Anthony, Susan B., in Grand Island

Nebraska lawyer Othman Abbott and his wife, early settlers in Grand Island, shared an interest in women’s rights. In his Recollections of a Pioneer Lawyer, published by the Nebraska State Historical Society in 1929, Abbott recalled: “I have already spoken of the fact that Mrs. Abbott had been brought up by her mother, her Aunt Lydia, and her Uncle Allen Gardner to be one of the early advocates of ‘women’s rights.’ She and I had sent back and forth before our marriage John Stuart Mill’s Subjection of Women and one of our daughters still preserves the copy with our marginal notes in it. We were both very hopeful when the Legislature of Nebraska finally submitted a woman suffrage amendment to the state Constitution in 1882. Mrs. Abbott became one of the officers of the Nebraska Woman Suffrage society, and we both worked in the local campaign.

“Miss [Susan B.] Anthony travelled out to Nebraska herself that year and we were happy when she stayed at our house and spoke at a public meeting in Grand Island. It was a very splendid meeting for those days and Miss Anthony herself seemed pleased with it. I ought to chronicle one remark she made after she had shaken hands with the last person in the audience who lingered to meet her or talk with her. Mrs. Abbott said as we walked away that it must be very hard to have to shake hands with so many people. Miss Anthony replied as quick as a flash, ‘Oh, my dear, if you could only know how much easier it is today to shake hands with people than it was in the old days when no one wanted to shake hands with me.’

“Miss Anthony also helped the cause greatly by sending us a very fine German woman speaker, Mrs. Clara Neyman [Newman].She came, I believe, from Brooklyn, New York, and she did good work among those who could only be reached in the German language. Mrs. Neyman also stayed at our house, and we enjoyed her visit also. I ought to add that our house was rather crowded then and while Mrs. Neyman was there and one night while Miss Anthony was there the only way we could manage was to have our little daughter Edith, six years old, used as a bed fellow. She was very proud of it, particularly of sleeping with Miss Anthony.” Unfortunately, the amendment failed. Had Nebraska accepted it, the state would have been the first to give women the vote.

(February 2003)

Become a Member!

Our members make history happen.

Join Now

Other Publications

The Bachelors’ Protective Union of Kearney

When the Bachelors' Protective Union gave a gala reception for two of its newly married, former members and their brides in March of 1890, the social club for young, ...

U.S. Weather Bureau in 1890s Nebraska

The U.S. Weather Bureau was established by an act of Congress on October 1, 1890. It took over the weather service that had been established in the office of the Chief ...

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 ...

The Shoemaker’s Ashes

"Edward Kuehl, one of the most peculiar characters that ever lived in Omaha, or anywhere else, was found dead in his bed last night in the back room of his place of ...

Crazy Horse Surrender Ledger Foreward

Red Dog, an Oglala Lakota who lived at the Red Cloud Agency, Nebraska, 1876-77 (Nebraska State Historical Society   In the summer of 1876, following the ...

Darryl F. Zanuck

Darryl F. Zanuck Darryl F. Zanuck (1902-1979), a native Nebraskan, produced some of Hollywood's most important and controversial films. He helped found 20th Century Fox ...

The Burlington’s Profitable Pork Special

Nebraska railroads were much concerned with developing an adequate economy in the areas they served. The Burlington, for example, had a long history of caring for the ...

Bungalow Filling Stations

After the giant Standard Oil Company was broken into thirty-four separate companies in 1911, the newly independent Standard Oil of Nebraska dominated the state's market ...

The Bull Fight

This is the perfect time of year for a visit to the old fishin' hole. But a group of fisherfolk from Plainview discovered that this bucolic pastime sometimes has ...

Buffalo Soldiers West

African-American soldiers on the western frontier are the focus of an exhibit at the Nebraska History Museum in Lincoln. Buffalo Soldiers West, on loan from the Colorado ...

Protection for Buffalo

The extermination of the buffalo on the Plains occurred largely between 1870 and 1885. The Nebraska State Journal of Lincoln on February 1, 1874, editorialized in vain ...

Buffalo Hunting

In late October 1877 young Rolf Johnson and three friends left their homes in Phelps County, Nebraska, for a buffalo hunt in northeastern Colorado. The hunt was not very ...
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.