Ainsworth is the county seat of Brown County located in the north-central part of Nebraska. When Nebraska was admitted to the union in 1867, all of the area around Ainsworth was known as Sioux County and was attached to Holt County. Brown County was originally platted to cover an area which now includes two counties, but was separated to its present boundaries in 1888.
Ainsworth is named for Captain James E. Ainsworth, chief construction engineer of the Fremont, Elkhorn and Missouri Valley Railroad, who arrived at the town site in June 1882. Ainsworth was incorporated as a village on December 2, 1883. Brown County, whose northern border is the Niobrara River, was established by the Legislature on February 19, 1883, and originally included what is now Rock and Keya Paha counties. Towns include Ainsworth (county seat), Johnstown, and Long Pine.
Merritt Dam, 72 miles from Ainsworth, was dedicated in 1964. It provides irrigation to 34,500 acres of farmland north and east of town. To the south and west of town are the beautiful Sandhills, covered with many different grasses, wild flowers and shrubs. To the north and west, the famous and beautiful Niobrara River flows, offering Tubing, Canoeing, Fish and other outdoor recreational activities.
Today, Ainsworth is the home of many businesses and is a major trade center for the surrounding area. There are 2 nice hotels here; Super 8 and Rodeway Inn. Downtown hosts several shops and places to eat, and a nice convenience store along the highway. People were very friendly.
Sites to visit about Ainsworth