John J. Halligan

Written By: nppladmin - Jun• 11•22
Originally published to on June 10, 2022.

Welcome back to another Facebook Friday History! 

Have you ever wondered about some of the names on streets or buildings?  The next street name we are looking at is Halligan Drive, named for John J. Halligan.

John James Halligan was born to James and Eliza (Casselo) Halligan on November 10, 1856, in Monroe county, New York.

In 1853, James and Eliza immigrated from Ireland to the United States. It is no surprise that they came to America, because the Irish Potato Famine had been lingering in Ireland since 1845.  The potato famine was caused by a fungus-like organism that spread throughout the potato crops. The infestation ruined 75% of the potato crops from 1846-1953.  After landing in New York, James and Eliza traveled westward and ended up in Nebraska City, Nebraska in 1867. Within a year, the Halligans and their family became homesteaders in Keith county, Nebraska and improved their homestead within two years. They had two sons: John J. Halligan and George H. Halligan. 

John J. Halligan was a well-educated in the public schools and finished his undergraduate degree at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln, Nebraska in 1883.  In 1884, Halligan was admitted to the bar at the same university. And upon receiving his law degree, he returned to Keith county, and began practicing law in Ogallala.

For the next few years, he practiced law in Omaha, Nebraska, where he met and married Caroline “Carrie” Swanson. Four children were born to this marriage:

1. Paul Rolfe Halligan (1887-1923). Born in Ogallala, Nebraska. In North Platte, he was usually called “Rolfe” and in court, he was referred to as “PR”. Rolfe graduated from North Platte High School in 1906. Graduated from the University of Nebraska with his law degree in 1912. After he passed the bar examination, he practiced law in North Platte, Nebraska.  In July 1916, Paul served in Company E of the Fifth Nebraska National Guard Infantry and he was elected Captain of the company. The company served on the Mexican border from August 1916 through January 1917. In 1917, he married Kathleen Doyle in Lincoln and they had one daughter, Nancy Jane Halligan. Rolfe then served in World War I. After the war, he returned to practicing law in Lincoln, NE, where he formed a partnership with his father-in-law. In July 1923, Rolfe’s health began to fail and he went to California to regain his health. He died unexpectedly from a heart attack in California, at the age of 35. At the time of his death, he was a Major of the 134th Infantry.

2. Frances Halligan (1890-1892). Born in Omaha, NE. Originally buried in Omaha, moved to the North Platte Cemetery in 1917. She was two years old.;

3. Victor Hugo Halligan (1892-1973). Born in Omaha, NE; Graduated from North Platte High School. Graduated from the University of Nebraska, also with a degree in law, in 1915. He was an All-American tackle with the 1914 Cornhuskers. After serving in World War I as a captain in a field artillery division, he returned to North Platte. Victor became the junior member in his father’s firm, which became known as Halligan, Beatty & Halligan in 1920.and served with his father in the known as Halligan, Beatty & Halligan. Victor married Mary Louise Ottenstein (1891-1952) and they had two daughters, Marcia Ann (Halligan) Wright and Jean Lucille Halligan. He died in Scottsdale, AZ at the age of 81 in 1973.

4. Lucille Halligan (1894-1915). Born in Omaha, NE; Died in North Platte, NE after several years of illness. She was 21 years old.

On January 1, 1896, John J. Halligan opened his law office in North Platte, Nebraska with Mr. W.T. Wilcox, becoming the junior member of the practice of Wilcox & Halligan. He served actively as an attorney for many years.

John was a member of the following organizations: Order of the Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, the Knights Templar, Shriners, and the Benevolent & Protective Order of Elks.

He died on July 4, 1930 of a heart attack, at age 72. He wasn’t feeling well that morning and went to see his doctor, Dr. Dent. He collapsed in the doctor’s office and went home to die. He died shortly after arriving at his home on 304 West 2nd Street. John and his wife Carrie are buried in the North Platte Cemetery.

Thank you for reading!


NOTE: The original post had an additional photograph incorrectly attributed to the subject of this post and therefore was not included on this archival site.

McCabe Hotel

Written By: nppladmin - Jun• 04•22
Originally published to on June 3, 2022.

Welcome back to another Facebook Friday History! 

We continue our exploration of North Platte Streets, McCabe Avenue to be exact. Two weeks ago, readers learned about the life of Dr. Nicholas McCabe, and last week we examined the historic McCabe building, built in 1913. This week we look at the McCabe Hotel, located at 404-406 North Dewey Street, the building directly North of the McCabe building, now housing Good Life on the Bricks.

The information that follows is from the book “City Bones: Landmarks of North Platte, Nebraska,” Second edition, by Kaycee Anderson and Steve Olson, Published and Funded by the Lincoln County Historical Museum, 2012.

The McCabe Hotel is the second building on the west side of Dewey Street, just north of 4th Street. Its legal description is, “Lots 16 & 17 of McNamara’s Subdivision of Block 132, Original Town.”

The contract to build the hotel, according to a North Platte Telegraph front page article dated August 10, 1915, had an estimated cost of $30,000. The contract was awarded to Howard and Jim McMichael of North Platte. Excavation had already begun, but the article reflected that it would now be rushed until completed. The plumbing contract was given to a Kearney firm, Burke Plumbing & Heating, with the wiring, telephone, elevator and other minor contracts to be let in the near future.

The building plans called for fifty guest rooms on the second floor, twenty-eight equipped with baths. The lobby was to be built on the north half of the first floor and the Nyal Drug Store was to occupy the south half of the first floor. The dining room would take up the entire read, from north to south of the building, with a kitchen to be located at the extreme read of the hotel. A North Platte Telegraph article dated March 23, 1916 announced that the hotel was formally “thrown open” to the public at noon that day. The cost was cited as $55,000. The proprietor of the hotel was C. O. Weingand. The hotel had a vacuum system that allowed for the plug-in of a vacuum hose in each room. The collected waste could then flow into a room in the basement.

In 1917, Dr. McCabe announced plans to add a third floor and remodel the second floor. Architect Victor Beck drew up the plans. A special trip was made to Omaha to secure enough matching brick for the exterior façade, ensuring the building’s appearance would have a uniform pattern and color. Sutherland Bros. Co., of Omaha, furnished the materials.

The third floor added another hundred rooms, each with a shower, bath, and toilet. The floors were covered with waterproof, acid-proof, and fireproof “Rezelite.”

Also included, at the rear of the hotel, was a large elevator for the handling of guest’s trunks.

The south portion of the first floor housed several drug stores, several cafes, and the McCabe Bar. The McCabe Bar and the McCabe Hotel, according to the 1971 R.L. Polk City Directory were both opened and operated by Harold Miller, with the hotel offering both weekly and monthly rates. By 1972, the hotel’s bar was Esh’s & Rag’s Lounge.

Over the years a variety of drinking establishments have operated at this location: Andy’s Pub, Doris’s Tavern, Kelsey’s Place, and The Den are a few of the businesses that have occupied the McCabe Hotel Building.

Today, the north half of the first floor is unoccupied, the second floor has been converted to apartments, and the third floor is vacant. The third floor retains all the room numbers on each door but it lacks updated electric and plumbing service and, therefore, cannot be used.

Everett and Leota Bebee were owners of the building from 1944 to 1960. The Bebee’s were active members in the community, playing a central role in establishing the 20th Century Veteran’s Memorial, located near the intersection of Interstate 80 and U.S. Highway 83. Leota Street, in southwest North Platte, was named in Leota Bebee’s honor.

Thank you for reading and have a great weekend!


McCabe Building

Written By: nppladmin - May• 28•22
Originally published to on May 27, 2022.

Welcome back to another Facebook Friday History! 

Last week we looked at the life of Dr. Nicholas McCabe and this week we are the McCabe building. I had originally thought I would post this week about both the building and hotel; however, the post got to be rather lengthy, so I split them up.  Next week, we will look at the McCabe Hotel.

The information that follows is from the book “City Bones: Landmarks of North Platte, Nebraska,” Second edition, by Kaycee Anderson and Steve Olson, Published and Funded by the Lincoln County Historical Museum, 2012.

The McCabe Building is located at 400-402 North Dewey Street in downtown North Platte, currently occupied by Good Life on the Bricks.

The Building occupies the northwest corner of 4th and Dewey streets. It is separate from the McCabe Hotel, located to the north. See photographs.

The McCabe Building cornerstone was laid in 1913. The owners of the property were the Picard Brothers and Dr. Nicholas McCabe.

A mechanics lien, filed at the Lincoln County Courthouse on Sept. 13, 1913, describes the building as a brick garage and describes the builder as J.M. Gray.

The building was initially built with space for three storefronts. Some of the earliest tenants included the Bluebird Confectionery; the Sun Theater; and the Style Shop, which had the storefront on the north side of the building.

The west side of the first floor was used for the Hendy-Ogier Ford Garage.  The building measured 44 by 126 feet with a pressed brick front and heated rooms. B.M. Reynolds was the architect.  The building was built with concrete floors and was considered completely fireproof after construction.

By the middle of the 1930’s, the entire building was occupied by O’Connor’s Drug Store, owned by Walter J. O’Connor. O’Connor also operated the 5 cent, 10 cent & 25 cent Store. O’Connor’s Drug Store included a soda fountain and a liquor store. Eventually, the liquor store became a separate business called, “The Barley Shop.” The drug store was a longtime tenant until Circle-A Ranchwear took over the space in 1976.

In the 1980’s a group of local businessmen purchased the McCabe Building and renamed it Victorian Square. Since that time it has housed several small businesses and is now the current home to Good Life on the Bricks!

Thank you for reading!


Dr. Nicholas McCabe

Written By: nppladmin - May• 21•22
Originally published to on May 20, 2022.

Welcome back to another Facebook Friday History! 

Have you ever wondered about some of the names on streets or buildings?  Well, today we are looking at Dr. Nicholas McCabe and next week, we will look at the history of the McCabe Building at 400-402 North Dewey Street and the McCabe hotel.  But let’s start with the man, Dr. Nicholas McCabe.

Nicholas F. McCabe was born on December 25, 1854 in County Louth, Ireland to John and Margaret (Murphy) McCabe.  His father lived his whole life in Ireland and had a large successful farm.  The family was devout Catholic, and Nicholas was the second child out of ten children born to John and Margaret.  Of the ten children, all of them stayed in Ireland, except for Nicholas and one sister.

Nicholas came to America in 1881 and landed in New York.  He eventually made his way to Buffalo, New York and began his medical studies. His father paid for his medical school tuition, but Nicholas worked on farms in New York to pay for the rest of his living expenses. He graduated in 1884 from the University of Buffalo with his Doctor of Medicine degree. After college, he practiced in New York state in the towns of Lockport and Niagara. 

In 1886, Dr. McCabe came west to North Platte Nebraska, one of four physicians in the area. Dr. McCabe built up a large medical practice and gained a reputation as an excellent physician and surgeon. He served as a railroad surgeon and was also the medical examiner for many insurance companies.  And by the late 1890’s, McCabe was also elected as county coroner and served in that capacity for several years. In addition, he owned a ranch with 2,000 acres of good land; he also owned the McCabe Hotel building; as well as owned two drug stores in North Platte.

Through his appointment as County Coroner, Dr. McCabe also had an interest in politics and served three consecutive terms as the Mayor of North Platte (1906-1909). More on that later on in this post.

Dr. McCabe was a member of the Knights of Columbus and the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks.

In 1888, Dr. McCabe married Mary “Mollie” O’Connor. Together, they had four children:

1. Arthur William McCabe (1893-1971). Arthur enlisted in the United States Navy and served as a radio specialist. In 1953, Arthur (age 50) married Grace Myrtle Devine and they lived in Ashville, North Carolina. They had no children.;

2. Clara Marie McCabe (1895-1986). She graduated from Saint Mary’s College at Notre Dame, Indiana, and became a teacher. Eventually, Clara had a higher calling and became Sister Mary Clare Assisi McCabe. She passed away in Ventura, California.;

3. Clarence James McCabe (1897-1948). Clarence graduated from the University of Notre Dame. He then served in the First World War in the Signal Corps. Clarence was in France on the Marne during WWI and took an active part in five major engagements. He later graduated the American Expeditionary University in France. Clarence married Andree Marie Louise Charmoille in Beaune, France on July 30, 1923. In 1924, the couple emigrated to America, landing at New York City, New York. Their first child, Marie Louise McCabe was born in Denver Colorado. After a few years, the family moved back to France, where they had a second daughter, Nicole Jeanne McCabe and a son, John Henry Pierre McCabe. The family moved back to the states in 1928 and settled in Washington D.C. Clarence is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.; And,

4. John Nicholas McCabe (1901-1978). He married Winifred A. Quinn in Kansas City Missouri. He was a professor of Journalism at Mount Angel Seminary in Oregon, as well as Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. The couple had two daughters and a son together.  He and his wife died in Ashville, North Carolina. Winifred passed away on July 1, 1978 and John N passed away on November 23, 1978, some four and a half months apart.

Politically, Dr. McCabe was a member of both the Democratic and Populist Parties. In 1904, the big decision before the City Fathers was to decide if the City of North Platte should own and operate municipal utilities. McCabe has strong opinions in favor of good drinking water supplied by the City and started actively attending City and County meetings.

In 1906, Dr. McCabe was elected Mayor of North Platte.  He served as mayor until the Fall of 1909, at which time Thomas Cartwright Patterson succeeded him as Mayor.

McCabe’s political career was seriously damaged when he went through a scandal in which he personally was accused of selling alcohol in the Pharmacy that he owned. It should be noted that alcohol was prescribed by doctors for all sorts of ailments (flu and cold symptoms, sore throats, high blood pressure, heart disease, depression, tuberculosis, and cancer). As much as one ounce of whiskey would be prescribed, and half an ounce for children.  In his defense, he noted that the sale of the liquor was not done personally by him, but a clerk at the pharmacy.  Still, Judge Grimes found Dr. McCabe guilty of selling alcohol  and fined him $400.00 for the offense.

After McCabe paid the fine, he combined his pharmacy with another pharmacist. They advertised that “children sent to fill prescriptions would be given very close attention.” Meaning that children would not be sold alcohol, even if it was prescribed.  Only adults could pick up the alcohol. 

It should also be noted that prohibition did not occur until 1920, however, the “war” against gambling and alcohol was a popular political issue in the early 1900’s. Although the scandal killed Dr. McCabe’s political career, he was still valued by the community as a knowledgeable physician and surgeon.

During Dr. McCabe’s tenure as Mayor, one of his proudest achievements was to bring a Tuberculosis Exhibit to North Platte in December 1908. Very little was known about tuberculosis at that time and the opportunity to educate the public on the disease was a proud moment in McCabe’s life.

During the late 1880’s through 1902, the McCabe family lived on West Second Street.  Then in about 1903, the family moved and resided at 820 West 5th Street.

Dr. Nicholas McCabe (age 67) died of heart trouble on August 8, 1922, surrounded by his immediate family.

McCabe Avenue is a prominent North/South street on the southeast side of North Platte.

Thank you for reading!