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The county seat of Red Willow County, Nebraska is the city of McCook, which was platted following the extension of the Burlington and Missouri River Railroad to the area in 1882, and named for Alexander McDowell McCook, who was a Brigadier General in the Union Army during the Civil War. George W. Norris, who held seats in the US House of Representatives and Senate from 1903 to 1943, was a resident of McCook, as were four Nebraska governors, including Ralph G. Brooks, Frank B. Morrison, Ben Nelson, and Dave Heineman, each of whom resided in McCook at some period in their lives. McCook is east of Perry and Culbertson, west of Red Willow and Indianola, and south of Maywood.

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