Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Traveling Tuesday: Lincoln, Nebraska

Traveling Tuesday: Lincoln, Nebraska

The Homestead Act of 1862 was enacted the year after President Lincoln made as speech in which he said the purpose of America’s government was to “elevate the condition of men, to lift artificial burdens from all shoulders and to give everyone an unfettered start and a fair chance in the race of life.” 

As result of the act, 1.6 million deeds were granted, distributing 270,000,000 acres (420,000 square miles)  in thirty states between 1862 and 1934. Homesteading was discontinued in 1976, except for Alaska, where it was not discontinued until 1986. Montana, North Dakota, Colorado, and Nebraska had the most successful claims.

Nebraska lies in both the Great Plains and the Midwest. Bordered by South Dakota, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, and Wyoming, it is the only triply landlocked U.S. state, meaning one has to travel through three states to reach an ocean, gulf, or bay. Admitted to the union in 1867, the state’s legislature is unicameral, which is unlike any other American legislature.  

Photo: David Mark/Pixabay
The capital of the Nebraska territory had been in Omaha since the creation of the territory in 1854, but most of the population lived south of the Platte River, so the legislature voted to locate the capital city south of the river and as far west as possible. The village of Lancaster was founded in 1856 and became the county seat four years later. Located on the banks of Salt Creek, settlers were attracted to the area due to the abundance of salt. Under consideration as a possible site for the newly moved capital, Omaha senator J.N.H. Patrick had the town renamed after the recently assassinated president in the hopes that the large number of southern-leaning senators wouldn’t vote for the bill. His plan backfired, and Lincoln was chosen in July 1867. Eighteen months later, the capitol building was completed.

Burlington and Missouri River Railroad’s first train arrived on June 26, 1870 and the Midland Pacific and Atchison and Nebraska followed in 1871 and 1872 respectively. During the 1870s and 1880s, thanks to the vast prairie land that was perfect for cattle grazing, and the invention of several farming technologies such as barbed wire, wind mills, and the steel plow, Nebraska’s population exploded. Three more railroads arrived by 1892, and the town became a rail hub.

Photo: enebraskahistory.org
Fifty years later the Lincoln Army Airfield was established, and during WWII would be used to train over 25,000 aviation mechanics and process over 40,000 troops for combat. The base was closed in 1945, but reactivated in 1952 during the Korean War. Closed permanently 1966, the town of Lincoln took over and created the Lincoln Municipal Airport.

Lincoln is the birthplace and residence of many famous people such as Hilary Swank, former Vice President Richard Cheney, Johnny Carson, and Willa Cather.

Have you ever visited Nebraska?


Will she have to run from the past for the rest of her life?

Dinah Simpkins has no chance of making a good marriage. Her outlaw brothers and her father’s gambling addiction have ruined the family’s reputation. Then the Westward Home and Hearts Matrimonial Agency provides an opportunity for a fresh start. After Dinah arrives in Nebraska, she discovers her brothers played a part in the death of her prospective groom’s first wife.

As a former Pinkerton detective Nathan Childs knows when someone is lying. The bride sent by the matrimonial agency may be beautiful, but she’s definitely hiding something, and he has no intention of marrying her until he uncovers the truth. But an easier solution may be to send her packing. Then his young daughter goes missing. He and Dinah must put aside their mutual hurt and mistrust to find her.

Purchase Link: https://amzn.to/3gr2V0I

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