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Idael Makeever Collection, 1888-1986

Identifier: 1202

Content Description

The Idael Makeever Collection is from the estate of Idael Makeever who lived from 1867 to 1954. Documents date from 1888 to 1986. The papers date from 1888 to 1953. The collection measures three linear feet and is housed in five archival document boxes.

Idael Childers Makeever was a writer and her collection includes poems, short stories and books (both published and unpublished) which she authored. Also in the collection are articles and commentaries about her work; photographs (mostly black and white) of her, her family members, and Valparaiso University community members; miscellaneous paper memorabilia relating to her and her activities; biographical newspaper feature articles about Idael; Ideal’s written memories of the Western Association of Writers; death notices and funeral records for Idael and Milton Makeever; sheet music; and correspondence regarding song lyrics she copyrighted late in her life. The collection also contains books and manuscripts written by her brother-in-law, John L. Makeever, an attorney who was also an author.

The largest series in the collection, Poems, consists of over 125 poems composed by Ideal Makeever apparently throughout her life. Most of the poems are handtyped and undated. Multiple drafts of many of the poems indicate the writer’s continued efforts to perfect her work. While the natural landscapes of Nebraska and Colorado are the focus of many of her poems (such as “Windharps of the Rockies” and “Autumn on the Prairie”), Idael Makeever’s poems also address a wide range of other topics, such as simple aspects of family life (“Trouper Dad” and “Give Me One Friend”), life’s great challenges (“Send Him Across with a Smile”) and topics of the imagination (“Avalon: A Lovesong of the Sea,” “The Road to Romany,” and “Miralee of Long Ago”). Makeever frequently composed her work on letterhead stationery for her husband’s Nebraska law practice and Mexico gold mine.


  • 1888-1986


Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on the use of this collection. Access to the collection is in accordance with the policies of the Valparaiso University Archives and Special Collections, Valparaiso University.

Conditions Governing Use

Requests to reproduce or publish material from the collection should be directed to the Valparaiso University Archives and Special Collections, Valparaiso University.

Biographical / Historical

Idael (Childers) Makeever was born in Porter County on December 7, 1867, to George and Tryphena (Ida) Childers of Kouts, Indiana. Her father, who was a salesman and stockman, was born in Valparaiso, Indiana, and died on February 14, 1920. Her mother was born in Chatham, Canada, and died on July 7, 1918.

Idael received her high school education in Valparaiso, Indiana. She began writing poetry at a very early age and by the time she was 15 already knew that she wanted to be a great writer of poetry. She began teaching before she finished her own high school education and taught for several years in the Valparaiso school system. She was a member of the Indiana Writers’ Club in early Porter County days. During this time she was influenced by James Whitcomb Riley and John Clarks Redpath.

On February 26, 1889, she married Milton A. Makeever whom she met while he was a student at Valparaiso University studying law. Following their marriage they moved to Stromsburg, Nebraska, where her husband began a new law practice. Stromsburg was a new and growing town. As Idael looked at the rawness of the things around her, she was impressed with the ugliness and bareness of her surroundings and began writing her impressions of the area. She used a fresh voice to describe both the grimness and the beauty of the endless prairies. Her writing attracted attention and she began publishing her work in magazines and newspapers.

During her years in Stromsburg, Idael gave birth to two daughters, Merle, born December 1, 1889, and Iva Lee, born May 25, 1894. She also published two volumes of poetry: Golden Rod and Dialect Poems and Prairie Flowers and Meadow Grasses. Around this time Idael decided she needed more education to advance her writing skills. So she enrolled at Valparaiso University and took a year’s course in English to better prepare herself for the occupation of writing. She left her small daughters and husband in Stromsburg. This year’s work changed her ideas about writing and she decided to devote herself less to verse and more to short stories, sketches, and lighter writing.

Idael always remained loyal to Nebraska. She was selected to read her poem “Nebraska” at the Trans-Mississippi Exposition on June 14, 1898. This poem was widely copied in many western papers.

Idael was involved in many organizations and took part in many civic duties. She never lost an opportunity to read her work in public. Her poems were published in many magazines and newspapers and widely copied. She even sent some copies of her poems to President Theodore Roosevelt and President Herbert Hoover.

Idael moved to Boulder, Colorado after her husband moved to Tlaquepaque, Mexico to supervise the family gold mine around 1902. She continued to write, act and publish her works and divided her time between Mexico, where her husband lived, and Colorado.

When her husband died in 1940, Idael moved to Loveland, Colorado, to be nearer her daughter, Iva Lee. Until Idael’s death on August 23, 1954, at the age of 86 years, she continued to write and publicly read her poetry. Idael was described by her supporters as “an intense little woman of charming personality, brilliant in conversation and gentle in heart.”


3 Linear Feet (The Idael Makeever Collection consists of eleven series: books/manuscripts, poems, photographs, published poems, short stories, articles/commentaries, biographical information, miscellaneous items, sheet music correspondence, J.L. Makeever books/manuscripts and oversize items. These eleven series are arranged in five boxes. Each series in each box (except in Box 5) is given an alphabetical “section” name, i.e. “Section A - Books/Manuscripts.” The folders in each box are numbered sequentially - starting with the number 1- from the front to the back of the box. Where ever possible within each series, items are arranged chronologically based on information derived from the materials. Creation dates, if known, are given.)

Language of Materials


Contents List

Box 1, Section A - Book/Manuscripts; Section B - Poems

Box 1, Section A - Book/Manuscripts
1. Golden Rod and Dialect Poems; 2. Prairie Flowers and Meadow Grasses; 3. Nebraska: A Poem; 4. Nebraska: A Poem; 5. Mexican Ways and Days, Table of Contents; 6. Mexican Ways and Days, Foreword; 7. Mexican Ways and Days, Chapter 1; 8. Mexican Ways and Days, Chapter 2; 9. Mexican Ways and Days, Chapter 3; 10. Mexican Ways and Days, Chapter 4; 11. Mexican Ways and Days, Chapter 5; 12. Mexican Ways and Days, Chapter 6; 13. Mexican Ways and Days, Chapter 7; 14. Mexican Ways and Days, Chapter 8; 15. Mexican Ways and Days, Chapter 9; 16. Mexican Ways and Days, Chapter 10; 17. Mexican Ways and Days, Chapter 11; 18. Mexican Ways and Days, Chapter 12
Box 1, Section B - Poems
19. “The Higher Hills”;20. “Woman”; 21. “Mother”; “The Distant Road”;22. “Goldenrod”; 23. “A Poem Prayer”; “Our Thanks”; 24. “The Golden Gift”; “The Wind”; 25. “Autumn”; 26. “Thanksgiving”; 27. “The Golden Wedding”; 28. “Mountain-Reared”; “Our Lord’s Candles”; 29. “Mountain Memories”; “Possessions”; 30. “In Colorado Where the West is Ever New”;“San Diego by the Sea”; 31. “Frozen Assets”; “Compensation”; 32. “Lita Lemoria, The Singing Girl of Spain”; 33. “Trouper Dad”; 34. “Love is the Sweetest Song That’s Sung”; “The Girl of the Golden Past”; 35. “The Ugliest Man in the World”; 36. “Three Words”; “The Monkeys [sic] Viewpoint”; 37. “Junking My Old Ford”; “My House of Dreams”; 38. “Avalon: A Lovesong of the Sea”; “Love Song of the Sea”; 39. Untitled; 40. “The Tragedy of the Old Park Bench”; “The Port of Heart’s Desire”; 41. “I Shall Go Seaward Singing”; 42. “The Black Hills”; 43. “Magic of the Mountains”; 44. “Colorado Morning”; 45. “My Little House of Happiness”; 46. “Listening Stranger?”; “Roller Skates”; “Kitchen Window”; “Daydreams”; 47. “Give Me One Friend”; 48. “A Tickle or Two”; Untitled; 49. “Who Sir? Me Sir? Oh, No!”; “Colorado Autumn”; 50. “Send Him Across with a Smile”; “Arcadia”; 51. “The First Crocus”; “My Silken Sails”; 52. “A Prayer for a Very New Angel”; “Indian Summer”; 53. “Song of the Sea”; “Manny Melody”; 54. “In Mexico”; “Old Mexico”; 55. “The Little Girl Next Door”; 56. “Three Little Maids and the Miller’s Song”; 57. “Old Biddies at War Work”; “The Singer and the Song”; 58. “The Pioneers”; “Washington”; 59. “Gone to Pot”; “The Rose Still Grows Beyond the Wall” by A.L. Frink; 60. “The Wind-Harps of the Rockies”; “Sunset”; 61. “The ‘Larger Hope”’; 62. “The Garden Philosopher”; 63. “Memories”; “Autumn on the Prairie”; 64. “Dear Mother of Mine”; 65. “O’er Bethlehem”; “October”; 66. “Just Mother”; 67. “Mountain Storm”; 68. “Trails”; “The Sea Bird”; 69. “In Guadalajara, Mexico”; “Zeitgeist (Time Spirit)”; 70. “Patterns on the Pane”; “When Molly Sweeps the Floor”; “Life’s Way”; 71. “Your Child and Mine”; 72. “The High Watch”; “The Greater Gift”; 73. “Lines to a Little Girl”; “The Hollyhock”; 74. “Marigold Street”; “Merry Christmas; Birthday Greetings”; 75. “My Little Bells of Rhyme”; “Mrs. Malaprop on Poetry”; 76. “I Have an Hour of Memories”; “Autumn Roads”; 77. “Lincoln”; 78. “Star Gazing”; “Rendezvous”; 79. “Futility”; 80. “Remembrance”; “Twilight Dreams”; 81. “The Lure of Home”; 82. “A Song to the Sunrise”; “The Road to Romany”; 83. “Miralee of Long Ago”; “Miralee”; 84. “The Face of Loveliness”; “Colorado Sunset”; “An Hour of Memories; 85. “Dreaming of Olden Day”; “Christ Mass”; 86. “The Golden Trail”; “For I am Rich”; 87. “Allotment”; “My First Day at Hill Field”; 88. “April”; 89. “Wind-Harps of the Rockies”; “With the Autumn Days”; 90. Limericks; 91. “Shadows in My Sunshine”; 92. (47 special occasion rhymes by Idael Makeever; List of 49 poems by Idael Makeever); 93. Selections From Poems by Idael Makeever, Boulder, Colorado, April 1931; 94. “Speech”; 95. “A Merchantile [sic] Exchange”; “A Laugh”; 96. “His New Brother”; 97. “The Song of the Child-Heart”; 98. “The Apple’s King”; 99. “Because of You”; 100. “Fantasy”; 101. “A Golden Heart”;

Box 2, Section A - Photographs; Section B - Published Poems; Section C - Short Stories

Box 2, Section A - Photographs
1. Idael Makeever, undated; 2. Idael Makeever, undated; 3. Group of school girls; group of adults; 4. Idael Makeever, Ida Lee and house in Boulder, CO (multiple photographs); 5. Photographs of Iva Lee Makeever McClougan and relatives; birth announcements
Box 2, Section B - Published Poems
6. “Musin” in Carter’s Monthly, 1898; 7. “Norah Dea” in Carter’s Monthly, 1898; 8. Review of “Golden Rod” in the Scroll, 1898; 9. “O’er Bethlehem” in Carter’s Monthly, 1898; 10. Newspaper clippings
Box 2, Section C - Short Stories
11. So Very Far From Calaifonne; 12. Day Dreams (incomplete); 13. Sophronia Cashes In; 14. Possible Mat; 15. The Harley Heirloom; 16. Grocer Goes Vindictive; 17. What Price Predjudice?; 18. A Tale of Cat Hairs; 19. The Voice of the Violin; 20. Behind the Gesture; 21. Cometh a Bridegroom, And How?; 22. Feely Makes a Faux-Pas; 23. Diamond Cut Diamond; 24. Gemini Prays; 25. Old Lady Hollywood; 26. The Moving Finger Writes; 27. The Last Man to Leave; 28. “Queen of the Night.” Reina De Noche, An Olden Legend; 29. Put to the Proof; 30. A Point of Honor; 31. The Fortunes of “Buzz” Barnaby; 32. Fireweed; 33. Children of the Mist; 34. Animal Pals; 35. No Damaged Goods; 36. Untitled (incomplete; found with Fireweed)

Box 3, Section A - Articles/Commentaries; Section B - Biographical Information; Section C - Miscellaneous Items; Section D - Sheet Music/Correspondence

Box 3, Section A - Articles/Commentaries
1. On Wings of Prayer; 2. Salvador Nunez; My Favorite Song; 3. Miscellaneous newspaper clippings; 4. Red Snow; Colorado Bird Life; 5. Sow a Habit – Reap Character; 6. Is Our Muffin Imaginary?; “And God Said, Let There Be Light”; 7. Policemen of the Air; An Old Woman Speaks Her Mind; 8. Boulder, Colorado’s Living Glacier; 9. The Wizard Woman of Waltham; 10. Twilight Dreamers; 11. Sugar; 12. Town Women and Country Women; 13. Miscellaneous newspaper clippings; 14. Miguel Hidalgo
Box 3 - Section B - Biographical Information
15. Idael Makeever, 1898 Information; 16. Nebraska Woman Succeeds as a Writer, 1902; 17. Miscellaneous newspaper clippings; 18. Idael Makeever; Your Dream Has Come True; 19. Mrs. Idael Makeever, Author, Reader, Monologist; 20. Newspaper clippings about Iva Lee McKee, 1985 and 1986
Box 3 - Section C - Miscellaneous Items
21. Teacher’s license, 1888; 22. Teacher’s license, 1889; 23. Marriage license materials, 1889 and 1936; 24. Meeting programs for the Western Association of Writers, 1897, 1899, 1902; 25. The Nebraska Editor, 1899; 26. Declamatory Contest poster, 1916; 27. Dedicatory Address of the Sarah Porter Kinsey Memorial, 1925; 28. Wyoming: Worth Knowing, c. 1927; 29. The Battle of the Sands (Duneland) by Margaret Ball Dickson, c. 1929; 30. Western Union telegram, 1940; 31. Correspondence; 32. Reading log; 33. Correspondence; 34. Elks Bulletin (incomplete); 35. Untitled writing; 36. Key to crazy quilt; 37. Recital poster; 38. Address book; 39. File folder; 40. Composition book with writing submission log
Box 3 - Section D - Sheet Music/Correspondence
41. “We are Lovers Still,” 1946; 42. “Dreaming of the Olden Days,” 1946; 43. There’s a Home in My Heart for You, Little Girl,” 1946 and 1947; 44. Miscellaneous papers, 1951; 45. “I Have an Hour of Memories,” 1952 and 1953; 46. “I Have an Hour of Memories,” 1953; 47. “I Have an Hour of Memories,” 1953; 48. Miscellaneous papers, 1953; 49. Miscellaneous papers, no date

Box 4, A - J.L. Makeever Books/ Manuscripts

Box 4, A - J.L. Makeever Books/ Manuscripts
1. The Wandering Jew, 1891; 2. The Wandering Jew, 1891; 3. Red-Headed Women, 1894; 4. Rondeau Sonnets and Border Ballads; 5. Untitled collection of poems; 6. Untitled collection of poems; 7. “Where the Sunflowers Bloom”; 8. “John L. Makeever Killed by Junior Driver,” newspaper obituary

Box 5, A - J.L. Makeever Books/ Manuscripts

Box 5, A - J.L. Makeever Books/ Manuscripts
1. Miscellaneous correspondence from Wilmer Shepherd, Jr., 1938-1939; 2. Miscellaneous correspondence from Wilmer Shepherd, Jr., 1940s; 3. Untitled short story (incomplete typed manuscript); 4. Untitled short story (incomplete typed manuscript); 5. Untitled short story (incomplete typed and handwritten manuscript); 6. Funeral memorial records and death notices for Idael Makeever, 1954; 7. Death notices for Milton Makeever, 1940; 8. Death notice for and poems by W.P. Childers; 9. “Memories and Impressions of the Western Association of Writers”; 10. “Nebraska,” published in Ideals Magazine; 11. “Peaceful Valley,” published in Boulder Booster, 1921; “The High Watch”, published in Weekly Unity, 1950; “Wind Harps of the Rockies,” published in Christian Excellent Strata, 1944; 12. Sheet music for “There’s a Home in My Heart for You, Little Girl,” 1947; 13. Sheet music for “Home of My Heart Nebraska” and “Dear Mother of Mine”; 14. Sheet music for “Twilight Dreams,” 1934, and “My Old Virginia Home”; 15. Sheet music for “Hour of Memories,” 1953; 16. Sheet music for “Norah Dea” and “Under the Maples”; 17. Sheet music for “Dreaming of the Olden Days,” 1946; 18. Sheet music for “We Are Lovers Still,” 1947; 19. Scrapbook pages with photographs and newspaper clippings apparently pertaining to Valparaiso University


Idael Makeever Collection, 1888-1986
Madeline Sheldon
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
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Repository Details

Part of the Valparaiso University Special Collections Repository

1410 Chapel Drive
Valparaiso IN 46383 United States