The Village of Belgrade is situated on the banks of the Cedar River, in the heart of the Cedar Valley. The town was laid out in 1878 and had just one store and a post office until 1892, when the town began to flourish as a trading post. By 1902, there were over 400 residents. [Derived from O.M. Mayfield’s “Brief History of a Live Business Town,” written in 1902.]
Belgrade lies on Highway 52, just five miles west of the Highway 52 / Highway 14 intersection. Highway 14 runs the full length of Nebraska from South Dakota to Kansas. While Belgrade is no longer a bustling trade center, it remains a vibrant community full of people who are committed to preserving and maintaining the cherished small-town, rural way of life. Belgrade is home to a number of active and steady businesses that serve all of Nance County and the area, including Penne Well & Septic LLC (a state-licensed well and septic firm), A-1 Plumbing, Hellbusch Service and Repair (servicing large farm equipment and standard automobiles alike), Frontier Co-op (a grain storage facility), and The New Frontier Saloon, which draws crowds from Nebraska counties far-and-wide because of its delicious, home-cooked food and down-home atmosphere. The owners are the operators and they know everyone by name.
There are several stories that lay claim to the naming of Belgrade. One says that in 1883, the postmaster, W.J. Hayford, by virtue of being the postmaster named Belgrade after his hometown in Maine. Another says that the same person, Hayford, was given the honor of naming the town, again after his hometown in Maine, because he helped to plat the town in Nance County. The third story is attributed to the construction of the railroad in the area: A “grade” had to be established for the railroad tracks, and the engineer’s name was Bell, so it came to be known as Bell’s Grade, which was later revised to Belgrade. There is yet a fourth story that suggests the town was named after the capital of Serbia because Belgrade, Nebraska overlooks a valley and the town’s lights can be seen miles away, as in the case of the Serbian capital.
ECONOMIC AND DEMOGRAPHIC DATA
The 2020 Census identifies the Village of Belgrade as having a population of 103.
The Community Profile for the Village of Belgrade includes information on population, labor, transportation, and utilities.
VIDEOS & IN THE NEWS
In September 2013, Belgrade was featured on Channel 10/11’s “Our Town” series. Scroll through the video images below the large video graphic to find “Our Town Belgrade.”
While you are on 10/11’s “Pure Nebraska” pages, you can also find more video stories about the history of the Belgrade Post Office and the story behind the Belgrade “jail.”