New Years Activities
Weather – 0 to 40º, windy, sometimes snow, sometimes not or flurries
1890 - Temperatures were at 0
1891 - Weather was cold with strong winds.
1893 - Temperature during the day 40 degrees, dry and clear.
1895 - Temperature 10 in morning, up to 40 in afternoon.
1896 - Snow flurries
1900 - Weather on Jan. 1 a “little boisterous and breezy”
Kearney Lake – Usually frozen, young
people ice skated, wind blew sand on ice one year, ice harvested
1890 - many young people ice skating on
1894 - Ice on Kearney Lake was 10” thick
1895 - Skating on Kearney Lake
1896 - Two boys skating on Kearney Lake fell in.
1901 - Ice harvest had begun
During Boom Period – 1890 – 1893
New Year’s Eve (“Watch Parties”) or
New Year’s Day evening dancing and card parties
Dances at the Midway Hotel usually for young singles
A mask ball at the Model [opera house at 2110 Ave B, originally a
the costumes were varied and fantastic.”
A dance at The Tower, [Kearney Country Club] home of W. C. Tillson,
Attended by various young people and some leaders in Kearney society.
(1893) - “A Brilliant Social Event”
A german [type of dance] given by Mr. & Mrs. R. L. Downing.
Hundreds of burning candles in clusters of holly added to the elegance
of the home. Elegant refreshments. Guests included the leading business
men in Kearney and their wives.
[R. L. Downing & John Bartlett started Kearney Flour Mill and
Not the Downing that donated their home
to Kearney women’s club.
One of promoters of Kearney Canal in
A stockholder in the Midway Brick Co.
which became Mannix Brick Co.]
1894 – End of Boom & economic depression
[no parties reported]
Rest of ‘90’s – Social Activity but not as much or as large
1895 - Social activity in the Midway City – a revival during the
New Year’s Day activities of outdoor and healthy nature – made possible by
Ice at Kearney Lake in fine
condition, attracted crowds
Bicyclists and carriage parties
The Buffalo Club [a social
organization of the city's prominent business men]
celebrated its first year with a gathering of businessmen
Mrs Ray and her daughters entertained
about 40 young people at their home on New Year’s Day Eve.
A high-five party with prizes
New Year’s Eve “watch party” by Miss
Minnie Norris of West Kearney.
A small party drove out there in the moonlight (8 guests)
Finch sisters entertained several
friends at a card party New Year’s Day Eve
1896 - The Delsarte class [female] at the Up to Date college held a
New Year’s Day afternoon reception with cocoa, coffee, and wafers. In the
evening there was a dance in the business room.
Mr. & Mrs. L. N. Mowry, East Lawn, entertained friends at New Year’s party
1897 - Young people gathered at Clark residence, played whist for a
couple hours, had dinner and watched the new year in.
New Year’s Eve party at home of Mrs. C. E. Calkins. Assembled at 9 pm. Piano
and violin music. Dancing in parlor, whist in library, luncheon in kitchen
which became a dining room. Welcomed in new year with a western quadrille,
and evening ended with a Virginia reel.
On Friday evening Mr. & Mrs. Russell of the Platte Institute gave a party
for their students and friends. The large commercial room was used for
dancing. Maud Marston attended both affairs. She and Ed Finch led the Grand
March which opened this ball.
Giving to poor
1892 - On the evening of Jan. 2 there was a pound social at
the G.A.R. hall.
Everyone was to bring a pound of something which would be distributed.
1894 - Flour and fuel was distributed to needy families on New Year’s
They found 40 families, about the usual number for that time of year.
1895 - Coal and bread to be distributed to the needy
Turn of the Century
– Fewer parties reported, not as many big “social events”
1900 - Mrs. Maze
entertained her Sunday School class of boys for a New Year’s Day dinner.
1901 - Members of the Methodist church held a watch meeting to see in
the new year
Boys at Industrial School got a
special New Years day dinner
Mr. & Mrs. J L Tout entertained both
Monday (4 couples) & Tuesday nights (11 people) in their hotel rooms at the
Midway Hotel with cards and refreshments.
1902 - Large turnout for the masked ball on New Year’s Eve
1903 – Masquerade ball at the Armory New Years night.
Floor in excellent condition for dancing, just enough attending so it was
not over crowded.
Costumes varied from elaborate to grotesque ands ludicrous.
New Years Eve contest in tournament
between five couples at the Miller Alley.
Two teams of five each with the couples split.
1904 - New Years Eve surprise party given by Methodist chorus class
for their leader, Mrs. Claypool.
Box social at Glenwood school New
Years night, a benefit for the Glenwood library.
1905 - Monday night dance at Armory given by band boys.
– At Armory
1895 - Company A held its
annual ball at the Armory with orchestra and dancing.
Polished dance floor “aided every
variety of terpsichorean [turp’-si-kə-rē’ən] effort the friends of the
militiamen undertook” [Terpsichore (turp-sik’ə-rē’) in Greek mythology, the
muse of dancing]
1896 - Company A had a dance at the Armory New Years Day evening.
Fair crowd but not larger possibly because of Fireman’s ball a week ago.
1904 - Company A had a dance at the Armory New Years night, largely
attended and successful.
– At City Hall
1895 - Annual ball of Wide Awake Hose co. at city hall, probably New
1897 - ’96-’97 Fireman’s Fair was held at the Armory. Large group on
New Year’s Eve.
1900 - First annual ball of Wide Awake Hose Co. No. 2 to be that
1901 - The Wide Awake Hose Co. No. 2 held a successful ball New Years
– Food provided and served by the ladies
of the WCTU at the WCTU hospital. Except for a couple of years when it was
held at City Hall.
Apparently began in 1896
1896 - W. C. T. U. New Year Dinner
Given at their rooms.
About 100 present.
After the meal the tables were removed from the dining room and there was a
Songs and speeches directed by Rev. Trueblood.
Judge Newel, 94 last Sept., spoke.
Hannah Holt, 87, oldest lady present, sang 3 songs.
6-year old girl stood on a chair and sang a lengthy song.
1897 - “New Year’s Dinner
Fine Entertainment Given By he Ladies
of the W. C. T. U. at the Hospital
150 at the dinner but there was
plenty of food.
What was left over went to poor families.
There was singing by Mr. & Mrs. M A Brown,
talk by a minister who then provided more music with his wife.
Then there was a prayer in Swedish given by a minister for the benefit of a
Swedish lady living at the hospital
1899 - Old peoples dinner Saturday at WCTU hospital was success.
1900 - WCTU dinner at the hospital for the old people of the city to
be Jan. 2
1902 - WCTU’s dinner for the old folks was held at City Hall and a
1903 - “A Feast for the Old Folks
Dinner at the City Hall New Years, a
Large number attended, seemed to have
a good time.
Sang songs, told of past experiences
told by everyone.
Lots of food.
1904 - Old folks dinner at WCTU hospital on New Years day, an
enjoyable occasion as usual
1905 - “Annual Dinner of Kearney Old People
A Highly Enjoyable Event Takes Place
The annual reunion of the old people of Kearney took place
last Saturday at the W. C. T. U. hospital under the supervision of Mother
Food and serviced contributed by
ladies of WCTU.
After dinner there was a program – singing by the audience, prayer,
recitations by young girls, and a drill exercise, a duet, three speeches by
local people and one by a lady from Methodist Hospital in Omaha. Then two
more musical numbers, a closing prayer and benediction by Moses Sydenham,
Oldest pioneer settler of central and western Nebraska. [died in 1907]
Large attendance, both men and women.
19th Century Club
1903 - A new years night social event was held by the 19th Century
club beginning at 7:30 and lasting until 10:30. There was a musical program
with various vocal, violin and piano numbers. Refreshments of a bowl of
fruit punch, coffee and sandwiches were served.
1905 - 19th Century Club had their annual New Years eve reception
Saturday night. The hall was decorated with potted plants and in pink and
green. Orchestra music and two vocal numbers. Refreshments served during the
evening. Regret expressed that larger attendance of members and their
friends was prevented due to numerous social events of holiday week.
Other Events going on -
1890 - When you drive along the streets take the right hand side. Be
sure you do so.
1891 - “Masons on the cotton mill were expected to resume work this
afternoon. (Jan. 2)
The cotton mill contractor, M. C. Cummins, has not been heard from further
than he is on road, but he is expected daily now.” (Jan. 2)
‘The cracker factory whistle resumed its tooting this morning, and
operations were resumed.”(Jan. 2)
“Oatmeal mill bids fair to follow the paper mill, and be blown away
piecemeal before it gets to running. The gale of Wednesday night [New Years
Eve] took off the engine room, at the oatmeal mill, and landed it some
twenty feet away. Then the brick walls were blown in, leaving the corners
only standing. The damage will be considerable.” (Jan. 2)
1897 - Sunday sermon titles
Presbyterian church – The Religion of the future, what will it be?
Methodist – Taking Stock [looking back]
Baptist – Go Forward [looking ahead]
1899 – Spanish/American War - Members of the 3rd Nebr.
Regiment at Camp Onward at Savannah, GA, packed up and shipped out right at
1900 – Welcome the new century - “The Kearney Flouring Mill ushered
in the new year with a full head of steam and a vigorous blowing of the
steam whistle. Residents thereabout thought that Gabriel had come.”
1901 - All county officers worked on New Year’s Day [Tuesday]
1902 - More gold in the US treasury than ever before – $615,319,367.
[6 hundred million]
Four times Bank of England or Germany
1 ½ times France
"A barrel of bottled beer was left
outside the depot building Thursday evening by an employee of F. M. Greene
for shipment on the K&BH. The depot agent was not told so it was not brought
in. It was not there Friday morning. Mr. Greene at least wants the empty
1905 - City Council declared that boys and young men loitering in the
hall when dances are held at the City Hall building will have to leave the
building. They are bothering the young ladies who attend the dances.
McBride died – 1894 - Grandma McBride died last evening [Jan. 1]
[Lydia McBride, in Iowa in 1860 w/ husband Charles, Melvina & Mary
In 1890 she lived at 1715 Ave E, probably with Mary]
Died of Old Age
Grandma McBride, the old lady who fell out of bed a few days ago as
mentioned in the Hub at the time, died at her home last evening, aged 87
years, 6 months, 6 days. The funeral services will be held from Trinity M.
E. church tomorrow morning at 10 o’clock conducted by Rev. Cook. The
deceased was born in New York state, but has lived in this city several
years, She has been confined to her bed for some time past and at last died
from old age.
[Hub Jan 2, 1894]