C. Irvine arrived in Nebraska Territory in 1855 anxious to take advantage of whatever opportunities existed in a new land. He stepped off a steamer at Omaha and was soon accosted by men “pointing out city lots to new arrivals. One of our passengers, a German, had bought a lot in Omaha from some speculator on board for about $400. It was not far from the Douglas House towards the river. It was part of a ravine, ‘a hole in the ground,’ and he made an awful fuss. We all sided with him, saying it was a perfect swindle. . . . My recollection is that the man or some other one, got $800 for the hole soon after.”
Irvine’s recollections—and others by cattle drovers, Native Americans, and the founders of Lincoln and Omaha—appear in Here You Have My Story, Eyewitness Accounts of the Nineteenth Century Central Plains. The book, edited and with a foreword by retired Nebraska State Historical Society senior research anthropologist Richard E. Jensen, is a collection of the best articles published by the NSHS between 1885 and 1919. Here You Have My Story was published in January of 2010 and is available from the Landmark Stores. You can read more about it on page six of the January/February/March issue of History News.