Nebraska Apples

The United States celebrated its first one hundred years with a Centennial Exposition, held appropriately in Philadelphia, where the Declaration of Independence was written and proclaimed in 1776. The exposition in 1876 covered 450 acres. Each state had its own building, and fifty foreign nations sent exhibits.

One of the most outstanding sections of the Nebraska exhibit was the Nebraska Horticultural Society’s pomological display. A committee composed of J. Sterling Morton, ex-Governor Robert W. Furnas, Stephen B. Hobson, and Hiram Craig solicited specimens for exhibit. Nebraska fruits, including pears, grapes, and apples, were entered in competition with those from many other states and Canada. The horticultural society received an award for its pears, which were “large smooth and well colored.” It received another award for its apples, which the judges honored “for the unusually large number of finely grown specimens of Excellent varieties, also for the general freedom from insect markings, fungus, and weather discolorations.”

Professor Samuel Aughey of the University of Nebraska described the state’s outstanding apple display in the January 1877 issue of the Nebraska Farmer: “The Centennial afforded a splendid opportunity for the comparison of apples from widely different regions. Happening to be there [at the exposition] for another purpose, I devoted the 27th of October to a comparison of the apples on exhibition from different states and Canada. On that day there were on exhibition 148 plates of apples from Nebraska. Mr. Randall, who had charge of the Nebraska department, had arranged these in the best possible manner . . . . 

“Now, in comparing Nebraska apples with the products of other states, their superiority was evident in at least three particulars. First, their flavor was superior. Apples from regions that were comparatively insipid, when grown in Nebraska, were found to be finely flavored. This was the case with all the samples tested. Second, the color was superior. This was observed by every one who visited the Nebraska department, and every one who had an eye for the beautiful had a word of praise for these fine apples. Third, the Nebraska apples were exceptionally free from parasitic fungous growths. All the apples from other states that I examined, including those from Canada, were more or less affected by fungi.”

Aughey concluded, “The production of apples in this State will not be overdone for the next fifty years; and, therefore, for comfort, enjoyment, and revenue, the planting of orchards should everywhere be encouraged.”

(November 2007)

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.