The first Decatur school was held in the office of the Townsite and Ferry Company beginning in 1861, with Mrs. C.D. Canfield as the teacher. Mrs. Samuels, mother of Frank and Jesse James, taught one term of school in Decatur in 1862. A frame building was later erected and used until 1875. A larger two-story brick building, with a seventy-foot belfry, was built in 1875. The school bell from this building was preserved and used through the years and is now placed in front of the present school. In 1903, a two-story frame building was constructed on the present school site, and used until 1935. The present school building was erected in 1936, to which an addition of a larger gymnasium and lunch room facility was constructed in 1972. In 1984 the schools of Lyons, Neb., and Decatur were consolidated. The local facility provides schooling for elementary Decatur students and the other students from Decatur are bussed to Lyons.
The graduation rate for Decatur High School students is approximately 95 percent. Decatur graduates have the opportunity of attending a college close to the proximities of Decatur, including:
Low utility costs make Nebraska an excellent location for business. Electric and natural gas industrial rates are among the lowest in the nation. Both energy sources are easily accessible throughout the state. Nebraska is the only state in the nation served totally by electric public power. Decatur is proudly served electrically by Burt County Public Power District. Call (402) 374-2631 or toll-free at (888) 825-1620, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit Burt County PPD's Web site for further information.
Decatur has several good eating places, featuring prime rib, home cooking, bar & grill, sub sandwiches, and good fish specials.
The Sears Center was built to house the Senior Center, Bulldog Fitness Center, media room and the Burgess Family Clinic. This multi-use building was built with grant funds and donor funds. Harold "Doc" Sears was the major donor along with a CDBG Grant, many businesses and other donors from Decatur and across the country. Decatur is very proud of the new building. The goal of the building is to improve the health and wellbeing of the citizens of the area. There will be a dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony on September 4, 2011 at 1:00 P.M. The Sears family will be present for this dedication.
Decatur's Senior Citizen Center has been in operation since 1969 when pot luck dinners were held for local seniors. In 1970, the center was incorporated. Today the center prepares five noon meals a week. They also have carry out meals for those that cannot get out anymore. Every Sunday morning from 8 A.M. to 11 A.M. coffee and rolls are served. The public is welcome to come and visit before or after church. The Senior program is growing and serving more people in its new home at the Sears Center.
Maple Villa, owned by the Decatur Housing Authority, is government subsidized housing for those over 62 years of age or handicapped. The villa consists of seven buildings with four apartments in each building. One of the buildings houses the office, mail room, laundry room and a community room. The lovely grounds are kept up by a maintenance person.
|The Village of Decatur has a fine Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Unit averaging 25+ members. Their equipment includes a Jaws-of-Life, well-equipped rescue unit and a rescue boat.|
Early churches played an important role in the life of settlers as they do today. The Decatur Episcopal Church was founded in 1862 and was the second church of that faith in the diocese and the State of Nebraska. The building was sold in 1949 to the Trinity Lutheran Church of Decatur. Lutheranism in Decatur began in the early 1900s as a mission church, services being held in homes and later in the vacated Presbyterian Church on Main Street. The first Sunday School began in 1861 by the Methodists, who erected their present building in 1889. A Presbyterian Church, built in 1871, was dismantled in 1965. The Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ Restoration Branch was organized in 1879 in a small log school house southeast of Decatur. A new frame building was erected in 1886 and used until 1903 when the present building was dedicated. First Catholic masses in Decatur were celebrated in homes from 1862 until 1880 when a building was purchased and moved to the lots adjoining the present site of the new and present building, erected in 1924. The Word of Life Ministries of Decatur was started in Decatur in 1980.
Local Church Services
Holy Family Catholic Church
|Trinity Lutheran Church
603 4th Avenue
Worship Service at 9
Sunday School at 10
Chuch of Jesus Christ
|United Methodist Church
8035 4th Avenue
Worship Service at 8:45
Sunday School at 10
|Word of Life Ministries
1043 S. Broadway
Sunday School at 10
Worship Service at 10:45
|Hillcrest Cemetery is situated on the high bluff rising to the west part of Decatur. The cemetery, one of the oldest in Nebraska, provides a panoramic view of the Village of the winding river below and farmland fields for miles around. The avenue of American flags on the eastern slope on Memorial Day is an memorable sight.|