STUART, Neb.- From good housing, to a strong school system, there are many reasons why local residents like to call Stuart "home".
"The first thing I think about when I think about Stuart is the people," Tri-County Bank President and CEO Jon Schmaderer said. "We have a great community. We've done a great job of focusing on projects that make sense for us. We are able to work together, and when something needs to be done, the consensus we find in the community is unreal, and it's helped us grow a lot of things," Schmaderer said.
The town is known for having a number of family-owned businesses. The town is strategically located between the towns of O'Neill, Ainsworth, Bassett, Atkinson and Newport which makes for a strong trade area. Stuart has a movie theater that is run by volunteers. "That is another people project as I call it," Schmaderer said. "Really, we had a building that was in great shape, but it sat empty for more than 20 years." The theater took shape when a group of young people got together and decided to do something with the empty building.
Stuart has other entertainment options, including a brand-new local roller skating rink called "The Joyride". There is a dirt track, so in the summer there are races that have been going on for more than 65 years, and there is an ice rink in Stuart that runs in the winter.
"We think it's a good business climate," Schmaderer said. "One thing we've worked on historically is our housing. We've dedicated a lot of time to housing opportunities in this community, and we think that's really helped attract and retain people."
The town is proud of the local educational system, as well as the medical care that can be found in the area. "One thing we try to do in our community is show other communities of our size that you don't need all of the resources in the world to do good things. To grow your community at this size is still possible, and we want to encourage all of rural Nebraska to grab hold of that. If we can be an example of other communities in rural Nebraska, that's great," Schmaderer said.