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North Platte is a city in and the county seat of Lincoln Countymarker, Nebraskamarker, United Statesmarker. It is located in the southwestern part of the state, along Interstate 80, at the confluence of the North and South Platte Rivers forming the Platte River. The population was 23,878 at the 2000 census, and an estimated 24,107 in July, 2008.

North Platte is a railroad town; Union Pacific Railroad's large Bailey Yardmarker is located within the city. Today, North Platte is served only by freight trains, but during World War II the city was famous for the North Platte Canteen. Tens of thousands of volunteers from North Platte and surrounding towns met the troop trains passing through North Platte, offering coffee, sandwiches and hospitality.

North Platte is the principal city of the North Platte, Nebraska Micropolitan Statistical Area, which includes Lincoln, Loganmarker, and McPhersonmarker counties.

In spite of its small size and relatively remote location, North Platte, NE has the highest tax rate of Nebraska cities with population of 1,000 or more.

The town was briefly featured in the 1999 professional wrestling documentary Beyond the Mat as wrestler Jake "The Snake" Roberts performed at a local independent wrestling event.

Geography and climate

North Platte is located at (41.135914, -100.770501).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 10.6 square miles (27.4 km²), of which, 10.5 square miles (27.1 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.3 km²) of it (1.04%) is water.

Monthly Normal and Record High and Low Temperatures
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Rec High °F 73 79 86 98 97 107 112 105 102 94 82 75
Norm High °F 36.5 43.3 52.1 62.7 72 82.6 88.4 86.8 78 65.6 48.5 39.2
Norm Low °F 9.9 15.4 23.8 33.4 44.5 54.2 60.2 58.4 46.7 33.7 20.7 12.1
Rec Low °F -23 -22 -22 7 18 29 39 35 17 10 -13 -34
Precip (in) 0.39 0.51 1.24 1.97 3.34 3.17 3.17 2.15 1.32 1.24 0.76 0.4


As of the census of 2000, there were 23,878 people, 9,944 households, and 6,224 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,281.5 people per square mile (880.5/km²). There were 10,718 housing units at an average density of 1,024.1/sq mi (395.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 93.47% White, 0.71% African American, 0.64% Native American, 0.39% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 3.30% from other races, and 1.45% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6.68% of the population.

There were 9,944 households out of which 31.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.8% were married couples living together, 9.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.4% were non-families. 31.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.34 and the average family size was 2.97.

In the city the population was spread out with 26.0% under the age of 18, 9.5% from 18 to 24, 26.8% from 25 to 44, 21.9% from 45 to 64, and 15.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 94.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.0 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $34,181, and the median income for a family was $42,753. Males had a median income of $36,445 versus $20,157 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,306. About 7.8% of families and 10.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.2% of those under age 18 and 9.8% of those age 65 or over.

Points of interest

North Platte is home to the world's largest railyard, Bailey Yardmarker. The Golden Spike Tower and Visitor Center is an eight story building which overlooks the expansive railroad staging area. The tower and visitor center are open to the public year-round.

Lincoln County Historical Museum contains a display detailing the history of the North Platte World War II Canteen, which greeted 6.5 million service personnel from Christmas Day 1941 through April 1, 1946. It also contains a Prairie Village with local landmark homes and other buildings, including a Pony Express station and pioneer church among many others.

A landspout near North Platte, Nebraska on May 22, 2004.

Buffalo Bill Ranch State Historical Parkmarker is located near North Plattemarker, a Nebraska living history park about Buffalo Bill Cody. The park includes his actual house known as Scout's Rest Ranch. The ranch is not actually a ranch at all. The ranch is actually a farm. The farm is big. We have fun. The park is two miles west of U.S. Highway 83 along U.S. Highway 30.

During the 1930s, high crime rates and corruption caused North Platte to be infamously known as 'Little Chicago,' as depicted in the novel Evil Obsession written by award-winning author Nellie Snyder Yost.

North Platte is also home of the State of Nebraska official celebration known as "Nebraskaland Days" which occurs every year in June which draws over 100,000 visitors each year to enjoy rodeos, concerts, western art, parades and many other events.

UFO Incidents In North Platte Area

Two deputies investigated the sighting of unidentified flying objects in the sky south of Brady Nov. 21, 2008 according to Lincoln County Sheriff Jerome Kramer. Although both deputies and the man who called to report the lights dancing in the sky observed them for more than 15 minutes, they could offer no explanation about what they were.

People associated with North Platte

  • John Griffiths
  • Howard Baskerville
  • Mobster Henry Hill used to work as a cook in North Platte.
  • The popular big band leader Glenn Miller lived in North Platte during his childhood and started his musical career there when his father bought him a mandolin.
  • Noted San Francisco Bay Area Disc Jockey Dr. Don Rose, was born and raised in North Platte and would frequently reference the city on his popular morning show.
  • Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel was born in North Platte.
  • Danny Woodhead played high school football at North Platte High School. Woodhead went on to play college football at Chadron State College. He set numerous records including the all-time rushing mark for any NCAA division level. He also won NCAA Football- Division II's most prestigious award twice, the Harlon Hill Trophy, in both 2006 and 2007.
  • Chief Red Cloud, Sioux warrior, was born near North Platte in 1822.
  • Former PBR bull rider Mark Ward, 4-time qualifier to the PBR World Finals (1999-2001, 2004), currently a stock contractor.
  • PBR/PRCA bull rider Dustin Elliott, 2-time PBR World Finals qualifier (2007-08), and 2004 PRCA World Champion bull rider.
  • Noted classic gamer Ash Covey was born and raised in North Platte, he has held several officially recognized gaming world records for such arcade classics as Turbo Pac-Man and other versions of Pac-Man.

External links

Further reading

  • Once Upon a Town: The Miracle of the North Platte Canteen, Bob Greene, Morrow/Avon, 2002, hardcover, 256 pages, ISBN 0-06-008196-1

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