Then: A fire in 1878 destroyed much of Hastings’ downtown area and city leaders decided to rebuild with brick.
The first brickyard began operating that year. Competitors followed and brickmaking became big business in Hastings for about 60 years. Hastings produced about 70 percent of all brick made in Nebraska and all of the paving brick, according to “Adams County: The Story 1872-1972.”
One of the largest brick manufacturing companies was Western Brick and Supply Co., which operated from 1900-1958.