Welcome to Emerson, Nebraska

Historical Information

     Emerson was born as a railroad junction on the Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis, and Omaha railway in 1881. It was first known as "Kennesaw Junction."  Since there was another town with that name, a new one, "Emerson", named for Ralph Waldo Emerson was chosen. 

    Emerson owes its existence to transportation in various forms. 

    In the 1870’s, stagecoaches traveled this route west with a stopover at the Demme farm on the north edge of what is now Emerson. Noting the land and lack of proper markets and transportation facilities, the railroad began building a line to connect Omaha, Norfolk, and Sioux City lines.  In 1880, the railroad bought 100 acres of land for a townsite. The first two buildings were the depot and section house. Emerson had up to 67 trains a day well into the 1930’s.

    In 1883, R.E. Kuhn plotted the original townsite and the town was incorporated on July 7, 1888.

    Among the first residents of Emerson were Wm Warnock, P. H. Boyle, H. S. Boyle, Patrick Bannan, W. S. Lippold, John Engelen, M. Pruden, M. L. Rossiter, JJ Mc Carthy, D. W. Parmalee, R. E. Kuhn, C. A. Johnson and Nelson Feauto. 

    Many of the first residents were responsible for the town's planning and were also business owners.

    At one time Emerson had the train depot and yard, 4 general stores, 2 hardware stores, 2 drug stores, 2 boot and shoe repair shops, a laundry service, a furniture store, 2 banks, 2 physicians, 3 attorneys, a meat market, 2 blacksmiths, 2 lumber yards, 2 livery barns, 2 elevators, a contractor & builder, a grain, flour and feed store, a real estate agent, a dressmaker and millinery, a livestock market, a creamery, 4 hotels, a brick and tile works, post office, loan and insurance agent, a wagon shop, windmill and pumps, 2 saloons, a harness shop, a confectioner, 4 churches, a school, a dance hall, a boarding house, a newspaper, a roller mill, an undertaker, and a cigar factory.

    The businesses were originally located on logan street and were later moved to main street. 

    Emerson had many societies, the Grand Army of the Republic, The Masons, The A. O. U. W. (Ancient Order of Untied Workman), The Independent Order of Good Templars, and The Woman's Christian Temperance Union. These societies were responsible for many of the projects and events in Emerson.