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Exeter, Nebraska
Downtown Exeter
Downtown Exeter
Location of Exeter, Nebraska
Location of Exeter, Nebraska
Country United States
State Nebraska
County Fillmore
 • Total 0.63 sq mi (1.63 km2)
 • Land 0.63 sq mi (1.63 km2)
 • Water 0 sq mi (0 km2)
1,611 ft (491 m)
 • Total 591
 • Estimate 
 • Density 938.1/sq mi (362.2/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 402
FIPS code 31-16340
GNIS feature ID 0829188

Exeter is a village in Fillmore County, Nebraska, United States. The population was 591 at the 2010 census.


In 1870, Dr. Horace Greeley Smith and his wife filed a homestead claim at the site of present-day Exeter. In an earlier scouting trip, Smith had determined that the site would lie near the line of the Burlington and Missouri River Railroad as it extended itself westward.

In the fall of 1871, the Burlington and Missouri was completed through Fillmore County. To promote settlement along its line, the railroad established towns at intervals. Towns were named alphabetically as the railroad ran westward from Lincoln, Nebraska. In eastern Fillmore County, a town was established on land donated by Smith and by James Dolan. One of the families that had settled in the area had come from Exeter, New Hampshire, and it was proposed that the town be given that name. It was adopted, as being in keeping with the alphabetical sequence: Crete, Dorchester, Exeter, Fairmont, Grafton, Harvard, Inland, Juniata, Kenesaw, and Lowell.

The railroad advertised the availability of free government land in Nebraska, bringing settlers from the eastern United States, and Czech, German, English, Irish, and Scandinavian immigrants. The town's growth was initially slow, but hastened in the late 1870s. In 1878, two large grain elevators were built and a number of businesses opened; the town's first newspaper, the Enterprise, was established in that year. In 1879, the town was incorporated; by that time, it had sixteen businesses.


Exeter is located at 40°38′41″N 97°26′57″W / 40.644684°N 97.449229°W / 40.644684; -97.449229 (40.644684, -97.449229).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 0.63 square miles (1.63 km2), all of it land.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 412
1890 754 83.0%
1900 673 −10.7%
1910 916 36.1%
1920 910 −0.7%
1930 941 3.4%
1940 841 −10.6%
1950 747 −11.2%
1960 745 −0.3%
1970 759 1.9%
1980 807 6.3%
1990 661 −18.1%
2000 712 7.7%
2010 591 −17.0%
2015 (est.) 538 −9.0%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 591 people, 236 households, and 151 families residing in the village. The population density was 938.1 inhabitants per square mile (362.2/km2). There were 283 housing units at an average density of 449.2 per square mile (173.4/km2). The racial makeup of the village was 98.6% White, 0.3% Native American, 0.7% from other races, and 0.3% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.6% of the population.

There were 236 households of which 31.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.4% were married couples living together, 8.5% had a female householder with no husband present, 2.1% had a male householder with no wife present, and 36.0% were non-families. 30.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.38 and the average family size was 3.00.

The median age in the village was 44.7 years. 25% of residents were under the age of 18; 6.2% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 19.5% were from 25 to 44; 29% were from 45 to 64; and 20.5% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the village was 48.1% male and 51.9% female.

Parks and recreation

Exeter's city park, also known as Gilbert's Park, is located at 110 E. Maplewood Street. The Aquatic Center, built in 2009, is also located in the park. The park has playground equipment, a ball field, volleyball court, horseshoe pits, and picnic facilities. Exeter also has four neighborhood mini parks located throughout the city with tennis and basketball courts at Edgar Recreation Center in the center of the community.

Annual events include the Easter Egg hunt in the spring, the Firemen's BBQ and Street Dance in the summer and holiday activities in November and December. Summer recreation abounds with league play in softball and baseball for many age groups. Youth can also participate in 4-H, Boy and Girl Scouts, church schools, day camps, and summer reading programs.


Exeter has three churches: the United Methodist Church, the United Church of Christ, and St. Stephen's Catholic Church.

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