In 1888, the large number of settlers coming to Western Nebraska resulted in the partitioning of Cheyenne County. The western third became Kimball, Scotts Bluff and Banner Counties. The last of these was name by citizens who declared that it would become the "banner county" of the state, and "the brightest star in the constellation of Nebraska counties".
About 60% of Banner County is given over to farming: chiefly winter wheat and rangeland, but also corn, beans, sugar beets, botatoes, sunflowers, rapeseed and millet. Oil was discovered in Banner County in 1919; but the deposits were too deep to be commercially viable. Production of oil in the county began in 1951, and peaked in 1960, when 7,000,000 barrels was produced from 397 wells. By 2009, the number of wells had dwindled to about 200; but new discoveries in Weld County, Colorado have prompted interest in exploring the Niobrara shale, which lies beneath western Nebraska, northeastern Colorado and southeastern Wyoming. A 2010 sale of oil leases yielded record prices in Banner county.
The 2009 estimated population of Banner County was 647. The county is 746 square miles and is located between Kimball County to the south and Scotts Bluff County to the north. Highway 71, a major north-south transportation route which intersects with I-80 to the south of the county runs through the county.
Banner County Information
Harrisburg is the County Seat of Banner County Nebraska. The estimated population as of 2009 was 66. The median home cost in Harrisburg is $49,700.
Banner County Schools
Banner County Public Schools are located in Harrisburg, NE. There are about 9.4 students per teacher in Harrisburg.