Omaha Village celebrates its 150th anniversary

OMAHA, Illinois (WSIL) – The village of Omaha is a type of town on Illinois Route 1.

In its heyday, Omaha was a bustling trading community that was once home to railroads, hairdressing salons, hotels, and theaters.

But these days, Omaha Furniture, which opened in 1932, is the hallmark of the city. One of the few, if any, companies remaining.

“Hey, it’s home,” laughed Omaha-resident Gary Whipple, the city’s unofficial historian.

Whipple carries a white folder filled with plastic notes containing old objects, images of a once overcrowded city.

“I just thought it might be a good idea to put a few of these things together because people have forgotten over the years,” Whipple said.

Folder by Gary Whipple, who lives in Omaha, with pictures of the city’s 150-year history

Whipple says that Omaha Furniture is one of the places that make the city special.

The company’s president, Karen Williams, has been with the company for more than 53 years. Omaha Furniture was founded by Williams’ in-laws.

Logo above the main entrance to Omaha Furniture. The business has existed since 1932.

Williams says it’s unusual but a blessing to see Omaha Furniture do well in a small space. She attributes that to good management and loyal customers within 100 miles.

Williams says the residents of Omaha add to the charm of the city.

“Everyone knows their neighbors and only good people live in Omaha,” said Williams. “We care for one another and everyone helps everyone.”

The village celebrates its 150th anniversary on July 24th. The celebrations begin at 11 a.m. It includes a lobster cook and fish roast, cornhole tournament, cake walk, silent auction, and more.

For more information, contact Juna Nelson at 618-941-1931, Terry Crowe at 618-694-4139, or Cristin Cleek at 618-499-4277.

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