Paul and Edna Ruth Kliger and the Kliger Family Papers

Overview

Scope and Contents

Biographical Note

Subject Terms

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

Photographs

Papers

Music Instruments and Artifacts



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Finding Aid for Paul and Edna Ruth Kliger and the Kliger Family Papers, 1880-2020 | The Sousa Archives and Center for American Music

By Carol Berthold

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Collection Overview

Title: Paul and Edna Ruth Kliger and the Kliger Family Papers, 1880-2020Add to your cart.View associated digital content.

ID: 26/20/254

Primary Creator: Paul and Edna Ruth Kliger Family (1920-2020)

Extent: 2.5 cubic feet

Arrangement: Organized in three series: Series 1, Photographs, ca. 1880-1999. Series 2, Papers, 1936-2020, is organized in 2, Sub-series: Sub-series 1: Paul Kliger, 1936-2000; Sub-series 2, Edna Ruth Schaeffer Kliger, 1943-2020. Series 3, Music Instruments and Artifacts, ca. 1940s-1956. Series 1 and 2 are arranged chronologically. Series 3 is unarranged.

Date Acquired: 12/08/2023. More info below under Accruals.

Subjects: Music, Social Work, University of Illinois, World War II

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

Consists of photographs, correspondence, music instruments, and artifacts, mostly from World War II.. Photographs and correspondence in original order as received from donor in two large notebooks.. Photographs organized first by family group, then in chronological order. Correspondence according to papers about or from Paul and about of from Ruth. Music instruments stored together; artifacts also presented individually.

Biographical Note

Paul I. Kliger was born on June 1, 1911, in Mount Vernon, New York, the son of Jewish immigrants from Czarist Russia. Paul played drums in his school band and orchestra, and claimed that he honed his technique observing drummers in the orchestra pits of New York’s Yiddish theater. In his twenties, Paul played professionally with jazz bands in the Catskills, and on steamers to Cuba and Panama. In 1939, he decided to enroll in college. He was accepted at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, and began his studies. When World War II began, Paul enlisted in the U.S. Army. He played in the U.S. Army Band and  worked in the army's Public Relations Office. Edna Ruth Schaeffer of the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (the WAACs) was assigned to his office as his secretary. Three months later, they were married and Paul was deployed to France with the U.S. Army Band. As a quartermaster, he was responsible for storing the instruments. He also managed supplies for the troops and was active with support services on D-day-4. In 1946, Paul returned with Ruth  to continue his studies at Illinois, and earned a Master's Degree in Social Work. Paul spent most of his working life in Chicago in community organization for the Illinois Department of Mental Health. In 1997, he and Ruth moved to Louisville, Colorado to be near their elder daughter. Paul’s health was declining, but he lived to greet the new millennium. Paul passed away in March 2000.

Edna Ruth Schaeffer was the daughter of Jewish immigrants from Belarus and Romania. She was born in her maternal grandmother’s home in Purcell, Oklahoma, on Oct. 28, 1918, two weeks before the Armistice of WWI. At the time of her birth, her father, Leon Schaeffer, was serving in France as a U.S. Army medic. Edna’s mother, Helen Schwartz, was the third of nine children. In 1900, her mother, Selma, had sailed from Odessa with four little girls and a baby boy, to join her husband, Paul, in Oklahoma. They entered through the Port of Galveston, to settle and become Jewish pioneers of the West. Edna Ruth graduated from high school in 1937 and studied art at the University of Oklahoma. In 1943, Edna Ruth enlisted in the Women's  Army Auxiliary Corps (the WAACs, the first cohort of service women to shed the title “auxiliary” and be inducted into the Army). Sergeant Edna Ruth Schaeffer was stationed at Pine Camp, New York, as Private Paul Kliger’s secretary in the Public Relations Office. Three months later they were married, on Aug. 15, 1943. After the war, Ruth and Paul moved back to Champaign-Urbana to continue Paul’s studies in social work. Ruth worked at the News-Gazette in Urbana. In 1949, their first daughter was born. Their second daughter, Elizabeth, was born in Peoria in 1952. In 1956, they moved to Minneapolis to study social work at the University of Minnesota. Ruth earned her B.A. Degree. In 1960, they moved to Evanston, Illinois. Ruth taught full-time for the Head Start Program in Chicago. In 1997, Ruth and Paul moved to Colorado to be closer to their eldest daughter. When Paul died in 2000, Ruth moved to Moscow, Idaho, near Elizabeth. She later moved to assisted living in Boulder, Colorado. Ruth passed away on July 2, 2020, at the age of 101.

Elizabeth "Lisa" Kliger (1952 -  ) was born in Champaign, IL and grew up in Evanston, IL. She attended the University of Illinois from 1971 until 1978, earning a BA in 1975 and an MA in English Education in 1978. During her time at the University of Illinois, Lisa regularly performed at the Red Herring Coffee House on banjo. In 1974, she participated in the first National Women's Folk Music Festival, which was produced at the Red Herring by Illinois student Kristen Lems. Following her graduation, Lisa moved to Moscow, ID, where she continued to compose and perform on the banjo.

Subject/Index Terms

Music
Social Work
University of Illinois
World War II

Administrative Information

Repository: The Sousa Archives and Center for American Music

Accruals: A collection of Red Herring Folk Music Posters, Photographs, and Clippings was donated by Lisa Kliger on April 9, 2024.

Access Restrictions: The original photograph of Jacob Kliger standing behind a pillar in a Czarist Army uniform may not be photocopied or scanned. This limitation will be in effect until February 15, 2044.

Acquisition Source: Elizabeth (Lisa) Kliger

Acquisition Method: Gift


Box and Folder Listing


Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Photographs],
[Series 2: Papers],
[Series 3: Music Instruments and Artifacts],
[All]

Series 3: Music Instruments and ArtifactsAdd to your cart.
Box 1Add to your cart.
Folder 15: U.S. Army Issue Book "The Sad Sack," Post Card, and Notes- Paul Kliger, ca. 1940Add to your cart.
RSN 2024-2620254-007
Box 2Add to your cart.
Item 1: U.S. Army Uniform Hat Pin, n.d.Add to your cart.
RSN 2024-2620254-005
Item 2: U.S. Army Uniform Cuff Link, n.d.Add to your cart.
RSN 2024-2620254-011
Item 3: U.S. Army Uniform Pin, ca. 1940sAdd to your cart.
RSN 2024-2620254-017
Item 4: U.S. Army Uniform Pin, n.d.Add to your cart.
RSN 2024-2620254-010
Item 5: U.S. Army Uniform Collar Pin, ca. 1940sAdd to your cart.
RSN 2024-2620254-018
Item 6: U.S. Army Post Quartermaster Badge, ca. 1940sAdd to your cart.
RSN 2024-2620254-019
Item 7: Adlai Stevenson Campaign Pin, 1956Add to your cart.
RSN 2024-2620254-014
Item 8: U.S. Army Dog Tags, Paul Kliger, 1940sAdd to your cart.
RSN 2024-2620254-004
Item 9: U.S. Army Dog Tags, Paul Kliger, 1940sAdd to your cart.
RSN 2024-2620254-003
Item 10: U.S. Army Sewing Kit, 1940sAdd to your cart.
RSN 2024-2620254-002
Item 11: World War II Issue Bible, 1940sAdd to your cart.
RSN 2024-2620254-001
Item 12: VFW Arm Band, n.d.Add to your cart.
RSN 2024-2620254-009
Item 13: U.S. Army Uniform Shoulder Patch, ca. 1942Add to your cart.
RSN 2024-2620254-006
Item 14: U.S. Army Uniform Shoulder Patch, ca. 1942Add to your cart.
RSN 2024-2620254-008
Item 15: U.S Army Uniform Shoulder Patch, ca. 1942Add to your cart.
2024-2620254-007
Box 3Add to your cart.
Item 1: Tambourine, n.d.Add to your cart.
RSN 2024-2620254-015
Item 2: Drum Brush, n.d.Add to your cart.
RSN 2024-2620254-013
Item 3: Drum Brush, n.d.Add to your cart.
RSN 2024-2620254-012
Box 4Add to your cart.
Item 1: Paul Kliger's U.S. Army Knapsack, ca. 1942Add to your cart.
RSN 2024-2620254-016

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Photographs],
[Series 2: Papers],
[Series 3: Music Instruments and Artifacts],
[All]

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