NSHS Home  |  Research & Publications  |  Publications

Historical Newsletter

January/February 2003


During the past two years the Library/Archives has received an outstanding collection of papers, films, sound recordings, and photographs relating to Lawrence E. "Larry" Vaughan and the Vaughan family of Lincoln. The collection is remarkable for its completeness and variety of information-rich sources, particularly for the World War II era. It documents several generations of the Vaughan family but principally those of Larry and his wife, Ruth E. (Norton) Vaughan; their son, Victor Vaughan; and Larry's parents, J. Gordon and Beatrice (Van Kirk) Vaughan.

Ruth and Larry Vaughan, 1943.
RG517878Vaughan, service photo

Larry Vaughan's service, March 1943 to January 1946, creates a central theme for much of the collection. Included are scrapbook/photo albums that document his tour of duty; a "buddy book" of Larry's service friends; letters; and diaries. An unusual aspect of the Vaughan military story is the three sets of diaries kept for the same dates by Larry, Ruth, and Beatrice Vaughan while Larry was in World War II.

The story does not end or begin with the war, however. Larry was a star Lincoln High School athlete, and the collection has photographs and his high school diaries. Letters from Victor Vaughan to his parents describe his military service in Germany during the 1960s. Later he developed cancer and died on June 4, 1969. Letters relating to his illness and to scholarships set up in Victor's memory are included. Scrapbooks, home movies, and slides of family activities and vacations help visually document the family history during the postwar years.

Ruth and Larry Vaughan,
sixtieth wedding anniversary,
August 21, 2002.

Vaughan, anniversary photo
The value of the Vaughan collection lies not just in its content but also in its completeness. The collection is currently being processed and will soon be ready for use. Larry and Ruth Vaughan, some of Lincoln's most active retirees, continue to donate their time to the community and their family materials to the Nebraska State Historical Society.


The Nebraska State Historical Society will award three, $1,000 grants in 2003 to support research on some aspect of Nebraska history or archeology. The grants are provided by the Gladys Marie Lux Nebraska History Education Endowment Fund and the Tom and Marilyn Allan Fund, both administered by the Nebraska State Historical Society Foundation. Grant recipients will be expected to make significant use of the Society's collections to produce an article-length essay for possible publication in Nebraska History or another Society venue. Projects must be completed within one year.

The application deadline is March 3, 2003. To request application guidelines, contact NSHS Research Grant Program, Nebraska State Historical Society, P.O. Box 82554, Lincoln, NE 68501-2554; call 402-471-4748, or e-mail: publish@www.nebraskahistory.org.


Happy New Year! As 2002 fades into the past and 2003 begins, you may be wondering why you haven't yet received all four issues of the 2002 Nebraska History magazine. Production delays early in the year have changed the usual publication schedule, but the Fall and Winter 2002 issues will be out soon, and you should receive the Spring 2003 issue on time.

Some of the articles you can look forward to seeing in upcoming issues include:

We apologize for the delay and hope you will continue to enjoy Nebraska History's interesting and insightful articles.

If you know of others who would enjoy receiving Nebraska History you can enroll them as members of the Nebraska State Historical Society by calling Karen Heath, membership coordinator, at 402-435-3535 (toll-free: 888-515-3535). Members receive four issues of Nebraska History per year plus many other benefits.

125th year logo 2003 -- OUR 125TH YEAR

The Nebraska State Historical Society has been saving Nebraska's past for 125 years, and this anniversary will be marked by a variety of activities throughout 2003. Via special exhibits and public programs we'll look back at what's been accomplished through the decades, and look toward the future with a redesigned Nebraska History magazine and website and new initiatives to create greater public access to and awareness of the rich treasures NSHS preserves.

Among the highlights slated for 2003:

January: Made in Nebraska, an exhibit featuring items ranging from the Delusion mousetrap to Vise- Grip pliers produced by Nebraska manufacturers and workers from the 1860s to the 1990s. Opens January 9 at the Museum of Nebraska History, Lincoln.

January-March: Reel Treasures film series.

April: "A Celebration of our African American Past," conference, exhibit, and performances, April 25-27, at the Gerald R. Ford Center in Omaha.

June: Dedication of the reconstructed 1874 Cavalry Barracks, Fort Robinson, June 7.

September: 125th Annual Meeting and Conference, celebrating the 125th anniversary of the NSHS, the 50th anniversary of completion of the 1500 R Street headquarters building, and unveiling new designs for Nebraska History and the NSHS website.

An account by Jim Potter, NSHS senior research historian, of the last twenty-five years of the Society's history, to be published in Nebraska History quarterly.

Special Nebraska History issue on baseball.

Treasures from the Nebraska State Historical Society, wonderful and wacky from the Society's collections to be exhibited at Society facilities statewide.

Brown Bag lecture series focusing on what Society staff research has uncovered about our past.



From my point of view as the volunteer coordinator for the Nebraska State Historical Society, everything that we accomplish as an organization is magnified due to the support of our volunteers. As an organization that focuses on history, we know that history has shown that people have pitched in during wartime, to care for their neighbors, and to give to nonprofit organizations. I've seen people of all ages join together to make things happen, and happen in a very meaningful way that allows us to continue to share the state's history.

In 2003 the NSHS will host a series of activities to celebrate its 125th anniversary as an organization and the 50th birthday of our headquarters building at Fifteenth and R Streets. The quality of our volunteers at the NSHS makes our job easier; and these are the qualities that will sustain us for the next 125 years and beyond. We are fortunate to know what it means to live in a community, state, and country that recognizes the importance of volunteers. A big round of applause to each and every one of you from the NSHS!

Deb McWilliams, NSHS volunteer coordinator



Nebraska's and Nebraskans' connections with some of America's best films are the focus of the Society's 2003 film series. Titled Reel Treasures: Nebraska's Contributions to America's Best Films, the series features seven films deemed by the National Film Preservation Board as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically important." Each year the board selects twenty-five films to add to the National Film Registry of important films. So far 325 films are in this registry. All of the films in the series feature Nebraskans, were produced by a Nebraska native, or are set in Nebraska. In addition, the January 16 Brown Bag lecture will kick off the series with a showing of The Plow That Broke the Plains, one of the few documentaries included in the National Film Registry.

All films are shown, free of charge, at the Museum of Nebraska History, Fifteenth and P Streets, Lincoln, at 2 P.M. A complete list of films and dates appears in the enclosed January/February NSHS Foundation Newsletter. Once again, we gratefully acknowledge the Douglas Theatre Company, which provided major underwriting for this series.


Nebraska has been home to a wide array of inventors, craftspeople, and manufacturers, and the full range of their products will be featured in the new temporary exhibit Made in Nebraska. Some Nebraska products, like Kool-Aid and Cushman carts, have achieved great renown; others, like the Fuller Automobile and Shogo-Lithia water, have faded from the scene. Come enjoy the sizeable and sometimes surprising variety of materials made in Nebraska. The Society's Museum of Nebraska History is open 9-4:30, Monday-Friday, and 1-4:30, Saturday and Sunday.

Farimont Creamery truck photo
Starting as a small butter producer in 1884, the Fairmont Creamery Company became one of the nation's largest food processors, Fairmont Foods. This early twentieth century photograph, touting a product Made in Nebraska, was taken after the company moved from Fairmont to Omaha, where it eventually grew into one of the country's five hundred largest corporations.


By Cindy S. Drake, Library Curator

Alphabetical Index of Occupations: Fifteenth Census of the United States. (1930 Census). Compiled by the United States Bureau of the Census, 1930.

Classified Index of Occupations: Fifteenth Census of the United States. (1930 Census). Compiled by the United States Bureau of the Census, 1930.

Fifteenth Census: Coding Instruction for the Population Schedule (Except Occupations) . . . 1930 Census). Compiled by the United States Bureau of the Census, 1930.

Measuring America: The Decennial Censuses from 1790 to 2000. [Prepared by Jason G. Guthrie] for the U.S. Census Bureau, 2002.

Descendants of Charles Bailey and Lydia Benton: From Connecticut to Wisconsin and Westward, by Gloria B. Jackson. (Bailey, Benton, Haecker, Hacker and Brown families in Douglas and Lancaster counties.)

Descendants of John and Anna Myers Brubacker: A Cross-Referenced and Indexed Genealogy, by Marwin E. Brubaker and Margaret B. Eller. (Brubaker, Wrightsman Boitnott and Atkinson families in Gage and Red Willow counties.)

Thauer, Filer, Wade, and Allied Families, by Charlotte C. Filer. (Filer, Mellinger and Wade families in Dawson County.)

The Ancestors and Descendants of Rosina Roth and Jacob E. Frey from Switzerland, Who Settled in Nebraska Territory in 1854, compiled by Ethel W. Albin and Rosalyn McLelland. (Swiss American family in Richardson County.)

The Harley & Warren Family, by Larry L. Olson. Harley, Warren, Skinner and Olsen families in Clay, Adams and Hamilton counties.)

The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, by George B. Everton. Tenth Edition (2002).

Mexican-American Genealogical Research: Following the Paper Trail to Mexico, by John Schmal.

Irish and Scotch-Irish Who Made a Declaration of Intention to Naturalize From Cass, Douglas, Lancaster, Nemaha, Otoe, Richardson, Sarpy, and York Counties in Nebraska, 1855-1940+, compiled by Ellen M. and Raymond D. DeVries.

History of Primrose and Dublin, Nebraska, by Sue P. McIntyre and Brenda S. Scarlett, cochairpersons of the History Book Committee, 2002.

Stuart Centennial: A One Hundred Year History of Stuart, Nebraska, compiled by the Stuart Centennial Book Committee, 1984.

100 Years of Superior Living: Superior, Nebraska, 1875-1975.

By Cindy S. Drake, Library Curator

The following are titles from or about Nebraska that we have been unable to acquire. If you are aware of their availability please contact Library Curator Cindy S. Drake at 402-471-4786 or e-mail to nshs05@www.nebraskahistory.org. Besides books, booklets, pamphlets, and maps, we also look for photographs, postcards, manuscripts, public records, and audio-visual material relating to the history of Nebraska.

The Nebraska Indians: Complete History of the Nebraska Indian BaseBall Team. Published by Woodruff Collins, Lincoln, NE, 1903.

From Kirchhatten (Germany) to Canyon (Texas) 1884-1965, by Jim W. Kuhlman, 2001. (History of the Kuhlman and related families [Gerdsen, Schuette and friends] who emigrated to Texas in 1908 with a group from northeast Nebraska.)

Shadow and Sunshine, by Eliza Suggs. Published in Omaha, NE, 1906.

Recipes and Domestic Service; The Mahammit School of Cookery, by Sarah Helen Tolliver Mahammitt. Published in Omaha, NE, 1939.

Indian on horseback logo FROM THE MUSEUM STORE

For your winter reading enjoyment consider one of these titles from the Museum Store by Nebraska authors:

The Rim of the Prairie, by Bess Streeter Aldrich
Death Comes For The Archbishop, by Willa Cather
The River and I, by John G. Neihardt
The Story Catcher, by Mari Sandoz

New book titles in the Museum Store:

Roadside Geology of Nebraska, by Harmon D. Maher, Jr., George F. Engelmann, and Robert D. Shuster
Corn Among the Indians of the Upper Missouri, by George F. Will and George E. Hyde
Women of the West, by Dorothy Gray
Far from Home, Families of the Westward Journey, by Lillian Schlissel, Byrd Gibbens, and Elizabeth Hampsten

Visit us at the Museum Store at Fifteenth and P Streets, Lincoln, to make your purchase. If you can't stop in, give us a call at 402-471-3447.


The Center for Western Studies of Augustana College is seeking paper proposals for the Thirty-fifth Annual Dakota Conference on Northern Plains History, Literature, Art, and Archaeology, scheduled for April 25-26, 2003, in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The conference theme is "The Prairie in Transformation." The conference will consider the ways in which the prairie has traditionally been represented by historians and such novelists as Ole Rolvaag, Willa Cather, and Frederick Manfred, but it will also examine how the prairie is being transformed by demographic and ecological forces.

Submission deadline: January 17, 2003. Contact Dakota Conference Director Harry F. Thompson, Box 727, Augustana College, Sioux Falls, South Dakota 57197; phone: 605-274-4007; fax: 605-274-4999; or e-mail: harry_thompson@augie.edu.


January 12: Sunday at the Museum Series, author David Bristow with readings and commentary on A Dirty, Wicked Town: 19th Century Omaha. 2 P.M., John G. Neihardt State Historic Site, Bancroft. Free and open to the public; reception following. For information contact the Neihardt Site at 1-888-777-4667. Winter hours at Neihardt: December-March, M-F, 9-5. Closed weekends except for special programming.

January 16: Brown Bag Lecture, The Plow That Broke the Plains, a film introduced by Andrea Faling, associate director of the NSHS Library/Archives Division. 12 noon, Museum of Nebraska History, Fifteenth and P Streets, Lincoln. Free and open to the public.

January 21: Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation, Mouth of the Platte chapter, "The Life and Times of Jean Baptiste Charbonneau, Known as Pompy to his Babyhood Friends," by Tom Coenen. Meet at Caniglia's Restaurant, Seventh and Pacific Streets, Omaha. For information and reservations (required): mouthoftheplatte@aol.com or 402-331-7241.

February 9: Sunday at the Museum Series, Darell Draper will perform as George Drouillard, interpreter and hunter for Lewis and Clark. For information contact the Neihardt Site as above.

February 18: Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation, Mouth of the Platte chapter, "Personal Reminiscences of the Corps of Discovery," by Dale Clark. Meet as above.

February 20: Brown Bag Lecture, "Archeology of the Oto-Missouria Tribe," by Rob Bozell, associate director of the NSHS Archeology Division. 12 noon, Museum of Nebraska History, Fifteenth and P Streets, Lincoln. Free and open to the public.

March 1-30: Post-World War II Quilt Display, Senator George W. Norris State Historic Site, 706 Norris Avenue, McCook; Tuesday-Saturday, 9:30-12 and 1-5. For questions or special tours contact Linda Hein, curator, at 308-345-8484.

In observance of Martin Luther King Day, Society headquarters and the Gerald R. Ford Conservation Center in Omaha will be closed Monday, January 20. The Museum of Nebraska History and the Historic Sites operated by the NSHS will be closed January 20. Call for holiday hours at the Neihardt Site (402-648-3388) and Cather Site (402-746-2653).

In observance of Presidents' Day, Society headquarters and the Ford Center will be closed Monday, February 17. The Museum of Nebraska History and the Historic Sites operated by the NSHS will be closed February 17. Call for holiday hours as above.

November/December 2002

Back Issues


NSHS Home  |  Search  |  Index  |  Top

Last updated 9 January 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