Official Nebraska Government Website Nebraska State Historical Society

Nebraska State Historical Society Annual Report
2002 - 2003

The Nebraska State Historical Society safeguards Nebraska's past and makes it accessible in ways that enrich present and future generations.

From the Board President and the Society Director

Nebraska's history is an essential part of the fabric and identity of the state, and for 125 years the Nebraska State Historical Society's mission has remained unchanged: To preserve Nebraska's past and make it accessible to all Nebraskans in ways that enrich present and future generations. The year 2003 marks not only the 125th anniversary of the Society's founding in 1878-it is also the 50th anniversary of the Society's headquarters building at 1500 R Street in Lincoln. This year that landmark structure, the Society's first permanent home, was listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Through the past century and a quarter, the Society has become a multifaceted organization serving many diverse interests, but has never lost sight of its fundamental purpose: to instill in all Nebraskans an appreciation for and understanding of the story of their state, and to provide access to resources that will promote inquiry, dialogue, and diversity of opinion to inform decisions facing them today and in the future. As the Society moves forward into the twenty-first century, these institutional values remain the bedrock of its being:

Unfortunately 2003 is also the second consecutive year of severe budget cuts, bringing significant staff reductions, shortened hours, and curtailed services. Similar cuts, caused by state revenue shortfalls, have affected most states.

Nevertheless, the Society's achievements were notable: The Museum of Nebraska History's antiquated air conditioning, which failed completely in the summer of 2002, was replaced with a new state-of-the-art system. In June the reconstructed 1874 cavalry barracks (or Cheyenne Outbreak Barracks) at Fort Robinson was dedicated, its construction made possible by joint funding from the state and the Nebraska State Historical Society Foundation. As in other years, the Foundation supported a variety of activities including equipment purchases, publications, internships, National History Day travel scholarships, acquisitions for Society collections, and research fellowships for visiting scholars. To commemorate the 125th anniversary the Society mounted a year-long series of "Nebraska Treasures" exhibits and programs, and the annual meeting on September 26 will mark both the Society and the headquarters building anniversaries.

We want to thank NSHS trustees Herb Grandbois of Omaha and Keith Blackledge of North Platte for their service to the Society. Each has served two terms on the Society board, and their interest, leadership, and good counsel will be missed. Thanks are due, too, to the many friends of the Society who have donated materials to the collections. The museum, the library and archives, and the archeological collections are richer as a result of their generosity- and the story of this state's past is more complete. To make it possible to distribute this report widely while keeping costs low, these donors are not individually acknowledged here, but all will be listed on the Society's website at

Jack Preston, President
Nebraska State Historical Society
Board of Trustees

Lawrence Sommer,
Director and State Historic
Preservation Officer


With six divisions, four locations in Lincoln and Omaha, as well as six state historic sites, a branch museum, and numerous unstaffed properties across the state, the Nebraska State Historical Society is a diverse and widespread institution. Nevertheless, the agency's mission is clear, unified by its institutional values and the seven goals of its strategic plan. The touchstone for all its work, the strategic goals are the framework for the agency's collective achievements in the year 2002­03:

Abbreviations Used
Arch=Archeology Division
DIL=Digital Imaging Lab
GRFCC=Gerald R. Ford Conservation Center
HP=Historic Preservation Office
 L/A=Library/Archives Division
M&HS=Museum and Historic Sites Division
R&P=Research and Publications Division


Acquire, preserve, and make accessible collections, sites, and information that best represent the history and culture of Nebraska and its people.


Increase public awareness of NSHS as the primary resource for Nebraska history information.

Public Service

Deliver historical information and materials to the public in ways that meet users' needs.


Provide and maintain state-of-the-art facilities for Society collections and programs.


Use new technology to further the Society's mission.


Secure and maintain an adequate, stable, and diversified base of financial support.


Develop and retain the most qualified staff possible.

Nebraska State Historical Society Awards

Addison E. Sheldon Award: Gage County Historical Society.
For outstanding achievements in the preservation and interpretation of Nebraska history. Also recognized: Kent Wilson, GCHS director, retiring after fifteen years service.

James L. Sellers Memorial Award: Dr. Timothy Mahoney, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
For the outstanding article in the previous year's volume of Nebraska History, "The Great Sheedy Murder Trial and the Booster Ethos of the Gilded Age in Lincoln, Nebraska," Winter 2001.

Robert W. Furnas Award: Robert C. Pettit.
For outstanding contributions to the Nebraska State Historical Society.
Thirty-six years as a curator in the Society's museum collections; cataloged tens of thousands of items, oversaw computerization of collections records, donated more than two hundred objects.

Nebraska Preservation Award: Dutton-Lainson Company, Hastings.
Rehabilitation of the 1902 Hastings Burlington Depot, in cooperation with the city of Hastings and the Nebraska Department of Roads.

Asa T. Hill Award: Nebraska Department of Roads.
For achievements in the preservation of Nebraska archeology. For its partnership with the Society in the Highway Salvage Archeology program and assistance in locating and excavating diverse historic and prehistoric sites.

Nebraska State Historical Society Board of Trustees

Jack Preston, President
Pat Kennedy, 1st Vice President
Joyce Hillman-Kortum, 2nd Vice President
Patricia Phillips, Treasurer
Lawrence J. Sommer, Secretary
Trustees, elected members:
Margaret Allington
Keith Blackledge
Peter Bleed
James Denney
Patrick Kennedy
Jason Kress
Ann Marsh
Patricia Phillips
Jack Preston
Charles Trimble
Sally Stauffer Vifquain
Bev Wilhelm

Trustees, appointed members:

G. H. Grandbois
Joyce Hillman-Kortum
Martin Massengale

Nebraska State Historical Society Financial Report
Fiscal Year Operations 2002-03
(Based on preliminary year-end information. Excludes fiscal year accruals.)

Revenues                         %     Dollar Amounts

State Appropriations          63.96        $4,123,531
NSHS Foundation Support        3.98           256,774*
Earned Income                 18.61         1,199,997
Federal Grants/Contracts      12.85           828,493
Donations/Grants/Spec. Events   .60            38,433

Total Revenues                             $6,447,228


Museum/Historic Sites         20.74        $1,337,369
Administrative Services       20.41         1,315,819
Library/Archives              16.23         1,046,409
Historic Preservation         15.50           999,394
Archeology                    12.44           801,936
Conservation                   8.56           551,825
Research & Publications        6.12           394,476

Total Expenditures                         $6,447,228

*In addition to the figure above the Nebraska State Historical Society Foundation provided direct support in the amount of $74,732.

Respectfully submitted,

Tony A. Schmitz
Deputy Director for Operations


Archeology, Museum, Library/Archives Divisions
July 1, 2002 - June 30, 2003

Douglass G. Adams, Ukiah, CA
Suzy Albin, El Cajon, CA
Fred Amis, Omaha
Ramona Anderson, North Platte
Curt & Donna Arens, Crofton
Ruth Ann Aschwege, Hays, KS
Marilyn Atance, London, Ontario, Canada
JoAnn Auxier, Falls City
Frank A. Berigan, Jr., Omaha
Ann E. Billesbach, Lincoln
Marjorie Wall Bingham, Minnetonka, MN
Delmar & Ruth Borchers, Utica
Edward George Borgens, Jr., Sacramento, CA
Virginia Bowmaster, Lincoln
Elinor L. Brown, Ceresco
Dave Brubaker, Sacramento, CA
Kathryn Buck, Sutton
Thomas R. Buecker, Crawford
Delia M. Burchfield, DVM, Bayard
Walter Cady, Omaha
Claire A. Callan, Fairbury
Grace Carmody, Trenton
Sandra Carter-Duff, Denver, CO
Joanne Ferguson Cavanaugh, Omaha
Malcolm H. Churchill, Washington, DC
Patricia Churray, Lincoln
Clerk of the Legislature, Lincoln
Colorado State Archives, Denver, CO
Congregational Christian Church, David City
Connecticut State Library, Hartford, CT
Creighton University, History Department, Omaha
Stanley J. Copley, Franklin
Lorna (Mrs. Jack) Critchfield, Lincoln
Dr. Ruth Crone, Omaha
Earl J. Curris, Warba, MN
Cushman, Inc., Lincoln
Ron Dahlke, Lincoln
Donald G. Darnell, Lincoln
Davidson Titles, Inc., Omaha
Thomas M. Davies, Jr., representing the Estate of Hubert Arnold, LaMesa, CA
Davis Design, Lincoln
Dawes County Historical Society Museum, Chadron
Mary DePutron, Lincoln
Ellen & Raymond DeVries, Lincoln
Diocese of Nebraska, Omaha
Angela Dresch, Primrose
Ned Eastlack, Lincoln
Jill Ebers, Lincoln
Paul J. Eisloeffel, Lincoln
Ramona A. Ellison, Rising City
John Emmert, Topeka, KS
Andrea I. Faling, Lincoln
Mark Ferguson, Billings, MT
Mary K. Florence, Omaha
Richard & Jean Flower, Nelson
William J. Foley, Sr, Topeka, KS
Dr. Mary Carol Foreman, Stillwater, OK
Four Footed Fotos Inc., Issaquah, WA
Mitzi Fox, Albion
Frances H. Gaines, Omaha
Richard L. Galusha, Omaha
Ruth Gehrig, Stamford
Judy Gibson, Beatrice
Sue Gilmore, Carroll
Golden Pioneer Museum, Golden, CO
Jane Graff, Seward
Robert L. Graff, Beatrice
Suzanne Graham, Lincoln
Mike Grant, Frankfurt, KY
Great Plains Yearly Meeting, Central City
Diane Gritz, Lincoln
Woody Guthrie, Malcolm
Leland M. Hancock, Lincoln
Ruth C. Hansen, Lincoln
Hastings Public Library, Hastings
Stan Hayes, Manhattan, KS
Dan C. Hedberg, Whitney
Joan Hees, Lincoln
Linda L. Hein, McCook
Janice Mae Hellerich, Raymond
Pam Hendricks, Lincoln
Pat Henry, Lincoln
Mary F. Eis Hessler, Lincoln
Historical Society of the 8th Circuit Court, Omaha
Historical Society of Washington, DC, Washington, DC
Jack Hoover, Jr., Lincoln
Eldon Hostetler, Milford
Barbara L. Houck, Seal Beach, CA
Mary Ann Behlen Hruska, Walnut Creek, CA
Marie A. Huber, Bruning
Cindy Hulsebuss representing the Estate of Thomas Creigh, Jr.
Gene and Bobbie Hunzeker, Cincinnati, OH
Lynne M. Ireland, Lincoln
Gloria Bailey Jackson, Chaseburg, WI
Josef A. Jackson, Grand Island
Barbara B. James, Baldwin City, KS
Mary Jenks, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
Richard E. Jensen, Lincoln
Linda Jones, Lincoln
Dr. Theodore P. Jorgensen, Lincoln
Kansas City Public Library, Kansas City, MO
Sarah Keil, Keizer, OR
Kay Kimberly, Big Springs
Mrs. Eugene Klum, Lincoln
Robert E. Knoll, Lincoln
Jill Koelling, Lincoln
E.A. Kral, Wilber
Doug A. Kristensen, Kearney
Richard Kuska, Taos, NM
Leo L. Lemonds, Hastings
Lincoln-Lancaster County Genealogical Society, Lincoln
Lincoln Public Schools Arts & Humanities Focus Program, Lincoln
Lincoln Public Schools Association of Office Professionals, Lincoln
Lincoln Symphony Guild, Lincoln
Connie Linesch, Culver City, CA
Frederick C. Luebke, Lincoln
Tom Lutzi, Lincoln
Sid Magdanz, Omaha
James Magorian, Lincoln
Mariposa Museum & History Center, Mariposa, CA
Jodi Marra, Guilford, CT
Gerald W. Mathews, Omaha
Ronald E. Mattson, Baltimore, MD
Edward McAndrews, Los Angeles, CA
Ken and Peggy McClure, Lincoln
Lucia McCreery, Brooklyn, NY
Jim McKee, Lincoln
Mary McKee, Aztec, NM
McLean County Museum of History, Bloomington, IL
Midlands Marketing, Omaha
Mid-Continent Public Library/Genealogy & Local History Branch, Independence, MO
Midwest Bank, Pierce
Dennis Mihelich, Omaha
Martha J. Miller, Lincoln
Ruth V. Mills, Spokane
Judy Moeller, Lincoln
James L. Mohon, Norman, OK
Gerri Monahan, Lincoln
Rosalind, Morris, Lincoln
Ronald Morse, Indianapolis, IN
Gary Mossa, Lincoln
David R. Murphy, Lincoln
Ralph Myers, Thornton, CO
National Blue Family Association, Seattle, WA
National Society Daughters of the American Revolution - Nebraska, Lexington
Nebraska Chapter of National Association of Postmasters of the United States, Laurel
Nebraska Federation of Women's Clubs, Seward
Nebraska Game & Parks Commission, Lincoln
Nebraska State Department of Aeronautics, Lincoln
Nebraska State Historical Society, Administration Division, Lincoln
Nebraska State Historical Society, Archaeology Division, Lincoln
Nebraska State Patrol, Lincoln
Nebraska State Quilt Guild, Fremont
Nebraska United Methodist Historical Center, Lincoln
Hilda Neihardt, Phoenix, AZ
Carol Nelson, Lincoln
Night Howl Productions, Clay Center
North Platte Valley Museum, Gering
Mark Norton, San Francisco, CA
Dr. Sharon D. Ocker, Sioux City, IA
Mary-Lou Olsen, Eagle, ID
Paul Olson, Lincoln
Christopher S. Parker, Stone Mountain, GA
John and Mary Pavel, Titusville, FL
Curt Peacock, Lincoln
Perkins Library representing Carol and Frank Medsker, Hastings
Peru State College Library, Peru
Ray Peterson, Jr., Vancouver, WA
Phi Alpha Theta, Phi Nu Chapter, University of Nebraska at Kearney, Kearney
Platte County Historical Society, Columbus
Ponca Public Library, Ponca
Lajean Price, Lincoln
Primrose Centennial Committee, Primrose
Public Library of Steubenville & Jefferson County, Steubenville, OH
L. Robert Puschendorf, Lincoln
Robert L. Quinsey, Eureka, CA
Harold Raburn, Holdrege
Russ Reno, Lincoln
Robert Richter, Ogallala
Fred J. Riffe, Marathon, FL
Marlene Riggle, Gillette, WY
Mae W. Robertson, Rosemont, PA
Marilyn Rodgers, Marengo, IA
Al Rodriquez, Omaha
Phillip J. Rooney, Lincoln
Daniel J. Roth, Lincoln
Judy Rowe, Nebraska City
Tom Ryan, Lincoln
San Jose Public Library, San Jose, CA
Chris Sautter, Ceresco
Dan R. Schneiderheinz, Central City
John R. Schubert, Lincoln
Sara Gibson Schwake, Eugene, OR
Carl Schweser, Iowa City, IA
Sharon Seagren, Lincoln
George C. Seward, Scarsdale, NY
Sharing Across Generations for Enrichment (SAGE), Lincoln
Gwenith O. Sheldon, De Norte, CO
Winona Duncan Snell, Laguna Woods, CA
Marjorie Mae Warren Snodgrass, Lincoln
Margie Sobotka, Elkhorn
Barbara W. Sommer, Lincoln
Lawrence Sommer, Lincoln
Southeast Community College, Lincoln
Jan Stehlick, Dorchester
Georgia Covey Stone, Lincoln
Elinor L. Stroup, Topeka, KS
Ray Svoboda, Lincoln
Donald Swanson, Lincoln
Textron/Cushman Inc., Lincoln
Robert Thomson, Plattsmouth
Texas Historical Commission, Austin, TX
Donald Trauger, Oak Ridge, TN
Thad T. Uehling. Lothian, MD
Underhill Society of America, Oyster Bay, NY
United States District Court, Lincoln
University of Nebraska - Archives & Special Collections, Lincoln
University of Nebraska at Omaha, Omaha
Larry E. Vaughan, Lincoln
Chad Wall, Bancroft
Laura Pearl Wall, Haigler
Washington County Historical Society, Ft. Calhoun
West Virginia Division of Culture & History/Archives & History, Charleston, WV
Dee Weyeneth, Lincoln
Lorry Wagner, Brighton, MI
Chad Wall, Lincoln
Janice Wendl, Omaha
James W. Wengert, Omaha
Mayor Don Wesely, Lincoln
Western Historical Manuscript Collection, Kansas City, MO
Larry G. White, Austin, TX
Sue Williams, Lincoln
Kathleen L. Young, Lincoln

here open to all is the history of this people (image)
Doorway inscription at the Historical Society headquarters building, Lincoln.

Nebraska State Historical Society Foundation

Prominent among the year's notable achievements listed by Society Director Larry Sommer and President Jack Preston in their letter at the beginning of this annual report, is the reconstruction of the 1874 cavalry barracks (or Cheyenne Outbreak Barracks) at Fort Robinson. Built with the help of many generous donations that made it possible to match public challenge funding from the Legislature, the barracks is a brilliant example of the impact private-public partnerships can have on the Historical Society's capacity to preserve and interpret the state's history. Without generous private support, we could not provide the solid, physical presence of that building, which enables visitors to visualize the events that transpired there.

Throughout this report, you have seen other examples of the innovative ways the Historical Society is preserving our state's history and sharing it with the widest audience possible. The Foundation brings donors and projects together to enrich and expand the Society's efforts to safeguard, interpret, and share the irreplaceable record of Nebraska's history.

The Foundation's work depends on the thoughtfulness and generosity of many individuals, businesses, and foundations. This year, when economy is the watchword, this summary annual report does not have space to list all their names, but a complete list of donors and foundation members will be available online at On behalf of the Foundation's board of trustees, I would like to thank everyone who has joined us in supporting the Nebraska State Historical Society and invite you to experience all the Historical Society has to offer throughout the state.

Allison D. Petersen, President
Nebraska State Historical Society Foundation

Nebraska State Historical Society Foundation Board of Directors

Allison D. Petersen, President
Steven E. Guenzel, Exec. Vice President
Jack D. Campbell, Vice President
Joanne F. Shephard, Secretary
C. John Guenzel, Treasurer

Martha A. Greer
Dr. James W. Hewitt
Dr. F. William Karrer
Dr. Frederick C. Luebke
Carol F. Maddux
Dr. Martin A. Massengale
John D. Massey
George H. Moyer, Jr.
James F. Nissen
Robert D. Northrop
Cynthia A. Olson
John W. Webster
Amy Scott-Willer
S. N. "Bud" Wolbach
Dr. John R. Wunder

Board of Directors Emeritus
Caroline Kivett

Ex Officio (NSHS representatives)
Jack Preston, President NSHS
Patricia Phillips, Treasurer NSHS
Lawrence Sommer, Director NSHS

Executive Committee
Allison D. Petersen, President
Steven E. Guenzel, Exec. Vice President
Jack D. Campbell, Vice President
C. John Guenzel, Treasurer
Dr. James W. Hewitt
James F. Nissen
John W. Webster

Jackie Spahn, Executive Director
128 North 13th Street, No. 1010
Lincoln, NE 68508
Telephone: (402) 435-3535
Fax: (402) 435-3986

For a detailed, illustrated version of the 2002­03 Nebraska State Historical Society Annual Report visit the Society's website at

For Nebraska State Historical Society membership information call (402) 435-3535 or e-mail

Nebraska State Historical Society
1500 R St., P.O. Box 82554, Lincoln, Nebraska 68501
Telephone: (402) 471-3270
Fax: (402) 471-3200




NSHS Home  |  Search  |  Index  |  Top
Last updated 29 September 2003

For questions or comments on the website itself, email
Nebraska State Historical Society - P.O. Box 82554, 1500 R Street, Lincoln, NE 68501
Nebraska State Government Homepage
 |  Website Policies  |  © 2009 All Rights Reserved