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Historic Walking Tour, Downtown Lincoln, Nebraska, South of O Street
Item 2 of 7

Successful businessman William Henry Ferguson built this elegant home around 1911. It is considered one of the best examples of Renaissance Revival architecture in the city and probably the state. It was built of brick and features smooth limestone detailing, a clay tile roof, and a large porch with an arched main entrance. The house is also notable for how it was built. The first floor structure was erected using a concrete slab system and the second floor was framed using steel beams. The house might be the first in Iowa constructed using these two methods. Today it is owned by the state and occupied by the Nebraska Environmental Trust, whose offices are on the second floor. The first floor is available to rent.

One of Lincoln's leading businessmen of the day, William Ferguson, built this striking home in 1911. It is one of the state's finest examples of Second Renaissance Revival architecture.

Sky, Property, Building, Window

William Ferguson was born in Earlville, Illinois and arrived in Nebraska in 1879 (when he was born is unclear). He became a farmer and helped introduce winter wheat in the state. Later in 1890, he played a large role in introducing alfalfa from Denver. Ferguson started to accrue wealth when he bought land in central Nebraska during economic downturns, earning a share of profits with the people who farmed the land he owned. By 1913, he owned 6,000 acres.

Ferguson expanded his business interests into other areas as well. He founded the a creamery company and a sand gravel company and served as president of a traction company around that time as well. He also became a grain merchant and eventually owned 85 grain elevators, most of which he sold in 1902 when he entered the milling industry. In 1903, he moved to Lincoln and continued his business activities, including establishing a brick company and the Capitol Beach Amusement Park. At its peak, the brick company produced 75,000 bricks in the early 1900s. Ferguson also served as vice president of a land company that owned 30,000 acres in Scotts Bluff County and built a 56-mile irrigation ditch. He died in November 1937. The house was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1972.

"The Ferguson House." The Nebraska Environmental Trust. Accessed April 5, 2022.

"The Ferguson House." The Historical Marker Database. Accessed April 5, 2022.

Kolberg, Persijs. "Ferguson (William H.) House." National Park Service - National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form. November 29, 1972.

Image Sources(Click to expand)

Wikimedia Commons:,_Nebraska)