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RG3887.AM:  Henry E. Palmer and George H. Palmer

Diaries:  1873-1892

Plattsmouth, Cass County and Omaha, Douglas County, Neb.:  Businessmen and civic leaders

Size:  9 diaries


Henry Emerson Palmer was born in Lake County, Ohio, July 31, 1841, and moved with his parents to Sauk County, Wisconsin. At the age of 18, he set out on foot to make his way across Iowa and Nebraska to Mountain City, Colorado, where he prospected for gold until July of 1861 when he left for Leavenworth, Kansas, to join the United States Army. He earned several promotions and was appointed to a captaincy on the staff of General J.H. Lane. With a recruiting commission Palmer raised Company A, Eleventh Kansas Cavalry, which he commanded in battle against the Indians on the Little Blue River in Nebraska and against Shelby’s raiders in Missouri.

Captain Palmer moved to Plattsmouth, Nebraska, in 1869 and engaged in the grain trade. In November of 1870 he started an insurance business and for years was the special agent for the Home Insurance Company of New York for the states of Nebraska, Kansas, and Colorado. He maintained an office in Omaha, and in 1889 moved to that city where he joined in partnership with his son, George H. Palmer. In 1891 they associated with J.D. Foster in the firm of H.E. Palmer & Son & Co.

Palmer, a Republican, served as Commander of the Nebraska Grand Army of the Republic and as postmaster of Omaha. He was a Shriner, Knight Templar, Knight of Pythias, and a member of the United Workmen, Woodmen of the World, Ak-Sar-Ben, the Omaha Club, and the Commercial Club. In September of 1863 Palmer married Bettie Houck of Westport, Missouri, who with their child, died in February of 1865. On June 25, 1870, he married Laura Z. Case of Plattsmouth, Nebraska. They had two children: Mrs. Herman D. Kountz of New York and George H. Palmer.

Henry E. Palmer died on April 2, 1911.

George H. Palmer was born in Plattsmouth, Nebraska, on April 7, 1871. He attended the public schools and, joining his father in the insurance business, was a regular agent at the age of 15 years. A student at the University of Nebraska, he became his father’s partner in 1889. He was a member of the Omaha Country and Commercial Clubs, Ak-Sar-Ben, the YMCA, Loyal Legion, Royal Arcanum, and the Masons. Palmer married Florence M. Morse on November 9, 1895. They had one son and one daughter. He died on March 10, 1908.


This collection consists of nine diaries arranged in two series: 1) Diaries of Henry E. Palmer, 1873-1885; and 2) Diaries of George H. Palmer, 1888-1892. The diaries contain brief notations of daily activities, appointments, and travel with few details or personal observations. The diaries of Henry E. Palmer concern his travels as an agent for the Home Insurance Company and as an officer of the Nebraska Grand Army of the Republic. The diary of George H. Palmer for 1889 chronicles his life as a student at the University of Nebraska, and the others describe his activities as a partner in his father’s insurance firm.

These diaries were purchased on February 28, 1975, from Dr. Alfred Goodman of New York.

Note: See also the H.E. Palmer, Son & Company collection [RG3867] for related materials. See the NSHS Library Catalog for publications by or relating to Henry Emerson Palmer.


Series 1 – Diaries of Henry E. Palmer, 1873-1885

Box 1


  1. Diary, 1873

  2. Diary, 1875

  3. Diary, 1881

  4. Diary, 1882

  5. Diary, 1884

  6. Diary, 1885

Series 2 – Diaries of George H. Palmer, 1888-1892

  1. Diary, 1888

  2. Diary, 1889

  3. Diary, 1892



Diaries. Student activities

Grand Army of the Republic. Nebraska

Home Insurance Company (New York, New York)


Nebraska. University

Omaha (Neb.) — Businesses

Palmer, George H., 1871-1908

Palmer, Henry Emerson, 1841-1911

Plattsmouth (Neb.) — Businesses

Plattsmouth (Neb.) — History


APD/ht   03-06-1975

Encoded TMM   01-25-2011