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Falls City is a city in Richardson Countymarker, Nebraskamarker, United Statesmarker. The population was 4,671 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Richardson Countymarker.


Falls City is located at (40.062447, -95.601173).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.6 square miles (6.8 km²), all of it land.


Falls City was founded in the summer of 1857 by James Lane, John Burbank, J.E. Burbank and Isaac L. Hamby. The town is located on the north side of the Big Nemaha River. The river in 1857 had banks and bed of rock and stone. The town was located near where the river flowed over a four-foot rock ledge called the "Falls of Nemaha", for which the town was named. Over time the river has changed to the extent that the falls no longer exist.

The town was a stop on the Underground Railroad for escaping slaves during the struggles resulting from the Kansas-Nebraska Act. Early in the city's history, it successfully won a prolonged process to become the county seat of Richardson County. The county originally selected Salem, Nebraskamarker to be the county seat, but due to Salem's lack of a suitable building site, a new election was held which Falls City tied in the vote. Finally in a third election in 1860, Falls City was declared the permanent site of the county seat.

Falls City grew in the late 1800s due the arrival of the Atchison & Nebraska Railroad in 1871 and the Missouri Pacific in 1882, for which Falls City was designated as a division point in 1909. The population of the city peaked at 6,200 citizens in 1950.

On August 6, 1966, Braniff Airlines Flight 250 crashed near Falls City due to bad weather, killing all 42 on board.


As of the census of 2000, there were 4,671 people, 2,008 households, and 1,218 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,784.9 people per square mile (688.4/km²). There were 2,271 housing units at an average density of 867.8/sq mi (334.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 95.20% White, 0.13% African American, 2.33% Native American, 0.21% Asian, 0.26% from other races, and 1.86% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.88% of the population.

There were 2,008 households out of which 28.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.2% were married couples living together, 8.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.3% were non-families. 35.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 21.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.25 and the average family size was 2.91.

In the city the population was spread out with 24.8% under the age of 18, 6.3% from 18 to 24, 23.2% from 25 to 44, 21.5% from 45 to 64, and 24.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females there were 87.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 81.0 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $26,773, and the median income for a family was $40,523. Males had a median income of $26,908 versus $17,482 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,254. About 5.1% of families and 9.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.2% of those under age 18 and 10.7% of those age 65 or over.


Falls City has a public school system composed of four schools, two elementary, one junior high school and one senior high school. Additionally there is a Catholic school which offers a K-12 education.

Falls City High School is a public secondary school founded in 1871. The school colors are orange and black. The school mascot is the tiger.Falls City High has been undefeated in football nine times since 1925. FCHS has been to the Nebraska State Basketball tournament 25 times and been crowned Class A State Champions twice, and Class B State Champions once. Additionally, eight individuals have won State wrestling championships in school history. Coach Larry Munn has been named to the Nebraska Wrestling Coaches Hall of Fame. Two Falls City track and field athletes (Gil Dodds and Lloyd Hahn) have been named to the Nebraska Sports Hall of Fame.Falls City Sacred Heart School founded in 1891 is the Catholic school which offers a K-12 education. Its school colors are green and white. The school mascot is the Irish.

Beginning in 1989 Sacred Heart athletics drew state-wide attention during a six year period when its 8-man football program led by Head Coach Doug Goltz set a Nebraska high school record for winning six consecutive state championships and having an 87 game winning streak. The record streak was ended in double overtime in the 1995 state quarterfinals by Table Rock-Steinauer High School, 34-28.As of 2006 the Irish football program has an ongoing state record of 20 consecutive state playoff appearances.The Falls City Sacred Heart boys basketball team has 8 state titles under head coach Douglas Goltz.

Both schools play their home football games at Falls City High School's Jug Brown Stadium.

Points of interest

Notable natives and residents

In popular culture

The movie Boys Don't Cry was set in Falls City, based on true events in the life and death of Brandon Teena, who was a transgendered male. Execution of the convicted Rapist and killer of Brandon is being delayed for legal clarification by Governor Heineman on issues related to the method. Governor Heineman happens to be from Falls City.


  1. " 'Boys Don't Cry' Killer in Death Row dilemma", CNN

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