Omaha Street Names




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James “Cowboy Jim” Dahlman, was Omaha’s “perpetual Mayor,” in office from 1906 to 1930, except for 1918-21.  A native Texan, he fled to Nebraska because of problems with the law.  He later claimed he had shot his wife-abusing brother-in-law, but it may have been cattle rustling that set the Texas Rangers after him. After a few years as a cowboy in northwest Nebraska, he became sheriff of Dawes County and served as mayor of Chadron. He began his long tenure as Omaha’s mayor in 1906.
Davenport Street was named by a firm of bankers who came from Davenport, Iowa, and established a bank in Florence. The street was named in honor of their home town and also a leading family of that city.
Stephen Decatur, an eccentric and mysterious character, lived with the Omaha Indians and read the service at Logan Fontenelle’s funeral. Rumors spread that Decatur was an assumed name. Leaving his Nebraska family when his business affairs went bad, he headed west for Colorado, where he became successful. His family name was Dross, but he adopted the assumed identity when he deserted his Pennsylvania wife and family.
Charles H. Dewey was a leading Omaha furniture dealer in the post-Civil War years and advocate of a quality hotel for Omaha.  In 1865 he entered the furniture business that became known as Dewey & Stone Furniture Company. From a small local retail business, it grew to reach the Pacific coast.
There are conflicting accounts as to the source of the naming of Dodge Street. Sources disagree as to the namesake of the street belonging either to Senator Augustus Dodge of Burlington, Iowa or General Grenville Dodge of Council Bluffs, IA.
Dorcas Street was named by Samuel E. Rogers, pioneer and charter member of the Territorial Council, after his mother's maiden name.

Stephen A. Douglas was an influential U.S. Senator from Illinois who championed the Kansas-Nebraska Bill that resulted in Nebraska becoming an organized territory. The Kansas-Nebraska Act was the result, signed by President Pierce on May 30, 1854. The founding of Omaha followed on July 4, 1854. Douglas opposed Abraham Lincoln as the Democratic candidate for president in 1860.

Frederick Drexel, who came to Omaha in 1856, helped  incorporate the Cable Tramway Company and Immanuel Hospital. He was a state legislatuor and the Douglas County Commissioner. A South Omaha pioneer, he was active in the organization of public schools and served as a director of the school district. In 1884 he built a Gothic mansion of carved stone overlooking the Missouri River.
Dupont Street is so named because the Dupont Powder Company once had a powder house in the grove near Gibson Station. This powder house was blown up accidentally by four young men while out hunting, all of whom were killed by the explosion.

Emmet Street was probably named for Robert Emmet, the Irish orator and patriot, as a compliment to some of the Irish pioneers of Omaha.


A banker of Hartford, CT, Henry Farnam was a principal promoter of the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad. Farnam was Omaha’s original “main” street.

Florence Boulevard was so named because it is the thoroughfare that leads to
Florence, a suburban town in the northeastern part of Douglas County. The town and street were named for Florence Kilbourn, niece of J. C. Mitchell, who helped organize the Florence Land Company in 1854.
The well-educated son of a French fur trader and an Omaha Indian, Logan Fontenelle, at age sixteen, was appointed a U.S. interpreter for the Omahas. Later named a principal chief of the tribe, he was a negotiator for the selling of the tribal lands to the government. Fontenelle urged the Omahas to gain an education and be peaceful farmers. He was killed by Sioux warriors during a buffalo hunt in 1855.
During America’s formative years, Benjamin Franklin of Philadelphia became a famous writer, wit, scientist, diplomat, politician, and philosopher.
Funston Avenue was named for General Frederick Funston of Kansas, who won distinction in the Philippine war by capturing Emillo Aguinaldo, the insurgent leader.



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