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Omaha Folklore Project: Interview with William Robinson

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00:00:00 - Introduction

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Partial Transcript: William Turner (WT): This is an interview with Mr. William Robinson, super senior citizen, Bellevue, Nebraska, 2 November 1978, by William Turner for the Bellevue oral history series.

Segment Synopsis: WR shares about his personal background and about the city of Bellevue in the early 1900s. He discusses the well water system and transportation. He also shares about he and his brother serving in 1917 at war.

Keywords: Bellevue; Nebraska

00:09:20 - Education, Entertainment, & Local Politics

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Partial Transcript: WT: You said you didn't go to school
but your brothers did.

WR: Yeah, my brothers went to school
here in Bellevue, now, I didn't go to school. I went to the 10th grade in Clarkson, then I didn't go to school after I came here.

Segment Synopsis: WR talks about his experiences with education in Iowa and Nebraska. He also shares about entertainment in the community. He then describes local politics in Bellevue during that time.

Keywords: 1900s; Community; Education

00:16:22 - Big Elk Grave, Volunteer Fire Department, Police Department

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Partial Transcript: T: You were talking about that you moved Big Elk?

WR: Yes, yes, we, you see, his bones were, and a number of braves were buried up there at the old college.

Segment Synopsis: WR worked as a groundsman for the cemetery and he shares the movement of the graves of Big Elk, the last Omaha chief, and several other Native Americans that he worked. He also discusses the resources in the town for emergency management.

Keywords: Bellevue; Big Elk; Cemetary; Omaha Tribe

00:21:58 - Prominent Citizens, Bellevue Development, Infrastructure

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Partial Transcript: WT: Who were the prominent citizens you were talking about them, we were talking a bit.

WR: Oh, Oscar Kaiser, yeah. He was reputed to be a millionaire, I know I wouldn't say he was, but he was a very rich man.

Segment Synopsis: WR shares about several citizens of Bellevue and discusses the development of the city as it grew. He discusses how the Bomber Plant helped this initial growth. He also shares about the churches and ferry that the town had.

Keywords: Bellevue; Bomber Plant; City Planning; Infrastructure; Nebraska; Urban Development

00:30:09 - Bellevue Places

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Partial Transcript: WT: You mentioned plant a minute ago, you talking about the bomber plant?

WR: The bomber plant?

Segment Synopsis: WR shares about several buildings in town and the military outposts. He also discusses postal services and a train crash incident.

Keywords: Bellevue; Nebraska

00:37:48 - Meeting His Wife, Children, 'Super Senior' Award

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Partial Transcript: WT: How did you meet your wife?

WR: How'd I meet her? Well, I'll tell you, my brother's wife, one summer, she had a kind of a nervous breakdown, my wife went to work for her, and one Sunday, my brother called and said, "Would you take Dorothy down to LaPlatte?"


Segment Synopsis: WR shared about how he met his wife and about his children. He also describes how he was awarded the designation "Super Senior" in 1977 and the celebration at Peony Park.

Keywords: LaPlatte; Nebraska; Peony Park

00:44:15 - Committees, Town Members, Farming, Natural Disasters

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Partial Transcript: WT: Meal Sites, is that a national program?

WR: Oh yes, it's a national program. They have, I guess it's all over the United States anymore.

Segment Synopsis: WR shares about the Meal Sites program he volunteers with. He also discusses the mayor, doctor, and a local veteran hermit. He explains the tornadoes and victims in 1913.

Keywords: Bellevue; Community