The Centennial Supper

Church suppers were, and continue to be, a commonplace occurrence in Nebraska towns. But surely the gentlemen of Fremont’s Congregational Church deserve points for originality for their “Centennial Supper” held in 1889. A program from the event, in the collections of the Nebraska State Historical Society, reveals the group had a tongue firmly planted in its collective cheek.

Dedicated “to the memory of the man, first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen,” the dinner was to be followed by an entertainment “consisting of addresses on the Life and Times of the Father of his country, ‘personal recollections,’ and other topics one hundred years old, properly diversified and relieved by instrumental and vocal music.”

Homage to George Washington aside, food was the event’s principal attraction. “Children under 15 will be stuffed for 25 cents each. Adults of Ordinary Capacity for the Same Price,” the program declared. Those concerned about the safety of “food warranted to have been prepared by men,” were offered this reassurance: “Medical attendance will be provided at reasonable rates until recovery is assured.” The “Men You” was printed with the following note: “Being desirous of pleasing all tastes, we give our patrons the choice between the prevalent orthography of the day, the phonetic method recommended by the Spelling Reform Association, and the method of the Ancient Egyptians.”

The evening’s “On trays” included “Bakd benz, brown bred, piklz, drid beef, and skrambld egs.” The cold meat selection featured “coaled tongue, kold ham, and cold beef.” Roast chicken was indicated in the “Ancient Egyptian” (hieroglyphic) style, the word “roast” followed by an engraving of a chicken.

“Baked potatoes, Potatoes Mashed to Order, Cold Slaw, Onyuns, and Let Us Alone,” made up the “Miss Sell Aneous” category. Breads were “white, wry, graham, korn, and browne.” Hot Biskits, Pancakes, Waffles and Maple Sugar from Vermont” rounded out the main menu choices.

Dessert offerings consisted of “cake, apple pi, lemun pi, cocoanut pi, printer’s pi, eye scream (10 flavors), coffee, tea, milk, water, oranges, nuts, and raznz.”

For those who over-ate, “Xtras” in the form of “jamaica ginger, peppermint, and paregoric” were also available.

The program listed a final warning: “As most of the waiters are young and susceptible, the ladies are requested not to fascinate them.”


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.