A state office building in Lincoln has been named and dedicated for a Nebraska military unit that fought in the Civil War before Nebraska was even a state.
Dubbed the 1526 Building for its address on K Street since its purchase by the state in 2007, the structure is now the 1st Nebraska Administrative Building.
The 1st Nebraska Infantry Regiment was formed in Omaha in 1861 and redesignated the 1st Nebraska Cavalry Regiment in 1864. Its first commander, Colonel John MIlton Thayer, later became governor.
In his dedication speech, current Gov Pete Ricketts said the “sacrifices of the 1st Nebraska Infantry Regiment helped put an end to slavery and reunite the country” with the office building now dedicated to their memory.
Opened in 1955 as the Woodmen Life Insurance Company Building, later Assurity Life, an original feature of the building was singled out for recognition as part of last week’s state dedication.
The sculpture “Protecting Hand” on the south side facade now has a plaque telling its history and place in Lincoln history. The plaque was paid for by the Lincoln Community Foundation with funds from Assurity Life.
Company President and CEO Tom Henning said “Assurity Life’s history is part of Nebraska and Lincoln history with the Protecting Hand a visual representation of that shared history for nearly 60 years.”
Henning added that the company appreciates the opportunity to partner with the state to preserve that history for the next generation.