Lancaster County Community Emergency Shop (Lincoln, Neb.) [RG4201.AM]


RG4201.AM:  Lancaster County Community Emergency Shop (Lincoln, Neb.)

Records:  1948-1984

Lincoln, Lancaster County, Neb.:  Provider of goods to the needy

Size:  1.5 cu.ft.; 3 boxes


In 1931 the Wilhelmy Community Emergency Shop, popularly known as the Lancaster County Community Emergency Shop, due to the efforts of Lena Wilhelmy, was established to meet critical needs during the depression. In 1949 the shop became an incorporated agency operated as a community chest agency with some funding from the county. It was directed by Mrs. Allen “Bunny” Wilson from 1949-1957. In 1955 the shop withdrew from the Community Chest and was fully supported by the County. Luella Hurley was director from 1957-1976, Delores Ferguson from 1976-1977, and JoAnne Wiese from 1977-1984 when the shop’s activities were taken over by other community agencies. The shop was located at 432 South 11th after it’s incorporation until it was moved to 2200 St. Mary’s in 1966. From 1978 to 1984 it occupied the lower level of the Lancaster County Division of Public Welfare at 1001 “O” Street. The shop distributed furniture, quilts, clothing, dolls and toys among other items at no charge to needy families and individuals referred by local social service agencies.


This collection of the records of the Lancaster County Community Emergency Shop is arranged according to the following series:

Series 1 – Administrative Records, ca. 1948-1981

Series 2 – Financial Records, ca. 1948-1984

Series 3 – Correspondence, 1949-1983

Series 4 – Publications, ca. 1950-1980

Series 5 – Miscellany, ca. 1948-1983

The materials in this collection relate to the operation of the Lancaster County Community Emergency Shop from its incorporation in 1948 (as the Wilhelmy Community Shop) to its disbursement in 1984. Series 1 consists of Administrative Records which show a fairly clear picture of the services the shop provided to the community. Series 2 contains financial records which are somewhat spotty. The treasurer reports, however, are complete from 1956-1984. Series 3 contains correspondence usually from or to board members of the shop. Series 4 contains information on the shop’s attempts to obtain materials from the public. Series 5 contains extensive newspaper clippings from 1961-1983 as well as a scrapbook and guest book.

The collection provides a valuable look at Lancaster County’s aid to the needy through the shop. The shop was especially concerned with providing toys and dolls to children around the holiday season.


Series 1 – Administrative Records, ca. 1948-1981

Box 1


    1. Articles of incorporation and bylaws, ca. 1948-1979

    1. Policy, ca. 1960s and 1970s

    1. Annual reports, 1950-1971

    1. Minutes of board meetings, 1972-1981

    1. Lists of board members and attendance of board meetings, 1955-1984

Box 2


    1. Study by Hanna & Keelan, 1981

    1. Ad Hoc Study, 1975

    1. Other studies and reports, ca. 1975-1981

Series 2 – Financial Records, ca. 1948-1984

    1. Financial reports (monthly), 1961-1973

    1. Financial reports (monthly), 1974-1984

    1. Treasurer reports, 1956-1984

Box 3


    1. Treasurer reports, 1956-1984

    1. Receipts, ca. 1948-1976

    1. Inventory of shop, ca. 1970s

    1. Nebraska Biennial Tax Reports, 1961-1983

    1. Checkbook, ca. 1984

Series 3 – Correspondence, 1949-1983

    1. Correspondence, 1949-1983

Series 4 – Publications, ca. 1950-1980

    1. Publications, ca. 1950-1980

Series 5 – Miscellany, ca. 1948-1983

    1. Newspaper clippings, 1961-1983, n.d.

    1. American Red Cross publications, ca. 1960

    1. Guest Book, ca. 1958

    1. Certificates, 1954, 1971

    1. Scrapbook, ca. 1948-1978 (see oversize)



Family Service Association

Hurley, Luella

Lancaster County Community Emergency Shop (Lincoln, Neb.)

Lincoln Community Chest (Lincoln, Neb.)

Nebraska Coalition for Community Human Services

Social services — Nebraska — Lincoln

Social work — Nebraska — Lincoln

Wilhelmy Community Emergency Shop (Lincoln, Neb.)

Wilhelmy, Lena


Revised 03-25-2008   TMM

Become a Member!

Our members make history happen.

Join Now

You May Also Enjoy

State Song Sing-Along

State Song Sing-Along

Robert Ball Anderson’s journey “from slavery to affluence”

Robert Ball Anderson’s journey “from slavery to affluence”

Marker Monday: The Savidge Brothers, Aviation Pioneers

Marker Monday: The Savidge Brothers, Aviation Pioneers

About History Nebraska
History Nebraska was founded in 1878 as the Nebraska State Historical Society by citizens who recognized Nebraska was going through great changes and they sought to record the stories of both indigenous and immigrant peoples. It was designated a state institution and began receiving funds from the legislature in 1883. Legislation in 1994 changed History Nebraska from a state institution to a state agency. The division is headed by Interim Director and CEO Jill Dolberg. They are assisted by an administrative staff responsible for financial and personnel functions, museum store services, security, and facilities maintenance for History Nebraska.
Explore Nebraska
Discover the real places and people of our past at these History Nebraska sites.

Upcoming Events

View our new and upcoming events to see how you can get involved.

Become a Member

The work we do to discover, preserve, and share Nebraska's history wouldn't be possible without the support of History Nebraska members.

History Nebraska Education

Learn more about the educational programs provided at our museums, sites, and online.

History Nebraska Programs

Learn more about the programs associated with History Nebraska.

Latest Hall of Fame Inductee

The Nebraska Hall of Fame was established in 1961 to officially recognize prominent Nebraskans.

Listen to our Podcast

Listen to the articles and authors published in the Nebraska History Magazine with our new Nebraska History Podcast!

Nebraska Collections

History Nebraska's mission is to collect, preserve, and open our shared history to all Nebraskans.

Our YouTube Video Collection

Get a closer look at Nebraska's history through your own eyes, with our extensive video collections.

Additional Research Resources

History Nebraska Research and Reference Services help connect you to the material we collect and preserve.

Support History Nebraska
Make a cash donation to help us acquire, preserve, and interpret Nebraska’s history. Gifts to History Nebraska help leave a legacy and may help your taxes, too! Support the work of History Nebraska by donating to the History Nebraska Foundation today.

Volunteers are the heroes of History Nebraska. So much history, so little time! Your work helps us share access to Nebraska’s stories at our museums and sites, the reference room, and online.