Welcome to an online collection of artifacts from through Chester’s history. Many of these have been collected over the years and rather than just stay hidden in filing cabinets and boxes, I thought it would be good to display them until (hopefully!) one day Chester gets a museum of its own.
Do you have something in your collection to share? Send a clear photo and short description via email and we’ll add it!
Here’s a clear postcard showing the Chester Nebraska school in the mid-50s. The card also mentions that it is the “Home of Six Man Foot Ball”.
From Wikipedia: Six-man football was developed in 1934 by Stephen Epler in Chester, Nebraska, as an alternative means for small high schools to field a football team during the Great Depression. The first game was played on Thursday, September 27, 1934, at the Hebron, Nebraska Athletic Gridiron, under the lights, with a crowd of almost 1000 watching. This game was played so that coaches all over Kansas and Nebraska could see if they wanted to try this new game of six-man. The two teams playing in the game were the combined team from Hardy-Chester (“Hard-Chests”) and a combined team from Belvidere–Alexandria (“Belvalex”). The two teams had two weeks to practice prior to this game; the two teams played to a 19-19 tie. After that night, rules for the game were distributed to about 60,000 coaches in the United States.
Here’s a more generic card showing a scene that likely wasn’t taken anywhere near Chester – but still… it was mailed from Chester in 1912 to Ethel Struble in Chester.
Ethel was born in 1892 near DeWitt and spent most of her time in Chester before moving to California. She was piano teacher and played in the Methodist Church. She also served in the Post Office for 14 years. In 1950 she married and moved to California.
Here is another postcard of the Chester Nebraska High School in 1910. The east side classrooms and basement gymnasium were added this year, with the west side being completed in 1907.
You can notice how the roof is different in the two stages. Even today, there is a slight coloration difference in the bricks between the stages.
This postcard shows the original school building as built in 1907. The classrooms and basement gymnasium were added in 1910. You can see part of the east entrance to the right of the frame.
This postcard was written by “Bessie”, who was likely a teacher as she wrote “I like High School work fine.” (and then she complains about the weather, of course!)
There are a lot of postcards from Chester which were made around 1910, so we get a good look at how things were just over 100 years ago.
This card shows a view (I think) looking Northeast from the south end of Thayer. There is a water tower next to the train tracks, and the white building on the south end of the street is a diner (you can see the ‘Lunch Room’ sign on another postcard.