Collier's New Encyclopedia (1921)/Nebraska

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NEBRASKA, a State in the North Central Division of the North American Union; bounded by South Dakota, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, and Wyoming; admitted to the Union, March 1, 1867; capital, Lincoln; number of counties, 93; area, 76,840 square miles; pop. (1890) 1,058,910; (1900) 1,068,539; (1910), 1,192,214; (1920) 1,296,372.

Topography.—The State is situated in the great central plain of North America, and has a flat or undulating surface, with a slight inclination S. E. On the N. W. is an extensive desolate tract of land known as the Mauvaises Terres or Bad Lands, rich in interesting fossil remains. Timber has been extensively planted here of late. The principal rivers are the Missouri, which forms the boundary on the E.; its great affluent, the Nebraska or Platte, which, formed by two main forks, from the Rocky Mountains, traverses the territory in an easterly direction; and the Republican Fork of Kansas river, traversing the southern part of the State.

Geology.—The greater part of the State is occupied by Miocene Tertiary formations. A small portion of the N. W. is of Pliocene Tertiary deposit, the remainder of the State being divided among the Permian, Carboniferous, and Cretaceous. The Missouri and Platte river valleys exhibit signs of glacial action. The mineral deposits are not extensive. Coal occurs in places in layers ranging from 5 to 22 inches. Building stones are quarried in places, including a yellowish gray limestone, a magnesium limestone, capable of taking a high polish, and the blue Trenton limestone. Lignite, marble, lime, gypsum, rock salt, and peat are found in limited quantities.

Mineral Production.—The only mineral products of the State are clay products and pottery.

Soil.—The soil, excepting in the N. W., is a deep, rich loam underlaid by a porous clayey subsoil, and is admirably adapted to withstand drought. The climate is equable, and on the whole fine. The forest trees include elm, maple, black walnut, hickory, red cedar, linden, cottonwood, hackberry, pine, and spruce. Considerable attention is paid to forestry. The principal growth of timber, cottonwood, is found along the river banks.

Agriculture.—The even temperature, fertile soil, and extensive farm area, make Nebraska an important agricultural State. The principal farm products in 1919 were as follows: corn, 184,186,000 bushels, valued at $224,707,000; oats, 69,962,000 bushels, valued at $45,475,000; wheat, 60,675,000 bushels, valued at $122,564,000; hay, 4,299,000 tons, valued at $60,186,000; potatoes, 6,325,000 bushels, valued at $12,018,000.

Manufactures.—The statistics of the manufactures of the State in 1914 are as follows; number of establishments, 2,294; average number of wage earners, 25,144; capital invested, $121,008,000; amount, paid in wages, $16,893,000; value of materials used, $194,114,000; value of finished products, $221,616,000.

Transportation.—The total railway mileage of the State for 1920 was 8,392. Little railway construction has been done in recent years. The railways having the longest mileage are the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy, the Union Pacific, and the Chicago and Northwestern.

Banking.—On Oct. 31, 1919, there were 190 National banks in operation, having $16,640,000 in capital, $10,766,813 in outstanding circulation, and $9,673,520 in United States bonds. There were also 957 State banks with $23,334,000 in capital, and $6,885,000 in surplus. The exchanges at the United States clearing house at Omaha, for the year ending Sept. 30, 1919, aggregated $2,965,754,000, an increase over the preceding year of $273,280,000.

Education.—The total number of children of school age was 387,394. There were enrolled in the public schools 292,362 pupils with an average daily attendance of 219,246. There were 12,697 teachers with an average salary of $64.75 monthly. There are normal schools at Peru, Kearney, Wayne and Chadron. The University of Nebraska at Lincoln is part of the educational system of the State. Other institutions of collegiate rank are Bellevue College at Bellevue, Union College at College View, Doane College at Crete, Hastings College at Hastings, University of Omaha at Omaha, Nebraska- Wesleyan College at University Place, Cotner University at Bethany, and York College at York.

Charities and Corrections.—The charitable and correctional institutions include State institutions for the blind and deaf, an institute for the feeble-minded, industrial schools for girls and boys, three asylums for the insane, and a State penitentiary at Lincoln. There is a juvenile court law and a board of control for dependent and neglected children.

Churches.—The strongest denominations in the State are the Roman Catholic; Methodist Episcopal; Lutheran;, Synodical Conference; Presbyterian, North; Regular Baptist, North; Congregational; Disciples of Christ; Lutheran, General Council; and United Brethren.

Finances.—The State has no bonded debt. The total receipts for the fiscal year of 1918 was $4,980,973 and the disbursements amounted to $4,012,270. There was a balance at the end of the year amounting to $1,451,880.

State Government.—The governor is elected for a term of two years and receives a salary of $2,500 per annum. Legislative sessions are held biennially in odd years, beginning on the first Tuesday in January and are limited to 90 days each. The Legislature has 33 members in the Senate and 100 in the House. There are 6 representatives in Congress. The State government in 1920 was Republican.

History.—Nebraska was originally a part of the Louisiana Purchase, and was for a long time part of the Northwest Territory. The overland emigration to California in 1849 brought about a general settlement of this region, and a Territory was organized in 1854 under the Kansas-Nebraska Bill. From the area of this Territory were taken part of Colorado, Montana, Wyoming, and the Dakotas. In 1867 the Union Pacific railroad was completed across Nebraska, the Territory was admitted to the Union as a State, and the capital was removed from Omaha to Lincoln.


Collier's 1921 Nebraska.jpg
 Copyright, L. L. Poates Eng. Co., 1921