Puzzling Times – Omaha 1915 edition #4

Today we have for you the fourth panel in the series of panoramic photos shot by Father Rigge and Alphonse Schmitt. The first half of today’s blog post will focus on Rigge’s Memoirs. We would like to thank Karl for putting together the write-ups and doing all of the research for these Rigge blogs.

Fr. Rigge’s Memoirs are as much, if not more, a history of the early years of Creighton University as they are an account of his life. We can see this in where he chose to start his story, not with his childhood and youth, but with his arrival at Creighton and the start of his multi-year vision of capturing the landscape of the University and its surroundings for the future generations of Creighton students, faculty, and staff. What we learn of his life through the memoir is almost all revealed through the prism of his work at Creighton. The final section of the memoir on the Creighton Observatory is a prime example of this with the titles of the different sections often referencing various projects he worked on while at the observatory. Many of those projects are present among the published works we have in the rest of the Rigge Papers’ collection. Fr. Rigge passed away March 31st, 1927, before the work on his Memoirs could be finalized. The version we have today was compiled by the staff of the Creighton Archives from Fr. Rigge’s notes and what the Archives believe to have been his latest draft version written before his death. There is a note from the Editor’s available that goes into greater detail on the process.

Today’s puzzle is a view from the North by Northeast.


There are several points of interest visible in this plate, some of the highlights of which include:

Image A – Kellom Public School is another building we were able to identify using Baist’s Guide. Constructed in 1892 at 23rd and Paul St. the school was originally known as the Paul Street School before being renamed after the prominent Omaha educator John H. Kellom. As early as 1912 the school was offering special programs to help students in need of additional services, with many of those students being recent immigrants in need of additional English instruction. 1 2 3 4

Image B – The coal and lumber yards of the C.W. Hull Co. belonging to Charles Watson Hull. Originally from Minnesota, Hull came to Omaha in 1886 and was involved in several coal and building material related ventures. A post-1900 construction the facilities we see here would experience a fire in October of 1915 that would cause several hundred dollars’ worth of damage. This location is currently home to Micklin Lumber with some portions of the original facility still existing.1 2 3 4

Image C – The Storz brewery located on 16th street between Clark and Grace. A native of Germany who came to America in the early 1870’s Gottlieb Storz came to Omaha in 1876 to serve as a foreman at the Columbia Brewery for Joseph Bauman. Bauman was mortally injured in a carriage accident the same year as Storz arrived in Omaha. Storz would go on to work for Bauman’s widow until he and a partner bought out her interest in the brewery in 1884. Storz would buy out his partners interest in the brewery in 1891 and in 1898 he relocated to the 16th street location seen here. The new six-story facility at this location cost approximately $500,000 dollars to build and could produce roughly 150,000 barrels of beer annually. Having gone through several names previously the business took the name Storz Brewing Company in 1902. In 1912 a two-story building was added to the brewery complex to house a plant to produce ice. The Storz family would continue to operate the business until 1966, producing ginger ale and soda to remain in operation during prohibition. The brewery would finally close in 1972 and all that remains today of the facility seen here is the distinctive smokestack bearing the Storz name. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

24th St. Cut – One of the more notable sights in this plate is the severity of the cut caused by the re-grading of 24th St. in 1910. In his notes for this plate in his memoirs Fr. Rigge observes that the severity of the cut “may cause astonishment to future generations after the grading east of it will have obliterated it.” 1 2


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