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RG3549.AM:  Burlington Route, Lines West Band (Lincoln, Nebraska)

Records:  1928-1967

Lincoln, Lancaster County, Nebraska

Size:  1.5 cu.ft.; 3 boxes


The Burlington Route, Lines West Band was organized in 1928 by the Burlington Railroad Company for advertising purposes.  It was an amateur group composed of employees of the Burlington Route or their sons.  The first director was Anton Narusewicz.  In 1938 John Shildneck, member of the University School of Music became conductor.  Other directors included Stephen Jelinek and Major General Lyle Welch.

The band appeared at State and County fairs and local festivals throughout the Plains States, and at nearly every train-depot dedication including the 1930 opening of the Union Passenger Station in Omaha.  In 1934 the band appeared at the Century of Progress Exposition in Chicago.  Most of the Zephyrs began their inaugural run also the marches of the Burlington Band starting with the Denver Zephyr in 1936.  Other activities included weekly Thursday night concerts sponsored by the City of Lincoln in the 1930’s.  These were called to a halt during the drought years because the City used the money to save the young trees in the Lincoln parks.

In 1948 the Burlington informed the band that it would no longer sponsor their performances, but they were welcome to continue to rehearse in the Lincoln depot and play on their own time.  Practice still continued in the fifties, however, interest lagged and the last appearance was made in 1959 at the Lincoln Centennial parade.  In 1967 the remaining band members officially disbanded and turned over the band’s funds of $9,000 to the University of Nebraska Foundation, to establish an endowment fund for the University bands with preference given to scholarships.


This collection consists of three boxes of records relating to the business affairs and activities of the Burlington Railroad Band, 1928-1967.  The bulk of the collection consists of administrative correspondence and financial records of the band from 1928-1959.  Also included is a scrapbook containing programs, flyers, newsletters, clippings, etc. dating from 1929 to 1956.

Note:  See the audio component [RG3549.AU] for an interview with James Wynkoop regarding his involvement with the Burlington Route band.


Box 1


  1. Minutes of meetings, 1952-1965

  2. Financial records and correspondence, 1928-1930

  3. Financial records and correspondence, 1931-1935

  4. Financial records and correspondence, 1936-1940

  5. Financial records and correspondence, 1941-1945

  6. Financial records and correspondence, 1946-1950

  7. Financial records and correspondence, 1951-1955

  8. Financial records and correspondence, 1956-1960

  9. Financial records and correspondence, 1961-1967

  10. Record book of receipts and disbursements, 1949-1967

  11. Burlington Employees Credit Union – Savings

  12. Stock (Common) – Great Northern Railway

  13. Report on Operations – Executive Dept. Great Northern

  14. Letter to Stock Holders

  15. Report on Annual Meeting of Shareholders – Great Northern Executive Dept.

  16. U.S. Information for (Copy B)

  17. Safe Deposit Box – First National Bank of Lincoln

  18. Indemnity Bond – Secretary/Treasurer

  19. Dissolution & Disposition of Assets

Box 2


  1. Inventories of Band Property

  2. Instruments and Music

  3. Band Uniforms

  4. Organization and Personnel

  5. Organization and Personnel

  6. Organization and Personnel since 1960

  7. Band Engagements

Box 3


  1. Band Engagements

  2. Stationary

  3. Scrapbook, 1929-1956

  4. Loose items removed from Scrapbook (see also oversize)


Subject headings:

Bands (Music)

Burlington Route, Lines West Band (Lincoln, Nebraska)

Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad Company

Jelinek, Stephen, 1865-1954

Shildneck, John E., 1907-1992


JEP/ct                  09-11-1970

Revised TMM      05-15-2018