BEATRICE NEBRASKA VIEWS FROM THE PAST
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Beatrice, Nebraska commonly referred to as the "Queen City of the Blue" is situated on the banks of the Big Blue River in the southeastern part of the State in Gage County, being the county seat and having a population of 12,000 people. It is surrounded by one of the best agricultural districts in the Central West and nowhere can be found more prosperous farmers than in Gage County. State valuation of taxable property shows Gage County as third in the State, being excelled only by Douglas and Lancaster Counties, in which are situated the cities of Omaha and Lincoln. Transportation facilities are good being served by the Burlington, Union Pacific and Rock Island, affording access to fifteen passenger and ten freight trains daily, which reach out to all points of the compass. The total revenue of these roads on freight and passenger business for fiscal year ending June 30, 1913, amounted to $518,062.95, giving some idea of the volume of business carried on by our manufacturers, jobbers, and retailers. The taxable value of the city as shown by last assessment is $1,500,000 and is one-fifth of actual valuation of $7,5000,000 with a tax levy of thirty-seven mills on the dollar. This tax levy may be considered very light when there is taken into consideration that we can boast of municipally owned water plant and lighting plant for business district, 10 miles of paved streets, 2 miles of storm sewerage, 24 miles of water mains and entire business district lighted with the electrolier system with the city's bonded indebtedness today only $385,000.
As been said on the cover of this booklet, "A City of Factories and Homes." This truly describes our city. No where in the state of Nebraska are we excelled in manufacturing, having 25 manufacturing and jobbing institutions which furnish employment for 1000 men and women and goods of their manufacture are shipped to all parts of United States as well as Canada and foreign countries. The Big Blue River furnishes excellent water power making it possible for electric current to be supplied at a very low cost which all goes to cut down overhead cost of manufacture. While considerable power from this river is at the present time being used, its capacity is by no means fully utilized and further power from its current might be harnessed without a great cost. The products of our factories consist chiefly of agricultural implements, windmills, gas engines, pumps, irrigating machinery, well drilling machinery, woven wire fencing, portable corn cribs, hardware specialties, burial vaults, butter, ice cream, ice and large shipping of dressed poultry. Wholesaling of groceries, dry goods and one of the largest bookbinding and printing and office supply houses in this section of the state. The canning of fruits and vegetables is also carried on extensively. Being the center of one of the best agricultural districts in the Central West, with wheat, corn and alfalfa grown in abundance. We are proud of our mills and elevators, manufacturing flour, feed and providing a ready market for grain etc. With two electric light and power plants we are well supplied with electric current, which is furnished at a very reasonable cost, also gas for lighting and heating. Our water supply is the best obtainable the supply being obtained from Zimmerman Springs which is an underground flow furnishing 2,000,000 gallons per day of 24 hours. It is as clear as a crystal and as pure as it is clear, an analysis which shows it to be 99.96% pure. With our streets well paved, good sewerage, a perfect supply of water makes this a delightful place in which to live. Our public buildings are of the best construction and help to make all surroundings beautiful. The passenger stations of the Burlington, Union Pacific and Rock Island are well kept and are commodious quarters and the traveling public are well cared for.
The Gage County Court House was constructed at a cost of $100,000 and is a stately building befitting to its surroundings. Our post office and government building is a fine piece or architecture built at a cost of $125,000 and our post office is one of the first class, postal receipts for the year of 1913 amounting to $40,398.00. The public library furnishes the reading public an abundance of books and we have every reason to feel proud of our public buildings. We have five banks, two national and three state, which are managed by the most courteous and accommodating gentlemen that you will find and who transact their business at all times in strict accordance with the laws governing banking institutions. Besides the five banks we have three building and loan institutions, who have assisted materially in the upbuilding of our city and enabling our enterprising home builders to own their own homes. Our business streets are wide and well kept as well as well lighted and present a metropolitan appearance. Nothing adds to a city so much as clean and well lighted streets.
No community can expect to prosper unless the proper school training is given to children, so with this though uppermost in mind, our city has one of the best regulated school systems that can be found. With the grade schools, a high school and business college, a most thorough education may be obtained. In connection with our schools, the High School Athletic Park has been constructed, which is the finest high school athletic park west of the Missouri River. This park was donated to the high school by some of our public spirited citizens who have expended $40,000 in making it a place of beauty. In order for any community to be a good place in which to live, it should have good churches. This has not been overlooked in the upbuilding of our city, there being eighteen churches, east representing a different creed. Limitation of space has forbidden presenting views of each, but they are all good substantial buildings. Not only must people be educated and learn to honor their Creator, but as man was born to die and subject to accident and injury, it is necessary to provide for his care. We have three hospitals which are conducted in a most satisfactory manner, at all of which are maintained a corps of trained nurses and attendants and the physicians in charge are masters in their profession. Our residence streets like the business streets are wide and spacious and many miles are paved with asphaltic concrete and brick. On each side large maple trees spread their shadows making a delightful place to promenade or motor. Unlike many places very few hills are to be found, while not flat, our streets are rolling just enough to supply a good drainage. As said on the cover, "A City of Factories and Homes" we have given a short description of our factories and now direct your attention to a few of the many beautiful residences that are to be found. In the building of the residences in Beatrice the architect has been given a chance to display his talent and many artictic designs have been followed out. Beautiful lawns abound on every side made possible by having one of the largest seed and nursery houses in the Middle West in our city.
The beauty of our city must be seen to be appreciated and you will not be disappointed in making us a visit. As has been said, we are located on the Big Blue River, a stream on which nature smiled. Its banks are lined with drooping willow trees and its current such that makes canoeing a pleasure. Groves of trees along its banks make possible shady woods for the pleasure seeker or camp life. Our system of parks are a thing of beauty and furnish a place of recreation. The Chautauqua Park being on the river, having bountiful shade, excellent driveways and offering camping facilities which can only be realized by being seen. Besides there is Charles Park, Riverside Park, and West Side Park, comprising many acres which all go back to make our city more beautiful and a good place in which to live. No city is complete without its newspapers and few places of our size can boast of two daily newspapers that are published and managed in a better manner and that furnish more news that our home papers. We have also a German paper published weekly. All of them are always ready to do a good turn and to boost for our merchants and city.
Another necessity to every city is the Y. M. C. A. The "Mary" Y. M. C. A. is a credit to our city and furnishes our boys and young men a place in which clean sports and athletics are promoted and taught and body and mind are developed. Taking everything into consideration this section of the country offers all those things which go to make up a good community in which to live. Our seasons are pleasant and air pure being on an elevation of 1200 feet above the sea level. As has been explained the good school systems are doing much to develop our city and the interest taken in these institutions by our citizens make them the best in this section of the country. Fully realizing that in order for our country to continue in prosperity that it is necessary for the children of today to obtain the best possible education. Our Business College which teaches all branches of commercial business is turning out hundreds of young men and women annually, capable of holding responsible positions and graduates of this institution are at present time holding positions with some of the largest corporations in this and adjoining states. Social and entertaining features are not neglected. The American people are a class who adhere to the old adage business before pleasure. But this life would be very dreary indeed without some social features. In this respect our city furnishes a variety of features. Practically all fraternal and social organizations are represented here and good clean athletics are engaged in and well supported.
Sunday amusements are not allowed in our city as that day with our citizens is kept in a religious manner in every respect. In preparing this little booklet it has been the one desire to give those interested a true description of our city, and the views shown herein have not been exaggerated, our foremost idea having been to give facts which would be of interest to one seeking location, and to present to them in such a way that an investigation of conditions and surroundings, by anyone seeking location will find everything just as represented. Like all enterprising cities of today a Commercial Club is supported liberally. This Club maintains commodious quarters and are constantly seeking to improve conditions and to see that no opportunity for advancement is overlooked. Through the active part taken by the citizens in the past few years rapid progress has been made in civic improvements and the city government, it being through this organizations that our city has the distinction of being the first city in Nebraska to adopt the commission form of government and the success of this form of city government has been very gratifying. Should the information contained herein not cover points of interest in which you might be interested a letter of inquiry addressed to the Secretary if the Beatrice Commercial Club will be given prompt attention.
Information regarding special rates of electric power to industries using large quantities or those wishing information relative to trackage, railroad rates, transportation facilities or anything of that nature, are requested to make inquiry. Real estate values, rates of rental of city and farming property will be gladly furnished. Statistical compilations have been avoided in the preparation of this booklet but should this information be desired you are requested to make application.
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