Dec 05, 2019 3:15 PM

Oshkosh water tower listed on National Register of Historic Places

Posted Dec 05, 2019 3:15 PM

-Photo courtesy: Oshkosh Water Tower Facebook


Lincoln - Proudly standing 120-feet tall, the Oshkosh Water Tower has been an iconic landmark in Garden County since 1920. Like a lighthouse to the plains, its welcoming presence can be seen from miles away. History Nebraska is pleased to announce that the tower has been listed in the National Register of Historic Places, nearly 100 years after its construction. This designation recognizes the importance the tower has in the development of Oshkosh from a village to a prosperous community. 


The tower is in excellent condition and is a classic example of a “tin-man” type elevated tower. These “tin-man” water towers were once standard across rural Nebraska communities, but are quickly disappearing as new technologies take hold. Even though the tower was retired as a water delivery system in 2018, the residents of Oshkosh banded together to save this landmark. According to the Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz, “A heart is not judged by how much you love; but how much you are loved by others”—this is certainly true of Oshkosh’s very-own “tin-man.”


David Calease with History Nebraska’s Preservation Office feels that this is a special nomination. “If you can take yourself back to roughly 1920, think of the importance of running water to a community. Not all towns had it, and those that did were setting themselves up for future growth. For Oshkosh, the building of the water tower is an example of the planning and development that the community envisioned. Right after the water tower was completed there was a period of substantial economic growth in the community.


Calease also says that this listing highlights the diversity of historic places on the National Register. "What I really like about this nomination is that it shows the versatility of the National Register program – it’s not just big buildings and fancy houses – we have historic resources all across the state, in nearly every community.”


The National Register of Historic Places is the nation's inventory of properties deemed worthy of preservation. It is part of a national program to coordinate and support local and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect the nation's historic and archeological resources. Properties listed in the National Register are eligible for State and Federal tax incentives. For more information on the National Register program in Nebraska, contact History Nebraska’s Historic Preservation Office at (402) 471-4775 or visit https://history.nebraska.gov/historic-preservation


About History Nebraska

History Nebraska collects, preserves, and shares Nebraska’s history for all people. History Nebraska operates the Nebraska History Museum in Lincoln and historic sites around the state including Chimney Rock National Historic Site, Fort Robinson History Center, Neligh Mill State Historic Site, Thomas Kennard State Historic Site, Senator George Norris State Historic Site, John Neihardt State Historic Site, and over 500 historical markers placed across Nebraska. History Nebraska administers the State Archives and Library; the State Historic Preservation Office; the Gerald R. Ford Conservation Center; the Office of the State Archeologist; publishes Nebraska History Magazine and books; and is responsible for the administration of the Nebraska Hall of Fame Commission. More at https://history.nebraska.gov and follow us on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter.

Continue Reading Panhandle Post
Dec 05, 2019 3:15 PM
Gering police release more information on man missing since July

Police have released more information on a Gering man who has been missing since July.


The following statement was posted on the Department's Facebook page:


On July 6, 2019 Chance Englebert left an address in the 700 block of O Street on foot. Chance was seen on video walking past two businesses in Gering and an apartment in Terrytown. One of the videos of Chance shows him walking in the area of the intersection of Terry Boulevard and Stable Club Road in Terrytown. From the Terrytown area we have no other video showing Chance walking.


There was a lot of information floating around that Chance’s phone last pinged at WTT in Scottsbluff. This information is not correct. Chance’s phone last communicated with a tower near Riverview Golf Course just west of Scottsbluff. Because of cell phone technology, the information did not greatly narrow down the area Chance may have last used his cell phone. The last time Chance’s phone was used was shortly after 9pm on July 6, 2019 in an area 2-3 miles south to southeast of that tower.


During the week of July 8th, the Gering Police Department along with the Scottsbluff Police Department, Scotts Bluff County Sheriff’s Office, Nebraska State Patrol, as well as employees and volunteers from over 15 other agencies and businesses conducted searches in the areas that cell phone information showed Chance’s phone was pinged. The searches were aided by use of watercraft and sonar from the Scottsbluff Fire Department and Gering Fire Department. A fixed wing airplane from the Nebraska State Patrol and a helicopter from AirLink were utilized. The Central Gering Canal was drained to a very low flow rate so personnel could search it.


Since that time, the Gering Police Department has utilized the services of search and rescue dogs along with cadaver dogs from organizations in Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico. While the initial searches centered around the area of southwest Scottsbluff, a greater area has been searched using drones, along with volunteers on the ground. To date, no evidence or traces of Chance Englebert have been discovered.


Numerous interviews have been conducted in connection with this investigation, including Chance’s family and friends. With assistance from the Scottsbluff Police Department, Scotts Bluff County Sheriff’s Office and Nebraska State Patrol investigators have been able to follow up on dozens of tips and information that have come in. Investigators have also followed up on dozens of potential sightings of Chance in numerous states, including Colorado, Wyoming, South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Texas, and Missouri. The law enforcement agencies in the jurisdictions where the potential sightings were reported have assisted in looking at video and other requests made of them. Thus far, none of the potential sighting have resulted in any useful information that will bring us closer to finding out what happed to Chance.


Investigators with the Gering Police Department remain in regular contact with investigators from the Nebraska State Patrol, the Scottsbluff Police Department and the Scotts Bluff County Sheriff’s Office. The other agencies have been involved from the beginning of the investigation and they remain involved. Gering PD investigators have been in contact with personnel from the FBI office in Omaha. At this time the information in the Chance Englebert investigation does not contain the federal elements necessary for the FBI to open an investigation. FBI personnel have said that if information is developed that changes the circumstances being investigated, they will review that information with local investigators to determine if they can open a Federal investigation based on information that suggests a federal violation has occurred. The FBI has offered and continues to offer any assistance that local authorities deem necessary.


One of the most common questions that has been asked of our investigators is why has this investigation not been deemed to be a homicide. As of this release there is no evidence to suggest foul play is involved in Chance’s disappearance. What we know at this point is that Chance was walking in Gering and Terrytown on his own free will. Because there is no evidence of a crime being committed the investigation remains in its original classification as a missing person.


There has been a lot of misinformation and opinions passed around on different social media platforms with respect to the investigation. While we recognize that people are afforded the freedom of speech by the U.S. Constitution, we ask that people consider the consequences of the comments and thoughts they express on those most effected by Chance’s disappearance: his family and close friends.


We encourage anyone with information about the investigation to contact the Gering Police Department. Although this remains an open Missing Person investigation, we welcome the sharing of information. Please keep in mind that not all information we have can be shared but we welcome an open dialogue. The most beneficial way to help is to say a prayer for Chance, his family and the Law Enforcement personnel looking for answers.


Investigators from the Gering Police Department, Scottsbluff Police Department, Scotts Bluff County Sheriff’s Office and the Nebraska State Patrol continue to follow up on information that comes in from the public and those who knew Chance. Chance’s disappearance remains a priority for all of our Departments and our community.