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Offices for Veteran
Courthouse closed - Veterans Day

Courthouse closed
3 days starting on 11/11/2013 at 8:00 AM

Veteran Services Office   Map this place View on map

308-236-1253
215 W 18th St
Kearney, NE 68847


Courthouse closed - Veteran's Day observed

  
11/12/2012 from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Services

 Assessor
 Valuation protest information
 Homestead exemptions
 Mobile home ownership transfer
 Charitable, religious, and educational tax exemptions
 
 Attorney
 Prosecute cases
 Collect bad checks
 Child Support
 Inheritance tax review
 
 Board of Supervisors
 Board of Supervisors minutes
 Board of Supervisors agendas
 Board of Supervisors notices
 Property tax protests
 
 Clerk
 Marriage license information
 Military discharge information
 Proof of publications
 Corporations
 Partnerships
 County budget
 County vendor claims
 County payroll information
 School census records
 Minutes of the Board of Supervisors meetings
 Waste hauler permits
 Tobacco licenses outside city limits
 
 District Court
 Issue writs and orders
 Collect and dispense fees for Child Support
 Keep records, books and papers pertaining to court
 Record proceedings of court
 Issue passports
 
 Election
 Voter information
 Voter registration
 Absentee voting
 Absentee ballot
 Polling places
 Election calendar
 Election results
 Poll worker information
 
 Floodplain
 Issue floodplain permits for residences or structures 
 
 Highway
 County road information
 County bridge information
 
 Public Defender
 Court appoints to defend someone who can not hire their own attorney
 
 Register of Deeds
 Mortgages
 Deeds of trust
 Plats
 Old land records

 Sheriff
 Enforce laws
 Preserve the peace
 Provide a safe environment
 Answer 911 calls and dispatch appropriate authority
 
 Surveyor
 Establish boundaries
 Locate lots, plots, parcels, tracts, or division of land
 Division may include distance, direction, elevation and acreage
 Furnish legal descriptions to be used in the platting or subdividing of land
 Determine the amount of acreage in land surveyed
 Establish and reestablish corners
 Topographical plat
 
 Treasurer
 Tax payment information
 Drivers license
 CDL's
 Learner's permits
 ID cards
 Motor vehicle licenses and registrations
 Boat registrations
 Specialty license plate applications
 
 Veteran Services
 Veteran's benefits
 Military discharge records
 
 Weed Control
 Plant identification
 Weed control issues
 Enforcement of state weed laws
 
 Zoning
 Approve and issue zoning permits
 Receive applications for zoning variance permits
 Receive applications for change of zoning permits
 Receive applications for special use permits
 Conduct inspections of setbacks and uses of land

Historical Information

Buffalo County is one of only two counties in Nebraska that derived its name from an animal. Years before this area along the Platte River would become a county, large herds of buffalo grazed the river valley and the rolling plains to the north. When it came time to organize the county, it seemed fitting to name it after the animal that once roamed the area freely.

The boundaries of Buffalo County were established by the Territorial Legislature in 1855. The county was officially organized in 1864, three years before Nebraska was admitted in the Union.

Two transportation lines can be credited with the early development of the area -- the Mormon Trail and the Union Pacific Railroad.

The first settlers in this area were said to be Mormons who had headed west along the trail in 1858. But a fierce war between the Cheyenne and Sioux tribes forced these early settlers to temporarily abandon the area. When the fighting subsided, the settlers gradually returned. In time, more and more settlers came to the area because of the rich Platte River Valley and the fertile soil that could be found in the surrounding hills.

With the coming of the railroad in the 1860s, Buffalo County would continue to develop. One of the stations that sprang up was Kearney, the county seat. Originally named Fort Childs, it was later renamed Kearney Junction and finally shortened to Kearney. Moses H. Sydenham, one of the early pioneers in the county, founded a newspaper in this young settlement and used the publication to promote his idea that Kearney, with its central location, should become the capital of the United States.

Hardships such as hot, dry weather and severe blizzards were not uncommon for the early residents of the county. But the most serious challenge faced by those who worked the land was the damage done by waves of grasshoppers that swarmed over the area in the mid 1870s.

More than 115 years later, Buffalo County is a thriving agricultural and industrial area. It also pays an important role in the state's higher education system, with the University of Nebraska at Kearney located in the county seat.

The Buffalo County Courthouse

Virtually every county in Nebraska has had a county seat "fight". Gibbon was designated as the original county seat of Buffalo County, and a courthouse was constructed at that location. In 1874, after considerable agitation for the relocation of the county seat, an election was held, and a majority was cast for the relocation of the county seat at Kearney. The incident which followed the results of that election is often referred to as "stealing the courthouse records." With the results of the election already in, the County Clerk, Joseph Scott, and his deputy, F.G. Keens, loaded the county records in a farm wagon, considerably after normal business hours and arrived in Kearney about 2:00 a.m. Mr. Keens stood guard over the records for the rest of the night. The Union Pacific Railroad donated a site for a new courthouse, and built a frame building which was not occupied until January of 1886. This building served as the Buffalo County Courthouse until a new county courthouse was built and completed in 1890. The frame courthouse was then moved to a new location on First Avenue and served first as a WCTU hospital and later as a home for the Veterans of Foreign Wars.


This is a picture of the Buffalo County Courthouse that was built and completed in 1890




Another Picture of the Buffalo County Courthouse, completed in 1890. The old courthouse donated by the Union Pacific Railroad in the foreground, with the members of the Board of Supervisors.



The Old Jail. Constructed of Kansas limestone in 1876, used until construction of new jail in 1959.




Inside the District Courtroom, second floor.

Committee Appointments

 
Budget & Finance Sherry Morrow - Chair
Kent Greder
Francis "Buss" Biehl
Building & Grounds William McMullen - Chair
Sherry Morrow
Ivan Klein
IT Kent Greder - Chair
Sherry Morrow
Ivan Klein
Construction Oversight William McMullen - Chair
Joe Brayton
Sherry Morrow
Human Resource/Insurance Kent Greder - Chair
Francis "Buss" Biehl
Joe Brayton
Public Safety, Law Enforcement, Court & Judicial Committee Dennis Reiter - Chair
Kent Greder
Francis "Buss" Biehl
Road & Bridge Ivan Klein - Chair
Dennis Reiter
Joe Brayton
Weed Dennis Reiter - Chair
Ivan Klein
Joe Brayton
Veterans Service Joe Brayton - Chair
William McMullen
Ivan Klein
Zoning Committee Francis "Buss" Biehl - Chair
Sherry Morrow
Joe Brayton
Election Committee Kent Greder - Chair
Dennis Reiter
Francis "Buss" Biehl
Policies and Procedures William McMullen - Chair
Ivan Klein
Sherry Morrow

Agency Appointments

Airport Zoning Board William McMullen
Archway Board Ivan Klein
Buffalo County Community Partners
Francis "Buss" Biehl
Buffalo County Economic Development Council William McMullen
Sherry Morrow
Buffalo County Extension Board Kent Greder
Community Action Partnership of Mid-Nebraska Board Joe Brayton
Kearney Area Visitors Bureau Advisory Board William McMullen
Mid-NE Individual Services Advisory Board Ivan Klein
Region III Governing Board Sherry Morrow
Solid Waste Agency Francis "Buss" Biehl
South Central Economic Development Council Francis "Buss" Biehl
South Central NE Area Agency on Aging Governing Board Ivan Klein
Two River Public Health Department Dennis Reiter


Last updated: January 23, 2014



County Benefits

The Buffalo County Veterans Service Office offers the following benefits for those veterans who are eligible:


County Veterans Aid Fund 
The CVA fund is a temporary emergency fund to assist veterans, their spouses, and dependents when there is an unforeseen emergency and there are no other resources available. Eligible veterans are persons who served on active duty, received an Honorable Discharge, and served during one of the defined "wartime eras" and who have resided in Nebraska for at least one year, and Buffalo County for at least six months. Applicants may request assistance with food, shelter, clothing, funeral, medical, dental, and surgical items. The applicant must apply through the County Service Office in Buffalo County. This is an "aid" program so the veteran must demonstrate an "inability" to meet the obligation to pay these bills, via an application.

Bronze Grave Flag Holders
State of Nebraska statute requires the County Veterans Service Office to provide a flag holder reflecting the veterans wartime era. The Buffalo County, Veterans Service Office also annually inventories these flag holders to insure they remains on the correct grave and we replace damaged markers.

Registration of DD214s
Buffalo County records a "certified copy" of the original copy of a veterans military separation document (DD-214). Once recorded the veteran may call us from any where in the world and we will provide them with a "certified copy" when needed.

Homestead Exemption
Annually, the Buffalo County Veterans Service Office obtains a letter from the VA Regional Office that establishes who are eligible veterans (or widows) for a tax exemption on their personal residence. These letters are provided to the County Assessor.

Grave Registration
Upon notification of the burial of a veteran in Buffalo County we complete a "grave registration card". We maintain a copy here in Buffalo County, and the original is sent to the State of Nebraska, Department of Veteran's Affairs in Lincoln. We also order a "Presidential Memorial Certificate" for the family of all deceased Buffalo County veterans.


State Benefits

The Nebraska Department of Veterans Affairs offers the following benefits for those veterans who are eligible:

Nebraska Veterans Homes
Nebraska Veterans Aid
Registration of DD214s
Veterans Employment Preference
Tuition Waiver, Homestead Exemption, Permanent Hunting and Fishing Licenses (special eligibility)
Grave Registration
State Service Officers (benefits counselors/advocates)

The Buffalo County Veterans Service Office offers benefits counseling, advocacy and assistance with the application for State of Nebraska benefits.

The following are phone contacts for the Nebraska Department of Veteran's Affairs:

Nebr. Dept. Veterans Affairs
Phone: (402) 471-2458
Email: fickens@nebraska.gov

State Service Office
Phone: (402) 420-4021
Email: ndgillk@vba.va.gov

Veterans Home Grand Island
Phone: (308) 385-6252

Veterans Home Norfolk
Phone: (402) 370-3330
Email: duane.hodge@hhss.state.ne.us

Veterans Home Omaha
Phone: (402) 595-2180

Veterans Home Scottsbluff
Phone: (308) 632-0300
Email: bob.brozek@hhss.state.ne.us

 

 


Federal Benefits

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs offers the following benefits for those veterans who are eligible:

Burial Benefits
Service Connected Compensation
Non-service Connected Pension
Life Insurance
VA Home Loan Guarantee
Veterans Employment Preference
Vocational Rehabilitation
Education
Medical Care

Apply for Federal VA Benefits Online
VA Forms Online
2000 Pamphlets
Compensation/Pension Pay Rate Tables

The Buffalo County Veterans Service Office offers benefits counseling, advocacy and assistance with the application for these federal benefits.

The following are phone contacts for the U.S. Department of Veteran's Affairs in Nebraska:

 VARO Lincoln   (800) 827-1000 
 VA Medical Grand Island   (888) 246-8745 
 VA Medical Lincoln   (402) 489-3802 
 VA Medical Omaha   (800) 608-8806 
 Lincoln Vets Center   (800) 228-6838 
 Omaha Vets Center   (402) 221-3178 
 VISN #14   (402) 484-3200 
     
 VA Life Insurance   (800) 669-8477 
 VA Debt Management Center   (800) 827-0648 
 Communication for Deaf   (800) 829-4833 
 CHAMPVA   (800) 733-8387 
 Home Loan   (800) 827-0611 
 Education   (800) 442-4557 
 Agent Orange Hotline   (800) 225-4712 
 Military Pay and Finance   (800) 321-1080 
 Persian Gulf Helpline   (800) 749-8387 
 Military Retired Affairs   (800) 435-3396 
 Small Business Admin.   (800) 827-5722 
 National Cemetery System   (800) 697-6947 

 

 


Veteran Services

We offer benefits counseling and advocacy for a variety of Federal, State and County benefits.