Omaha Street Names




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Smith Samuel Caldwell arrived in Omaha in 1859, going on to become a leading figure in Omaha’s financial affairs.  He created a firm that later merged with the United States National Bank, was an incorporator and president of the Southwestern Railroad Company, a participant in the building of the Grand Central Hotel,  and a  founding member of Omaha’s Circulating Library.  He served as mayor in 1871.

California Street is said to have been so named because gold seekers, on their way to California, landed near the foot of this street upon crossing the Missouri River.

National figure John C. Calhoun served as Vice President under both John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson. He also served as a Congressman, U.S. Senator, Secretary of War and Secretary of State.  Fort Calhoun, Nebraska, is named in his honor.

The main approach to the old territorial capitol was a road leading from the Missouri River to the Capitol building at the top of a hill — thus the name “Capitol Avenue.”

O.M. Carter was a president of the American Loan & Trust Co. and vice president of the Nebraska Central Railroad Company. Some sources claim the street was named for Levi Carter, founder of Carter White Lead Company, for whom Carter Lake is named.
General Lewis Cass of Michigan was a politician, statesman, and military officer. For eighteen years he was governor of the territory of Michigan, going on to become President Buchanan’s Secretary of State and Andrew Jackson’s Secretary of War.  He also served as a diplomat and as a U.S. Senator. 
Born in Cadiz, Spain, Emilio Castelar participated in an unsuccessful uprising in 1866.  He fled to France, but returned to Spain two years later as a republican leader when Queen Isabella II was deposed.  Journalist, statesman and orator, he is remembered as having “the soul of Don Quixote in the body of Sancho Panza.”   Why a street is named after him is unknown.
Charles was the given name of Charles W. Hamilton, the postmaster of Omaha for forty-seven days in 1859.  A financier and Grand Hotel backer, he was president of the U.S. National Bank in 1896.
This street’s origin has backers in two camps. Some claim it was named for S.H. Clark, who worked as superintendent and general manager of the Union Pacific Railroad. The street may have been named for Captain William Clark of the 1804-1806 Lewis and Clark Expedition.
Bishop Robert H. Clarkson, when consecrated as the Bishop of Nebraska and North Dakota, moved from Chicago to Omaha where he resided for the rest of his life. Clarkson Hospital is named for him.

Henry Clay was a Senator from Kentucky and a leading statesman, orator and unsuccessful presidential candidate. He was known as the Great Compromiser because of his success in brokering compromises on the slavery issue, such as the Missouri Compromise. In 1957 a Senate committee chaired by John F. Kennedy, named Clay as one of the five greatest Senators in American history.

Joseph O. Corby, a brick mason and contractor, was a member of the City Council in 1881.
Edward Creighton made a fortune constructing the Pacific Telegraph line. He was an investor in the freighting business between Omaha, Denver and Salt Lake City, and served the Omaha Northwestern Railroad. His widow, Mary, bequeathed $50,000 to establish Creighton University in 1878.
Count John A, Creighton arrived on Omaha with his brother Edward in 1856. He was president of the United National Bank at the time of death in 1907. Many Omaha charities benefited from his philanthropy, as did Creighton University. The J.C. Creighton Medical College and St. Joseph Hospital are examples of his generosity. In recognition of his philanthropy, he was made a Count of the Papal Court.

Thomas B. Cuming was appointed secretary of the Nebraska Territory in 1854 and became acting governor when Francis Burt died just a few days after his arrival. Cuming convened the first territorial legislature of Nebraska in Omaha, thus making Omaha the capital, much to the dismay of its neighboring competitor, Bellevue.



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