publications

O’Neill on Northern Nebraska

In December 1874 the Central Union Agriculturist and Missouri Valley Farmer of Omaha invited “the attention of our readers to the following circular issued by Gen. John O’Neill, of O’Neill City, Holt County, Nebraska. We hope that such as can do so will furnish him with the desired information.



“Sioux City, Iowa, November 12, 1874. Dear Sir: — I am getting up a pamphlet on Northern Nebraska, for general distribution in the Eastern and Middle States, and in Europe, and desire to give a sketch of each county north of the Platte river. I have traveled through several of the counties in person, and would like to visit all of them, but I fear that I cannot spare the time, as I intend going east in a few weeks to lecture in the principal cities of the Eastern and Middle States on Northern Nebraska and its advantages for immigrants, devoting considerable time to each county, with the view of attracting a large immigration there next spring and summer.



“I commenced this work on a small scale last winter, and in spite of many difficulties, succeeded in bringing out and locating a colony in Holt county, and I believe I did a good deal towards directing public attention in the east to what I consider the fairest and most productive part of the State — that is, the Elkhorn valley, and all of the country north of the Platte river.



“While east last winter, I found that the southern and middle portions of the state, through the influence of the Union Pacific and the Burlington & Missouri River Railroad companies and other interests, were thoroughly advertised, while Northern Nebraska was but very little known. This deficiency I shall try to remedy so far as in me lies, and with a little assistance which will be most benefited, I am certain that I can do a good deal in this direction this winter. . . .



“I shall feel under many obligations for a copy of any pamphlet, circular or newspaper article on your county, or any portion of it, which you can send me. I shall also be pleased to receive reliable information on the subject from any and all parties who may feel interested in furnishing it.



“From the immense number of letters which I have recently received from all parts of the country, and the number of persons who met me here to select their claims at the Dakota City Land Office, and returned to bring on their families in the spring, I have no hesitation in saying that I will be able to bring out a large number of families to Northern Nebraska next year.”



O’Neill’s Northern Nebraska as a Home for Immigrants was subsequently published at Sioux City, Iowa, in 1875.

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.

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.