Atlanta - Where Town and Country Come Together
Some people like to live in town. They like their neighbors close enough to chat with over the fence and the Post Office close enough to walk to. Other people like to live in the country, with a view out the window to big sky and wide open spaces and maybe the glimpse of a grazing horse.
Although the smallest of Phelps County’s five communities, Atlanta has a venerable history. While the village was laid out in 1883, it wasn’t incorporated until 1908. It was, however, one of the first villages in the area to get electric lights.
During World War II, Atlanta gained distinction as one of just a handful of prisoner of war camps on American soil. The Atlanta POW Camp opened in July 1943 and was deactivated and closed in 1946. During its operation, hundreds of German and Italian soldiers were interned there and the silo-shaped concrete water tower of the camp is still a familiar landmark of Phelps County.
In the early 1900s Atlanta boasted three elevators, a lumber yard, a restaurant, hardware store, pool hall, livery stable, meat market, seventeen-room hotel, and a barber shop with water and heat. Today a lot of Atlanta’s business district has drifted away, although the Husker Hut, a popular burger-n-steak house, and the Post Office still remain. What you don’t see, boosters say, are the 50 or so thriving home-based businesses in the Atlanta area, and what you may not appreciate is the spirit of the 130 residents who call Atlanta home.
Small town, big spirit
Atlanta is especially well known in the region for hosting an event that dates back to 1904. Originally called the Farmers Institute, the celebration was supported for many years by the University of Nebraska, which furnished the speakers. Later, the community provided the entertainment, which included ball games, rodeos, parades, competitive games, beauty contests, exhibits, and a free show. Now called Industry Days, it's still a big deal in Atlanta, providing dinner and an afternoon of activities that includes an egg-toss, karaoke, and a greyhound race drawing entrants from as far away as Kansas, Oklahoma and Wyoming. One of the particular highlights of Industry Days is the pie auction, which Atlantans say typically raises $4000 or more for scholarships, even though the entire population is only 130.
You might expect a town like Atlanta to have strong 4H Club presence, and it does — they are past winners of the Governor’s Agricultural Excellence Award. In addition to their club activities, the group trims and cleans the community park, and not only raised money to put a fence around the cemetery, but also developed a comprehensive directory of the inhabitants.
To be honest, there aren’t a lot of town services in Atlanta, but on the other hand, the lots are big, the taxes are low and sewer and water fees are only $27 a month. If you’re looking for the perfect blend of “town” and “country”, Atlanta may be just the place for you.
- Located approximately 7 miles west of Holdrege, the county seat.
- Approximately 130 people, 53 households, and 34 families live in the village.
- 34% of those families have children under 18.
- Median income for a household in the village was $32,708, and the median income for a family was $36,875.
*data according to 2000 census
Ken Erickson, Chair
First Wednesday of the Month, 7pm
West Avenue and Dunbar Street
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Phelps County Sheriff
Southern Power District
Water and Sewer
Bosselman Energy Inc.
Black Hills Energy
Telephone, Satellite TV, and Internet Service
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Drivers License and Vehicle Registration
Phelps County Driver Licensing Office
Phelps County Ag Center, East Room
1308 2nd Street, Holdrege
Hours: 8:00am- Noon, 1:00- 4:30pm
Every Thursday and Friday except State holidays
This is where you take driving tests.
Phelps County Treasurer
Phelps County Courthouse
715 5th Avenue
PO Box 438
Holdrege, NE 68949
This is where you get vehicle registration, plates and permits, and pick up your driver’s license after testing.