Nebraska Authors

Everett Dick

Born 1898-07-10 Ozawkie, KS (USA)

Died 1989-01-16
Lincoln, NE (USA)

Lincoln, NE (USA)

From its first publication in 1937, Everett Dick's The Sod House Frontier 1854-1890: A Social History of the Northern Plains from the Creation of Kansas and Nebraska to the Admission of the Dakotas has been considered a classic account of the European settlement of the Great Plains. It was recognized both as a work of careful and detailed scholarship and as a lively portrait. Dorothy Canfield Fisher commented that while a work of reference, "any of its chapters is as absorbing as fiction (The Lincoln Journal, 10-3-1937)." Dick studied with John D. Hicks at the University of Nebraska, and Hicks got Dick into the Ph.D. program in History at the University of Wisconsin under his own dissertation advisor Frederic Paxson. Those contacts put Dick in the second generation of "Prairie Historians," a school that found new significance in the Great Plains frontier. Dick himself had been born in a Kansas sod house.

Dick was a fixture as Professor of History at the Seventh-Day Adventists' Union College in Lincoln. He joined the faculty there in 1930. The college's administration building is named for him. Dick continued to write about the social history of European settlement. His 1975 Conquering the Great American Desert was published by the Nebraska State Historical Society. His focus was always more on social history and what we now call environmental history, than on politics.

Dick was a Marine veteran of WWI. In the 1933 he founded the Seventh-Day Adventist Medical Cadet Corps at Union College, to give his co-religionists the opportunity to serve without bearing arms. The Corps became a world-wide Adventist organization.

See also Merrill Mattes


Places Lived

Lincoln, NE
Madison, WI

Author Of

  • Nonfiction


Nebraska History; Union College; Frontier Life; Kansas History; Pioneer Life


Bachelor of Arts in History, Union College, Lincoln, NE, 1924
University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE
University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI


Research Professor

Places Worked

Union College, Lincoln, NE


Union College Board of Trustees
Union College named building after him


The Sod House Frontier. 1937, 1954, 1979.
Founders of the Message. 1938.
Vanguards of the Frontier. 1941, 1965.
Life in the West Before the Sod House Frontier. 1947.
Dixie Frontier. 1948.
Tales of the Frontier: From Lewis and Clark to the Last Roundup. 1963, 1970.
Union: College of the Golden Cords. 1967-68.
The Lure of the Land. 1970.
Conquering the Great American Desert: Nebraska. 1973.
From Horses to Horsepower: Life in Kansas, 1900-1925. 1986.
Union College, Fifty Years of Service. 1941. (with David Dee Rees)
Union College: Light Upon the Hill. 2003.

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Everett Dick

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