could be Buffalo's crossing the platte

 Research Papers

Today is:

                                 The Kearney Cotton Mill

Three Kearney Centennial historical markers

Erected in June 1973

        History of Kearney Centennial Park on 11th Street
        Kearney State College on east edge of campus on college curve
        Cottonmill - on west Highway 30 at east edge of plot where the cotton mill building stood

May 2016 [43 years later] Cotttonmill sign removed by Nebraska Department of Roads
        Reason given - Traffic hazard People making U turns
        Plan to put it in Cottonmill Park - mile away from actual site
            Gives impression cottonmill was beside the lake

Initial idea for a cotton mill

The most ambitious Boom Period plan for an industry in Kearney

June 1888 Two Kearney business men went to Mass. to talk to the Comnock Brothers who owned cotton mills in the New England area

        $50,000 in cash & real estate for the Comnocks
        Comnocks would build the building

More local meetings in June 1889

$250,000 raised by local businessmen pledges in about six weeks

November 30, 1889 contract signed

Other investors included Watson and George Frank

Location in West Kearney section (platted southeast/northwest & northeast/southwest)

Some facts about the cotton mill

Spindles operated 15,000

Capacity 26,000 yards unbleached muslin daily.

Employed 450 persons.


        Main mill 408 x 102, two stories, full basement
        Tower 33 x 27 feet, three (four) stories,
                      with water tank for automatic sprinklers for entire building in case of fire.

        Fan room 92 x 27 two stories.
        Power house 59 x 48 feet.
        Engine room 30 x 70 feet.
        Turbine wheel 800 horse power, water from canal; coal fire in winter
                Water from Kearney Canal in 10 pipe
                (still exists in 8 pipe now used for storm release)
        Smoke stack 28 feet square base; 125 feet tall

Bricks used in construction 7,000,000.

Car loads machinery for mill 150.

Cost construction - $400,000

Largest manufacturing plant in the state

First cotton mill west of the Mississippi

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Revised: 02/04/2018