About

North Omaha is a community in Nebraska, and this website is meant to highlight the history of where I grew up. It features the people, places and events that make this area of Omaha great today. 

For the purpose of this website, I define North Omaha by the boundaries I knew growing up: From Dodge Street on the south to 72nd on the west, the Missouri River on the east and Ponca Hills on the north.

Map of North Omaha, Nebraska
East of North 72nd and north of Dodge Street, North Omaha includes all of the northeast corner of Omaha.

This Website

This website is meant to explore the history of the community where I grew up. I am not a professional historian, and don’t have all the access I need in order to tell every single story as deeply as I’d like to. On this website I explore topics that intrigue me, that I love, and that I want to learn more about.

I wanted to change that for young people in North Omaha today. Luckily, there is more interest than I’ve seen in three decades coming out in the community today. While a lot of it is focused on gentrification and a glorified vision of the way things used to be, some interest is focused on preserving the community’s history while moving forward into a positive, powerful future for today’s North Omahans. I support that work.

Use the comments on each article to share your thoughts. Feel free to reach out and share your stories, ideas, and info with me by emailing me. Learn more about me here »

Sources and Permissions

All written content on this website is copyright 2009-2019 by Adam Fletcher. All rights reserved. Permission to reprint, share and otherwise distribute the written content of this website is granted only for nonprofit educational purpose. For information and clearance contact me.

All visual material used herein is used in good faith and provided on the internet for nonprofit educational usage only. No permission is granted to reuse any image included herein by Adam Fletcher. All copyrights belong to their owners. Images included here are for used for personal, nonprofit educational purposes only. Information regarding re-use, copying, and otherwise redistributing the images can be found at the following URLs.

Organizations

Websites

Publications

  • A Bridge to Success by Chuck Miller in 2011.
  • A Comprehensive Program for Historic Preservation in Omaha by City of Omaha Landmarks Heritage Preservation Commission for Klopp Printing Co. in 1980.
  • A Dirty, Wicked Town: Tales of 19th Century Omaha by David Bristow for the University of Nebraska Press for Caxton Press in 2000.
  • A Thousand Honey Creeks Later My Life in Music from Basie to Motown—and Beyond by Preston Love for the Wesleyan University Press in 1997.
  • African American Administration of predominantly Black Schools: Segregation or Emancipation in Omaha, NE. Paper by T. Johnson presented at the annual meeting of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History in Charlotte, NC in 2001.
  • Ahead of Their Time: The Story of the Omaha DePorres Club by Matt Holland in 2014.
  • An Analysis of Negro Ritualistic ceremonies as Exemplified by Negro Organizations in Omaha by Ida Madonna Rowland for University of Omaha in 1938.
  • Authur Goodlett. American Life Histories: Manuscripts by the Federal Writers’ Project in 1939. 
  • Black Print with a White Carnation Mildred Brown and the Omaha Star Newspaper, 1938-1989 by Amy Helene Forss for the University of Nebraska Press in 2014.
  • Black and Catholic in Omaha: A Case of Double Jeopardy: The First Fifty Years of St. Benedict the Moor Parish by Jack Angus for iUniverse, Inc. in 2001.
  • Buffalo Soldiers by Todd Robinson with illustrations by Watie White, developed by Tegwin Turner for Omaha Public Schools and the Nebraska Department of Education in 2013.
  • Bungalow Neighborhoods of North Omaha by Patrick A. Peters for the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 1984.
  • Cap Wigington: An Architectural Legacy in Ice and Stone by David Vassar Taylor with Paul Clifford Larson for the Minnesota Historical Society Press in 2001.
  • Creating the Color Line and confronting Jim Crow: Civil rights in middle America: 1850-1900 by David J. Peavler for the University of Kansas in 2008.
  • Crime in Bemis Park: A Victimization Survey by Genevieve Burch for the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 1981.
  • Culture by Brandon Vogel with illustrations by the late Wanda Ewing, developed by John-Paul Gurnett for Omaha Public Schools and the Nebraska Department of Education in 2013.
  • Detrimental Reliance: The Empowerment Movement, the City Administration and the North Omaha Community – Examples and Explanations by Matthew Stelly in 2018.
  • Double Victory by Tunette Powell with illustrations by Rebecca Herskovitz, developed by Cherie Scholten for Omaha Public Schools and the Nebraska Department of Education in 2013.
  • Drawing North Omaha by Adam Fletcher Sasse for NorthOmahaHistory.com in 2018.
  • Fighting Jim Crow in post-World War II Omaha 1945-1956 by Kathleen Mary Davis for University of Nebraska Omaha in 2002.
  • FRAMED: J. Edgar Hoover, COINTELPRO & the Omaha Two story by Michael Richardson in 2018.
  • Free Radical: Ernest Chambers, Black Power, and the Politics of Race by Tekla Agbala Ali Johnson for Texas Tech University Press 2016.
  • Gospel Music in Omaha, Nebraska: A History by Tom Jack for the University of Wisconsin Madison in 1992.
  • Great Migration by Leo Adam Biga with illustrations by Victoria Hoyt, developed by Octavia Butler for Omaha Public Schools and the Nebraska Department of Education in 2013.
  • History of the University of Nebraska at Omaha, 1908-1983 by Tommy R. Thompson for Taylor Publishing Co. in 1983.
  • In Defense of North Omaha: A socially corrective critique of Adam Fletcher Sasse’s ‘North Omaha History (Vols. 1-3)‘ by Matthew Stelly from 2017.
  • In Search Of The Racial Frontier: African Americans in the American West, 1528–1990 by Quintard Taylor for W.W. Norton & Co. in 1998.
  • In Their Own Image: Artifacts from the Great Plains Black History Museum by Patrick D. Jones and Jared Leighton for Donning Company Publishers in 2014.
  • In the World but Not of the World: A Church’ s Relation to its Environment by James Earl Floyd for the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 1975.
  • North Omaha History, Volume 1 by Adam Fletcher Sasse for CommonAction Publishing in 2016.
  • North Omaha History, Volume 2 by Adam Fletcher Sasse for CommonAction Publishing in 2016.
  • North Omaha History, Volume 3 by Adam Fletcher Sasse for CommonAction Publishing in 2016.
  • North Omaha History Timeline: A Supplement to the North Omaha History Volumes 1, 2 & 3 including People, Organizations, Places, Businesses and Events from the pre-1800s to Present by Adam Fletcher Sasse for NorthOmahaHistory.com in 2017.
  • Notable Nebraskans by Daphne Eck with illustrations by Gina Tolstedt, developed by Lacey Wilson for Omaha Public Schools and the Nebraska Department of Education in 2013.
  • Omaha Streetscape Handbook by RDG Planning & Design for the City of Omaha Omaha By Design in 2008.
  • Our Story: Recollections of Omaha’s Early Jewish Community 1895-1925 Our Story: Recollections of Omaha’s Early Jewish Community 1895-1925 edited by Jonathan Rosenbaum and Patricia O’Connor-Seger for the Omaha Section of the National Council of Jewish Women in 1981.
  • Patterns on the Landscape-Heritage Conservation in North Omaha by the City of Omaha Planning Department in 1984.
  • Peony Park by Leo Adam Biga with illustrations by Weston Thomson, developed by Russ Nelsen for Omaha Public Schools and the Nebraska Department of Education in 2013.
  • People in Your Neighborhood by Andrew Norman, illustrated by Christina Renfer Vogel, developed by Sarah Adams for Omaha Public Schools in 2013.
  • Pioneers by Brandon Vogel with illustrations by Paula Wallace, developed by Joey Vickery for Omaha Public Schools in 2013.
  • Project Prospect: A youth investigation of blacks buried at Prospect Cemetery by Girls Club of Omaha in 1981.
  • Reconnaissance Level Survey For: North Omaha Omaha Historic Building Survey by Alley Poyner Macchietto Architecture Incorporated for the City of Omaha and the Nebraska State Historical Society in 2016.
  • Reconnaissance Survey of Portions of North Central Omaha by Mead & Hunt, Inc. for the City of Omaha and the Nebraska State Historical Society in July 2008.
  • Reconnaissance Survey of Portions of North Omaha by Mead & Hunt, Inc. for the City of Omaha and the Nebraska State Historical Society in July 2007.
  • Reconnaissance Survey of Selected Neighborhoods in Central and South Omaha by Mead & Hunt, Inc. for the City of Omaha and the Nebraska State Historical Society in July 2006.
  • Rhythm Boys of Omaha Central: High School Basketball At the ’68 Racial Divide by Steve Marantz for the University of Nebraska Press in 2001.
  • Streets of Omaha: Their Origins and Changes by H. Ben Brick for the Omaha Public Library in 1997.
  • The Black Experience in Selected Nebraska Counties, 1854–1920 M.A. Thesis by James D. Bish for University of Nebraska at Omaha in 1989.
  • The Black Experience Through The Lens Of Rudy Smith edited by Kristine Gerber for Omaha World-Herald in 2018.
  • The Education of a WASP by Lois Mark Stavely for University of Wisconsin Press in 1989.
  • The Jews of Omaha: The First Sixty Years by Carol Gendler for the University of Omaha in 1968.
  • The Omaha Gospel Complex In Historical Perspective by Tom Jack for the College of Saint Mary in 2000.
  • The Urban Renewal Movement in Omaha, 1954-1970 by Donald Louis Stevens Jr. for the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 1981.
  • Visions of Freedom on the Great Plains: An Illustrated History of African Americans in Nebraska by Bertha W. Calloway and Alonzo Nelson Smith for Walsworth Publishing Co. in 1998.
  • 24th and Glory: An Intersection of Civil Rights and Omaha’s Greatest Generation of Athletes by Dirk Chatelain for the Omaha World-Herald in 2019.

Select Articles

  • “World War II and the Transformation of the Omaha Urban League” by Dennis Mihelich in Nebraska History 60(3), 401–423 in Fall 1979.
  • “John Albert Williams and Black Journalism in Omaha, 1895–1929” by D.G. Paz in Midwest Review 10: 14–32 in 1988.
  • “The Negro comes to Nebraska” from Negroes in Nebraska by the Federal Writers Project in 1939.
  • “Government, Interest Groups, and the People: Urban Renewal in Omaha, 1954-1970,” by Donald L Stevens Jr in Nebraska History 67, 134-158, in 1986.

Education Books

The Nebraska Department of Education contracted with partners, teachers, and students to develop a series of e-books, and some are related to North Omaha’s history.

  • Buffalo Soldiers by Todd Robinson with illustrations by Watie White, developed by Tegwin Turner for Omaha Public Schools in 2013.
  • Culture by Brandon Vogel with illustrations by the late Wanda Ewing, developed by John-Paul Gurnett for Omaha Public Schools in 2013.
  • Double Victory by Tunette Powell with illustrations by Rebecca Herskovitz, developed by Cherie Scholten for Omaha Public Schools in 2013.
  • Great Migration by Leo Adam Biga with illustrations by Victoria Hoyt, developed by Octavia Butler for Omaha Public Schools in 2013.
  • Jefferson Square by Sarah Pierce, an Oglala Lakota, with illustrations by Sarah Rowe from the Lakota Nation for Omaha Public Schools in 2013.
  • Notable Nebraskans by Daphne Eck with illustrations by Gina Tolstedt, developed by Lacey Wilson for Omaha Public Schools in 2013.
  • Peony Park by Leo Adam Biga with illustrations by Weston Thomson, developed by Russ Nelsen for Omaha Public Schools in 2013.
  • People in Your Neighborhood by Andrew Norman, illustrated by Christina Renfer Vogel, developed by Sarah Adams for Omaha Public Schools in 2013.
  • Pioneers by Brandon Vogel with illustrations by Paula Wallace, developed by Joey Vickery for Omaha Public Schools in 2013.

Select Videos

  • “A Street of Dreams” video produced by Nebraska ETV Network in 1992.

Gratitude

I want to extend a special thanks to the people and organizations that have made this website possible, and to those who assist me with it in countless ways. Some of them include…

  • My family, including Robert and Charlette, Ian, Anne and Elva.
  • The former Pearl Memorial United Methodist Church congregation, including David Porter, Margaret Gilmore and others.
  • My mentors in the former Umoja District of Mid America Boy Scout Council, especially Von Trimble, Charlie Goff, Bill Bolte, John Stokke, and Chuck Livengood.
  • The 1992 Urban League Youth Leadership Program.
  • My history teachers Jeff Koneck at Miller Park and Mark Schulze at North High.
  • Guest writers including Karen Clopton, Michele Wyman, Jody Lovallo, Ryan Roenfeld and Patrick Wyman; and guest contributors including Micah Evans and Michaela Armetta.