Small Town Living
Village Of Mead Office
(402) 624-2495
Non-Emergency Fire & Rescue
(402) 624-3610
BOARD MEETING

Meets the 2nd Tuesday of the Month at 6:00 p.m. at the Village Office

PLANNING COMMISSION

Meets the 4th Monday of the Month (Excluding December) at 7:30 p.m. at the VIllage Office

LIBRARY BOARD

Meets the 3rd Monday of the Month (Excluding December) at 5:30 p.m. at the Mead Library .

About Mead, Nebraska

Mead, population approximately 569, is located in the Todd Valley, once thought to be “the course of the Platte River”. Designated as “Saunders” by the postal department when it opened an office in the depot in 1877, the Omaha and Republican Valley Railroad registered the village plat two months later as “Alvin”. On August 4, 1880, after the Union Pacific acquired the line, the name was changed to “Mead”, probably for one of their officials.

Homesteaders, mainly of Swedish ancestry, had arrived in the area as early as 1867. They had to travel the 15-20 miles to Ashland or Fremont for supplies, so the railroad and new town with its businesses and services was welcome.

The first store was built in 1877, and soon there were many businesses that made life on the prairies much easier. The first building was razed 110 years later and a small convenience store constructed. The first house, also built in 1877, is still in use today. By 1886, when the population exceeded 200, the village incorporated.

A water system and electric lights came in 1914. The light plant operator started the engine by using his weight to turn the huge fly wheel. Running from dawn until dark, the “put-put-put” of the engine could be heard all over town. Natural gas arrived in 1954, a city sewer system in 1955, and the first paving in 1963. Move paving was done in 1974.

In 1928 a volunteer fire department was organized, though earlier there was a two-wheeled cart and box of equipment, which was manned by the citizens. Today a well-equipped fire and rescue department serves the town and rural fire district.

For over 20 years there were five churches in town at the same time. Today there are three – Lutheran, Covenant, and Catholic. Though there were schools in the area before, the first school building in town was built in 1886. In 1919 several districts consolidated and a new school was built. In 1973 a new junior-senior high school was built. The alumni association, organized in 1897, continues today.

The first Saunders County Old Settlers Picnic was held near Mead in 1885. Then for several years it was held in various groves around the county. About 1905 it was moved permanently to the school grounds, now Mead Park. In 1935 an estimated 4,000 persons attended the golden anniversary event. It disbanded in 1947, but a reunion was held in 1967, Nebraska’s centennial year.

In the 1930’s, with the drought and depression upon them, the people looked forward to the free outdoor movies provided once a week by the businesses of town.

In 1941 the government bough 27 sections of land near Mead on which an ordnance plant was built. This, and World War II, changed the lives of the people immensely. People flocked to the town of 260 looking for work and a place to live. The population quickly rose to 1,500. Anything and everything was used as a place to live. During construction, one single-story house had beds for 18 in the basement, with a family of six, plus two roomers, living on the main floor.

During the war, the school was also greatly over-crowded. There was not much entertainment available and gas rationing kept people close to home, but everyone “made do” with what they had. After the war many people, finding jobs in nearby cities, remained in Mead. New homes were built and some buildings in the downtown area were remodeled or replaced.

Today, Mead, over twice the population it was in 1941, is primarily a farming community with a large co-op elevator. Several thousand acres of the ordnance plant were turned over to the University of Nebraska for ag-research and development. Other land went to the Behlen Observatory, to the Nebraska National Guard or was sold back to farmers and livestock feeders.

Many residents, commuting to work in Fremont, Lincoln, or Omaha, return home to the small-town atmosphere found here in our town, Mead.

Organizations

Fire protection is provided by the Mead 30 member volunteer fire department.  Rescue services for injury, sickness, or any incident requiring immediate medical attention are provided by the Mead Volunteer Fire Department.

When we say: “All Are Welcome” we mean it! Whether you are single, married, divorced, rich, poor, middle class, young, or old, you are welcome to worship with us. Whether you have crying newborns, restless toddlers, or fidgety teenagers, you are welcome to participate.

Looking for a family friendly church? We offer Kids Alive Sunday mornings after the worship and during the service. We also have a nursery for birth to age three and a pre-school room. We teach kids about Jesus at every age level and in every classroom.

In 1867 the first Catholic families settled in the area that would later become Mead migrated from Springfield, Illinois.  These were the families of John Holden, Quentin McCarthy, Fenton Phelan, and William Phelan.

SAUNDERS COUNTY is named for Alvin Saunders, governor of Nebraska Territory during the tumultuous years of 1861-1867. Born to a Kentucky family that later moved to Illinois, Saunders continued west to Mount Pleasant, Iowa, in 1836 at age nineteen.

114 No Vine St, Mead, NE  68041
Phone:  402-624-3435  Fax:  402-624-2069
Superintendent’s Phone:  402-624-2745

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