Chester Nebraska Online Museum

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!

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Postcards

Another view of the Chester Nebraska school.  14 years after it was completed and with the trees starting to grow.

Here’s a great postcard showing the Chester Nebraska High School Band of 1910.

 

Postcard showing the two story building housing the Chester State Bank.  No exact date, but estimated to be in the 1980s (?) based on the cars.

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.

This is a great scene showing the construction of the Methodist Church in Chester Nebraska.  It is almost finished at this point, and you can see the wonderful windows in place.  It was mailed in 1910.

Here is a view of the Methodist Church in Chester Nebraska while it nearing completion.  Behind the Methodist Church you can see the German Lutheran Church.

The Methodist Church is still in use today.

 

Here’s a more recent postcard showing the Burlington Northern Depot in Chester Nebraska.  It is dated 1975, which is confirmed by the logo on the rail car in the background.

Here’s a great view of the Chester Nebraska Railyard circa 1910.  The depot stood into the 1970s.  You can see the water tower (visible from other postcards) that would be on the southern end of Thayer.

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!)

A nice clear view of the Chester Nebraska school showing the original building before the east side classrooms were added in 1910.

Photo by DA Kopp.  From the Hebron Journal-Register (1887): “D. A. Kopp, from Omaha, has purchased John Arnold’s drug stock at Chester and taken possession. “

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 Chester Nebraska City Hall and Light Plant.  The City Hall was built in 1914 and is still in use today as the City Hall.

Here’s a cute little postcard from Chester Nebraska.  “Pye-Golly” is just a term you don’t hear much these days!

The card was  mailed to JR Kruse from his wife. Could this be the famous architect John R Kruse?

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’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 BelvidereAlexandria (“Belvalex”). The two teams had two weeks to practice prior to this game; the two teams played to a 19-19 tie.[1] After that night, rules for the game were distributed to about 60,000 coaches in the United States.[2]

 

Here is another view of the Rail yards in Chester Nebraska from 1910.  It shows a few buildings and homes, and if you look closely, there’s a chicken wandering about.

Here is another view of the original stage of the Chester Nebraska school in 1907 before the east side classrooms were added.

The school closed its doors in 2005 and was purchased by artist Cindy Chinn and photographer Art Whitton.

A postcard from 1924 showing the Chester School with a large number of trees in front.
Postcards
Another view of the Chester Nebraska school.  14 years after it was completed and with the trees starting to grow.
Here’s a great postcard showing the Chester Nebraska High School Band of 1910.  
Postcard showing the two story building housing the Chester State Bank.  No exact date, but estimated to be in the 1980s (?) based on the cars.
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 Read More
This is a great scene showing the construction of the Methodist Church in Chester Nebraska.  It is almost finished at this point, and you can see the wonderful windows in place.  It was mailed in 1910.
Here is a view of the Methodist Church in Chester Nebraska while it nearing completion.  Behind the Methodist Church you can see the German Lutheran Church. The Methodist Church is still in use today.  
Here’s a more recent postcard showing the Burlington Northern Depot in Chester Nebraska.  It is dated 1975, which is confirmed by the logo on the rail car in the background.
Here’s a great view of the Chester Nebraska Railyard circa 1910.  The depot stood into the 1970s.  You can see the water tower (visible from other postcards) that would be on the southern end of Thayer.
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 Read More
A nice clear view of the Chester Nebraska school showing the original building before the east side classrooms were added in 1910. Photo by DA Kopp.  From the Hebron Journal-Register (1887): “D. A. Kopp, from Omaha, has purchased Joh Read More
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 tw Read More
This postcard shows the Chester Nebraska City Hall and Light Plant.  The City Hall was built in 1914 and is still in use today as the City Hall.
Here’s a cute little postcard from Chester Nebraska.  “Pye-Golly” is just a term you don’t hear much these days! The card was  mailed to JR Kruse from his wife. Could this be the famous architect John R Kruse?
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 Read More
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, N Read More
Here is another view of the Rail yards in Chester Nebraska from 1910.  It shows a few buildings and homes, and if you look closely, there’s a chicken wandering about.
Here is another view of the original stage of the Chester Nebraska school in 1907 before the east side classrooms were added. The school closed its doors in 2005 and was purchased by artist Cindy Chinn and photographer Art Whitton.
A postcard from 1924 showing the Chester School with a large number of trees in front.

2 thoughts on “Chester Nebraska Online Museum

  • August 24, 2020 at 9:18 pm
    Permalink

    It was G.D. Van Cleef

    Reply
  • August 18, 2021 at 11:18 pm
    Permalink

    Hi –

    I am Brad Brown, son of Harold E. Brown who grew up in Chester. I have a copy of The Chester Herald Souvenir Number dated January First 1914.

    It’s quite interesting with lots of pics, adverts and articles about Chester’s beginning years. If you’re interested in receiving a copy of it, I could possibly photograph each of its 25 or so pages and send it to you if you don’t already have it. My Dad got it from Dale Duey, a friend of his who he grew up with in Chester.

    best regards,

    Brad Brown

    Reply

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