Omer Kem Papers
"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).