could be Buffalo's crossing the platte

 Research Papers

Today is:

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.
            Hanson was 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, Harness maker
        1841 – Born in Vermont Apr 27

        1872 – Came to Kearney , in harness and saddle business

            Leading businessman for almost 40 years –

            President of Kearney National Bank for several years

            One of 7 directors who built the Opera House.

            Served several terms on the Kearney City Council.

            Represented 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 his death
            Rollin – living in Los Angeles, on world tour last heard from in India

            George – owner of Kearney Floral & the Kearney Steam Laundry

Kearney Floral

    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 the business.

    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 each visitor/lady.

    Oct 14, 1908 –One hot house had chrysanthemum plants, now in full bloom.

    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]

        Downing’s business building
        1882 – (after 10 years in business in Kearney)
            Built brick 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 Schweizers building)

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 March 1890

3. Linnaus (L. C.) Gregg
        1837 – Born in Bracken Co. Kentucky Sept 25

        1890 – Came to Kearney
            March 8 – Wright & Gregg Dry Goods opened at 2106 Central in south half of Downing’s building
            June – L. C. Gregg began building a fine residence within a block of W A Downing house

        1891 – End one business, start another
            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 began “Annialation”

        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.
                Cedar shelving.
                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 Kearney
            Managed store for his father

        1903 –
            April – Became owner of store when father died
            May – Chair of the citizens’ normal school committee.
            Summer – painting & repairing the store
                Business advertising as L. C. Gregg Estate
        1904 –
            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.
        1913 –
            March – Gregg announced he was retiring and closing the store (age 48)
            May – all stock sold

        1914 –
            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 ....

Water Works
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 tracking

Double tracks were being laid down on the UP in Wyoming during the summer of 1911.

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 remove it.

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.”


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Revised: 02/08/2018