Nebraska Authors

Robert N. Manley

Born 1928-02-23 Neillsville, WI (Raised in Illinois.) (USA)

Died 2008-10-22
Lincoln, NE (USA)

Hoyt Cemetery in Hoyt, KS (USA)
Robert N. Manley

Robert N. Manley

Robert Manley was renowned for combining storytelling, music and slideshows with his teaching of Nebraska history. By the time he retired in 1993 Manley had performed over 7000 programs and workshops to community organizations and schools around the state.

For a decade beginning in the 1950s, Manley hosted the "Rails West," and "Nebraska Heritage" television shows on Nebraska Educational Television. The programs were used by schools across the state. His promotion of Jim Fras's song "Beautiful Nebraska" helped make it the official state song.

He produced a number of state history “Listen to the Land” film and audio packages, wrote family and state history books, and wrote and produced “Notes on Nebraska” segments for a radio station in Grand island, NE.

Manley served as a professor of history at the University of Nebraska and at Hiram Scott College and later was senior historian at the Stuhr Museum from 1980-1986 At Stuhr he created a land agent character for the museum who entertained and informed visitors while riding the Stuhr Museum Railroad.

In the early 1990s Manley created a successful rural economic development program for the Nebraska Department of Economic Development called “Community Builders”. The program was later adopted by the Australian Office of Regional Development

Robert Manley did much to promote interest in Nebraska history and was described by the McCook Gazette as “an institution in Nebraska culture”.

In HR archive: Copy of corrected typescript of Kansas: Our Pioneer Heritage in gray upright document case.

Places Lived

Villa Park, IL
Belleville, KS
McCook, NE
Osceola, NE
Seward, NE
Grand Island, NE
Lincoln, NE
Scottsbluff, NE
Gardner, KS
Topeka, KS

Author Of

  • Nonfiction
  • Other
  • Play/Screenplay
  • Music and Audio


Nebraska History; NET television


BA 1950 Elmhurst College, Elmhurst, IL
MA, 1959, University of Nebraska - Lincoln
PhD in history, 1962, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


High school teacher and coach
Professor of history
Museum historian
Economic Development publicist
Free-lance educator, speaker, story teller and historian
Played semi-pro baseball

Places Worked

Public schools, Belleville KS, McCook, Osceola and Seward, NE
Hiram Scott College, Scottsbluff NE
University of Nebraska - Lincoln
Stuhr Museum, Grand Island, NE
Selection Research, Inc., Lincoln, NE
Nebraska Economic Development Department


Who's Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges, 1949-50.
Outstanding Nebraska High School Teacher , 1958
Recipient of Student Professorship Award, University of Nebraska 1962
Distinguished Teacher Award, Hiram Scott College, 1967
Henry Fonda Nebraskan Award, 1982
Sower Award in the Humanities, 1988
Nebraska 150 Books honor for Platte Valley Chronicles, 2017


Frontier University (1869-1919) vol. 1 of Centennial History of the University of Nebraska. 1969.
Nebraska: Our Pioneer Heritage. 1981.
Kansas: Our Pioneer Heritage. 1982.
The Town Builders : The Historical Focus of Stuhr Museum. 1985.
Beautiful Nebraska. record and audio cassette
Notes on Nebraska. 1991.
I Am Bound for California: The Overland Diary of Edgar Reynolds 1852. 1991.
Community Builders : A Process for Revitalizing Rural America. with Macke, Hanson, Ipson, Nebraska Department of Economic Development. 1996.
The World War I Letters of Private Milford N. Manley 1998.
I Remember ... Family Stories from Hamilton County, Nebraska. 1999.
Notes on Nebraska. Platte Valley Chronicles: Tales From Nebraska's Pioneer Trails, 2002.

Audio Records:
Listen to the Land. 1974
Beautiful Nebraska 1967

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Robert N. Manley

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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)