the history nebraska blog

Halloween in Hickman, 1892

“It is on Hallowe’en that everything gets a move on itself,” said E. F. Fassett, editor of the Hickman Enterprise on November 5, 1892. Fassett noted the proximity of Halloween to All Saints Day, November 1, and whimsically labeled Halloween pranksters “saints” in his account of their antics in Hickman in 1892:



“The gate that has stood the combined weight of two loving bodies all summer, is powerless to resist the antics of the saints; signs get mixed up in a very promiscuous and mysterious manner; buggies, and, in fact, everything that is moveable is suddenly compelled, by some unseen power, to change its base of operations. The peace of the household is suddenly disturbed by a gentle rapping on the window pane, and an investigation reveals nothing but mystery deep and gloomy.



“Hickman has its share of saints. . . . Monday night they were out in full force, and Tuesday morning when people went down town it was impossible to tell whether our town had been struck by a cyclone or an earthquake. Uncle Sam did not escape, for when Postmaster DeHaan [?] attempted to open his door, he found it barricaded on the outside. However, he was soon able to work his way out and ate his breakfast at about the usual minute.



“At B. L. Liesveld & Co’s. a large ice chest disputed their entrance to the store. The saints planted Betzer’s barber sign in front of the drug store, while C. Fisher’s harness shop sign was made to do duty for Kuiper’s barber shop, and Mr. Fisher’s shop was adorned by Kuiper’s red and white barber pole. An ice cream freezer and a sign ‘for sale’ was placed in front of the pool hall.



“When Ed Grote came down town to get his meat wagon ready for an early trip to the country, he found it on the sheds of the M. T. Peck Lumber Co., where a sleigh had also been placed. Rowerdink & Diesel, VanBurg’s hardware store, the saloon, Suiker’s hardware and the livery barns all received visits from [the] ubiquitous saint, who left unmistakeable evidences that he was around. In fact no portion of town escaped the mischievious relic of early customs, but our older male inhabitants took it coolly, and no doubt remembrances of early experiences in the saint business caused them to smile a smile all to themselves.” 


Become a Member!

Our members make history happen.

Join Now

Other Publications

Nebraska History Moments – For Further Reading

Do you have your copy of Nebraska History Moments, published by History Nebraska? This page is for readers who have the book and want to know more about its stories. ...

Nebraska History Index 1885-present

Searching Nebraska History Two ways to search past issues: Table of Contents (1885 to present) . Articles are listed issue by issue, with links to many that ...

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 ...

Books Published by History Nebraska

In an effort to make quality stories from Nebraska's history more accessible, History Nebraska has partnered with University of Nebraska Press as a distributor of most ...

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 ...

History Nebraska newsletter

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.

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.
Nebraska Collections
History Nebraska's mission is to collect, preserve, and open our shared history to all Nebraskans.
Explore Nebraska
Discover the real places and people of our past at these History Nebraska sites.

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.