could be Buffalo's crossing the platte

 Research Papers

Today is:

First Midway Hotel

Furnishings & Construction
Cost including furnishings - $50,000 and $60,000 of which Kearney citizens put up $15,000
Four Stories high
Lobby paved with tile in variegated colors.
Large billiard room and bar extended the length of the building east to west.
Main staircase lit by plate glass skylight.
Second floor - dining room - seat 100, next door was an “ordinary” room for late diners.
Steam heated, gas lighting but wiring in place for electric lights and bell pulls.
Each room on the first three floors had bathroom and closet.
80 rooms in all.

Summer 1889 – 4 story 40’ x 80’ addition built
20,000 guests registered in year before the fire.

Businesses in the hotel at time of fire: (March 1890)

9 real estate offices
insurance agent
George W Frank Improvement Co
Electric Light Co
barber shop
Kearney Land and Improvement Co

One fatality of 125 guests & employees in the building when fire broke out.
    Worden Dramatic Co. staying at hotel

    Deming was property and baggage man.

    Jumped feet first but hit a wire which turned him.

    An awning was held to catch him but he fell through landing on his head and side of face.

    Lived until 11 p.m. Mother, widowed, lived in South Omaha.

Coroner’s Jury verdict:

On March 24th in the morning Harry Deming died by jumping from his room when the Midway Hotel burned. “,,,in our opinion, the said Harry Deming having his clothes on and shoes upon his feet, and from the evidence of Edgar Glenn, it is our opinion that he was sufficiently notified, but owing go the smoke and confusion did not heed the notice.”

Debris from the Midway Hotel was put on South Railroad between Central and A

Second Midway Hotel

Construction & Furnishings
Started in 1891, completed in 1893 – Four stories again
Activity centered around the long mahogany bar
billiard room
Rose Room on north side of building with the Rose Room being in the northeast corner.
With prohibition the long bar went to the college shop students and the Rose Room became an ice cream parlor

    and later a private dining room.

1921 - a two-story annex was added to the west side of the hotel.

Boiler Explosion
1915 - the boiler blew up on a cold winter night.

A steam threshing machine was moved up to the north side of the building and used temporarily

Denison brought the boiler from the cotton mill to replace it.

KGFW moved from Ravenna to Kearney. First broadcast studio at Midway Hotel till 1941.

Odds & Ends from 1889

Friday, September 20, 1889- Next Tuesday will start free mail delivery in Kearney.

Nov. 21, 1889 – Long article about wedding of John E. Hume and Lena Hale which includes a list of gifts and givers and guests, and descriptions of the clothing worn by bride, groom, and their attendants, and finally a description of the ceremony.

Boom Period Activities
Oatmeal Factory, Soap Factory planned
Rails for electric street car line arrived
Plans for Kearney & Black Hills Railroad
Sewer system planned and contract let - $50,000 – on Central to 30th with lateral lines to be petitioned in.

From Elm Creek 1897

Elm Creek Pilot 1897
....Tuesday morning people doing business of Front Street found loaded pistol cartridges stuck into the keyholes in their doors, and were somewhat mystified as to where they came from or what it all was intended for. George WILHELMY is one of our "early risers" and was able to cast some light on the mystery as he had seen Gen. MOORE, the Cuban recruiting officer, place the cartridges in the keyholes early in the morning, which were to give signal for the general march against the Spaniards. MOORE is in bad shape mentally and James LAYCOCK has been detailed to keep guard over him. He is fitfully active and insists on being around the depot every time a train pulls in and signals wildly, much to the annoyance of the crews. All in all he is the craziest man outside the state asylum.


Found in a Probate Record

In the list of heirs, one name is crossed out with this explanation above it – “Not his child, a mistake”


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Revised: 05/03/2018