No. 49--Former Dawes home, 1301 H
From this house at 1301 H, little changed since the nineties, was Charles G. Dawes, later to be vice president of the United States and ambassador to Great Britain. catapulted daily by the boundless energy which eventually shot him up to the top in national affairs. Dawes lived in Lincoln only eight years (1887-1894), but he made a quite indelible impression, as Will a red-hot little iron which a housewife goes off and leaves for a few minutes.
His mobile hands reached out in many directions. Everything he touched seemed to thrive, his fingers being to many things what the green thumb is said to be to gardens. His first law suit in Lincoln won a case for some Nebraska farmers who believed they had been discriminated against in the matter of freight rates. Thus he gained the reputation of being an anti-monopolist--which he was not.
Even in his twenties he was organizing utilities and starting banks and building a fortune, which eventually got up into the millions. He was a born financier and gained a wider reputation as such on becoming President McKinley's comptroller of the currency.
For relaxation he loved to sit at the piano and improvise. He put on paper a number of piano and violin duets. The best known, "Melody in A Major" or something of the sort, became popular and often rolled out to meet him in great volume when he came back to Lincoln. Once--not in Lincoln--he had the whole Thomas orchestra come to his home so he could play along with it on the fife.
In a letter to The Journal Mr. Dawes once said that the eight years he lived in Lincoln he had always regarded as the most important in his life, and some of the friendships then contracted were most valued.
No. 50--Wyuka, 36th and O
Wyuka is, we think, a beautiful word, and especially so for Nebraska. Listening to the sound of it one hears not only the lonely prairie wind but the more cheerful call of prairie birds . . And the name should never be followed by "cemetery," which is redundant, and, much worse, robs it of beauty. It is an Indian word often interpreted as "place of rest." We like still better the more literal "place to lie down and sleep." At any rate, Wyuka is a beautiful peaceful spot, especially on a still summer day, when sun and shade lie side by side over it and large white birds drift timelessly on its quiet lagoon.
This is Lincoln's oldest burial place--tho not the oldest in Lancaster county. Pale folded hands and open Bibles on pure white stones and flat slabs from which lettering, is almost obliterated indicate certain age. The records show that it was founded in 1869, not as a city but a state cemetery. Many names of interest may be found on its stones, among them early governors Nance, Poynter, Thayer, Mickey and Aldrich. The founder of the village of Lancaster, Elder Young, was carried here when his days were done.
Little more than half of Wyuka's 200 acres are laid out in lots. The southwest corner is devoted to an artificial lake bordered with grass and shrubs. Space to the north is for future use. Sections on the north also have been set aside for Civil war and World war veterans. The high iron fence surrounding the cemetery once encircled the university campus. It proved to be a considerable hindrance to firemen when fire broke out in the museum years ago, and in 1924 it was transferred to Wyuka.
© 2000, 2001 by Kathie Harrison, Ted & Carole Miller