could be Buffalo's crossing the platte

 Research Papers


Today is:

Election judges & clerks paid $3


City government

Council met on 1st Tue after election to organize and select a Council President who would act for the Mayor if he was absent.

            Met on 1st & 3rd Monday

Mayor, with Council approval, made appointments:

            City Engineer

            City Attorney

            Street Commissioner

            Chief of Police

            City Physician

            Truck Driver

            Custodian of City Hall

            Police Chief

            As many police officers as Mayor & Council think are needed

Mayor could call up as many men ages 18-50 as needed to maintain peace


Anyone arrested appeared immediately before the Police Judge unless it

was night, then the person spent the night in jail.  Police Judge was

 paid $600/year


City Physician – Member of the Board of Health and performed duties in connection with that board.  Also

(1)                           if someone was injured where there might be liability by the city, he was to investigate the extent of the injury and interview any persons who might have personal knowledge of the matter.

(2)                           For purposes of checking health conditions of property and its occupants, he could enter “at all seasonable hours


Board of Health – 5 members

            Mayor, Council President, City Physician, Chief of Police, 1 mayor appointment

            All doctors had to report contagious diseases & identify the family. 

            If the Mayor learned of a case of cholera, smallpox, diptheria or other disease of like virulence and danger, he was to call a meeting of the Board of Health.  If they found that it was liable to spread, they could set up a pest house in an isolated spot either inside or outside city limits where persons could be cared for. 

If it looked like an isolated case they could quarantine the house. 

In either case only the doctor and those caring for the sick could enter and all others had to stay at least 200 feet away.

            Anyone exposed to the disease could be quarantined also.

            Responsible for identifying and causing to clean up any accumulations of filth in the city, especially if there was danger of contaminating a well or cistern.

            Could order the cleaning of any vault, cesspool, privy, wall, excavation cellar or other structure emitting a noxious odors or gases.  If the city had to do it, the owner would be charged.

            Illegal to sell or keep for sale decayed, decomposed or partly decomposed fruits and vegetables.  Mayor could appoint someone or have a member of the police force inspect booths, stores and shops.


Fire Hazards

Open burning – not allowed if dangerous to the property of others.

No wood buildings in downtown area – basically from 26th to the railroad, 1st to A

No lumber yards in that district unless in a brick building

If a wood building within the district was damaged to 20% of its value it was to be removed.

Fire chief, his foreman, mayor, policeman, could call on licensed drayman or any citizen with team to help pull fire equipment to or from a fire.  Refusal – fine $10-$100

Duty of fire chief to annually visit and inspect every house and all buildings in the city where fire is used.   Report any problems to the Mayor.  If the owner does not make corrections, city will and charge owner.  And can be fined $10-$100

Looters to be fined $10-$100 and stay in jail until the fine is paid.


City Cemetery

Cemetery Board – 6 members appointed by the mayor with Council approval

            Residents of the city “and may be male or female”

            Serve 3-year terms

            “serve without pay and shall have the entire management and control of the


            Tax levy for general upkeep

            Board responsible for keeping record of lot sales

            “Potters Field” to be renamed “North Field”

            Owners of lots bought without perpetual care were billed $4/year for care of lot

            Lots in old area cost $40 without/$75 with perpetual care

            Anyone owning lots in old part could pay $65 and get perpetual care

            All lots in new part $100 and have perpetual care


Peace & Order

Unlawful to engage in loud, boisterous, hallowing, or make loud or unusual noise or quarrel, curse, swear or user obscene or indecent language

            “Section 5.  It shall be unlawful for any person or persons within the corporate limits of the City of Kearney to wantonly or prankishly daub or mark the windows of others with soap or other substance, or remove signs, overturn out buildings, ground swings, or in any manner disturb or molest any  property of another at any time, whether it be Halloween or other festal time, or occasion.  It is hereby made the special duty of the Mayor to rigidly enforce the provisions of this section of this ordinance.”


Streets –

            No posts on Central Ave – sign, hitching, telephone, telegraph, or other


            No itinerant sales on Central from 20th to 24th Street

            No on can orate, harangue, lecture, preach, causing a crowd that would interrupt

 traffic on the sidewalk or street

            Snow removed within an hour after it stops snowing or b 9 a.m.  Can’t throw it in


            No ashes, leaves, straw, hay, manure, brush, grass, slops, garbage, refuse or

 rubbish left in the street

            Street Commissioner to arrange for weekly inspection of streets & alleys

            Can’t dump wash water or dish water out in street

            All sidewalks from now on cement.  Included repaired as well as new.


Vehicles & Street Traffic –    

 Keep to the right, pass on the left

Don’t back up to the curb unless loading or unloading

Speed limit in alleys and congested areas 10 mph, in noncongested areas 15

            Does not apply to fire department equipment

Turning corners 6 mph

Parking spaces in center of Central from 18th-25th Street,  on A & 1st 20-24th Street



Minimum charge $1.25/mo, then 10 cents/100 cubic feet. 

10 cents discount to all paying at office of Water Commissioner within 10 days of due date


Slaughter Houses – (none listed in 1922 but 5 meat markets on Central & 4 in 1924)

Had to be along the north channel of the Platte

Had to be kept clean so there was no smell

Wash the blood with water into the “said channel”

Bury bones, heads, hides, etc. with quick lime

Inspection at least once a week by the Sewer Inspector


Animals – Can’t run at large or pasture them in the street, cemetery, park or public place

Pound Master got $1 for each animal.  Residents could impound animals also.

Pound Master could sell an animal if not claimed in 5-10 days to pay for the expense of

keeping it.  Left over money went to the city

Dogs – Must have a license tag - $1 male, $3 female

Domestic Fowls – Running at large – Can’t except in areas used for agriculture and not in

areas marked off in blocks.


Town Herd

            1. Herds limits area bounded by

 31st (street in front of hospital)

                        Ave. H (street by Collins Park)

                        14th St. (south of Court House)

                        8th Ave (block from university campus)

2. No herds or droves collected or driven through this area.

Not even singly

Can lead a haltered animal however

3. Fine up to $10 and animal(s) impounded as per impound ordinance.



Bawdy Houses

 “unlawful for any person or persons to erect, establish, conduct, keep, maintain, own, use, or lease any building, room, tent, or other structure” within city limits for “purpose of lewdness, assignation or prostitution”

Unlawful to run such a house….

Unlawful for anyone to live in a bawdy house or house of prostitution.

Unlawful to permit a prostitute or lewd woman to visit his room or lodging place

Unlawful “for any woman to solicit, invite or permit any man to visit her room or lodging place in the night time for the purpose of sexual intercourse.” [what about daytime?] 

Fined $10-$100 and stay in jail until the fine is paid

Policemen had to report violations to Police Judge or be fined $25

All existing business were declared a nuisance and had to close.

Couldn’t run a business within 3 miles of city limits.


Some Other topics –

            Intoxicating liquors – drunkenness  (prohibition was the law at this time)


            Auctioneers, peddlers, hawkers (prob. still on the books but updated, corner sales)

            Firecrackers – fire works (still there but updated also)


            Clairvoyants – Fortune Telling

            Vagrants – Tramps (used to be a big problem – riding the rails)

            Keeping lots and lands free from weeds (definitely still there)

            Fire escapes

            Merchandising after April 1st with Stock not Listed for Taxation

            Using water in times of fire --- don’t - to keep pressure up

            City prisoners – Labor on streets

            #44 Town Herd

            Street sprinkling (not so many streets paved in 1923)


This is our cat looking for stories

Our Cat Smoky looking for files.

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Revised: 05/15/2011