(Brownville Historical Society Museum at Bailey House)

412 Main Street, Brownsville, NE

(402) 825-6001

Status: Former Residence; Heritage Property; Museum



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Captain Benson M Bailey was a Civil War Union veteran who survived his first wife and baby daughter’s deaths in 1860. He remarried and – with his remaining 3 children – moved to Nebraska from Tennessee and built this house in it’s original location.

The house’s original location provided a commanding view of the Missouri River but the river itself became the enemy. Previous to the 1870’s all of the mansions of the wealthy in Brownsville were built along the shores of the river but in 1877 the river began to undercut it’s banks.

Bailey moved his house piece by piece to it’s current location and rebuilt it just as it was.

While moving the house certainly saved the building it apparently it put them beside a dangerous neighbor. Legend says the neighbor poisoned both Bailey – in 1883 – and his wife – in 1880 – although no one was ever charged or convicted with their deaths.

It is thought that the neighbor murdered the wife out of jealousy and the Captain because he spurned her romantic invitations.

Another version has Bailey eating poisoned food that was meant for his wife which seems just a bit strange as she died before he did.

By the 1950’s this historical house was falling apart. Thankfully the Brownville Historical Society saved this house and many others in the town’s historical district.

This home now functions as a museum with a large collection of artifacts from Brownsville’s past.


Paranormal Activity

Captain Bailey haunts his dream house.

These reports of paranormal activity are based mostly on staff experiences as well as visitors.

His apparition has been seen throughout the house as well as through the windows by those outside.

He is known for opening and closing doors – his body was found on the 4th floor propped up against a door – and will very energetically swing the door he was found against violently.

He also seems to have a fixation with electric lights causing them to flicker as well as turn off and on.

Phantom piano is heard coming out of the house when no one is in the building.