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Historical Background

Hallam is a quiet little village in a rich farming section 20 miles southwest of Lincoln, and one mile north of Gage County line. In 1892, Frederick Schneider sold 80 acres to a land company to be used to lay out a village. At the same time he sold a 100 ft. strip of land to the Rock Island and Pacific Railroad Company.

Hallam Sign

The Plat of Hallam was filed in November 1892, and was platted in December that same year.

Mr. Schneider was asked to suggest a name for the new town, as there were already towns in Nebraska by some of his proposals. Jacob Schadd was asked to suggest one, as he had the privileges of purchasing the first lot in Hallam. He suggested Hallau, after his native town in Switzerland. Alas, the "u" was mistaken for an "m" by the post office, as it happens sometime, so the name Hallam was adopted.

The first lot was purchased in 1892, and after that lots went rather quickly, some were bought by an enterprising woman, almost unheard of at the time. On some of the lots purchased by Mrs. Maggie Classen, were built the telephone company office, a doctors office as well as other business buildings on land she rented out.

The post office was established in 1893 the same year the first home was built. In 1898, a bank was established, and by the turn of the century, the rapidly growing little village had a hardware store, dry goods, shoe shop, well supply, druggist, liverly barn, feed store, and a physician.

In 1901, Hallam was incorporated as a village. In 1905, a telephone service was established, and in 1918, a second bank was a well.

After the railroad arrived, Hallam grew rapidly, then slowly tapered. Today, Hallam has approximately 225 resident.

The first commercial structure, combination drugstore/post office was built on Main Street as well. Today, only two of the orginial buildings exist, since most of the wooden structures were consumed by fire.

In 1958, a full section of the land near Hallam on the Rock Island Railroad, was purchased. An uranium powered nuclear power plant was built, up and running by 1962, this was the second in the United States.

Hallam began growing again, but the reactor generated electricity by atomic power for only about a year, when it was converted to a coal-fired steam generator. The huge plant is still in operation and visible for many miles.

The characteristics which gave Hallam its community identity may be difficult to define, but according to a 2014 community attitude survey, the following reasons were given most often as a reason for living in Hallam:

  • Friendliness of the people
  • Peacefulness of the area.
  • Lack of traffic and air pollution
  • Better place to raise children (small town).

Although the village has changed over many times, many of its functions and characteristics have remained constant.

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