publications

The Free Street Fair

Organizers of the Hastings Free Street Fair held late in the summer of 1899 no doubt had

their tongues planted firmly in their cheeks when they printed up this “Complimentary

Coupon Ticket,” now in the collections of the Nebraska State Historical Society.



“The holder of this ticket,” the coupon reads, “is hereby granted free admission to the fair

grounds during the entire week, also free bathing in the city park, bathing and camping

privileges with water and shade, free. Bring this ticket with you to the fair and it will secure

you these privileges on presentation to the committee on entertainment. Bring this with you

every day. It may enable your friends to identify you after the fair. Sign your name here.



“Coupon No. 1. (Not good if used.) Entitles the holder to admission to the balloon

ascensions, street theater and firemen’s tournament free. Present this ticket at the gate and

you will be given a reserved seat for yourself and lady. Save coupon as performances change

daily. If desired holder may be admitted to fireworks and civic parade upon giving bond for

good behavior. Pickpockets and dudes are excluded from the grounds.”



Beer-drinkers were the butt of the next coupon’s humor: “Coupon No. 2, entitles the holder

to a free ride on the pleasure schooners Fremont and Fred Krug, which leave the harbor

mouth at all hours of the day and night. Dancing and chin music on board. Free punch on

application. Take any schooner in sight, all land at city cooler. This ticket will not be

accepted for bail if torn or ripped up the back. Conductor will direct you to schooners.”



The final coupon “entitles the holder to admission to the ‘hooche cooche’ when accompanied

by chaperon with the required coin. Keep away from the cows; they like greens. Keep away

from the swine exhibit, unless properly entered, you may confuse the judges. Don’t gawk–

people will think you are from Lincoln. If you don’t see what you want address all kicks to

Fred Renner, Secretary. P.S. Lady who left false teeth in water cooler last year can have them

returned on application to above address.”


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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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