Omer Kem Papers

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"KEM, Omer Madison, a Representative from Nebraska; born in Hagerstown, Wayne County, Ind., on November 13, 1855; attended the public schools; moved to Custer County, Nebr., in 1882, thence to Broken Bow in 1890 and engaged in agricultural pursuits; deputy treasurer of Custer County in 1890 and 1891; elected as a Populist to the Fifty-second, Fifty-third, and Fifty-fourth Congresses (March 4, 1891-March 3, 1897); was not a candidate for renomination in 1896; engaged in fruit growing and cattle raising near Montrose, Colo.; member of the Colorado State house of representatives in 1907; moved to Cottage Grove, Oreg., in 1908 and became interested in electric light and power enterprises; retired in 1922; died in Cottage Grove, Oreg., February 13, 1942; remains were cremated and the ashes scattered. (From the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.)"

"Omer Madison Kem was one of these men who, though long forgotten, gave his all in an attempt to save the agrarian from destruction. He was a prime mover in Nebraska Populism and a three-term Populist congressman. In general, Omer Kem represented the old way of life, frontier agrarianism, in its struggle against the new, mechanized and materialistic industrialism. His short political career, coupled with his poverty-stricken pursuit of a farm vocation, was an attempt to save this birthright in the face of a society which was seemingly determined to destroy it." -- from the preface, "Omer Madison Kem: The People's Congressman." Delloyd John Guth (1962), Thesis, MA History, Creighton University. (Available in the CDR at http://hdl.handle.net/10504/114555).



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    The Autobiography of Omer Madison Kem Vol. XI
    (1937) Kem, Omer Madison
    FROM THE COVER OF VOLUME XI: | The Autobiography of Omer Madison Kem Embracing Correspondence With G. R. Russom, Life-long Friend, Pioneer Neighbor and Cousin by Marriage | In Which We Discuss Home Topics, the World Business Depression,politics and Religion in Its Various Phases, I With My Alleged Promise to God. | Letter From Custer of Custer County Chief. My Old Friend Goes the Way of All Flesy. Townsend Plan in Detail and Review of Same. Townsend Bill as It Went to Congress. | My Letter to Mrs. Secretary of Labor, Perkins. Daughter Kathleen Spends Four Months in Alaska. Cost of Table Supplies in Fairbanks, Alaska in 1933.
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    The Autobiography of Omer Madison Kem Vol. IX
    (1937) Kem, Omer Madison
    FROM THE COVER OF VOLUME IX: | The Autobiography of Omer Madison Kem Relating to Pioneer Pictures the Jinks is After Us Rentlessly(sp) and Occult Experiences | The Jinx Hasn't Entirely Lost His Grip Correspondence With Aunt Hamie Passing Away of Cousin Laura Cozby Letter to Saturday Evening Post | Hard Times, Claude's Letter and Reply Two Rhymes, Taxation and Growing Old Recent Malicious Statements of Paper Another Tilt With Editor of Sentinel | The Four Cardinel(sp) Principals of Progression Gold Basis, President Hoover's Campaign Speech President Roosevelt's Speech in May 1933 Also His Message to Congress Feb. Fifth 1933
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    The Autobiography of Omer Madison Kem Vol. X
    (1937) Kem, Omer Madison
    FROM THE COVER OF VOLUME X: | The autobiography of Omer Madison Kem. Embracing correspondence with my old pioneer Nebraska friend J.D. Ream which terminates with his death. | Put on the smile that won’t come off, molk the cow and feed the chickens, I suggest we expose our inards, my salvation from prejudice. | Custer Center co-operative commonwealth. Laugh and laugh, and laugh some more. You have called me down so often. You forget, no, you never knew. | Lions will roar and bulls will beller. I greet the pioneers of Custer Center last appeal for co-operative experience my old friend passes into the unknown
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    The Autobiography of Omer Madison Kem Vol. VI
    (1937) Kem, Omer Madison
    FROM THE COVER OF VOLUME VI: | The autobiography of Omer Madison Kem. Relating to miscellaneous subjects including evolution, versus creation, birth control and religion. | Correspondence with Iris and a pair of sixes. Further correspondence with son Huxley and likewise with sister Elmira Gray, also with cousin Margaret Carstarphen. | Correspondence with old Nebraska friends. And letter from daughter Maude and reply. It is now time for autoists to howl, simplicity in auto laws badly needed. | Incidents of our auto vacation touring trip through Oregon. Idaho. Utah. Wyoming and Colorado, covering a period of two months and 4617 miles in which we viewed Mesa Verde. and Yellow Stone Park.
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    The Autobiography of Omer Madison Kem Vol. VIII
    (1937) Kem, Omer Madison
    FROM THE COVER OF VOLUME VIII: | The autobiography of Omer Madison Kem in which is recorded the following incidents and tragedies. Death of Lucy P. Roberts | Aviation and its wonderful progress. The drunken driver menace again, Judge Potter and traffic laws relating to my old friend Ream. | Scrap with Senator Dunne, traffic laws. The Nebraska picnic at Corvallis. Death of boyhood friend, Molly Russom Christmas echoes | Dr. Crawford passes to the great beyond. Reference to O'Bryan, O'Keighan, O'Kem. Wire announcing death of Sister Elmira, more demonstration of occult power.