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General Information

Friend, a community of 1,100 people, is located on Route 6, 12 miles south of I80 in Southeast Nebraska's Saline County. Besides farming and livestock, Friend includes retail sales and manufacturing. A public 9-hole golf course and country club are located on the East side of town. There is also a hospital, long term care facility, K-12 school, and municipal pool. And many church denominations are represented. Welcome to Friend, Nebraska, where there are miles of smiles!


Friendville was founded in 1870 by Mr. Charles E. Friend. In 1869 he left his home in Illinois and in the spring of 1870 he homesteaded the land where Friend is now located. He worked in Lincoln as a store clerk but later in 1870 he took an assortment of dry goods and returned to his hometown where he established and operated a flourishing dry goods store for many years.

The Burlington and Missouri River Railroad reached Friend in 1871. The town at that time was no more than the homestead of Charles E. Friend. The government established a post office naming Mr. Friend as its first postmaster. He generously donated land for a school and church.

The year of 1873 was one of rapid growth. Work was completed on the railroad station and it was renamed "Friend" by the railroad. The town was surveyed and settlement began to take the shape of a frontier town. Fifty-six acres of Charles Friend's land was laid out on a square containing 16 square blocks. Trees were planted on most of the lots. Mr. Bigford opened a blacksmith shop, and flour mills were erected on Turkey Creek because of its water power. Late in 1873 Charles Fischer built a one-story hotel. The boom continued and the population increased. Several stores and a lumberyard were opened.

Friend received special honors in 1983 by being named a "Tree City, U.S.A." The community of Friend upholds a process of continuous improvement.

Friend Historical Society/Warren Opera House

The Warren Opera House, a grand old lady in her day, was the premier place for social gatherings. It faithfully served Friend and surrounding communities for thirty-four years, providing a venue for plays, dances, lectures, political events, sporting events and even a circus! No remaining comparable structure exists within a fifty mile range of the town of Friend.

In January 2005, a group of concerned citizens formed the Friend Historical Society. Members of the Society saw need to form a permanent organization to promote the restoration of the Warren Opera House, and have formed the Restoration Committee. The Opera House was generously donated to the Society by the Yokel family, long time purveyors of hardware and furniture in Friend.

The Friend Historical Society is organized exclusively for charitable purposes as a 501 (c) 3. Our goals are:

It is our commitment to work to restore the Historic Warren Opera House and to preserve the historical buildings in our community.

San Carlo Room, 511 2nd Street, Suite B - More than 3000 sq. ft. of historic ambience available for weddings, reunions, parties, and entertaining. For more information about availability and rental rates, contact Marla Weber at 947-7901 or Carey Potter at 730-0276.

Community Center

Wedding Dance/ Receptions

Set up the night before


$ 25 additional


Set up the day before


$ 50 additional

Meetings - hourly charge (up to 4 hours)

$ 10

Anniversaries, Graduations & all other Events

Set up the night before

$ 50

$ 25 additional

A $100 deposit is required for everything.

Schedule events through the City Hall at (402) 947-2711.

Fire Protection

Fire protection is provided in the community by a 25-member volunteer fire department. This department has a reciprocal agreement with neighboring towns which includes the rural areas (approximately 100 square miles). Friend also has a 911 emergency system. For further information call the fire station at (402) 947-4222 or the fire chief at (402) 947-2721.

Law Enforcement

The city of Friend is equipped with a 911 emergency system. Equipment in the police department includes two police cruisers with radar, computers, and 24-hour communication as well as other standard equipment. For further information call (402) 947-5531.


The Gilbert Public Library, (402) 947-5081, activities include summer reading program and story hour. The library provides inter-library loan and has meeting rooms.


Friend Public School

Vocational courses offered in the high school include business, industrial technology, family and consumer sciences, and computer applications. Internet is available in the school. Adult education courses are available in the high school in conjunction with the Southeast Community College. Distance learning classes are available through Southeast Community College. Services are available for educable mentally and physically handicapped in the public school system. For more information view the Friend Public School's Web site or call the office at (402) 947-2781 or the superintendent at (402) 947-5291.

Educational Service Unit

Friend participates in the Educational Service Unit No. 6, which is headquartered in Milford. Consultant services are available for repair of media equipment, videotape library, speech therapy, resource teachers, psychological services, special education supervision, physical and occupational therapy, staff development, telecomputing, and cooperative federal project programs. Additional services include effective schools training, board workshops, test booklet loan, robotics, and Star Lab.


Please contact these offices for further information:


Saline County (Wilber)
  • City Hall
  • Utilities Emergency
  • Municipal Pool
  • (402) 947-2711
    (402) 641-5147
    (402) 947-2111

    • Clerk
    • Maintenance Shop (Friend)
    • Sheriff
    • Treasurer

    (402) 821-2374
    (402) 947-3201
    (402) 821-2111
    (402) 821-2375

  • State Patrol
  • Road Conditions
  • Probation Office
  • (800) 525-5555
    (402) 947-7941
    • Post Office
    (402) 947-3361

    For further information, please contact:

    City of Friend 235 Maple Street Friend, Ne 68359-1351
    Phone: (402) 947-2711 Fax: (402) 947-9041 E-mail:

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