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Amana Kraus Schaeffer Correspondence Collection

Identifier: yhm-spe-com-ama-kra

Scope and Contents

The correspondence span the premarital and marital lives of Lucille Frieda (Schaefer) Kraus and Elmer Charles Kraus. The majority of letters are on hotel or Amana Society letterhead. Researchers accessing the collection will gain insight into the courtship of two members of a communal society in midcentury America.


  • Creation: 1942-1959


Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on accessing material in this collection.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright restrictions may apply. Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder.

Biographical / Historical

Lucille Frieda (Schaefer) Kraus was born Sept. 1, 1921, in East Amana, Iowa, the daughter of Rudolf and Lydia Hertel Schaefer. She graduated from Amana High School in 1939 and married Elmer Kraus on July 19, 1947, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Lucille was a secretary at Amana Refrigeration and later co-owned the Little Amana Winery. She was a member of the Amana Church, the Amana Arts Guild, Amana Heritage Society and was a resident advocate at Colonial Manor for 20 years. She died Nov. 15, 2015, at Mercy Medical Center in Cedar Rapids and was buried in East Amana Cemetery.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Elmer.She is survived by a son, Perry Kraus (Lou Ann), Alpharetta, Ga.; a daughter, Elizabeth McKenzie (Charles), West Amana; three grandchildren, Lydia McKenzie (Tony), Kathleen Smith (Chris) and Katrina Harrison (Ryan); two great-grandchildren, Parker and Addison Smith; and two sisters-in-law, Isabella Schaefer and Helene Schuerer.


Elmer Charles Kraus was born Dec. 30, 1924 in Middle Amana, Iowa, son of Karl Kraus and Helena Fels. He attended the Milwaukee State Teachers College, Milwaukee, Wis. and served in the U.S. Army and Air Force during World War II in the United States and European Theater. He was employed by Amana Refrigeration for 23 years. He resigned from Amana Refrigeration and became part owner of Kraus Manufacturing in 1966. He then was affiliated with Highway Equipment Co., retiring in 1987. He founded and was president of the Little Amana Winery Inc. He died Apr. 24, 2006 in Middle Amana and was buried in East Amana Cemetery.



.4 Linear Feet

Language of Materials




The collection consists of correspondence between Lucille Frieda (Schaefer) Kraus and Elmer Charles Kraus dating 1942-1959. Both were members of the Amana Society.

Physical Description

The collection is organized into two binder boxes. The letters and envelopes are housed in polypropylene sleeves.


Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Hamilton College Special Collections Repository

Hamilton College
198 College Hill Road
Clinton NY 13323 United States