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RG3983.AM:  Jordan Madsen Kokjer, 1865-1942

Papers (on microfilm):  1888-1942

Clarks, Merrick County and Avoca, Cass County, Neb.:  Congregational Minister

Size:  1 reel of microfilm


Jordan Madsen Kokjer was born near Kolding, Denmark on March 31, 1865. He emigrated to Clarks, Merrick County, Nebraska, in 1883, where he worked in his brother’s implement business, selling blacksmithing and carpentry tools. Kokjer enrolled in the academy at Crete, Nebraska, in 1889. He graduated from Doane College in 1895. A year earlier he had married Lillie Mae Dunham, also of Clarks. She joined him at Doane during his last year, taking music lessons while he completed his course work. After graduation, Kokjer and his wife returned to Clarks, where he ministered to the Congregational Church. By 1898 they resettled in Springview to minister there. During that year he also took courses at the Chicago Theological Seminary.

As a Congregational minister, Kokjer served congregations in many areas of Nebraska for varying amounts of time, including Congregational churches at Brunswick, Willowdale, Cowles, Petersburg, Creighton, Avoca, Leigh, Blair, Dodge, and Glencoe. Although he retired in 1920, Kokjer remained active in the church, continuing his visits to likely converts and maintaining a role in various church organizations. Kokjer died in 1942. He was survived by three children, two daughters from his first marriage and a son from his second marriage. His second marriage, to Julia Katherine Nutzman, took place in 1911, six years after the death of his first wife.


This collection consists of twenty-five volumes and one folder of manuscript material on one reel of microfilm, arranged in three series: 1) Diaries, 1894-1942; 2) Ledgers, 1888-1912; and 3) Lists kept by Rev. J.M. Kokjer. This material relates primarily to the ministerial studies and activities of Rev. J.M. Kokjer, Congregational minister in Nebraska from 1895-1942. A small amount of this collection also shows financial recordings from the years Kokjer worked for his brother in an implement business.

The Diaries, 1894-1942, of Series 1 record the actions of Rev. J.M. Kokjer while a Congregational Minister in Nebraska. Kokjer discusses visits he makes to people for conversion purposes, topics of his sermons, tests used and studied, church membership and attendance, ceremonies performed (eg. marriages, baptisms, funerals) in which he gives the names of the individual(s) involved, church meetings, trips taken, celebrations, and progress within each church he is serving. The first volume also covers part of his time at Doane College and in it he records classes, meetings, and social events attended. Many of these volumes also provide information on Kokjer’s expenses and income. Volume 10 consists entirely of entries during Kokjer’s trip to Denmark in 1908, although stops in Washington D.C. and Berlin, Germany are also reflected in these pages.

Series 2 contains Ledgers, 1888-1912, which record information on accounts held with Rev. J.M. Kokjer. The date of the financial transaction and the item and amount involved as either debit or credit are shown. Included are business transactions while working for his brother in Clarks, housekeeping accounts, and some church accounts. Series 3 consists of lists kept by Rev. J.M. Kokjer. These lists, far from complete, include church memberships, baptisms, and obituaries. The obituaries, some of which were apparently prepared by Kokjer for a funeral service, provide biographical information about the individual.

The collection was loaned for microfilming in January of 1980.

Note:  See the photo component [RG3983.PH] for related images. See also the Hans Madsen Kokjer collection [RG1141] for related material.


Series 1 – Diaries, 1894-1942

Reel 1


  1. 1894-1895, also includes Church Accounts and Personal Expenses, 1900

  2. 1897, also includes “members at Richman” and Accounts, 1896-1897

  3. 1898, also includes Cash Account Records

  4. 1899

  5. 1900, also includes Class lists and attendance

  6. 1901, also includes Cash Accounts, Checks Payable and Checks Receivable

  7. 1902, also includes Cash Accounts, 1902-1903

  8. 1903-1905, also includes Cash Accounts, 1904-1905

  9. 1906-1910

  10. 1908, Trip to Denmark

  11. 1911

  12. 1912-1913, some financial records included

  13. 1914, includes Blair, Nebraska, Church members and constituents

  14. 1915, includes Blair, Nebraska, Church members and constituents

  15. 1916-1917, includes Blair, Nebraska, Church members and constituents

  16. 1918-1919, also includes cash figures, excavating and masonry work, automobile expenses and salary record

  17. 1934-1942

Series 2 – Ledgers, 1888-1912

  1. 1888-1896

  2. 1892-1893

  3. 1893-1894

  4. 1903

  5. 1906-1912

Series 3 – Lists kept by Rev. J.M. Kokjer

  1. Includes names, “popular lies,” books; officers of the Big Woods Church of Christ; Cowles, Nebraska Congregational Church members; and chicken work, 1902-1903

  2. Includes Cowles, Nebraska Congregational Church members, calls made, 1902; Sunday School roll; Petersburg, Nebraska Congregational Church members; lecture course account; Chautauqua circle, 1903; Brunswick, Nebraska Church members; Willowdale, Nebraska Church members; and Brunswick, Nebraska Saloon petition signers, 1905

  3. Includes Creighton, Nebraska Church members, 1906; Sunday School attendants, 1906-1907; Creighton educational offerings, 1909; and benevolent offerings, 1908

  4. Includes Avoca Congregation membership list; Creighton, Nebraska Church members, ca. 1907; Brunswick, Nebraska church report, 1902; Sunday School members, 1913; Persons received into church, 1916; accounts, 1929-1930; “prospectives;” baptisms and obituaries (alphabetically arranged); household goods



Avoca (Neb.) — Churches

Blair (Neb.) — Churches

Brunswick (Neb.) — Churches

Congregational Church in Nebraska

Cowles (Neb.) — Churches

Creighton (Neb.) — Churches

Kokjer, Jordan Madsen, 1865-1942

Petersburg (Neb.) — Churches


AIF/psw   03-06-1980

Encoded TMM   05-25-2010