History of Seward

Seward City HallIn 1865, Mr. Lewis Moffitt, pioneer and founder of the City of Seward, purchased some choice land. He built a two‑room cabin for his family, which then served as a meeting place and lodging for newcomers. On April 1, 1867, the City of Seward was established. The City of Seward was incorporated on April 5, 1870. The City was named after the County of Seward which was named “Seward” in honor of William Henry Seward, Secretary of State under President Lincoln.

The First Fourth of July celebration took place on July 4, 1868. A flag‑pole was planted in the center of the public square and the ladies of the town, with patriotic hands, made a banner of stars and stripes, which were unfolded to the breeze. Squire Ward, the Justice of the town, delivered the oration of the day, and at mid‑day, the festivities were concluded and the happy participants, about twenty in number, including the entire population of the town, had returned to their homes.

The City of Seward continues on with the tradition of celebrating the Fourth of July.  In fact, in a proclamation signed by Governor J. James Exon on March 27, 1973, the City of Seward was proclaimed to be “Nebraska’s Fourth of July City”; and on May 20, 1979, Senator Edward Zorinsky proclaimed the City of Seward to be “National Fourth of July City ‑ Small Town U.S.A.”

More information about Seward, Nebraska history can be found by clicking the links below.

Seward County Courthouse

Seward County Court House and Fire Department circa 1910 - image courtesy of the Nebraska State Historical Society

County Court House and Fire Dept. (current City Hall) circa 1910. Image courtesy of the Nebraska State Historical Society.

Seward County Historical Sites

Part of the Seward County Courthouse Square Historic District - north side

4th of July City Historic Marker

Seward 4th of July City Historical Marker

The Seward, 4th of July City Nebraska Historical Marker is located on the southwest corner of the Courthouse lawn.

Plum Creek Prairie Historic Site

Plum Creek Prairie Historical Site Marker

Courthouse Square Historic District

Historic Seward, Nebraska Courthouse Square

The north side of the Seward, Nebraska Courthouse Square.

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