Bennington has an interesting history. The town was developed by the Railroad as tracks were laid from Omaha to Fremont. Land was set aside for 4 towns; Irvington, Bennington, Washington and Arlington. The Pioneer Town Site Company surveyed the site, laying out our streets and business and residential lots. In 1888, those lot were put up for sale.
The railroad arrived in 1889 and the town rapidly grew; by 1892 it incorporated. The town was self sufficient for many years having nearly everything that was needed right here in town. The town boasted several grocery stores, a dry good store, hardware store, a furniture store, a cement block factory, a cigar and wooden shoe factory, a stock yard and several butcher shops. One time the town had 4 hotels and 4 saloons.
Those days are gone forever and so are most of those businesses, buildings, memories and stories. Old photographs are often lost when people move, pass away or when old photographs are no longer recognized by younger generations. Clues to our history are found in old photographs, family stories and through old records and newspaper clippings. It's our goal to save and share those with our community. We hope you enjoy these glimpses of the past. If you have any old photographs or other local artifacts please let us know. Consider joining or making a contribution to the Society; history is fun! Contact us at email@example.com. Thank you.
|Photograph taken from the intersection of South 2nd Street (Main Street) and Stark Street looking West. |
(prior to the construction of the Mangold and Peterson Stores; 1889)
|Photograph (ca. 1911-1913) of the north side of Main Street. Businesses (l-r) Mangold's Store, Hansen's Meat Shop, Kruse Hotel and Saloon and Witt Hardward Store.|
|Photograph (between 1911 & 1913) of the Bennington State Bank Building located on the South side of South 2nd Street (Main Street) The building to its left is Oft's Hotel. Mangold Brother's Lumber Yards can be seen in the background.|
|Photograph (ca. 1914) of the Ball Room of Oft's Hall located on the south side of South 2nd Street (Main Street).|
|Photograph (post 1911) of Mangold's (2nd) Store. A fire in 1911 destroyed Mangold's original store located on the south side of South 2nd Street, the following year he rebuilt on the north side of the street where Paulson's Blacksmith Shop stood.|
|Photograph looking east at Bennington's elevator. The first elevator was built in 1889 by Peter Deidrichsen. It was steam powered and burned and was rebuilt by Peter Mangold.|
|Photograph (pre-1914) of South 2nd Street (Main Street) looking west. Businesses (l-r): Bennington Herald Printing Office, Modern Utilities. (r-l): Modern Woodmen of America, Mangold & Glandt Bank, Post Office, Witte Hardware Store.|
|Photograph looking north across the railroad tracts at workmen unloading lumber for the Mangold Brother's Lumber Yard in background.|
|Photograph (post-1913) of Peterson's Meat Shop located on the north side of Main Street. The business was originally owned by Hansen who sold out to Peterson following the 1913 fire.|
|Photograph of W. Ehler's Saloon built on the south side of Main Street in 1886. The building also housed Joe Boyer's barber shop.|
|Photograph (ca 1910) taken near the intersection of Stark Street and Warehouse on the North West corner. B.L. Seymour operated his blacksmith business from a building owned by Eggert Oft. It is believed this building burned in the 1913 downtown fire.|