America's Loneliest Counties
Stories and Stats from The Least Populated Most Remote Rural Counties in the US
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Updated April 2014
Arthur County, Nebraska
Hay Bale Church and the Tiniest Courthouse in America
Arthur County id the fifth smallest county in America
(by population). Best known as home to the Baled Hay Church, and
the smallest court house in the United States, which serves as
The Pilgrim Holiness Church, located in Arthur, was built
in 1928 of baled rye straw. Baled hay or straw proved an
alternative to lumber or sod as a building material and was
used throughout the Sand Hills. The structure is the only
known church built of baled straw, and the building is a
unique example of Nebraska folk architecture.
one story Arthur County courthouse was built of wood in
1914 and was used until 1962 when a new facility was built.
The smallest courthouse now serves as a museum.
Nebraska Life describes downtown Arthur as a Main
Street with a gas station, a body shop, Rose Saddlery,
Graham's Ranch Supply, an art gallery, a fledgling co-op
grocery, a meat market, a bank in an 18 by 26-foot concrete
block building, another museum in a former courthouse that's
not much bigger than the bank, and the Long Branch Tavern. If
you know where to look, there's even a motel, the Bunk House.
In the 2004 presidential election, Arthur County was one of
the most Republican-leaning counties in the country; 90.2% of
its electorate voted for Republican incumbent George W. Bush
(compared to 9.1% for Democratic challenger John F. Kerry).