Hinman was a close friend of Mari Sandoz, and shared with her a strong interest in anthropology and Native American life. Sandoz's biographer, Helen Winter Stauffer, tells how the long trip the two women undertook through the Dakotas, Wyoming, and Montana in 1930, visiting the reservations and interviewing Native Americans, helped Sandoz see her way to writing about Native American history. Hinman let Sandoz look over an unsuccessful manuscript on Crazy Horse, overlooked Sandoz's bitter criticism of that work, and encouraged Sandoz to write about him, feeling that Sandoz was better prepared to succeed.
Hinman's career as a journalist included a 1921 interview of Willa Cather for the Lincoln Sunday Star. The Nebraska State Historical Society has a collection of Hinman papers and correspondence.
Morton came to Nebraska in 1854 and was a leading figure in the Democratic Party beginning in territorial days. He was acting Governor of Nebraska on several occasions, and would be Secretary of Agriculture in President Cleveland's cabinet, 1893-97. He began his career as a journalist, writing on agricultural and political topics. Morton was an early President of the Nebraska Historical Society. He wrote a history of Nebraska and published a collection of Native folk tales. Late in his career he was an opponent of William Jennings Bryan's populism and tried to limit its influence in Democratic Party circles. He is best known as a founder of Arbor Day, and for his magnificent home Arbor Lodge, near Nebraska City.
While Secretary of Agriculture Morton encouraged Clarence Paine (then Secretary of the Nebraska State Historical Association) to help establish the Missouri Valley Historical Association, which eventually served as the foundation for the American Historical Association.
James C. Olson, J. Sterling Morton: Pioneer Statesman, Founder of Arbor Day, 1942, 1972.
Nebraska Writers Revised, 1964.
Influence on historical studies see: Lauck, Jon K. "The Prairie Historians and the Foundations of Midwestern History.
"The Annals of Iowa" 71 (2012), 137-173. (Also available at: http://ir.uiowa.edu/annals-of-iowa/vol71/iss2/3 )
On Arbor Lodge see the chapter in Lisa Knopp, The Nature of Home: A Lexicon and Essays, 2002
Addison Sheldon led the Nebraska State Historical Society as its Superintendent (the same post is now known as Director) from 1917 to 1943. He was a true Nebraskan. Sheldon grew up in Seward County, Nebraska and homesteaded in Cherry County in the 1880s. He became a newspaperman and covered the Wounded Knee massacre for a Chadron newspaper in 1890. He was elected to the state legislature on the Populist ticket in 1897 and served until 1899. After that he attended the University of Nebraska and eventually Columbia University, earning his doctorate in history for a dissertation in 1919 eventually revised and published as Land Systems and Land Policies in Nebraska, 1936. Sheldon was a prolific author of books and articles.
During Sheldon's tenure the NSHS had no real fixed abode, and its collections were scattered around Lincoln in various buildings, including a leaky basement where Mari Sandoz would work with galoshes on her feet in standing water. Sheldon transformed the society from an amateurish affair into a professional organization with professional policies, procedures and goals. He was a perceptive mentor and supporter of other scholars. Perhaps the most famous of these scholars was Mari Sandoz, but there were many others (see Melvin Gilmore). It was also Sheldon who acquired the Eli Ricker Collection for the NSHS--considered one its most important collections. Being from Chadron, Sheldon was an old acquaintance of Judge Ricker. Sheldon remained Superintendent until his death in 1943, and his memorial service was held at the Nebraska State Capitol.