The New International Encyclopædia/Lincoln (Nebraska)
LINCOLN. The second city of Nebraska, State capital and the county-seat of Lancaster County, 55 miles southwest of Omaha; on the Burlington Route, the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific, the Fremont, Elkhorn and Missouri Valley, the Union Pacific, and the Missouri Pacific railroads (Map: Nebraska, H 3). The attractive city, with its fine wide avenues and modern business blocks and homes, lies spread out on a level prairie. It is the seat of the University of Nebraska (q.v.), Nebraska Wesleyan University (Methodist Episcopal), Cotper University (Christian), Union College (Adventist). The State Asylum for the Insane and the State penitentiary are located here. The noteworthy buildings include, besides these already indicated, the State Capitol, built of white limestone at a cost of $500,000, United States Government buildings, county court-house, Saint Elizabeth's Hospital and Home for the Friendless, and the new public library, costing $75,000, the gift of Andrew Carnegie. In addition to the city library, there are the State State Historical, and State University libraries.
The central position of the city and its railroad facilities make it an important distributing point for the agricultural and mechanical productions of a large area. It has valuable quarries of limestone in the vicinity and deposits of excellent clay. There are numerous grain elevators, the city being the centre of an important grain trade, and manufactories of upholstered goods, mattresses, brooms, dusters, overalls and shirts, flour, bricks, creamery products, etc. The government is vested in a mayor, elected every two years, a unicameral municipal council, and administrative officials, many of whom are appointed by the executive with the consent of the council. The city clerk, treasurer, city attorney, city engineer, water commissioner, and police judge are chosen by popular election, and the library board is elected by the council. The water-works are owned and operated by the municipality. Lincoln spends annually in maintenance and operation about $350,000, the main items being $120,000 for schools, $25,000 for the water-works, $25,000 for the fire department, and $15,000 each for the police department and for municipal lighting. Population, in 1870, 2441; in 1880, 13,003; in 1890, 55,154; in 1900, 40,169.
In 1859 the site of Lincoln was chosen for the location of a city to be called Lancaster, but there were hardly a dozen settlers there in 1864, when the place was laid out. Three years later, the inhabitants then numbering less than 30, Lancaster was chosen as the capital of Nebraska, and its name changed to Lincoln in honor of Abraham Lincoln. Consult Hayes and Cox, History of the City of Lincoln (Lincoln, Neb., 1889).