One of my favorite stops along the Lincoln Highway is Fort Cody Trading Post in North Platte, Nebraska. Since moving closer to I-80, it’s now a few blocks south of US 30 through town, though the original LH actually followed the Gothenburg Stairstep that came into town from the south on Locust (now Jeffers) Street, so Fort Cody actually overlooks the 1913 LH.
The Henline family has operated numerous businesses along the Lincoln Highway and elsewhere, so they are preparing a booklet detailing their history. Leigh Henline told me, “We are having a company make us a 24 page souvenir book to sell. We are hoping it will be ready in February. It will tell a little bit about the history of Fort Cody, a bit on the Sioux Trading Post and Buffalo Bill Trading Post. Some on the museum, LOTS on the little Buffalo Bill Wild West show (he took hundreds of photos!), and some on the Muffler Man! We are very excited about all this. This guy is also doing a bunch of photo magnets for us on the little Wild West show, due any day.”
Teen-aged Chuck Henline points to the new Muffler Man Indian in the 1970s.
Here are the places the family has operated along the Lincoln Highway:
• Sioux Trading Post, Ogallala, 1952-1969.
• Buffalo Bill Trading Post, US 30 W, North Platte, 1950-1954.
• Fort Cody, US 30 W, North Platte, 1963-1969.
• Present Fort Cody, I-80 Hwy 83, North Platte, 1968 to present.
Chuck Henline crafted an animated display of their Sioux Trading Post.
The family also operated the Wigwam in Atlanta, Nebraska, and the Seminole Trading Post and Indian Village near Miami. They have some photos displayed on their office walls:
I’ll be writing more about their roadside adventures soon, and will post an update when their booklet is published.