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RG5487.AM:  Minnie D. Klemme, 1912-2001

Papers:  1960-2001

Murdock, Cass County, Nebraska:  Poet

Size:  6.0 cu.ft.


Minnie Klemme was born in Murdock, Nebraska, on May 2, 1912.  The daughter of German immigrants, Minnie Klemme entered elementary school speaking only German.  It was in her early elementary school years that Minnie developed a love of poetry; Nebraska Farmer published her first poem at the age of fourteen.  Minnie’s poems have primarily nature and religious themes and her fluency in German led to her status as an international poet, publishing poems in both English and German.

After graduating from Murdock High School as valedictorian in 1931, Minnie attended Nebraska Wesleyan University on a scholarship.  While at Wesleyan she was on the Dean’s List and was elected to Blue Thonge, an honorary social society, but returned to Murdock after one year to help care for her very ill father.  Minnie Klemme dedicated her life to her faith, family and poetry.  She was an active member of the Murdock community, as is evidenced by the many poems written for church and community programs, as well as her involvement as a pen pal with elementary school students while she “wintered” in California.

Minnie Klemme was a member of the World Poetry Society-International, Poet India, and the Christian Writers’ League of America.  She is listed in the 1978 Who’s Who in Poetry and was named “Best-Loved Poet” by Ideals magazine.  Her poems have been published in newspaper supplements, Ideals Magazine and its hard-cover books, religious magazines and the World Poetry Society’s anthology, as well as her own book, Cloth of My Dreams.

Minnie Klemme died in Lincoln, Nebraska on November 23, 2001.


The materials in this collection relate to the life and work of Minnie Klemme.  The collection is arranged according to the following subgroups:  1) Writings; 2) Correspondence; 3) Biographical Information; 4) Family/Genealogical Information; and 5) Miscellaneous.  Subgroup 1 is further divided into Series and Subseries.

This collection includes books and periodicals containing Minnie’s published poems.  Minnie’s brother, Herb Klemme, organized many of these items and created indexes to facilitate locating Minnie’s poems within the periodicals.  The order created by Herb Klemme has been retained to a great extent and the user will find the indexes valuable in quickly locating her poems.  In some cases, the indexes reference an incorrect copyright date.  Because the indexes add such value in finding Minnie’s poems, this document lists the date identified on the index in order to cross-reference this finding aid to the indexes internal to the collection.  Index referenced copyright dates that do not correspond to the actual copyright date are identified below with “[sic]” notation followed by the copyright year in parenthesis.

A unique aspect of this collection is the large volume of draft notes, both typed and handwritten.  Minnie used spiral bound notebooks when writing poems, and boxes five and six are dedicated to these notebooks.  One caution, however, is that these notebooks are not dated, classified or arranged in any particular order.  They do provide a unique insight to Minnie’s draft writing.  Additionally, several of the typed poems have multiple versions, allowing the user to compare first drafts and subsequent reiterations to the final version(s).  Also of interest are the various articles Minnie has translated, as well as the German periodical Die Hausfrau containing Minnie’s poetry written in German.

The correspondence contained in this collection consists primarily of correspondence with Ideals Magazine publishers, but occasional correspondence with other publishers and limited personal correspondence is also included.

Note:  See the photo component [RG5487.AM] for a photo album entitled, “The Life of a Poet: Minnie Klemme in Photos.”


Subgroup 1: Writings, 1963-2003

Series 1 – Poetry, unpublished, 1963-2003

Subseries 1:  Periodicals

Box 1


  1. Index:  Poems Published in Ideals Magazine

  2. Christmas Ideals, 1963; Neighborly Ideals, 1966

  3. Thanksgiving Ideals, 1968; Reflection Ideals, 1969; Easter Ideals, 1969

  4. Old Fashioned Ideals, 1969; Rustic Ideals, 1969; American Ideals, 1970

  5. Autumn Reflections Ideals, 1971 [sic] (1974); Christmas Ideals, 1971

  6. Candleglow Ideals, 1972; Autumn Ideals, 1972

  7. Christmas Ideals, 1972; Our Heritage Ideals, 1973

  8. Old Fashioned Ideals, 1974; Harvest Time Ideals, 1975; Memory Ideals, 1976

  9. Easter Ideals, 1978; Look to This Day! Ideals, 1978; Easter Ideals, 1979

  10. Summer Ideals, 1979; Easter Ideals, 1980; Autumn Ideals, 1981

  11. Mother’s Day Ideals, 1981; Countryside Ideals, 1982; Christmas Ideals, 1982

  12. Valentine Ideals, 1983 [sic] (1982); Easter Ideals, 1983; Christmas Ideals, 1983

  13. Valentine Ideals, 1984 [sic] (1983); Easter Ideals, 1984; Summertime Ideals, 1984

  14. Thanksgiving Ideals, 1984; Christmas Ideals, 1984; Liberty Ideals, 1985 [sic] (1984)

  15. Thanksgiving Ideals, 1985; Mother’s Day Ideals, 1988; Home Ideals, 1989

  16. Thanksgiving Ideals, 1989; Country Ideals, 1990; Valentine Ideals, 1992

  17. Home Ideals, 1992; Thanksgiving Ideals, 1992; Valentine Ideals, 1995

  18. Thanksgiving Ideals, 1995; Friendship Ideals, 1996; Easter Ideals, 1997

  19. Christmas Ideals, 1998; Country Ideals, 2000; Christmas Ideals, 2000

  20. Easter Ideals, 2001; Country Ideals, 2002; Christmas Ideals, 2002

  21. Friendship Ideals, 2003; Thanksgiving Ideals, 2003; Christmas Ideals, 2003

Box 2


  1. Channels, July 1981, December 1981, March 1982

  2. Channels, October 1982, April 1983, June 1983

  3. Channels, August 1983, November 1983, April 1984

  4. Channels, September 1984, May 1985

  5. Channels, Sep-Dec 1986, Jan-Apr 1987, May-Aug 1987

  6. Christmas, Dec. 1979

  7. Church & Home, May 1965, Sept. 1965

  8. Currents Newsletter, Fall 1981, 1982

  9. Die Hausfrau, October 1982; Sunshine, November 1991

  10. The Lutheran Digest, Winter 1981, Winter 1982, Summer 1983

  11. Jean’s Journal, May 1984, November 1984, March 1985

  12. Jean’s Journal, June 1985, September 1985, December 1985

  13. Jean’s Journal, March 1986, March 1987, June 1987

  14. Jean’s Journal, September 1987, December 1987, March 1988

  15. Poet, April 1983, June 1983, October 1983, December 1983

  16. Poet, February 1984, Feb 1986, Premier Poets, Jan 1983-Dec 1984

  17. Poet, June 1986, October 1986, Premier Poets, Jan 1985-Dec 1986

  18. Poet, February, June, October 1987, June 1988

  19. Poet, October 1988, February 1990, Premier Poets, Jan 1987-Dec 1988

  20. Treasured Verses, 1967; The Joy of Maple Syrup, 1983; Nebraska State Quarterly, Vol 2, Oct-Nov-Dec 1975; Time of Singing, April 1987; The Nebraska English Counselor, Spring 1987

  21. Warp’s Christmas Messenger, 1966, 1967, 1969, 1970

    The Nebraska Farmer, 1942 (see OB127)

    The Evangelical Crusader, 5 Sept. 1936, vol. 41, No. 36 (see OB127)

    Plainsman, Autumn 1937; Winter 1938; Spring 1938 (see Box 6)

Subseries 2:  Books

  1. Index:  Poems published in Ideals hardback and small greeting books

  2. Ideals greeting books; Easter Greetings, Fathers Are Special, Happy Thanksgiving, May You Soon Feel Better, To Dad, Easter Greetings

  3. Poems for Father, Ideals Publications, 2001; Poems to Comfort, Ideals Publications, 2001

  4. Poems for My Daughter, Ideals Publications, 2002

Box 3


  1. The Book of Comfort and Joy, Ideals Publications, 1990

  2. I Will Lift Up Mine Eyes, Ideals Publications, 1974

  3. Holy Night, Ideals Publications, 1999

  4. The Greatest Gift, Ideals Publications, 2002

  5. A Season of Gold, Ideals Publications, 1976; Just Between Friends, undated

  6. An Old Fashioned Christmas, Ideals Publications 1991

  7. Changing Seasons, Ideals Publications, 1991

  8. Cloth of My Dreams, by Minnie Klemme, Weber Printing Co., 1995

  9. A Collection of Religious Poems, National Society of Published Poets, 1978

  10. A Flowering:  A Festival, Volume II, UNL Division of Continuing Studies, 1982

  11. A Flowering:  A Festival, Volume III, UNL Division of Continuing Studies, 1983

  12. A Flowering:  A Festival, Volume IV, UNL Division of Continuing Studies, 1984

  13. A Flowering:  A Festival, Volume V, UNL Division of Continuing Studies, 1985

Subseries 3:  Newspaper Publications

  1. Newspaper clippings of poems published in local newspapers (see Box 6)

Subseries 4:  Local/Miscellaneous Published Poetry (Community Programs, Church Bulletins, etc.)

  1. Local publication – church bulletins, wedding programs, etc. (see Box 6)

  2. “Murdock Memories” (see Box 6)

  3. ”Zur Erinnerung…”  translated by Minnie Klemme, with one original poem (see Box 6)

Series 2 – Poetry, drafts/notes

Subseries 1:  Typed/Handwritten Titled Drafts

  1. “A Christmas-Happy Birthday to Jesus”

  2. “A Little Child Shall Lead Them’ through “By Sickle and by Saythe”

  3. “A Little Garden Just For Herbs” through “Shepherds Soliloquy”

  4. “Cabin in the Cedars” through “Drummer Boy – 1776”

  5. “Each Day Mother’s Day” through “Frontier Blacksmith”

  6. “Garden of the Gods” through “Husking Bee Revelry”

  7. “I Am Earth” through “Known to God”

  8. “The Lamb to the Star” through “My Valentine of Love”

  9. “Nebraska” through “Over Teacups”

  10. “Pa Told Me So” through “Sympathy at Christmastime”

  11. “Pearls of Peace”

Box 4


  1. “The Teakettle’s Song” through “The Vine and the Sheaf”

  2. “Waiting” through “Zenith”

  3. Miscellaneous draft notes and multiple poems on single sheets

Subseries 2:  Writing Notebooks

  1. Writing Notebooks

  2. Writing Notebooks

  3. Writing Notebooks

  4. Writing Notebooks

  5. Writing Notebooks

  6. Writing Notebooks

  7. Writing Notebooks

  8. Writing Notebooks

  9. Writing Notebooks

  10. Writing Notebooks

  11. Writing Notebooks

  12. Writing Notebooks

  13. Writing Notebooks

  14. Writing Notebooks

  15. Writing Notebooks

  16. Writing Notebooks

  17. Writing Notebooks

Box 5


  1. Writing Notebooks

  2. Writing Notebooks

  3. Writing Notebooks

  4. Writing Notebooks

  5. Writing Notebooks

  6. Writing Notebooks

  7. Writing Notebooks

  8. Writing Notebooks

  9. Writing Notebooks

  10. Writing Notebooks

  11. Writing Notebooks

  12. Writing Notebooks

  13. Writing Notebooks

  14. Writing Notebooks

  15. Writing Notebooks

  16. Writing Notebooks

  17. Writing Notebooks

  18. Writing Notebooks

Subseries 3:  Miscellaneous Drafts

  1. Drafts written for friends, anniversaries, community events, etc.

  2. Untitled drafts/notes

Series 3 – Prose

  1. Prose Manuscripts

Subgroup 2: Correspondence, 1960-1999

Box 6


  1. Correspondence with publishers, 1962-1979

  2. Correspondence with publishers, 1981-1984

  3. Personal correspondence

Subgroup 3: Biographical

  1. Newspaper clippings; 1978 Who’s Who in Poetry

Subgroup 4: Family/Genealogy

Box 7


  1. Klemme and Heberlein family genealogy related materials

  2. Klemme Family History; Heberlein Family History; compiled by Herbert L. Klemme and Minna Heberlein, 1991; Revised 2003

Subgroup 5: Miscellaneous

  1. Awards, certificates of recognition, etc.

  2. High School Diploma, calendar, pocket ledger; Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska ceremony programs


Subject headings:

American poetry — Nebraska

Authors, American — Nebraska

German Americans — Nebraska — Murdock

Heberlein family

Klemme family

Klemme, Minnie D., 1912-2001

Nature — Poetry

Nebraska — Poetry

Poets, American — Nebraska

Women poets — Nebraska


WKJ/kfk                02-23-2004; revised 05-28-2004

Revised TMM      01-10-2019