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. Although a lot of Atlanta’s business district has drifted away, what you don’t see are the 50 or so thriving home-based businesses in the Atlanta area, and what you cannot deny 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, the event is still a big deal in Atlanta. It provides 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 $4,000 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.

Facts about Atlanta, Nebraska

  • 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

Atlanta Government

Village Clerk

Noelle Ortgiesen 
(308) 440-4620

Village Treasurer

Brad Kimberly
(308) 995-6252

Village Board

Jayne Ortgiesen, Chair
(308) 337-2233
Janice Ludeke, Vice-Chair

Drew Foster
Dustin Stewart

Arden Watson

Board Meetings

Second Wednesday of the Month
Community Building
8pm in Summer Months
7pm in Winter Months

Community Building

West Avenue and Dunbar Street

Law Enforcement

Phelps County Sheriff
(308) 995-5692
Emergency 911

New in Town? - Utilities and Services


Southern Power District
(800) 652-2013

Water and Sewer

Noelle Ortgiesen 
(308) 440-4620


Bosselman Energy Inc.
(308) 995-5649

Agri Coop
(308) 995-8688


Black Hills Energy   
(888) 890-5554


Dish Network
(888) 825-2557


Telephone, Satellite TV, and Internet Service

Century Link
(877) 348-9005

Internet Service Providers

ATC Communications
(308) 962-7298 or (866) 565-5422

Century Link
(877) 348-9005

For more Phelps County businesses and services CLICK HERE

Phelps County Treasurer

Patti Meguire

Phelps County Courthouse

715 5th Avenue
PO Box 438
Holdrege, NE 68949
(308) 995-6115