Lincoln, NE Fountain

The history of the fountain in Lincoln, Nebraska is rather fractured as the city seemed to want it, then wasn't sure, then almost lost it and finally installed it. The city council originally accepted the gift in April, 1907 but that was just the beginning of a two year saga to actually get it installed.

By May, 1907 the Lancaster County Humane Society in Lincoln was sending their thanks to the National Humane Alliance for the generous gift but by July they were attending city council meetings urging the council and the park board to get going with the selection of the site where the fountain would be placed. In April, 1908 it was announced that the fountain was on its way and that it would be erected on Fifteenth Street between M and N streets. After work had started on that site, legal objections were raised and the project faltered. In February, 1909 the city council again delayed a decision because of pending legal issues about the location.

By May, 1909 the fountain was still sitting in crates on city hall square with plans to now install it on N Street near Ninth, but many sites had already been objected to and ruled out. That prompted a visit from Mr. Seaver of the National Humane Alliance trying to determine why the gift had not been installed. He noted that if Lincoln didn't want it, he was prepared to take it away and give it to another community - possibly South Omaha which really wanted one of its own!

Evidently, the visit stirred city officials to action to save their fountain and it was installed in the middle of M Street between Eight and Ninth Streets. The real irony is that in 1910 the Humane Society was talking about getting a second fountain!! That never happened.

However to their credit, the good people of Lincoln have not abandoned their fountain. As you can see from the picture below, it's moved just a bit and now sits at the intersection of 7th and Q Streets. Click here to follow this saga in the newspapers of the time.

For more fountain pictures, click here. For a listing of all that have been discovered to date, click here.

Posted April 6, 2016

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