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Nebraska National Register Sites
 in Custer County


Rural Sites

 William R. Dowse House, pdf [CU00-051] Listed 1986/12/01

The Dowse Sod House, located near Comstock, was built in 1900, utilizing sod "bricks" for wall construction. In 1924 wood-frame wings were added. The technology of sod construction facilitated settlement in the Plains, where traditional building materials were unavailable. Perhaps nowhere was the technology more important than in central Nebraska. During the 1880s "soddies" came to characterize Plains settlement, and while literally hundreds were built, few survived the ravages of time. The Dowse House, recently stabilized as a project of the family and the community, is an excellent example of the sod house phenomenon.

 Sargent Bridge, pdf [CU00-073] Listed 1992/06/29

Situated about a mile south of Sargent, this steel bridge carries an unpaved private road across the Middle Loup River. The Nebraska State Engineer delineated the Sargent Bridge in 1908 as two, 120-foot Pratt through trusses carried by steel cylinder piers. The structure was fabricated and built that year by the Standard Bridge Company of Omaha. Later incorporated into U.S. Highway 183, the bridge was abandoned as a public thoroughfare in the 1960s and acquired by the Middle Loup Irrigation District, which currently maintains it for private access to its diversion dam. The Sargent Bridge for decades served as a regionally important river crossing and a gateway to the town of Sargent. It is today noteworthy as one of the oldest surviving structures designed by the state engineer's office.

Urban Sites

  St. Anselm's Catholic Church, Rectory and Parish Hall, pdf [CU01-001, 002 and 003] Listed 2008/3/12

St. Anselm's Catholic Church, Rectory and Parish Hall are three architecturally significant buildings. The three buildings together illustrate the importance of religion to the Catholic community in and around Anselmo, both through the scale and elaboration of their design and the care with which they have been preserved. These buildings were not built without effort and sacrifice on the part of the community. Also known as the Cathedral of the Sandhills, the church itself is a striking example of the Late Gothic Revival style, featuring Tudor arched doors and window openings with Gothic windows within. The rectory is an elegantly built Craftsman style house with just enough elements of the Gothic style from the church adjacent to indicate that they are a matched set. The parish hall, once the church, was a lovely example of a hall form church of no particular style. A bit of elaboration had been added to the building through the addition of fishscale shingles under the gable on the front façade and the arched entry above the door, however, the building was always simple and its form followed its function.

First National Bank-Steinmeier Building [CU02-003] Listed 2011/08/10

Designed for the dual purpose of housing the First National Bank of Ansley and Charles H.F. Steinmeier's drug store, the building is representative of both the development and stability of commerce in Ansley. Each of the three banks housed in the building during its period of significance also represent important trends and events in banking throughout Nebraska and the United States. Italian Renaissance Revival in style, the building is Ansley's best-articulated example of a two-story commercial building.

 First Custer County Courthouse, pdf [CU06-008] Listed 1990/01/10

Custer County was organized in 1877 when the governor designated the county seat to be located on the Milo Young ranch, which was in the southwest part of the county. The first courthouse was a log building on the ranch that was constructed the previous year. The log courthouse suited the needs of the sparsely populated county in the early settlement years, but with increased settlement came an interest in a more centrally located county seat. In an 1883 election, Broken Bow, which was nearer the county's geographic center, won the county seat contest. The first Custer County courthouse continued to be used as a house for the Young family for years, but by 1933 was in disrepair and abandoned. Residents of Callaway worked to preserve the old courthouse. Led by civic organizations, they secured approval from Milo Young's heirs in 1933 to move, rehabilitate, preserve, and reuse the log building.

  Broken Bow Commercial Square Historic District, pdf [CU05] Listed 2006/11/21

Commercial growth in Broken Bow centered on the public square shortly after the town was platted in 1882. Since its development, the district has remained the core of commercial activities in the community. The district contains a collection of intact late nineteenth and early-to-mid- twentieth century commercial buildings that reflect Broken Bow's growth and development.

  Arrow Hotel, pdf [CU05-054] Listed 1985/09/12

The Arrow Hotel, built in 1928, immediately became the social center for Broken Bow and the surrounding area. As an example of a major hotel in a small town setting, and with its stylistic association with the Prairie style, it is an important architectural landmark. John Latenser and Sons, a prominent Omaha firm, served as the architect for both the original building and the 1931 addition.

  Custer County Courthouse and Jail, pdf [CU05-056] Listed 1979/04/19

The Custer County Courthouse and Jail, located in Broken Bow, were built in 1911-12 and in 1914 respectively, and represent fine interpretations of Neo-Classicism. They were designed by Omaha architect John Latenser. The courthouse was one of central Nebraska's earliest fireproof structures.

 Broken Bow Carnegie Library, pdf [CU05-061] Listed 1998/03/05

The Broken Bow Ladies Library Association, formed in 1885, began collecting books for a public library. Initially, the books that formed the library were rotated among the homes of the association's members and various businesses in the area. Eventually, the Library Association purchased a building to house their collection, and finally located the library in the City Hall. In 1914 the Carnegie Foundation approved the library board's request for $10,000 for a new building. The one-story brick building with a raised basement was constructed in 1915-16.

  Security State Bank Building, pdf [CU05-066] Listed 1987/11/30

Located in Broken Bow, the one-story concrete and terra cotta building is a simplified version of the Renaissance Revival style. It is an excellent example of an early twentieth-century Nebraska banking house and is remarkably intact, complete with many of the original 1915 furnishings. The bank operated as the Security State Bank until its closing in 1985.

     Mason City School, pdf [CU11-029] Listed 2006/03/02

Constructed in 1935 this school in Mason City is a two-story brick veneer building designed in the Colonial Revival style. Its architectural importance is complimented by its significance for its association with education in Nebraska as well as its connection to public works projects of the Federal Emergency Administration of Public Works, a federally sponsored program established during the Great Depression.

 Brenizer Library, pdf [CU12-006] Listed 2007/07/03

Constructed in 1917 the Brenizer Library is located in Merna. The building is important for its association with the promotion of education in Merna and the surrounding area. The Brenizer Library is also architecturally significant. Built in the Prairie Style with Classical Revival elements it retains a high degree of historic integrity.

 Benjamin and Mary Kellenbarger House, pdf [CU12-011] Listed 2007/07/03

Located in Merna the B.W. Kellenbarger House was constructed in 1906. This Queen Anne style house is generally a rectangular shaped, one-and-one-half-story frame structure with a cross-gabled roof. The one-story wrap-around porch has Tuscan columns and a spindled rail. The Kellenbarger House is significant as a fine example of the Queen Anne style of architecture in Nebraska.



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Last updated 12 November 2010

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