Early Omaha: Gateway to the West
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This view is looking south on 16th from Dodge Street. On the right is Hayden Brother’s Dry Goods Store, The Boston Store, and across Douglas Street, the old Y.M.C.A. building, the site the Brandeis Building now occupies. Hayden Brother’s, purported to be the first department store in Omaha, started in 1887 as a one-room store. Advertisements in 52 county newspapers brought it a huge mail order business. By 1889 they built this structure known by skeptics as “Haydens’ white elephant” and by 1891 enlarged it so their total floor space was over 2 acres. By 1934 they had over 5 acres of floor space and employed 500 with an additional 250 employed during the busy seasons.
Text written by Joanne Ferguson Cavanaugh, November 2003
Morton, J. Sterling. Illustrated History of Nebraska: a history of Nebraka from the earliest explorations of the trans-Mississippi region, with steel engravings, photogravures, copper plates, maps, and tables. Lincoln: J. North, 1905-1913. Volume 3, page 802.
Omaha History SSD Files – Hayden Brothers Store