Sears Gazetteer – Nebraska

The Sears Gazetteer contains a list of locations in the USA with the name Sears, compiled by Ray Sears over the years. Also see AlaskaAlabama, IdahoMaineMississippiNew MexicoVirginia and others on this site.

There are 3 placemarks in the Gazetteer for Nebraska, 4 if you include the 2 Sears Ranch placemarks in Cherry, Nebraska.

By Burlington & Missouri River Railroad Co.
Library of Congress Printed Ephemera Collection; 
Portfolio 134, Folder 13.[1], Public Domain,

Sears Lake

Sears Lake is located in Grant County, Nebraska, near the Village of Hyannis, Ashby, and Duluth.

There isn’t much information on Sears Lake. According to Wikipedia, Hyannis, the village closest to the lake was laid out in 1888 when the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad was extended to that point. Only 13 years prior to that, the U.S. purchased 11,000 miles of the Sand Hills from the Sioux tribe for $25,000. The remainder of the territory was ceded to the U.S. after years of conflict and bloodshed during the Great Sioux War of 1876.

President Andrew Johnson reserved areas of Nebraska Territory for the Santee Sioux Indians of Crow Creek, Dakota. Special Agent Reuben Sears scoped out the lands around the Missouri River Bluffs in Nebraska, noting the reservations were “some of the most disadvantageous locations” in the state. – S. Rep. No. 4, 55th Cong., 1st Sess. (1897)

The year 1888 was also when Arthur Abbott and his family settled in what was to be Cherry County, just northeast of Hyannis. “The first term of court for the county was held in 1887 at Hyannis and the first case tried was for cattle stealing. At that time, there was but one store in town and no courthouse, so Judge Abbott presided over the trial outdoors.”

Arthur’s son, Christopher, “married Helen Sears whose father was well known for his building construction in the Hyannis area.” according to the web site for the Abbott Ranch, They were married in 1914.

Sherman Sherwood Sears, Helen’s father, is buried in Hyannis Cemetery.

Christopher Joseph Abbott (1889-1954) was born in Bird City, Cheyenne County, Kansas, according to He was a banker, in the lumber business, and a director of Northwestern Bell Telephone Co. In the 1920’s, Christopher Abbott was the wealthiest man in Nebraska and the largest landowner in the state. His 4 bedroom, 3.5 bathroom “mansion” was built by architect George Beringhof, a contemporary of Frank Lloyd Wright, according to

A description of the Abbott Ranch from the October 1978 issue of National Geographic:

From the main highway the road back to the ranch is nine tough miles of ruts and sand traps. The farther you go, the more you wonder where you made the wrong turn. Suddenly, around shoulder of a a high ridge, there is ranch headquarters. The main house, in a grove of cottonwoods and box elders, is 67 years old, high-ceilinged and spacious. Nearby stands the bunkhouse and cookhouse, and set into the side of the ridge is a combination butcher shop, creamery, and commissary that can feed the ranch crew for two months if blizzards close the road.

The Abbott family has seven generations of family members who were ranchers.

Sears Dr. and “Doc” Sears

Within Hyannis, there is a Sears Drive, where “Doc” Sears ( and his veterinary practice has resided for over 50 years.

Sears Ranch

Sears Ranch is located in Cherry County, Nebraska, on Packingham Lake Dr near the community of Kennedy and city of Valentine. has a few photographs for sale of Homesteaders in Cherry County and around Nebraska. I couldn’t find more details on the ranch, perhaps it was owned by Sherman S. Sears?

Sears School

Sears School is located in Valentine, Nebraska, and is just over 3 miles from the Sears Ranch. Valentine was founded in 1882.

Kearney County, Nebraska

J.H. Sears published the Historical Atlas of Kearney County, Nebraska, 1894


Nebraska State Historical Society

Nebraska Historic Buildings Survey Reconnaissance Survey Final Report of Cherry County, Nebraska

Nebraska Genealogy

The Nebraska Project

Nebraska Memories

Custer County Museum


Leave a Reply