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Historical Newsletter

September/October 2001


Quinn Johnson, a sixth grade student at Glen School in rural Sioux County, received a second place award in the 2001 National History Day competition held in Maryland. This year's theme was "Frontiers in History." Johnson's winning junior individual documentary project was entitled "Solomon Butcher: Photographing a Heartbeat in Time." His research used the Solomon D. Butcher sod house photographs and other resources from the Society's collections. Congratulations to Quinn Johnson and his teacher, Moni Hourt.


North Platte will be the site of the November 2-3 Society history conference and annual meeting. The theme, "American Bounty: The Story of Food," is drawn from the project, funded by the Institute of Library and Museum Services, to digitize Society library and archives resources telling the story of Nebraska's role in feeding the nation. These resources will be made available on a website maintained by the Society and NETV.

History conference sessions will include "Cup of Coffee on Main Street," "Where's the Beef," "Teaching with Historical Objects," "Digital Imaging," and "Teaching with Historical Documents." The Lincoln County Historical Society and the Buffalo Bill Ranch State Historical Park will be available for tours. Dr. R. Douglas Hurt, director of the graduate program in agricultural and rural studies at Iowa State University and a leading agricultural historian, will provide the keynote address, "A Historian's View of the Future of Agriculture."

Following the luncheon Quinn Johnson, who recently took second place in the junior documentary division of the National History Day contest, will share his video documentary, "Solomon Butcher: Photographing a Heartbeat in Time." The Society's annual awards for writing, historic preservation, and outstanding contributions to Nebraska history will also be presented.

Conference registrations are being mailed. For further information about the conference or to register, contact the Historical Society at 402-471-4955.


The American Association for State and Local History has awarded a Certificate of Commendation to the Howard County Historical Society of St. Paul for the book Entering Howard County. The society was one of ninety-one organizations and individuals from across the United States receiving awards from the organization in 2001. Presentation of the awards will be made at a banquet during the 2001 AASLH Annual Meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana, on September 13.



During the 2001 field season, the Archeology Division joined outside consultants Rolfe Mandel and Bob Pepperl to conduct preliminary explorations of two of the oldest archeological sites ever discovered in eastern Nebraska. The work was sponsored by the Nebraska Department of Roads and the Historic Preservation Division and focused on deeply buried cultural deposits. One site is along Interstate 80 near the Platte River between Lincoln and Omaha, and the other is along the Elkhorn River in northeastern Douglas County. The sites were discovered through a series of mechanical backhoe trenches excavated to depths of more than twelve feet in river terraces and alluvial fans. The investigations found evidence of stratified Native American camps and villages dating between 7,000 and 1,500 years ago, based on radiocarbon dating. These layers contained butchered animal bone, stone tools and debris, and fireplaces. Layers dating to the past 2,000 years also produced broken ceramic vessels. More detailed hand-dug test excavations were conducted within some of the shallower levels. A previously unknown Pawnee camp or village was also briefly investigated near Lincoln. This site appears to be 300 to 400 years old.

The investigations were conducted using volunteers, students from the University of Nebraska Archeological Field School, and students from several Omaha area high schools. The Society and the Nebraska Department of Roads also sponsored a one-week internship for three members of the Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma, who participated in the field investigations. They were also taken on a tour of various Pawnee village sites in Nance County. The Pawnee tribal members were Katherine LeRoy and Alice Alexander of Pawnee, Oklahoma, and John Stoneroad of Oklahoma City.



The Nebraska Department of Roads and the Nebraska State Historical Society are collaborating on a project to survey the state's historic automotive highways. The project will include a history of the development of roads in Nebraska from turn-of-the-century "good road" boosters and the earliest "automobile trails" to the construction of the interstate highway system. Five historic highways will be surveyed: the former Grant Highway (U.S. 20), the Canada-to-Mexico Meridian Highway (U.S. 81), the transcontinental Lincoln Highway (U.S. 30), the former Potash Highway (Nebraska Highway 2), and the Detroit-Lincoln-Denver Highway (U.S. 6 and 34).

Survey teams will follow the old routes of these highways to identify early examples of highway construction and other properties related to the roadside, such as old gas stations, tourist camps, and automobile dealerships. The goal of the survey will be to identify properties historically important to highway transportation in Nebraska, locate and catalog information about these properties to include the planning of future road construction projects, and identify ways to preserve or promote historic preservation through programs such as the Nebraska Byways program. A book on historic highways is also planned. The project is funded and administered by the Nebraska State Historical Society and the Nebraska Department of Roads. Partial funding has been provided by a grant from the U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service. If you have information on early highways or historic properties that should be included, or know of records, documents, or photographs relating to this project, please contact Jill Ebers at the Nebraska State Historical Society, 402-471-4773, toll free 800-833-6747; or e-mail: jebers@mail.state.ne.us



Just in time for this year's state fair, the Nebraska State Historical Society will open a new exhibit, Typical-Looking Nebraska Farmer Day, in the rotunda of the headquarters building at Fifteenth and R streets. The exhibit features about thirty portraits taken at the 1943 Nebraska State Fair for a "Typical-Looking Nebraska Farmer" contest sponsored by Omaha radio station KFAB. The station teamed up with the Macdonald photo studio of Lincoln to offer a free photograph of each contestant. The portraits provide a fascinating look at Nebraska farmers of all ages, dressed in everything from double-breasted suits to overalls. Nearly one hundred farmers participated in the contest, but unfortunately, we don't know who won. If you or someone you know took part in the contest, please contact Paula Doe at 402-471-4761. The exhibit opens August 15, 2001, and continues through July 31, 2002.


Richard Spencer, education program associate, Museum/Historic Sites Division, retired July 31 after more than twenty-four years with the Nebraska State Historical Society. He began with the Society in June 1977 and thereafter served in a number of capacities relating to education including direction of the Student Historian Program; compilation and distribution of the Nebraska Trailblazer newspaper for fourth grade students; work with the National History Day, Nebraska program; and work on the first laser-disc and digital sound devices in Museum of Nebraska History exhibits. Spencer also made the educational resources of the Society more accessible by compiling Nebdata, a CD-ROM of educational leaflets, historical markers, and folklife interviews.


By Cindy S. Drake, Library Curator

Fennessy of the County Tipperary: Chronicle of an Irish Family, [compiled by] Richard J. Fennessy. (Irish-American family in Polk, Harlan, and Douglas counties.)

American & British Genealogy & Heraldry: 1982-1985 Supplement, compiled by P. William Filby, 1987.

Immigration and Naturalization Records: Clerk's Office, District Court, Jefferson County Courthouse, Fairbury, Nebraska, transcribed by Gary M. Zabokrtsky.

The McCorquodales Throughout the Ages: Torquil's Legacy, [compiled] by Don and Geri McCorkindale. (Scottish American family in Dixon County.)

A True Life Story of a Czech Pioneer, by Josef Subrt. (Czech American family in Box Butte and Colfax counties.)

Zabokrtsky, Jenik, and Pavlicek Families in the Czech Republic: A 400 Year Journey, introduction by Gary M. Zabokrtsky. (Czech American families of Zabokrtsky, Zalesky, Pavlicek, and Jenik in Cheyenne County.)


The following list consists of interesting titles from or about Nebraska we were unable to acquire for our library collection. We are still looking for items on e-bay and other online services, but our budget precludes us from purchasing many of the titles. Donations of the material listed would be extremely helpful. If you are aware of the availability of copies of these titles 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, the Library/Archives Division also seeks photographs, postcards, manuscripts, public records, and audio-visual material relating to the history of Nebraska. If you have such material that you would like to donate, please contact us.

Mandys Poultry School, 1904, published by George H. Lee Co., Omaha, Nebraska.

The Melting Pot, Omaha, Nebraska, 241 pages, no date given.

The Methodist Cook Book - Ladies of Neligh, Nebraska, 1903, 80 pages. (We do not have an original of this title.)

Minatare Centennial Cookbook, 1887-1987, 182 pages.

Murder of Cecily Thane, by H. Ashbrook, 1932. ("Author brought up on a Nebraska cattle ranch.")

My First Seventy-Five Years, by Tom Pexton, 1967, 173 pages. (Chapters include "My Early Boyhood in Nebraska.")

National's Annual, 1952, National Seed & Importing Co., Inc., 640 South 16th Street, Omaha 2, Nebraska. (Czech-English Catalog)

Natural Hen Incubator from J. F. Siems, Western Poultry Farm, Columbus, Nebraska, February 1901, four-page pamphlet.

Nebraska Shorthorn Breeders Shorthorn and Polled Shorthorn Sale, Columbus, Nebraska, December 10, 1940. (Catalog)

Nebraska The Good Wife, University of Nebraska Faculty Women's Newcomers, no date given.

Ogallala's Kitchen Secrets, compiled by the Women's Fellowship of the Congregational Church of Ogallala, Nebraska, 1951.

Old Masterpieces in Surgery, Being a Collection of Thoughts and Observations Engendered by a Perusal of Some of the Works of Our Forebears in Surgery, by Alfred Brown, M.D., 1928, privately printed in Omaha, Nebraska.

Omaha, Nebraska, circa 1900, twenty views of Omaha published by Henry F. Kieser.

Original Poems, by Mrs. Alma Dey, Gresham, Nebraska, 1920s, 40 pages.

Osmond U.M.Y.F. and Friends, 1997, 104 pages. (Cookbook)

Our Daily Bread, Luther Memorial Lutheran Church, Omaha, Nebraska, no date given, 214 pages.

Our Favorite Recipes, Ladies Fellowship, First Lutheran Church of the Nazarene, 1901 South 70th Street, Lincoln, Nebraska, no date given.

Our Favorite Recipes, Members and Friends of Ladies Auxiliary-F.O.E. #147, Lincoln, Nebraska, 1960s, 112 pages.

Paint for the Love of Color, by Lonnie Pierson Dunbier and Marcia Kmack, 2000, published by Western Edge Press, Santa Fe, New Mexico, 88 pages. (Art book featuring more than 100 color reproductions of paintings by the late Augustus W. Dunbier, Nebraska artist.)

Phillips Highways of Nebraska, by Langwith, 1930, published by the Phillips Petroleum Company.

Plat Book of Antelope County, Nebraska, 1973, 26 pages.

Plat Book of Douglas County, Nebraska, 1937, published by the Omaha Bee-News, 29 pages.

Polk County Auto Directory, 1960, compiled by Auto Directory Service, Don Robson Publisher, York, Nebraska, 29 pages.

Polk County, Nebraska, Directory, 1970.

Polled Shorthorn Cattle Sale, Seward, Nebraska, December 17, 1935. (Catalog)

The Practical Stock Doctor, by Editor-in-chief Dr. George A. Waterman, 1921 (others copyrighted 1904, 1908, 1912, and 1920 by the F. B. Dickerson Company, Lincoln, Nebraska), 960 pages.

Progress and Prosperity, Wayne, Nebraska, Centennial Cookbook, 1984, 167 pages.

Purrfect Cookbook, Chappell Lioness Club, Chappell, Nebraska, 140 pages, no date given.

Recipes and Remembrances, compiled by Christian Women's Fellowship, First Christian Church, Alma, Nebraska, 1990.

Recipes From the Heart, St. Vincent DePaul Parish Council of Catholic Women, Seward, Nebraska, 1988, 562 pages.

Ritual for Local Groves, Supreme Forest Woodmen Circle, March 1932, published by The Supreme Forest Woodman Circle, Omaha, Nebraska, 116 pages.

Robes, Coats, Gloves & Furs, Omaha Hide & Fur Co., Inc., Omaha, Nebraska, 1910-1920, 14 pages.

Ronald Slowinski: February 24-April 1, 1984, Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 39 pages.

Scout Handbook from David City High School, David City, Nebraska, 1950-51.

75 Years of Harvest, Broadwater, Nebraska, 1984, 200 pages. (Cookbook)

Sewage Purification, written by M. N. Baker, published by Engineering News Publishing Co., 1893. "A Description of the Municipal Sewage Purification Plants in the United States, 53 illustrations, and foldout diagrams of the Hastings, Nebraska plants," 196 pages.

Sharing Recipes, 1986, 124 pages. (Cookbook/family history book - Hans and Christine Petersen family of Lyons, Nebraska.)

Shooting a Farmhouse, So This is Nebraska, by Ted Kooser, published by Ally Press, Denver, Colorado, 1975.

Sonderegger's Farmers Ready Reference Book, [Beatrice, Nebraska] early 1900s, 186 pages; Fall Bulb Book, 1928, 24 pages; Garden Book, Spring 1928, 132 pages; Garden Book, Spring 1930, 128 pages. (We have 1929, 1936, 1937, 1938, & 1939.)

Souvenir of Ord, Nebraska, street scenes, etc., no date given.

Taste of Nebraska, International Order of Job's Daughters, 1997.

Telephone Directory, April 1926, Dodge County, Nebraska.

Telephone Directory, Kearney, Riverdale, Sumner, May 1955, Nebraska Continental Telephone Company.

Tested Recipes Cookbook, by the Ladies Aid, Salem Ev. Lutheran Church of Platte County, Nebraska, 1935, 144 pages.

They Called Her Styrene, by Ed Ruscha, published by Phaidon, London, 2000. (Ruscha was born in Omaha.)

Til & Gene's Apple Delight, A Collection of our Favorite Ways to Enjoy the "King of Fruits," Eugene Degroot Apple Farm, Madison, Nebraska, 1979, 150 pages.

Tractor and Farm Implement 1941 Replacement Parts Catalog, York Foundry & Engine Works, York, Nebraska, 43 pages.

Trapper Yearbook, The Best of 1981, published by The Trapper, Inc., Sutton, Nebraska, 47 pages.

Treasures From the Pot of Gold, Nebraska Rainbow Girls, no date given.

True Blue Song Book, 1926, published by the Omaha School Supply Company of Omaha, Nebraska, 128 pages.

Turlock Memorial Park Cemetery Records, published by Genealogical Society of Stanislaus County, California, Inc., 2001. (Many entries for individuals born in Nebraska.)

25th Anniversary-For Our Friends and Family, Mahoney Manor Apartments, 1973-1998, Lincoln, Nebraska.

25th Annual Show and Sale, Polled Shorthorns, South Omaha, Nebraska, March 16, 1940. (Catalog)

Understanding Horse Psychology, by the Farnam Horse Library, Omaha, Nebraska, 1970s.

United Methodist Women's Cookbook, compiled by Trinity United Methodist Church, Lincoln, Nebraska, Jumbojacks Cookbook Co., 1987, 186 pages.

What's Cookin? In Juniata, Nebraska, published by the Juniata Ladies Aid, 1948.

Whiskers, Whisks and Whimsy - A Low Fat, Low Calorie Cookbook to Benefit the Nebraska Humane Society, 1995.

Who's Who in Callaway, or Our Great and Near Great, by V. A. Vangreen, ca. 1905. (Callaway, Nebraska)

W. R. Adams Co., "The Old Reliable Tanners, Fremont, Nebraska," Catalog #9, no date given.

Young Sand Hills Cowboy, by Francis Lynde Kroll, published by Grosset & Dunlap, 1953, illustrated by Charles H. Greer, 189 pages. (Fiction set in Nebraska.)

Wayne Community House Book, edited by Mrs. Henry Ley, no date given.

With a Little Help From our Friends, by the Hebron, Nebraska, Jayceettes, no date given.


The 45th Annual Missouri Valley History Conference will be held March 7-9, 2002, at the Sheraton Omaha, adjacent to Omaha's historic Old Market district. Proposals for papers or sessions in all areas of history, including public history, are welcome. Send one-page abstracts and vitae by October 15, 2001, to Prof. Sharon E. Wood, Missouri Valley History Conference, Department of History, University of Nebraska at Omaha, Omaha, NE 68182. Those wishing to have their proposals acknowledged should include a stamped, self-addressed postcard. E-mail for information only: mvhc@unomaha.edu
The Council on America's Military Past (CAMP) invites papers for its 36th Annual Military History Conference, July 10-14, 2002, in San Juan, Puerto Rico, with emphasis on U.S. military activities in the Caribbean. Send topic for a twenty-minute talk (with slides if desired) to CAMP '02 Conference Papers, P.O. Box 1151, Fort Myer, VA 22211-1151 by February 15, 2002. Call 703-912-6124, fax 703-912-5666, or e-mail: camphart@aol.com for more information.


September 9: Sunday at the Museum Series, reception to introduce Native American artwork from Red Cloud Indian Heritage Center, Pine Ridge, SD. 2 P.M., John G. Neihardt State Historic Site, Bancroft. Exhibit open from September 1 through October 10. For information contact the Neihardt Site at 1-888-777-4667.

September 12-15: American Association for State and Local History Annual Meeting, Indianapolis, IN. For more information contact AASLH office at 615-320-3203 or by e-mail: norris@aaslh.org. Meeting information available on AASLH website at www.aaslh.org

September 13: Lincoln Corral of Westerners, "Some Early Omaha History," by Jeffrey Spencer. Meet at Holiday Inn, Ninth and P Streets, Lincoln, at 6:30 P.M. For reservations (required) call Margaret Allington at 402-488-5698.

September 20: Brown Bag Lecture: "Nebraska Cattle Brands," by Cynthia Monroe, NSHS volunteer. 12 noon, Museum of Nebraska History, Fifteenth and P Streets, Lincoln. Free and open to the public.

September 20: Omaha Corral of Westerners, "Wildcat Banks of Omaha," by Jeffrey Spencer. Meet at Caniglia's Restaurant, 1114 South Seventh Street, Omaha, at 6 P.M. For reservations (required), call Bob Savage at 402-391-3252.

September 20: Sixth Annual Governor's Lecture in the Humanities, by David McCullough (Pulitzer Prize-winning author, historian, speaker, and public TV personality), Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha. The lecture is a collaboration between Nebraska Humanities Council and the governor's office. For information contact NHC Executive Director Jane Renner Hood or Tom Ineck at 402-474-2131 or e-mail: nehumanites@juno.com

September 21: NSHS Fall Tour, Homestead National Monument and Oregon-California Trail sites in southeast Nebraska. Limited seating, fee and reservations required, call 402-471-4955 for information.

October 11: Lincoln Corral of Westerners, "A Day in the Life of a Victorian Lady," by Pat Pixley. Meet as above.

October 14: Sunday at the Museum Series: presentation by Charles Trimble, president of the Neihardt Foundation and former president of NSHS, on his great-grandfather, Todd Randall, and the relationships between white settlers and the Lakota of Pine Ridge. 2 P.M., John G. Neihardt State Historic Site, Bancroft. For information contact the Neihardt Site as above.

October 18: Brown Bag Lecture: "Haunted Lincoln," by Dale Bacon, NSHS library technician. 12 noon, Museum of Nebraska History, Fifteenth and P Streets, Lincoln. Free and open to the public.

October 18: Omaha Corral of Westerners, "The Plains Indians Warfare from Grattan to Wounded Knee," by Robert Milek. Meet as above.

April 11-14, 2002: Preserving the Historic Road in America, third national conference on historic roads, Omaha. Sponsored by National Trust for Historic Preservation, National Park Service, Federal Highway Administration, Nebraska Department of Roads, and Nebraska State Historical Society. For information: www.historicroads.org; e-mail: Syd_scott@nthp.org; phone: Dan Marriott, 202-588-6279 or Syd Scott, 202-588-6204.

In observance of Columbus Day, Society Headquarters offices and the Ford Center will be closed Monday, October 8. The Museum of Nebraska History and the Historic Sites (except Cather and Neihardt) will be closed October 8. Call for holiday hours at the Cather Site (402-746-2653) and Neihardt Site (402-648-3388).

July/August 2001 Issue

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