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KEARNEY – The Ft. Kearney Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution and the Trails & Rails Museum will present a fun-filled and free program at 2 p.m. March 26 detailing the history of Kearney through some of the pioneers themselves.

Between the two nonprofit organizations, they are very proud to have this event as part of the Kearney 150th anniversary celebrations happening all year.

According to Lanna Bishop, one of the principal organizers of the event and a DAR member, “We will be presenting a Living History event highlighting Kearney businesses.”  Historic local businesses like ABC Drug, Kearney Floral and Hawthorne Jewelry are part of the overall program.

"It is our hope folks in our local community will take the time to come to this free event and learn about how some of these businesses came to be,” said Bishop.

Additionally, Broc Anderson, the community engagement director for the Trails & Rails Museum, will present a general history of early Kearney leading up to the main program. According to Anderson, “Kearney has a rich history that is not stuck in our geographic borders that we call Buffalo County.”

Anderson furthered his point, saying, “Our local history has a far and wide impact across the state, nation and world for that matter. People from all over the world came through this region en route to another place or coming here to settle seeking new opportunities.”

A free reception with refreshments and time to reminisce will follow the program. Attendees will also have time to peruse the free Kearney 150 and Bison exhibits.

Ft. Kearney Chapter DAR and the Buffalo County Historical Society/Trails & Rails Museum are two organizations geared toward preserving local history during the anniversary year. Besides this program, Ft. Kearney DAR most recently restored the Kearney Cemetery gates that were dedicated by the organization in March 1927.

The Trails & Rails Museum has a plethora of programs and events taking shape later this summer. Stay tuned for more on the Kearney 150 Facebook page

Mike Konz – Kearney Hub

BCHSFlyerMarch 26.jpg

KEARNEY – Kearney Hub. 25 January 2023.

Kearney Police Department revealed its special commemorative badge celebrating the city’s sesquicentennial anniversary this year at Tuesday’s City Council meeting. The badges will be worn by KPD officers through the anniversary year. Kearney Police Chief Bryan Waugh called it a “milestone moment.”

“We knew this day was coming soon, the 150th anniversary of the city of Kearney,” he said. “It’s a very big deal, and in law enforcement we love to memorialize big moments like this with an artifact of some kind, something we can wear with pride and to honor the great, rich history of the city.”

It is common for a city’s police department to celebrate such milestones with a special badge, said Waugh. Waugh wore the first of these special badges Tuesday, saying he was “blessed” to do so.

“This is not a huge departure from what we’re wearing today, but it has a vintage look to it,” he explained. “It’s got our state seal on it. And that banner on the bottom is a fitting symbol, from 1873 to 2023, the 150th anniversary of the founding of the city of Kearney.”

Waugh described himself as a “fan of history” and said he studied the city’s history when he first arrived in Kearney. He lauded such resources as the city of Kearney website, which has a “great history section,” and the Trails & Rails Museum, which “does a wonderful job of chronicling our history.”

At Tuesday’s meeting, Waugh presented each of the officers present with the new badge.

Asked what will happen after the anniversary year, Waugh said they are considering keeping the badges.

“I’m also a big fan of, if our officers are happy with something, why change it?” he said. “We may make this an option, a uniform item to wear, in addition to the standard badge.”

He added, “We’re happy with our badge. We have a lot of pride in it.”

A patch version of the anniversary badge will be available for the external vest carriers worn by KPD officers.

 Bison Exhibit

Starting February 1, two new exhibits in the Family History Center at the Trails & Rails Museum are open the general public. According to Broc Anderson, the Community Engagement Director, guests can spend several hours just perusing the two free exhibits alone.  

                 The newest traveling exhibit at the Trails & Rails Museum is the Bison exhibit. Not only does this exhibit create an interactive environment that combines history, artifacts, and hands-on activities, but also brings to life the story of this great North American mammal. This exhibit originally toured as The Bison: American Icon through the NEH on the Road program, based on a project by the C. M. Russell Museum, Great Falls, Montana. The National Buffalo Foundation acquired the exhibit at the end of this tour. Refurbished and updated, was made available to museums across the US and Canada to tell the tragic history of this majestic animal, its rescue from near extinction, and the story of people across North America working to preserve the bison as a vibrant part of our future. According to Anderson, “Trails & Rails Museum is fortunate to have the Bison exhibit, especially how it relates to Native peoples and the geography of the Great Plains before, during, and after non-native settlement.” Bison will be available to all guests February 1 – May 14.  
(Photo courtesy of Bison by the Kauffman Museum at Bethel College) 


Additionally, the rotating exhibit that the Trails & Rails Museum establishes on an annual basis features the theme “Kearney 150” in honor of the sesquicentennial year. As the first exhibit guests see when they walk through the door, the timeline of photos along the museums south display wall provide guests a brief walk through before entering the rest of the exhibit. “One of the prominent aspects of this year’s rotating exhibit features the history of the Kearney Volunteer Fire Department,” according to Anderson. Among several artifacts on loan to the museum for display include KVFD’s ballot box, gas masks, and the 1901 Fire Races Nebraska Championship belt. Among other displays within the exhibit feature a section of Kearney during World War II, educational institutions, and the events and programs related to the sesquicentennial celebration happening this year.  

                Additionally, later this year, a Smithsonian traveling exhibition called Voices and Votes making its way across Nebraska will also stop in Kearney at the Trails & Rails Museum this June. “We have a lot going on at the museum, and we hope folks in our community take advantage of it,” according to Anderson.  

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