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 Nebraska ALHN site

State Coordinator: Ron Neilson


Nebraska was admitted to statehood on March 1, 1867.   It is called "The Cornhusker  State."





George F Richards, father in law of Mr Lillie, lost his right thumb at the second joint in 1886 and lamented that he could no longer husk corn. To help him out Mr Lillie cut from an old scoop shovel his first corn husker or corn hook. Mr Richards found with its use he could husk corn as well as ever. Mr Lillie then realized the value of his contrivance and cut out many more corn hooks of different shapes from old shovels. Mr Lillie secured his first patent on this invention September 26, 1893. Mr Lillie owned only forty acres of land and had a large family to support. He spent a great deal of time in working on his corn husker and getting it ready for market. His means were very limited and he sacrificed nearly everything he owned. The invention made him no money and he always claimed he was beaten out of his rights by designing partners and old settlers think so too. Mr Lillie traveled widely thru Nebraska, Kansas. Illinois, and Iowa introducing his invention. He gave many demonstrations. His son, HD Lillie, who accompanied him part of the time tells of one method: Two men would hold a newspaper above Mr Lillie's head. A third would hold an ear of husked corn under the paper, while Mr Lillie held in his left hand an ear of snapped corn. At a given signal, Mr Lillie would begin to husk the ear and the man to drop the ear of husked corn held under the newspaper, Mr Lillie would husk his ear the operation passing it of course to his right hand and catch the dropped ear as it reached the level of his hand and hold the ears side by side in his right hand. William F Lillie evolved his perfected corn husker corn hook, after much thought labor and expense .A poor man, he attempted to manufacture them and create a market under great difficulties. He succeeded in every way except financially. A grateful posterity will see that he is given the credit he deserves. (Source: Nebraska History, Volumes 4-5, Addison Erwin Sheldon, James Lee Sellers, James C. Olson, p. 11)



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