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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the Jean and John L. Schneiders papers

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1962-1971
Creator: Schneiders, Jean and John L.
Extent: 2.50 linear inches.
Collection Number: IWA0783
Repository: Iowa Women's Archives
Summary: Davenport community and civil rights activists during the 1960s.

Access: The papers are open for research.

Use: Copyright held by the donor has not been transferred to the University of Iowa.

Acquisition: The papers (donor no.  1150) were donated by Jean and John L. Schneiders in 2008 and subsequent years.

Preferred Citation: Jean and John L. Schneiders 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

Community and civil rights activist Jean Alice Kennedy was born in 1935 in Sioux City, Iowa. In 1956 she married John L. (Jack) Schneiders, and continued her community activism while raising their six children, born between 1957 and 1968. The couple moved to Davenport in 1963 where Jack Schneiders worked for the Internal Revenue Service and both became active members of the Davenport Catholic Interracial Council (CIC). During the 1960s, Jack Schneiders focused much of his attention on efforts to pass and enforce fair housing legislation at the state and local level, working with Davenport civil rights leaders Charles Toney (president of the Davenport CIC) and Bill Cribbs (president of the Davenport NAACP). In 1969, Jack Schneiders was elected president of the Davenport CIC, a position he held until the Schneiders family moved to Urbandale, Iowa, in 1970.

The Jean and John L. Schneiders papers date from 1963 to 1971 and measure 2.5 linear inches. The biographical information folder includes two Davenport Catholic Interracial Council (CIC) pins from the 1960s.  Materials in the Davenport schools folder and the binder were compiled by Jack Schneiders for Janet Weaver in 2008 when she was conducting research on the history of civil rights activism in Davenport.  These materials include newsletters and newspaper clippings relating to activities of Davenport branches of the CIC and NAACP as well as annual reports and minutes. Much of the information reveals poor housing conditions Davenport's black district during the 1960s and local efforts to pass fair housing legislation.   The Davenport schools folder provides insight into how Davenport civil rights organizations pressured the Davenport School Board to comply with civil rights legislation and the tensions that resulted. The Davenport newsletters folder contains copies of CIC and NAACP newsletters that were removed from the binder for preservation purposes.
Additional records of the Davenport Catholic Interracial Council are contained in the John L. Schneiders collection at the Putnam Museum of History and Natural Science in Davenport (also known as the Putnam Museum and IMAX Theatre).

Browse by Series:
Series 1: Jean and John L. Schneiders

  • Series 1: Jean and John L. Schneiders
  • Box 1:
  • Biographical information and CIC pins - 1963, 2008
  • Civil rights binder - 1962-1971
  • Davenport schools - 1969
  • Davenport newsletters CIC - NAACP, 1966-1967