NSHS Home  |  Research & Publications  |  Publications

Historical Newsletter

November/December 2003

125th anniversary emblem

Jack Preston and Dr. James C. Olson
Jack R. Preston (left), president of the Nebraska State Historical Society Board of Trustees, and Dr. James C. Olson unveil the new historical marker for the Headquarters Building, 1500 R Street, Lincoln, during the Society's annual meeting and 125th anniversary celebration, held September 26 in Lincoln. Olson, an honored guest at the event, was superintendent when the building was dedicated on September 27, 1953.


The Society's 125th anniversary year continues with treasures from the collections highlighted at the Museum of Nebraska History at Fifteenth and P streets and the Headquarters Building at 1500 R Street in Lincoln.

Museum of Nebraska History, Lincoln



1500 R Headquarters, Lincoln





The Museum of Nebraska History will be decked out in its holiday finery from Saturday, November 29, to Wednesday, December 31. An animated Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus will greet visitors on the museum's first floor near a 1950s aluminum tree lit by a revolving color wheel. The Carson Parlor will depict an 1860s Nebraska Territorial Christmas, complete with tabletop tree, toys, and gifts. The World War II living room, the Goehner Brothers General Store, and the sod house will also feature seasonal decorations. Museum hours are 9:00-4:30, Tuesday-Friday, and 1:00-4:30, Saturday and Sunday.


The Thomas P. Kennard House, a Nebraska State Historical Society historic site at 1627 H Street in Lincoln, will celebrate Victorian Holidays Past, featuring Victorian toys, decorations, and historic photographs Monday, December 1, through Wednesday, December 31. The house will be open Monday through Friday by appointment. Regular admission will be charged. Nebraska State Historical Society members are free. There will also be a free open house on Sunday, December 7, 1:00-5:00. For additional information call 402-471-4764.


During the Nebraska State Historical Society's recent annual meeting, President Jack R. Preston announced the results of the 2003 Board of Trustees election.

Margaret Allington of Lincoln and Patricia "Pat" Phillips of Omaha were reelected to their second terms from the first and second congressional districts, respectively. Dr. Samuel H. Rankin, Jr. of Chadron was elected from the third congressional district. Governor Mike Johanns appointed Tijuana R. Smith-Secret of Omaha as a trustee from the second congressional district. All terms are three years.

Keith Blackledge of North Platte and Dr. Herb Grandbois of Omaha will complete their terms on the board in 2003. Other Nebraska State Historical Society trustees are: Dr. Peter Bleed of Lincoln, James Denney of Omaha, Joyce Hillman-Kortum of Gering, Patrick Kennedy of Omaha, Jason Kress of Sterling, Ann Marsh of Grand Island, Dr. Martin Massengale of Lincoln, Jack Preston of Lyman, Charles Trimble of Omaha, Sally Stauffer Vifquain of Kearney, and Bev Wilhelm of Unadilla. Individuals may run for the Nebraska State Historical Society Board of Trustees by becoming members of the Society and obtaining the signatures of twenty-five Society members. For further information about membership or the Board of Trustees election, contact the Nebraska State Historical Society at 1-800-833-6747 or 402-471-4955.


Looking for that special holiday gift that keeps on giving all year long? How about a membership in the Nebraska State Historical Society? Recipients of this gift will receive Nebraska History, a quarterly magazine devoted to the story of Nebraska's past; bimonthly newsletters; information about upcoming events; and discounts on publications and items purchased at Society Museum Stores.

The cost for an annual membership is only $35. Other membership categories are also available. Membership makes a great gift and helps the Society fulfill its mission to safeguard and interpret Nebraska's past and make it accessible in ways that enrich present and future generations. For further information about membership, call Karen Heath at 402-435-3535.


On October 6 Elizabeth Eckford, one of the Little Rock Nine who helped desegregate American schools by courageously showing up every day where she wasn't wanted, and Kendall Reinhardt, one of the few white students at the high school who befriended her, visited the Recovered Views exhibit of African American portraits at the Society's Museum of Nebraska History in Lincoln. The duo were in Lincoln to address both students and the community as part of the Lincoln Public Schools' Teaching American History grant-funded effort in which the Nebraska State Historical Society is a partner. While in Nebraska the two made a number of presentations related to the theme "The Power of One" and the ability of individuals to change the course of history.

Rick Wallace and Elizabeth Eckford
Nebraska State Historical Society Foundation trustee Rick Wallace and Elizabeth Eckford tour the Recovered Views exhibit.
Courtesy of Karen Stanley.


With the new, shorter workshop format, the NSHS Museum of Nebraska History is developing a new audience--children in child care--and greatly increasing the number of scheduled groups using the museum in the summer. The workshops were developed by Museum Educator Jessica Stoner and summer intern Amanda Ray, with art resources by Curt Peacock and Alice Filbert, and workshop assistance from UNL work-study students Emily Hansen and Stacy Cervantes.

Once they prepared the tours, classroom, and crafts, a corps of ten specially trained docents made these workshops a success. The goal of a "Making History Workshop" is to make an object on exhibit and think about its construction, use, and significance through a docent-led tour and craft. The cost per child is $3, and a workshop is available for grades K-5 for each exhibit. A big thank you to the docents and museum staff from all departments who helped make these workshops possible. "Making History Workshops" are now offered year round.

Thank you to the following docents who lead these many "Making History Workshops": Penny Stovall, Don Humphrey, Jim Kendrick, Gladi Helm, Barole Barnes-Montgomery, Kathy Plessman, Jack Chaffin, Phyllis Fischer, Rich Oehlerking, Linda Oehlerking, Don Swing, Glen Houtz, and Evelyn Hastings.


A Nebraska historical marker was dedicated on September 13 at the intersection of Highway 13 and County 552 Avenue in Pierce County. Representatives attending included Pierce County commissioners, Bob Puschendorf of the Nebraska State Historical Society, and Pat Boyle of the Nebraska Department of Roads.

The Nebraska historical marker signifies a 4.5-mile section of the original Meridian Highway in Pierce County that was entered in the National Register of Historic Places in November 2001. The Meridian Highway, one of the nation's earliest "automobile trails," eventually extended from Canada to Mexico. This section of the former highway is considered the best-preserved segment of the Meridian Highway in Nebraska.

The Nebraska historical marker program was established in 1957, largely as a cooperative effort of the Nebraska State Historical Society and the Nebraska Department of Roads. The marker in Pierce County was funded by the Nebraska Transportation Enhancement Program, which is underwriting a multiphase project to repair and upgrade Nebraska historical markers statewide. The Nebraska State Historical Society is administering the project.


Michael Jacobi of Genoa was the recipient of a Nebraska State Historical Society Certificate of Achievement acknowledging his report titled "Genoa Pawnee History" at the 2003 Nebraska State Fair. Michael prepared his report for the Explore Your Heritage 4-H project. Along with his certificate Michael received a one-year complimentary Society membership.


E. A. Kral of Wilber knows firsthand the importance of research. Kral has put together a biobibliography of seven hundred Nebraska natives or residents who from 1854 to the present, are recognized by peers in their fields of expertise for notable contributions on a national or international level.

Kral has researched these nationally distinguished Nebraskans for the past seven years. To learn more about these Nebraskans and their contributions visit the websites of the Nebraska State Education Association at www.nsea.org, the Nebraska Press Association at www.nebpress.com, or the Gage County Historical Society at www.beatricene.com/gagecountymuseum



Winter hours take effect for the Library/Archives Reference Room in the Headquarters Building, 1500 R Street, Lincoln, November 1. Hours November-February are Tuesday, 1:00 - 4:00; Wednesday-Friday, 9:00 - 12:00 and 1:00 - 4:00; and Saturday, 8:00 - 5:00.

March-October hours will be Tuesday-Friday, 9:00 - 12:00 and 1:00 - 4:00; and Saturday, 8:00 - 5:00.

By Cindy S. Drake, Library Curator

At the End of the Trail, Oconto Cemetery, Oconto, Woodriver Township, Custer County, Nebraska, 1883-2000, compiled by Gary Glendy from tombstones, mortuary records, newspaper items, old cemetery records, family references, publications.

Borchers [compiled by Delmar and Ruth Borchers]. (Family in Lancaster County.)

A Family History Cookbook: Kalusen/Wall, edited by Marjorie W. Bingham; compiled by Erma Barrager, [et al.]. (Danish American families in Howard County.)

History of Mike or Matthew Borovicka and Barbara Hlavacek [compiled by Janice Hellerich]. (Czech American families of Borovicka, Hlavacek, Ondracek and Masek in Douglas and Lancaster counties.)

Joseph Meyer Family History: Meyer-Hiebeler, with Lang, Hoefling and Graff Lines, compiled by Robert L. Graff. (Czech and German American families as listed as well as Sobotka in Gage and Holt counties.)

The Kracke Family Tree: Germany and America, 1700 to 2000, information compiled by Sharon Seagren. (German American family in Gage and Seward counties.)

Ludvigson Family History: 1705-2002 [compiled by LaJean L. Price and Sharon Seagren]. (Ludvigson, Johnson, Nyquist, Newquist, Johnson, Olson, and Larson families in Burt and Knox counties.)

Poole, the Beginning, the End, and Beyond: A Chronology, [compiled] by Winona D. Snell. (Buffalo County, Nebraska.)

Q-125 Rising City, Nebraska: Reflecting on the Past, Looking to the Future, by [Ramona Ellison, historian].


The Nebraska chapter of the Oregon-California Trails Association plans a reorganization meeting on November 1, 10:00-12:00, at the Audubon Society's Spring Creek conference center near Denton, Nebraska. Refer to the Spring Creek website http://www.audubon.org/states/ne/spngcrk.htm for directions to the conference center.

For further information about the meeting contact Mark Wheeler at Mark@Wheelerconsults.com or 515-255-4034; or Greg Nelson at http://incolor.inetnebr.com/gnelson/neocta.html or 402-489-8008.


November 4: Omaha Rachel Snowden Corral of Westerners, "Silent Hills Speak, the History of Council Bluffs," by Bill Ramsey and Betty Shrier. Meet at Original Caniglia's Restaurant, 1114 South Seventh St., Omaha, at 6 p.m. For reservations (required), call Kathy Balwanz at 402-734-1061.

November 9: Sunday at the Museum Series, "Writing the History of Fort Robinson," by Tom Buecker, NSHS curator of the Fort Robinson Museum. 2 p.m., John G. Neihardt State Historic Site, Bancroft. Free and open to the public; reception following. For information call the Neihardt Site at 1-888-777-4667.

November 13: Lincoln Corral of Westerners, "A Modern Encounter with the Santa Fe Trail," by Les Vilda of Wilber. Meet in the Arbor Room, Holiday Inn, Ninth and P streets, Lincoln. Social hour at 6:30 p.m., dinner at 7:00, program at 7:50. For information and reservations (required): call Margaret Allington at 402-488-5698.

November 18: Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation, Mouth of the Platte chapter. Presentation on Lewis and Clark on the Great Plains, by Dr. Paul A. Johnsgard. Meet at 6 p.m. at Caniglia's Restaurant, Seventh and Pacific streets, Omaha. For information and reservations (required): mouthoftheplatte@aol.com or 402-571-2502.

November 20: Brown Bag Lecture, "The Call of the Open Road," by Bob Puschendorf, NSHS associate director, deputy state historic preservation officer. The twentieth century witnessed the "age of the automobile" in Nebraska, from the early 1900s through the post-World War II era. A project of the Nebraska State Historical Society and Nebraska Department of Roads has documented the subject through five early highways that crossed the state. 12 noon, Museum of Nebraska History, Fifteenth and P streets, Lincoln. Free and open to the public.

November 20: Omaha Corral of Westerners, "Capt. Grant Marsh," by Paul Hedren of the National Park Service. Meet at Original Caniglia's Restaurant, 1114 South Seventh St., Omaha, at 6 p.m. For reservations (required), call Stu Lynn at 402-558-7209.

December 14: Sunday at the Museum Series. Holiday chorale concert featuring a combined choir, several of whom sing with the Siouxland Chorale and the Shrine Chanters. 2 p.m., John G. Neihardt State Historic Site, Bancroft. Free and open to the public; reception following. For information call the Neihardt Site at 1-888-777-4667.

December 16: Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation, Mouth of the Platte chapter. Presentation by Don Doll, S.J., on Lewis and Clark, the Musical-Part One: Manifest Destiny. For information and reservations (required), see above. For tickets ($9) to a November 16 performance of the play, contact Mary Lu Larson, 7654 Nebraska Ave., Omaha, NE 68134.

December 18: Brown Bag Lecture, "Highlights of NSHS Treasures," by Deb Arenz, NSHS senior museum curator, and Paul Eisloeffel, NSHS curator of visual and audio collections. 12 noon, Museum of Nebraska History, Fifteenth and P streets, Lincoln. Free and open to the public.

December 18: Lincoln Corral of Westerners, "The Mandan Fur Trade," by archeologist Tom Thiessen. For time and reservations (required), see above.

December 18: Omaha and Rachel Snowden Corrals of Westerners, joint pre-Christmas dinner; presentation by Dr. Frederick Hanna on Lewis and Clark, the Musical-Part One: Manifest Destiny. Meet at Original Caniglia's Restaurant, 1114 South Seventh St., Omaha, at 6 p.m. For reservations (required), call Stu Lynn at 402-558-7209 or Kathy Balwanz at 402-734-1061.

March 4-6, 2004: 47th Annual Missouri Valley History Conference, Embassy Suites Downtown/Old Market, Omaha. For additional details see www.unomaha.edu/Uno/history/mvhchome.htm. The conference e-mail is mvhc@unomaha.edu.

Indian on horseback logo
Museum Store


December 3-10 -- twenty percent discount for Society Members

Members, start your holiday shopping at the NSHS Museum Stores.
The Museum Stores offer a wide variety of educational and unique merchandise.

Stop in, call us at 402-471-3447 or 1-800-833-6747, or check the store's website at http://www.nebraskahistory.org/oversite/store/index.htm for Nebraska and Western history books, Lewis and Clark books and gifts, educational items, and a great selection of merchandise from Nebraska artists.

The discount applies at any of our Museum Stores, including those at the Museum of Nebraska History, Fifteenth and P streets, Lincoln; the Fort Robinson Museum near Crawford; the Chimney Rock National Historic Site near Bayard; the Senator George W. Norris State Historic Site in McCook; the Neligh Mill State Historic Site in Neligh; and the Gerald R. Ford Conservation Center in Omaha. We suggest you call for store hours.

MUSEUM of NEBRASKA HISTORY, 15th & "P" Streets, 402-471-3447
10:00 - 4:30, Monday - Friday
1:00 - 4:00, Saturday and Sunday
Museum Store Catalog online




Back Issues



NSHS Home  |  Search  |  Index  |  Top

Last updated 22 October 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