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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the Leanna Driftmier papers

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1954-1991
Creator: Driftmier, Leanna Field (1886-1976)
Extent: 2.00 linear inches.
Collection Number: IWA0182
Repository: Iowa Women's Archives
Summary: Radio homemaker who broadcast the Kitchen Klatter program from the 1920s to the mid-1970s.

Access: The papers are open for research.

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

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

Preferred Citation: Leanna Driftmier papers, Iowa Women's Archives, The University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City.

Repository: Iowa Women's Archives
Address: 100 Main Library
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City, IA 52242
Phone: 319-335-5068
Curator: Kären Mason

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.

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.
Evelyn Birkby Radio Homemakers Collection (IWA): Contains issues of Kitchen-Klatter Magazine, 1961-1983.

Gretchen Harshbarger papers (IWA): Harshbarger was Leanna Driftmier's niece. Jessie Field Shambaugh papers(IWA): Shambaugh was Leanna Driftmier's sister.

Browse by Series:

  • Box 1:
  • Photocopies of Mother of the Year letters of support - 1954
  • "The Story of an American Family" (Lucile Driftmier Verness) - 1976
  • Family sketches, ca. - 1954
  • Newspaper clippings - 1954, 1991

This collection is indexed under the following subject terms.

Personal Names:
Driftmier, Leanna Field, 1886-1976
Verness, Lucile Driftmier

Corporate Names:
Iowa Mother of the Year


Women in radio broadcasting
Family life


Geographic Names:
United States -- Iowa -- Shenandoah

Genre/Form of Materials:
Personal papers

Rural and Farm Women