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flag  History of Omaha, Nebraska, USA

Journey back in time to Omaha, Nebraska, USA

Visit Omaha, Nebraska, USA. Discover its history. Learn about the people who lived there through stories, old newspaper articles, pictures, postcards and ancestry.

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Omaha, Nebraska, USA - Union Station. Omaha, Neb.

Omaha, Douglas, Nebraska, USA

Father Edward Flanagan founded Boys Town in Omaha, Nebraska in 1917

Mutual of Omaha Corporate headquarters is a public building built with 7 floors underground.

There is MUCH more to discover about Omaha, Nebraska, USA. Read on!

Omaha Nostalgia: Vintage Photos, Ads, and Postcards

Union Station. Omaha, Neb.
Omaha, Nebraska, USA

Union Station. Omaha, Neb.
St. Johns Church. Creighton University. Omaha, Neb.
Omaha, Nebraska, USA

St. Johns Church. Creighton University. Omaha, Neb.
Country Club House
Omaha, Nebraska, USA

Country Club House

Discover Omaha: History, News, Travel, and Stories

Add informationAdd History/News/Story
1854 - Omaha, Nebraska founded
1868 - Lincoln replaced Omaha as the state capitol webimage/ countrys/ namerica/ usstates/ netimeln.htm
1878 - HOTEL FIRE.
The Grand Central Hotel in Omaha, the finest hotel between Chicago and San Francisco, was totally destroyed by fire on the 4th inst.

Three persons were killed and eight seriously injured.

The insurance will almost cover the loss.
The Marion Daily Star
Marion, Ohio
September 6, 1878
1880 - Killed by a Sidewalk.
OMAHA, August 17, - Yesterday afternoon during a heavy rainstorm, Willie Copley, aged 9, while running home, was caught by a plank sidewalk which had been piled against the fence to allow the grading of the street, and which was blown over on him. He was drowned underneath it, in two feet of water. His mysterious disappearance was explained this afternoon by the accidental discovery of his body under the fallen sidewalk.
The Salt Lake Weekly Tribune
Salt Lake City, Utah
August 21, 1880
1883 - May 17 - Buffalo Bill Cody's 1st wild west show premieres in Omaha
May 17, 1883
Omaha, Jan. 22. - There was a collision of trains on the Belt Line division of the Missouri Pacific, within the city limits.

WILLIAM BOYLE, a local Democratic politician, was killed instantly.
J. SCHWARICK, deputy county treasurer, was injured internally.
J. A. HARVEY, badly crushed, probably fatally.
__ VANDERVENTER, badly crushed, probably fatally.
S. FRABER, both legs broken.
FRANK CHURCH, both legs broken.
Two brothers named MITCLAFF, railroad shop boys, were seriously injured; one had his skull fractured.
Several other passengers were more or less injured. The conductor, WILLIAM SHIELDS, had an arm broken and was badly crushed.

The suburban train was twenty minutes late, but had orders to run ahead to Omaha. The freight train which had orders to follow the passenger train into Omaha, broke in two near Druid Hill. This being discovered the engineer immediately increased the speed to keep out of the way of the problem. The suburban train had stopped at the crossing,... Read MORE...

1893 - FIRE AT OMAHA. Farnam Street Theater Completely Destroyed. TOTAL LOSS ESTIMATED AT $250,000.
Five Firemen Injured, Two Fatally - Detailed Statement of the Losses and a List of the Names of the Losers - Origin of the Fire Unknown, But Supposed to Have Been Caused by the Falling of an Arc Electric Light - First Discovered on the State.

OMAHA, Neb., Oct. 3 - The Farnam Street theatre, on the northeast corner of Fifteenth and Farnam streets, has been completely destroyed by fire. The building was of brick, 77 feet by 132 in size, and was four stories high in front and five in the rear. On the first floor were a number of stores, the stocks of which were ruined. The total loss is estimated at $252,000. Six persons, five of them firemen, were injured by falling walls. They are: J. M. GAYNOR, spectator, head and spine injured; J. H. SCOTT, pipeman, bruised on head and body; ED. SIMPSON, ladderman, arm broken; JOHN McBRIDE, fire captain, cut about head and leg – dangerously injured; Pipeman KLEANER, cuts about the head and concussion of the brain; Pipeman MALSON, severe cuts... Read MORE...

1895 - Omaha
Omaha, o'ma-hah, the metropolis of Nebraska, and the seat of justice for Douglas co., is pleasantly situated on the W. bank of the Missouri River, 18 miles above its junction with the Platte, 503 miles by rail W. of Chicago, 476 miles N. by W. of St. Louis, and 145 miles W. of Des Moines, the capital of Iowa. Lat. 40° 16' N.; Lon. 95° 56' W. The site of the city is on a plateau 80 feet above the Missouri River, its corporate limits extending over 24! square miles, within which are 148 miles of graded streets, 72 miles of paved streets, 130 miles of curbing, 103 miles of sewers, and 445 miles of sidewalk; these improvements costing $7,787,000. The city has 2 cathedrals and 107 other church buildings, the University of Omaha, Creighton College, Brownell Hall (for girls), and 61 public schools, with an attendance of 20,000 pupils; the Omaha Medical College, the Western Art Association, the state institute for deaf and dumb, and a free public library with 45,000 volumes. Six hospitals,... Read MORE...

1898 - The Mississippi International Exposition opened in Omaha webimage/ countrys/ namerica/ usstates/ netimeln.htm
Little 9 year old Johnny Arndt and his brother, while playing upon a pile of lumber Thursday evening under the new Sixteenth street viaduct, met with a painful accident which may prove serious for the former.

Under the weight of the youngsters the pile of lumber was overturned and in the fall two pieces of the timber caught Johnny’s leg in such a manner as to tear the muscles and ligaments from the knee of one of his legs to the ankle. The other boy was rendered unconscious by a glancing blow upon the stomach. Both were removed to their home, Seventeenth and Mason streets, where they were attended by Dr. Wearne. The brother was shortly found to be all right, but Johnny was removed to St. Joseph’s hospital. Both are sons of Fred Arndt, a saloon keeper.
Omaha World Herald
Omaha, Nebraska
May 25, 1900
1901 - Omaha - The Transcontinental Gateway by Victor Rosewater
Now a city of 100,000 population, with prosperous suburbs that make it the business centre for 175,000 people, Omaha is the outgrowth of the Nebraska & Council Bluffs Ferry Company. This company was organized under the incorporation laws of Iowa, in 1853, to carry on the lucrative ferriage traffic for transcontinental pilgrims in quest of the gold fields of California that had been begun two years previously by a halted gold seeker, Brown by name, who saw more gold in paddling passengers across the murky Missouri than in washing the yellow sands near Sutter's mill.

As an adjunct to the ferry, the company staked out a claim adjacent to its west landing directly opposite Council Bluffs, and employed Alfred D. Jones, a young civil engineer, to lay out a town site which on pretentious paper was invested, without particular thought or design, with the name Omaha, from the tribe of Indians that was wont to camp upon the creek brushing its north boundary. The survey was conducted in June... Read MORE...

Omaha, Neb. - Three persons were killed and six injured, none fatally, by the collapse of a three-story building at Thirtieth and Grace Streets, Omaha, late Wednesday. The building was occupied by the Omaha Casket Company, and the killed and injured were with one exception employes of the concern.

The dead are JACOB KIRSCHNER, 43, assistant shipping clerk; L. MON MARTIN, a collector, aged, 22, and HENRY DIETL, aged, 40 foreman.

The collapse of the casket factory was due to a heavy wind storm which at a point near the factory assumed the proportions and action of a small tornado. The building was a substantial one of brick, three stories high. The collapse came without warning. W. A. SMITH, the shipping clerk, who was the first to extricate himself, said he saw a storm coming and went to a door to close it. Just as he reached the door the whirling storm struck the building. The roof was raised into the air and dropped, causing the heavy brick walls to collapse.
Those inside the...

Omaha, a city, the capital of Douglas co., Neb., is pleasantly situated on the W. bank of the Missouri River (opposite Council Bluffs, Iowa), 18 miles above its junction with the Platte and 492 miles W. by S. of Chicago, on the Union Pacific, the Missouri Pacific and other railroads. Lat. 41° 16' N. ; Lon. 95° 56' W. The site of the city is on a plateau 80 feet above the Missouri River, which is here crossed by several bridges. Omaha is the commercial and manufacturing metropolis of the state and owes its position to being one of the chief gate-ways of the West. Its more Important industries comprise cattle-, hog- and sheep-packing (it being the third "packing" city of the United States), silver-smelting, brewing, distilling, and the manufacture of white-lead, linseed-oil, machinery, steam-engines, bricks, etc. Here are also located extensive car-shops. Among the more important buildings and institutions of Omaha are the court-house, city-hall, public library (with 60,000 volumes),... Read MORE...

1911 - EXPLOSION WRECKS COURTHOUSE. New Million-Dollar Structure in Omaha Shattered by Blast of Unknown Origin Early This Morning.
[By Morning Journal Special Leased Wire]

Omaha, Neb., March 23. - Two explosions in the basement of the new million-dollar courthouse at Eighteenth and Farnum streets at 1 o'clock this morning created considerable excitement and brought out the police reserves.

Windows were shattered in buildings two blocks away and considerable damage was done.

The cement floors in the basement of the building were torn loose and an interior retaining wall was badly damaged, but the stone walls of the uncompleted building were not injured so far as could be observed.

The police were unable to account for the explosions. The contractor, who is constructing the courthouse has had some trouble with organized labor, but so far as known, this trouble had been settled.

A detail of officers was stationed at the building for the night. The police believe the explosions resulted from dynamite placed in the interior of the uncompleted building. A short piece of fuse was found in an adjoining... Read MORE...

1913 - Tornado
March 23, 1913 - Devastating tornadoes marched across east, northeast and west Iowa. The deadliest tornado struck Omaha, Neb., killing 94 and injuring 350. More than 600 homes were lost.
March 23, 1913
1915 - Icehouse and Cars Destroyed By Fire
(Special to The Star)

Omaha, Neb., Sept. 27 – The recently completed ice house of the Cudahy Packing company was completely destroyed by fire here Sunday. The cause of the fire is unknown. When discovered the flames were shooting from the windows and had gained such headway that with poor water pressure the south side fire battalion was unable to place them under control. So intense was the heat that it was impossible to approach nearer than 100 feet to the burning building. Eight box cars on a siding near the ice house were destroyed. The firemen were able to save the power house and a workmen’s bunk house near the building. The loss is estimated at $100,000, partially covered by insurance.
The Lincoln Daily Star
Lincoln, Nebraska
September 27, 1915
1917 - Father Edward Flanagan founded Boys Town in Omaha, Nebraska in 1917. resources/ state-facts/ nebraska.html
1925 - BASEMENTS FLOODED BY NEAR 2-INCH RAIN. Downtown Section Gets Heavy Drenching—North Part of City “Dry.”. DINERS FLEE CAFETERIA.
The gague of the government weather bureau at the postoffice building recorded rainfall if 1.8 inches Saturday afternoon. The greater part of the fall occurred between 1:30 and 2:30 o’clock.

The deluge extended to most parts of the city, except to the north in Florence and Benson, where there were heavy showers but not to be compared to the near-cloudburst in the downtown district.

Railroads reported the rain to be local to Council Bluffs and Omaha.

Forty customers were forced to desert their meals at the Harrison cafeteria in the basement of the Woodmen of the World building when water backed up in sewer pipes and flooded the cafeteria with six inches of water. The restaurant management refunded the patrons’ meal checks.

Seventeen employes were put to work with mops, and the cafeteria was able to resume business within a short time. No damage was suffered to provisions. Incense was burned to overcome the fumes.

Across the hall, water covered portions of the floor in... Read MORE...

1926 - February 16 - WOW-AM in Omaha NE begins radio transmissions
Omaha, Neb., July 25 - (UP) - Authorities today examined the testle of a Roller Coaster train which plunged from its tracks here last night carrying four persons to their deaths and injuring 20 others.

RUTH FARRELL, 14, daughter of an Omaha contractor; C. H. STOUT, 50, salesman, and TONY POLITKA, 23, died soon after the accident, and the remaining score may spend many days in hospitals recovering from injuries which left most of them unconscious for hours.

The cars hurtled from the Coaster tracks half was up a sharp ascent, and crumpled in the framework of supports below.

Seventeen of the 20 injured were unconscious when taken to hospitals.
Four cars of the pleasure seekers had been joined together. As the train slowly approached the top of the steep incline, a crowd gathered to watch the breath taking dip.

Cries of excitement suddenly were turned to screams of fright as the rails apparently gave way. The crack of the splintering guard railing was followed by the crash of ... Read MORE...

1934 -March 2 - Union Pacific tests light-weight high-speed passenger train, Omaha
1948 - U.S. Strategic Air Command opened near Omaha webimage/ countrys/ namerica/ usstates/ netimeln.htm
1949 - September 1 - KMTV TV channel 3 in Omaha, NB (CBS/NBC) begins broadcasting
1950 - Omaha became the home of the College World Series. resources/ state-facts/ nebraska.html
1975 - May 6 - A massive tornado hit Omaha, NE, killing three persons, injuring 133 others, and causing 150 million dollars damage.
The tornado struck during the late afternoon moving northeastward through the industrial and residential areas of west central Omaha, and lifting over the northern section of the city. The twister, which cut a swath ten miles long and as much as a quarter of a mile wide, was the mostly costly in U.S. history up til that time.
May 6, 1975
2023 - Here's a list of places to go and things to do in Omaha:
Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium:

A world-renowned zoo, known for its incredible exhibits like the Desert Dome and the Lied Jungle. It's a great place for families and animal lovers.

Old Market District:

This historic area is filled with cobblestone streets, unique shops, galleries, and a plethora of restaurants. It's a perfect place to explore on foot, day or night.

Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge:

Take a stroll across the Missouri River on this picturesque bridge. The view of the city skyline is especially stunning at sunset.

Joslyn Art Museum:

If you're into art, this museum has an impressive collection of European and American art. Admission is free for the permanent collection.

Durham Museum:

Housed in a beautiful Art Deco building that was once Omaha's Union Station, the museum showcases the history of the region through various exhibits.

Omaha's Children's Museum:

Perfect for families with young kids, this museum offers interactive exhibits and... Read MORE...

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Ancestors Who Were Born or Died in Omaha, Nebraska, USA

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Genealogy Resources for Omaha

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Updated: 10/16/2023 7:57:53 AM