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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the Myrtle Keppy papers

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1926-2009
Creator: Keppy, Myrtle (1924-2009)
Extent: 2.80 linear feet.
Collection Number: IWA0480
Repository: Iowa Women's Archives
Summary: Champion hog breeder, farm woman, 4-H leader, and president of the Iowa Porkettes.

Alternate Extent Statement: Photographs in boxes 1, 2, and 4.

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. 776) were donated by Myrtle Keppy in 2001 and subsequent years.

Preferred Citation: Myrtle Keppy 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

Myrtle Eckermann Keppy, farm woman, 4-H assistant, Iowa Porkette president, diarist, and hostess was born to a German farm family in Scott County, Iowa, in 1922. She attended rural schools and graduated from Davenport Central High School. In 1946 she married a local farmer, Roy Keppy. They had four children Glen, Dale, Annette, and Ila Jean Keppy. Myrtle Keppy was a proficient hog farmer, mother, and hostess. She was a 4-H assistant during her children's youth and was president of the county 4-H. The Keppy farm raised and showed champion cross-breed hogs on their farm near Eldridge, Iowa. Although Roy Keppy had left school after graduating from eighth grade, he led several farm organizations, and served at various times as president of the Iowa Pork Producers Association, the National Pork Producers Council, 1970-1971, and the Meat Board, 1984-1985. Myrtle Keppy joined her husband in these organizational activities as well as at hog contests. She was the founding vice president of the Iowa Porkettes and served as its president in 1965 and 1966. She also hosted numerous groups at their 1200-head hog operation, from local school children to international visitors to presidential candidate George Bush, Sr. Bush announced his candidacy for president from their Scott County farm. In 1966, the Keppys were awarded the Iowa Blue Ribbon Farm Family. She and her husband remained actively involved in the Republican Party and have campaigned for U.S. Representative Jim Leach. They were named to the Iowa State University Hall of Fame in 2001.

The Myrtle Keppy papers date from 1926 to 2009 and measure 2.8 linear feet. They are arranged in nine series: Biographical, Correspondence, 4-H, Iowa Mothers Association, Iowa Porkettes, Pork-related Materials, Scrapbooks, Diaries, and Artifacts.

The Biographical series (1926-2009) is comprised mainly of newspaper material and photographs of members of the Keppy family. There is a subseries of material pertaining to milestone anniversaries of Myrtle and Roy Keppy, including guest and gift lists. Also in this series are memorial programs for both of the Keppys and primary documents from the birth and death of their infant daughter, Royce Adell Keppy, in 1956.

The Correspondence series (1933-1998) contains letters and cards from friends and grandchildren of the Keppys, and a selection of correspondence from Myrtle to Roy Keppy prior to their marriage. The Pig Cards subseries is a collection of greeting cards featuring images of swine.

The 4-H series (1929-1999) includes publications, newspaper clippings and notes from Keppy?s involvement in the program, as well as that of her children and grandchildren.

The Iowa Mothers Association series (1983-1984) covers materials related to Keppy?s nomination for Mother of the Year, as well as other event programs, publications, and letters related to the organization.

The Iowa Porkettes series (1962-1996) contains correspondence, newsletters, publications, minutes, and media coverage of the group, of which Keppy was both a founding member and officer. It includes baking and cooking contest paraphernalia, newspaper clippings, award information, and recipe collections. Additional material pertains to a consumer survey regarding supermarkets and their customers conducted by the Porkettes.

The Pork-related materials series (1944-1992) documents the Keppys? involvement with various pork- and livestock-producers? groups and promotions, as well Roy Keppy?s career. Included are news and magazine articles, pamphlets and event programs, and advertisements and other promotional artifacts such as stickers and a paper fan.

The Scrapbooks series (1926-1986) comprises scrapbooks, albums, and pages from unbound volumes, which contain memorabilia, correspondence, newspaper clippings, and photographs.

The Diaries series (1936-2000) contains journal entries from throughout Keppy?s life, recorded in three and five-year diaries. It also contains a memo book and two diary volumes kept by her mother, Mildred Weise Eckermann.

The Artifacts series (1962-1990) concludes the collection with the many awards Keppy received in baking and cooking competitions, and name badges from competitions and agricultural conventions. The papers date from 1926 to 2009 and measure 2.8 linear feet.
In IWA: Iowa Porkettes records

A farm organization begun as a women's auxiliary to the Iowa Pork Producers Association with the purpose of promoting pork. Keppy's reminiscences as a founding member are located in the oral histories of Kathryn Lowden.

Annette (Keppy) Remsburg

Rural Reality: Sixty Years of Iowa Farm Family Life: Excerpts from Daily Diaries Written 1940-2000 by Myrtle (Eckermann) Keppy (Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse, 2004). Shelved in Iowa Women's Archives printed works collection.

Browse by Series:
Series 3: 4-H
Series 8: DIARIES

  • Series 1: BIOGRAPHICAL
  • Box 1:
  • General - 1956-2009
  • Autograph book - 1940-1941
  • Family newspaper clippings - 1968-2001
  • Photographs - 1940-2005
  • Wedding anniversaries - 1941-1996
  • Photographs - 1925-1946
  • Glendale Farm: the Keppy farm - 1973-1980
  • White House Reception - 1971
  • Box 1:
  • General - 1933-1998
  • Cards - undated
  • Pig cards - undated
  • Series 3: 4-H
  • Box 2:
  • General - 1929-1945
  • Convention - 1942
  • Speech materials - 1940-1943
  • Newspaper clippings - 1981-1999
  • Box 6:
  • Girls' Convention photograph - 1942
  • Box 2:
  • General - 1983-1984
  • Series 5: IOWA PORKETTES
  • Box 2:
  • General - 1962-1992
  • Activities - 1962-1992
  • Baking contests - 1967-1975
  • Iowa Porkettes consumer survey - undated
  • Newspaper clippings - 1966-1996
  • Box 3:
  • General - 1951-1983
  • Roy Keppy newspaper clippings - 1944-1980
  • National Pork Congress - 1964-1972
  • Promoting pork - 1975
  • Scott County Swine Producers Banquet - 1957-1992
  • Series 7: SCRAPBOOKS
  • Box 4:
  • Loose materials - 1937-1966
  • Loose materials - 1947-1961
  • Loose materials - 1950-1958
  • Green scrapbook, loose correspondence - 1962-1986
  • Green scrapbook, loose cards - 1962-1986
  • Green scrapbook, miscellaneous loose materials - 1962-1986
  • Photograph album - 1926-1954
  • Photograph album - 1940-1949
  • Box 5:
  • Scrapbook of newspaper clippings - 1937-1966
  • Scrapbook of newspaper clippings and party invitations - 1944-1951
  • Scrapbook of newspaper clippings - 1947-1961
  • Loose pages of Pork Council newspaper clippings - 1970-1973
  • Box 6:
  • Scrapbook of newspaper clippings - 1950-1958
  • Scrapbook of newspaper clippings and letters of congratulations, State Fair, Master Farmer - 1962-1967
  • Series 8: DIARIES
  • Box 7:
  • Volume 1 - 1936-1940
  • Series 9: ARTIFACTS
  • Box 7:
  • Roy Keppy business pen, undated
  • Box 8:
  • Baking contest ribbons - 1962-1981
  • Box 9:
  • Baking contest trophy - 1990