Holdrege is a city in Phelps County, Nebraska, United States. The population was 5,495 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Phelps County. The Nebraska Prairie Museum is located in Holdrege.
Holdrege was established in 1883 when the railroad was extended to that point. It was named for George W. Holdrege, a railroad official. Holdrege was designated county seat in 1884.
Holdrege was settled primarily by immigrants from Sweden in the 1880s and was named after George W. Holdrege, general manager of the Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy Railroad Company. He constructed most of the line’s mileage in Nebraska, including a section through this small settlement in Phelps County. On December 10, 1883, the first train arrived in Holdrege, a little pioneer town inhabited by 200 people.
In 1884, a campaign was started to move the county seat from Phelps Center to Holdrege, and an election was scheduled for October.