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
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
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
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  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
[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
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
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.
“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.
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…