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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the Lois H. Eichacker papers

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1905-2006
Creator: Eichacker, Lois H. (1932-)
Extent: 1.00 linear foot.
Collection Number: IWA0255
Repository: Iowa Women's Archives
Summary: Fort Madison civic leader and former president of the University of Iowa Alumni Association Board.

Alternate Extent Statement: Photographs in Box 2

Access: The papers are open for research.

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

Acquisition: The papers (donor no. 357) were donated by Lois Eichacker in 1996 and succeeding years.

Preferred Citation: Lois H. Eichacker 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

Lois Ann Eichacker was born on November 25, 1932, in Keokuk, Iowa, the third of Lillie G. Harper and Dr. Harry D. Harper's five children. She attended St. Joseph's School and graduated from Fort Madison High School in 1950. After attending the University of Wisconsin and the University of Iowa, she graduated from Ohio State University in 1956 with a bachelor's degree in general social studies. From 1957 to 1959 she worked as a therapist at Columbus (Ohio) Psychiatric Hospital for Children. In 1960 Eichacker was employed as a caseworker at the Cook County Psychopathic Hospital in Chicago. She married George Eichacker, former chairman of the board and president of Keokuk Federal Savings and Loan Bank. They have three children.

Eichacker spent her professional career at the Southeast Iowa Community Action Organization, Inc. (SEICAO), a four-county agency of the federal government's Office of Economic Opportunity. In 1967 she was appointed the agency's coordinator in Lee County. She became the neighborhood center director for SEICAO in 1970, two years later, the Deputy Director and in 1974, the executive director. After fifteen years in that position, she retired in 1989. The Iowa Community Action Neighborhood Center in Fort Madison was named in her honor.

Among her numerous organizational positions, Eichacker has served as chair for the Iowa Commission on Community Action Agencies; vice chair of the Iowa Department of Economic Development and the University of Iowa Black Alumni Association; and president of the University of Iowa Alumni Association's Board of Directors (1995.) Eichacker was the first African American to serve as president. In 1997 she was appointed to the Friends Advisory Board of the University of Iowa Libraries. She has been active on many state boards and councils, as well as Community-action State, regional and national associations. Honored widely for her contributions to her community and the state, Eichacker was inducted into the Iowa Women's Hall of Fame in 1994 and received the University of Iowa Distinguished Alumni Award in 1999.

The Lois H. Eichacker papers date from approximately 1905 to 2006 and measure 1 linear foot.  The bulk of the collection dates from 1984 to 1998. The papers are arranged in six series: Biographical information, Correspondence, Community activities, State of Iowa, University of Iowa, and Photographs. The collection focuses on Eichacker's professional and civic activities: at the local level, for the State of Iowa, and for the University of Iowa.  The Photographs series consists of four photographs of Lois Eichacker in various public roles and three photocopies of family photographs. An oversize color photocopy of Eichacker's great-grandparents, Rufus and Mathilda Dandridge, ca. 1905, is shelved in the map case.
Virginia Harper papers (IWA):  Virginia Harper was Eichacker's sister.
Harry Harper papers (University of Iowa Special Collections Department (IWA): Harry Harper was Eichacker's father.

Browse by Series:
Series 6:
Series 7: 2006 ACCESSION

  • Box 1:
  • General
  • Iowa Women's Hall of Fame - 1994
  • Newspaper clippings - 1960-1998
  • Speeches - 1980-1997
  • Box 1:
  • Family and friends - 1971, 1990-1994, 1995-1998
  • Legal Services of Iowa - 1995-1997, 2005
  • General - 1989-2006
  • Box 1:
  • General - 1988-1997
  • Department of Housing and Urban Development - 1971
  • Family Development Demonstration Grant Proposal, October - 1988
  • Series 4: STATE OF IOWA
  • Box 2:
  • Appointments - 1980-2000
  • Correspondence - 1991-1996
  • Commission on Community Action Programs - 1991-2004
  • Iowa Department of Economic Development (IDED) - 1987-2006
  • Box 2:
  • Alumni Association: Board of Directors meeting, October 12-13 - 1995
  • Alumni Association: Correspondence and speeches - 1988-1995
  • Alumni Association: Spring Reunion Weekend, May-June - 1996
  • Black Alumni Association - 1990-1997
  • Correspondence - 1988-2000
  • Distinguished Alumni Award nomination; Elizabeth Catlett Mora - 1996
  • 1999 Distinguished Alumni Award recipient - 1998
  • Series 6:
  • Box 2:
  • PHOTOGRAPHS - 1960-1995
  • Oversize:
  • Dandridge, Rufus, and Dandridge, Mathilde Stevens [photocopy], - 1905
  • [shelved in map case: drawer 2]
  • Series 7: 2006 ACCESSION
  • Box 3:
  • State of Iowa: Lee County Council on Human Investment - 1993-1997
  • University of Iowa: Alumni Association - 1992-1995