No. 13--Aeronautical Institute
When a blond young man. silent and tall, brought his smoking motorcycle to rest in front of E. J. Sias's airplane and flying school at 2415 O. on April fool's day, 1922, he probably had no idea, and certainly Lincoln had no idea, that what he learned at the flying school would one day catapult him into fame. Unnoticed Charles Lindbergh traversed the streets of Lincoln, quiet and untalkative.
After his spectacular air voyage of May 20-21, 1927--spectacular and yet on his part made an quietly as his entrance into Lincoln five years before, the flying school suddenly became a mecca. Young men were siphoned out of Australia, Scotland, China, New Guinea and dumped at the door of the school--young men talking in divers tongues but speaking the same language aeronautically. Since the war started men in uniform have almost cracked the walls of the aeronautical institute.
The name of E. J. Sias to synonymous now with the words flying school. But 30 years ago he was the energetic young minister who plucked Tabernacle Christian church out of a cocked hat before the startled eyes of south Lincoln. One day, June 21, 1912, he and a group in his home thought up a Christian church in that part of the city. Two days latter they met and planned a building and 60 men volunteered to put up a structure between morning light and evening dark. The heat of late June prevented quite this much of a miracle. but anyway, on June 30, nine days after the initial meeting, the tabernacle was ready for occupancy. Rather, it was occupied--by 800 people listening to the dedicatory sermon. This building sufficed its congregation ten years. By that time Mr. Sias was deep in something else--flying.
No. 14 Lincoln Postoffice
The postoffice is a noble building filling half a block on P street between Ninth and Tenth. But, mysteriously, filtered thru a picture-taker's lens it takes on the appearance of a toy model still sitting on the architect's desk, This is most deceiving. It is really a handsome and majestic building, of Bedford stone, standing very massively on its green lawn.
It isn't just a postoffice, as you learned when you were initiated into the Income Taxpayers lodge. Also, if you want to ask how bout that money you're going to get from Uncle Sam when 65, how about a loan for putting up a hog house, how about keeping the black dirt on your farm from the drifting into the Missouri, how about enlisting in the army or navy, you go to the postaffice--and also the FBI will reach out from the postoffice and get you you don't watch out. If the United, States wants to try you for some federal offense, that's where the trial will be. Having steered clear of this court, the only case we recall offhand is the Nye committee hearing in the Grocer Norris senatorial case.
The first federal court was held in November 1864, in a log building an the south side of O between Seventh and Eighth. Elmer S. Dundy was the judge. The postoffice was run by Jacob Dawson in conjunction with a grocery in the front end, so that office and courtroom were enlivened with the smell of codfish. coffee and tobacco. Somewhere within the log cabin and between the codfish and the cases at bar Mr. Dawson kept house--it may be with the help of a Mrs. Dawson, but one can read early histories of Lincoln from preface to index without finding mention of a women, so thoroly (sic) was the sex still in subjugation.
The postoffice began taking on dignity in 1879 when it moved into its new building on government square, now the city hall. The first section of the present building was put up in 1906; the last, which made it the impressive edifice it is today, only a year or two ago.
© 2000, 2001 by Kathie Harrison, Ted & Carole Miller