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Gothenburg, Nebraska
Pony Express station in Ehmen Park, Gothenburg
Pony Express station in Ehmen Park, Gothenburg
Location of Gothenburg, Nebraska
Location of Gothenburg, Nebraska
Country United States
State Nebraska
County Dawson
 • Total 3.68 sq mi (9.52 km2)
 • Land 3.63 sq mi (9.41 km2)
 • Water 0.04 sq mi (0.12 km2)
2,569 ft (783 m)
 • Total 3,574
 • Estimate 
 • Density 949.34/sq mi (366.56/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 308
FIPS code 31-19385
GNIS feature ID 0829595

Gothenburg is a city in Dawson County, Nebraska, United States. It is part of the Lexington, Nebraska Micropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 3,574 at the 2010 census.


Gothenburg, Nebraska is named after Gothenburg, Sweden, and is noted for its Swedish heritage. Gothenburg, Nebraska, and Gothenburg (Swedish: Göteborg), Sweden, are believed to be the only two cities named Gothenburg in the world.

Gothenburg was founded in 1882 by Olof Bergstrom. After coming to America from Sweden in 1881, Bergstrom worked for a time on the Union Pacific Railroad, then homesteaded in Dawson County near Gothenburg. He eventually became a land agent for the UP. Bergstrom selected the site that was to become Gothenburg and located a farmstead about a mile north. The Union Pacific Railroad laid out the original town of eight blocks parallel to the railroad tracks. Bergstrom made several return trips to Sweden to lead groups of settlers to Dawson County.


Gothenburg is located at 40°55′54″N 100°9′34″W / 40.93167°N 100.15944°W / 40.93167; -100.15944 (40.931560, -100.159381).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.64 square miles (9.43 km2), of which, 3.59 square miles (9.30 km2) is land and 0.05 square miles (0.13 km2) is water.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1890 535
1900 819 53.1%
1910 1,730 111.2%
1920 1,754 1.4%
1930 2,322 32.4%
1940 2,330 0.3%
1950 2,977 27.8%
1960 3,050 2.5%
1970 3,158 3.5%
1980 3,479 10.2%
1990 3,232 −7.1%
2000 3,619 12.0%
2010 3,574 −1.2%
2019 (est.) 3,448 −3.5%
U.S. Decennial Census
2012 Estimate

2010 census

At the 2010 census there were 3,574 people in 1,494 households, including 974 families, in the city. The population density was 995.5 inhabitants per square mile (384.4/km2). There were 1,664 housing units at an average density of 463.5 per square mile (179.0/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 97.3% White, 0.2% African American, 0.3% Native American, 0.3% Asian, 0.8% from other races, and 1.2% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.8%.

Of the 1,494 households 33.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.7% were married couples living together, 9.8% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.7% had a male householder with no wife present, and 34.8% were non-families. 31.4% of households were one person and 16.1% were one person aged 65 or older. The average household size was 2.34 and the average family size was 2.94.

The median age was 40.4 years. 27.1% of residents were under the age of 18; 5.7% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 22.5% were from 25 to 44; 25.2% were from 45 to 64; and 19.4% were 65 or older. The gender makeup of the city was 47.3% male and 52.7% female.

Points of interest

Gothenburg NE House
Ernest A. Calling House at 1514 Lake Avenue is listed on the National Register of Historic Places
Gothenburg NE Library
Carnegie Public Library at 1104 Lake Avenue is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places
  • The Pony Express Trail runs through Gothenburg. There are two original Pony Express Stations in Gothenburg. In 1931, a station located on the Upper 96 Ranch, four miles east of Fort McPherson in Lincoln County, was donated to the city. The station was moved to Ehmen Park in central Gothenburg. A second station is still in its original location, on the Lower 96 Ranch four miles south of Gothenburg; it is open to the public on a limited basis.
  • Swedish Crosses Cemetery, a cemetery where wrought iron crosses mark the graves of three children of Swedish immigrants is located two miles north and two miles west of Gothenburg. A Nebraska Historical Marker was dedicated in August 1991.
  • Wild Horse Golf Club is located northwest of Gothenburg and is infamous for its high winds, fast greens, and "wooga", or the native grass that is used as the second cut. Golf Week Magazine rated it #1 "Best Course Under $50" as well as 21st Best Modern Course in the United States (2007).
  • The Gothenburg Historical Museum, organized in 1980, contains many historical artifacts from the Dawson County area.
  • The Sod House Museum was established in Gothenburg in 1988. The museum stands next to a full-scale replica of an authentic sod house, together with a barn, windmills and life-sized barbed wire sculptures.

Notable people

  • John B. Curtis, inventor of commercial chewing gum
  • Chris Dishman, professional American football player, was born in Gothenburg
  • Ben Kuroki, the only Japanese-American to serve in the US Army Air Force in the Pacific during World War II, was born in Gothenburg
  • Jay Novacek, professional football player, attended Gothenburg High School
  • Louise Odencrantz, social scientist
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