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RG3164.AM:  Carl Julius Ernst, 1854-1932

Papers:  1860-1932

Lincoln, Lancaster County, Neb.:  Railroad executive

Size:  2.25 cu.ft.; 5 boxes


Carl Julius Ernst was born September 12, 1854 in Girbigsdorf, Prussia. In May of 1868, he came to New York with his parents and two weeks later arrived in Nebraska City. His first job was in a candy store working for $50.00 a year plus room and board. In 1872 he was offered a clerkship in the Otoe County National Bank, remaining there until he entered the service of the Burlington Railroad on February 1, 1876. On February 26, 1876 he married Marie Weber who had just arrived from Prussia. His early work with the Burlington was in the field of colonization. He assisted in bringing large colonies of German farmers to Nebraska from Russia. From Nebraska City, Ernst moved to Lincoln where he became secretary of the Lincoln Street Railway Company, the Lancaster Land Company, and was president of the Board of Education for six years. He moved to Omaha in June of 1903 to assume the duties of Regent of the state university for six years; president of the board for two years, and president of the Omaha School Board for three years.

Carl Ernst died on November 1, 1932 in Omaha, Nebraska.


This collection consists of manuscript material arranged in eight series: 1) Correspondence; 2) Lincoln Street Railway Co.; 3) Lincoln Board of Education, 1894-1895; 4) Lancaster Land Company, 1887-1894; 5) Real Estate records, 1860-1885; 6) Clippings, 1884-1929; 7) Scrapbooks; and 8) Miscellany. The bulk of this collection consists of correspondence and business records of the Lincoln Street Railway Co., Lincoln Board of Education and Lancaster Land Co. Also included are tax receipts, clippings and scrapbooks relating to Nebraska history and agriculture. Correspondents include: Robert W. Furnas; 1897, 1901, 1903; and J. Sterling Morton 1879, 1893-1896.

Boxes 3-5 were added to the collection in 2012. They have not been processed, but the boxes contain various materials relating to Carl J. Ernst and the Ernst family, including a handwritten autobiography of Carl Julius Ernst, letters from Germany, family documents and legal papers, and materials relating to C.J. Ernst’s involvement with the Burlington Railroad.


Series 1 – Correspondence, 1874-1937

Box 1


  1. Correspondence, 1874-1937

Series 2 – Lincoln Street Railway Company, 1885-1909

  1. Correspondence, 1885-1889

  2. Financial Statements, 1885-1893

  3. Mortgage bonds, maps, timetables, 1889

  4. Journal Entries, 1886-1891, pt. 1

  5. Journal Entries, 1886-1891, pt. 2

Series 3 – Lincoln Board of Education, 1894-1895

  1. Legal Papers and correspondence, 1894

  2. Legal Papers and correspondence, 1895

Series 4 – Lancaster Land Company, 1887-1894

Box 2


  1. Financial records, statements to stockholders, list of stockholders

Series 5 – Real Estate Records, 1860-1885

  1. Deeds, mortgages, tax receipts

Series 6 – Clippings, 1884-1929

  1. Miscellaneous clippings, 1884-1929

Series 7 – Scrapbooks

  1. Clippings relating to Nebraska history and agriculture

  2. Clippings relating to Nebraska railroads, 1871-1876 (see oversize)

Series 8 – Miscellany

  1. Pamphlets

  2. Address before annual convention of Railway Treasury Officers Association, October 1923

Boxes 3-5 (added in 2012)

Misc. unprocessed materials



Agriculture — Nebraska

Burlington & Missouri River Railroad

Ernst, Carl Julius, 1854-1932

Ernst family

Lancaster Land Company (Lincoln, Neb.)

Lincoln Board of Education (Lincoln, Neb.)

Lincoln Street Railway Company (Lincoln, Neb.)

Nebraska — History

Railroads — Nebraska


JEP/ht   11-02-1972

Revised lw/kfk   03-25-2004

Encoded TMM   03-31-2010

Revised TMM   01-20-2012