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The city of York is the seat of government for York County, Nebraska. York County was organized in 1870, and there was little opposition in the selection of York as the county seat, although it consisted of only a sod house and a frame structure known as the pre-emption house at the time. A post office was established in August of 1870, and the first courthouse was constructed in 1872. The town was incorporated in 1875, at which time it had a population of two hundred, and York became a second class city in 1877, with a population of more than eight hundred. In 1880, the north side of town was incorporated as an independent municipality, named New York, but it was consolidated with York in 1884. Interstate 80 is at the southern edge of the city, and Highway 34 runs near its northern edge, while the Pan American Highway 81 runs through the town. York is east of Bradshaw, west of Waco, south of Benedict, and north of McCool Junction.


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