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Nebraska Resources

The World’s Columbian Exposition (popularly known as the Chicago World’s Fair), held in 1893, gave Nebraska an opportunity to display its products and accomplishments to the throngs who attended. Joseph Garneau, Jr., commissioner general of the Nebraska Columbian exhibit, prepared an accompanying booklet, Nebraska, Her Resources, Advantages, and Development, to attract potential settlers and investors to the state.



Garneau tried to present Nebraska in the best possible light throughout the twenty-four-page publication. The state’s climate was, he wrote, “invigorating and salubrious.” Winters were short and rarely severe. Rainfall was sufficient for all needs, “and as cultivation is increased and extended and trees reach maturity, there is little reason to doubt that the annual precipitation will perceptibly increase.”



Corn was the most important Nebraska grain crop in 1893. The Resources booklet reported that 4,981,754 acres had been planted to corn in the state the previous year. Wheat was next in importance, with 1,229,665 acres planted in Nebraska in 1892. Sugar beet culture, centered at Grand Island and Norfolk, was portrayed as another source of Nebraska agricultural riches.



Several alternative crops were mentioned. Garneau reported, “Tobacco culture has been experimentally tried in the State, and has resulted in a crop of fifteen hundred pounds to the acre. . . . A company has been organized in Holt County, the object being to cultivate, purchase and manufacture the agricultural product of chicory.” Nebraska-raised fruit was praised: “Train loads of Nebraska apples were sent East during the shipping season of last year.” Cass County was said, perhaps with some hyperbole, to have produced the largest apple ever grown.



The Nebraska livestock and dairy industries, and even bee culture, were briefly discussed. “Hunting and Angling” enthusiasts learned, “Duck abounds, also quail, snipe and other delicate wild fowl. Big game, is of course extinct since the buffalo retreated before civilization’s march,” but fishermen could expect to find streams and private fish ponds plentifully stocked.

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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 ...
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