No. 41--Burlington Shops at Havelock
On July 4, 1870, while Lincoln citizens were celebrating the nation's birthday in shady groves, as was their wont, there came from the northeast a strange cavalcade. It was a string of flatcars, over which bowers of cottonwood branches had been arranged, pulled by a chortling little engine named The Wahoo, which name probably echoed the cries of the tugging engine rather exactly. Under the bowers sat travelers on improvised seats, chatting excitedly. It was the first passenger train to pull into, or almost into, Lincoln. The Burlington and Missouri rails had been laid to within a mile of the town and the company celebrated by offering a free round trip from Pattsmouth (sic) to Lincoln, which was made at the exhilerating (sic) speed of 15 or 20 miles an hour.
Within the year George B. Harris became Burlington land commissioner and began colonizing Nebraska on a grand scale. In 1870 Nebraska had 122,993 inhabitants, and most of them lived in the southeastern counties near the Burlington's 2,500,000 acres. The success or failure of the Burlington's land department depended largely on price and credit policies adopted by the company. Mr. Harris was given a free hand. Boundless enthusiastic over the possibilities of the state, he went at the job like one seating himself at a great organ. Towns sprang up wherever his creative fingers. strayed. To the west appeared quickly a string of alphabetical stations-Crete, Dorchester, Exeter, Fairmont, Grafton, Harvard, Inland, Juniata, Kennesaw and, Lowell. The "Mayflower" colony, "Plymouth" colony, colonies from England and the east were soon grouped over the landscape.
In the middle 80's the Burlington shops were located at Havelock. Thru the Burlington lines flows the bloodstream of that part of Lincoln. It thrives or grows pale and listless according to the fortunes of its railroad. The shops at this moment are employing 750 men--550 in the mechanical department, 250 in the store. The shops build cars, repair cars, overhaul electrical equipment used on the lines west of Lincoln and overhaul working equipment such as steam shovels and pile drivers for the whole Burlington system.
No. 42-- Governor's Mansion, 15th and H
One leap from the south entrance of the capitol (if he doesn't mind our accelerating his step in order to capture the attention of the audience) and Gov. Dwight Griswold, in gray suit and fedora, plus black overcoat the last few days, is home. Should he turn on the steps he might read over the capitol entrance one of Dr. Alexander's carefully considered truths--Political society exists for the sake of noble living.
The house in which Governor Griswold lives, successor to one populist, five democratic and seven republican gubernatorial residents, suggests noble living. It is generously proportioned, deep bosomed, its wide galleries edged with delicately wrought spindles. Memories jostle each other pleasantly in the big house, which is acclimated to sudden changes.
One republican governor and his wife, Mr. and Mrs. Sam McKelvie, preferred to live in their home at 140 So. 26th, where indefatigable Mrs. McKelvie threw off lightly, the actual work of caring for 21 rooms, with oil painting and associate editorship of a magazine as pastimes. For the rest, since 1900--before that governors had to look for places to live, too-each governor's retinue has moved in and fitted itself into its surroundings in its individual way. Mr. Griswold, for instance, hung his grandfather's sword--its owner fell in '61--in the front hall and his collection of autographed photographs in the back parlor. Mrs. Griswold marshaled treasured family antiques into the guest room against a background of George Washington-Mount Vernon wall-paper.
Every governor's wife handles with pleased fingers the beautiful silver service with the aid of which light refreshments were once dispensed on the battleship Nebraska. During legislative sessions especially, the governor's home is opened for many social gatherings.
© 2000, 2001 by Kathie Harrison, Ted & Carole Miller