Omaha leaders have been naming streets, boulevards and avenues since the city's founding in 1854. But it wasn't until 2009 that city officials suddenly realized there weren't a lot of rules and regulations about how to name or rename streets.
An application, recommendations and sometimes a hearing and vote are now parts of the street designation process. (Read more about how the city set up the rules.)
Streets named for mayors
>> In 2009, “Mike Fahey Street” — a permanent name change of Webster Street from 10th to 17th Streets — joined a long line of streets named for Omaha mayors.
>> Dahlman Avenue. James “Cowboy Jim” Dahlman served as Omaha's mayor from 1906 to 1930, except for three years. He fled from Texas to Nebraska because of problems with the law, but later became sheriff of Dawes County.
>> Boyd Street. James E. Boyd was twice mayor of Omaha in the 1880s. The Irish immigrant became governor of Nebraska in 1890.
>> Lake Cunningham Road. Glenn Cunningham was elected mayor of Omaha in 1948 and served two terms. He later was a U.S. representative from Nebraska.
>> A.V. Sorensen Parkway. Omaha businessman Axel Vergman Sorensen, mayor from 1965 to 1969, chaired a convention in 1956 that wrote the city's current governing charter.
>> Poppleton Avenue. Andrew Jackson Poppleton, a member of the first territorial legislature, was involved in deciding the territorial capital's location. The attorney successfully represented Standing Bear in the Ponca chief's 1879 trial. Poppleton served three times as mayor of Omaha.
Stories behind the streets
Ames Avenue. Massachusetts Congressman Oakes Ames was an investor in the Union Pacific Railroad.
Brown Street. Mildred Brown was a civil-rights activist and founder of the Omaha Star newspaper.
California Street. Gold seekers headed west for California landed near this street after crossing the Missouri River.
Calhoun Street. John C. Calhoun twice served as U.S. vice president and as a congressman, U.S. senator, secretary of war and secretary of state.
Capitol Avenue. This route led from the Missouri River to the second Nebraska territorial capitol, located on top of a hill near 20th and Dodge Streets. That building was replaced by Omaha High School in 1872, then by the school's second building, which was completed in 1912. OHS is now known as Omaha Central High School.
Cuming Street. Secretary of the Nebraska Territory and acting Gov. Thomas B. Cuming convened the first Nebraska Territorial Legislature in Omaha in 1854, making Omaha the capital.
Dodge and Douglas Streets. U.S. Sens. Augustus Caesar Dodge of Iowa and Stephen A. Douglas of Illinois championed a bill for organization of the Nebraska Territory in 1854. Douglas ran against Abraham Lincoln for president in 1860. Despite what many people think, Dodge Street was not named for Civil War Brig. Gen. Grenville Mellen Dodge, nor for his brother, real estate pioneer N.P. Dodge.
Ed Creighton Avenue. The businessman's widow, Mary, bequeathed funds designated for establishment of a college that would serve as a memorial to her husband. Creighton University opened in 1878.
Farnam Street. Omaha's original main street was named for Henry Farnam, a principal promoter of the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad.
Fontenelle Boulevard. At age 16, Logan Fontenelle represented the Omaha Tribe as a U.S. interpreter. Later named a chief, Fontenelle negotiated selling tribal lands to the government.
Hanscom Boulevard. Andrew Jackson Hanscom was the first speaker of the territorial legislature. He donated land for what became Hanscom Park.
Harney Street. At the outbreak of the Civil War, Gen. William S. Harney was commander of the Department of the West.
Harris Street. Matt Harris was proprietor of a fashionable gambling house for “high rollers” in Omaha's wild early days.
Hoctor Boulevard. South Omaha Mayor Thomas Hoctor led an unsuccessful battle against annexation by the City of Omaha.
John A. Creighton Boulevard. Count John A. Creighton was president of the United National Bank. He was made a Count of the Papal Court in recognition of his philanthropy.
Jones Street. Alfred D. Jones did Omaha City's first survey in 1854. It was said that, as Omaha's first postmaster, the lawyer carried the mail in his hat.
Lizzie Robinson Avenue. The former slave, with her husband, Edward, founded the first Church of God in Christ in Nebraska in 1916.
Military Avenue. This part of the original Overland Trail twisted through Omaha and Benson starting in 1857. It was used to move military supplies to Fort Kearny and by settlers heading to the Northwest. In 1994, part of Military Road near 82nd and Fort Streets was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Millard Avenue. Ezra Millard was president of the Omaha National Bank, which he organized in 1866. In 1871, he bought the land that was to become Millard.
Miller Street. One of Omaha's first physicians, Dr. George L. Miller founded the Omaha Daily Herald in 1865, serving for many years as its editor.
Paxton Boulevard. William A. Paxton, known as the “real founder of South Omaha,” organized the Union Stockyards Company. He co-founded Paxton & Gallagher Wholesale Grocery, became co-owner of the Paxton & Vierling Iron Works and served in the Nebraska legislature. The Paxton Hotel was named for him.
Woolworth Avenue. Attorney James Woolworth helped develop South Omaha's stockyards. He wrote and published “The History of Omaha” in 1857. The city was only three years old.
Sources: www.omahahistory.org, Douglas County Historical Society. For more information, go to www.omahahistory.org.