#139 Franklin, Franklin County, Nebraska - KHGI-TV/KWNB-TV/KHGI-CD-Grand Island, Kearney, Hastings

The Road Less Traveled

#139 Franklin, Franklin County, Nebraska

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#139 Franklin, Franklin County, Nebraska

From Jerrell Gerdes: Jess Rasser PharmD is the fourth generation of the Naden Pharmacy. Grandfather Lloyd Naden RpH Retired was interviewed. The other unique part of the Naden's Pharmacy is the photo display of physicians from Franklin County that dates back to the early days. A pharmacist who received the 2nd license ever issued in Nebrska was married to a physician in the county. Dr. William A. Doering was interviewed, he practiced in Franklin from 1950-1997. Many of those years by himself. He arrived two years before a hospital was built in Franklin, his first year he drover 53,000 miles on gravel serving the area, using the hospitals in Minden and Smith Center. One of his stories involves a pheasant who broke through the right section of his windshield while he was enroute to Minden to deliver a baby. Nothing to do but keep driving! Dr. Doering also used tractors to transport him to home deliveries and noted deliveries in houses, driveways and along the road. He started the "Doctor for a Day" program at the Nebraska legislature, has delivered over 2,000 babies and continues to reside across the street from the hospital with his wife Ann who served as the Office Manager through his practice years.   The Franklin Academy operated from 1922-1939, having been started by the Congregational Church. The Franklin County Memorial Hospital was built on the former football field and the City Park was the campus.   Dr. Frank Cyr, Ada Patterson and Judge Van Pelt are among famous graduates of this "high school".   Pierce Lyden is noted as a famous western actor, did you know Jesse James purchased land in Franklin County, shortly before "that dirty little coward shot Mr. Howard and laid Jesse James in his grave". A Negro colony was began in 1869 just east of the present town of Franklin. The group was trying to establish a town, Grant, NE and build a brickyard and courthouse. In 1872 they moved on west. The Lovely Creek, east of Franklin, was so named by the Negro colony. Neil and Gaylene Wentworth live along this creek now.   Information about "The Art Group." From a Press Release The ART GROUP formed in 1992 is a unique organization in this state and in the US because it is one of the few private art associations to own its own gallery an dworking studio.  This situation came about when the town of Franklin became the owners of the old and abandoned Andrew Carnegie Library.  The town built a new library and did not desire to expend money on the upkeep and maintenance.  The town originally leased the building to THE ART GROUP and evenutally sold it to them.  THE ART GROUP has meetings each Thursday from 2:00 until 4:00.  Working space for the members is proved and the meetings area a mixture of ilm, lectures, art education, workshops and planning sessions. Membership is open to any artist residing in Franklin County and surrounding counties in NE and KS.  Contact:  Mary Jeanne Deis  308-775-2410.  

From an e-mail: 

Dear Colleen,

While I am sure you have things pretty well lined up for your visit tomorrow I would like to mention a few ideas for your consideration. Like many towns in Nebraska, Franklin's medium age has to be fairly high, plain and simple we have a lot of elderly people here and we love them all for bringing us to the present. One of the things that I find myself proud of about Franklin is that there are a considerable number of businesses being run by people in their early 40's or younger. Franklin Auto Parts, Flowers N More, L & L Variety, Franklin Animal Center, Ingram Feed & Seed, a hair stylist and dance studio are all operated by "youth" so to speak.

I own Ingram Feed & Seed and invested large in the community three years ago when I purchased my current location, 1 mile north of town. We run a complete grind & mix facility serving primarily beef producers in the area. We also have a large showroom with clothing, boots, farm supply and pet items among others. A very interesting and symbiotic business relationship was started just over a year ago when we brought the local veterinarian's practice under our roof. We made extra office space into a surgery room tied into our showroom. We also jointly built a new large animal working facility complete with indoor handling equipment for cattle. This joint effort enables our producers to have a one stop shop so to speak. The vets that we are working with also own a practice in Alma. In an era when the Co-Ops are all merging and way too many people want to go to Wal-Mart to spend their dollars we are trying to serve our communities with our own investments. 

I also hope some time can be squeezed in for our churches. We have several strong churches here and through their leadership we all keep in mind that we are here not for our own glory but to bring light to God's word and glory! Thanks for your time Colleen; I have enjoyed all of the towns you have covered. It is nice to see someone bringing out the greatness of all of our towns and villages no matter how small. I know Franklin will be well covered in our "moment of glory." If I can be of any help I can be reached at 308-991-2037.

Sincerely, Kent W. Ingram

  From the Mayor:   We thank you and NTV for giving us the opportunity to show you our town. .  We would like to begin your visit by showing you some of the plans that the Council has undertaken for the development of Franklin . 1.          We have on display enlarged photos developed by our Engineers, Olssen and Associates for our plans to implement a: •a.       Main Street Improvement Project with a center medium, new pavement and sidewalks, and a "pocket park" with restrooms and sitting areas. •b.      A 2.5 mile Hike and Bike Trail through and around the city with one mile in a wooded area. •c.       A 1.7 mile "
Safe Route
to School" 8' wide sidewalk, connecting to the above trail that will give access to all School children within two blocks of their homes.  This under a new program of the Dept. of Roads entitled "Safe Routes".  

2.     From here we will go to the City owned Power Plant that provided electricity to our City and for many farm families that came into Franklin to live with relatives or friends during the ice storm.  The plant is continuing to operate on an "as needed basis" to provide electricity to NPPD while they make needed repairs.  The plant was first installed in 1916 and was expanded during the 50's/60's.  Some $180,000 was just spent to repair and upgrade the units in 2006.  It has a capacity to produce approximately 2 times the requirement of Franklin 's electrical needs and is staffed by 4 employees that are trained to operate the plant.  When needed we can have it in operation within 30 minutes.

3.     In the same area is the housing for our EMT and Fire Units.  The EMT's have been honored several times as one of the best in the State.

4.   Hospital and Medical Clinic.  We are only one of 85 cities outside of the metropolitan areas that has such a hospital.  It was built in 1952 and has been continually upgraded to meet the highest standards.  The clinic is unique for such a town since it provides medical services to Blue Hill and Red Cloud on a weekly basis and is a center for the medical needs for Bloomington , Riverton, Hildreth, Campbell and Upland .

5.     Next to the Hospital, is our pharmacy that is now being served by the 4th generation of the Naden Family. 

5.     At the Franklin Public School you will see the 1.2 million dollar "alternate" gymnasium that is in its first year of use and was built with over 1 million dollars of private money. Additionally, we have a new track and football facility costing some $250,000.  Many area track meets are held here as well as the Special Olympics that bring hundreds of participants to Franklin .  We are very proud of the school and its staff and students.  The superintendent, Mike Lucas will explain the school and its accomplishments.  

6.  Museum. It is located in three buildings and is somewhat unique in that in one building are rooms set up with period equipment and utensils, i.e. blacksmith, kitchen, farming, etc.  The Museum covers an area of approximately 9,000 sq.ft.

7.     Rose Bowl Theater.  In operation since the late 1930's.  Now is operated by an all volunteer group of young citizens.  They have three shows a week and will have movies within two weeks of being shown in Kearney/Hastings.   As a result of the price of $3.00 tickets, people come from over 40 miles each week. The inside is unique as it has lighted paintings of the old Senter Park .  This park had a race track, airstrip, swimming pool, dance hall and operated until the late 1940's. 

8.    TAG  Studio.  It is the old library building where they have painting and other classes and  apply their many artistic interests.  During the year they have several shows and exhibitions. 

                           a.  Golden Age Village

 b. Senior Center (next to City Hall)...Dinner served daily to an average of 60  people and 15 carry outs to shut ins.

                           c. 9 hole, grass green golf course and Country Club

                           d. City owned auditorium for senior walking and other activities

10.    City Event Coordinator, Pat Ayres, is spearheading a 250 mile "yard sale for southern

                           Nebraska ; much like the one in the Sandhills beginning at Grand Island .

I understand that you like trivia for your presentation.  Franklin was the birthplace and home of  Frank Cyr, the man that gave the world the "yellow school bus"; and the home of Clarence Mitchell, a famous baseball player. The School was nicknamed the Franklin Flyers in 1929.  Charles Lindbergh had done some barnstorming in Franklin and the surrounding area, giving rides for ten cents.  Several of the 36 graduates were flying enthusiasts and were given the duty to pronounce the school mascot.  They chose "The Flyers".  It is a symbol that we are proud to represent. George R. Kleen   Mayor

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