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The city of Valentine, Nebraska is the county seat of Cherry County. It is situated north of the Niobrara River, on the northern edge of the Sandhills Region, about thirty miles northeast of the Merritt Reservoir, created by a dam in the Snake River. In 1882, David Y. Mears, a surveyor for the Sioux City & Pacific Railroad, filed a claim on a quarter section of land, speculating that a town would be built there. Prior to that time, there were only tents and a few primitive buildings there. A wooden railroad bridge crossed the Niobrara River there, and tracks reached the area the following year. Valentine was named the county seat, with support from Congressman Edward K. Valentine, for whom the town was named. Clayton Danks, who was the model for the Wyoming state symbol of the cowboy on a bucking horse, homesteaded near Valentine. The city of Valentine is east of Crookston and Kilgore, west of Sparks and Norden, and northwest of Wood Lake, and just south of Nebraska’s border with South Dakota.


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