Minnie D. Klemme [RG5487.AM]


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

    1. Christmas Ideals, 1963; Neighborly Ideals, 1966

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

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

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

    1. Candleglow Ideals, 1972; Autumn Ideals, 1972

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Box 2


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

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

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

    1. Channels, September 1984, May 1985

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

    1. Christmas, Dec. 1979

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

    1. Currents Newsletter, Fall 1981, 1982

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    1. 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

    1. 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

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

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

    1. Poems for My Daughter, Ideals Publications, 2002

Box 3


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

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

    1. Holy Night, Ideals Publications, 1999

    1. The Greatest Gift, Ideals Publications, 2002

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

    1. An Old Fashioned Christmas, Ideals Publications 1991

    1. Changing Seasons, Ideals Publications, 1991

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

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

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

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

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

    1. 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)

    1. “Murdock Memories” (see Box 6)

    1. ”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”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    1. “Nebraska” through “Over Teacups”

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

    1. “Pearls of Peace”

Box 4


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

    1. “Waiting” through “Zenith”

    1. Miscellaneous draft notes and multiple poems on single sheets

Subseries 2:  Writing Notebooks

    1. Writing Notebooks

    1. Writing Notebooks

    1. Writing Notebooks

    1. Writing Notebooks

    1. Writing Notebooks

    1. Writing Notebooks

    1. Writing Notebooks

    1. Writing Notebooks

    1. Writing Notebooks

    1. Writing Notebooks

    1. Writing Notebooks

    1. Writing Notebooks

    1. Writing Notebooks

    1. Writing Notebooks

    1. Writing Notebooks

    1. Writing Notebooks

    1. Writing Notebooks

Box 5


    1. Writing Notebooks

    1. Writing Notebooks

    1. Writing Notebooks

    1. Writing Notebooks

    1. Writing Notebooks

    1. Writing Notebooks

    1. Writing Notebooks

    1. Writing Notebooks

    1. Writing Notebooks

    1. Writing Notebooks

    1. Writing Notebooks

    1. Writing Notebooks

    1. Writing Notebooks

    1. Writing Notebooks

    1. Writing Notebooks

    1. Writing Notebooks

    1. Writing Notebooks

    1. Writing Notebooks

Subseries 3:  Miscellaneous Drafts

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

    1. Untitled drafts/notes

Series 3 – Prose

    1. Prose Manuscripts

Subgroup 2: Correspondence, 1960-1999

Box 6


    1. Correspondence with publishers, 1962-1979

    1. Correspondence with publishers, 1981-1984

    1. 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

    1. 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.

    1. 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

Become a Member!

Our members make history happen.

Join Now

You May Also Enjoy

How pioneer trails shaped Omaha streets

How pioneer trails shaped Omaha streets

Marker Monday: Atlas D Missile Site A

Marker Monday: Atlas D Missile Site A

The Woman on the White Horse

The Woman on the White Horse

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.

Education Digital Learning Resources

Find games, lists, and more to enhance your history education curriculum.

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.

History Nebraska Services

Digital Resources

Find all of our digital resources, files, videos, and more, all in one easy-to-search page!

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.