About Us

Lyle and Jennie Green

Lyle and Jennie Green of O’Neill, Nebraska took a leap in faith.  In 1954 they answered a request from the Mitchell Merchants to start a bakery in their Western Nebraska Panhandle  town.  Mom and Dad moved their young family (Dick, 9; LouEtta, 5; and Donnie, 10 months) across the state and called Mitchell home.  (Marian was born several months later.)

They also brought with them Mom’s wheel-chair bound cousin, Hazel Squire, to assist with the children and household chores as they worked long hours at their new business.

(As some recollections may be sketchy), the story goes that a bakery salesman informed Dad of two small towns in search of bakeries.  One was Mitchell, Nebraska and the other Loveland, Colorado.  Mitchell was chosen because the Greens did not have enough money to move all the way to Colorado. 

The Mitchell Merchants were delighted!  Because they had requested Dad to come, they cosigned a loan at the First National Bank of Mitchell to assist Dad in purchasing all the necessary equipment.  The bakery building was located in the center of Main Street.

The Mitchell Bakery

One half of the building was owned by Mr. Stan Blakesmith, owner of the next-door dry cleaners, and the other half was owned by the Kennedy Family, who later opened  the Kennedy Drug Store on the opposite next-door side of the bakery. Mom and Dad rented the building.  

For housing they stayed in the local hotel (which later became a retirement center and nursing home).  After a few weeks, Mom and Dad rented a house close to the elementary school, and then another only a few blocks away.  Within two years they bought The Westmore Home on 16th Avenue, where they spent the rest of their days in Mitchell.  LouEtta, as a 2ndgrader, remembers this home as “the biggest house I’d ever seen!”

The Mitchell Bakery was born!  Dad began his day at 2:00 AM.  He did all of the preparations and baking himself, including lifting those 50 and 100 pound bags of sugar and flour.  Mom did all of the frosting and decorating of baked goods as well as greeting customers and keeping the books.

One of the many things we admired about Dad was his very happy attitude.  He was always happy to meet everyone.  The community knew they were welcome to stop in for an early morning visit any time.  The city cop was a regular during those long night hours and the paper boy who always got a free roll after delivering the paper.

Another young man who shared Dad’s love of fishing would start his Saturday mornings in the bakery.  He and Dad would swap fishing stories before he left for a day on the lake.  He, of course, would leave with a donut gift from Dad.

That very first year was a success.  Additional employees were hired.  Those employees quickly became extended family and many memories were made.  As us children grew older, we each worked in the bakery also.

Mom was an artist!  She would make the most delicious sugar icing and mixed it into beautiful colors.  She hand-made roses out of that icing to decorate the cakes ~ especially wedding cakes. 

Her tools were a long nail and a pop bottle cap.  She would guide the decorating bag as she turned the nail until a perfect flower appeared.  (I tried several times but could never master the art.)

Our parents instilled many values in us.  They taught us our faith and the importance of prayer.  They taught us to respect everyone and to work hard.  They even taught us to recycle long before it was popular. (After all, we are the Greens!)

In the spirit of recycling, my sister and I were well dressed.  Mom made us the most amazing shirts, skirts and dresses out of the cotton flour bags!  Nothing was ever wasted.   

Among many other things, Mom taught us girls how to sew ~ using those famous flour bags.  LouEtta became an accomplished seamstress.  Me, not so much!

The Green Family: (left to right) Donnie, Dick, Lyle, Marian, Jennie & LouEtta

Our parents were generous to everyone ~ and creative too.  With every pan of brownies (made in large pans about 24” X 36”) the edges were cut off so that all the brownies were uniform.  This left long strips of yummy brownies we called “scraps.”  The scraps were placed in plastic bags and given away to any children who would ask for a bag.  Mom and Dad would always save a few for the young families who had no extra funds for treats from the bakery.

As kids, we were all involved in many high school activities.  One fond memory:  Dad would pack up a big box of donuts for us to take on band trips.  We would climb on the bus very early in the morning with those donuts, ready to share.  LouEtta expresses it well, “Everyone wanted to sit by me!”

Dad’s breads were exceptional.  He made all kinds.  We even sold some in ½ loaves for the widows in town who couldn’t use a whole loaf.  All of us kids learned to run the bread-slicing machine.  We thought we were very important when we graduated from donut frosting and pan washing to running the big equipment.

One memorable creation was “Beatle Bread.”  In 1964, the new hit singing group, The Beatles, was THE hottest thing since Elvis.   Department stores came out with lines of clothing featuring the Fab Four.  One could buy shoes with pictures of Ringo, George, John and Paul.  Dad was among the salesmen who dived in early:  he created a new tasty bread called “Beatle Bread.”  It was made to resemble the band’s haircuts and was easily a best seller.

Every day after school we would check in at the bakery.  Mom would attentively listen to our tales of the day all while serving the customers and praying her daily rosary that was kept in her apron pocket.  Her multi-tasking example taught us the value of hard work and the importance of prayer. 

Also in Mom’s apron pocket would be a nickel for me to spend on my favorite chocolate ice cream cone.  I would run down Main Street to Blair’s Drug Store (where LouEtta was employed during her high school years) to purchase a cone.  I was allowed this treat a couple of times a week after I washed pans in the “Big Sink.”  Once in a while I would run the opposite direction up Main Street to Thomas’ Grocery to buy 10 chocolate Tootsie Rolls with that nickel!  (Because I was the spoiled baby, I’m not sure if my older siblings had these same privileges!)

LouEtta loved to read comic books.  Mom would let her take a bag of cookies to Blair’s Drug Store for the employees there and they would let her sit on the floor by the magazine rack to read comic books.  She even earned the nickname “Cookie!”

We had many friends who would come to the bakery with us after school.  Sometimes Dad would let us sit inside the mixer (It was approximately the same size as a “Tea Cup” ride that one would find in an amusement park – – and the same concept.)  He would turn it on low and let us spin around!

The Mitchell Bakery had the most wonderful store front windows.  All three panes must have been 12 feet high and the width of the entire building.  Just inside was a three foot platform we called “The Stage.”  My friends and I would play “Mannequin” pretending to electronically eat cookies or rolls enticing passers-by to come inside.  We were sure this boosted sales.

Actually, this window served the community well.  It was open for Boy Scout troops, Camp Fire Girls and other civic groups to use as a display case during special occasions honoring their organizations or events.  It was Mitchell’s own exhibit booth.

In the mid 1970’s, Mom and Dad started thinking retirement.  They had hoped that one of the kids might take over the bakery.  Don was the most likely candidate; however, he had just recently graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and was pursuing a career in Computer Science.  

In 1976 they opted for a new adventure.  They sold the bakery to another family with dreams of keeping it going.  The bakery eventually sold again and became a floral shop; now (2020) the building is functioning as S&S Plumbing.  

Mom and Dad moved to North Platte, Nebraska in semi-retirement.  They opened another small business in partnership with their old “Army Buddies,” Harvey and Babe Sawyer.  Dad and Harvey served their country together during WWII.  Within a few years, complete retirement was achieved and time was spent playing cards, fishing, volunteering at church, and enjoying visits from family and friends.

Mom and Dad at Dick’s wedding

LouEtta McHenry, Don Green, Marian Bourek and the late Richard Green know the love that comes from hard working, faith filled, exceptional parents.  We lived a storybook childhood and are pleased to share the memories here.  Thank you Mom and Dad!

Lyle M. Green passed away on January 26, 1996.  Jennie M. Green died on April 20, 2001.  And our beloved older brother, Dick (in adult life known as Richard) joined them in eternal life on June 25, 2006.  Eternal Rest grant unto them, O Lord!


Site developed by LouEtta McHenry, Don Green, Marian Bourek