Custer County Historical Museum – Broken Bow, Nebraska

Custer County.jpgCuster County Historical Museum – Broken Bow, Nebraska

Sharing the stories of the 19th century this museum such as the General Store display which has many of the original artifacts for you to see.  There is also a drug store from the era on display.  Things have certainly changed.

There is a fabulous Research Library in the museum where you are welcome to delve into the past to find out about your roots or those of others from the area.  There are maps, obituaries, pictures, marriage records, and much more for your research all located at the museum.

Custer County Homesteads & Timber Claims were taken from the US General land Office Tract books.  These books are on microfilm at the Historical Society and are being transcribed by volunteers.

Location: 445 9th Ave., Broken Bow, Nebraska

Summer hours: Mon-Fri, 10am-5pm; Sat, 10am-4pm. Rest of the year, Mon-Fri, 1-5pm. Closed holidays.

Admission: Free, donations welcome.

Phone: 308-872-2203



  1. Suzanne JAckson says:

    Was in Broken Bow Saturday before last but the museum was closed as was the county courthouse, Was wondering if you might have anything related to my great uncle Billy Lovelace who rode a horse from his home in Western Kentucky all the way to Broken Bow to homestead land in the late 19th or early 20th century. I’m told he married and had one child in the several years he lived there until the death of his wife when he returned to Kentucky.

    I realize this is a long shot at a connection but all family records of his travels are nowhere to be found and those relatives who knew of him are either passed,can’t remember or were too young to have any reliable information regarding him.

    Best regards,

    Suzanne Jackson
    Cunningham, KY

  2. Stephonie Ogden says:

    We have a photograph taken around 1886 of our ancestors in the Broken Bow area. We are making copies and would like to donate the original to your museum. The size is 14 x 20 inches and was re-framed about 50 years ago.

    The photo is of a sod house with the DeMerritt family members standing in front. We have figured out who all the people are and have figured out from the apparent ages of the children that it was taken in 1886.

    The story handed down is that a photographer came by and took the photo. We don’t know the name of the photographer.

    Please email me to let me know if you would accept this gift. Of course, a monetary donation would accompany the gift. Once I have an email address for you, I can send a jpg of the photo.

    Thanks, Stephonie

  3. Yes, we would like copy of the photo. It’s possible it may have been taken by the now famous, Solomon D. Butcher, pioneer photographer, or it may have been taken by some other photographer.
    Custer County Historical Society
    PO Box 334
    Broken Bow, NE 68822

    308 872-3302

  4. Sheryl Banning Maggi says:

    My father , as well as my mother, was born in Mason City. He has a fair sized collection of Indian artifacts which he found over the course of growing up in the area during the 20’s and 30’s. He would like to donate them if the museum is interested.

    Please advise.
    Thank you,
    Sheryl Banning Maggi

  5. john c muller says:

    I am trying to find information on Avalo P Vannice and his wife, Mabel A Vannice. I am also trying to find information on Julia M Burdeck, widow of George Dudley Burdeck, as shown on the 1910 Federal Census. At the time, they were all living in Broken Bow, Custer County, Nebraska. Note: Avalo P Vannice was a Reverand in the United Brethren Church. Please contact me if you have any information. John C. Muller 15 Branbury Way Reno, NV 89506 775-971-1668 Thanks for your help. jcm

  6. My family (Dye, Matheson, Bresley and Campbell) is from Broken Bow, Comstock and surrounding area. I have a lot of photos to share. I also have a photo of Mrs. Dowse with her prize winning roses. She and my grandmother were friends.

  7. Brian Lee Bratten-Almquist says:

    Origin of the name “Rock Island Table”, Custer County, NE

    “Parish records indicate that Nils moved in 1856 from Tullen to Brattforshyttan, Brattfors parish. In 1859 he moved to Forshyttan, Brattfors parish, and on October 24, 1861 he moved back to Brattforshyttan. On October 16, 1863 he moved to Yngshyttan, Färnebo parish, and in 1864 to Persbergs gruvor, Färnebo parish, where he worked in the Krangruvan iron mine with brother Anders. During his earlier years at Brattforshyttan and Forshyttan (1856-61), he had worked as a farmhand. Nils and family emigrated to America on April 4, 1880, and after living at Rock Island, Illinois, for awhile, they finally settled on Rock Island Table (named by Nils and Anders), Custer County, Nebraska. On September 7, 1883, Nils filed a homestead land claim on the SW 1/4 of Section 6, T13N R 24 W in Custer County, a part of Delight Township (later Wayne Township). After his wife Anna Lovisa Lekberg died in 1913, Nils returned that same year to Färnebo parish, Sweden. His brother Anders had died in 1905, and his son Anders Gustaf and family had returned to Sweden in 1910, leaving him no reason to remain in America.” (a quote from our family genealogy)

    One of the graves on the LINSTEDT FARM CEMETERY is that of my great-aunt, Anna Lovisa Bratten, born in 1838 near Filipstad Sweden, and who died on the farm Febuary 1, 1913. Her husband Nils Bratten, a brother of my great-grandfather Anders Bratten, filed a homestead claim on the land September 7, 1883 (SW 1/4 of Section 6, T13N R 24 W in Custer County, a part of Delight Township, later Wayne Township). My understanding is that Nils sold the land to the Linstedt family in 1913, who subsequently used the site to bury their family members.

    I saw the Society’s website listing the forgotten cemeteries in Custer County. The Linstedt Cemerery is the last one listed. I thougt the above information would be of interest. I visited the cemetery in 2008 and found Anna Lovisa’s grave, as a favor to my cousin in Sweden. recall the engraving on the stone said just “Bratten”.

  8. Coleen (Dowse) Sparks says:

    To the editor of Custer County Historical Museum can you pass this onto Marlene from Broken Bow I would love to have a copy of the photo of Mrs. Dowse (I’m assuming Florence Dowse) with her prize winning roses. She was my grandmother I am the daughter of Kermit & Elaine Dowse her youngest son. I would love to visit with you about your photos! Sincerely, Coleen Sparks

  9. Do you know of any connections that may know where to look for indian artifacts in or near broken Bow? I have been traveling around Nebraska in search of any kind of old relics related to the old west as well. Thanks for any info.