Throwback Thursday Photo, Kearney Cotton Mill

Take a peek inside the Kearney Cotton Mill in today’s Throwback Thursday Photograph. Construction on the Mill started in 1890 by the Cumnock brothers (A. G., John, J. W., George W., and Walter), cotton manufacturers from the East. The total floor space of the completed mill was 89,587 square feet. The total cost of the mill and the equipment was $400,000.

By September 22, 1892, the first shipment of cotton goods manufactured in Nebraska to be shipped out of the state left for Iowa, Kansas, and Missouri. The mill was soon consuming 50,000 bales of cotton per year with an annual output of white sheetings valued at $3,400,000.

The drought year of 1893 and a national business depression caused many industries to collapse. Successive owners ran the mill at a loss until it was finally sold in 1901 to a Cincinnati bank which held a mortgage on the property.

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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.
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