Boys’ Town is a notable Catholic orphanage started in Omaha in 1917. It moved from downtown Omaha to the “outskirts” of the city in 1921. The city grew to encapsulate it, and it technically sits in the village of Boys’ Town, Omaha, which is an enclave at 144th and Dodge Street.
Boys’ Town has evolved as a general child care and welfare organization with offshoots in nine American cities. There is also a research hospital in downtown Omaha.
Boys’ Town has been depicted in multiple movies during its history, including Boys’ Town starring Spencer Tracy and Mickey Rooney which was the highest grossing film of 1938.
Why I Looked It Up
I’ve been to Omaha a lot, and its area on West Dodge Street – which is effectively the main street of Omaha – is known as “The Boy’s Town Exit.” Some residents will give directions like, “If you get to the Boys’ Town Exit, you went too far” or, “Go about five miles past Boys’ Town…”
I never really knew what it was, or whether it was a historical place or still in operation.