Census records from 1870 show the population of Wayne County to be 180 people, with a total of 71 farms and no established towns. The settlement of LaPorte was designated as the original County seat. Prosperity was anticipated for the small community since a railroad grade had to be laid to LaPorte from Emerson.
Although a brick courthouse had been built in 1874, the connection to the railroad line never materialized and in 1881, settlers in the area voted to relocate the County seat to Wayne.
Information taken from "A History of Wayne Nebraska - Its Pioneers, Settlement, Growth, and Development, Together With a View of the Territory in 1938," written by Dorothy Huse Nyberg.