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Nelson was established near the center of Nuckolls County, Nebraska. When it was named the county seat in 1872, only about twenty people resided within the town. Its early days were marked with a fire that destroyed its entire business center, a brutal murder, and subsequent lynching of the man accused of the crime. During this time, Nelson was challenged for the county seat by Superior, thirteen miles south of Nelson, but Nelson retained the title in a close vote. With a population of under a thousand Nelson remains the county seat. Nelson is north of Superior, east of Red Cloud, west of Hebron, and south of Hastings, Harvard, and Sutton.



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