Location of Blair within Washington County and Nebraska
|• Type||Mayor-council government|
|• Mayor||Rich Hansen|
|• Total||5.53 sq mi (14.31 km2)|
|• Land||5.51 sq mi (14.27 km2)|
|• Water||0.02 sq mi (0.04 km2)|
|Elevation||1,070 ft (326 m)|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||1,468.69/sq mi (567.03/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-6 (Central (CST))|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-5 (CDT)|
|GNIS feature ID||0827479|
Blair is a city in and the county seat of Washington County, Nebraska, United States. The population was 7,990 at the 2010 census. Blair is a part of the Omaha-Council Bluffs Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Blair was platted in 1869 when the Sioux City and Pacific Railroad was extended to that point. It was named for railroad magnate John Insley Blair, who was credited with bringing the railroad to town. Blair was incorporated as a city in 1872. Within its first year, Blair was designated county seat.
In March 1869, a small child playing on a railroad turntable in town was injured on the turntable. The father sued the railway for damages, leading all the way up to the Supreme Court of the United States in the 1873 case Sioux City & Pacific Railroad Co. v. Stout.
In 1874, during the Panic of 1873, a grasshopper storm enveloped the region. Many Nebraskans were faced with starvation. An organization, the Nebraska Relief and Aid Society was formed in order to help affected persons. A law was passed by congress awarding $100,000 relief, and many Blair citizens were awarded money. Both the newspapers and the railroads in the region helped transport supplies free of charge. Both the Nebraska State Guard and the United States Army helped distribute food and clothing.
In 1882, construction of the Chicago and Northwestern Bridge across the Missouri River started. The bridge was authorized by an Act of Congress on June 27, 1882, and construction started in September 1882. The total cost of the bridge was $1.13 Million (nearly $30 Million in 2019). By November 1883, the bridge was finally open for traffic.
In 1916, Blair was awarded a $10,000 grant to build a Carnegie Library. Unfortunately, an electrical fire occurred on the night of July 23, 1973, and the historic library was deemed a total loss.
Blair is located at  According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 5.51 square miles (14.27 km2), of which, 5.49 square miles (14.22 km2) is land and 0.02 square miles (0.05 km2) is water.(41.545562, -96.134383).
Blair is located in the Loess Hills, surrounded on all sides by rolling hills and the Missouri river valley.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the census of 2010, there were 7,990 people, 3,110 households, and 2,005 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,455.4 inhabitants per square mile (561.9/km2). There were 3,351 housing units at an average density of 610.4 per square mile (235.7/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 96.4% White, 0.8% African American, 0.3% Native American, 0.3% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 1.0% from other races, and 1.1% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.9% of the population.
There were 3,110 households of which 33.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.5% were married couples living together, 10.6% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.3% had a male householder with no wife present, and 35.5% were non-families. 30.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.40 and the average family size was 3.01.
The median age in the city was 36 years. 24.9% of residents were under the age of 18; 11.7% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 23.9% were from 25 to 44; 24.3% were from 45 to 64; and 15.3% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 47.9% male and 52.1% female.
As of the census of 2000, there were 7,512 people, 2,871 households, and 1,891 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,617.3 people per square mile (625.1/km²). There were 3,033 housing units at an average density of 653.0 per square mile (252.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 97.43% White, 0.44% African American, 0.29% Native American, 0.33% Asian, 0.27% Pacific Islander, 0.33% from other races, and 0.91% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.34% of the population.
There were 2,871 households out of which 33.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.8% were married couples living together, 10.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.1% were non-families. 29.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.43 and the average family size was 3.02.
In the city, the population was spread out with 24.9% under the age of 18, 13.8% from 18 to 24, 25.6% from 25 to 44, 20.4% from 45 to 64, and 15.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females, there were 90.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.2 males.
As of 2000 the median income for a household in the city was $41,214, and the median income for a family was $52,114. Males had a median income of $36,839 versus $25,452 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,240. About 6.2% of families and 8.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.4% of those under age 18 and 10.5% of those age 65 or over.
Points of interest
- Part of the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum collection
- From 1896-1954, Blair was home to Trinity Seminary, a school of the United Evangelical Lutheran Church
- Blair is located along the historic Lincoln Highway
- Tower of the Four Winds at Black Elk-Neihardt Park stands as a memorial to John G. Neihardt and Black Elk, the Lakota Sioux holy man
Blair was home to the now defunct Dana College.
- Kent Bellows - artist
- Clete Blakeman - professional football official
- Bob Cerv - baseball player
- Bill Danenhauer - professional wrestler
- Mike Hollingshead - photographer
- Mick Mines - Nebraska state senator
- Otto Diller Schmidt - US Navy Medal of Honor recipient
- Tom Seaton - baseball player
- Paul Simon - Democratic Congressman, Senator, and presidential candidate
- Rod Whitaker - novelist
- Ben Hansen, Senator for Legislative District 16
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- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-06-24.
- "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved August 25, 2019.
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- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on 2011-05-31. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
- "Blair, Washington County". Center for Advanced Land Management Information Technologies. University of Nebraska. Retrieved 24 August 2014.
- Chicago and North Western Railway Company (1908). A History of the Origin of the Place Names Connected with the Chicago & North Western and Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis & Omaha Railways. p. 44.
- Buss, William Henry; Osterman, Thomas T. (1921). History of Dodge and Washington Counties, Nebraska, and Their People. American Historical Society. p. 402.
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
- "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2012-01-25. Retrieved 2012-06-24.
- United States Census Bureau. "Census of Population and Housing". Archived from the original on April 26, 2015. Retrieved October 16, 2013.
- "Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2014-05-22. Retrieved 2014-07-17.
- "Pilot-Tribune & Enterprise". Nebraska Newspaper Directory. Nebraska Press Association. Retrieved May 23, 2018.