"Our work is done," wrote Harrison Johnson (1822-1885) as he concluded his History of Nebraska, published in 1880. "The volume is completed, and only awaits the Introduction.
Nebraska in the early 1890s suffered from protracted drought, and farm prices fell to new lows. Conditions were so unfavorable that immigration, which had more than doubled the state's population in the 1880s, almost ceased. Nebraska's population only increased by seven thousand persons between 1890 and 1900. Some became so discouraged that they sold or gave up their property and left the state.
I am a little boy ten years old. I go to school when we have school, but we haven’t got any school now. It will begin soon. I helped to farm last spring; I plowed with three horses and helped cultivate corn and make hay. …I have to feed nine calves and my little brother and I carry in the fuel. —Bryan Echtemkardt, Knox County, Nebraska, 1907
May is National Bike Month. Today’s Throwback Thursday Photo features three men on the streets of Alliance, Nebraska enjoying the benefits of cycling in July 1891. The men are identified as Sands, Holloway and Louis Sickles.
The passage of the Eighteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution outlawed the manufacture and sale of liquor nationwide, but statewide prohibition was already in effect in Iowa and Nebraska. In 1916 Iowa went dry and Nebraska voters adopted a prohibitory amendment to their state constitution that took effect in May 1917. Enterprising individuals soon learned how to profit by flouting the law.