Hanson, cont., Downing, Gregg
(Where connections with Women’s Club House Lead Us)
1. Charles E. Hanson
Built the Women’s Club house in 1885-6
Sold house to Downing in 1886
Prominent real estate agent in
Kearney during the Boom
(Where did he go?)
March 24 – The Midway Hotel burned.
one of six businessmen who had offices there who had no insurance.
Aug 18 – Hanson had returned from a
trip to Chicago and would soon move his family there.
Aug 19 – C E Hanson and family have
gone to Chicago to reside.
[When he came
from Sweden, he came to the Chicago area.]
2. Wallace A. (W A) Downing,
1841 – Born in Vermont Apr 27
1872 – Came to Kearney , in harness
and saddle business
businessman for almost 40 years –
Kearney National Bank for several years
One of 7
directors who built the Opera House.
several terms on the Kearney City Council.
Kearney on the County Board of Supervisors.
1911 – Retired due to failing health
1912 – Died Jan 1
Had two brothers left at the time of
living in Los Angeles, on world tour last heard from in India
George – owner of Kearney Floral & the Kearney Steam Laundry
April 11, 1908 –
Opened by George Downing and son, Irving
Jan 1908 – 3 Greenhouses and brick office under construction
on 2nd Ave. north of the railroad.
Brought in an experienced florist from Oklahoma City to run
Grand Opening on Apr 11 – 1-6 in afternoon, 7- 10 evening.
1700 rose plants have been planted.
1000 visitors, mandolin & harp music
carnation or yellow tulip given to
Oct 14, 1908 –One hot house had chrysanthemum plants, now in
Dec. 17, 1908 – “The Kearney Floral company is showing a new
California flower called the ‘poinsettia’ which is quite an oddity”
Apr. 6, 1914 – Kearney Floral purchased a Ford car to use at
the green house.
[Back to W. A. Downing]
1882 – (after 10 years in business in
2-story building on Central for his harness making business
(2106 & 2108,
west side of street, 2nd building from south end – next to the old
About 1888 Hanson also built a
2-story building downtown on the east side of Central Avenue,
between 21st and 22nd Street which was the post office in early
years. [north of Downing’s building]
[appropriate since he was postmaster of Phelps Center]
Downing used north ½ of his building (2108), rented out the south ½ (2106)
Wright & Gregg Dry Goods opened in
3. Linnaus (L. C.) Gregg
1837 – Born in Bracken Co. Kentucky
1890 – Came to Kearney
March 8 –
Wright & Gregg Dry Goods opened at 2106 Central in south half of Downing’s
June – L. C.
Gregg began building a fine residence within a block of W A Downing house
1891 – End one business, start
May 4 –
Wright & Gregg closed due to mortgage attachments
Sept. 3 –
Gregg returned from trip to New York, Philadelphia and Chicago buying goods
for his new store
Sept 12 –
grand opening of new L. C. Gregg dry goods store [at same location]
Sept – Dec –
Sale of stock in bankrupt Wright & Gregg store
At 2113 Central, the old Boston Shoe Store [across the street]
Dec. 28 ad
Next 7 years – Gregg’s store
regularly advertised in the newspaper
1899 – New building
Apr 15 –
Gregg purchased the old Swenson store on Central Ave
Had been a Cigar store which recently burned
Tore it down
July 1 –
Greg’s new building will be built by Richard Hibbard.
One story high, the width of the entire lot.
a “few doors north” of the old store.
[1908 city dir: 2110 Central – between Downing & Hanson buildings???]
Sept. 9 – New
store open - Store is 130’ long and 25’ wide.
15’ ceiling, white walls & ceiling.
Sixteen foot skylight for additional light.
Four arc lamps and 25 incandescents
Gallery across rear was a second floor with railing –
Waiting room with chairs, table & couch, and a women’s toilet.
Below was men’s toilet and “other conveniences.”
Office later moved back here from somewhere in front
Music all day and evening at opening
A pianola was loaned for a week. [Player piano]
1903, April 11 – Linneus Gregg died
at his home
Left wife, Martha, son, Charles H., two daughters not living in Kearney
Brother, John, in Toledo, Ohio
Apr 22, 1903 – When John Gregg
was here for his brother’s funeral he was so impressed with the
area that he looked at land for sale. After returning home he
telegraphed the real estate agent, Barney, to close the deal on
a farm adjoining the Kearney city limits and he moved here. [If
he did, he did not stay. In 1910 he was back in Ohio]
4. Charles (C. H.) Gregg [the son]
1865 – Born in Kentucky
1890 – (age 25) came with family to
for his father
Became owner of store when father died
May – Chair
of the citizens’ normal school committee.
painting & repairing the store
Business advertising as L. C. Gregg Estate
April – the
estate was settled leaving C H Gregg major owner of the store he had been
managing for 14 years.
Business began advertising as C H Gregg & Co.
June – C H
Gregg was appointed to the State Board of Education.
Outgoing member from Omaha had been proposed for reappointment
Governor felt since a new normal school had been located at Kearney
city should be represented on the Board.
Over next year he was involved in letting bids for various aspects of
constructing a Normal School campus.
March – Gregg
announced he was retiring and closing the store (age 48)
May – all
Jan 1 –
beginning of new company Blaugas, [blue gas]
Organized by several Kearney businessmen
Office in Kearney, under management of C H Gregg.
Blaugas is liquefied bottled gas.
Planned to sell in Buffalo, Dawson, Phelps & Kearney Counties
Also in real estate business
Died in April 1935 – age 69 yrs 6 mo.
And Also ....
1900 Water Works was apparently a private business. That summer they
watered the cemetery and billed the city. City balked at paying, legal
action followed and decided in March 1901 to put to a vote of the people
whether the city should own and operate its own water works.
Double tracks were being laid down on the UP in Wyoming during the summer of
Dec. 6, 1889 – A Kearney woman severely injured her finger when she jabbed
it with a crochet hook. Because of the fish hook type end, a doctor had to
Jan 27, 1890 – The Hub announced that one of its reporters was leaving
Kearney for a job elsewhere. After singing his praises, the article ended,
“He has only one fault. He don’t like the girls, Charley don’t.”