publications

Willa Cather

Willa Cather is sometimes remembered by biographers as cantankerous and reclusive. While acknowledged to be accessible to close friends and family members, she was nevertheless regarded as somewhat isolated and eccentric. Casual acquaintances who recorded their memories of Cather shortly after they encountered her often present a favorable picture. For example, Josephine Frisbie of Red Cloud, who met Cather during the Christmas holidays in 1927 at a tea given in Cather’s home, was unprepared for the “nicely dressed, cordial hostess who greeted us.” Frisbie described Cather as about medium height with a slight tendency toward plumpness and dark fluffy hair simply dressed. She noted Cather’s clothing–two-piece dress, black pumps with one strap, and sand-colored hose but observed, “When you talk to her you notice her vigor and herself, not her clothes.” Frisbie also emphasized the extreme alertness with which Cather spoke: “She talks as she writes, clearly and deliberately.” The Superior Express of January 12, 1928, reported a visit Cather had recently paid to the new Brodstone Hospital in Superior, Nebraska. It illustrates the spontaneous admiring response Cather often received from contemporaries: “It is not difficult to understand, after meeting her, why Miss Cather is so popular and beloved by her friends and acquaintances. Despite her literary successes her personal charm is augmented by her democracy, and her easy gracious commonness. In her presence one realizes that the greatest source of charm in her delightful novels and sketches lies in her pleasant and versatile personality.”

 

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Other Publications

The Bachelors’ Protective Union of Kearney

When the Bachelors' Protective Union gave a gala reception for two of its newly married, former members and their brides in March of 1890, the social club for young, ...

U.S. Weather Bureau in 1890s Nebraska

The U.S. Weather Bureau was established by an act of Congress on October 1, 1890. It took over the weather service that had been established in the office of the Chief ...

Canning the Way to Victory

During American participation in World War I the U.S. Food Administration, under the direction of Herbert Hoover, launched a massive campaign to persuade Americans to ...

The Shoemaker’s Ashes

"Edward Kuehl, one of the most peculiar characters that ever lived in Omaha, or anywhere else, was found dead in his bed last night in the back room of his place of ...

Crazy Horse Surrender Ledger Foreward

Red Dog, an Oglala Lakota who lived at the Red Cloud Agency, Nebraska, 1876-77 (Nebraska State Historical Society RG2955.ph).   In the summer of 1876, following the ...

Darryl F. Zanuck

Darryl F. Zanuck Darryl F. Zanuck (1902-1979), a native Nebraskan, produced some of Hollywood's most important and controversial films. He helped found 20th Century Fox ...

The Burlington’s Profitable Pork Special

Nebraska railroads were much concerned with developing an adequate economy in the areas they served. The Burlington, for example, had a long history of caring for the ...

Bungalow Filling Stations

After the giant Standard Oil Company was broken into thirty-four separate companies in 1911, the newly independent Standard Oil of Nebraska dominated the state's market ...

The Bull Fight

This is the perfect time of year for a visit to the old fishin' hole. But a group of fisherfolk from Plainview discovered that this bucolic pastime sometimes has ...

Buffalo Soldiers West

African-American soldiers on the western frontier are the focus of an exhibit at the Nebraska History Museum in Lincoln. Buffalo Soldiers West, on loan from the Colorado ...

Protection for Buffalo

The extermination of the buffalo on the Plains occurred largely between 1870 and 1885. The Nebraska State Journal of Lincoln on February 1, 1874, editorialized in vain ...

Buffalo Hunting

In late October 1877 young Rolf Johnson and three friends left their homes in Phelps County, Nebraska, for a buffalo hunt in northeastern Colorado. The hunt was not very ...
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