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Historical Newsletter

September/October 2003

125th anniversary emblem



On September 27, 1953, Governor Robert Crosby dedicated the Society's new building. To his right are Nathan J. Gold, Society President James E. Lawrence, Superintendent James C. Olson, and Robert Taft of the University of Kansas.

Dr. James C. Olson, superintendent of the Nebraska State Historical Society from 1946 to 1956, will be the honored guest at the Society's 125th annual meeting and anniversary celebration, September 26. Olson was superintendent when the Society's new building was dedicated at 1500 R Street fifty years ago on September 27, 1953, and guided the building's planning and construction. Opening the new building (today called the Headquarters Building) realized a dream that had motivated the Society's leaders since the organization's founding in 1878.

During his tenure at the Society, Olson began the "Historical Newsletter," the "Out of Old Nebraska" newspaper columns (today's "Nebraska Timeline"), and presided over the opening of the Society's first branch museum at Fort Robinson. After leaving the Society, Olson joined the history faculty at his alma mater, the University of Nebraska, and went on to become dean of the graduate college. He left Lincoln to lead the University of Missouri Kansas City campus, and later became the president of the University of Missouri system. He is the author (among other books) of the 1955 History of Nebraska, now in a third edition (1999) revised by Dr. Ronald C. Naugle.

Please join us September 26 to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the Society, the fiftieth anniversary of the R Street building, and recognize Dr. James C. Olson for his lifelong contributions to the preservation and interpretation of Nebraska history.

 125th Annual Meeting Agenda
Friday, September 26, 2003
· Luncheon · Awards · Exhibit Opening ·

Please Join Us

11:00 AM - Registration. Location: UN-L Student Union (second floor), 14th and R Streets, Lincoln

11:30 AM - 125th Annual Meeting. Luncheon and NSHS Awards. Special guests: Governor Mike Johanns and Dr. James C. Olson, NSHS Superintendent, 1946-1956. Historical Marker unveiling to follow. Location: UN-L Student Union (second floor), 14th and R Streets, Lincoln

1:30-4:30 PM - Here Open to All (An exhibit featuring 125 years of NSHS history). Location: Society Headquarters, 1500 R Street, Lincoln

7:00-9:00 PM - Recovered Views: African American Portraits, 1912-1925 (An exhibit featuring photos from Lincoln's African American community). Location: Museum of Nebraska History, 15th and P Streets, Lincoln

Registration is $10/person. Please respond by September 19, 2003.

402-471-4955 or 1-800-833-6747.


Recovered Views: African American Portraits, 1912-1925,
a remarkable collection of black-and-white images made by an African American photographer who lived and worked in Lincoln in the early twentieth century, will open to the public as part of the NSHS 125th anniversary celebration September 26. From 7:00 to 9:00 P.M. members are invited to the Museum of Nebraska History at Fifteenth and P Streets to view the stunning images that document life in a vibrant black community, a society rarely depicted in any medium.

The photographs are attributed to John Johnson, son of a black Civil War veteran and a lifelong resident of Lincoln. The images have been generously loaned to NSHS by Art McWilliams, representing the McWilliams Family, and Tom Kaspar of Lincoln and Helen Patrick Seward of Omaha. Ruth Greene Folley donated family portraits by the same photographer to the Society, some of which are also included in the exhibit.

These important images will be on exhibit at the NSHS Museum of Nebraska History through January 11, 2004, after which they will tour nationally through ExhibitsUSA, a division of the Mid-America Arts Alliance. Special thanks goes to The Omaha Chapter of the Links, Inc., Mike Seacrest, Dr. John Davis, Wells Fargo, and the Nebraska State Historical Society Foundation for their support of this exhilarating look at a little-recorded aspect of our state's past.



More Nebraska treasures are on exhibit in Lincoln and at historic sites statewide in September, and in the Capital City in October, in observance of the Society's 125th anniversary.

Museum of Nebraska History, Lincoln

1500 R Headquarters, Lincoln

Willa Cather State Historic Site, Red Cloud

Chimney Rock, near Bayard

Fort Robinson, near Crawford

Kennard House, Lincoln

John G. Neihardt State Historic Site, Bancroft

Neligh Mill State Historic Site

Senator George W. Norris State Historic Site, McCook


Chimney Rock National Historic Site, Bayard
Memorial Day-Labor Day: 9:00-5:00 daily.
September-May: 9:00-5:00, Tuesday-Sunday.
Closed on state holidays.

Fort Robinson Museum, Crawford
Memorial Day-Labor Day: 10:00-5:00, Tuesday-Sunday.
September-May: 10:00-5:00, Monday-Friday.
Closed on state holidays.

Neligh Mill State Historic Site, Neligh
Memorial Day-Labor Day: 1:00-5:00, Wednesday-Sunday.
September-May: 1:00-5:00, Monday-Friday. Closed on state holidays.

Senator George Norris State Historic Site, McCook
March-September: 1:00-4:30, Tuesday-Saturday.
October-February: 1:00-4:30, Friday. Closed on state holidays.

Thomas P. Kennard House, Lincoln
Year round: by appointment only.

Willa Cather State Historic Site, Red Cloud
April-October: 8:00-5:00, Monday-Saturday; 1:00-5:00, Sunday.
November-March: 8:00-5:00, Monday-Friday; 9:00-12:00, 1:00-5:00, Saturday.

John G. Neihardt State Historic Site, Bancroft
March-November: 9:00-5:00, Monday-Saturday; 1:30-5:00, Sunday.
December-February: 9:00-5:00, Monday-Friday.

Museum of Nebraska History, Lincoln
9:00-4:30, Tuesday-Friday. 1:00-4:30, Saturday and Sunday.
Closed all state holidays except Arbor Day.



As part of the Society's yearlong 125th birthday celebration, one of our goals was to improve our website. Several important changes and additions have been accomplished.

Check out the new additions and improvements:

We value your opinion and would appreciate your response to our additions and improvements. Please contact us at lireland@unlserve.unl.edu to share your comments.



At press time, some openings remained for the Society's October 9-10 bus tour to Kansas museums, but they were filling fast. It's possible that a few seats will remain after the August 29 deadline. Everyone is welcome. If you are interested in taking the tour, call Lana at 402-471-3272 for the latest information.



By Cindy S. Drake, Library Curator

The Horse Trader and the Farmer's Daughter: Biographies of Francis LeRoy Adair and Lucile Sherry Rupe [compiled by Sarah E. Keil; edited by Pamela N. Boardman]. (Rupe family in Antelope County.)

Kriz Family Narrative, by Tony Kriz. (Czech-American families in Saunders County.)

The Lives of Two Men, by Ernest Eckhardt. (Eckhardt family and the Immanuel Lutheran Church in Hooper, Nebraska.)

Michael Keller and Catharine Monroe of Fairfax County, Virginia: Their Family and Descendants, 1760-2002, by Susan K. Ratcliffe. (Family in Cherry County.)

The Ohlson Story, [compiled] by Ray Peterson. (Swedish American family in Clay County.)

One Family's Story: Cretsinger, Crutsinger, Curtsinger, Cutsinger, Kretsinger, Krutsinger, by Janette B. Cutsinger and Garland H. Lacey. (Families in Washington, Nance, and Burt counties.)

Ostrander: A Genealogical Record, 1660-1995, by Emmett Ostrander and Vinton P. Ostrander. (Ostrander, Gourley and Dille families in Sheridan, Cherry, Johnson, Otoe, and Nance counties.)

Our Families' Contribution to the Defense of Our Country: Wulf, Jones Families, by Lillian W. Jones . . . . (Families in Richardson and Lancaster counties.)

Saline County Centenarians and Marriages of 65 Years or more, 1854-2001 Index, compiled by Rose Marie Hulse . . . original material researched and compiled by E. A. Kral, 2001.

Seward and Related Families: Bradleys, Bucks, Corbells, Days, Eleys, Hawes, Kloennes, Luys, McKays, Philips, Pickets, Rughs, and Swegers, by George C. Seward. (Family in Douglas County.)

Sintek-Zyntek Family Cookbook: A Collection of Recipes, by Sintek-Zyntek, 2002. (Family in Howard County.)



Ak-Sar-Ben Memories, 168 pages of pictorial Ak-Sar-Ben memorabilia. Project director is Bev Karrer. Purchase for $25 each at the Ak-Sar-Ben Buyers Club booths during River City Roundup, to be held September 19-28, at the Omaha Convention Center and Arena. After the event order from Ak-Sar-Ben Memories, Knights of Ak-Sar-Ben Foundation, 302 South 36th St., Suite 800, Omaha, NE 68131.



September 11-12: Nebraska Lied Mainstreet program, Scottsbluff. "New Strategies for Building the Heart of Your Community," including workshops and tours. For more information contact the Nebraska Lied Main Street office at 402-323-7337.

September 14: Sunday at the Museum Series. Dr. James Stubbendieck, UN-L professor of grassland ecology, will evaluate Nebraska's dynamic landscape. 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.

September 16: Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation, Mouth of the Platte chapter. "The Missouri River(s) I Have Known," by Jim Peterson. 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.

September 18: Brown Bag Lecture, "A Soldier's Daily Routine," by Tom Buecker, NSHS curator, Fort Robinson Museum. 12 noon, Museum of Nebraska History, Fifteenth and P Streets, Lincoln. Free and open to the public.

September 20: Dedication of Monument to the Grand Council Site of 1875 between the Allison Commission and the Sioux Nation, located four miles northeast of Crawford. Contact Dawes County Historical Society at 308-432-4999 or Dean Carpenter, president, at 308-432-5441 or e-mail: rollincurd@panhandle.net

September 26: Nebraska State Historical Society 125th anniversary celebration. [See separate article above.]

October 12: Sunday at the Museum Series, presentation by Norfolk City Manager Michael Nolan, on "Servant Leadership: Serving with a Purpose," using Black Elk as one of many models. 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.

October 16: Brown Bag Lecture, "Recovered Views," by John Carter, NSHS senior research associate. Discussion of the photographic images currently attributed to African-American photographer John Johnson and the mysteries surrounding the collection and the photographer's identity. 12 noon, Museum of Nebraska History, Fifteenth and P Streets, Lincoln. Free and open to the public.

October 21: Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation, Mouth of the Platte chapter. "Bicentennial Update and Forecast," by Jeff Olson. Meet as above.

Indian on horseback logo
Anniversary Sale at the Museum Store

NSHS Society members will receive a 20 percent discount on merchandise at Society museum stores during our eighteenth anniversary sale the week of September 21-27.

A few ideas from the Museum Store to help celebrate the 125th anniversary of the Nebraska State Historical Society:

The image of the ledger horse shown above is taken from the State Historical Society's museum collection and is featured on these items.

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



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Last updated 27 August 2003

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