The "Roaring Twenties"
Found news release from 1995 Wagons West that featured the Roaring Twenties”
Buffalo Tales Nov-Dec issue features photos from 50th Anniversary parade in
[from the news release] This was the decade of prohibition and Al
Capone, bobbed hair and the Charleston, the Teapot Dome scandal, the Scopes
trial, raccoon coats, talking pictures and radio. Ford Motor Company was
moving into mass production on the assembly line as cars became a necessity
of life for the average American and there was a strong campaign to develop
a nationwide road system.
photograph - 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 can
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.
In Kearney a goat parade was held to promote the downtown businesses.
"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.
The Ku Klux Klan held a big rally at the Buffalo County fairgrounds
in Kearney, Oct. 1, 1925.
The Kearney Hub 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 [?where?] to the fairgrounds was kept open by city and
"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
"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
"Those who expeced 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
The last wood bridge across the Platte River in Buffalo County was
replaced by a concrete and steel structure south of Gibbon at a cost of
Jack Knight, air mail pilot, had engine trouble and landed at the
Shelton air field to make repairs.
Shelton High School music program in the spring of 1926 included
The Sober Seniors was made up of Roy
Loffer, Leland Cook, Everett Waddington and Francis Kelly.
The Hoky Poky quartet consisted of
Mark Hackman, Richard Taylor, Fred Hehner and Alex King.
The Hayseeds included John Spahr,
Fred Schroeder, Gale Allen and Franklin Finck.
The Nebraska Lincoln Highway Association held a state meeting in
Kearney in April of 1925.
By summer the Lincoln Highway through
Buffalo County was all graveled as well as the road from Kearney to
Pleasanton. This made Buffalo County "further advanced on gravel surfacing
of state aid roads than any other county in Nebraska."
The school at Amherst was set
on fire to divert attention while the bank was robbed.
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
A. O. Thomas Building was constructed on the college campus. (1925-6).
It is now the oldest building on the UNK campus
The "new" Whittier School
building was constructed in 1920-22
The Junior High School
building (now Central Elementary School) was constructed in 1925-26
The Kearney Military Academy
closed after graduation in the spring of 1924.
Clubs in Kearney during the 1920's and their meeting locations
Elks Club - 3rd floor of City
National Bank at 2023 Central Avenue
Kearney Country Club - (had an office
in the Opera House)
Kearney Gun Club - Range at 1733
Kearney Women's Club - met at the
Chamber of Commerce
Kiwanis Club - 5th floor of Opera
House every Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.
Rotary Club - Midway Hotel every
Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.
The Midway Amusement Park (located on the site of the former cotton
Opened late in 1920 and was open
during the 1921 and 1922 seasons.
had a swimming pool, dance hall, some game booths, and an area where movies
The 1733 Amusement park
Opened on June 15, 1925.
had a pool, dance hall, picnic area and playground.
Good Samaritan Hospital
Dedicated in July, 1924.
(3 stories high)
First expansion, addition of 4th and
5th floors, done in 1929
Kaufmann-Wernert building was
built on the northwest corner of 22nd and Central Avenue. 1922 –
It was reported that excavation for
the new Bodinson and Knutzen apartment house on 24th Street and 5th
Avenue was well under way. April 4, 1923
The Elliot Motor Lodge was
constructed on West Lincoln Highway in 1927.
It had two rows of individual cabins and a tearoom.
The business was purchased by Dean Cannon in 1945 and renamed the Cannon
The tearoom became the first location of Bico’s Café.
The site was purchased by the Buckle and is now partially covered by the
addition they recently added to their warehouse to accommodate their online