Farnam Street sign

Originally the main drag in Omaha, Farnam Street was named for railroad promoter Henry Farnam.

Dodge and Douglas Streets

U.S. Sens. Augustus Caesar Dodge of Iowa and Stephen A. Douglas of Illinois championed the Kansas-Nebraska Act in 1854. For those who aren’t history buffs, the 1854 act established the two territories, opened new lands, repealed the 1820 Missouri Compromise and allowed new settlers to decide whether they would allow slavery. Douglas famously 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.

Ames Avenue

Oakes Ames, a congressman from Massachusetts, was an investor in the Union Pacific Railroad.

Brown Street

Mildred Brown was a civil-rights activist and founder of the Omaha Star newspaper.

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. Omaha High School 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.

Decatur Street

Named for Stephen Decatur — a mysterious guy who lived with Omaha Indians. Turns out his real family name was Dross, but he assumed the name Decatur after leaving his wife and family in Pennsylvania. He also left his Omaha family for Colorado when his business went bad.

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.

Dorcas Street

Samuel E. Rogers, a pioneer and charter member of Nebraska’s territorial council, named Dorcas Street after his mother’s maiden name.

Farnam Street

Omaha’s original main street was named for Henry Farnam, a principal promoter of the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad.

Fontenelle Street

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.

Funston Avenue

Gen. Frederick Funston of Kansas captured Filipino President Emilio Aguinaldo in 1901 during the Philippine-American War. Funston became a national hero.

Hanscom Boulevard

Andrew Jackson Hanscom was the first speaker of the Nebraska Territorial Legislature. He donated land for what became Hanscom Park.

Harris Street

Most streets are named for honorable men. But this one’s named for Matt Harris, who ran a gambling house in Omaha’s early days. He once returned $3,000, at gunpoint, to a gambler who had accused Harris of cheating. Harris came back with two guns and reclaimed the money.

Izard Street

Mark W. Izard became the governor of the Nebraska Territory in 1855. He’s responsible for the only Governor’s Ball to be held in Omaha. You could say it was a slick affair. The February day was so cold, the water used to scrub the dance floor froze.

Krug Avenue and Arthur C. Storz Expressway

Both are named for Omaha brewers. Frederick Krug started Nebraska’s oldest major brewery in 1859. The brewery was sold to Falstaff in 1936. Arthur C. Storz ran Storz brewery from 1938 to 1972. He invented Storzette, a lower-calorie beer for women.

Minne Lusa Boulevard

Minne Lusa is a Native American term meaning “clear water.” A Florence pumping station was on the street. An elementary school of the same name is located near Minne Lusa Boulevard today.

Saddle Creek Road

A man was heading west out of Omaha to make his fortune mining gold. He didn’t get very far before a saddle fell off his wagon and into a creek that then flowed in the area. Hence the name Saddle Creek.

Saratoga Street

The street was named for an area called Saratoga in north Omaha. The natural springs were supposed to give birth to a resort area that would attract visitors. It never happened, but the name stuck.

Turkey Lane

Turkeys once ran free without harm on the lane, even around Thanksgiving. Turkey Lane no longer exists, but there is a Turkey Road in Papillion.

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