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Pioneer Life

Reminiscences about pioneer life frequently describe droughts, blizzards, and grasshopper infestations. Job E. Green recalled a more personal event when he wrote his memoirs in 1922. In 1872 he and his wife homesteaded near the future site of Albion in Boone County, Nebraska. Green wrote,



“Along in April I set about building our ‘little sod log shanty on the claim.’ This was to be 16×20. I went over on the Cedar [Creek] to get my ridge poles, three of them. With the sod walls laid, the ridge poles well bedded, rafters on, brush and hay next, we were ready for the sod roof. This was of matched sod with joints well packed with clay. It was a dandy and never leaked a drop the first year. Then I shaved the walls smooth and put on a plaster of clay and ashes. We had a door in the east side with a half window in it, a half window in the south end and a full window in the west side, of 8×10 glass, dirt floor, but had two planks along side the bed to stand on. This was a nice city bed and prized very highly by the owner. Every cent in cash that was put in this house was $10. Into this we moved in June 1872. No millionaire was ever happier than we were.



“It can’t always be bliss, so the scene changes a little. Spring comes once more and so did the rain. Last year our roof was perfect, but now it sprung a leak. I put more dirt on but still it leaked. More dirt and more leak. The deluge came one night and the flood poured through. The floor was muddy. The water soaked-yes, soaked and ran clear through that nice bed and Mrs. Green sat on it and lifted up her voice and wept all night through and mingled her tears with the flood of waters. The next day after the flood I took my oil soaked horse blankets and pitched them . . . over the bed so that it never got wet again. Then as soon as I could the next year I got boards and made a roof over the sod one. That sod roof was 20 inches thick, but it leaked just the same.”

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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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