THE MUSEUM’S BUILDINGS
The Pawnee City Historical Society and Museum features 22 buildings, including historic homes, schools, businesses, and structures built for displaying our many collections. The twenty-second building is the LeSeur Genealogy Center, which is described on its own page. Tours of the buildings are available for a small fee. Click on any of the photos for an enlarged view.
The Museum office, gift shop, and restrooms are located in the Beyreis Building. Displayed in this building are a 1957 homebuilt two-seater airplane, owned by John Beyreis, a native of Pawnee City. After Beyreis’ death, his family and friends donated funds to erect this building as a place to display his plane and other memorabilia.
The barn belonged to the family of Dan Whitney (Larry the Cable Guy). It features mangers for livestock on the ground level and a large haymow on the second floor. The barn is thought to have been built in the late 1800s.
One of the oldest houses in Pawnee City, the Curtis House was built in 1859 for William H. Curtis, a merchant and contractor. The house is recognized by the Nebraska State Historical Society as one of the finest examples of Greek Revival architecture in Nebraska. Featured exhibits include military uniforms and a large button collection.
This building features automobiles and harvesting equipment, as well as many smaller items. It is also used for storage.
District 5. Built in 1870, this one-room country school was located three miles south of Pawnee City. Early records show that planning for the school began in March 1868. Displays of historic books and some school and library furniture are featured.
District 72. Built in 1889, East Star School was located 1.5 miles south and 2 miles west of DuBois, Nebraska. It is now furnished as a chapel with donations of furniture and other items from several area churches. When Civil War re-enactors are on site, they hold a Sunday service here.
LOWER WEST BRANCH SCHOOL
District 20. Built in 1873, the school was located southwest of Pawnee City. One of the larger school houses in Pawnee County, it is now filled with exhibits, including quilts, clothing, business machines, and many other artifacts.
The Caswell Building, dedicated in 2002, was donated by the daughters of Henry and Hilda Caswell. It features the Caswell family’s collection of farm implements, equipment, and tools.
The Wick Building features a variety of displays and collections, including items from the old Pawnee City theater and the Pawnee Republican newspaper. Also featured are washing machines and chicken incubators.
NORTH ASTRO BUILDING
The North Astro Building was erected in 1982-83 and features tractors and wagons. Smaller items on display include a tin bathtub and a metal tricycle.
The Astro Building houses a covered wagon, historical farm implements and vehicles, including several tractors.
The ice house is typical of buildings used to preserve ice in bulk before the advent of refrigerators.
The building and its contents were donated by Elsie Bartram, a charter member and longtime supporter of the Pawnee City Historical Society. It features her salt and pepper shaker collection and items from her long career as a teacher.
BARBED WIRE BUILDING
The Barbed Wire Building displays an extensive selection of barbed wire specimens.
District 13. Located about four miles southeast of Pawnee City, Kennedy School was built in 1872. It is now set up as a general store, with dental equipment and a beauty shop in the back rooms.
CRACKER BOX SCHOOL
District 57. Built in 1881, the school was located 1.5 miles south of Burchard Lake in Pawnee County. This building is furnished as a traditional one room school, with student and teacher’s desks, a blackboard, and a piano, among many other items.
Built in 1862, this was the Pawnee City home of David Butler and his family. Butler was the first governor of the state of Nebraska, serving from 1866-1871. The house is furnished as a typical home with period pieces, along with displays and collections.
The log cabin was discovered within the Griffith family home when it was demolished to make room for a new house. The cabin was built by Jimmy Gregg in 1857; as his family grew, he gradually built around the original log cabin. It is furnished as a typical home of its type might have been.
WHERRY MEMORIAL LIBRARY
Built in 2010 by the Wherry family, the library features memorabilia from the life of Senator Kenneth S. Wherry, who served as a U.S. Senator from 1942 to 1951.