Niobrara, Nebraska is a small, progressive town, located in the far northeastern corner of Nebraska at the confluence of the Niobrara and Missouri rivers. It is headquarters of the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska and home of Niobrara State Park. Native Americans gave the town its name, which means "running water".
Niobrara is one of the oldest towns in the state and is located directly on the Lewis & Clark Trail, is on the Outlaw Trail Scenic Byway and on the stretch federally designated as a recreational and scenic river. Niobrara is also known as one of the newest towns in the state because it was relocated twice due to the encroaching waters of the Missouri river, most recently in the mid 70s.
Agriculture and tourism are the backbone of the business community here. Niobrara has beautiful scenery and many, many assets including hunting, fishing, golfing and boating. Another plus are Niobrara's schools, whose teachers and students have recently both been recognized by the state for outstanding efforts in testing and assessments..
Niobrara is fortunate enough to have two museums and other recreation and attractions that reflect the history of our community. Check out our picture show of Niobrara
For more information, please contact the Civic Center at 402-857-3565
Village of Niobrara
254 14 Park Avenue Ste. 1
P.O. Box 447
Niobrara, Nebraska 68760
Village Clerk / Treasurer
Village Board Chairperson
Village Board Members
Knox County Sheriff's Office
Jacob Johnson - 857-3565
Niobrara Public Library
Tuesday 10 am - 2 pm
Wednesday 12 noon - 6 pm
Thursday 12 noon - 6 pm
Saturday 10 am - 12 noon
In 1935, a group of enthusiastic ladies, realizing the needs for a public library, put over a campaign to raise interest, funds and supplies for this worthy project. Gus Kositzky, a former Niobraran, gave $500 towards the library, the largest gift received. In 1971, the Association transferred title to the village, a necessity because of relocation of the town. Now the library is located in the Niobrara Civic Center. It contains 8,000+ volumes, children and adults, videos, audio books, and magazines are for checkout. Computers with Internet Access are available for public use.
A Brief History of Niobrara
Niobrara was founded on June 7, 1856 at the confluence of the Niobrara and Missouri Rivers by a group of men headed by Dr. Benneville Yeakel Shelly. They marked their claim by building a log garrison on the banks of the Missouri. The company was called "L'Eau Qui Court Company and when it failed the Niobrara Township Company was organized. The town was eventually called "Niobrara", an Indian word for "running water". In March of 1881, the spring thaw flooded the town and it was moved again. Noteworthy events of the era included the first school house in 1886 and the railroad in 1902. Until 1902, Niobrara served as the county seat of Knox County. The grand opening of the Niobrara Island Park was held in 1910. The village operated the park until 1930 when it was given to the State of Nebraska. Silt from the Niobrara River raised the water level and in 1973 site preparation began for Niobrara to again be moved. Suffering the same fate as the old town was the Niobrara State Park which too was moved to "higher ground".
Much of the history of the American West passed through Niobrara: the Ponca Indian village first marked on a map in 1739 by explorers Pierre & Paul Mallet; Lewis and Clark camped on the bank of the Niobrara River on September 4, 1804; Mormons wintered as guests of the Ponca Indians in 1846 and left their leader, Newell Knight; and nine others in their final resting place marked by the Mormon Monument just west of Niobrara; the Santee Sioux were forcefully relocated from Minnesota in 1866; and "The Ponca Skirmish" in 1863 when the 7th Iowa Calvary pillaged the town which recorded the only Civil War Battle in Nebraska. The Ponca "Trail of Tears" originated near Niobrara when the Tribe was forced to Indian Territory in 1877. Ponca Chief, Standing Bear, after whom the Missouri River Bridge was named after, dedicated in 1998. Now called Chief Standing Bear Memorial Bridge. More information about: