Exeter, Nebraska General Information
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The History of Exeter

It was the land that brought the settlers to Exeter, Neb., in 1870 - "free land." The Homestead Act of 1862 made it possible to acquire 160 acres of land, free of all charges except the filing fee. The site of the Village of Exeter was originally a land grant to Dr. H. G. Smith from the government of the United States, the Homestead Act of 1862.

The railroad's advance west from Lincoln determined the site and name for Exeter. Few towns have been named in as unique a way as Exeter. The railroad proposed to build a line from Crete westward, with towns approximately eight miles apart and named in alphabetical order. It is believed that the name "Exeter" was suggested for this town by a family that came to the area from Exeter, New Hampshire. The name happened to fit in with the alphabetical system of naming towns along the Burlington railroad, so it was adopted. Thus these are the nearby towns of Crete, Dorchester, Exeter, Fairmont, Grafton, Hastings, Inland, Juniata, Kenesaw and Lowell.

By 1878 the town listed 16 business houses, including a newspaper, a doctor and a hotel. There were three churches: Catholic, Baptist and Congregational. In 1879 the town was incorporated and Exeter celebrated its official centennial with a three-day celebration in 1979.

Although the familiar depot is gone and passenger trains no longer stop, the railroad is still a vital part of the town's economy. Exeter's location on the main line assures the community of rail service at a time when other communities are facing abandonments.

-- Taken from the book, "They Called It Exeter", Exeter's Centennial Book Committee, 1979.

County Government

Fillmore County has 16 townships and is governed by a seven-member board of supervisors, each elected for a four-year term.

Local Government

Exeter has a village board of 5 trustees who are elected for four-year terms.  Board meetings are held the first Tuesday of every month at 7:30 at the village office located at 202 S Exeter Ave.  The village employes a Village Clerk to take care of day-to-day business.

Exeter City Police

The village employs one full-time village police officer.

Emergency: 911
Exeter Police Department: (402) 266-5331
(402) 759-4441

Volunteer Fire Department

Emergency: 911
Exeter Volunteer Fire Department: (402) 266-3333
South Exeter Avenue
Exeter, Nebraska 68351

The Exeter Volunteer Fire Department consists of 34 members. The 17 EMTs also serve as firemen. Twenty-seven of the volunteer members are certified fire fighters and all have received hazardous materials training. Housed in a modern fire station at 213 South Exeter Avenue are two pumpers, one tanker, one rescue unit and one attack truck. The Exeter Volunteer Fire Department is also equipped with hydraulic jaws of life, a ram, and shears for medical emergencies. Other special equipment includes lift air bags, portable generators, and lights.

Senior Center

The Exeter Senior center serves older adults in the community.  Nutritious lunches are served once a week plus home meals are delivered to individuals requesting this service.  Other activities include exercise classes, coffees, social events, and other special projects.


Exeter-Milligan Public School serves both Exeter and Milligan students.  The K - 2nd grades, 7th & 8th grades, and high school, 9th - 12th grades are located in Exeter.  The 3rd - 6th grades are house in Milligan.  A full range of college prep, business, vocational, agriculture, consumer economics, and technology classes are offered.  Many extracurricular activities are available.  Nebraska Education Service Unit #6 in Milford provides support services.  Bus service is at no cost to students living in the district.


The Exeter Public Library is free to the public and offers the following services: books, videos, encyclopedias in print and electronic versions, slide projector on loan, interlibrary loan service, story hour for children, and monthly book talks for adults. The library is open Monday and Wednesday 9:00 am - 6:00 pm, Thursday 4:00 pm - 7:00 pm, and Friday 9:00 am - 1:00 pm..


United Methodist Church
321 E. Seneca
Exeter, NE 68351
(402) 266-5771
St. Stephen's Catholic Church
207 N Union Ave
Exeter, NE 68351
(402) 266-5581
Facebook page
United Church of Christ
305 South Exeter
Exeter, NE 68351

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