Jim McKee: Trixie’s and Its Neighbors in the History of Downtown Lincoln | Nebraska
As things return to normal after COVID-19 and driving around Lincoln becomes more routine, you’ve probably noticed that the western half of Block 97, 12th to 13th Streets K to L, is now a grassed area in waiting for development. Over the years, this half-block has seen several apartment buildings, a music conservatory, restaurants, Lincoln’s First Lutheran Church, and Trixie’s IGA.
In order to encourage denominational diversity in the new capital of Nebraska in 1867, the Capital Commission gave lots 7, 8 and 9, or the southwest corner of block 97 in Lincoln, to the then non-Lutheran Church. organized. Three years later, the Reverend SG Larson of Saunders County organized the Swedish or Scandinavian Lutheran Church, which built a small frame building for $ 1,041 on the lots. In 1886 the church was rebuilt on a stone foundation and the address of 1326 K St. was fixed. A new brick and stone church replaced the frame building while the corner lots were sold to facilitate its financing in 1916.
When the Congregational Churches of Plymouth and First Plymouth reappeared and moved into their new building at Streets 20 and D, the Lutheran Church on K Street, then known as First Lutheran, moved into the Congregation building of Plymouth at 17 and A Streets. The K Street Lutheran Church building was later converted into apartments, which were used until 1984 when it was razed for parking.
In 1889, Professor Oliver B. Howell built the Lincoln Conservatory of Music at the northwest corner of Block 97 or at the southeast corner of 13th and L streets. The $ 50,000, four-story building , made of brick and stone, was a private school primarily designed to teach students to become music teachers. The 10-week course costs $ 40, but for an additional $ 5, the student’s dormitory will be furnished with their own practice piano.
The school was successful and around 1900, with a faculty of 16 and 500 students, built an adjacent dormitory / apartment to the south. Although apparently still successful, the 1907 recession brought it down while Howell disappeared from Lincoln. The main veranda building was razed in the late 1940s and replaced with a one-story building that housed KLIN radio, the Ned Domino restaurant and other businesses over the years, but the old annex is remained, becoming apartments until the end of the 20th century, when it was also demolished for parking.
The lots at the northeast corner of 13th and K streets and north of the driveway where the Lincoln Music Conservatory annex was located were originally dotted with single-family homes, several of which were razed after the Lutheran Church sold their unused lots, and by 1917 the corner had become JW Moore’s Grocery and a year later Moore & Peckham Grocery. By 1930 the tile and brick building had become the Mueller Grocery Store and by 1940 the Schnieber Grocery Store.
Leonard J. Stransky was born in 1911 in the “Russian funds of 8th and B streets”. At the age of 16 he worked in one of the Freadrich brothers’ grocery stores and at 18 he became a full-time employee. At one point, Leonard became known to Trixie, which originated from his companion dog “Trix”.
The Independent Grocer’s Alliance or IGA began as a marketing system to provide multi-store buying power and general marketing system among 100 stores in New York and Connecticut in 1926. By partnering with grocers basically local, they expanded state by state until 1971. There were 14 member grocers in Lincoln.
At one point in 1942, Trixie left Freadrich Brothers and, with “a $ 59 paycheck in my pocket” and a small opening to buy from a Lincoln wholesaler, opened a retail store in the 1300 K St. building. which in 1950 had been named the Trixie IGA Market. In its heyday, Trixie’s “supplied groceries for all states, cities and counties” and achieved annual sales of over $ 2 million. At one point, a second store was opened by Trixie at 33rd and B streets, but was apparently short-lived.
After Trixie retired, the grocery store became Louis Stanard’s IGA Foodliner, advertising its sales of cold cuts, bakery and beer. In 1980, the grocery store had closed, becoming Provident Savings & Loan.
Leonard J. “Trixie” Stransky died in 1998 and his wife Angeleen died at the age of 92 in 2009. The couple donated the bronze statue of an elk at the north entrance of Pioneers Park on Van Dorn, Stransky Park at 17th and Perkins, the Stransky Adoption Wing of the Capital Humane Society and has taken out numerous University of Nebraska scholarships.
Today, absolutely nothing remains of the apartments, large commercial building, veranda or long-standing grocery store, although tentative plans for an office or multipurpose building have been tentatively suggested.
Historian Jim McKee, who always writes with a fountain pen, invites comments or questions. Write to him at The Star Journal or at [email protected]