Westerville, nestled in picturesque Clear Creek Valley, was the first town in Custer County. It was named for James H. Westervelt on whose land the townsite was platted August 11, 1880. The town became an important early trade center after pioneer families, both black and white, homesteaded here during the 1870’s.

Westerville had many firsts in Custer County - the first frame church, the Methodist, whose bell echoed across the valley; the first newspaper, The Custer Leader, and the first doctor, lawyer, banker, monument cutter, and general stores. A sod house, hotel, blacksmith shop, livery barn, and flour mill aided early development. The County Agricultural Society was organized here and held the first two county fairs in Westerville, 1881-1882. The first county teachers institute also convened here.

Westerville was bypassed as the county seat and, when the railroad was built farther south in 1886, the town gradually declined. After 100 years, the village is an active community center which remains proud of its heritage. The modern farms which dot the peaceful valley pay tribute to the courage and perseverance of Westerville’s early pioneers who now rest in the cemetery overlooking the village.

Westerville Centennial Committee
Nebraska State Historical Society
Highway 70 and 183 west of Westerville
Custer County
Marker 248