could be Buffalo's crossing the platte

 Research Papers

Today is:

                                                      Controversy & Problems

A. Placing the rails

Aug 21, 1889 – The Motor Line---Keep to the Middle of the Road---A Lively Squabble

    It was reported that the company building the line on 25th St. want to place it on the south side of the street near the row of trees, make a sharp turn at the sidewalk near the office of Ingrahm and Steele. [on corner of 25th & Central]

    Follow the old streetcar line down the center of Central Ave. to the south part of town.

    Article ended by saying the company appears to believe they can put the route wherever they wish without council approval and that several council members do not approve of the described plan so there might be quite a squabble.

Aug 22, 1889 – Mr. Frank Explains

    Frank responded by saying this is misinformation. They know they need council approval and a route has not been determined yet.

    His experience in running the street cars in the last month and a half has shown that at the rate of 5˘ per fare, except during the GAR reunion, there was no profit.

    He did not believe that for the first few years the electric streetcar would be a paying investment

B. Phone lines vs. Car lines

May 20, 1890 – City Council meeting

    Two representatives of the telephone company explained the difficulty of using the street to run its wires and where the phone and electric motor wires would conflict.

    The council’s ordinance committee agreed to meet with the two the next day to work out the conflicting interests.

    (All this wiring was on poles, no underground lines in those days.)

C. Opera House Construction

July 26, 1890 – Citizens are Kicking

    A board fence had been erected on the north and east sides of the opera house constructed site.  Outside this there was a narrow sidewalk.

    The complaints were twofold.
        1) because the sidewalk was so narrow, pedestrians frequently collided.
        2) The space between the walk and the street car track was so narrow that barely 3 feet was left between the street car and the horse of a passing wagon. The drivers had to jump down and hold the horses to calm them.

D. Crossing the UP Tracks

Aug 8, 1890 – Local Notes

    The motor track where it crosses the main line of the U. P. will have to be covered

    Brake-rods of the passing trains hit on it.
    A “shoe” and a good sized casting have already broken off in going over.

E. Children

May 6, 1895 – An Ordinance

    Section II. It shall be unlawful for children or boys under eighteen years of age to get on or off a moving train car or street car in the city of Kearney.


A. Killed by the Motor – May 21, 1891

    1st collusion since the electric cars started running.

    A delivery man going north on Central ave.
        The motor came up from behind.

    When they were about even the horse suddenly startled and lunged, going in front of the street car.

    The drayman tried to back up but the wagon shaft caught in the brake dragging the horse under the wheels.
        One foreleg was crushed and the other one badly cut. “a shot in the head put an end to its misery.”

B. Almost Fatally Injured – Aug 9, 1892

    Farmer living about 14 fourteen miles south of Kearney, was driving toward home

    Near the court house on Central his horses, frightened by the electric cars, ran away frantically.

    Farmer was thrown out of his wagon, got tangled in the lines, was dragged, & mangled.
        His head and face were bruised, several teeth knocked out and one ear almost torn off
            He was also injured internally.

    The doctor pronounced his injuries very serious but not necessarily fatal.

C. A Narrow Escape – Jan 6, 1893

    A gentleman was riding in a buggy when the horse became frightened at the street car.

        He jumped out to hold the animal and slipped, falling across the rails.

    The streetcar stopped, but the wheels struck him
        “aside from giving him a good scare no harm was done.”

    The gentleman did not care to repeat the performance right away.

D. A Fatal Fall – Aug 5, 1893

    A horse trader was astride a pony which he was watering at the drinking fountain in front of the Beckett House
        (1 ˝ blocks south of railroad on Central)

    An electric car that was passing frightened the horse.

    It started to run, slipped on a rail of the street car track threw the rider, and fell on him.

    He was carried to the Wyoming hotel, attended by Dr. Duckworth, but was past medical aid, and died.

    Little was known of the man other than he was a horse trader and had been living for a short time in a tent near the lake.

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Revised: 02/04/2018