Manuscript Fire Insurance Map of North Platte, Nebraska -- Property of the Home Fire Insurance Company
Finely executed manuscript map of North Platte, Nebraska, focused on the business district of this then rapidly growing town.
Based upon the stamps on the map and the information contained therein, the map is almost certainly a fire insurance map, drawn by an agent of the Home Fire Insurance Co. of Omaha, Nebraska, at a time when the town was just beginning to grow. North Platte had briefly served as the terminus of the Union Pacific Railroad in 1867, until the line was extended to Laramie, Wyoming. At the time the map was drawn, the census population of North Platte was approximately 3,055, having grown from a population of 363 in 1880.
The map covers 9 blocks and several half blocks, then the extent of the commercial district of North Platte. Buildings are identified with black lines and red lines, likely differentiating between wooden and brick buildings. Most of the buildings are identified by their uses (some with coded information), including:
- Livery Stables
- Meat Sellers
- Drug Sellers
- Restaurants (some with ovens)
- Billiard Rooms
- Barber Shop
- Wagon Repair
- Lumber Yard
- Printers (at least 2!)
- Carriage Masonic?
- Furniture Store
- Post Office
- Railroad Depot
- Lime House
- Many others!
Two locations reference Ice and Oven.
Home Fire Insurance Company
The Home Fire Insurance Company was founded in 1884 by Frederick Krug (1883-1919). Krug, a German-immigrant, was one of the first settlers in Omaha. He is best known as was the founder of the Frederick Krug Brewing Company of Omaha,
The earliest advertising for the company began appearing in Newspapers in mid 1885. It appears that the company was active in Nebraska until shortly after 1900, when it became embroiled in litigation with its officers.
The map is unique survival.
Manuscript fire insurance maps from this period, especially frontier towns west of the Mississippi, are extremely rare.