Nebraska Authors

Rex German

Born ≈ 1935

Rex German, aged 22, was teaching school in 1957 when his father, Milo German, owner and founder of Nebraska Plastics was killed in an airplane crash. The Cozad firm played an important role in the history of irrigation in Nebraska and the Midwest after World War II, introducing plastics into irrigation when aluminum was in short supply. German took over the firm after his father's death and re-educated himself as a businessman, attending and sometimes teaching in Harvard University's Business School's Executive Education Program. Nebraska Plastics, working with the Dow Chemical company developed the first above ground weather resistant PVC pipe while inventing above ground PVC gated irrigation pipe, again to replace metal pipe. Gated irrigation pipe itself was invented by Paul Hohnstein of Hastings. Nebraska Plastics also brought PVC to hog containment and in the 1970s introduced the first vinyl fencing products, when German adapted materials manufactured by the company for fence on his own farm.

German, long-time supporter and sometime officer of the Dawson County Historical Society and the Dawson County Historical Museum is co-author with Russ Czaplweski of Battle of the Bridges: Community Rivalry in Dawson County Nebraska. The book is a broad account of the desperate exertions of rival towns to bridge the Platte and bring life and prosperity sustaining railroads through their communities. This is the wider context for some of Nebraska's most famous violent episodes, including the violence and a killing perpetrated by John Cozad, founder of the town of Cozad and father of the great Nebraska born artist Robert Henri.

On German's career see: Cozad Chamber of Commerce, "Nebraska Plastics: 70 years in Cozad," at lexch.com, posted 08-02-2015, and the chapter on "Irrigation Invention and Innovation," in Jody L. Lamp and Melody Dobson, A History of Nebraska Agriculture: A Life Worth Living,, 2017.

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Places Lived

Cozad, NE

Author Of

  • Nonfiction

Keywords

Bridges; Dawson County, Nebraska - History

Associations

Dawson County Historical Society Board of Directors, Member

Bibliography

Battle of the Bridges: Community Rivalry in Dawson County Nebraska. 1988. (with Russ Czaplewski)

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Rex German
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(e.g. Author is buried in Fremont, not in David City / Also wrote for the Daily Nebraskan during her time as a student)