Official Nebraska Government Website Nebraska State Historical Society

Nebraska National Register Sites
in Clay County


Rural Sites

 St. Martin's Catholic Church, pdf [CY00-002] Listed 1985/09/26

St. Martin's Church had its beginnings in the late 1880's when Moravian immigrants from the present-day Czech Republic founded the small Catholic parish. These settlers located in Spring Ranch Township of Clay County and called their community "Loucky" in remembrance of their homeland. The Church was designed by architect James H. Craddock in the Gothic Revival style and was erected in 1907-08.

  Deering Bridge, pdf [CY00-011] Listed 1992/06/29

From the 1890s until 1909, Clay County primarily built timber bridges. In 1910 the county secured plans for steel spans from the Nebraska State Engineer and began to include steel bridge construction in its annual contracts. After discovering poor workmanship and fraud on its steel bridges two years later, however, the board turned to the state engineer to design its first concrete arch bridge. Although the county board continued to accept bids for-and even build-steel bridges, it consistently chose concrete over steel. Among these small-scale structures was this fifty-foot arch over School Creek near Sutton. The Deering Bridge was constructed by the Lincoln Construction Company in 1916. As the longest and best remaining example among the county's concrete structures, it is significant for its early use of concrete in Nebraska.

Urban Sites

 Clay County Courthouse, pdf [CY01-004] Listed 2001/11/29

Clay County, located in southeast Nebraska, was organized in 1871. Sutton was the first county seat, but from the beginning it had to contend with Harvard and Fairfield, which also coveted the county seat designation. In 1879 another contender entered the fray, Clay Center. As its name suggests, it is in the center of the county, an important advantage in county seat competition. Several votes were held to determine where the county seat should be located, but for various reasons none were successful in replacing Sutton. In 1879 the county board simply declared Clay Center the new county seat. However, the Nebraska State Supreme Court ordered the county offices back to Sutton. Clay Center boosters then acted as a vigilante band. They stole county records and spirited them away to the illegal county seat. The feat occurred four days before an election that finally brought Clay Center the legal county seat designation. By 1916 the old courthouse was inadequate for county needs. Reacting to a petition by county residents, the board levied a special tax for a new courthouse. Construction began in 1917 and by 1919 a new two-story courthouse with a raised basement, built in the Beaux Arts style, opened its doors.

 Fairfield Carnegie Library, pdf [CY05-004] Listed 2001/11/29

Located in Fairfield, the Carnegie Library was constructed in 1913. The library is significant for its association with education in the community. Additionally, the building retains a high degree of integrity both on the interior and exterior.

 Glenville School, pdf [CY06-003] Listed 1998/12/31

Located in Glenville, the school was erected as the first substantial and permanent school for the town and served its function from its construction date in 1903 until 1995. Although the original building housed only elementary grades, the 1924 addition was designed to accommodate high school students as well.

 Inland School, pdf (School District No.72) [CY08-004] Listed 2002/03/28

School District No.72 was formed at Inland in 1885. The original school was abandoned that same year. A new school, in a different location, opened in 1886. In 1923, the school board voted to issue $15,000 in bonds to construct a new school. The new, two-story brick building opened in 1924 and accommodated kindergarten through high school students. The last high school class graduated in 1942. Thereafter, Inland School taught kindergarten through grade 8.

 Isaac Newton Clark House, pdf [CY12-001] Listed 1983/12/15

Built about 1877 the Isaac Newton Clark House is a good example of a Gothic Revival residence, a relatively rare building type in Nebraska. Isaac Newton Clark was born in Ohio in 1836 and moved to Sutton in January 1872. He platted much of the Sutton townsite and served as the driving force in securing a railroad line. Clark established the first hardware store in Clay County and founded the Sutton Brick Company.



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Last updated 3 November 2010

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