Cities, Towns, Villages
Benedict; Bradshaw; Gresham; Henderson; Lushton; McCool Junction; Thayer; Waco; York
Nearly 10 years after the original boundaries of what today is York County were created, the area was still considered a land inhabited by Indians. Although an occasional trapper would pass through the area, it was not until 1865 that the first permanent settlement was made by a white man. This marked the beginning of York County and within two years the area had its first post office.
On April 26, 1870 settlers in this area voted to organize the county and elected a full complement of county officials. Gov. David Butler proclaimed the area as York County. There are two versions of how the county was named. The first is that is was named after York, England. The second is that a number of early settlers were from York County, Pa., their former home.
The townsite of York was platted in 1869. Within two years it became apparent that the county was in need of a courthouse. A special election was called to vote on a proposition to sell enough town lots owned by the county to build a courthouse. The question was approved and $1,500 was raised. In 1872 the first courthouse was built. It was replaced in 1886 by a second courthouse that would stand the next 94 years.
In 1980 the present courthouse was dedicated, culminating a 21-year wait. With the previous courthouse beginning to need repairs, the Board of Commissioners decided in 1969 to begin setting aside inheritance tax funds for this purpose. Bond issues in 1973 and 1975 for construction of a new courthouse were rejected and led to a 1977 recall election. In the meantime, inheritance tax and revenue sharing monies had continued to be set aside.
When the special fund reached $2.25 million in 1978, the Board of Commissioners voted to build. County offices were temporarily moved, the old courthouse was razed, and construction of the present courthouse was begun on the same city square that hosted the two previous courthouses. When the $2.3 million building was dedicated on Oct. 19, 1980, it was opened to the public as a debt-free structure.