Our Community

Our Beginnings
The Mormon Trail, which passes by Central City, was first used by the Mormons in 1846 as they journeyed to Utah. Their camps were present along the Platte River for a short time during the harsh winter. Later, thousands used the trails they blazed as they made their way westward.

The city of Central City, founded in 1866, was originally named Lone Tree for a giant solitary cottonwood tree which was reportedly visible from 20 miles away and served as a prominent marker for travelers on the Overland Trails. As the Union Pacific railroad laid tracks through Merrick County, the town sprang up near the tracks just a few miles from the original "Lone Tree". On July 1, 1875, the town's name was officially changed to Central City - to depict an image that would bring new settlers to the community. Central City was eventually designated the county seat and grew to be the largest town in Merrick County.

The famous Lincoln Highway, also called "Main Street Across America" and now known as U.S. Highway 30, passes through the heart of Central City. The highway forms the city's main street and was the first transcontinental automobile route traversing the entire United States from New York to San Francisco.

Litzenberg Memorial County Hospital is proud to be a part of the progressive community of Central City, home to approximately 2,900 residents. Major employers in Central City are US Bio Platte Valley, LLC, Litzenberg Memorial County Hospital and Central City Schools.

Central City boasts several churches and elementary, middle and high schools. There are two variety stores, grocery store, eating establishments, dental and eye care, chiropractic and many other retail establishments. Lone Tree Monument and the Platte River are a few miles outside of town. Central City has two nice public parks and a public swimming pool.

Pictured above is Green Plains Central City LLC, located east of Central City on 20th Street.

Additional Information
Click on the links below to find more information about Central City and the surrounding area.

Area Information
Central City, Chamber of Commerce
City of Grand Island
Grand Island, Chamber of Commerce

Local Media
The Independent Newspaper, Grand Island
Nebraska Educational Telecommunications

Central City Public Schools

Area Attractions
Platte River Road Archway Monument
Stuhr Museum of the Prairie Pioneer
Nebraska FloraSearch
Visit Grand Islands Attractions

Statistics / Economy
U.S. Census Bureau
Central City Community Profile