Flashback Friday: How Shall We Make Beatrice Grow!”: Clara Bewick Colby and the Beatrice Public Library Association in the 1870s

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The decade of the 1870s was a period of enormous growth and prosperity for the city of Beatrice. Founded in 1857 in Gage County on the Big Blue River, the “Queen City of the Blue” grew slowly until the arrival of a reliable stage route in 1868, and rail in 1871. Organized as a city in 1872, by 1873 the population had increased to more than 1,000. Occupying the county seat, Beatrice boasted its permanence in fine stone and brick buildings, upscale residences, and vigorous mercantile and industrial districts. Churches had taken root; the common school enrolled 260 pupils and was taught nine months of the year. The county courthouse and the land office for the southern portion of the state were located in town, and commerce and trade boomed. The production of lumber, coal, and flour employed many residents, and the Beatrice Express boasted that citizens could patronize “six general stores, two drug stores, three hardware stores, two furniture stores, one agricultural depot, five blacksmith shops, two harness shops, two shoe shops, two jewelers, four milliners, six carpenter shops, two wagon shops, two tin shops, two butcher shops, one barber shop, one bakery, one brewery, two banks, two livery stables, half a dozen or more boarding houses, three restaurants and two saloons.”

These businesses were not, as Nebraska historian A. T. Andreas explained, “built for temporary use by capitalists expecting to soon reap an abundant fortune and return in a few years to the East to enjoy it, but on the contrary, by men who have located here permanently, for the purpose of making this their home.” But permanent prosperity for Beatrice also meant it would need to design itself as a place where the best women and men of this new America in the West would want to stay. Business, industry, and agriculture put food on the table, but left the improved mind hungry for more. Not surprisingly then, the wives of men intent on building business determined that Beatrice would have amenities to build the town’s society and culture-and within a short period, there sprang up a variety of clubs and organizations designed to edify residents. Among those groups was one focused on establishing a public library.

As historians of libraries in the West have shown, public libraries were an important benchmark of respectability, especially in the emerging West in the years preceding the establishment of professional public librarianships and government-run public libraries. The social institution of the library reflected a community’s progressive cultural values in that it provided democratic opportunities for recreation, self-improvement, and Americanization. Libraries were also seen as a civilizing influence and as a vehicle for civic reform-especially during the early years of the temperance era when many positioned libraries as an institution that could support moral order and serve as an antidote to the scourge of liquor and other less wholesome pursuits.

Women’s associations served an important role in culture-building and reform throughout the West during the Gilded Age and Progressive Era; however, in comparison to historical work on other cultural institutions, there have been few studies of what historian Paula D. Watson notes as women’s “massive, nationwide influence on the growth of one of our most important public institutions, especially outside of the urban areas of the northeast.” Similarly, historian Anne Firor Scott has called for an examination of women’s roles in the early years of the public library movement in order to better understand “the tremendous social change represented by the education of women, the development of women’s organizations, and then the movement of women into public political activity.” In other words, educated, civic-minded women used public libraries for building community and fostering municipal pride through cultural enrichment. Libraries were also a means for propagating social values and creating pathways for women to enter into civic dialogue and larger social roles. The public library of Beatrice fits this model; as a result, the history of the earliest years of public library activity in Beatrice is best told by beginning with the association of women who were instrumental to its founding and development. Especially important is one woman at the center of that activity: Clara Bewick Colby, Beatrice’s first librarian, whose vision and volunteerism sustained library activity during the 1870s.

The entire essay written by Kristin Mapel Bloomberg appears in the Winter 2011 issue.

 

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The Walter Savidge Amusement Company

Traveling shows were a popular form of entertainment in the United States in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.  They came in all shapes and sizes and could consist of anywhere from one person to hundreds of employees.  Some shows served as a family’s supplemental source of income, while others were large business operations employing many people.  Late spring and summer were popular times for theatrical troupe performances, carnivals, and circuses.  Shows incorporated multiple entertainment styles, blending elements of comedy, dramatics, exhibitions, hands-on amusement, and music.  Circus shows—featuring acrobatic tricks and wild animals—combined with Wild West shows—full of rootin’ tootin’ cowboys and “savage” Indians (Figure 1)—traveling by railroad were common in the early 20th century.  Occasionally, in order to compete, shows attempted to distinguish themselves.  Traveling shows had to get bigger and better in order to continually attract customers.

One of the most prominent traveling shows performing in small towns in rural Nebraska and surrounding states in the early 20th century was the Walter Savidge Amusement Company.  From 1906 to 1941 the business and its entourage, originally known as the Savidge Brothers Amusement Company, spent April through September journeying to and working in Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota, Wyoming, and Kansas communities.  Though the length of engagements varied, the Company usually spent several days in one location.  Once there they offered customers a wide variety of entertainments, including carnival rides and freak shows.

How people spend their free time reveals intricacies—sometimes hidden, occasionally obvious– about place, time, and identity.  What people did for fun in local places exposes, for instance, the complexities of what was occurring at the state, national, and global scales.  As individuals engage in entertainment, they shape their cultural and physical spaces—creating a cultural landscape– and, in turn, these spaces, this cultural landscape, shapes them.  With such knowledge, we can then recognize how entertainment reflected social life and the intricacies and larger scale trends of race, ethnicity, gender, age, class, nationality, and religion.  Indeed, historical geography—with its emphasis on the characteristics of place throughout time– has much to tell us.  At its core, a place’s cultural landscape is an “unwitting autobiography, reflecting our tastes, our values, our aspirations, and even our fears, in tangible, visible form.”

This study examines cultural landscapes through a historical geography lens, by exploring the intersections of place, time, and entertainment in rural Nebraska primarily from the mid-1910s to the early 1940s.  By specifically showcasing the Walter Savidge Amusement Company we can discover some of the intricate characteristics of traveling shows, an entertainment that was well-known to people of the time, but has largely since been forgotten.

During the late 19th and early 20th centuries there was a concern that traditional Victorian American morality was under fire.  Many felt, for instance, that the industrialized city was

increasingly a place of corruption and stifling evil.  If the American people– native-born European American Christians that is– were to progress and flourish as a race, they must get out of the evil city.

Check out the full article in the 2017 summer issue of Nebraska History

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Timeline Tuesday: Gaining and Losing: James C. Dahlman and William Howard Taft

Mayor James “Cowboy Jim” Dahlman of Omaha. From Omaha Police Department Official Historical Souvenir (1909).

   James C. Dahlman, the colorful “perpetual mayor of Omaha,” made a jovial offer to President William Howard Taft just prior to Taft’s brief visit to Omaha in September of 1909. Mayor Dahlman, said the Omaha Daily News of August 14, “has become imbued with a strong desire to take on a little adipose tissue. He wants to add to his stage presence [when delivering Chautauqua lectures] by increasing his girth an inch or so and otherwise making his anatomical perspective more pleasing when viewed from a chautauqua seat. . . . On the other hand, President Taft wants to rid himself of something like fifty pounds of embonpoint. He has engaged a masseur and is taking daily exercises.”

Taft’s weight fluctuated throughout his life although it peaked during his stressful presidential years. Remembered as the largest man ever to be president, he weighed well over three hundred pounds during his term of office. Once he was said to have stuck in the White House bathtub and had to be pried out. Afterwards a wider tub, built especially for him, was installed. No one had more humor about Taft’s weight than Taft himself. He famously joked that he was the perfect gentleman because he once gave up his seat on a streetcar to three ladies.

The Daily News said: “There is a difference of nearly 200 pounds between the weights of the president and mayor of Omaha. What one is so anxiously trying to rid himself of, the other is hopefully trying to acquire.” Doubtless as a publicity stunt, Dahlman sent Taft a letter that was also shared with the Omaha press, including the News: ‘Dear Mr. President: I see by the press dispatches that you are taking a course of treatment to reduce your flesh. I have been trying to increase mine, but have failed up to now. If you will give me some pointers as to how to get fat, I will give you some as to how to get lean. These exchanges of ideas will be based on practical experience and therefore should bring about results. My secret I will gladly disclose to you only, provided you will do the same with me. Hoping to hear from you, and wishing you all kinds of success, I am, Yours truly, J. C. Dahlman, Mayor.'”

The Daily News on September 21 returned to the topic after a welcoming dinner attended by Dahlman and President Taft. Dahlman mentioned the offer during the dinner, not to Taft directly but to one of the assistant secretaries in the president’s entourage. The reply: “‘Of course, the president has been very busy arranging for this trip . . . . We received your letter all right and had a hearty laugh over it. You can take it from me, that the president has been taking off weight.'”

The mayor replied: “‘You may inform the president for me that I have been taking on weight and feel very pleased with my efforts to grow heavy.”

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Marker Monday: Scotts Bluff Army Air Field

Welcome to Marker Monday! Each Monday we will feature one of Nebraska’s hundreds of historical markers

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Location

Apron Dr, Western Nebraska Regional Airport (BFF), Scotts Bluff County, Nebraska

View this marker’s location 41.869937, -103.5942

Marker Text

During World War II, the U.S. Army Air Forces operated a satellite airfield at this site. In the fall of 1942 twenty-eight farms were vacated so construction could begin. Some 600,000 cubic yards of concrete for three runways was poured in forty-five days. There were approximately 108 buildings on the ground including barracks, mess halls, officers’ quarters, warehouses, a hanger, a camouflage instruction building, and a bombsight storage building. The first troops arrived in early December 1942. Initially air and ground crews of B-17 and B-24 bombers of the Second Air Force based in Casper, Wyoming, received final training here. In 1944 the Scottsbluff field became a satellite of the Alliance Army Air Field and the First Troop Carrier Command, training C-47 and glider crews. Aircraft and radio maintenance personnel also trained here. In 1947 the City of Scottsbluff bought the airfield for use as a municipal airport. Most of the buildings were sold and removed. Since 1970 the property has been operated by Scotts Bluff County.

Further Information

Read more about Scotts Bluff Army Air Field here. 

Nebraska Marker Project

The Nebraska Marker Project is for the repainting, repair and in some cases, replacement of state historical markers throughout the state. Nebraska’s markers share our exciting history for generations to come. Please consider donating by visiting the Nebraska Marker Project webpage at http://nshsf.org/the-nebraska-marker-project/.

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Flashback Friday: The Army’s Achilles’ Heel in the Civil War Plains Campaigns of 1864-65

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On August 18, 1864, after hastily re-mustering at Omaha from their veteran furloughs, the men of the First Nebraska Volunteer Cavalry left for Fort Kearny. Instead of returning to Arkansas where it had spent the first half of 1864, the regiment’s new mission was to help defend the Platte Valley freighting, stagecoach, and telegraph route from an onslaught of Indian raids that had recently broken out. Having been issued only sixty horses for three hundred men, the mostly dismounted cavalrymen probably appreciated the irony of being sent off on foot to chase down an elusive foe known for its horsemanship. A month later the First Nebraska’s Lt. Col. William Baumer notified District of Nebraska headquarters in Omaha that five companies of the regiment at Fort Kearny and at Plum Creek Station, thirty-five miles to the west, were still without horses.

Over the next several months, horses were gradually issued, but never enough to mount all the men. What’s more, many of the horses the regiment did receive were mediocre at best, poorly fed, and could not perform the duty expected of them, a problem that persisted. On May 19, 1865, First Nebraska Col. Robert R. Livingston told District of the Plains commander Patrick Connor what Connor already knew: “Our horses cannot run an Indian down, too poor.”

The First Nebraska’s plight was a common experience for the volunteer cavalry on the Plains during the Civil War. The rebellion placed enormous demands on the country’s equine resources at a time when animals also furnished the principal motive power in the civilian world. Armies in the field equipped with artillery, cavalry, and supply trains required one horse or mule, on average, for every two men. Some 284,000 horses were consumed by the Union cavalry alone during the first two years of the war and Army Chief of Staff Henry Halleck rated the Union’s 1864 expenditure of cavalry horses at slightly fewer than 180,000 animals, an average of about five hundred per day. Between January 1864 and February 1865 the Army of the Potomac’s cavalry arm had twice been remounted.

From January 1, 1864, until purchases ceased on May 9, 1865, the quartermaster general’s department bought approximately 193,000 cavalry horses. Only a relative handful of these made their way to the Plains. Although Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton claimed in his postwar report, “The supply of horses and mules for the army has been regular and sufficient,” apparently the secretary had not paid attention to letters coming from commanders in the West. In late February 1864 Department of Kansas commander Samuel R. Curtis wrote Stanton from Fort Leavenworth recommending the purchase of Indian ponies for government use because “better horses are now becoming very scarce.”

Regulations provided that the ideal cavalry horse was from 15 to 16 hands high at the withers (5 feet to 5 feet, 4 inches), five to nine years old, weighing from 750 to 1100 pounds, and “sound in all particulars . . . in full flesh and good condition.” As the war with its tremendous consumption of horseflesh dragged on, the “ideal” cavalry horse became little more than an abstraction. Union cavalryman Charles Francis Adams, Jr. described how the service ruined horses. Even a walking pace of four miles an hour was “killing to horses” carrying the average load of 225 pounds comprising the soldier and his equipment. During active campaigns, said Adams, the horse remained saddled an average of fifteen hours per day. “His feed is nominally ten pounds of grain a day and, in reality, he averages about eight pounds. He has no hay and only such other feed as he can pick up during halts. The usual water he drinks is brook water, so muddy by the passage of the column as to be of the color of chocolate. Of course sore backs are our greatest trouble.” Nonetheless, the horse “still has to be ridden until he lays down in sheer suffering under the saddle.” Adams was describing conditions in northern Virginia in 1863, not those facing the cavalry on the distant Plains, with even fewer resources to call upon.

Not only were there too few horses to mount the Plains cavalry in 1864 and 1865, they broke down quickly from overwork and a shortage of grain. The full forage ration for an army horse was 14 pounds of hay and 12 pounds of grain daily, which Adams noted was not regularly provided even in the war’s eastern theater. And unlike the Indian pony that ethnologist John Ewers described as “a tough, sturdy, and long-winded beast that possessed great powers of endurance” and which was acclimated to the Plains environment, American horses could not maintain their stamina by grazing alone. This was no secret to military men with Plains experience. Capt. Randolph B. Marcy’s 1859 guidebook, The Prairie Traveler, advised “for prairie service, horses which have been raised exclusively upon grass and never been fed on grain . . . are decidedly the best and will perform more hard labor than those that have been stabled and groomed.” Overland emigrants also noted the contrast. John M. Shively, who went to Oregon in 1843, authored a guidebook that admonished emigrants to “Swap your horses for Indian horses and be not too particular, for the shabbiest Shawnee pony . . . will answer your purpose better than the finest horse you can take from the stables.”

The entire essay written by James E. Potter appears in the Winter 2011 issue.

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“Then the Burnings Began”: Omaha’s Urban Revolts and the Meaning of Political Violence

“The Negro in the Midwest feels injustice and discrimination no less painfully because he is a thousand miles from Harlem.” —David L. Lawrence

In August 2014 many Americans were alarmed by scenes of fire and destruction following the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. Despite the prevalence of violence in American history, the protest in this Midwestern suburb took many by surprise. Several factors had rocked Americans into a naïve slumber, including the election of the country’s first black president, a seemingly genial “don’t-rock-the-boat” Midwestern attitude, and a deep belief that racism was long over. The Ferguson uprising shook many citizens, white and black, wide awake.

Nearly fifty years prior, while the streets of Detroit’s black enclave still glowed red from five days of rioting, President Lyndon Baines Johnson established the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders on July 29, 1967. The commission sought to answer three basic questions: “What happened?” “Why did it happen?” and “What can be done to prevent it from happening again?” National in scope, the commission’s findings offered a groundbreaking mea culpa—albeit one that reiterated what many black citizens already knew: Despite progressive federal initiatives and local agitation, long-standing injustices remained numerous and present in every black community. In the aftermath of the Ferguson uprisings, news outlets, researchers, and the Justice Department arrived at a similar conclusion: Our nation has continued to move towards “two societies, one black, one white—separate and unequal.”

To understand the complexity of urban uprisings, both then and now, careful attention must be paid to local incidents and their root causes. These catalysts festered for years prior to the first outbreaks of violent protest. As with Ferguson, many of them have occurred in unexpected places. During the 1960s, one metropolis after another suffered major civil disturbances, with as a great of a percentage taking place in the Midwest as in the East.

Omaha, Nebraska, experienced urban uprisings in 1966, 1968, and 1969. Using the 1966 uprising as a reference, this article documents the revolt, establishes the racial landscape prior to the event, and finally examines the aftermath and implications of violent protest. While local authorities interpreted the revolts as wanton and isolated, careful analysis demonstrates that they were a political tactic in direct response to previously inadequate responses to racial injustice. The emergence of violent protest in recent years heightens the need to contextualize the revolt historically, so that concerned citizens can improve upon past failures.

This, then, is a tale of protest and rage that many did not anticipate, but should have. As priest and Omaha civil rights activist Father Jack McCaslin reflected after years of agitation in the city: “Then the burnings began; it was inevitable.”

The full article was written by  Ashley M. Howard and can be seen in 2017 summer issue of Nebraska History.

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Timeline Tuesday: Canning the Way to Victory

During American participation in World War I the U.S. Food Administration, under the direction of Herbert Hoover, launched a massive campaign to persuade Americans to economize on food and to grow gardens in their backyards. Housewives were urged to “can Vegetables Fruit & the Kaiser too” and to “Back Up the Cannon by Use of the Canner.” When sugar became in short supply, Food Administration officials recommended new methods of home canning and food preservation, relying on the resourcefulness of the American housewife to put into practice their new slogan: “Maximum canning with minimum sugar.”

canning for victory

Housewives were urged to “can Vegetables Fruit & the Kaiser too” in this 1919 publication by the National War Garden Commission.

  The Lincoln Daily Star on July 17, 1918, said: “Despite the severe sugar shortage and the limited supplies for canning and preserving purposes, housewives are urged to ‘put up’ enough fruits and vegetables to carry them through the winter. Two great advantages will come from such practices-food stores will be assured and transportation will be greatly relieved so that fundamental foods and other necessities can be transported.

“The sugar shortage has brought out the resourcefulness of the American housewife and today there are six different methods of preserving fruits without the use of sugar. Drying fruits of course is the most popular and the simplest. It has the double advantage of saving both sugar and cans. Bottling of fruit juices and fruit syrups are also much in favor, while fruit butters and canned fruits are growing in popularity. But perhaps the most unique of all is the pulping of fruits, by which the fruits are reduced to a pulp and bottled or canned for winter pies, sauces, and marmalades.”

The Commoner (Lincoln) on August 1, 1918, described the resourceful housewife as “bending all efforts to learn the best ways of using less sugar in her cooking and preserving and of canning without it; or with sugar substitutes. She is drying many of the fruits; she is learning to put up fruits and juices and butters and to make sirups [sic] at home from sugar beets, quinces and apples. She is substituting corn sirup for molasses, maple sirup, and honey for sugar in her canning and general cooking, and she is making sugarless candies, fruit pastes and confections.”

Americans’ obsessive love of sugar was also criticized by Food Administration officials, who urged housewives to cut down on even the small amount of sugar used to sweeten tea and coffee by enforcing the rule of “one teaspoonful to the cupful or none at all.”

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Marker Monday: Historic Lodgepole Creek Valley

Welcome to Marker Monday! Each Monday we will feature one of Nebraska’s hundreds of historical markers

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Location

Interstate 80, Chappell, Deuel County, Nebraska

View this marker’s location 41.093111, -102.5227

Marker Text

Here is the valley of Lodgepole Creek through which passed historic trails, telegraph lines, and railroads. The famed Pony Express followed the valley in 1860-61. “Nine Mile” Pony Express station was located just southeast of present Chappell; “Pole Creek No. 2” station was a few miles west of here. Near Sidney, the Pony Express trail turned northwestward, passing Mud Springs station and Courthouse Rock en route to the North Platte River. In 1861 the first transcontinental telegraph line was built through the valley. Stagecoaches of the Central Overland Route soon followed, carrying passengers and mail. Former Pony express stations continued to serve the stage line, providing lodging and provisions for travelers. When the tracks of the Union Pacific Railroad reached here in 1867, wagon and stagecoach travel declined. Today modern highways retrace historic trails through the valley. Two miles east is Chappell, at first only a railroad siding. The townsite was surveyed in 1884 and a post office was established two years later. Chappell became the county seat of Deuel County in 1894.

Further Information

Read more about Historic Lodgepole Creek Valley here.

Nebraska Marker Project

The Nebraska Marker Project is for the repainting, repair and in some cases, replacement of state historical markers throughout the state. Nebraska’s markers share our exciting history for generations to come. Please consider donating by visiting the Nebraska Marker Project webpage at http://nshsf.org/the-nebraska-marker-project/.

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Flashback Friday: The Nebraska Statesman: The People Behind the Picture

Perhaps the most memorable thing about the Nebraska Statesman, published in Broken Bow from 1885 through the end of 1890, was Solomon D. Butcher’s arresting photograph, taken in 1886 when the town was booming. The Statesman may not have been one of Nebraska’s most notable newspapers, but because of this iconic photograph, it is one of the most visually recognizable. What’s the story behind the picture and the people (not identified by Butcher) who stare confidently at the viewer from the entry and the board sidewalk in front of the newspaper office across a span of 125 years?

Broken Bow was platted by Jesse Gandy in 1882, only three years before the birth of the Statesman, and grew rapidly. It won the Custer County seat from Westerville that year and in 1883, the county fair. By the spring of 1884 it was incorporated, and there were rumors of a railroad. A Burlington and Missouri River Railroad survey was made in 1885, and the first train arrived in August 1886. The Omaha Daily Bee in September credited the town with a population of one thousand, eight general stores, four drug stores, three hardware stores, three hotels, and three well edited newspapers.

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 The two Broken Bow newspapers sharing the journalistic field with the Statesman in 1886 were the Custer County Leader and the Custer County Republican. The Statesman, established in late 1885 as a “red hot Democratic paper” by John S. Dellinger and Robert E. Martin, prospered briefly because it enjoyed the patronage of the land office at Grand Island. First located on the south side of Broken Bow, it moved to the railroad addition on the north side of the tracks after the train arrived in town. Dellinger and Martin established a branch paper at Mason City, the Mason City Transcript, in June 1886. The pair later dissolved their partnership, with Martin retaining the Statesman.

In 1888 the Statesman, edited by Martin, claimed a circulation of 1,100 with an annual subscription rate of $1.50. In June it was consolidated with another local paper, the Broken Bow Times. In the only surviving issue-that of December 6, 1888-the four pages of the Statesman carried little local news, but a great deal of advertising and many final proof notices from the Grand Island and North Platte land offices.” The newspaper ceased publication when editor and publisher Martin left Broken Bow in early January of 1891. A. Z. Lazenby purchased the plant of the defunct Statesman later that year in November and hauled it to Merna, where he established the short-lived Merna Reporter.

Although the figures in Butcher’s 1886 photo of the office of the Nebraska Statesman (including the young woman, probably an employee, holding a typestick) are not identified, Dellinger and Martin may be among them. Martin, described by Butcher in his history of Custer County as “an ex-Confederate soldier and forcible writer,” was a native of Missouri. Born April 26, 1841, he served with the Fifth Missouri Infantry, Company H., during the Civil War, attaining the rank of sergeant.

The entire essay written by Patricia C.Gaster appears in the Fall 2011 issue.

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Timeline Tuesday: Human Nature at the Marriage License Bureau

“No other department in the court house offers such an excellent field for the study of human nature as the marriage license bureau,” wrote an observant Omaha Daily Bee reporter on January 10, 1900, “and the man who issues the permits to wed has opportunity to observe the grave, the gay, the poor, the rich, the cultured, the uncouth, and, in fact, every type of humanity.” The reporter’s observations are of particular interest during June, a month traditional for weddings.

Photographer John Nelson depicted a bride and groom with members of their wedding party outside a church about 1907-17. NSHS RG3542.PH:107-02

    The Bee noted, “A man with ordinary talent for observation and who has had a few months’ court house experience can spot a marriage license purchaser half a block away.” The prospective groom “invariably displays awkwardness as he announces his business. Women who appear at the marriage license bureau are not nearly so bashful nor so awkward as the men. Women as a rule have a sort of a well-what-are-you-going-to-do-about-it manner of appearing before the license clerk.”

Marriage license applicants, noted the reporter, seemed preoccupied with their appearance: “The average young man will rub his hands over his hair, and the women make an effort to straighten their hats.” Women had another concern: “When it comes to revealing the secret of her age, most young women object. But the marriage license clerk tells them that it is an official requirement, and rather than forgo matrimonial bliss they blushingly respond.

“In the matter of age, some queer unions take place. Only a few days ago a beardless boy of 23 secured license to marry a woman whose age was given as 46. They came from a town in the interior of the state. The young man made no explanation of his strange choice-they seldom do explain in such cases. The clerk issued the license as though forty-six and twenty-three were lucky numbers. The young man was flashily dressed, and his bright new Christmas necktie and his shining tan gloves proclaimed him the dude of the town whence he came.”

The Bee noted that Omaha was a popular destination for marrying couples: “Many young persons, and not a few old ones, living in remote parts of this and adjoining states, fancy that it adds to the happiness of the occasion to have the marriage take place in a big town, therefore they come to Omaha. This class of seekers after matrimony usually have the ceremony performed by the county judge, and thus save themselves the trouble of wandering about the city in search of a minister. After they are married they generally take the first train back home, and the villagers accredit them with having enjoyed the luxury of a bridal tour.”

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