could be Buffalo's crossing the platte

 Research Papers

Today is:

Visit & Lecture by Susan B. Anthony


Quaker, teacher, activist
Brothers: Daniel & Merritt
Causes: Abolition of slavery, Temperance, Suffrage, Women’s rights, Equal education, 8-hour day, equal pay for equal work, women’s right to vote

Without the right to vote most of the other issues she was supporting could not succeed
1870’s speaking tours in the West for women’ suffrage
1877 Collected 10,000 signatures on petitions from 26 states but Congress just laughed at her

Women’s Suffrage was probably the topic of her lecture here – this portion of the diary never says. Announcements in the Central Nebraska Press in two weeks before her visit say she is coming but do not tell the meeting place or time. (intentional or did everyone just know?) Just an encouragement to attend. No follow-up afterward about what she said. (no women reporters?)]

Photocopies of diary entries Oct. 25 – Oct 30, 1877. Complete diary at Library of Congress

Thursday, October 25, 1877 – In Sidney, traveled to Kearney overnight by train
Friday, October 26, 1877 – Arrived 6:40 a.m. Stopped at Grand Central hotel, filthy & too mean cooking.
        Went in search of Ft. Kearny. 12 years ago last August [1865] brother Merrit in charge of ______ 7th Cavalry came out to Ft. Kearny with wife May, Lucy and baby boy Jamie 16 mo.
Lots of “trees planted by the soldiers left to much _______ I didn’t go to it-
        [Worries in rest of diary entries about no letter from sister May]

Saturday & Sunday, October 27 & 28 - That early train that came in to Kearney from the west at 6:40 to bring her here? Well the next morning she took that train at 6:40 to go on to Grand Island. Stayed two days

Monday, October 29
Took train back to Kearney - “A Horrid breakfast in Kearney” then went on to Hastings.

Bank Robberies

Saturday, January 20, 1934 – Ft. Kearney State Bank (See BT Nov-Dec 1994)
Four men, got $10,000 or more, time lock on safe kept robbers out. Escaped in car with fifth man at wheel, took five employees hostage. Never caught.

Wore felt hats and handkerchiefs over faces up to eyes. Machine guns.

3 came in front, 1 came in north side through Guaranty Trust Company which had one clerk, Edith Rydberg, and one customer, Ralph Barney. About 20 customers in bank, told to line up against front partition wall with hands up – large window, passersby could see hands – so they were told to put hands down and look straight ahead at wall.


Someone in Lincoln was doing research for a book on the “gangster era” in Nebraska and  asked for information about Kearney bank robberies. He shared information about this one.

Oct. 3, 1934 – Ft. Kearney State Bank (again)
Notorious bank robber Allan Butler Woolworth was tried in April, 1935. Acquitted because he had a moustache at the time of the robbery but none of the three bank robbers witnesses described did. He was later convicted of a Norfolk bank robbery.



Saturday, March 17, 1928 – Amherst bank (See BT July, 1982)
Minor crime wave - Friday robbers had broken into Walker’s hardware in Gibbon and stolen 3 shotguns and shells. That night a Buick was stolen from in front of the World Theater in Kearney. Early Saturday morning someone entered Hill Bros. Store in Riverdale and took overalls, sweaters, other clothing, food, and $6.30.

3 p.m. boys saw a mud covered Buick parked by the school, a door open, a window broken.

3:30 p.m. fire alarm sounded, school was on fire. Bank employees among the few who did not answer the call.

3:50 p.m. – Robbers entered bank

Got $2,654.50. Escaped but had been recognized as local. 3 of the 4 were arrested, tried and each sentenced to 22 years in the pen. President of bank was Norma Ahrendt’s father.

Minor Crimes

“wandering wayfarer” stole underwear from Black Flag store one January, caught, sentenced to 30 days in jail – the coldest part of winter

“wanderers” frequently arrested in evening, spent night in jail, and escorted to city limits in morning. Once a group was given choice of leaving town or working on street crew. Half left, rest left during a rest break.

Red Light District
Arrests - Monthly, paid fines, released

Early 1898 strong Anti-Saloon League movement against “scarlet women” and gambling as well as drinking. By spring gamblers and scarlet women were gone. New mayor, Hostetler, elected, houses of ill repute “on the bottoms” closed and owner & wife moved to Hastings.

Winsor Hotel – Recognized as “red light” probably in 30’s



"The Monkey Story"

        One episode that was unique and on the lighter side was related by Mary Erdine Erickson Hogsett.  She told of a time in the 30's when her father, Doc Erickson, was on the City Council.  He was the owner of Kearney Floral.


        It seems the Park Department was having trouble locating winter housing for the Park's monkeys. Doc volunteered to house the monkeys at the Kearney Floral Company's greenhouse at 2006 Second Avenue.


        One day someone left the cages open after feeding the monkeys, and with the vents open in the roof of the greenhouse, it was a natural exit for the monkeys and they took it. Frantically Doc called the Police and the Fire Departments to help find and corral the wayward monkeys.


        The result was that the Departments used their sirens for many minutes - and eventually the monkeys were captured. But! The sirens had alerted a nearby neighbor who had a stock of bootleg whiskey for sale. Thinking the sirens were announcing a raid on her house, she frantically poured all her liquor down every available drain in her house.


         Forever after, she blamed Doc for ruining her livelihood…


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Revised: 05/03/2018