How Once Upon a Time
Arbor Day Was





HE first newspaper in the state of Nebraska was the Palladium, issued at Bellevue in 1854. The Arrow was the first Omaha paper, but printed in Council Bluffs, and the Nebraskian, a Democratic sheet, was the first paper printed in Omaha, in a building where the Paxton Hotel now stands. Dr. George L. Miller established the Omaha Daily Herald in 1865, which later became the Daily World-Herald.
     The Omaha Bee was established in 1871 by Edward Rosewater, a man of indomitable will, whose struggles from a telegraph operator at night and a newspaper man by day--through financial stress, incendiarism and attacks by his enemies, until his paper became one of national reputation, shows the life of a man of power.






The beautiful Bee Building in Omaha stands as a monument to this man of genius, who passed from life when resting from his labors in the office of his friend, Judge Troup, who with many other men of the city, had served as a reporter for this pioneer newspaper man.
     Other papers were The Omaha Daily News, The Nebraska Commonwealth, (afterward, State Journal), established in 1867 in Lincoln; The Nebraska City News, upon which J. Sterling Morton worked for $50 per month, and afterwards earned for himself a wide reputation as the founder of Arbor Day.
     His home at Nebraska City, Arbor Lodge, was one of the most beautiful established on the Nebraska prairies and a monument has been here erected to him--who did so much to convert Nebraska's bleak prairies into a land of groves and shady lanes.


     Our military history has never been great, but as there was pressing need in early days of protection for life and property from attacks by the Indians, the territory was divided into the North and South Platte brigade departments, under command of General Thayer, and each neighborhood organized companies to protect its citizens.
     A military post was established at Old Fort Kearney in 1846, where Nebraska City now stands, but a few months later its small garrison






was sent to Mexico. Five companies wintered there--1847-48--on their way to establish New Fort Kearney, near the present city of Kearney.
     Fort Sidney was established in 1867, Omaha Barracks, 1868, known as Fort Omaha from 1878, and Fort Robinson in 1874. General Crook was first appointed commander of the Platte in 1875. During this command Fort Niobrara was established in 1880.
     Fort McPherson guarded well our frontier, and many interesting tales might be told of the soldiers' conflicts with the Indians. It was abandoned, but later converted into a national cemetery, where many of those who served as soldiers in the Civil and Indian wars now rest.
     The first regiment Nebraska Volunteers and the second regiment Nebraska Cavalry, were highly praised for brave conduct during the Civil War and for their defense of the territory against Indians.
     Many troops have been stationed at Fort Crook, six miles south of Omaha, and today a state militia is maintained.
     One of the great battleships bears the name of the state and was presented with a stand of colors by the Daughters of the American Revolution.


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© 1999, 2000, 2001 for the NEGenWeb Project by Pam Rietsch, T&C Miller