IOWA WOMEN’S ARCHIVES

UNIVERSITY OF IOWA LIBRARIES

IOWA CITY, IOWA

LEANNA DRIFTMIER (1886-1976)

PAPERS, 1954, 1976, 1991

2 linear inches



ACQUISITION: The papers (donor no. 262) were donated by Margery Strom in 1995.

ACCESS: The papers are open for research.

COPYRIGHT: Copyright has been transferred to the University of Iowa.

PROCESSED BY: Margaret Richardson, 1996. [DriftmierLeanna.doc]

 

Biography

        Leanna Field Driftmier, radio broadcaster and founder of "Kitchen-Klatter," was born on April 3, 1886 in Shenandoah, Iowa. Upon finishing high school in 1905, she taught country school near Essex, Iowa. In 1906 she was asked to care for her grandparents in California. While there she attended Los Angeles State Normal College, resuming teaching in 1911 in San Bernardino, California. Returning to Iowa in 1912 for a family visit, she met Martin H. Driftmier whom she subsequently married in 1913. A widower, Martin Driftmier brought two children into the marriage. The Driftmiers ultimately raised seven children.

In 1926 Leanna Driftmier established her own homemaker program, "Kitchen-Klatter," on radio station KFNF in Shenandoah, Iowa. KFNF was owned by her brother, Henry Field, an early developer of hybrid seed and founder of the Henry Field Seed Company in Shenandoah. In this half-hour program Driftmier discussed her family, recipes, philosophy, and whatever news seemed worth sharing. Beamed to six midwestern states, "Kitchen-Klatter" became the longest-running homemaker program in the history of radio. Driftmier celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of the "Kitchen-Klatter" broadcasts in 1976. In 1954 Driftmier was the recipient of the Iowa Mother of the Year Award.  

     

Scope and Content Note

         The Leanna Driftmier papers date from 1954, 1976, and 1991 and measure 2 linear inches. The papers include photocopies of 110 letters written in support of Driftmier's candidacy for the 1954 Iowa Mother of the Year award, photocopies of two newspaper stories regarding Driftmier, photocopies of short family sketches probably taken from a scrapbook, and a reminiscence written by Driftmier's daughter Lucile Verness, "The Story of an American Family. "

 

Related Collections

Evelyn Birkby Radio Homemakers Collection contains issues of Kitchen-Klatter Magazine, 1961-1983

Gretchen Harshbarger papers (niece of Leanna Driftmier)

Jessie Field Shambaugh papers (sister of Leanna Driftmier)

Box no. Description

Box 1
                       Photocopies of Mother of the Year letters of support, 1954

                       "The Story of an American Family" (Lucile Driftmier Verness), 1976

                       Family sketches, [1954?]

                       Newspaper clippings, 1954, 1991