Home >> Collier's New Encyclopedia, Volume 6 >> Medici to New Jersey >> Nebraska

Nebraska

college, union, valued, north, territory, lincoln, capital, products, omaha and total

NEBRASKA, a State in the North Central Division of the North American Union; bounded by South Dakota, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, and Wyo ming; admitted to the Union, March 1, 1867; capital, Lincoln; number of coun ties, 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 exten sively 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 ac tion. The mineral deposits are not ex tensive. Coal occurs in places in layers ranging from 5 to 22 inches. Building i stones are quarried in places, including a yellowish gray limestone, a magnesium limestone, capable of taking a high pol ish, and the blue Trenton limestone. Lig nite, 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 for est trees include elm, maple, black wal nut, hickory, red cedar, linden, cotton wood, hackberry, pine, and spruce. Con siderable attention is paid to forestry. The principal growth of timber, cotton wood, is found along the river banks.

Agriculture.—The even temperature, fertile soil, and extensive farm area, make Nebraska an important agricul tural 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 bush els, 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.

yransportation.—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, Burling ton 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 out standing circulation, and $9,673,520 in United States bonds. There were also 957 State banks with $23,334,000 in cap ital, and $6,885,000 in surplus. The ex changes 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 ehil dren of school age was 387,394. There were enrolled in the public schools 292, 362 pupils with an average daily attend ance 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 Col lege at College View, Doane College at Crete, Hastings College at Hastings, Uni versity of Omaha at Omaha, Nebraska Wesleyan College at University Place, Cotner University at Bethany, and York College at York.

Charities and Corrections.—The char itable and correctional institutions in clude 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 pen itentiary at Lincoln., There is a juvenile court law and a board of control for de pendent and neglected children.

Churches.—The strongest denomina tions in the State are the Roman Cath olic; Methodist Episcopal; Lutheran; Synodical Conference; Presbyterian, North; Regular Baptist, North; Congre gational; 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 dis bursements 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 re ceives a salary of $2,500 per annum. Legislative sessions are held biennially in odd years, beginning on the first Tues day 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 gen eral settlement of this region, and a Ter ritory was organized in 1854 under the Kansas-Nebraska Bill. From the area of this Territory were taken part of Colo rado, Montana, Wyoming, and the Da kotas. In 1867 the Union Pacific rail road was completed across Nebraska, the Territory was admitted to the Union as a State, and the capital was removed from Omaha to Lincoln.