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About Colonel Mustard

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Date of Birth
November 16
About Colonel Mustard
I was born in Worcester, England, in 1848. My family immigrated to the U.S. and settled in Wisconsin when I was a year old. I graduated from the University of Wisconsin law school in 1871, then served as county superintendent of Iowa County, Wisconsin, and newspaper editor at Mineral Point between 1874 and 1877.

In 1877 I became the editor of the Sioux City Tribune and in 1882 I moved to Lincoln, Nebraska, where I partnered with of General Victor Vifquain in the publishing of the Lincoln Daily Democrat. As a tariff reformer and a Gold Standard Democrat, I allied myself with the J. Sterling Morton wing of the Nebraska Democratic Party. Following the election of Grover Cleveland in 1884, I was appointed postmaster of Lincoln, an office which I held for four years. After President Cleveland’s reelection, I became a receiver of national banks of Nebraska, especially the one at Ponca.

After free-silver became a political issue in 1893, I became one of the most active champions of the Grover Cleveland- J. Sterling Morton gold standard wing of the Nebraska Democratic Party. William Jennings Bryan’s victory in 1896 left the Gold Standard Democrats in Nebraska few in numbers and politically stranded. Efforts to maintain a separate organization proved a failure, so most of them, including myself, rejoined the reorganized Democratic party under the Bryan leadership.

In 1898, during the Omaha Exposition, a "History of Nebraska" was undertaken mainly by Iowans, strangely enough, including Mr. Clarence S. Paine. J. Sterling Morton was chosen as literary head of the publication. He, in turn, persuaded me to assist him in the editorship of the project. I ended up doing most of the editorial work and the narrative writing except for some special articles by well-known Nebraskans. Preparation and publication of the three volumes of this history lasted from 1898-1911.

From 1911 until the modern times, I have held the position of Historian of the Nebraska State Historical Society and, as such, I have edited multiple volumes of the Historical Society Reports. My work, as a whole, has largely been a contribution to the recording of Nebraska history. Much of it is scattered in various publications but together it forms an interesting commentary on Nebraska life.

I am currently nearing my 165th birthday, and I can never die.
Lincoln, Nebraska
History, Theatre, Brooding


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