Ackerman, William P. (b. 1895 – Omaha)
Ackerman went to Havelock High School and the University of Nebraska. He was an insurance agent and real estate salesman. From 1921 to 1926 he was the owner and manager of the Ackerman Orchestra which played throughout the Midwest.
Adamson, Howard (b. 1898 – Lincoln; d. 1966 – Iowa)
From 1917 to 1922 Adamson was a student at the University of Nebraska. He worked for various heating and cooling companies in Lincoln.
Alderman also wrote several children’s operettas.
Alexander, Hartley Burr (b. 1873 – Lincoln; d. 1939 – California)
Alexander grew up in Syracuse, Nebraska. As a University of Nebraska student, he was very active in campus politics. He was a professor of philosophy at the University from 1908 to 1927 and was head of that department for part of that time. He married Nelly Griggs, the daughter of Nathan K. Griggs, who is also represented in this collection. Alexander was famous as a writer, poet, and philosopher and was considered an authority on American Indian culture. He had many publications to his credit, and also wrote inscriptions for the Nebraska State Capitol as well as Rockefeller Center and the Los Angeles Public Library. He wrote the scripts and libretti for many early Nebraska pageants and dramatizations of Indian legends. He finally became disgruntled with the University and moved to California where he helped found and develop curricula for the Scripps and Claremont Colleges.
Babich, Arthur J. (b. 1890 Russia; d. 1960 California)
Babich came to Nebraska in 1916 when he was playing with the traveling stage show of “Birth of a Nation”. He was offered a job playing in theatres here, so he settled in Lincoln and lived here from 1916 to 1933. He was very active in community music, conducted the Lincoln Municipal Band, the Nebraska State Band, and in the 1920s organized the Babich’s Boys Band “to keep the boys off the streets”. The Boys Band gave numerous concerts in this area and performed at the Chicago World’s Fair. He also was the music director for the Lyric, Liberty, and Orpheum theatres, and was involved with the opening of the Stuart Theater in the 1920s. He wrote the “World’s Peace March” in a rush of patriotic feeling on the eve of the WW I Armistice.
Baetens, Chas. (d. 1908 Omaha)
Chas. Baetens was born in Holland. He first came to Omaha in 1887 with an orchestra that played a one-night engagement there. He was so taken with the area that he moved to Omaha a established a music studio in the old Boyd Theatre. For more than 20 years he taught strings and piano. He also played and toured with many well-known groups and orchestras in the U.S. and Europe. These included the Theodore Thomas Orchestra and the Cincinnati String Quartet. He was considered something of an “eccentric character” by his Omaha friends. As a young man he had fought several pistol duels, and finally committed suicide by shooting himself the day after his 82nd birthday.
Beck, A. Ernestine
At one time Beck lived in Crete, Nebraska according to an inscription on this sheet music. The arranger of the piece was Maude Anita Hart (b. 1889) who lived in Ellsworth, Nebraska.
Bigger, George (b. 1876)
Bigger was a barber who lived in David City, Nebraska. Merlin Barker, his lyricist, was a university student from Franklin, Nebraska.
Bruun, Dick B. (b. 1885 Arkansas)
The 1914 Omaha City Directory lists Dick Bruun as the advertising manager for the John Deere Plow Company. By 1920 he had moved to Ohio.
Bullock, Flora (b. 1872 Ohio; d. 1962 Lincoln)
Bullock’s family moved to Lincoln when she was a young girl. She was a graduate of Lincoln High School and the University of Nebraska. From 1899 to 1902 she taught at the State School for the Blind in Nebraska City. Then from 1903 until 1923 she was on the English faculty at the University. She was an active member of various writers’ guilds and clubs and lived the remainder of her life with her sister in Lincoln.
Cadman, Charles Wakefield (b. 1881; d. 1946)
Cadman was a neighbor of Nelle Richmond Eberhart (see below) when he was a young man. He was greatly influenced by her interest in Native American music. He became a very successful composer in the Indianist movement. He collected and recorded Omaha and Winnebago tribal melodies and also used material that had been collected by Francis LaFlesche, an early ethnomusicologist. Cadman toured the country between 1909 and 1916 with the Native American princess Tsianina Redfeather, a mezzo-soprano. The opera “Shanewis” which he wrote with Eberhart was based on Redfeather’s life. In later years he lived in California and wrote film scores. He was also involved in the founding of the Hollywood Bowl.
Chenoweth, Wilbur (b. 1899 Tecumseh, NE; d. 1980 Santa Monica, CA)
Chenoweth, a Nebraska native, graduated from University Place High School in 1916 and two years later from the University of Nebraska. As a student he was very active in the Kosmet Klub on the campus, writing music for their productions. He then studied composition in New York and Europe, after which he returned to Nebraska as a faculty member on the University School of Music. He was there from 1928 to 1938. He was also the organist, choirmaster, and carilloneur of First Plymouth Congregational Church and played the pipe organ for silent movies at the Rialto and Lincoln theatres. Later he moved to California and served as head of the piano department at Occidental College from 1938 to 1945.
Cornhusker Song Book Committee
Crandall, Leon C. (b. 1877 IL; d. 1970)
Crandall was a student at the University of Nebraska when he wrote this march for piano. There is no indication that the piece was actually performed at the Exposition. He remained in Lincoln until 1921, working in real estate, insurance, and banking. He then moved to California and became the president of the California Fruit Growers Exchange.
Crozier, Grace Leal (b. 1881 IA; d. 1973)
Crozier, a Wesleyan student, came from Hastings, Nebraska and was editor of the song book.
Dann, William F. (b. 1857; d. 1922)
Professor Dann was a faculty member and then chairman of the University of Nebraska Art History and Criticism department from 1894 until his death in 1922. As a young man he had studied the classics, archeology, and music, and liked to keep his hand in as a composer.
Davee, William W. (b. 1884; d. 1967)
Davee was a butcher who lived in West Point, Nebraska.
Dietze, August H. (b. 1894 Elmwood, NE; d. 1974 Santa Ana, CA)
Dietze was a graduate of Lincoln High School. As a student there he directed the LHS band. From 1915 to 1927 he occupied himself as a concert vocalist and bass player in local theatre orchestras, and he played for the Ellison White Chautauqua circuit in states west of the Mississippi. He was a member of the original Lincoln Symphony Orchestra, and had his own vocal studio. In 1927, when the “talkies” caused him to lose his job as a silent film pit musician, he opened Dietze Music Store in Lincoln. During the 1930s he also directed the Lincoln Girls Band which boasted 65 members. He finally sold the store in 1958 and moved to California. Dietze Music is still an important fixture in the musical life of Lincoln.
Driscol, Leone (b. 1878)
Driscol published this song in Omaha, Nebraska with her friend Jean Gilbert Jones who was a music teacher there at the time. Driscol later moved to Colorado.
Eames, Henry Purmort (b. 1872; d. 1950)
Henry Eames was on the faculty of the University Conservatory of Music in Lincoln from 1898 to 1908. He then went to Paris to open a private studio and also toured France and Great Britain. He returned to Nebraska and directed the Omaha School of Music and Applied Arts from 1911 to 1912. He moved to California and served on the faculty of Claremont College. While there he collaborated with Harley Burr Alexander on several pageants and operas. He also wrote music for the silent films including “The Gamesters” in 1920.
Eberhart, Nelle Richmond (b. 1871; d. 1944)
Eberhart began her career in 1895 as a country school teacher in O’Neill and Bradshaw, Nebraska. She moved to Pittsburgh in 1900 and met Charles Wakefield Cadman (see above) in 1902. Her interest in Native American themes had a great influence on him. Together they collaborated on over 200 songs and two operas. She was the first woman writer of an opera libretto produced at the Metropolitan Opera. This was “Shanewis” (also known as “Robin Woman”). It was very successful and was the first American composition to appear more than one season at the Met. She and Cadman also wrote “The Willow Tree”, the first opera for radio, which was produced in 1932 by NBC. “From the Land of the Sky Blue Water” remains their most famous piece.
Fairfield, James A. (b. 1863 England)
Fairfield immigrated to Nebraska in 1891 and was naturalized in 1899. He lived in Omaha. Here are his settings of two texts, one sacred (by a Beatrice, Nebraska minister) and one secular. He used the same music for both.
Ferguson, Maj. Josiah B. (b. 1836; d. 1911 Lincoln)
As a young man, Ferguson was a composer and also a Civil War soldier who took part in many famous battles including Gettysburg. He came to Lincoln in 1891 and opened the Ferguson & Ogle Music Company. There he sold pianos and taught singing. He lived in Lincoln the rest of his life.
Frysinger, J. Frank (b. 1878 PA; d. 1954 PA)
Frysinger began playing organ at the age of eight. He studied in New York City and Europe from 1890 to 1908. In 1911 he became the organist and choirmaster at the 1st Presbyterian Church in Lincoln. From 1911 until 1921 he was the head of the Organ Department at the University School of Music. He published about 200 works for organ, piano, and voice.
Gale was a moderately successful song writer at the turn of the 20th century. He wrote “Line Up for Bryan” for William Jennings Bryan’s campaign against William Howard Taft in the 1908 presidential election.
Griggs, Nathan K. (b. 1844 Indiana; d. 1910 Nebraska)
Griggs was educated in Indiana and took his law degree there in 1867. In that year he came to Beatrice, Nebraska and opened a law practice. He was a member of the Nebraska State Senate from 1872 to 1875, and was president of the senate in 1875. He was a very popular politician but incorruptible, so in1876 he was sent off to Germany to get him out of the local political arena. In 1882 he returned to Lincoln as a lawyer for the Burlington Railroad. He preferred to think of himself as a poet and musician rather than as a politician. He was a very prolific writer. He was also the father of Nelly Griggs who later became the wife of Hartley Burr Alexander.
Haberstro is listed in the 1917 Nebraska Music Teachers Association handbook as a member of the resolutions committee. He wrote songs about soldiers in both the World Wars. In 1922 he published a book entitled The Voice in Speech.
Hampton, Frank J. (b. 1882 Kansas)
Frank Hampton moved to Lincoln as a young man. He played the violin in the Legit Theater Orchestra in the early 1920s and had a music studio in Lincoln for many years.
Hanson, Howard (b. 1896 Wahoo, NE; d. 1981)
Hanson was born into a musical family in Wahoo, Nebraska. He was a child prodigy, and took his early musical studies with his mother. At the age of 15 he received a diploma from Luther College in Wahoo. He studied at the Institute of Musical Art in New York City and got a BA from Northwestern University in 1916. At age 20 he taught music theory and composition at the College of the Pacific in California. In 1921 he won the Prix de Rome and studied for three years in Italy. In 1924 he became head of the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY and remained there for 40 years. He was described by Joseph Machlis as the single most important proponent of American music in the second quarter of the 20th century. In 1925 he initiated the American Composers Concerts, a forum for American writers. The Festival of American Music, which was given annually from 1930 to 1971, was also his creation.
Hesselberg, Edouard (b. 1870, Russia, d. 1935, Los Angeles))
Hesselberg was a concert pianist and composer who was on the faculty of the University School of Music when he and his wife wrote this piece.
Hinman-Davies, Jessie (b. 1870 Fremont, NE)
Hinman-Davies was born in Fremont, Nebraska. Her father was the county commissioner of Dodge County. She published her work privately in Fremont.
Hinson, Alonzo Otis ( b. 1872 Nebraska; d. 1960)
Hinson was an 1896 graduate of Nebraska Wesleyan. He wrote “The Yellow and the Brown” which became the official Nebraska Wesleyan school song up until 1957 when it was joined by the “Nebraska Wesleyan Hymn”. He was the Superintendent of Schools in Beaver City, Nebraska from 1900 to 1903 and a trustee of Nebraska Wesleyan from 1910 to 1931. He was a Methodist minister, and in 1918 was awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity from Wesleyan. He lived in California after his retirement.
Hussong, H. L. (b. c1888 Nebraska)
Hussong graduated form Oakdale Nebraska High School in 1906. For that occasion he wrote the class song “The Parting Hour.” Later he lived in Astoria, Oregon.
Jandus, Robert Marlowe (b. 1889 Illinois)
Jandus published his music in Lancaster, Nebraska. He was a soldier in WW I.
Janssen, Herman (b. 1898; d. 1984 Nebraska)
Janssen published his music in Sterling, Nebraska. He died in Spencer, Nebraska.
Kellogg, Arthur L. (b. 1865 Nebraska)
Kellogg was a Methodist minister in Kenesaw, Nebraska. He published his Prohibition song in Hubbell, Nebraska and also lived in Dundy, Adams, and Merrick counties.
Kinscella, Hazel Gertrude (b. 1893 Iowa; d. 1960)
Kinscella moved to Nebraska in 1908. She was a piano student of Robert W. Stevens at the University School of Music, graduated from there in 1916, and was herself a faculty member for several years. She took a B.A. from the University in 1928 , a Masters Degree from Columbia University, and a PhD from the University of Washington. She was on the piano faculty at Washington and also taught at the Juilliard School of Music in their summer program. She lived in Lincoln from 1908 to 1938. She was a composer, educator, musician, and author. She originated the Kinscella system (“Lincoln Way”) of group piano instruction which was used throughout the United States and some foreign countries. She published more than 100 articles and several series of books as well as many musical compositions.
Kirkpatrick, Howard (b. 1870 Illinois; d. 1952)
Kirkpatrick came to the University School of Music in 1900 as an instructor in voice, music history, and music theory. He founded the Nebraska All State High School summer program. He wrote several Lincoln pageants with Hartley Burr Alexander as well as several operas including “Olaf” which was produced in the old Oliver Theatre as a benefit for the founding of Lincoln General Hospital in 1912. From 1930 to 1939 he was head of the University of Nebraska School of Music. For 27 years he was the organist and musical director at St. Paul Methodist Church in Lincoln. Finally, he moved to Texas.
Lieurance, Thurlow Weed (b. 1880; d. 1963)
Lieurance studied music as a young man in Iowa. In 1897 he was appointed bandmaster of the 22nd Kansas Volunteer Infantry. He served with that regiment during the Spanish-American War. Then he studied at the Cincinnati College of Music where he worked with Preston Ware Orem. In 1902 he became interested in Native American music. During the rest of his life he made thousands of field recordings of Sioux, Crow, Cheyenne, and Taos Pueblo tribes among others. He also collected Native American flutes. He came to Nebraska in about 1917 and was a member of the faculty of the University School of Music from 1918 to 1927. In 1927 he was named Dean of Fine Arts at Wichita State University and was there until 1945. In 1952 he moved to Colorado. He married Edna Wooley in Omaha in 1917. They toured throughout the country specializing in Indian music. He wrote several hundred pieces, more than half of which are examples of Indianist Movement compositions.
The Bird and the Babe
By the Waters of Minnetonka
By the Weeping Waters
Eight Songs From Green Timber
The Good Rain
Indian Flute Call and Love Song
My Lark, My Love
O’er the Indian Cradle
The Red Birds Sing O’er the Crystal Spring
Romance in A
Sioux Indian Fantasie
The Way to Slumberland
Lincoln Veteran Quartette
“Camp Fire Clatter”, a song about the Civil War, was published in 1894 and performed by the Lincoln Veterans Quartette at the G.A.R. Encampment in Lincoln that same year. A stamp on the score indicated that it was for sale by one J. H. Foxworthy, a lawyer who had come to Lincoln in 1873.
Maupin, Will Major (b. 1863; d. 1948)
Maupin was born in Missouri and came to Nebraska in 1895. He was a newspaper man and worked in various cities in Nebraska. From 1901 to 1911 he lived in Lincoln and was assistant editor of The Commoner. Later he worked for the Omaha Bee-News, the Hastings Democrat, and the Omaha World-Herald. He was president of the Nebraska Press Association in 1900. He wrote lyrics for songs composed by William O’Shea and J. A. Parks among others. He also wrote and published many books and stories.
Maywood, George (George Schleiffarth) (b. 1848; d. 1921)
Maywood was a fairly successful John Phillip Sousa “wanna-be.” The Library of congress lists 56 marches and other light popular compositions written under the name Schleiffarth plus another 11 composed under the pseudonym George Maywood. He was an avid Bryan supporter. Most of his pieces were written for theater or hotel orchestras with one instrument on a part and with the piano serving to fill in the rest of the chords.
Meisinger, C. Leroy (b. 1895, Nebraska; d. 1924, Illinois)
Meisinger was a student at the University of Nebraska when he wrote this show for the Kosmet Klub. He was a meteorologist and, tragically, was killed at a very young age in the crash of a weather research flight.
Meyer, George (b. 1884; d. 1959)
Meyer became established as a successful songwriter after working as an electrician and a bookkeeper in Boston and New York. He was a charter member of ASCAP, and was Director and Secretary for it from 1931 through 1951. He composed many popular songs from 1909 through the 1940s. A few became famous such as “For Me and My Gal”, “Mandy”, and “There Are Such Things”. He also wrote a few Broadway and movie scores. He died in his hotel room in New York City from a fire presumably caused when he fell asleep while smoking.
Mills, Charles F. H. (b. 1874)
Mills was head of the voice department at the University School of Music from 1906 to 1918. He also taught ear training and accompaniment.
Nebraska Women’s Christian Temperance Union
The Nebraska W.C.T.U. was headquartered in the Funke Building in Lincoln, Nebraska.
Nelson, George H. (b. 1867 Geneva, Nebraska)
When Nelson wrote the “Capital March and Two-Step” in 1896, he was running a piano tuning/music printing shop at 11th and O Streets in Lincoln. The Capital Hotel was just a block away at 11th and P Streets. It had been built in 1887, and it remained in business until 1968. The piece was dedicated to R. W. Johnson, the manager of the Capital Hotel.
Nichols, Mrs. Harlan J. (Jeanette) (b. 1865)
According to the 1920 Census records, Mrs. Nichols was 56 years old and living in Lincoln. Her husband was the district manager of a local insurance company and her daughter Doris taught in the Lincoln Public Schools. “The Scotch Laddie” was written for the opening ceremonies of the first Carnegie library in Lincoln. It was performed again by a group of Lincoln librarians for the 125th anniversary of the library system.
O’Shea, William (b. 1852; d, 1913)
O’Shea was a printer by trade. He was born in Ireland but came to Nebraska at a fairly young age. He collaborated with Will Maupin on several popular songs. The 1910 Census record shows him living in Lincoln at the age of 57.
Parks, J. A. (b. 1863; d. 1945)
From 1887 to 1889 Parks was head of the Voice Department at the Nebraska Conservatory of Music at 13th and L Streets (not to be confused with the University Conservatory of Music). In 1889 he opened a music studio in York, Nebraska. In 1896 he established the J. A. Parks Co. in York. As owner and operator he composed, arranged, and published many sheet music titles, more than 90 books, and over 1700 octavo choral pieces. His works were known internationally and were translated into several foreign languages. Many of his songs were very popular during World War I.
Spencer, Harold (b. 1901; d. 1980)
The 1930 Census record shows Harold Spencer living in Falls City, Nebraska. He died in Albuquerque. He was a great admirer of General John J. Pershing.
Stevens, Robert W. (b. 1849)
Stevens was head of the Piano Department at the University School of Music in 1909 when he wrote “The Cornhusker.” For many years it served as Nebraska’s official school song and was sung by the crowd at the beginning of each football game. The tradition was discontinued during World War II although the football team still sang it at their training table. It was revived again briefly in 1950 in an attempt to boost school spirit.
Thompson, Cyril C. (b. 1891)
Thompson was a University of Nebraska student and a journalist. He wrote “Nebraska” in 1917 and dedicated it to the sports trainer, Jack Best.
Walt, Edward J. (b. 1877 Kentucky; d. 1951 Lincoln)
Edward Walt came to Lincoln in 1888. He began his business career selling newspapers on the street. Then he was employed by the R. P. Curtice Music Co. He studied the violin and played in the old Lansing Theatre orchestra. In 1894 he organized the Eddie Walt Orchestra which he directed until 1920. In 1897 he began work with the Matthews Piano Company in Lincoln, and later he purchased the band and sheet music department of that company. When the owner of Matthews Piano retired, Walt purchased the rest of the company. The music store was incorporated in 1933 as Edward J. Walt & Sons. He was famous nationwide as a composer; perhaps his most familiar song was “Lassie O’ Mine” though he had other hit tunes to his credit. After his death, his sons Norman and Edward, Jr. operated the Walt Music Store for many years.
Walt, Reuben M. (d. 1952 Lincoln)
Reuben Walt was a grocer in Lincoln. His song “Mother’s Voice” was published by his musician brother, Edward Walt, Sr.
Watkins, Dorothy (b. 1893)
Dorothy Watkins was a student at the University of Nebraska when she wrote this, the second Kosmet Klub show.
Williams, Guy Bevier (b. 1873; d. 1955)
Williams was on the piano faculty of the Nebraska Conservatory of Music in the early 1900s. He also conducted the theatre orchestra at the Oliver Theatre and the Temple Symphony Orchestra. In the 1920s he moved to California where he composed music for early films such as “White Zombie” and “Legion of Men Without Souls.”
Williams, Jess L. (b. 1892; d. 1977 Lincoln)
Williams moved to Lincoln in 1900. He operated an automotive spring business for 30 years. He was also a nationally-known pianist famous for his ragtime performances. In 1909 he met Scott Joplin, the great ragtime composer. Joplin joined the 17-year-old Williams and other members of the Lincoln Musicians’ Union for a jam session. That experience shaped the rest of Jess Williams’ life. Between 1920 and 1930 he wrote and published more than 20 songs. He played piano for the silent movies at the Lyric, Majestic, and Sun theatres in Lincoln. He also played the calliope for the local Masonic parades. In 1974 he competed at the Scott Joplin Ragtime Festival in Sedalia, MO and won prizes. In 1976 he was invited to play in the Bicentennial Folklife Festival in Washington, D. C. sponsored by the Smithsonian Institute.
Willy, Jos. A. (b. 1867)
Willy was a piano tuner in Hebron, Nebraska.
Wilson was a student at the University of Nebraska and a member of Phi Gamma Delta fraternity. He wrote “Fijis Arise” for the fraternity in 1901. From 1902 to 1909 he was head of the Music Theory Department at the University Conservatory of Music and also directed the University band. Next he went to Europe for advanced study and in 1911 was the conductor of the Atlanta Philharmonic Orchestra and director of the Atlanta Conservatory of Music. Later he taught harmony and composition at the Malkin School in New York City. He had many compositions to his credit. He wrote symphonies, overtures, chamber music, works for organ, songs, and piano pieces. He also wrote for the movies including scores for “The Covered Wagon” and “The Thief of Bagdad”. The text for “The Dandelion” was written by Corrilla Copeland Lewis (b. 1851, d. 1899) who was Wilson’s mother-in-law.