Historic Street Names

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riceweb
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Historic Street Names

Postby riceweb » Wed Aug 31, 2011 8:47 pm

The downtown streets are laid out alphabetically, with a few exceptions. I wonder if anyone on the board knows, what were the original names of the streets?

Burt
Mike Fahey - Previous Name Webster - Original Name ???
California
Cass
Chicago
Davenport
Capitol Ave - Original Name ???
Dodge
Douglas
Farnam
Harney
Howard
Jackson
Jones
Leavenworth
Marcy
Mason
Pacific
Pierce
Poppleton

North of Burt, you have Cuming, Izard, and Nicholas, which are totally random as far as I can tell. South of Pierce, again, the pattern drops off. But does anyone know the original street names?

Also, I think we should, at least as a separate, historical sign, list the old street names. We could even give Cuming the alternate name "Abbott" so that our street names have a definitive starting street. I think then it'd be a lot easier for first-timers to navigate the downtown area.

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iamjacobm
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Postby iamjacobm » Wed Aug 31, 2011 8:52 pm

http://www.omahahistory.org/Education_StreetNames.htm

This can answer your every question.

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Postby riceweb » Wed Aug 31, 2011 9:06 pm

It's close! But it doesn't say what they originally were. However, the bibliography does mention this:

Brick, H. Ben. The Streets of Omaha: Their Origins and Changes. Omaha: Omaha Public Library, 1997.

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Brad
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Postby Brad » Thu Sep 01, 2011 12:37 am

Then they get in to tree streets...

Pine
Hickory
Walnut
Cedar
Elm
Oak

Then A-Z streets

Then Presidents

Washington
Jefferson
Adams
Madison
Monroe
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Re: Historic Street Names

Postby Omababe » Thu Sep 01, 2011 3:02 am

riceweb wrote:The downtown streets are laid out alphabetically, with a few exceptions. I wonder if anyone on the board knows, what were the original names of the streets?

Burt
Mike Fahey - Previous Name Webster - Original Name ???
California
Cass
Chicago
Davenport
Capitol Ave - Original Name ???
Dodge
Douglas
Farnam
Harney
Howard
Jackson
Jones
Leavenworth
Marcy
Mason
Pacific
Pierce
Poppleton


Ya know, I've lived here 30 years now and I did not notice that pattern!

I've heard that Cuming (singular, of course), Webster, Izard, and Burt are named for 19th century political figures. I really did not notice the (semi) alphabetic pattern from north to south. I'm kinda surprised, since the area I come from has a number of pockets of alphabetical streets (Albemarle, Beverl(e)y, Cortelyou, Dorchester; Huron, India, Java, Kent dot-dot-dot).

I wonder if there are any other patterns to the Omaha streets?

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TitosBuritoBarn
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Postby TitosBuritoBarn » Thu Sep 01, 2011 7:58 am

Not downtown, but my favorite street is John Galt Boulevard. It's named after a fictional character from Ayn Rand's book Atlas Shrugged whose life apparently isn't going anywhere. It received it's name because, just like character, it doesn't go anywhere.

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Postby bigredmed » Thu Sep 01, 2011 7:59 am

The streets are laid out in their original development or township that got added to Omaha over time.  The tree names start south of Leavenworth and go towards Center.  When they ran out of trees, they switched to Girls names (Shirley street).  When Omaha and So Omaha merged, they ended up with double girl names in a couple of streets (If I remember correctly, Mary or Martha street).

Presidents were added at some point.  When Millard was its own town, the streets there were originally tree names or Presidents names.  I lived on Madison street that got changed to O street to fit with the Alphabet streets of South Omaha.

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Postby Omababe » Thu Sep 01, 2011 8:29 am

bigredmed wrote:When Omaha and So Omaha merged, they ended up with double girl names in a couple of streets (If I remember correctly, Mary or Martha street).


A real estate agent was telling me the tale of some of the "girl" streets in the northern part of Sarpy County, some of which begin in what is now northern Bellevue and run westward to the vicinity of Denver or so. :) Some of these (Emiline, Gertrude) were named for the wives, daughters, and in some cases mistresses of the settlers and developers of the area. The trend continued into the mid-late 20th century and now includes one named for the ex-wife of a recent somewhat flamboyant developer. :)

There are a few oddities in these streets. (I have a thing for street oddities for some reason.) Emiline is spelled both "Emeline" and "Emiline" in places, with differently-spelled signs being quite close together in some places. Audrey is one of the few streets in the Omaha area that is addressed by both the "south of Dodge" numbers and the "east to west" numbers in places.

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Postby Seth » Sat Sep 03, 2011 12:24 pm

I actually check out a book from the library that had a comprehensive discussion of the origin of Omaha street names.  It was a bound copy of a university MS thesis, but it was pretty interesting.  It's in the Omaha history section of the downtown library.

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Postby Turtle9160 » Tue Sep 06, 2011 2:33 pm

I remember seeing some old maps of Omaha form around 1870 and on till round after the second world war, Capital was always called that since it lead to the old capital building, the odd thing was that some of he named streets south of Leavenworth use to be names of streets in North Omaha and vice versa and alot of the streets changed names at some point, library site might have images of them if anyone wanted to look should be in the historic section.

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Re: Historic Street Names

Postby iamjacobm » Tue Jul 15, 2014 8:01 pm

I was talking to someone that was listening to KGOR(I think) the the other day and they said they were having a huge discussion about changing the name of Cuming b/c it was "innappaoiatte" and "crude." She didn't remember if they mentioned that Cuming is a notable figure in Nebraska history, not a mention to some other things.

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Re: Historic Street Names

Postby Coyote » Tue Jul 15, 2014 9:15 pm

Well that's just bright. They should rename Dodge Street because I was traumatized by playing that in 2nd grade.
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Re: Historic Street Names

Postby bigredmed » Wed Jul 16, 2014 1:33 pm

iamjacobm wrote:I was talking to someone that was listening to KGOR(I think) the the other day and they said they were having a huge discussion about changing the name of Cuming b/c it was "innappaoiatte" and "crude."  She didn't remember if they mentioned that Cuming is a notable figure in Nebraska history, not a mention to some other things.


Just because someone is too lazy to check out a book at the library and read it, or too clueless to use Google, does not mean the rest of us should take their infantile and immature concerns seriously, much less go to the trouble of having a hearing on it.

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Re: Historic Street Names

Postby TitosBuritoBarn » Wed Jul 16, 2014 10:59 pm

I mean let's not be too quick to judge. Maybe this particular person lives on Cuming at one of it's more unfortunate cross streets and gets tired of telling visitors that they're "Cuming 'n' Burt" or that they're at "Fairwood 'n' Cuming," or "i'm at the end of the Cuming Circle that's after 69th."
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Re: Historic Street Names

Postby Omababe » Thu Jul 17, 2014 1:15 am

Actual street intersection in upper Manhattan, NYC:

Image

Hey, we're all adults here, right. :)

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Re: Historic Street Names

Postby threeoutside » Fri Oct 10, 2014 10:52 am

This is fascinating! I do know that a lot of the older streets, such as Cuming, Burt, Dodge, and others, are named after military generals - many from the Civil War, some (probably) from the so-called "Indian wars." I agree, one person who can't be bothered to educate themselves shouldn't be able to dictate to the whole community. History is right there on our street signs, folks, open your eyes.

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Re: Historic Street Names

Postby Coyote » Fri Oct 10, 2014 11:05 am

I have the book "Nebraska Place-Names" (1960, Univ of NE Press) that I use often to remind me who some of our cities or streets or rivers are named after. Some throw me way off, like the Loup River...
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Re: Historic Street Names

Postby HR Paperstacks » Fri Oct 10, 2014 2:10 pm

threeoutside wrote:This is fascinating! I do know that a lot of the older streets, such as Cuming, Burt, Dodge, and others, are named after military generals - many from the Civil War, some (probably) from the so-called "Indian wars." I agree, one person who can't be bothered to educate themselves shouldn't be able to dictate to the whole community. History is right there on our street signs, folks, open your eyes.

Actually Dodge was named after an influential Iowa senator who was a strong supporter of westward expansion: http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dodge_Street" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: Historic Street Names

Postby threeoutside » Fri Oct 10, 2014 2:45 pm

Ah - good to know. Was that who the Dodge House is named after, too?

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Re: Historic Street Names

Postby Brad » Fri Oct 10, 2014 2:50 pm

threeoutside wrote:Ah - good to know. Was that who the Dodge House is named after, too?


The Dodge house is after General Dodge.
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Re: Historic Street Names

Postby Coyote » Sat Oct 11, 2014 9:21 am

threeoutside wrote:This is fascinating! I do know that a lot of the older streets, such as Cuming, Burt, Dodge, and others, are named after military generals - many from the Civil War, some (probably) from the so-called "Indian wars." I agree, one person who can't be bothered to educate themselves shouldn't be able to dictate to the whole community. History is right there on our street signs, folks, open your eyes.



If you are interested in that, then you should check this out:

La Vista Public Library (October 14 - November 3, 2014)
Civil War 150: Celebrating Nebraska's role in the War of the States
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Re: Historic Street Names

Postby bigredmed » Sat Oct 11, 2014 12:20 pm

Cumings and Burt were territorial governors. Capitol Ave was the street leading to the territorial capitol. South of Dodge, you have girl names like Emilie and Shirley.

These were wives or daughters of the developers.

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Re: Historic Street Names

Postby threeoutside » Sat Oct 11, 2014 12:27 pm

:lol: Well, I was wrong, wasn't I - but at least I triggered a small outburst of info-sharing. Thanks, guys! Looks like *my* history-reading needs a growth spurt.

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Re:

Postby damonhynes » Fri Apr 21, 2017 11:00 am

TitosBuritoBarn wrote:Not downtown, but my favorite street is John Galt Boulevard. It's named after a fictional character from Ayn Rand's book Atlas Shrugged whose life apparently isn't going anywhere. It received it's name because, just like character, it doesn't go anywhere.


Let me dredge this back up after six years: We all know it was named after the character, but...

1. Who did the naming? Developer? Big tenant?
2. How come no Taggart, Roark, Rearden?
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Re: Re:

Postby NovakOmaha » Fri Apr 21, 2017 12:06 pm

damonhynes wrote:
TitosBuritoBarn wrote:Not downtown, but my favorite street is John Galt Boulevard. It's named after a fictional character from Ayn Rand's book Atlas Shrugged whose life apparently isn't going anywhere. It received it's name because, just like character, it doesn't go anywhere.


Let me dredge this back up after six years: We all know it was named after the character, but...

1. Who did the naming? Developer? Big tenant?
2. How come no Taggart, Roark, Rearden?


Developer did it.

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Re: Re:

Postby damonhynes » Fri Apr 21, 2017 12:55 pm

NovakOmaha wrote:
Developer did it.


Thanx!
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Re: Re:

Postby threeoutside » Fri Apr 21, 2017 2:27 pm

damonhynes wrote:
NovakOmaha wrote:
Developer did it.


Thanx!


I didn't know developers read books!

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Re: Historic Street Names

Postby NeonMartiniGlass » Mon Apr 24, 2017 9:33 am

Omababe wrote:I wonder if there are any other patterns to the Omaha streets?


From East to West they increase numerically... :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Historic Street Names

Postby Coyote » Mon Apr 24, 2017 11:13 am

Streets from A to Z are alphabetical, then comes the Presidents...
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Re: Historic Street Names

Postby threeoutside » Mon Apr 24, 2017 4:12 pm

In the original core of downtown, the street names are also alphabetical north to south: Burt, Cuming, Davenport, Dodge, Douglas, Farnam, Harney, Jackson...I think they're all names of American generals, maybe someone can confirm that (or not)?

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Re: Historic Street Names

Postby Coyote » Mon Apr 24, 2017 6:27 pm

Cuming Street: Thomas B. Cuming took over the office of Governor of the Nebraska Territory immediately after Francis Burt’s death.
Burt St: Francis Burt was the first Governor of the Nebraska Territory.
Webster St: Three possibilities.
California St: Named after all the Calibraskans.
Cass St: General Lewis Cass, was an active part in the fight over the Kansas-Nebraska bill. Cass was the Democratic nominee for President in 1848.
Chicago: Chicago, IL
Davenport: Davenport IA, where some bankers came from.
Dodge Street: U.S. Senator Augustus Caesar Dodge Introduced the Senate bill to organize the Nebraska Territory.
Douglas Street: Stephen A. Douglas was a U.S. Senator from Illinois who was integral in the passing of the Kansas-Nebraska Act and the building of the Union Pacific railroad.
Farnam Street: Henry Farnam, another railroad tycoon and proponent of westward expansion.
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Re: Historic Street Names

Postby threeoutside » Mon Apr 24, 2017 6:29 pm

Thanks for the information! I knew I'd left some of them out.


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