October 29, 2022

Luna E. (Sanford) Kellie, 1857-1940 [RG3914.AM]

NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY MANUSCRIPT FINDING AID



RG3914.AM:  Luna E. (Sanford) Kellie, 1857-1940



Reminiscence:  1876-1881

Adams and Kearney County, Neb.:  Farmer and political farm organization spokeswoman

Size:  1 box; 0.2 cu.ft.



BACKGROUND NOTE



Luna Sanford was born June 9, 1867, the eldest of five children of J.M. Sanford. During her childhood the family moved from Pipestone, Minnesota to Madison, Wisconsin, and later to Rockford, Illinois. While in Rockford she attended the Girls Seminary there. Luna Sanford married James Thompson Kellie on December 31, 1874. In 1876 the young couple followed Luna’s family to Nebraska and settled on a homestead in Adams County. After eight years of struggle there, Luna and J.T., as her husband was called, moved to a timber claim in Kearney County. Later they operated a “suburban grocery store” in Minden, Nebraska, before moving to a farm near Heartwell, where they both became active in rural reform movements. She became State Secretary of the Nebraska Farmers’ Alliance.



Although burdened with the many duties associated with farming and the responsibility of raising eleven children. Mrs. Kellie found time for her Alliance editorial and secretarial duties. She was also active in the temperance movement and the Methodist Church. Her involvement in reform causes in Nebraska met with frustration and she retired to Arizona. She died in Phoenix on March 4, 1940, and was buried at Heartwell, Nebraska, the scene of her earlier reform endeavors. Her husband, who had also been active in the Farmers’ Alliance, died in 1918.



SCOPE AND CONTENT NOTE



This collection consists of Luna E. Kellie’s reminiscence of life on the Nebraska frontier in the 1870s and 1880s. Included in the memoir are descriptions of the farm she and her husband, J.T. Kellie, worked in Adams County, Nebraska. She also detailed the construction and furnishing of their sod house and the births and deaths of their children. She described her early disillusionment with the harsh environment of the Plains and frustrations with economic conditions of the 1880s. The Kellie’s became active in the Nebraska Farmers’ Alliance and Mrs. Kellie served as State Secretary. The memoir includes reference only to the beginning of their political involvement. For preservation purposes, researchers are asked to use the photocopies or transcripts provided.



Note:  See the photo component [RG3914.PH] for related images. See the NSHS Library Catalog and the Nebraska History index for published materials by and about Luna Kellie. See also the records of the Nebraska Farmers’ Alliance [RG2623].



DESCRIPTION


Box 1

Folder

    1. Reminiscence (typescript)

    1. Reminiscence (photocopy of original)



 


ADDED ENTRIES:

Adams County (Neb.) — History

Burlington and Missouri River Railroad

Economic conditions — Nebraska

Farm life — Nebraska — Adams County

Farm life — Nebraska — Kearney County

Farmers’ Alliance (Neb.)

Grasshoppers — Nebraska

Kearney County (Neb.) — History

Kellie, Luna E. (Sanford), 1857-1940

Politics — Nebraska

Sod houses — Nebraska

Women in Nebraska



 



DHH/cat   11-30-1976

Encoded TMM   05-12-2010

Become a Member!

Our members make history happen.

Join Now

You May Also Enjoy

Marker Monday: Phelps County

Marker Monday: Phelps County

Why John G. Neihardt was named Nebraska Poet Laureate in 1921

Why John G. Neihardt was named Nebraska Poet Laureate in 1921

Emigrants along the Trails at Chimney Rock

Emigrants along the Trails at Chimney Rock

About History Nebraska
History Nebraska was founded in 1878 as the Nebraska State Historical Society by citizens who recognized Nebraska was going through great changes and they sought to record the stories of both indigenous and immigrant peoples. It was designated a state institution and began receiving funds from the legislature in 1883. Legislation in 1994 changed History Nebraska from a state institution to a state agency. The division is headed by Interim Director and CEO Jill Dolberg. They are assisted by an administrative staff responsible for financial and personnel functions, museum store services, security, and facilities maintenance for History Nebraska.
Explore Nebraska
Discover the real places and people of our past at these History Nebraska sites.

Upcoming Events

View our new and upcoming events to see how you can get involved.

Become a Member

The work we do to discover, preserve, and share Nebraska's history wouldn't be possible without the support of History Nebraska members.

History Nebraska Education

Learn more about the educational programs provided at our museums, sites, and online.

History Nebraska Programs

Learn more about the programs associated with History Nebraska.

Latest Hall of Fame Inductee

The Nebraska Hall of Fame was established in 1961 to officially recognize prominent Nebraskans.

Listen to our Podcast

Listen to the articles and authors published in the Nebraska History Magazine with our new Nebraska History Podcast!

Nebraska Collections

History Nebraska's mission is to collect, preserve, and open our shared history to all Nebraskans.

Our YouTube Video Collection

Get a closer look at Nebraska's history through your own eyes, with our extensive video collections.

Additional Research Resources

History Nebraska Research and Reference Services help connect you to the material we collect and preserve.

Support History Nebraska
Make a cash donation to help us acquire, preserve, and interpret Nebraska’s history. Gifts to History Nebraska help leave a legacy and may help your taxes, too! Support the work of History Nebraska by donating to the History Nebraska Foundation today.

Volunteers are the heroes of History Nebraska. So much history, so little time! Your work helps us share access to Nebraska’s stories at our museums and sites, the reference room, and online.