NEGenWeb Project - Adams County
Who's Who in Nebraska, 1940

in Nebraska

Nebraska History

happier, more stable society. In economic competition with big farms what will be its fate? The same issue was fought out in industry. The big factory swallowed up the small workshop.

2. Public Ownership versus Private Ownership

   The problems presented by changing forms of this question have not been decided. They are sure to be in active controversy during the coming years.

3. Employment

   The issue presented by this question goes to the heart of the entire structure of society. It has grown steadily more acute during the past ten years. Temporary experiments are on trial. No permanent, equitable solution has been found. The issue is certain to be one of the most active in the future.

4. Insurance

   The present various forms of insurance--their cost, their duplication, their efficiency, and other aspects of the whole question of insurance as applied to human life and affairs, are among the acute social questions of the future. Rates of interest are inseparable from the insurance question.

5. Relief

   This is chiefly another phase of the employment question. The problem is unsolved. It is at the top of the list of unfinished political business today.

6. The School, the Taxpayer, the Highway, the Total Public Expenditure

   These are four aspects of one question. They are wholly unsettled and are on the blackboard for continuous public consideration.

World Meaning of Nebraska History

   Nebraska's place in world history--her chief contribution to civilization--may be summarized as follows:

She has had a large part in

    (1) The dominance of the English-speaking race.
   (2) The extinction of slavery.
   (3) Trans-continental highways.
   (4) The subjection of savage tribes.
   (5) The conquest of and lands.
   (6) A re-forested world.
   (7) A social plan and control for production and exchange.


Helen Marie Coles

   A considerable number of institutions of higher learning have, at one time or another, existed in Nebraska. We attempt herein to set forth a few details concerning some of the more important colleges.



First Institutions
   At the first session of the territorial legislature early in 1855 charters were granted for the incorporation of three institutions of higher learning: the first to Nebraska University, to be located at Fontanelle; the second to Simpson University, a Methodist school at Omaha City; and the third to Nebraska City Collegiate and Preparatory Institute. A charter was granted to Nemaha University at Archer in the legislative acts of 1855-56.
   At the same session, Washington College, located at Cuming City, the Plattesmouth Preparatory and Collegiate Institute, and the Western University at Cassville, Cass County were granted charters. Within two years from the time the first legal settler had entered Nebraska, provision had been made for seven colleges and universities. The territorial legislature of 1857 chartered approximately seventeen institutions of higher learning in various parts of the state. Only one of these seventeen, however, became more than a paper institution--Brownville College and Lyceum in Nemaha County. Brownville College existed until about 1860 when crop failures and the Civil War doomed it to extinction. Two more charters were granted by the 1858 territorial legislature, but these charters were as far as the colleges ever developed. During this year, requests for land endowments were numerous. Among these requests were Simpson University, Nebraska University at Fontanelle, and the Marine Hospital at Belleveue: However, no known land grant was made to Nebraska for educational purposes until after her admission as a state.



Stone Seminary
   The various churches made the first attempts to establish institutions of higher learning in Nebraska. In 1864, Elder John Young of the Methodist Protestant Church came to this region for the purpose of founding a female seminary. He laid out the town of Lancaster (now Lincoln) and instruction was begun in 1866 in "Stone Seminary" which was on the block in which the State Journal now stands. This seminary was successfully conducted in 1866 and early 1867, but was destroyed by fire in 1867.


Nebraska History

Who's Who

Mount Vernon
   In 1865 the Methodists of Peru, Nemaha County, obtained a charter for a college and in 1866 the institution opened under the title of Mount Vernon College. After a financial struggle in which the promised subscriptions were paid in land, horses, cattle, hogs--everything but money--the founders offered the school to the Methodist Episcopal conference, but the conference refused it. The founders then offered to give the lands and buildings to the state, provided a state institution were endowed and supported there. This offer was accepted and in 1867 a normal school was chartered.

York College
   In 1879 the Methodists made provision for the location of a conference seminary in York, although there was a struggle to locate it in Osceola where a private school was already established, supported by the Methodists of that section. The academy at York was opened in 1880 and was conducted as an academy until 1883, when it was incorporated as a college, with a medical college located at Omaha. In 1888, after several years of financial struggle, the college property was sold. The library and museum were transferred to Nebraska Wesleyan, at the opening of that institution in 1888, and grades and degrees of York College were recognized by Wesleyan.

Nebraska Central
   The school which finally developed into Nebraska Central College was organized about 1879 at Osceola, as a private academy, by Rev. J. J. Fleharty of the Methodist Church. A few years after he had failed to obtain its adoption as a conference seminary, Rev. Mr. Fleharty transferred the school to Fullerton, hoping that a new location would cause its adoption. But his hopes were vain and after his death the school was reorganized, moved to Central City, and named Nebraska Central College. The Northern Nebraska Central Conference in 1886 gave its official sanction to the school, which continued as a denominational institution until about 1890 when it was discontinued, overwhelmed with debt. It was for a time a department of Nebraska Wesleyan.

   Another early Methodist institution was Mallalieu University, located near the station of Bartley in 1886. After struggling for existence for two years, it finally ceased to exist.

Nebraska Wesleyan
   The Methodists realized that unless a different policy were adopted soon, the results of debts and jealousies of various schools and sections in the state would again leave them without an educational institution in Nebraska. In 1879 the Nebraska conference resolved to adopt Nebraska Wesleyan As their one state university provided it complied with stated building requirements. However nothing was done about this resolution until 1886, when delegates of the various conferences met in Lincoln to discuss the situation. As a result of this meeting, Lincoln was chosen as the seat of the new university and it was decided that all schools or colleges which were property of the church should be incorporated as departments of Nebraska Wesleyan. LeGrand M. Baldwin donated land for the location of the university in present University Place, and instruction began in 1888. Wesleyan University also maintained a Wesleyan Academy in University Place. Two other academies, Douglas and Orleans, were once affiliated with Nebraska Wesleyan but died for want of patronage.



Sacred Heart Academy
   The Methodists were not the only sect which recognized the need for higher education, for in 1881 the Catholics established the Academy of the Sacred Heart in Omaha. This institution was for the purpose of imparting higher education to young women in the state, and, unlike the Methodist institutions, was supported entirely by tuition rather than by endowment.

Catholic Schools
   Catholic schools established in Lincoln included the Convent School, St. Theresa's High School, and the Schools of St. Francis DeSales. The St. Francis Academy was established at Columbus in 1882 by the Order of St. Francis of Assissi.

   Duchesne was founded in Omaha in 1881; it is a tuition school, privately controlled Catholic Womens College.

   Creighton University, founded in 1878 by the Jesuit Fathers, and located at Omaha, is the foremost institution of college rank in the state under the control of the Catholics. The college received its name from Edward Creighton from whose estate it derives its endowment. In 1879 Rt. Rev. James O'Connor vested the entire property and securities of Creighton College in an educational corporation, Creighton University and its doors opened to students that year. There is no tuition. The medical department was authorized in 1892 and has always been closely associated with the Creighton Memorial--St. Joseph's Hospital.

St. Ursula's
   With the departure of the Methodist school, York College, the nuns of the Ursuline Order purchased the grounds and buildings of that institution and founded St. Ursula's Academy, which is still in active and successful operation in York.

St. Columbans
   St. Columbans, of the Society of St. Columbans, opened in 1922 at St. Columbans, near Bellevue; it is the principal order of the seminary in the United States for the education of Catholic priests for mission fields of China.


in Nebraska

Nebraska History

Present Catholic Schools
   Present Catholic institutions of higher learning in Nebraska include the College of St. Mary, a girls school founded in 1923 in Omaha by the Sisters of Mercy; the Immaculate Conception Seminary at Hastings, maintained by the Crosier Fathers; St. Agnes Academy at Alliance; Novitiate "Corpus Christi Carmel" at Kearney; St. Patrick's Academy at Sidney; the Spalding Academy; the Ursuline Convent of Divine Providence and Sacred Heart Academy at Falls City; the Academy of St. Bernard at Nebraska City; the Nazareth Convent at York; the Academy of the Sacred Heart, Notre Dame High School and Academy, the Convent of Mercy, Franciscan Monastery of St. Clare, Novitiate of the Servants of Mary, Convent of Our Lady of Sorrows, and Novitiate of the School Sisters de Notre Dame, all at Omaha; St. Catherine's High School and Academy at Jackson; St. Mary's High School and Academy at O'Neill; and the Trade School at Father Flanagan's Boys Home at Boy's Town. The colleges previously mentioned which are still in existence are Duchesne, Creighton and St. Ursula's.



   York College was founded by the United Brethren in Christ. These brethren had been seeking a better location for their growing college at Gibbon and when the Methodists vacated the York field, the Brethren decided to occupy it. Their school has grown to be an important educational institution. It opened its doors to students in the fall of 1890, and, different from many of the smaller colleges in Nebraska, has managed to keep them open during the years of depression and drouth.



Nebraska Central
   Not until 1899 did the Quakers make any attempt to establish a school for higher education in Nebraska. In 1898 the Friends purchased a building and a 27 acre campus at Central City; this site was the one which the Methodist school, Nebraska Central College, had occupied until 1895. Nebraska Central College at Central City still exists under the control of the Quakers.



Fort Atkinson
   The first school ever to be established in what is now Nebraska, though not an institution of higher learning, merits mention here. In 1819 a school was established at Fort Atkinson for the benefit of the children who lived in and near the post. This school was conducted until 1827.

Missionary School
   In 1833 Moses Merrill and his wife came as Baptist missionaries to Bellevue, where Mrs. Merrill opened a missionary school under the auspices of the Baptist Foreign Missionary Society.



Gibbon Seminary
   In 1880 Gibbon, Buffalo County, offered inducements to locate a Baptist school there and the proposition was accepted by the Baptist convention The Gibbon Seminary was formally opened in 1880, struggled through five years of existence and was closed by vote of the state convention in 1885.

Grand Island College
   The Grand Island Baptist College was incorporated in 1892, and existed until 1931, when it was merged with the Baptist College at Sioux Falls, S. D. The Central Baptist Bible Seminary existed in Stromsburg in about 1886.



Nebraska University at Fontanelle
   In 1855 when the tract for the village of Fontanelle was surveyed, 112 acres were set apart for Nebraska University, which came into legal existence at that time, but no buildings were constructed nor any steps made further than discussion, until it was reorganized under Congregational control in 1858. (It is believed that Nebraska University was, in the beginning, a Baptist institution). It was opened in 1858, continued a single term, then closed for six years. In 1864 it again opened and enjoyed a successful regime until support of the Congregational Association was withdrawn in 1869. A short boom followed and the school was renamed Fontanelle College but various difficulties were encountered, mostly financial, and it was closed in 1874, never to be reopened. According to some historians it later became Doane College at Crete.


Santee Normal
   The Santee Normal Training School was founded in 1870 or 1871 by the American Board, and supervised by Rev. A. L. Riggs. Later it was transferred to the American Missionary Association. Its purpose was the preparation of young Indian men and women for missionary and educational leadership among their own people. The school was discontinued in 1928.

   In 1872 a Congregational institution of higher education was legally established in Crete. This was named Doane College in recognition of the services of Thomas Doane, benefactor. Crete Academy had existed in 1871-72. Like most of the other Nebraska Colleges, Doane had a difficult struggle for existence, but with financial aid from many friends and benefactors, it passed the crisis and has grown to its present status.

Gates College
   In 1882 Gates College was opened in Neligh after location had been considered at Genoa, on the old Pawnee Reservation. Although established and supported by the Congregationalists, the college was never fully endorsed by the State Association.


Nebraska History

Who's Who

   In 1892, it was suggested that Gates and Doane Colleges be joined but Gates refused. In 1895 Gates trustees voted to remove the college to Norfolk; however, much objection was encountered, so the officials merely resigned and threw their support to the institution at Norfolk, which was christened Norfolk College. Norfolk was discontinued in 1898, but the controversy had so weakened Gates College that it, too, resigned its charter and became an academy in 1899, leaving Doane as the only Congregational institution of higher learning in the state.


Franklin Academy-Others
   Franklin Academy represented Congregational interests in southwest Nebraska and is named for the village in which it was located in 1881. After 1886 military drill formed part of the discipline of the academy. In 1902 Dupre Music Hall was built. In 1922 the academy closed, and the campus became the property of Franklin. In 1885 instruction was begun in the Weeping Water Academy, a Congregational institution. In 1889 Chadron Academy, also Congregational, opened for instruction. It expanded into Chadron Business College and later the Chadron Academy School of Music was added.


German Pro-Seminary
   The German Theological Seminary, or German Pro-Seminary during the first fifteen years of its existence, was located at Crete. It was founded in 1878 and used a portion of the Doane "academy building." It was located in Crete until 1894 when it became Wilton German-English College, Wilton, Ia. Until 1882 it was theological; after that year it offered merely literary courses at Crete, the theological department having been transferred to Chicago Theological Seminary.



Union College
   Founded in 1891 through efforts of the Seventh-day Adventist denomination to meet educational needs of its members in the midwest, Union College is located in College View, a suburb of Lincoln. Union College has a co-operative system whereby the students work on the 120 acre farm, in various shops, or in one of the dozen campus buildings, thus contributing to a balanced education, and supplementing their finances. The institution was accredited as a college in 1937.



Lutheran Academy
   According to some historians, the Lutheran Academy, the first Lutheran institution west of the Mississippi, was founded in Homer, Dakota County, in 1885. It was moved to Wayne in 1887, when that community offered more to the school.

Luther Academy
   Under management of the Nebraska Conference of the Evangelical Lutheran Augustana Synod, and supported by the Swedish Lutherans of the state, Luther Academy was organized in 1883 at Wahoo. There was no endowment, contributions being taken in the conference each year, and tuition fees furnishing the rest of the funds for the maintenance of the institution.

Concordia Teachers
   In 1894 Concordia Teachers Seminary was founded in Seward by the pioneers of Lutheranism in Nebraska. For the first eleven years of its existence it was a three-year preparatory school from which students were supposed to go to Addison, Ill., to finish their last two years. However, this was rather unsatisfactory, and in 1905 Concordia became a full-fledged Teachers Seminary, as which it still exists.
   According to the Concordia Cyclopedia, the Missouri Synod took over the school in 1893 and it is believed that it may have been established before that time.

   Midland College was so named because of its location near the center of the country. It was the first and only college in the United States founded by the Board of Education of the General Synod Lutheran Church; it was established at Atchison, Kas., in 1887. In 1919 the College Board of Trustees purchased the plant formerly occupied by the Fremont Normal and Business College which had been established in 1884 and Midland was moved to Fremont. The Western Theological Seminary, located at Fremont, was transferred there from Atchison, Kas., together with Midland, with which it is connected.

   Dana College and Trinity Seminary at Blair, in 1936 celebrated "Fifty Years of Progress." The institution dates back to 1884 when the United Danish Evangelical Lutheran Church in America was founded. One of the first acts of the synod was the founding of this institution. The administration building was dedicated in 1886. At first the purpose of the institution was to prepare young men for the ministry; later it became an academy, and teacher training courses were added. It is the only four year college in America founded by Danish people, and the only college of the United Danish Evangelical Church. It is located west of Blair. In 1936 Dana College acquired a 103 acre farm, where its students work and help to defray their expenses. This farm is also used as a working laboratory for the department of agriculture.



Bellevue College
   Bellevue College was established by vote of the Presbyterian Synod of Nebraska in 1880 as the Synodical College of Nebraska; it opened at Bellevue in 1883. In 1892 new articles of incorporation


in Nebraska

Nebraska History

were filed in Sarpy County and in Douglas County, by which the name was changed to the University of Omaha, Bellevue College continuing as the department of letters, philosophy, science and arts. Omaha Medical College was organized in 1881 and was affiliated with the University of Omaha as a medical department in 1891. In 1908-09 the University of Omaha consisted of the College, Normal School, Academy, and School of Music and Art. This University of Omaha, however, is not the same as the Municipal University of Omaha, which was established by Dr. Daniel E. Jenkins in 1909. Bellevue College closed its doors in 1918; in 1934 Bellevue Vocational School, sponsored by the FERA, opened on the site of Bellevue College.

Otoe University
   Otoe University was established in 1859 by the Presbyterians; shortly after 1871 the property was sold to Nebraska College which was founded by Bishop Clarkson in 1867.

   In 1861-63 the Female Seminary, sponsored by the Presbyterian sect, was successfully conducted. Later the Male and Female College maintained a foothold for a few months but proved unprofitable and was discontinued. These two institutions were located in Nebraska City.

Hastings College
   In 1882 Hastings College was opened by the Presbyterians. Hon. Cyrus H. McCormick and Hon. J. B. Heartwell were early benefactors. The college was almost self supporting; a complete industrial department was established, by means of which food was raised and prepared by the students and the surplus was sold to defray college expenses.

Presbyterian Theological Seminary
   The Presbyterian Theological Seminary was established in Omaha in 1891 to prepare young men for the Presbyterian ministry. The present building was erected in 1902.



Shoenberger Hall
   The Shoenberger Hall, select school for girls, was established in 1870 under patronage of the Episcopal Church of the State.

Talbot Hall-Brownell Hall
   The first school for the young women of Nebraska was organized in 1863 by Bishop Talbot, at Saratoga, a small village just north of Omaha. Controlled by the Episcopalians, it was moved to Omaha in 1867 where it still exists as Brownell Hall, a preparatory school for girls. Talbot Hall, also Episcopal, was a school for boys established at Nebraska City; it was discontinued in 1884.

Worthington Military Academy
   Worthington Military Academy was founded in Lincoln in 1895 by the Grand View Building Association; it was conducted on Episcopal principles. It was closed in 1898 after fire destroyed the building in which it was housed. The Nebraska Military Academy was a classical and commercial Episcopal school for boys. It was located in Grandview Residence Park, Lincoln.



Fairfield Normal
   The planting of a Christian College at Fairfield in 1884 was the first realized attempt of the Christian Church toward higher education in Nebraska. At first the school was called Fairfield Normal and Collegiate Institute, but in 1889 was renamed Fairfield College. Several unsuccessful attempts were made to unite Fairfield College and Cotner University when the financial condition of the former became strained and in 1898 Fairfield was discontinued.

   In 1888 the cornerstone of Cotner University was laid in "Bethany Heights," suburb of Lincoln. The first session of "Christian University" was held in 1889 and, sponsored by the Christian Church, it stressed Bible study in the curriculum. In 1890 the name of the college was changed to Cotner University in honor of Samuel Cotner of Omaha, who donated a tract of land to the university. Also in 1890 a Medical College was established, which, a few years later was moved to Lincoln, and in 1911 its name was changed to Cotner University Medical College. In 1913, however, the two were separated. In 1899 the Lincoln Dental College of Cotner University was established, but after a short period, this relationship also was severed. Cotner College was discontinued in 1933, and for about two years, Cotner diplomas were granted by Nebraska Wesleyan to those who had received their undergraduate work at Cotner.

Bennet Academy
   Bennet Academy was established at Bennet by the founders of Christian University in 1890, and existed until 1896 when it was discontinued due to financial difficulties.



   In 1869, only two years after her admission. as a state, Nebraska passed the act for her university, providing that "the State University and State Agricultural College shall be united as one educational institution and shall be located-upon a reservation selected by said commission in said "Lincoln" . . . . ". In 1871 the combined institution of the State Agricultural College and the University of Nebraska opened its doors to students. During its existence many attempts have been made to sever the agricultural college from the university. However, all such efforts have failed and the College of Agriculture campus remains in Lincoln.


Nebraska History

Omaha Medical
   Incorporated in 1881, the Omaha Medical College assumed its present name in 1902, when it entered into an agreement with the University of Nebraska whereby the first two years of the medical course were to be given at Lincoln and the last two at Omaha.



Peru State Teachers College
   In 1860 Peru Seminary and College was incorporated, and by provision in the charter, a portion of the college property, the buildings and 40 acres of land, were freed from taxation, the first time an exception of this kind had been made for a Nebraska college. In 1867, the same year that Nebraska became a state, the legislature provided for the establishment of a training school for teachers at Peru. This was the third state normal west of the Missouri river, and for thirty-eight years was the only one in Nebraska.

Wayne State Teachers College
   In the summer of 1891, a normal school was conducted in the public school building at Wayne; this institution was so well attended and aroused so much interest that a company was formed, land was purchased and a permanent institution was founded with Professor J. M. Pile as president and owner. At his death a bill was passed in the legislature, providing for purchase of the institution. In 1910 the school was reorganized as a state normal school.

Kearney State Teachers College
   In 1903 the state legislature appropriated $50,000 for a building in which to establish a state normal school for western Nebraska. In 1904 Kearney was selected by the State Normal Board of Education, as the location of the new school. As a gift the city of Kearney presented approximately twenty-five acres of land and a building for the women's dormitory. The first session of the Kearney Normal opened in 1905 in the Kearney high school building; it has developed from the first enrollment of 124 to more than 1500.

Chadron State Teachers College
   Chadron Normal was established by the state legislature in 1911. Along with all other state normals, it was made a State Teachers College by special act of the legislature in 1921 with authority to grant B. A. degrees. The 1927 legislature extended additional authority, and the State Teachers Colleges, thereafter, were able to grant B. Se. and B. F. A. degrees.

University of Omaha
   The University of Omaha, incorporated in 1908, inaugurated its educational work in 1909. Under authorization of an act passed by the legislature in 1928 empowering cities of the metropolitan class to vote on the establishment and maintenance of municipal universities, the Greater Omaha Association initiated a movement to obtain for Omaha a Municipal University. This resulted in the establishment of the Municipal University of Omaha by vote of the citizens of Omaha in 1930. Under guidance of the Board of Regents, the old University of Omaha, established as such by Dr. Daniel E. Jenkins in 1909 became the Municipal University of Omaha in 1931.

Conservatory of Music
   The Nebraska Conservatory of Music was founded in Lincoln in 1889 by Mr. and Mrs. O. B. Howell. In addition to its music and fine arts course, it also issued teachers certificates.

Normal University
   Nebraska Normal University was established in Normal, a suburb of Lincoln, in 1891.

School for the Deaf
   The Nebraska School for the Deaf was established in Omaha in 1867 by the twelfth territorial legislature which passed an act providing for perpetual establishment of the Omaha Deaf and Dumb Institute.

School for the Blind
   The State Institution for the Blind was opened in 1875 in Nebraska City, where it still exists.


Junior Colleges
   McCook Junior College was formally opened in 1926. It was the first public junior college organized in Nebraska. In 1931 it was recognized by the state legislature as a legal part of the educational organization of the state. In addition to the junior colleges already mentioned, Scottsbluff Junior College, Hebron Junior College, and the Omaha "Y" School of Business Administration exist as accredited junior colleges in Nebraska.

Other Colleges
   In 1864 All Souls College was established at Bellevue, Sarpy County. That same year a charter was granted to Nemaha Valley and Normal Institute at Pawnee City. This was the first instance in the history of the state where the buildings were already in existence when the charter was granted. The 1865 legislature provided for the Johnson County Seminary at Tecumseh, which existed but a year.

Nebraska: Federal Writers Project.
College Bulletins and Catalogues.
Newspaper Clippings and County Histories.
Nebraska State Journal Educational Souvenir.
U. S. Bureau of Education, Circular of Information No. 3, 1902.
History of Cotner University by Leon A.Moomaw.
A History of Nebraska Methodism by Marquette.
Andreas History of Nebraska.
Thesis, The Beginnings of Formal Education In Nebraska by Hayden Hughes.

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