (193.1/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 95.4% White, 0.4% African American, 0.1% Asian, 2.2% from other races, and 1.8% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.6% of the population.

There were 332 households, of which 27.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.8% were married couples living together, 7.2% had a female householder with no husband present, 2.4% had a male householder with no wife present, and 35.5% were non-families. 32.8% of all households were made up of individuals, and 13.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.27 and the average family size was 2.89.

The median age in the city was 42.8 years. 23.7% of residents were under the age of 18; 7.4% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 21.5% were from 25 to 44; 30.4% were from 45 to 64; and 17% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 49.6% male and 50.4% female.

Popular culture

  • The novel, Clay Center by Phil Condon, was named after the town.


Education

Accredited "A" by the State Board of Education, Clay Center High School (CCHS) has an exceptional academic reputation with test scores consistently above the state and national averages.

The K-12 system enjoys a modern high school facility and gym. In the past five years, CCHS has earned five state championships in various sports. An experienced administration and staff provide an average 1 to 10 teacher-to-pupil ratio. Community scholarships are available to graduating seniors.

Served by Educational Service Unit No. 9 of Hastings, CCHS receives resources and expertise for its teachers and students.

Clay Center is located near several post-secondary institutions. It is one and one-half hours from the University of Nebraska/Lincoln and University of Nebraska/Kearney; one-half hour from Hastings College and the Mary Lanning School of Nursing, and 20 minutes from Central Community College in Hastings.

Notable people

  • Joseph D. Leitch, U.S. Army major general
  • Abby Miller, actress
  • Joe Saldana, race-car driver
  • Howard Bradley Smith, (author)
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