Location of Alma within Harlan County and Nebraska
|• Mayor||Hal Haeker|
|• Total||0.85 sq mi (2.20 km2)|
|• Land||0.85 sq mi (2.20 km2)|
|• Water||0 sq mi (0 km2)|
|Elevation||1,975 ft (602 m)|
|• Estimate (2012)||1,132|
|• Density||1,332.9/sq mi (514.6/km2)|
|Time zone||Central (CST) (UTC-6)|
|• Summer (DST)||CDT (UTC-5)|
|FIPS code||31-00975 |
|GNIS feature ID||0826967 |
Alma was founded in the spring of 1871 by a group of Union Pacific railroad laborers originally from Cheyenne, Wyoming. Harlan County was created by the Nebraska Legislature on June 3, 1871, and Alma was made the county seat on July 3, 1871. A dispute among the original settlers led to a dissolution of the town, but it was re-organized in 1874.
Alma's status as county seat was challenged by residents of Orleans, but an 1884 Nebraska Supreme Court decision affirmed Alma's status as seat of Harlan County. Alma officially incorporated in July 1881. The town was named after a daughter of one of the early settlers.
On January 13, 1880, the Burlington Railroad reached Alma, providing a significant boost for local commerce and industry. In 1887, the Kansas City and Omaha Railroad also reached Alma. Telephone service reached Alma in June 1899. Electricity arrived with a steam power plant in 1906 and water service followed in 1907.
A strange incident was reported concerning the Woman in Black (supernatural) sighting in 1902. Three men in claimed to have been spooked by the mysterious nd ghostly lady in black on March 16, 1902. H. S. Wetherald, editor of the Alma Journal; Frank Griggsby, the area's leading carriage dealer; and Ashton C. Shallenberger, then the congressman of Nebraska's Fifth District, and later governor of Nebraska.
In 1935, major flooding of the nearby Republican River provided an impetus to build a dam on the river. The Army Corps of Engineers started construction of the Harlan County Dam on August 1, 1946, and completed work in November 1952. The lake thus created, Harlan County Reservoir, became one of Alma's top recreation destinations.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the census of 2010, there were 1,133 people, 502 households, and 303 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,332.9 inhabitants per square mile (514.6/km2). There were 597 housing units at an average density of 702.4 per square mile (271.2/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 99.1% White, 0.1% Native American, 0.4% from other races, and 0.4% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.6% of the population.
There were 502 households of which 25.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.0% were married couples living together, 6.2% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.2% had a male householder with no wife present, and 39.6% were non-families. 36.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 20.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.17 and the average family size was 2.83.
The median age in the city was 49.6 years. 22.5% of residents were under the age of 18; 4.1% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 17.9% were from 25 to 44; 27.3% were from 45 to 64; and 28.2% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.3% male and 51.7% female.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,214 people, 520 households, and 318 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,744.7 people per square mile (669.6/km²). There were 594 housing units at an average density of 853.7 per square mile (327.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 99.18% White, 0.08% Native American, 0.08% Asian, 0.08% from other races, and 0.58% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.58% of the population.
There were 520 households out of which 25.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.0% were married couples living together, 5.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.8% were non-families. 36.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 22.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.23 and the average family size was 2.93.
In the city, the population was spread out with 24.3% under the age of 18, 3.4% from 18 to 24, 19.8% from 25 to 44, 23.9% from 45 to 64, and 28.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 46 years. For every 100 females there were 83.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 82.3 males.
As of 2000 the median income for a household in the city was $27,315, and the median income for a family was $36,250. Males had a median income of $26,786 versus $17,065 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,795. About 9.5% of families and 13.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.5% of those under age 18 and 10.0% of those age 65 or over.
- "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2012-01-24. Retrieved 2012-06-24.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-06-24.
- "Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2013-06-17. Retrieved 2013-05-29.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2013-09-11. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on 2011-05-31. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
- Fitzpatrick, Lilian Linder (1925). "Nebraska Place-Names". University of Nebraska Department of English. Retrieved 2013-04-06.
- Burr, George L. (1921). History of Hamilton and Clay Counties, Nebraska, Volume 1. S.J. Clarke Publishing Company. p. 117.
- Harvey, Neil. "The Woman in Black." Discover: History & Heritage. 2016. Page 97.
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
- "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015". Retrieved July 2, 2016.
- Flasnick, Bob, editor (1992). Alma: Towards the Year 2000. Harlan County Journal.