Frank House series opens with history of Kearney homes

UNK Communications

KEARNEY – The Saturday at the Frank House series will open with a history of Kearney’s oldest and most historic neighborhoods.

Brian Whetstone and Jessie Harris will discuss the writing of their soon-to-be released book, “Images of America: Kearney’s Historic Homes.”

The event begins at 1:30 p.m. Saturday and is free and open to the public.

KearneysHistoricHomesCover“Jessie and I wanted to start writing the book based off our strong ties with historic homes in Kearney,” said Whetstone, an administrative assistant at the Frank House. “I grew up in an older home and Jessie is currently living in an older residence.”

The book centers around six of Kearney’s most historic neighborhoods: original Kearney, Pioneer Park, Kenwood, East Lawn, West Kearney and the area around the Lincoln Highway.

“East Lawn and West Kearney are no longer in existence, which makes them a bit more fascinating than the others,” Whetstone added.

East Lawn was founded in 1888 and was promoted as one of the most lavish places to live in Kearney. The development was host to mayors and presidents of companies until the economic decline in the 1890s and again in the 1930s.

West Kearney was near the cotton mill west of town and was almost a city in itself. Many of the owners and managers of the cotton mill chose to live in West Kearney. It boasted a brownstone depot, an extensive park in the center of the neighborhood, as well as brickyards, the woolen mill and the cotton mill.

On Saturday, Whetstone and Harris will discuss their writing process and share information and stories from the book.

“Images of America: Kearney’s Historic Homes” will be released October 28. All of the profits will be donated to the Trails and Rails Museum and the Frank House.

Saturday at the Frank House programs feature a variety of topics designed for all ages and are provided by volunteers for the benefit of the Frank House. Volunteer presenters include UNK students, faculty and community members who present topics on music, history, social customs and holiday celebrations.

The schedule for Saturday at the Frank House programs follows:
Oct. 26 – Phantoms at the Frank House: Children of all ages are invited to the house dressed in Halloween garb to listen to spooky stories, decorate cookies, and trick or treat from room to room of the historic mansion.
Nov. 9 – Chamber Orchestra Recital: UNK’s chamber ensemble directed by Deborah Freedman will fill the house with music.
Nov. 23 – The Rhythm Boys of Omaha Central: Claude Louishomme will lead a presentation focusing on race relations and high school basketball of the 1960s in Omaha.
Nov. 30 – CLOSED due to Thanksgiving Break
Dec. 7 – Violin and Viola Studio Recital: Ting-Lan Chen of UNK’s Fine Arts Department will lead her students in a musical recital.
Dec. 14 – Loper Low Brass Christmas Concert: Seth Fletcher directs his students for a seasonal concert.
Dec. 21 – Holiday House Tours: See the Frank House all decked out in its holiday glory. Tours begin at 5 p.m. and continue until 7 p.m.


Regular walk-in hours for tours of the Frank House are Monday through Friday from 2 to 5 p.m., and Saturday, noon to 5 p.m. The Frank House is closed during UNK breaks and holidays. Donations are always accepted. For more information, visit or find the Frank House on Facebook at to stay up-to-date with activities.


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