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Hiram Lingle, who promoted development of the area, gave his name to this small agricultural town. It lies just across the Platte River from the site of the Grattan Massacre of 1854.

In 1936, following five dry years, the federal government's Resettlement Administration resettled 134 drought-stricken families on what was regarded as better land near Lingle.  Hundreds of other rural families in the state needed help, but only those in the most desperate straits were resettled.  Assisted families were furnished dairy cows, beef cattle or sheep, horses, chickens, and pigs in return for promises of repayment in thirty years. Today Lingle is an irrigated region and is a shipping point for sugar beets, beans, and cattle.

The 2000 census showed a total population of 510.