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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the Lavina Power papers

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1905-1970
Creator: Power, Lavina (1887-1967)
Extent: 1.00 linear inch.
Collection Number: IWA0417
Repository: Iowa Women's Archives
Summary: Schoolteacher, wife and mother, who kept account books for her husband's chain of drugstores.

Alternate Extent Statement: Photographs in box 1.

Access: The papers are open for research.

Use: Copyright held by the donor has been transferred to The University of Iowa.

Acquisition: The papers (donor no. 608) were donated by Beth Power Dietz in 1998.

Preferred Citation: Lavina Power 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

Lavina McKeehan was born on October 15, 1887 to George Washington McKeehan and Minnie Francis May McKeehan in Cincinnati, Iowa. She was the second of twelve children but the first of eight to survive childhood. Lavina McKeehan graduated from Cincinnati High School in 1905 and went on to complete a six-week training program at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa to become certified as a teacher. Following her certification, she taught in the Cincinnati, Iowa school system for several years.

Lavina McKeehan married William Clarence Power, a Nebraska pharmacist, in 1909. The couple had two sons: William Clarence Power, Jr., born in 1910, and John Xavier Power, born in 1912. Between 1909 and 1926, the family moved seventeen times, often within the same city, because William Power operated a chain of drug stores with his uncle, Joseph Hooker, and the two would "trade" stores, causing the family to move. The boys, especially John Power, helped operate the stores and Lavina Power kept the stores' books for a time.

Lavina Power was amember of the Daughters of the American Revolution, (DAR) and PEO. She also enjoyed gardening and stamp collecting. She remained close to her sisters and brothers, even after many of them moved to the West Coast. Lavina Power died in 1967.

The Lavina Power papers date from 1905 to1970 and measure 1 linear inch. The papers consist of an account book inwhich Lavina Power recorded household expenses from 1914-January 1917; an expense record noting the mileage and the cost of gas for Lavina Power's trip West to visit family in 1936; her 1905 graduation program and photograph; teacher's contracts and teaching certificates; and photographs depicting Lavina Power with her family and friends.

Also included are biographical and genealogical information about George W. McKeehan, a biographical sketch of Lavina Power, and a description of the McKeehan house in Cincinnati, Iowa, written by Elsie Underhill.

Browse by Series:

  • Box 1:
  • Biographical sketch of Lavina Power
  • High school graduation - 1905
  • Teachers contracts and certificates - 1906-1909
  • Account book - 1914-1917
  • Account book, 1935-1937
  • Expense record, western trip - 1936
  • Biographical and genealogical information re: George W. McKeehan
  • Description of McKeehan house in Cincinnati, Iowa by Elsie Underhill - 1970
  • Photographs - 1905, 1910-1917
  • Maddison Spencer "Modern Feminism: Anna's Story" [National History Day] - 2011