South Omaha, Nebraska
South Omaha, Nebraska is a former city and current district of Omaha, Nebraska. During its initial development phase the town's nickname was "The Magic City" because of the seemingly overnight growth due to the rapid development of the Union Stockyards. Annexed by the City of Omaha in 1915, the community has numerous historical landmarks. Many are within the South Omaha Main Street Historic District.
The traditional borders of South Omaha included Vinton Street to the north, Harrison Street to the south, the Missouri River on the east, and 42nd Street on the west.
The area that would become South Omaha was rural until the early 1880s, when cattle baron Alexander Hamilton Swan decided to establish a stockyards operation just south of Omaha. The South Omaha plat was registered on July 18, 1884. Two years later, South Omaha was incorporated as a city. By 1890, the city had grown to 8,000 people, a rate of growth that earned it the nickname of "The Magic City".
In less than 10 years, South Omaha had become a regional stockyards and meat packing center, drawing thousands of immigrant workers, mostly from southern and eastern Europe.
South Omaha was annexed by Omaha on June 20, 1915. At that time it was 6.4 mi² and had 40,000 residents. In 1947 there were 15,000 people working in meatpacking, but structural changes to the industry in the 1960s cost the city 10,000 jobs. Dale Carnegie's first job out of college was working for Armour & Company as their South Omaha sales representative.
South Omaha was, and continues to be, culturally diverse. Many residents are descended from the Irish, Polish, Czech, Lithuanian, Italian, and Latino immigrants who made up the original workforce in the meatpacking industry. In recent decades, South Omaha has seen an influx of Hispanic and Sudanese populations.
The early diversity is evident in the variety of religious institutions established by the various ethnic communities, including
- Irish – St. Mary's and St. Bridget's
- German – St. Rose and St. Joseph
- Czech – Assumption and St. Adalbert's
- Polish – St. Stanislaus, Immaculate Conception Church and St. Francis of Assisi
- Lithuanian – St. Anthony's
- Italian – St. Francis Cabrini and St. Ann's
- Croatian – Sts. Peter and Paul
- Hispanic – Our Lady of Guadalupe
In the early part of the 20th century, the Lithuanian community published a newspaper, known as the Bell of the West.
Landmarks in South Omaha
|Place name||Year built||Location||National Register of Historic Places||Omaha Landmark|
|Center School (Omaha, Nebraska)||Yes||Yes|
|Gallagher Building||1888||1902-1906 South 13th Street||Yes||Yes|
|Georgia Row House||Yes||No|
|Gottlieb Storz House||Yes||Yes|
|Guy C. Barton House||Yes||No|
|Immaculate Conception Church and School||Yes||No|
|Joel N. Cornish House||Yes||No|
|Little Bohemia||Bounded by South 10th Street on the east, South 16th Street on the west, Pierce Street on the north, and Martha Street on the south||No||No|
|Little Italy||Bounded by Pacific Street on the north, Center Street on the south, South 10th Street on the west and the Missouri River on the east.||No||No|
|Livestock Exchange Building||Yes||Yes|
|Mason Terrace & Van Closter Residence||No||Yes|
|Monmouth Park School||Yes||No|
|Packer’s National Bank Building||Yes||Yes|
|Saint Joseph Parish Complex||Yes||Yes|
|St. John's Collegiate Church||No||Yes|
|St. Martin of Tours Episcopal Church||Yes||Yes|
|St. Matthias Episcopal Church||Yes||No|
|St Philomena's Cathedral and Rectory - now known as St Frances Cabrini Church||Yes||Yes|
|South Omaha Bridge||1936||Located on Hwys 275/92 over the Missouri River||Yes||No|
|South Omaha Main Street Historic District||1883||South 24th Street between M Street on the north and O Street on the south||Yes||No|
|Steiner Rowhouse No. 1||Yes||No|
|Steiner Rowhouse No. 2||Yes||No|
|Union State Bank Building||No||Yes|
|Vinton Street Commercial Historic District||Along Vinton Street between Elm Street on the west and South 17th Street on the east||No||Yes|
- History of Nebraska - Chapter 35, retrieved 14dec2006
- How To Win Friends And Influence People, by Dale Carnegie, Introduction by Lowell Thomas, p. 9, Copyright 1964
- (2007) National Register of Historic Places - Nebraska, Douglas County. National Park Service. Retrieved 6/7/07.
- Omaha Landmarks. Omaha Landmark Heritage Preservation Commission. Retrieved 7/7/07.