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American frontier: The Chrisman Sisters on a claim in Goheen settlement on Lieban (Lillian) Creek, Custer County, 1886 Daughters of ranchman Joseph M. Chrisman, left to right: Harriet, Elizabeth, Lucie and Ruth.

The Butcher family arrived in Nebraska in time to experience the hard winter of 1880 to 1881. Blizzards often struck without warning, catching people out on the prairie. Those lucky enough to be home, like this family shown here in Cherry County, often brought their horses or cows into their sod homes so the animals would not freeze.

June 25, 1876: Battle of the Little Bighorn and death of Lt. Colonel George Armstrong Custer. photo: Custer Expedition, 1874: Bloody Knife (guide), General Custer, Private Noonen, and Colonel Ludlow, with grizzly killed by Custer; near Custer Peak (South Dakota); NYHS image #79125d.

Texas Deputy U.S. Marshal Edward W. Johnson (at left) lost his right arm in an 1888 gunfight soon after this photograph was taken. He gained notoriety after an 1889 mob attacked the notorious Marlow Brothers during a jail transport, an incident that inspired the 1965 film Sons of Katie Elder. Also pictured: Texas Ranger Lorenzo K. Creekman (center) and Parker County Deputy Sheriff E.A. Hutchison (at right). – Courtesy George T. Jackson Jr. –

women of the west standing next to a mud house (sod home), with which every settler used to build their homes, since there was no trees with which to build homes on the prairie. Biddy Craft

prairie pioneers ,1800s--I had relatives that lived in a 'dug out.' I was in it when I was young. Very cool!

When slavery was legally abolished, the Slave Codes were rewritten as the Black Codes, a series of laws criminalizing legal activity for African Americans. Through the enforcement of these laws, acts such as standing in one area of town or walking at night, for example, became the criminal acts of “loitering” or “breaking curfew” for which African Americans were imprisoned.

On the Oregon Trail, heading west to the "land of promise." This photographer is unknown, but it was pioneers like these who, starting in 1841, crossed the Nebraska plains.