Nebraska Hall of Fame

Established in 1961, the Nebraska Hall of Fame is an official list
of prominent Nebraskans compiled in accordance to state law.

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Check out
Medal of Honor Winners
Creighton, Edward
Edward Creighton
1820 – 1874 1981 – 1982 Telegraph pioneer and banker. Funds from his estate established Creighton University. Member National Cowboy Hall of Fame. Lived in Omaha.

Courtesy Nebraska State Historical Society, RG2411-1147a
Red Cloud
Red Cloud
1822 – 1909 2000 – 2001

Oglalla Lakota war leader, statesman.  Opposed white westward expansion. Led a successful conflict (1866-1868) called Red Cloud’s War for control of Powder River country in Wyoming and Montana.  Lakota name:  Mahpíya Lúta.  After meeting with officials in Washington, D.C., the Red Cloud Indian Agency was formed in what would later be Nebraska in an attempt to ease transition to reservation life. Born in Garden County area by Platte River, Nebraska.

Courtesy South Dakota State Historical Society

Read about the Red Cloud Agency’s role in the Beef Issue.
Furnas, Robert W.
Robert W. Furnas
1824 – 1905 1979 – 1980 Newspaperman, soldier, historian, Nebraska governor 1873-1875, and agriculturist. Lived in Brownville.

Courtesy Nebraska State Historical Society, RG4289-3

Read about Robert W. Furnas co-founding Arbor Day with J. Sterling Morton.
Standing Bear
Standing Bear
1829 – 1908 1977 – 1978 Ponca chief, symbol for Native American rights, key participant in 1879 federal court case held in Omaha that decided an Indian is a person by law and has the right to sue. Probably born in northeast Nebraska, lived near the mouth of the Niobrara River.

Courtesy Nebraska State Historical Society, RG1227-2-2

Read about the famous Trial of Standing Bear.
Morton, J. Sterling
J. Sterling Morton
1832 – 1902 1975 – 1976 Father of Arbor Day, U.S. secretary of agriculture, editor, farmer, legislator, and Nebraska territorial secretary. Lived in Nebraska City.

Courtesy Nebraska State Historical Society, RG101-2-12

Read about J. Sterling Morton’s accomplishments.
Bessey, Charles E.
Charles E. Bessey
1845 – 1915 2009 Botanist, chancellor of the University of Nebraska from 1888-1891 and 1899-1900. Born in Milton, Ohio. Lived in Lincoln.

Courtesy Nebraska State Historical Society, RG2411-417g

Read about Charles Edwin Bessey’s contributions to botany and range management.
William Frederick

William Frederick Cody
1846 – 1917 1967 – 1968 Soldier, buffalo hunter, Army scout, actor, rancher, irrigationist, and showman of the West.  Known as Buffalo Bill.  1872 Medal of Honor awarded, revoked, and re-instated.  Lived near North Platte.

Courtesy U.S. Library of Congress, cph 3a21252

Read about a dinner with Buffalo Bill.
Susette La Flesche

1854 – 1903 1983 – 1984 Speaker and writer for Indian rights. Omaha name: Inshata Theumba or "Bright Eyes". Born in Bellevue; raised on Omaha reservation in Thurston County near Macy; lived in Lincoln; died in Bancroft.

Courtesy Nebraska State Historical Society, RG2026-5

Read about Susette La Flesche Tibbles as translator for Standing Bear at his trial.
Gilbert M.

Gilbert M. Hitchcock
1859 – 1934 1985 – 1986 Newspaperman, politician, founder of the Omaha World-Herald in 1889; U.S. House of Representatives 1902-1904 and 1906-1911; U.S. Senate 1911-1922. Born and lived in Omaha.

Courtesy U.S. Library of Congress, cph 3a39529

Read Gilbert M. Hitchcock’s views on Prohibition.
Pershing, John J.
John J. Pershing
1860 – 1925 1963 – 1964 Soldier, founder of Pershing Rifles. Service in Indian Wars, Cuba, Philippines; commander, Mexican Border, 1916; commander, American Expeditionary Forces, France, 1917-1919; General Armies of the United States, 1919; and Army chief of staff, 1921-24. Lived in Lincoln.

Courtesy U.S. Library of Congress, LC-B2-3764-8
William Jennings

William Jennings Bryan
1860 – 1925 1969 – 1970 Three-time Democratic Party nominee for president of the United States, U.S. congressman, U.S. secretary of state, orator, religious leader, and author. Lived in Lincoln.

Courtesy Nebraska State Historical Society, RG3198-17-12

Read about William Jennings Bryan and Progressivism.
Norris, George W.
George W. Norris
1861 – 1944 1961 U.S. House of Representatives 1903-1913, U.S. Senate 1913-1943. Initiator of reform of House rules, anti-injunction law for labor, Tennessee Valley Authority, rural electrification, and 20th amendment to U.S. Constitution. Sponsor of Nebraska Unicameral Legislature. Lived in Beatrice, Beaver City, and McCook.

Courtesy Nebraska State Historical Society, RG3298-2-484

Read about George W. Norris’ 40 years as Congressman and Senator.
Nathan Roscoe

Nathan Roscoe Pound
1870 – 1964 1975 – 1976 Botanist, pioneer ecologist, dean of University of Nebraska Law College, and dean of Harvard Law School. Born and raised in Lincoln.

Courtesy Nebraska State Historical Society, RG0909-1-5
Hartley Burr

Hartley Burr Alexander
1873 – 1939 1989 – 1990 Anthropologist, poet, philosopher, educator, authority on North American Indian mythology, and author of the symbolism and inscriptions on the Nebraska state capitol building. Born in Lincoln; raised in Syracuse; lived in Lincoln.

Courtesy Nebraska State Historical Society, RG2411-65
Cather, Willa
Willa Cather
1873 – 1947 1962 Pulitzer Prize-winning author. O Pioneers!, My Antonia, Death Comes for the Archbishop. Lived in Red Cloud.

Courtesy Nebraska State Historical Society, RG1951-204
Alvin Saunders

Alvin Saunders Johnson
1874 – 1971 2014 Innovator in American adult education; creator of a safe haven for Jewish scholars fleeing Nazism; author of America’s first anti-discrimination legislation.

Courtesy University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries
Abbott, Grace
Grace Abbott
1878 – 1939 1975 – 1976 Social reformer, social worker. Internationally honored for her championship of children and mothers and for her promotion of pioneer social legislation. Born and raised in Grand Island.

Courtesy U.S. Library of Congress, cph 3c11723
John Gneisenau

John Gneisenau Neihardt
1881 – 1973 1973 — 1974 Nebraska Poet Laureate 1921-1973. Epic poet of the West, historian, philosopher, author. Black Elk Speaks. Lived in Wayne and Bancroft.

Courtesy of Nebraska State Historical Society, RG1042--2-10
Bess Streeter

Bess Streeter Aldrich
1881 – 1954 1971 — 1972 Author, narrator of Nebraska, gave literary life to Nebraska pioneer memories. One Aldrich novel, A Lantern in her Hand, was translated into many languages. Lived in Elmwood and Lincoln.

Courtesy Nebraska State Historical Society, RG3263-1-10
Edward J.

Edward J. Flanagan
1886 – 1948 1965 — 1966 Priest, founder of Boys Town. "I have never found a boy who really wanted to be bad." Lived in Omaha and Boys Town.

Courtesy Boys Town Hall of History, Nebraska

Read about how Father Flanagan created a home for neglected boys.
Arthur Weimar

Arthur Weimar Thompson
1886 – 1970 1991 — 1992 Premier auctioneer. In a 46-year career, called more than 7,500 livestock sales from New York to California and from Canada to Mexico. Born in Bradshaw; lived in Lincoln.

Courtesy Nebraska State Historical Society, RG2411-7080
Dwight Palmer

Dwight Palmer Griswold
1893 – 1954 1993 — 1994 Banker, publisher, Nebraska governor 1941-1947, U.S. senator 1953-1954, chief of the American mission for aid to Greece 1947-1948. Born in Harrison; raised in Gordon.

Courtesy Nebraska State Historical Society, RG1596-8
Gold, Nathan J.
Nathan J. Gold
1894 – 1970 1995 — 1996 Businessman, civic leader, philanthropist, and Nebraska booster. Lived in Lincoln.

Courtesy Nebraska State Historical Society, RG2018-18-16
Sandoz, Mari
Mari Sandoz
1896 – 1966 1975 — 1976 Novelist, historian, teacher. Old Jules, Slogam House, Crazy Horse: The Strange Man of the Ogalalas, Cheyenne Autumn. Born in Sheridan County near Gordon; lived in Lincoln.

Courtesy U.S. Library of Congress, cph 3c17537

Mari Sandoz wrote about the Sandhills. Read about Christopher J. Abbott, a rancher who lived in this beautiful, rugged area.
Eiseley, Loren
Loren Eiseley
1907 – 1977 1987 — 1988 Anthropologist, poet, and philosopher of science. Born and lived in Lincoln.

Courtesy University of Nebraska-Lincoln State Museum

Scroll to the bottom of this page to see a video about how Loren Eisely fell in love with geology.

Source: Nebraska Department of Economic Development and Nebraska Blue Book