publications

Gibson, George Howard

The Populist movement attracted social thinkers of many kinds, including George Howard Gibson. Gibson, a Christian Socialist, edited Nebraska’s official Populist newspaper, the Alliance-Independent (which he renamed Wealth Makers), in Lincoln from October 1893 through January 1896.



Gibson began his career as a journalist-reformer in Omaha in the late 1880s as the owner and editor of a monthly temperance publication, the Rising Tide (later the Omaha Leader). That publication collapsed after the defeat of a prohibition amendment by Nebraska voters in 1890. Gibson then moved to Lincoln where he joined the staff of the Alliance (later the Alliance-Independent), official organ of the state Farmers Alliance and of the Peoples Independent Party. By October of 1893 he was editor.



In his new position, Gibson changed the name of the Alliance-Independent to Wealth Makers, a name which he felt expressed the solidarity of interests between urban and rural labor. He and the rest of the staff also acquired ownership of the paper and ran it as a cooperative. Gibson used his new position to encourage cooperation in economic and social endeavors and to promote the nationalization of industry. He opposed free silver although it was popular among most other Populists in Nebraska and discouraged fusion with the Democrats.



In late 1894 Gibson began to turn away from politics and to devote more energy to experiments in business and cooperative living. He formed a group which acquired land near Lincoln and established a “farming, stock-raising, fruit-growing, manufacturing and love-educating paradise.” However, it soon experienced financial difficulties. Gibson’s paper, Wealth Makers, was also in dire straits due to economic depression and his eccentric political views.



Worried by political and financial problems, Gibson sold Wealth Makers and lead a group of Nebraskans to Georgia to found the Christian Commonwealth Colony. Intended to be a self-sufficient cooperative community, it lasted only a few years. Gibson’s association with Nebraska Populism was brief but illustrates the variety of people and ideas associated with Populism and the movement’s power to attract idealists.

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 RG2955.ph).   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.

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.