Picture or sketch

No. 1.--O street

   Come with us, all you who are new to the city or you who bid fair to live and die in Lincoln without ever having seen her various faces. We'll teach you in--well, we don't know how, many lessons--something about the city in which you are living.

   Maybe we should begin with the capitol, known over the world for its beauty. But we think we'll start with that handy starting and stopping place, O street. Lincoln is often described as an overgrown country town, O its Main street. But even New York has its lapses into the primitive, and who doesn't like, in medium doses, the simplicity and the friendliness that spell country town.

   When Lincoln was only a handful of blocks flung down on the prairie for hasty habitation by early salt seekers, restless young Civil war veterans, the railroad advance guard and those with an incurable pioneer fever, it huddled within the confines of what is now the most downtown part of Lincoln. Along O from Eight to Fourteenth were its beginnings. The town spread slowly, like extremely cold molasses, into definite shape with an undulating circumference at the present time of about 20 miles.

   So, here's O street, looking from Tenth east. Most of Lincoln's buses head up O to Tenth, rolling around government square an then rolling back to O again. You can't get lost in Lincoln. Just keep one foot, or at least an eye, on O and say your alphabet north and south. Or on Thirteenth and say your numbers east and west. And then there are a few along the edges with fancier names just to make it a little harder.

No. 2. The Lincoln Statue

Picture or sketchThis city is one of 25 cities or towns in the United States bearing the name of Lincoln. Sixteen of these 25 were named for Abraham Lincoln. It is perhaps not unduly vain to say that Lincoln, Neb., is most noted of these Lincolns. To begin with, it is the capital of a state, and that state is the geographical center of the North American continent.

   Among other things which have drawn attention to this city of 81,000 are its illustrious one-time citizens. From the home base of Lincoln, William Jennings Bryan spattered the country with silver words about the silver standard. General Pershing was one of the Atlases on whose shoulders the weight of the first World War rested. Charles G. Dawes, a dynamic young lawyer of Lincoln in the 80's, eventually became a vice president. Willa Cather, precocious university student in the 90's, at the height of her writing career was conceded to be this country's most gifted woman writer. Charles Lindbergh is claimed by Lincoln after a fashion and with some degree of justification. It was here that he learned the art of flying, after trundling into town unobtrusively on a day in April--April Fool's day in fact--1922. And there are many other notables whose names are in some way linked with the city.

   The famous sculptor, Daniel Chester French, left behind him several famous statues of Abraham Lincoln. One of these has stood on the capitol grounds since its dedication, Sept. 2, 1912. As the new, and fifth Nebraska capitol burgeoned slowly it elbowed off the grounds every vestige of the outgrown capitol with one exception--the Lincoln statue. It is something difficult to out-grow.





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© 2000, 2001 by Kathie Harrison, Ted & Carole Miller