NEGenWeb Project
Kansas Collection Books

Andreas' History of the State of Nebraska
Lancaster County
Produced by Debra Parminter.


Physical Character | Early Settlement | Indian Troubles
Salt Basins


County Organization | Official Roster | County Statistics
Railroads | District Schools | Taxation
County Poor Department | County Societies


Lincoln:   Early History | Incorporation | Official Roster
City Institutions | Post Office

Lincoln (cont.):   University of Nebraska
Lincoln (cont.):   University of Nebraska (cont.)

Lincoln (cont.):   Insane Hospital
Nebraska State Penitentiary | The Second Revolt


Lincoln (cont.):   Public Schools | Fire Department
The Press | Churches


Lincoln (cont.):   Societies, Associations, Etc.
Temperance Societies | Musical Societies
Business Interests | Banks | Hotels


Lincoln (cont.):
Wholesale and Manufacturing Establishments
Biographical Sketches- ABBOTT~ALLEN

10 - 24:

** Lincoln Biographical Sketches ** (cont.)

PART 25:

Bennet:   Churches | Societies |
| Biographical Sketches - ALLSTOT~GRIBLING

PART 26:
Bennett:   Biographical Sketches - HANSON~PIPER
PART 27:
Bennett:   Biographical Sketches - RHEA~WILSON
PART 28:
Waverly:   Biographical Sketches
PART 29:

Firth:   Biographical Sketches
Roca | Other Points
Biographical Sketches
Grant Precinct | Saltillo Precinct | Stockton Precinct

List of Illustrations in Lancaster County Chapter



The character of a community is generally best shown in the history of its educational progress. It will therefore be interesting to notice the growth of the public schools of this city, which in all departments has made such advancement. From Prof. W. W. W. Jones' annual report of the Lincoln public schools in 1880, most of the following facts are taken:

The first school in Lincoln, according to the records, was taught in a small stone schoolhouse, built by the directors in the fall of 1867, and situated on the corner of Q and Eleventh streets. The usefulness of this classic retreat by necessity was sadly perverted in after years, as it became a bastile for the temporary confinement of offenders against the peace of the city. Instead of making intelligent citizens, it became the prison house of those citizens and strangers who were not intelligent enough to keep from trespassing upon the rights of others. It has since filled its mission of usefulness and ceased to exist, save in the memory of its patrons and prisoners.

There were thirty-five aspirants for the heights of Parnassus in this first school, presided over by G. W. Peck. During the winter of 1868 and 1869 Prof. James taught the school, and the number in attendance had increased to about sixty-five. In the spring of 1869 Miss Griswold taught a select school. In the same spring the directors purchased the Methodist Church building, on the corner of Q and Tenth streets, and divided the school. T. J. Cantlin was placed in charge of this school.

J. W. Cassell was appointed Superintendent in the fall of 1872, and during the following winter the schools were first graded and properly organized. There were nine teachers employed at this time; several rooms were rented, and the capacity of the schoolhouses sufficiently increased to meet the growing wants of the district.

On the first of January, 1873, the high school building was ready for use, and the growth of the schools was such that before the close of the year four more teachers were employed.

The high school building, occupying the square bounded by N. Sixteenth, M and Fifteenth streets, is a very imposing structure, three stories and a basement in height, of brick, with a mansard roof and gray limestone foundation. There are eleven assembly rooms and numerous recitation rooms. The halls and cloak rooms are very conveniently arranged. The grounds are ample, beautifully ornamented with forest evergreen trees and winding walks. The building is heated by furnaces. The cost to the district was $50,000 in bonds, but they were sold for about $45,000, which was the cost of the building and furniture. At the time material and labor was very high, owing to the limited railroad communications. But this fact illustrates the energy and determination of the people of Lincoln. They said they could not afford to wait for low prices and let a generation of their children grow up without proper educational privileges.

During the summer of 1881 a very substantial school building was erected just west of the State University, at a cost of over $10,000. It is known as the First Ward school, and is a credit to the city and an ornament to the First Ward. It is two stories in height, built of brick, with a stone basement, and is heated by the latest steam heating apparatus. The rooms, four in number, are conveniently arranged with adjacent recitation and cloak rooms, and are well ventilated.

The bonded indebtedness of the district is about $60,000, with assets amounting to $88,000, which leaves the district with a net property of $28,000. The annual levy for school purposes for the past six years has been $11,000, on a basis of ten mills, up to 1879, when it fell to seven mills on the dollar.

The following school census, showing the increase in school population, will show the rapid numerical growth:

    Persons between the ages of five and twenty-one, 1875 - 1,313
       "       "          "           "       "      1876 - 1,561
       "       "          "           "       "      1877 - 1,648
       "       "          "           "       "      1878 - 2,072
       "       "          "           "       "      1879 - 2,350
       "       "          "           "       "      1880 - 2,832
       "       "          "           "       "      1881 - 2,914

In 1879 will be noticed the largest increase, there being 482.

There are now employed thirty-one teachers besides the Superintendent, Mr. J. M. Scott--nearly as many teachers now as pupils in the first Lincoln school.

And there are now ten school buildings, including the high school, instead of the one with one room.

There are eight grades in the common school course and two in the high school, whose course requires two years to complete it, and from which they receive diplomas and are graduated. The alumni of the high school now numbers forty-eight, and they are a credit to the public school system of Lincoln.

The primary and intermediate departments contain the great majority, so far as numbers are concerned, and it is the aim here to make the substantial foundation of a thorough, sound and useful education. The system is intended to draw out and develop the talents of a child, instead of pouring in rubbish and cumbering the child's ability. The infant classes are taught to write letters in manuscript, and the results have been most gratifying. They find that children six years old learn easily to form letters on correct principles, and many surpassing those in the grammar department.

The work of the grammar department is very thorough, and thus far has been most acceptable to the patrons. They here complete the common school education, which is up to the advancement of the age, and equals that of older cities. This is made more complete from the fact that a large number of the pupils never have the opportunity of completing a high school course. Many parents have the erroneous idea that a high school course is not in the least essential, but rather consumes several money making years of a pupil's life. But their number is growing rapidly less, as they see that to meet the demands of the age, a better education is required.

The high school has two courses of study arranged, somewhat similar in their scope, a classical and an English. The aim of the classical is to prepare pupils for commencing a complete college course.

The high school graduates of this course are admitted by their diplomas, it being one of the few courses in the State accredited by the State University. To do this, they had to adopt the following course of study: English grammar, United States, English and general history, the elementary sciences, such as physiology, physical geography, botany, zoology, natural philosophy and astronomy; the elements of algebra, plain geometry, two years of Latin and two of German. This has been followed, but not with entire satisfaction, as many prefer to enter the preparatory course of the university instead of completing the same in the high school, and consequently the classes are very much reduced in size. When the preparatory course is dropped by the university, there will be an effort in many more schools of the State to establish such courses, and be thorough enough to become accredited by the university. The beneficial results of this would be uniformity of work throughout the State, and a most beneficial emulation among the schools; it would extend a wider appreciation of a higher education in the State, and a more thorough preparation for it, and enlarge the attendance of the university.

The English course is designed for those who expect to go no further than the high school. Latin and German are excluded from this course, and more attention is given to English literature and composition. Book-keeping, political economy and civil government are taught in this course. This course has been very satisfactory, many of its graduates having given evidences of their ability in the schools of the surrounding country, as teachers. The aim of this course is to build a firm foundation for usefulness, and as completely as possible to prepare its graduates for a practical and prosperous life.

It will at once be seen that Lincoln, though perhaps the youngest of the cities of the West, of the same population, has made as much and as thorough progress in education as in her business and social departments. Though her population has increased most rapidly, with a yearly increase of about 250 pupils, she has most amply provided for them, and not superficially, but well, and has not permitted her schools to become third or fourth, but first rate. Her schools are a credit, and her pride is well founded. And it may as truthfully as poetically be said of her citizens that their minds and hearts are as fruitful of good as is her soil of grain.

But it would be ungrateful to close this notice without mentioning Prof. W. W. W. Jones, who was Principal and Superintendent for six years, and to whose industry and zeal in the cause of education in general, and of Lincoln in particular, is due more than to any other individual, the success of the schools. He was ceaseless and tireless in his labors, and has reason to be proud of the results of his toil. But he was ably supported by a generous Board of Education, who in turn, were supported by a generous public, whose ambition and patriotism is no less laudable and commendable than those of the classic Atlantic cities.

Prof. Jones left this field of labor in 1881, only to accept one of greater responsibility, to which his success here led him that of State Superintendent of Public Instruction of Nebraska.

Right here it will be interesting to note the cost of education in Lincoln, and compare it with other cities.

It has been estimated on the basis of the whole cost of the schools of Lincoln, including all incidental expenses, new buildings, new furniture, and the interest on the bonded indebtedness on the one hand, and the average number belonging on the other, that it costs $17.39 per pupil; on the basis of the daily average attendance, the cost is $19.07. But estimating the cost of tuition alone, omitting interest, new buildings and furniture, which really does not belong in the estimation, and including the cost of teachers, superintendent, janitors and ordinary repairs, the cost is found to be only $10.35 per pupil.

From reports of 1877-78, it cost:
San Francisco  -  -  -  $29 41    Denver  -  -  -  $46 11
St. Louis    -  -  -  -  20 70    Milwaukee -  -    20 42
Yankton,Dak.   -  -  -   17 04    Cleveland  -  -   29 20
Boston    -  -  -  -  -  40 35    Lincoln  -  -  -  19 07

The cost for tuition alone was:
Cleveland  -  -  -  -   $16 38    Toledo  -  -  -  $19 30
Hamilton,Ohio  -  -  -   15 10    Yankton,Dak. -  -  9 90
Lincoln $10 35


The fire department of Lincoln was organized in 1871, and reorganized in 1877. The engine house is situated on the corner of P and Tenth streets. The department consists of two steam fire engines, the Old Chapin and the P. C. Quick. The latter is of the most improved patent and was named in honor of the present head of the department. A hook and ladder company is also about to be organized.


State Journal.--Lincoln was proclaimed the capital of Nebraska, August 14, 1867, and the next day there appeared in the Nebraska City Press the prospectus of a weekly paper to be published at the seat of the State Government. The new candidate for journalistic honors was to be known as the Nebraska Commonwealth, and its founder was C. H. Gere. The first copy was issued on September 7, and was printed at the office of the Press, C. H. Gere & Co., publishers. The second number, issued November 2, was printed at Lincoln, in the office of S. B. Galey, W. W. Carder, publisher, C. H. Gere, editor. Its appearance was against it, the type used being second or third class material from the establishment. The press used was the first Washington patent brought across the Missouri River into Nebraska. The Journal's form was a seven column folio. Before the third number had been issued the paper "owned its house" and had moved into it. This was a small building, situated on the corner of the Academy of Music block. In May, 1868, Mr. Gere permanently located in Lincoln, and joined his business energies and abilities with those of Mr. Carder. In the spring of 1869, the name of the paper was changed to the Nebraska State Journal, and in November, J. Q. Brownlee succeeded Mr. Carder in the partnership. Shortly afterwards the office was removed across O street. July 20, 1870, is a date which marks two important events for Lincoln; one was the appearance of the first train which ever entered the city over the B. & M. R. R., the other the appearance of its first regular daily paper. During the session of the Legislature of 1869-70, a daily campaign paper, worked off on a hand press, had been published, but the first permanent daily paper was first issued July 20, 1870. It was then a six column folio. Next it was enlarged to seven columns, and is now nine. In 1871, Mr. Brownlee sold his interest to H. D. Hathaway of the Plattsmouth Herald, the style of the firm partnership becoming Gere & Hathaway. By the next year the business of the Journal had so increased that it was found necessary to separate the newspaper from the job work. Messrs. Gere, Hathaway, A. H. Mendenhall and George W. Roberts, formed a company, which was incorporated in 1877. During this year, however, Mr. Roberts sold his interest to John R. Clark, so that its officers are now as follows: C. H. Gere, president; A. H. Mendenhall, vice-president; John R. Clark, secretary; H. D. Hathaway, treasurer. Several changes in location and enlargements of quarters had been made in the meantime, until in June, 1880, ground was broken for the magnificent newspaper building now occupied by the Journal. It is situated on the corner of P. and Ninth streets, and is acknowledged to be the finest and best arranged newspaper establishment in Nebraska. The structure is built of brick and stone, three stories and basement seventy-five feet on P. street and one hundred and forty-two feet on Ninth. Its arrangements are perfect. The south half of the basement is used for press rooms, stereotype and mailing departments, etc.; the south half of the first floor for the counting room, general business offices, sample and retail departments, stock room and wholesale stationary department; the second floor is devoted to the bindery, book and job composing rooms; the third floor being given up to the newspaper proper. Here are also the offices of the Nebraska Farmer and Western Woman's Journal. The building is heated by steam, and its floors are connected with a steam elevator. The total cost of these conveniences is $45,000. To give a further idea of the immense amount of business now transacted by the Journal Company, it may be stated that from eighty to one hundred hands are employed and that outside the newspaper business its transactions amount to $100,000 per annum. The newspaper business amounts to $50,000. In short, there are few newspaper establishments in the West which are in a more prosperous condition than the State Journal, and it is daily growing in wealth and influence. The Journal is republican in politics and is one of the most ably conducted papers in the State. Senator Gere has won an eminent position in the profession.

The State Democrat was first published by Messrs. Vifquain, Abbott & Meads, June 1, 1879, and has been (until of late) continually under the able editorial management of Gen. Victor Vifquain. In 1881, J. G. Barnhardt purchased an interest in the journal, assuming the business management. In February, 1882, Albert Watkins purchased Mr. Vifquain's interest, and assumed the editorial management. The Democrat is Stalwart in its line of politics, and is one of the most enterprising newspapers in the State, issuing a daily edition both morning and evening, besides printing a fine weekly. Connected with the Democrat is also a flourishing job office.

Staats Anzeiger.--The Anzeiger is the leading German paper of the central part of the State. Herr Peter Harberg, editor and publisher, established the paper in 1881, the first issue appearing June 1. It is a nine column weekly paper, devoted to the interest of Republican principles.

The Lincoln Globe Publishing Company up to December, 1881, issued a daily and weekly paper of Republican principles, besides publishing the Nebraska Farmer and Western Woman's Journal. The latter was established in April, 1881, by Erasmus M. Correll. Its general aim is the elevation of woman.

The Daily News is a small sheet, established less than a year ago, by Thomas H. Hyde and Charles W. Fleming. They managed it until February, 1882, when the latter retired. Mr. Hyde is now sole proprietor. The News is briskly independent in politics.

Nebraska Farmer.--Nebraska is thoroughly an agricultural State, and with most extensive resources in that direction and it is therefore most befitting that this paper designed especially to supply information upon the subject of agriculture, the most important branch of industry not only in the State but in the world, should have a prominent place in this history.

Its history of necessity is short but no less interesting. January 1, 1877, saw the first issue of the Nebraska Farmer as a monthly journal devoted to the great interests of the farm. J. C. McBride and J. T. Clarkson were at that time its publishers. At the close of the year 1877, Mr. Clarkson sold his interest to Mr. McBride, who continued its publication alone till November, 1879, when he took as a partner Mr. O. M. Druse, and in January, 1881, the paper was changed from a monthly to a semi-monthly. In September following, Mr. Druse purchased the interest of his partner and has since devoted his best labor to its interest. Mr. Druse is a practical agriculturist and stock grower, and is thereby able to understand the wants of such a paper. He has grown up with the State and is identified with its interests and is thoroughly prepared to anticipate the needs of the farmer. If the Nebraska Farmer fails it will reflect upon the Nebraska farmer.


Congregational.--The organization of this church took place on August 19, 1866, and it was the first church organized in Lincoln, or Lancaster as it was then named. The six persons composing the organization were, F. A. Bidwell, J. S. Gregory, Sr., Philester Jessup, Mrs. W. P. Gregory, Mrs. A. M. Langdon and Miss M. E. Gregory. Lancaster had only seven buildings at this time. The first pastor was Rev. E. C. Taylor, and the subsequent ones have been Rev. Charles Little, Rev. L. B. Fifield, Rev. S. R. Dimock and Rev. Lewis Gregory, the present incumbent who was called to the pastorate in 1875. The membership of the church is 225, and that of the Sunday school is 175.

German Methodist.--This church was organized in 1867, an edifice erected in 1869 and a parsonage in 1876. Rev. J. G. Host is the pastor and John Giesler and Adam Bax are stewards. The membership is about forty-five.

Methodist.--This society was organized by Rev. H. T. Davis, in the spring of 1868. The first house of worship was on Tenth street. The present building on M street was erected in 1869, and has since been enlarged. The successive pastors have been Rev. H. T. Davis, Rev. J. J. Roberts, Rev. George S. Alexander, Rev. W. B. Slaughter, Rev. S. H. Henderson and Rev. A. C. Williams, who at present officiates. The membership of the church is 450 with 400 in the Sunday school.

Roman Catholic.--The church of St. Theresa was organized in 1868, by Bishop O'Gorman. The church edifice is the largest and handsomest in the city, and was built in 1879. Father Kennedy officiates as pastor, and there are 130 families in the parish.

Presbyterian.--The First Presbyterian Church was organized April 4, 1869, by Rev. J. C. Elliott, of Nebraska City, and had the following eight members: Howard Kennedy, Maggie A. Kennedy, Paren England, Malinda W. England, John H. Baird, Mrs. Serena Baird, A. M. McCandless and Mrs. E. A. Guy. The present church building was dedicated October 9, 1870. Rev. John O. Gordon is the pastor, and there are 225 members of the church. The officers are elders, Prof. H. E. Hitchcock, John R. Clark, C. S. Clason, Capt. N. S. Scott, J. J. Turner, C. M. Leighton; trustees, W. M. Clark, M. L. Easterday, A. J. Sawyer, E. A. Morgan and J. W. Winger.

Episcopal.--The first service of this church was conducted by Rev. G. C. Betts, of Plattsmouth, November 17, 1868. A parish organization was effected May 10, 1869, and the following vestrymen chosen: Michael Rudolph, A. F. Harvey, J. J. Jones, A. C. Rudolph, H. J. Walsh, L. H. Robbins and J. M. Bradford. A church edifice costing $2,600 was consecrated March 5, 1871, and a commodious rectory built in 1877. The parish has had four acting rectors Rev. William B. Bohmer, Rev. Samuel Goodale, Rev. R. C. Talbot and Rev. C. C. Harris, who assumed this office April 16, 1876. The officers are: Wardens, M. H. Sessions and H. J. Walsh; Vestrymen, M. Montgomery, J. W. Hedges, S. W. Chapman, Guy A. Brown, J. C. Kier, J. L. Osborne and R. O. Phillips.

Baptist.--The first Baptist Church was organized August 22, 1869, with fifteen members. Rev. O. T. Conger was the first pastor and remained four years. The original officers were: Deacon, R. R. Tingley; clerk, L. H. Potter; trustees, R. R. Tingley, S. W. Bent and J. P. Lantz. The present church edifice was dedicated January 22, 1871. This church, has a membership of 140, pastor Rev. T. F. Chaffe.

Christian.--The Church of Christ was organized in the winter of 1869, by Elder D. R. Dungan. A house of worship, costing $2,800, was dedicated in the following July. The society has 100 members, and is without a pastor. Its officers are: Elders, George Levitt and J. S. Major; secretary, C. M. Hunt; deacons, F. T. Sherwin and W. E. DeGroat.

Universalist.--This society was organized September 1, 1870. The first pastor was Rev. James Gorton, who settled September 1, 1871. Their church building, completed in June, 1872, was the first church building erected in Nebraska, by Universalists.

African Methodist.--This church was organized in 1873, and has a membership of forty, Rev. C. H. Brown is pastor and superintendent of Sunday school.

Colored Baptist.--This church was organized in 1879. Rev. M. Mack and Rev. S. O. Brian are pastors, and Andrew Nettles, Andrew Alexander and Martin Hall are deacons. The membership is forty.

Young Men's Christian Association of Lincoln, was formerly known as the "Young People's Association," under which name it was in operation nearly four years. The present organization was effected in January, 1880. The effective work of this and the former association is widely known, and it is looked upon by the citizens as one of the most useful and permanent societies of the place. They have erected a mission chapel in North Lincoln. Their rooms are on the corner of Twelfth and N streets. The names of the present officers are B. L. Paine, president; Richard George, vice-president; J. T. Martin, secretary and M. L. Easterday, treasurer.

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