George Martin was president of the State Normal School and
Teachers College during the 1920's.
The Normal School changed
its name to Nebraska State Normal School and State Teachers
College (1921). Degrees issued were: Bachelor of Arts in
Education, Bachelor of Fine Arts in Education, and Bachelor
of Science in Education.
The State Normal School
and Teachers College celebrated its 20th anniversary (1925).
A. O. Thomas Building was
constructed on the college campus. It is now the oldest
building on the UNK campus (1925-6).
The State Normal School
and Teachers College was accredited by the North Central
Association of College and Secondary Schools (1926)
Public Schools in
Kearney during the 1920's
The "new" Whittier School building was constructed in
The Junior High School
building (now Central Elementary School) was constructed in
Kearney Public School buildings during the 1920's:
Longfellow High School Junior
High School (after 1926)
Whittier Ward School (all in the same block)
Kenwood Ward School
Hawthorne Ward School (at 34th & A)
Bryant Ward School
Alcott Ward School (at 16th & M)
Emerson Ward School
Collins rural school (on west 11th St.)
Mayors of Kearney:
1917-1921 - K R Andrews
1921-1923 - D Wart
1923-1925 - F L Grammer & T H Bolte
1925-1929 - L D Martin
City Council Members in 1926 (elected by wards)
F G Geist - Geist & Son General Merchandise, a grocery
store at 1900 Central Avenue
B F Thompson - retired farmer
John H Hale - Teacher at the State Normal School and
R E Heacock - Heacock Cigar Co., at 2015 Ave A
J D Saunders - Club House Stores located on West
Lincoln Highway which included the
Club House Beauty Parlor,
Club House Cafeteria and the Club House Grocery.
Jess S Barlow - General contractor and builder
J A Hull - Hull's Dry Cleaner at 2201 Central Avenue
W J Neal - Carpenter
Officers of the City in 1926
City Clerk - Mrs.
Mabel E Burke
Treasurer - Frank E Hollingsworth
Police Judge - Bruce Oldham
Chief of Police - H G Quiggle
City Attorney - Waid Balcom
City Engineer - H E Sawyer
Chief Fire Dept. - Elmer L Rhoades
Street Commissioner - Harvey Congleton
Water Commissioner - Sherman Bowker
City Physician - Henry Farrell
City Librarian - Mrs. Mary E O'Brien
Located in Kearney during the 1920's
School for boys
State Teachers College & Normal School
State Hospital for Tuberculosis
Organized during the 1920's
The Kearney Kiwanis
Club was organized on Oct. 3, 1920.
The Kearney Cosmopolitan Club was organized in June
Clubs in Kearney during
the 1920's and their meeting locations
Elks Club - 3rd floor
of City National Bank at 2023 Central
Kearney Country Club - (had an office in the Opera
Kearney Gun Club - Range at 1733 Amusement Park
Kearney Women's Club - met at the Chamber of Commerce
Kiwanis Club - 5th floor of Opera House every Tuesday at
Rotary Club - Midway
Hotel every Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.
Secret Societies in
Kearney during the 1920's and their meeting locations
Ancient Order United Workman, Foreman Lodge #12 AOUW
met at Highlanders Hall 1 & 3 Wednesdays
Degree of Honor, Kearney Lodge #43 DOH met
at Highlanders Hall 2 & 4 Wednesdays
Benevolent Protective Order of Elks,
Kearney Lodge #984 BPOE
met 1 & 3 Fri at Elks Hall
Brotherhood of American Yoemen, Kearney
Homestead #4774 BAY met on call
Federal Aid Union, Midway City Lodge #122
FAU met on call
Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Buffalo
Lodge #38 IOOF
met every Friday at IOOF Hall
Kearney Encampment #15 IOOF
Canton Excelsior #3, Patriarchs Militant
Naomi Rebecca Lodge #12
Knights of Columbus, St. James Council
#1728 K of C
1 & 3 Thursdays at Highlanders Hall
Knights of Pythias, Loyal Lodge #14 K of P
met on call
Ladies of Maccabees, Women's Benefit Assoc.
of Maccabees, Kearney Hive #7
met 2nd Thursday at home of
Masonic (lodge at 2305 Central)
Robert Morris Lodge #46
Kearney Chapter #23 RAM
Mt. Hebron Commanders #12, KT
Tuscan Chapter #35 OES
Modern Woodmen of the World, Hope Camp #316
MW of W
met 1 & 3 Tuesdays at Highlander Hall
Royal Highlanders, Melrose Castle #37, RH
met at Hub Hall, 15 East 22nd St.
Tribe of Ben Hur, Kearney Court #108 T of
BH met on call
Travelers Protective Accident Association,
Kearney Post "K"
met last Saturday at Midway Hotel
United Commercial Travelers, Kearney
Council #622 UCT
met 2nd Friday at Highlander Hall
Veterans of Foreign Wars, David A Rhone
Post #759 (organized in 1921)
Ladies Auxiliary (organized in 1928)
American Legion Auxiliary Unit #52
(organized in 1922)
Ladies Auxiliary Buffalo County Post #52
Grand Army of the Republic, Sedgwick Post
(had a meeting hall at 15 1/2 east 23rd St. )
Women's Relief Corps, Sedgwick Post #1 GAR
Disabled American Veterans Midway Post #14
(organized in 1921)
Churches Organized during the 1920's
The Free Methodist Church - In 1972 it was
located at 1319 5th Avenue.
The Open Bible Tabernacle - In 1972 it was
located at 18th & 1st Ave.
The Midway Amusement
Park (located on the site of the former cotton mill
factory) opened late in 1920 and was open during the
1921 and 1922 seasons. It had a swimming pool, dance
hall, some game booths, and an area where movies were
The 1733 Amusement
park opened on June 15, 1925. It had a pool, dance hall,
picnic area and playground.
Hospitals in Kearney
Hospital - dedicated in July, 1924.
First expansion, addition of 4th and 5th floors, done in
General Hospital - located east of the Presbyterian
LIKE IT WAS
Post card picture reproduced with label "Lincoln Highway,
Kearney, Nebr. Paving the first "Seedling Mile" with
concrete. October, 1915"
"This scene has disappeared entirely.
It shows the construction crew at work on the Seedling Mile
west Kearney in October of 1915. The Seedling Mile was so
named because cement for the mile of paving was donated to
cities along the Lincoln Highway (later U.S. 30) if those
cities would bear the remainder of the expense. Kearney did.
The trees seen alongside
the roadway later formed a canopy over the entire road, but
both paving and trees were removed when widening was
necessary some 20 years ago. The trees -- all American Elms
-- that didn't fall to the ax later became victims of Dutch
GUARANTY TRUST CO.
In 1920, a group of officers of the City National Bank of
Kearney organized the Guaranty Trust Co. The office was
located in the Northeast corner of the bank building, facing
21st street (now First National Bank building)
Frank Hollingsworth was
manager of the company and later president and owner, until
his retirement, when it was sold to Elmer Divan. It is now a
part of the Platte Valley Bank and Trust Co.
In the picture, the trust company is up the stairs to the
landing. The barber shop of Joe Soares was in the basement.
DOWNTOWN KEARNEY ON A SATURDAY AFTERNOON
Saturday afternoon in the 1920's was the time to come to
town to get the shopping done. This picture of Central
avenue seems to prove the point.
In those days, parking was permitted in the center of
Central, as well as at both curbs, which is why things seem
a bit crowded on the main street.
This view is looking
north, starting in the middle of the block between Railroad
and 21st street. The high building on the left is the Opera
(interior of a printing office)
This picture takes one back 50 years, to the days when The
Hub was using the "hot lead" process of printing and the
composing room crew was considerably smaller -- and entirely
According to the calendar on the wall, the date was 1922.
Those with long memories report the man just to the left of
the pole was Fred Carlson; to the right of the pole was Ted
Carlson (Fred's brother) and at the far right, George
INNER TUBE BALLOON
In 1928, Will C. Mueller of Amherst took this picture on
Central ave., as a man with very strong lungs demonstrated
his prowess. That's the Kearney High School band behind the
entertainer, and members are very much interested, as one
The man cut his inner
tube in two, and sealed the ends. Then he huffed and puffed
trying to break the "balloon". It didn't break at the
demonstration, but it did later in the Ford showroom, where
a temperature change did the trick. The free show was part
of the program heralding the arrival of the new Model A.
THE FEDERAL CAFETERIA
Meet the folks at the Federal Cafeteria, the era -- 1925.
The establishment was rather plush in those days, and was
located at about 2018 Central ave. It was operated by the
McKees and the Yeutters. John Reidy owns the picture.
"Goat Day" was a big success back there on October 21, 1922.
There was a large crowd of people on hand to view the parade
of vehicles, floats -- and goats.
This view is of the east
side of Central ave., between 11st and 22nd streets.
Whatever happened to that
lamp post clock, in front of the Goldner Bros. Jewelry
(A Stryker photo of the Seedling Mile when the trees had
grown but not as large as in a later postcard picture)
Travelers often stopped for lunch along the Lincoln Highway
on the Seedling Mile.
Year by Year
May 18, 1921 -
Flood in south part of Kearney
The first airport in Kearney, Auxiliary Field, was
established north of the Lincoln Highway, just east of the
Kearney Military Academy (present day St. Luke's Good
Kaufmann-Wernert building was built on the northwest corner
of 22nd and Central Avenue.
Central Cafe opened at 2021 Centeral by George Peterson.
Operated for 35 years.
April 4 - It was reported that excavation for the new
Bodinson and Knutzen apartment house on 24th Street and 5th
Avenue was well under way.
Light snow was reported in parts of the county the evening
of April 3 and in the early morning. Early June appeared to
be quite wet.
The Sinclair Oil company was building a pipeline through
Nebraska which was to cross Buffalo County. The company was
proposing to locate a headquarters in Kearney which would
employ 20-30 executives and assistants as well as have 14
employees working at the pump station at Alfalfa Center.
The American Legion threw open their headquarters in the Hub
building to hold three days of "Gold Creek" in early April.
The activities were organized along the line of a mining
town in the '49er tradition. The "boys of the Lay-Z ranch
and Moonshine mine" had roulette and faro tables where
"bucks" purchased at the door were used, an auction of items
donated by local businesses and a bar (but the newspapers
did not indicate what liquid was served, only that it was
straight with no chaser because they were so busy.) The
event was so popular it was extended an extra night.
(April 7) A Protestant Hospital in Sight for Kearney
At a special meeting of the local Klan, held last evening,
definite plans were formulated for the erection of a modern,
protestant hospital at Kearney, which will be of a statewide
nature similar to those being built by the Ku Klux Klan in
other states. This movement was put on foot by the local
organization with the co-operation of the Klans of the
entire Realm. Local contractors are being consulted as to
the probable cost of the building and future information as
to the nature, location and cost will be released in the
near future. Only local contractors and material men are
Buffalo Klan No 13
(Good Samaritan Hospital was in the process of being
constructed at this time.)
The Kearney Military Academy closed.
Co. D, 110th Quartermaster Reg. of the Neb. National Guard
was organized in March.
Early June was apparently very rainy in this part of the
state. An Omaha paper published an editorial about how bad
the roads were from the western border to Central City.
The HUB pointed out the importance of this moisture to the
agricultural community and said that the rain was more
important than the roads. Besides, travelers report the road
conditions to those travelers they meet along the way. Those
who were complaining had been warned and advised to wait
until the roads were drier so if they got stuck they had no
one to blame but themselves.
Kearney celebrated it's 50th anniversary in September. Come
Back letters were written by former Kearney residents who
were invited to Come Back for the celebration but who were
not able to return. The letters were collected at that time
and are now preserved in the Buffalo County Archives..
The Lincoln Highway was renamed Highway 30.
Harmon Park was dedicated.
The Kearney Military Academy closed after graduation in the
spring of 1924.
Good Samaritan Hospital was completed. It was a three story
brick structure built to accommodate a fourth and fifth story
The position of City Park Commissioner was established by
(Shelton Clipper, October 1, 1925)
THOUSANDS WITNESS KLAN CERIMONIALS
Hold Big Parade at Kearney Monday Evening
It is Estimated That More Than Ten Thousand People Assembled
A large delegation of Shelton People went to Kearney Monday
evening to witness the Ku Klux Klan parade and ceremonials
which were held at the county fair grounds. The Kearney Hub
of Tuesday gave the following account of the gathering:
"Led by a patrol of mounted men, both riders and horses
enshrouded in the regalia of the order, between four and
five hundred klansmen participated in the parade and
demonstration Monday night....divided into two sections, one
headed by a band, the second by a trumpet and drum
corps....The line of march, from Klan headquarters to the
fairgrounds was kept open by city and county officers....
"Arriving at the fairgrounds the Klan conducted their
demonstration and program, before and audience of perhaps
ten thousand people. The formations of the hooded knights of
the K. K. K. with a background of red flares, the flaming
cross and the discharge of occasional rockets was
"Zachary A. Harrris of Washington, D.C., Klan lecturer, of
national repute, spoke, his subject being confined entirely
to Americanism, with particular stress laid on the need for
closing the doors to undesirable aliens....
"Those who expected to hear bitter denunciation of any group,
class or creed were perhaps disappointed in the speaker, for
he dealt rather with facts....His entire address was more in
the nature of an appeal for better Americanism....
The Elliot Motor Lodge was constructed on West Lincoln
Highway. It had two rows of individual cabins and a tearoom.
The business was purchased by Dean Cannon in 1945 and
renamed the Cannon Motel.
Fort Kearney Hotel was completed in October.
Businesses (advertising in June 11, 1927 Hub)
King’s (dry goods)
Kearney Buick Company
Keller Radi-O-Lectric Company (ad for electric refrigerator)
Dr. C. L. Ayers, eye, ear, nose, & throat
Baumgartner’s Book Store, first door south of new Masonic
Gus Stohl opened motor repair shop at 2022 First Ave.
Motorists on Lincoln Highway east of Kearney were cut by
flying glass when a chicken flew in front of the car and hit
the windshield, shattering it. [Makes us appreciate safety
Midway Hotel serving Easter Dinner for 65
Controversy over putting a sand pit at 14th and M
Air field south of Kearney, across the river.
Isaac Walton League stocking fish in Cottonmill Lake, also
bullheads in small lake at Harmon field for children 12 and
under. – (Before rock garden was put in)
(from Apr. 7&9, 1928 Hub)
Businesses advertising -
Bower & Son Funeral Home
Tollefsen-Elliott Lumber Co.
Midwest Camera Shop
Maddox Furniture Exchange
Greenhill Kensington planning Achievement Day picnic at
Antelope Grange Hall
Ward Minor, attending Nebraska University, was home for a
visit during spring vacation
Objections to a gravel pit at 14th and M
Fish gate constructed at Cotton Mill Lake to hold fish in
Landing field being set up south of Kearney, south of the
Mt Carmel Nursing Home was started in this year.
Sources include the Kearney Daily Hub, Kearney City
Ordinances in 1923, Kearney City Directories from the 1920’s
and some Like It Was picture captions.