could be Buffalo's crossing the platte

 Research Papers


Today is:

F. G. Keens


 [from Bassett's Tales of Buffalo County]

Born in England in 1853.  Immigrated to the US and came to Kearney in 1872.

Built the second store in town with Thomas Nightengale – Drug store which probably included some general merchandise also. [age 19-20]

Deputy County Clerk who with County Clerk, Joseph Scott, went to Gibbon after the election in October 1874 and brought the county records back to Kearney.  Keens then stood guard over them the rest of the night (they got back to Kearney at 2 a.m.) until the records could be put in a secure place. [age 21]

Deputy County Treasurer

Insurance and loan business

President of City National Bank

Instrumental in bringing the “State Reform School” to Kearney in 1880.  [age 27]

One of organizers and secretary of Kearney Canal Company

Involved in many controversies in Kearney, including with his church – Episcopalian

Gave block of land on 17th St. to the Catholic Church which became Mt. Carmel nursing home

Officially called the Mt. Carmel-Keens Memorial home

Made donation to Kearney Military Academy

Gave money to help build 4th and 5th floors of Good Samaritan Hospital


[from Buffalo Tales, March 1988]

New airport taken for air base - In 1941 the City of Kearney began construction of a new municipal airport four miles east of town on the north side of Highway 30. On 532 acres two runways, 100 feet wide and over 4,000 feet long of 2-inch thick asphalt…were laid,  [an] existing 4,500 ft. … runway was graded. [over 75%] funded by the federal government's W.P.A. program.

Named F. G. Keens Airport … dedication on August 24, 1942,…  William Knoll was the airport manager. Also … a secretary to check all incoming and outgoing aircraft, and the airport was under 24-hour guard duty.

The Kearney Keens Airport lasted only two weeks as a civilian airfield. On September 5 it was taken over by the Army for a part of the Kearney Air Base, and all civilian planes were ordered to vacate the hangar by noon on September 14.


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Our Cat Smoky looking for files.

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