Barney Oldfield Exhibit

category : Museums
Barney Oldfield Exhibit Johnson County has a very well-known citizen in the person of Col. Barney Oldfield. Col. Oldfield started his military career with an ROTC membership when he was attending the University of Nebraska where he graduated in 1933. He went on to serve for thirty years in the military. Col. Oldfield had the distinction of gaining the rank of Colonel in both the Army and the Air Force. He founded the NORAD band while stationed at NORAD in Colorado Springs, and retired from the Air Force in 1962. Col. Oldfield has worked in more than 81 countries and on every continent, working as a newspaper man, radio and TV scripter, magazine contributor, lecturer, international "ghostwriter" for famous persons and Hollywood publicist, in addition to his military career.

To learn more about the life and times of Col. Oldfield and his wife, Vada, an exhibit was created by Nebraska's State Historical Society's Lori Cox-Paul entitled "Believe It or Not" - The Life and Times of Vada and Col. Barney Oldfield. It was supposed to run for three months at the Society, but was so popular it was there nearly a year. It was to go into storage, but Judy Coe, Tecumseh, encouraged them to bring it to Tecumseh, Barney's birthplace, on "permanent loan." Two of the display Col. Oldfield's uniformpanels - one with George Foreman and one with Adolf Hitler - were considered too precious to risk leaving the Society, but have since been acquired by the Tecumseh center, as well as, the enshrined uniform of Col. Oldfield. Also cherished are his bronzed paratrooper boots worn in meeting the British Royal Family in England (Queen Elizabeth was then 12), and King Christian X and Queen Fredericka of Denmark.

On the display panels are actual recordings and 50 parts-for-band sheet music for the Col. Barney Oldfield March as premiered in Carnegie Hall in 1963. There are grade school copy-book stories by him and the first script that he started "tracking Santa Claus" that has been done every year since it's mid-50s start. The "book about Adolf Hitler," one of only 100 published, was found by Barney in the rubbled Riechschancellory Hitler office after being in the first allied column entering Berlin July1, 1945.

Hours: 1:00 to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday
Other times by appointment
Address: 175 South 3rd
Phone: 402-335-5900
Fax: 402-335-5900
Our Email:

Come visit us in Tecumseh, Nebraska

Attractions and Upcoming Events

Carnegie Building

The first public libraries for Tecumseh were not pretentious. They were kept in private homes, at the city hall and elsewhere, with such books and magazines as could be secured through contributions and otherwise. The women of the city carried on the work of librarians. June 6, 1907

Tecumseh, NE Carnegie Libraries

Tecumseh Historic District - NHR

Overlooking the north fork of the Big Nemaha River in southeast Nebraska's Drift Hills region, Tecumseh has been the county seat of Johnson County since the county's organization in 1856-57

Tecumseh, NE National Register

Soldier's Memorial Statue

This soldier's memorial statue was erected "In memory of all soldiers and sailors of Johnson County" by the Heckathorn Post No. 47, Nebraska GAR in 1903

Tecumseh, NE Memorials

Memorial Cannon

This replica of a World War I cannon stands on the west courthouse lawn in memory of the USS Maine destroyed in the Havana Harbor, February 15, 1898.

Tecumseh, NE Memorials

Tecumseh City Hall

Tecumseh's city hall was erected in 1890, at the cost of just over $4,000, and is another of the fanciful architectural treasures of the historic district listed on the National Register of Historic Places

Tecumseh, NE National Register

Things to do Museums near Tecumseh, NE

Wilber Czech Museum

Wilber is the National Czech Capitol. Museum houses textiles, costumes, a blacksmith shop and harness repair shop interpretin...