In its first 75 years, North Omaha was home to no fewer than four Jewish synagogues, six Catholic parishes and 50 Protestant congregations. These churches reflected the community’s diversity, including ethnic churches where only Italian, German, Norwegian, Danish and other languages were spoke. Within 25 years of Omaha’s founding, there were also several Black churches in the neighborhood north of downtown. Following is a history of churches in North Omaha.
The history of Florence begins with the tangled clopping of horse hooves and rattling of the sideboards on beat up wagons. The story of the town begins with people leaving, people coming back, a town booming, a town shrinking, and then getting annexed into Omaha and calming down. It’s a story that’s still being written every day, and lately things are on the up and up!
This is the original Poor Clares Monastery built in 1904. It still stands at N. 29th and Hamilton Streets. Located in the middle of the hustle and bustle is a spectacularly beautiful, formerly consecrated rental facility that few people in the entire city know about. For more than a century there was a monastery […]
The Walnut Hill neighborhood is one of the most historically distinguished in North Omaha.
Along the wild timeline of the Missouri River, a little nest of water was created in East Omaha, Nebraska. When European settlers saw it, they called it Florence Lake. Here’s a short history of its appearance, some appreciation, and its disappearance.
Located immediately north of Mercer Park, the Walnut Hill Reservoir is bound by Hamilton Street and the Walnut Hill neighborhood on the west, North 38th Street on the east, Nicholas Street on the south, and Mercer Park Drive on the east. Walnut Hill is cut in half by the curvy Park Road, which extends from Mercer Boulevard and Lincoln Boulevard. “Walnut Hill Reservoir” is chiseled into a concrete panel between the steps at North 38th Street.
In 1869, a Deaf man named William DeCoursey French founded the Nebraska School for the Deaf on 23 acres northwest of the City of Omaha. Today, the school is gone and the former campus is blended in with the rest of North Omaha. Its legacy is far from over though.
Dan Desdunes was The Man. The leader of Omaha’s powerhouse music scene for more than 20 years, here’s his story…
There is a street that starts in North Omaha and shoots west, with a man so respected by Omahans that more than a century later they named another street after him. North Omaha has been filled with interesting people since the city was founded, and even before that. One of them was Judge George Baker Lake.
Built in 1915, the Broadview Hotel at 2060 Florence Boulevard operated for several decades. Much the same as today, Omaha was culturally segregated in the early 20th century. That included its hotels. Spectacular stories about wonderful early hotels didn’t include African Americans. Places like the Grand Central Hotel, the Cozzens Hotel, the Herndon House, and […]
Before Gottlieb Storz, a few other entrepreneurs tried their hand at brewing beer in North Omaha. Afterwards though, Storz dominated. For more than 75 years, his family ran Omaha’s beer industry, and even though the brewery closed in the 1970s, it left a major mark on the city that still stands today. This is a […]
The banner from a 1910 periodical for parks maintenance. It costs money to be a respectful, successful cemetery. They actually have to conduct a regular and brisk business in order to afford their existence. Today, many old cemeteries have charitable groups or beneficiaries who pay for their upkeep. However, it hasn’t always been easy to raise […]
The Gas Bag was the official newspaper of Fort Omaha in 1919.Fort Omaha was opened in 1878. Home to thousands of US Army troops over a century of service, many people lived and died at the Fort. Today, some of the buildings that still survive on the campus include the General Crook House and the Commissary, both […]
Nurses learning their trade at Immanuel Deaconess Hospital in the 1910s. There were 20 buildings at the old Immanuel Deaconess campus in North Omaha. Located at N. 34th and Meredith, the first building opened there in 1891. Over the years, the campus included a hospital, an orphanage, an old folks home, and a mental health […]
Prospect Hill Cemetery was not Omaha’s first cemetery. This article explores that, and shares information about the city’s actual first cemeteries, including a few others lost to time.
A 1912 pic by Homer Frohardt of his aunt’s grave at Prospect Hill.”Where are my children? Are they buried in that tomb?”H. P. Stanwood was an early and popular sculptor and marble cutter in Omaha. Building a house a shop across the street from the city’s first cemetery, Prospect Hill, he sold a lot of headstones […]
A ghost story from the history of North Omaha that happened at present-day Carter Lake Park.
There is a lot of misunderstanding about what happens at Hummel Park. A lot of it comes from racism, a lot from ignorance, and the rest of it from active imaginations. Before we start examining the allegations about the park, let’s look at the actual, factual history of Hummel Park. The Real History of Hummel […]
Since before the Nebraska Territory was founded in 1854, executions including lynchings, shootings and hangings happened in Omaha. The Omaha Claim Club, established by the city’s founders, used intimidation, threats, and drownings in order to enforce their homesteading over anyone who tried to disagree with them. In 1860, the US Supreme Court made their actions […]
On October 24, 1889, the Omaha Daily World reported that G.S. Kennedy, an African American mechanic who frequented the bar at the Paxton Hotel, was “somewhat indignant” for being charged a higher price than usual because, as the bartender said, he was Black. My review of other articles from early Omaha shows wasn’t Kennedy’s experience wasn’t exception in […]
Omaha’s Colored Commercial Club was an business referral, employment agency, and community building org for almost a decade. This is it’s history…
The historic Wirt Street in North Omaha is packed with houses, churches and more from 125 years ago in Nebraska history.
This is the story of A. J. Poppleton’s North Omaha estate called Elizabeth Place.
The J. J. Brown Mansion belonged to one of Omaha’s early industrialists, and became one of Omaha’s first hospitals. Discover it’s story…
The most famous mansion built in North Omaha is probably the Mayne Mansion, also known as the Redick Mansion. Clifton E. Mayne was a pioneer real estate investor and salesman in the city. In the 1870s, a farmer built a little house along Saunders Street leading north out of Omaha. He sold ten acres and his little farmhouse to Mayne in 1885.
As far as I’m concerned, the history of Omaha’s Near North Side neighborhood is the richest in all of Omaha. It has been home to working class families, poor people, and the wealthy; northern Europeans, African Americans, and eastern Europeans; Lutherans and Catholics, Jews and Black Muslims; slums, family homes, and mansions; looked like a pioneer town, had country gentleman farms, been a suburb, and had slums; professional offices, warehouses, manufacturing plants, local storefronts, printing presses, training centers, supermarkets and pop-up shops; giant churches and synagogues, and tiny storefront temples and more. So much has happened here, and clearly its story is still being written…
Nestled between the Miller Park neighborhood and Sorenson Parkway is a 150 year old institution that’s been a powerhouse, a prison, a balloon school and a neglected surplus, and many other things. This is a short history of Fort Omaha. A group of officers at Fort Omaha in 1918. My Story As a whole, Fort […]
An Art Deco tree taken from the 1919 report where the majority of this article was drawn from. Imagine a smooth, easy drive on a Saturday afternoon in the fall all of it weaving along nineteen miles of the city’s waterfront. There are long, calm curves and tall, stately oaks lining the boulevard, with walkers […]
The Presbyterians were one of the congregations that grew along with Omaha. Arriving soon after the city’s founders, the first Presbyterian church in Omaha was opened in 1856. Over the next 25 years, more than 100 Presbyterian churches were founded in towns and cities across Nebraska. Their buildings became institutions for the faithful, for their communities and for the culture of the state. However, educating enough pastors to lead these flocks was becoming a challenge.
Native Americans are not gone, and neither is their culture. This article is not intended to mythologize, romanticize, or historicize American Indians of any kind in any way. Instead, its a simple summary of what white people have found about the Native Americans who lived in the area we know today as North Omaha.
This is a biography of Nebraska’s first African American legislator, Dr. Matthew O. Ricketts. He served from 1893 to 1897.
Today, North Omaha is a medical desert. With more than 40,000 residents in its boundaries, there is a stark absence of medical service providers of all kinds. Making it worse, the community is greatly underinsured. That leaves people who have no insurance and no money needing to travel to other parts of the city to get care. However, that hasn’t always been the case. There have been more than ten hospitals in North Omaha throughout its 150+ year history.
North Omaha has been the home to many fraternal lodges, community societies, political and social organizations and other groups. It has also been home to a lot of private clubs, nightclubs, dance halls and ballrooms. This article highlights North Omaha social clubs and social halls, and gives them context. Remember that North Omaha has been […]
Immanuel Hospital has been an institution in North Omaha for a long time. Originally located in the far northern part of the city of Omaha, it was intended to serve the burgeoning population in the section centered around N. 30th and Ames Avenue.
With a history extending to the 1840s, North Omaha is bound to have the oldest houses in Omaha today. Learn more about them here…
Once upon a time, North Omaha was littered with large mansions and estates. This article summarizes some of them.
This is an interesting history of Fort Omaha. Every school student in North Omaha is taught about the fort, that it existed and stuff happened there. But what they are taught and what the average Omahan knows pales in comparison to the actual history of the place. Here are five interesting facts about Fort Omaha. […]
This is a timeline of African American politics in North Omaha, Nebraska, including African American Nebraska State Legislators.
When the Trans-Mississippi Exposition happened in North Omaha in 1898, the city wanted to make sure all visitors knew how easy it was to get to the site. Using some promotional materials from that time, I’ve written a history of streetcars in North Omaha in the 1890s.