The Early History of Ness City
by Frank W. Blackmar (1912)
Ness City, the county seat of Ness county, is centrally located and is on the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe R. R. It is an incorporated city of the third class; has 2 national banks, 2 newspapers (the News and the Echo), an electric light plant, flour mill, ice plant, creamery, telegraph and express offices, and an international money order postoffice with two rural routes. The population according to the census of 1910 was 712. Ness City was founded in 1878 by Richard Dighton. In 1880 an important addition was made by Robert Stephens. When the railroad was built in 1886 the town, which had not had much of a growth in the six years of its existence, began to have a wholesome boom, which reached its height in 1890 when it had a population of 869. In the next ten years there was a falling off in the population, due to the money panic and poor crops. A succession of good years and continued prosperity caused a gradual rise in the next decade.
Ness City is located at 38°27'8N, 99°54'22W (38.452250, -99.905989). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.7 km² (1.0 mi²), all land.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,534 people, 684 households, and 424 families residing in the city. The population density was 575.0/km² (1,495.7/mi²). There were 800 housing units at an average density of 299.9/km² (780.0/mi²). The racial makeup of the city was 97.72% White, 0.07% African American, 0.39% Native American, 0.07% Asian, 0.59% from other races, and 1.17% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.28% of the population.
There were 684 households out of which 25.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.0% were married couples living together, 4.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.0% were non-families. 36.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 20.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.17 and the average family size was 2.83.
In the city the population was spread out with 22.4% under the age of 18, 5.0% from 18 to 24, 24.6% from 25 to 44, 22.2% from 45 to 64, and 25.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 44 years. For every 100 females there were 93.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.9 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $33,068, and the median income for a family was $42,500. Males had a median income of $28,992 versus $18,553 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,481. About 5.1% of families and 7.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.1% of those under age 18 and 6.8% of those age 65 or over.