Founding figures of Omaha, Nebraska

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The following people were founding figures of Omaha, Nebraska. Their period of influence ranges from 1853 through 1900. Many in this group were members of the Old Settlers' Association and/or the Omaha Claim Club. Many of these individuals were buried at the Prospect Hill Cemetery in North Omaha.

Founding figures[edit]

Omaha's perpetual mayor, Cowboy Jim Dahlman.
Logan Fontenelle, chief of the Omaha Tribe that signed the treaty making the city of Omaha's land available.
Edward Rosewater, founder and editor of the Omaha Bee, a pioneer-era newspaper.
Name Birth Death Occupation Notable contribution
Dan Allen 1832 1884 Riverboat gambler Influential; longtime partner of Anna Wilson
George Robert Armstrong 1 August 1819 April 20, 1896 Mayor Served as mayor twice
Erastus Benson 1854 February 10, 1932 (Omaha) Real estate, investor Founded Benson; candidate, 1906 Omaha mayor; philanthropist
William D. Brown 1813 February 3, 1868 Businessman Operated Lone Tree Ferry
William Byers February 22, 1831 March 25, 1903 Surveyor and politician Created first map of Omaha; Member, first Omaha City Council, Nebraska Territorial Legislature
Edward Creighton 1820 1874 Banker, First National Bank of Omaha Namesake of Creighton University
John A. Creighton 1831 1907 Freighter Philanthropist brother of Edward; helped endow Creighton University
Mary Creighton 1834 1876 Wife of Edward Bestowed money for Creighton University in his memory
"Cowboy" James Dahlman 1856 1930 Mayor Tolerant of the Sporting District; elected eight times
Tom Dennison 1858 1934 Political boss for 30+ years Likely started Omaha Race Riot of 1919; ran criminal enterprise and the Sporting District
Harry Porter Deuel 11 December 1836 23 November 1914 Early railroad pioneer The oldest railroad man in Omaha when he died, Deuel ran a successful steamboat agency in the early years of Omaha, and later worked for the Union Pacific and Burlington Railroads.
Ada Everleigh February 15, 1866 Greene County, Virginia January 5, 1960 New York City Madam Ran brothel at Trans-Mississippi Exposition
Minna Everleigh July 13, 1864 Greene County, Virginia September 16, 1948 New York City Madam Ran brothel at Trans-Mississippi Exposition
Logan Fontenelle 1825 July 16, 1855 Chief of Omaha (tribe) Responsible for signing over the city's land
Reuben Gaylord 28 April 1812 10 January 1880 Early minister Called the "father of Congregationalism in Nebraska."
Augustus Hall 29 April 1814 1 February 1861 First Chief Justice of the Nebraska Territory
Andrew J. Hanscom 3 February 1828 11 September 1907 Territorial lawyer, Nebraska politician and real estate broker Platted Hanscom Park neighborhood
Gilbert Hitchcock 18 September 1859 3 February 1934 Owner/editor of Omaha World-Herald, Nebraska politician
Alfred D. Jones 1814 1902 Lawyer, surveyor First settler in Omaha; platted city in 1854
Thomas Kennard  ?  ? Lawyer First Nebraska Secretary of State
Augustus Kountze 1826 1892 Banker Founded First National Bank of Omaha with brother Herman
Herman Kountze August 21, 1833, Osnaburg, Ohio 1906 Banker, real estate speculator Co-founded First National Bank of Omaha; platted Kountze Place; Treasurer of Trans-Mississippi Exposition; Investor in Omaha Stockyards; namesake of Kountze Park
Frederick Krug 1855 November 18, 1930 Founder of Krug Brewing Company and Krug Park
George B. Lake  ?  ? One of the first justices of the Nebraska Supreme Court
Enos Lowe 5 May 1804 12 February 1880 Doctor One of the first doctors in Omaha, Lowe was a founding member of many organizations.
Jesse Lowe March 11, 1814 April 3, 1868 Mayor Before he was the first mayor of Omaha, Lowe and his brother were among the founders of the city.
John L. McCague  ?  ? Real estate agent Early land speculator in Omaha
James G. Megeath  ?  ?
Frederick Metz 1832 in Hessel-Cassel, Germany 1901 in Omaha Owner of Metz Brewery Two time state legislator
Ezra Millard February 2, 1833 August 20, 1886 Banker, Omaha National Bank Namesake of Millard
George L. Miller 1830 28 August 1920 Physician, editor, politician, civic leader and land owner First doctor in Omaha
James C. Mitchell 1810 1860 Real estate salesman, ferry operator Founded the town of Florence
William A. Paxton 1837 18 July 1907 Businessman, politician Created Omaha Stockyards and many other companies
A. J. Poppleton 24 July 1830 9 September 1896 Lawyer, politician Founded first law firm in the Nebraska territory; second mayor of Omaha
John I. Redick 29 July 1828  ? Businessman Operated city's first opera house; early donor to Omaha University
Byron Reed 1821 1891 Real estate agent The first real estate agent in Nebraska; held public offices
Elizabeth Reeves  ?  ? Doctor First woman physician in Omaha
Matthew Ricketts 1858 1917 Physician First African American to graduate from University of Nebraska College of Medicine, and first to join Nebraska Legislature.
Edward Rosewater January 21, 1841 August 30]], 1906 Newspaper editor Founder and editor of the Omaha Bee
Moses F. Shinn January 3, 1809  ? Settler and farmer Founded Prospect Hill Cemetery
John A. Smiley  ?  ? Opened first Omaha Stockyards and sold it to William A. Paxton
William and Rachel Snowden  ?  ? The first settlers in Omaha, they operated the St. Nicholas Hotel for several months, and then built their own home.
Gottlieb Storz  ? 1939 (Wurttemberg, Germany) Founder/owner of Storz Brewery Built Prague Hotel; highly respected among immigrant community
Josie Washburn 1853  ? Brothel worker/madam Wrote first book about brothels by a brothel worker
Gurdon Wattles May 12, 1855- 1932 Organizer of the Trans-Mississippi Exposition
Anna Wilson May 27, 1835 October 27, 1911 Brothel owner/madam Philanthropist; left estate to city on death

See also[edit]