Bayard's History

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The original town of Bayard was established in July of 1888 and was located one mile west of the present site. The name was supplied by Millard and Jap Senteny from Bayard, Iowa, who had purchased some land and thought that Bayard would be a good name. In 1890 the town was moved to the present site and was incorporated on November 13, 1890.


Bayard, Nebraska is in the heart of the area once called “The Great American Desert” by Major Long. Major Long reported the area would only be good as range for buffaloes, wild goats, and other wild game. Or it may serve as a barrier to prevent too great of an expansion of population westward. 

Bayard’s most famous attraction is Chimney Rock, which is located 3 1/2 miles south of the town. Chimney Rock is one of the famous landmarks of the Oregon Trail. In 1956, Chimney Rock was designated a national historic site by the federal Government.

On October 23, 1917, the Village of Bayard, through an ordinance became a second class city to be governed by the Mayor and Council government. The growth of Bayard had been very slow until 1917, when the Great Western Sugar Company built a $2,000,000 factory near town. The population was 261 in 1910 and today is 1209.

Today, Bayard is oriented to the agricultural pursuits, livestock and crops, of the surrounding area. Bayard is located in west central Morrill County. The community is on Highway 26, 25 miles east of Scottsbluff, Nebraska, where it overlooks the fertile North Platte Valley.
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