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Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 10.djvu/802

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NEBRASKA


7:50


NEBRASKA


Viiluat ion of railroads biiiigSl27 4,011,325. The means of communication is almost exclusively by railroads, of which there are 6105 miles in operation.


Com

Wheat

Oats

Hay

Alfalfa

Horses

Cattle

HoKS

Barley, rj'e, and cane

Potatoes

Poullr>- products

Dair>' proflucts

Minor crops, beets, fruit, etc. .


Total


169,179.137 bushels 50,313,600 „ 59,653,479 „ 6,900,269 tons 1,971.770 „


J,048,450 !,659,174 i,861,000 ),2S8,812 i,661,140 1,513,.530 i,375,812 J,179,177 8,796.977 ),096,977 ?,732,436 3,743,600 1,650.000


$402,579,085


Education' .-vnd Religion. — Educational facili- ties are exceptionally good. The State University, founded 15 February, 1869, enjoys a high reputation as an institute of learning, especially in all technical branches of science. The professors and teaching staff number 2,50 persons, with an attendance of 3611 students. The appropriation for actual expenses for the two years ending 31 March, 1911, amounts to SI, 238,000. There are 6930 public schools, of which 103 are normal training high schools. The total ex- penditure for schools for year ending 13 July, 1908, was §6,416,342. Of this amount, $4,032,610, was di- vided in salaries among 10,355 teachers. Catholic education is well provided for. Besides Creighton University, there are one college for boys, fifteen con- vent boarding schools for girls, and, including some district schools, practically Catholic, there are one hundred and four parochial schools with an attend- ance of 10,714 pupils. Of these, nine are accredited to the State University, and three are recognized by the state for normal training work. Of non-Catholic educational institutions, the principal are: Wesleyan University (Methodist), and Cotner University (Christian), both near Lincoln; Bellevue College (Presbyterian) near Omaha; Doane College (Congre- gational) at Crete; Brownell College (Episcopalian) at Omaha. Other institutions under state control in- clude one penitentiary, one reform school, two indus- trial homes, three insane asylums, one Home for the Friendless, one institute for the feeble-minded, one hospital for crippled and deformed children, one insti- tute for the blind, one for the deaf and dumb, two homes for soldiers and sailors. Catholic institutions include four hospitals (Omaha, Lincoln, Columbus, and Grand Upland), managed by the Sisters of St. Francis; two orphan asylums, containing 210 in- mates; a reformatory for women, managed by the Sis- ters of the Good Shepherd; one Industrial and Re- form school. The Methodists and Presbyterians have each a hospital at Omaha.

The Constitution of Nebraska guarantees complete freedom of worship and equal rights to men of every creed, but recognition is given to the pre-eminence of Christianity. While there is no law specially directed against bla-sphemy, there is a statute against profanity which imposes a fine of twenty-five cents for each of- fence on all over fourteen years who profanely swear by the name of God, .Jesus Christ, or the Holy Ghcst (.sec. 242, Proc. Crim. Code Neb.). The observance of Sunday by abstention from all unnecessary labour is enforced by state and local ordinances with rea.son- able strictness, an exemption being made in favour of those who, by a precept of their religion, observe the seventh instead of the first day of the week. Oaths are administered by raising the right haml and calling God to witness; where conscientious convictions inter- po.se, an affirmation can be made instead. Both houses of the legislature are opened with pnayer by a chaplain, appointed to hold office during the ses- Bion. Statutory law exeruDts the priest from revealing


communications made imder seal of the confessional without the con.sent of the informant (sec. 328, Civil Code, Neb.). Christmas Day is the only re- ligious lioliday recognized as such by law.

Ecclesiastical property, by diocesan statute, is vested in the bishop as trustee, but there is no civil statute so ordaining. Under sees. 4193-4, "Corpora- tions, 1909, Nebraska Civil Code", each parish can or- ganize and incorporate in the manner provided: "The chief, or jiresitling or executive officer of the religious bodies, sects, and denominations mentioned in the first section of this act, may, at such place in this state as he may appoint for the purpose, convene a meeting of himself and some other officer subordinate to him- self, but having genenal jurisdiction throughout the state or part of the state aforesaid, and the priest, min- ister or clergyman of the proposed church, parish or society, and at least two laymen, residents within the limits thereof, of which the said chief, etc. shall be president and one of the other persons present shall be secretary." These five persons shall then adopt arti- cles of incorporation and shall have power to name the church or parish, decide the manner in which it shall contract and be bound for debts, or convey, encumber or charge the property, regulate succession of mem- bers, fill vacancies, name time corporation is to last and decide by what officers its affairs shall be conducted. Under this last clause the diocesan regulation can be adopted as the rule under which the affairs of the parish shall be conducted. If the five persons neglect to file articles of incorporation for the parish, the dioc- esan regulation investing the property in the bishop, as trustee, has no recognition from the civil law, and without a supplementary action in amendment, a transfer of the property by the bishop, as trustee, will be defective in title. If the five persons, at the time of the organization of the parish, adopted the diocesan rule and then filed articles of incorporation, the action of the bishop, as trustee, would be legal. Otherwise, the neglect to incorporate obstructs the operation of the diocesan statute. Churches, parochial schools, and charitable institutions are exempt from taxation, and clergymen are also exempt from personal taxes and are not liable to military or jury service. Catho- lic priests have free access to all state institutions and their courteous treatment has been a rule without exception.

The status of the Bible in the public schools has been the subject of contention, but the decisions of the Supreme Court are not very clear and seem contradic- tory. In 1899, a teacher in a Gage County school ob- tained permission from the local school board to have religious exercises during school hours. The reading of the Bible was a feature of the exercises. One Dan- iel Freeman, a free-thinker, whose children attended the school, objected. The question was referred to the state superintendent who decided against Free- man. In the meantime Freeman began an action at law in the Gage County District Court; the deci- sion was against him. The case was appealed to the Supreme Court and the judgment of the lower court was reversed. Commissioner Ames decided that the reading of the Bible in the public schools was a breach of the Constitution. In this opinion, Commissioners Duffie and Albert coincided. Judge Sedgwick coin- cided on the ground that the instruction was sectarian. Judge Holcomb also coincided as to the particular case, but held that, excepting its use for sectarian pur- poses, the reading of the Bible was discretionary with the school authorities (State of Nebraska, ex rel. Dan- iel Freeman v. John Schevo, et oL, Vol. LXV, page 8.53). A motion for rehearing was filed 21 January, 1903, and Chief-Justice Sullivan, while overruling the motion for a rehearing, gave the opinion, that "The section of the Constitution which jirovided that no sectarian instruction shall be allowed in any school or institution supported in whole or in part by the public