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RG3639.AM:  Religious Society of Friends (Neb.)

Records:  ca. 1882-1998

Nebraska:  Religious Society of Friends

Size:  13.5 cu.ft., and 3 reels of microfilm


The Religious Society of Friends, earlier known as “Children of Light” and “Publishers of the Truth,” later in derision called “Quakers,” has as its background the revival of mysticism and the various mystical sects which arose in England and on the Continent during the seventeenth century. It was founded by George Fox who was born in Leicestershire, England, in 1624. The first Friends to arrive in America were Mary Fisher and Ann Austin from England to Boston in 1656, and Elizabeth Harris to Maryland. George Fox himself visited North America and established the Baltimore Yearly Meeting at West River, Maryland, in 1672. The earliest arrival of the group in Pennsylvania dates back about twenty years before the coming of William Penn. The first Assembly of Pennsylvania met on December 4, 1682. A few Friends prior to this had crossed the Delaware, built homes and established the Fall’s Meeting in what later became Bucks County, Pennsylvania. This became an official monthly Meeting in 1683. By 1780, it is estimated that there were 75,000 Quakers in the American colonies scattered from Maine to the Carolinas.

In the United States the various Quaker Meetings were split by a doctrinal dispute in 1827-1828, with some following Elias Hicks (Hicksite Friends) and some remaining as “Orthodox” Friends. Two subsequent divisions in the Society produced two additional groupings: those influenced by British Quaker Joseph John Gurney (Guerneyites) and John Wilbur (Wilburites). By 1887 there was a Friends Meeting in existence in Genoa, Nebraska. The first Friends Meeting in Lincoln, Nebraska was formed in 1888. Friends who came to Nebraska after 1869 because they were appointed as Indian Agents by President Grant were mostly Hicksite Friends and they were assigned the “Northern Territory” [i.e. Nebraska] under the terms of the appointment. The 1888 Meeting in Lincoln would have been a Hicksite Meeting, under the care of Illinois Yearly Meeting as parent body. The active membership grew smaller as families scattered to other states and the records of that group closed in 1912. However, there have always been Friends in Lincoln with affiliations elsewhere. Miss Olivia Pound, who belonged to the Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, Monthly Meeting, helped sustain the Lincoln Friends.

Most local Friends Meetings established after ca. 1900 in Nebraska related to the Five Years Meeting (later known as Friends United Meeting) in Richmond, Indiana, due to the missionary work of Herbert J. Mott. It was this group that founded Nebraska Central College at Central City, Nebraska. In the fall of 1946, Dr. and Mrs. Palmer and family came to Lincoln. Through his efforts and with the help of Miss Pound, regular meetings for worship were held each Sunday and reached the size that justified organization. A monthly Meeting was organized April 25, 1948, with the support of the American Friends Service Committee. This Meeting in Lincoln later affiliated with Iowa (Conservative) Yearly Meeting, a Wilburite group. Members from the other Societies throughout the state were invited to attend and vice versa. However, in Nebraska a further split took place in [1956-1958], when several local Meetings withdrew from the Nebraska Yearly Meeting to form the Rocky Mountain Yearly Meeting, largely centered in Colorado.

The Friends Society is a religious organization and is aimed toward the improvement and perfection of the self. Business Meetings operate on consensus and votes are not taken. The local Monthly Meeting has full administrative authority and is the executive unit. The Yearly Meeting is the authority in matters of doctrine.


The records of the Religious Society of Friends are grouped in four Series: 1) Nebraska Central College; 2) Nebraska Yearly Meeting (includes records of various Monthly Meetings in Nebraska, and two Meetings in Colorado); 3) The Crosbie Papers On Nebraska Yearly Meeting and Nebraska Central College; and 4) Hicksite Quaker Research Materials. Series 2, Nebraska Yearly Meeting, includes one Subseries: Lincoln Nebraska Monthly Meeting, 1948-ca. 1975 (mostly filmed, with one unfilmed pamphlet).

The bulk of the physical documents were received May 9, 1950 from the Librarian at the Friends Historical Library, Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, Pennsylvania. The Friends Historical Association is located at Haverford College, Pennsylvania. A copy of the Crosbie Papers on the Nebraska Yearly Meeting has been added courtesy of the Lilly Library, Earlham College, Richmond, Indiana. Other copies of Hicksite Quaker research materials were made from originals in the Library of Earlham College and Earlham School of Religion, Richmond Indiana, with the assistance of individual scholars doing research on the Hicksite Quakers.


Series 1 – Nebraska Central College

Box 1

Nebraska Central Course Bulletins 1909-1952, 2 copies

Box 2


  1. N.C.C. New Notes 1939-1942

  2. Baccalaureate and Commencement Programs

  3. Finance – Utah lands

  4. Volume: Endowment

  5. Board Minutes

  6. Miscellany

Box 3


  1. Treasurer’s Reports – April 1, 1936 through March 31, 1937

  2. Amicus – 1949

  3. Endowment

  4. Contracts

  5. Contracts

  6. Articles of Incorporation

  7. Board of Trustees

Box 4


  1. Alumni Association

  2. Treasurer’s Book

  3. Secretary Book

  4. Treasurer Book

  5. Alumni

  6. Alumni

  7. Alumni

  8. Alumni

Boxes 5-10

Ledgers, N.C.C.

Microfilm Reel 3 [RESTRICTED]

Student Records, Nebraska Central College, Volumes 3-8, ca. 1912-1959

Series 2 – Nebraska Yearly Meeting

Box 11

Minutes of Nebraska Yearly Meetings (published), 1908-1969

Box 11a

Minutes of Nebraska Yearly Meetings (published), 1970-1998

Box 12


  1. Receipt Book – Record Books – Yearly Meetings

  2. Yearly Meetings, 1896-1906

  3. Sec. Book, Young Peoples Union, Nebraska Yearly Meeting

  4. Executive Committee, Yearly Meeting, 1927-1930

  5. Yearly Meeting, 1950-1954 (Ministers and Workers)

Box 13


  1. Loosely organized “manuscript” composed of original letters [mostly 1926], notes, reminiscences. Compiled by J. Evelyn Schutz [daughter of Herbert & Lilly Mott]

  2. “Quakers and Nebraska Indians in 1869”

  3. Nebraska Yearly Meeting, “History of Organization”

  4. Minutes, Pastoral, Evangelistic and Church Extension Board, Yearly Meeting, 1908-1920

  5. Exec. Committee, Yearly Meeting, 1918-1921

  6. Treasurer’s Book, Yearly Meeting, 1909-1919

Box 14


  1. Acct. of Treasurer, Evangelistic Board, Yearly Meeting, 1908-1939

  2. Platte Valley Quarterly Meeting, 1953-1967

Box 15


  1. Minutes of Platte Valley Quarterly Meeting, 1916-1937

  2. Ministry & Oversight Minutes of Denver Quarterly Meeting, 1904-1936

  3. Ministry & Oversight Minutes of Platte Valley Quarterly Meeting, 1917-1919

  4. Minutes of Platte Valley Quarterly Meeting, 1937-1953

  5. Minutes of Platte Valley Quarterly Meeting, 1896-1916

  6. Ministry & Oversight Minutes of Platte Valley Quarterly Meeting, 1897-1917

Box 16 (Genealogical Extracts of Monthly Meetings)


  1. Central City, 1899-1936

  2. Elk Valley, 1895-1936

  3. North Loup, 1898-1935

  4. Palmer, 1932-1934

  5. Plainview, 1907-1936

  6. Platte Valley, 1887-1907

  7. Pleasant Hill, 1896-1914

  8. Spring Bank, 1882-1936

Box 17


  1. Society of Friends Women, 1948-1951

  2. Margaret Fell Girls, 1933-1937

  3. Nebraska Church and Educational Assoc., 1899-1909

Box 18


  1. S.S. Class Collections, 1922

  2. Central City Bible School, 1902

  3. Central City Bible School, 1908

  4. Central City Bible School, 1907

  5. Clarks Bible School, 1899

  6. Central City, 1906

  7. Central City, 1905

  8. Central City, 1904

  9. Central City, 1900

  10. Central City, 1899

  11. Prairie View Christian Endeavor, 1899-1902

  12. Central City Christian Endeavor, 1907-1916

Box 19


  1. Boulder Monthly Meeting, 1900-1908

  2. Boulder Monthly Meeting, 1908-1915

  3. Boulder Monthly Meeting, 1915-1927

  4. Boulder Monthly Meeting, 1927-1950

Box 20


  1. Ministry & Oversight Minutes of Ft. Collins Monthly Meeting, 1943-1948

  2. Ministry & Oversight Minutes of Ft. Collins Monthly Meeting, 1938-1942

  3. Ministry & Oversight Minutes of Ft. Collins Monthly Meeting, 1942-1949

  4. Minutes of Ft. Collins Monthly Meeting, 1938-1942

Box 21


  1. Alda Monthly Meeting, 1895-1905

  2. Alda Monthly Meeting, 1923-1930

  3. Alda Monthly Meeting, 1930-1972

  4. Alda Monthly Meeting, 1905-1923

  5. Alda Monthly Meeting, Register [Birth, marriage, releases]

Box 22


  1. Central City Monthly Meeting, 1899-1910

  2. Central City Monthly Meeting, 1910-1918

  3. Central City Monthly Meeting, 1918-1927

  4. Central City Monthly Meeting, 1927-1939

  5. Central City Monthly Meeting, 1939-1947

Box 23


  1. Central City Monthly Meeting, 1947-1960

  2. Central City Monthly Meeting Register

  3. Central City Monthly Meeting Missionary Committee, 1919-1920

  4. Central City Monthly Meeting Ministry and Oversight, 1912-1937

Box 24


  1. Prairie View Monthly Meeting Register

  2. Pleasant Hill Bible School, 1913-1916

  3. Pleasant Hill Register, 1896-1898

  4. Center Monthly Meeting, 1904-1909

  5. Plain View Monthly Meeting, 1895-1903 [changes to Center]

  6. Platte Valley Monthly Meeting, 1923-1924

  7. Platte Valley Monthly Meeting, 1887-1907 [changes to “Clarks” in 1897]

Box 25


  1. Community Monthly Meeting (Merrick County) Treasurer’s Ledger, ca. 1920-1939

  2. Mt. Vernon Quarterly Meeting [includes the three South Dakota meetings], ca. 1922-1943

  3. North Loup Monthly Meeting, 1914-1945

  4. North Loup Monthly Meeting, 1897-1907 (see oversize)

  5. Central City Register [members, marriages] (see oversize)

Series 2 – Nebraska Yearly Meeting

Subseries 1: Lincoln, Nebraska Monthly Meeting, 1948-ca. 1975

Reel 1 (1948-1963)


  1. April 1, 1948 – 1957, including:

    List of members, p. 1

    Dual members, p. 2

    Visitors, 1948-1957, pp. 5-14

    Minutes, April 1, 1948-1975, pp. 15-289

    Members now moved, p. 290

    Reminiscences of Olivia Pound

  2. October 28, 1956 – 1963, including:

    Minutes, 1956-1962

    Annual reports [passim]

    Architectural drawings, 3319 S. 46th

    Visitors’ register, 1957-1963

Reel 2 (1962-1975)


  1. 1962 – March 23, 1970, including:

    Minutes [includes annual reports, financial reports, some correspondence]

  2. April 27, 1970 – April 27, 1975, including:

    Minutes [includes annual reports, financial reports, some correspondence]

Box 25


  1. “The Bases of Association Among the Society of Friends as Understood by Lincoln Friends”

Series 3 – The Crosbie Papers


  1. “The Crosbie Papers on Nebraska Yearly Meeting and Nebraska Central College.” [photocopy, 1966?]

Series 4 – Hicksite Quaker Research Materials


  1. Lincoln (Nebraska) Executive Meeting Minutes, 1888-1906 [copy from film, Illinois Yearly Meeting. Originals at Friends Historical Library, Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, Pennsylvania]

  2. Van Zant research materials [photocopies]

  3. Miscellaneous

Series 5 – Miscellaneous


  1. Miscellaneous



American Friends Service

Colleges and universities — Nebraska

Nebraska Central College (Central City, Neb.)

Nebraska Yearly Meeting (Neb.)

Pound, Olivia, 1874-1961

Quakers — Nebraska

Religious education — Nebraska

Religious Society of Friends (Neb.)

Society of Friends — Nebraska

Society of Friends (Alda, Neb.)

Society of Friends (Boulder, Colo.)

Society of Friends (Central City, Neb.)

Society of Friends (Center, Neb.)

Society of Friends (Denver, Colo.)

Society of Friends (Elk Valley, Neb.)

Society of Friends (Ft. Collins, Colo.)

Society of Friends (Lincoln, Neb.)

Society of Friends (North Loup, Neb.)

Society of Friends (Palmer, Neb.)

Society of Friends (Plainview, Neb.)

Society of Friends (Platte Valley, Neb.)

Society of Friends (Pleasant Hill, Neb.)

Society of Friends (Prairie View, Neb.)

Society of Friends (Spring Bank, Neb.)


Revised 06-02-2009   TMM