- mechanics work on cars, trucks, tractors, airplanes
Basically – one who works on motors
Census records – Source of
information in research
Blog – The Legal Genealogist by
Judy Russell wrote about the legal definition of “Mechanic”
Instructions to those
taking census was that if they were not a farmer they could be listed as a
Definition of mechanic at that time – a workman who used
tools to shape or unite materials like wood or metal to make a machine or
structure or other object
Carpenter, blacksmith, harness maker were all mechanics
Don’t call them
mechanics if it is possible to be more specific.
1880 census for Kearney
– the first for the city – has more descriptive
words for occupations
Avoid using the word mechanic. Call them blacksmiths, masons, carpenters
1889 in Kearney
– moving into the boom period when there was a lot of building
Mechanics were the blue collar workers who put things together, who built
Moses L. Phelps filed a mechanic’s lien in
district court yesterday. He had contracted with a man to furnish lumber for
building a barn for a cost of $322.14. The balance was to be paid by May 6,
1889 but $72.14 plus interest was still due.
Labor Day was to be celebrated for laboring men and mechanics
11-2-1889 – A city meeting of persons interested in installing a sewerage
system in Kearney met at the opera house. “It was a representative meeting
of every class of persons interested in Kearney’s welfare – the merchant,
banker, lawyer, mechanic and laborer.”
11-13-1889 – An oatmeal factory was to be constructed in Kearney providing
the prospect of work for many mechanics and laboring-men
Apparently the mechanics
were the men who knew how to build or make the item, the ones in charge, and
the laborers worked for them
– autos on the scene – Definition
shifted to the current meaning
1918 – One Hundred years ago in Kearney
February – While awaiting the
second call of the draft, several young men in the region, including Ben
Swartz of Buffalo County, were getting training to be auto mechanics so they
could go into the transportation department when they are inducted into the
England had 100,000 mechanics at that point and our country would need at
least that many.
March – The US Army was looking
for mechanics in the aviation field.
– Ernest M Crosby was in Kansas City taking a course in automobile, truck
and tractor mechanics.
[We think of the men going into the Army as going to the front, rifle in
hand, to fight.
But support personnel were needed.]
General Pershing was calling for 1,000 bricklayers for work to be done in
5,000 spruce lumbermen to go into the woods to bring out spruce lumber for
construction of airplanes
April – UNL applied to the war
department committee on education to establish a program for training in
military mechanics for 600-800 enlisted men
927 arrived in Lincoln to take the 2-month instruction in mechanics. Each
wore an olive-colored arm band until they got uniforms.
Six Buffalo County men volunteered to go to an auto school in Kansas City
for training to operate tractor engines or be auto mechanics upon entering
men from Buffalo County went to Lincoln to train to be mechanics after being
inducted into the service.
mechanic working at Tollefsen Motor Company was injured when the tire he was
– The Red Cross put out a call for 300 women motor car drivers to go to
They wanted women 25 or older who had ability as drivers or mechanics.
They would not qualify if they had husbands or sons in any branch of the
September – Frank Gillette went
from Buffalo County to Detroit to be a mechanic in the ship yards.
1918 – War ended so all the mechanics came home.
Aug 20,1889 – About Town
---A child belonging to
Mr. Louie Snowdon died yesterday [of scarlet fever] and was buried at 10
o’clock this morning.
---A closer observation would lend enchantment to
the view if that mud puddle was removed from the vicinity of the drinking
fountain on the corner of 21st street. The view is obnoxious and the smell
---Sheriff Davis, of Gage County, contributed
another member to the Industrial School yesterday.
---Capt. Forehand, your
attention is respectfully directed to the condition of the sidewalk between
Beckett house and the National hotel. The property was sold yesterday, but
that doesn’t improve the sidewalk.
[Forehand was the street commissioner who was also responsible for
Explanation about sale of property ---
Another Photograph Gallery
J. M. Strickmaker, of New
Philadelphia, Ohio, bought a lot on Central avenue yesterday of Mr. Aitken,
on which he will erect a building and open a photograph gallery. The lot is
situated on the vacant space between the Beckett house and the National
hotel. The lot adjacent to the Beckett house belongs to Mr. Beckett, the
next lot north is the property herein mentioned and formerly owned by a Mr.
Axtell. Mr. Sherwood owns the lot adjoining the National hotel. This is not
news but will aid the street commissioner in assigning the cost for the