Four Stories from the Past
#1 The Frog Pond on Railroad Avenue
of the streets in Kearney were paved until after 1900.)
Sep 12, 1923
Frog Pond Nothing New to Old Timers
From the Daily Nebraskan Times,
May 14, 1874
[This was three years after the Collins family arrived; two years after the
junction was completed. ]
People in Kearney were complaining about the low
spots on Railroad Street near the depot and the poor drainage. They wished
the city councilmen would do something about the frog pond.
They realize we want an
economical government but the mud holes do not present a good impression on
first time visitors who leave here with the impression we live in a swamp.
There was also
a slough or swamp along Wyoming (Central) Avenue and between two business
the city did not want to spend the money, it was suggested men who are
working off their poll tax could work on these spots instead of being taken
a few miles out of town to work on the roads leading into town.
Also a couple of plow
furrows going east from Wyoming could drain that area.
Story #2 Kearney
Boom Period Property Values
Nov. 7, 1889 An Imposing
In 1875 a small store sat on a corner on Wyoming
(Central) Avenue, a meat market.
That lot and the one adjoining had been purchased
by a man named Walker, from the UP for $450. Walker operated a ferry
across the Platte since there was no bridge yet.
Walker died and businessman H. C. Andrews
purchased the two lots from the estate for $25.
With times so hard with
the grasshoppers and people moving out of the county, the $25 was considered
the value of the store with the lots thrown in.
14 years later in 1889
Kearney was in its Boom Period. Andrews had four different offers for those
lots for $20,000 which he refused.
Instead he built the 3-story bank building at the
cost of $81,000 on the southeast corner of 21st & Central
Story #3 - Fred
March 3, 1899 - Pleasanton Fred ____, who
has been visiting with relatives in Kansas, has returned after an absence of
about two months. Some of the young ladies are wearing broad smiles since
Fred has returned.
Whatever happened to Fred?
A year later one young lady in particular was
smiling because on March 7 Anna ____, also of Pleasanton, and Fred were
had grown up in Illinois where he worked as a surveyor and carried mail.
Then he came to Pleasanton where his sister lived.
He farmed in Pleasant
Valley; he and Anna had two children, a son and a daughter. When he
retired he & Anna moved to Kearney.
Fred died in 1966 at age 89. I found him buried in
two different cemeteries.
At death Fred was buried in the Pleasanton
lived to be 101. When she died in 1978, their daughter, who had married and
was living in Kearney, purchased a 4-space plot in the Kearney Cemetery.
She had her mother
buried there and moved her father from the Pleasanton to be buried next to
his wife. Eventually she and her husband were buried in the other two
Story #4 A Big Fat Boy
March 3, 1899 - Sartoria Born to
James & Louisa, a big fat boy. Mother and child are doing well.
What was the story
about this family?
James came from Iowa, Louise from Austria. They
married in about 1887.
This big fat boy was their 8th child (one had
died, possibly the baby before this one), all born in Nebraska
Four more children were
born in the next nine years, all in Washington, where the family apparently
moved in about 1901 or 1902.
They lived near Mountain View where James had a
the older sons were grown they married and acquired farms next to their
they all lived side by side the road past their places was named after them.
As for the big fat
boy, he dropped out of high school after one year and worked for his father
on the dairy farm. By 1940, the last census published, he was still living
with his now widowed father. He had not married, and was working in