Monthly Archives: June 2012

Building a Log Cabin on the Treeless Plains

Historian Everett Dick referred to the Great Plains as the “sod-house frontier,” and Nebraska photographer Solomon Butcher made many iconic images of soddies, but frontier Nebraska also saw its share of log cabins. Roger Welsch explored the subject in a … Continue reading

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A Controversial Pardon: Governor Poynter and John Benwell Kearns

One of the most controversial official acts of Nebraska Governor William A. Poynter was the pardon of John Benwell Kearns (aka John Benwell). When Kearns was released from the Nebraska State Penitentiary on May 23, 1899, he disappeared quickly from … Continue reading

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Child Labor on the Farm

I am a little boy ten years old. I go to school when we have school, but we haven’t got any school now. It will begin soon. I helped to farm last spring; I plowed with three horses and helped … Continue reading

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The Release of the 1940 Census

“The 1940 Census release is the most significant record to be made available to genealogists since 2002 with the release of the 1930 Census. This Census is an economic snapshot of the Great Depression, and a fascinating look at the … Continue reading

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Cherry Day at the Watson Ranch

In 1888, H. D. Watson established the historic Watson Ranch, at one time containing 8,000 acres, reaching from the fertile Platte Valley on the south to the rolling hills on the north and from downtown Kearney to a point five … Continue reading

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New Archeology at Fort Robinson

Visitors to Fort Robinson State Park (near Nebraska’s northwest corner) see many original structures as well as replicas of important buildings that were torn down in the past. Recent archeological work by the NSHS will make a new reconstruction project … Continue reading

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E. H. Barbour Recalls Mari and “Old Jules” Sandoz

Mari Sandoz (1896-1966), internationally known as a chronicler of the West and as an expert on Native American history, first gained fame as the author of Old Jules (1935), the story of her father and other settlers who came to … Continue reading

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Bootleggers’ Carnival

The passage of the Eighteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution outlawed the manufacture and sale of liquor nationwide, but statewide prohibition was already in effect in Iowa and Nebraska. In 1916 Iowa went dry and Nebraska voters adopted a prohibitory … Continue reading

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