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RG3763.AM:  Adele Nichols (Nora Adele Austin Lefebvre), 1900-1979

Papers:  1900-1979, mostly 1924-1977

Chadron, Dawes County, Neb.:  Writer

Size:  1.5 cu.ft.; 2 boxes


Adele Nichols was born Nora Adele Austin Lefebvre on September 21, 1900. She lived in Denver, Colorado until her marriage to Greydon Nichols on March 24, 1922, when she moved to Chadron, Nebraska. Mrs. Nichols was an accomplished and artistic woman. She studied music at the Wichita College of Music; was simultaneously a student and teacher at the Columbia Conservatory of Music in New York; and studied piano in Leipzig, Germany, and in Paris. She was a speech and drama student with Louis Stephens in Chicago. After moving to Chadron she wrote and published poetry and prose articles, taught voice and piano lessons, directed musical productions, and was a frequent public speaker. In addition, she gave readings of her own work, and performed other dramatic readings.

During World War II Mrs. Nichols did philanthropic work for misplaced persons and arranged for food and clothing to reach refugee camps. For her work she received commendations from the governments of France, Great Britain, and West Germany. Following the war she traveled to Europe in 1947, spending most of her time in France. This trip inspired her to write and speak on conditions in post-war Europe. Her interest in conditions abroad continued through her lifetime, as she was also active during the Vietnam War era.

Mrs. Nichols was involved in many clubs and organizations. She was the Nebraska State Chairman for National Poetry Day, and founded two Nebraska Branches of the National League of American Pen Women, the first in Lincoln and the second in Chadron. Among other honors, Mrs. Nichols was listed in Who’s Who of American Poets, Who’s Who of American Women, and the International Who’s Who in Poetry.

Mrs. Nichols dedicated much of her life and writings to the Christian Science church, and many of her poems and articles were published in the Christian Science Sentinel. After the death of her husband in 1971, she moved back to Denver. There she worked with the Christian Science movement until her death on June 16, 1979.


This collection is arranged in ten series 1) Writings, 1924 1976; 2) Performances; 3) General correspondence; 4) Organizations/Clubs; 5) National Poetry Day; 6) Trip to Europe, 1947; 7) Personal; 8) Scrapbooks; 9) Photographs (transferred to photo component); and 10) Miscellaneous. The materials relate primarily to Mrs. Nichols’ career as a writer, and include both original manuscripts and published versions of prose and poetry. Materials relating to her activities as a teacher and public performer are also present, along with various club and organizational items. A few Greydon L. Nichols items are also included.

Series 1 contains the writings of Mrs. Nichols and is divided into four subseries: The Lord’s Prayer; Articles; Poetry; and Speeches. Series 2 relates to performances given by Mrs. Nichols or her students. Series 3 contains general correspondence. Clubs and organizational materials are in Series 4. Series 5 includes National Poetry Day materials. Series 6 documents the European trip in 1947. Series 7 consists of items relating to Mrs. Nichols personal life. Series 8 contains scrapbooks; Series 9, photographs (transferred to photo component); and Series 10, miscellaneous materials. A few items relating to Greydon L. Nichols are also present.

Any correspondence that was enclosed in an envelope has been placed directly behind the envelope. In some instances the envelope postmark was the only identifying date, and the date has been marked, typically in the upper right-hand corner of the correspondence itself.

Note:  See the photo component [RG3763.PH] for related images. Items relating to Mrs. Nichols may be found in RG1645: National League of American Pen Women, Inc. Nebraska. Additional materials relating to other Nebraska authors may be found in the Nebraska Writers Guild collection [RG3557].


Series 1 – Writings, 1924-1976

Subseries 1: The Lord’s Prayer

Box 1


  1. The Lord’s Prayer, copyright 1950, 1952

  2. List of copies sold, 1950-1952

  3. Correspondence, 1949-1972

Subseries 2: Articles

  1. Original manuscripts by Adele Nichols

  2. Christian Science Sentinel, 1946-1976

  3. Clippings of articles by Adele Nichols, 1926-1960

Subseries 3: Poetry

  1. Original Manuscripts, 1950-1962

  2. “Fantasy,” manuscript and published version, 1965

  3. Published poetry and clippings, 1951-1970

  4. Ars Poetica, 1949-1950

Subseries 4: Speeches

  1. Speeches, 1946-1958

  2. Note cards

  3. Clippings [speaking engagements], 1937-1949

Series 2 – Performances

  1. The Demi-Widow [annotated volume]

  2. The Demi-Widow, book cover and notes

  3. The Demi-Widow, correspondence, 1935

  4. The Demi-Widow, clippings, 1936

  5. The Merry Mild Maids Operetta

  6. Musical Performances, 1926-1954

  7. Clippings [musical performances], 1927-1959

  8. Radio script, 1945

  9. Funeral services

  10. Miscellaneous appearances, 1939-1961

Series 3 – General Correspondence, 1924-1977

  1. 1924-1947

  2. 1948-1953

  3. 1954-1977

  4. Christmas Cards

  5. Correspondence, n.d.

Series 4 – Organizations/Clubs

  1. National League of American Pen Women

  2. Who’s Who…

  3. Business and Professional Women’s Club

  4. Nebraska Writers Guild, 1951, 1968, 1974

  5. Epsilon Sigma Alpha

  6. Chadron’s Women’s Club, 1938-1965

  7. Miscellaneous organizations/clubs

Series 5 – National Poetry Day

  1. Correspondence

  2. Clippings

Series 6 – Trip to Europe, 1947

Box 2


  1. Trip arrangements, passport

  2. Souvenirs, maps, etc.

  3. Clippings

Series 7 – Personal

  1. Greydon L. Nichols

  2. Wedding Ceremony booklet

  3. Honeymoon Souvenirs, 1934

  4. Adele Nichols’ funeral service announcement, 1979

  5. Funeral announcements, parents of Adele Nichols

Series 8 – Scrapbooks

  1. 1927-1930

  2. Scrap book fragments

  3. 1932-1963 [unbound]

  4. 1925-1971 (see oversized)

  5. 1936-1971 (see oversized)

Series 9 – Photographs (transferred to photo component)

Series 10 – Miscellaneous

  1. Clippings

  2. Miscellaneous



Authors — Nebraska

Chadron (Neb.) — History

National League of American Pen Women. Chadron Branch (Chadron, Neb.)

Nichols, Greydon L.

Nichols, Nora Adele Austin Lefebvre, 1900-1979


Women in Nebraska

Women poets

Women’s clubs


AK/KFK   05-02-1997

rev. kfk   2004

Revised TMM   12-20-2010

Encoded TMM   12-20-2010