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Lois H. Eichacker papers

Identifier: IWA0255

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Scope and Contents

The Lois H. Eichacker papers date from approximately 1905 to 2006 and measure 12 linear inches. 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. The book "Slater of Iowa" was donated by the Eichacker family in 2023. It is inscribed to the family by "Duke" Slater.


  • Creation: 1905-2006


Conditions Governing Access

The papers are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

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

However, copyright status for some collection materials may be unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owner. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility and potential liability based on copyright infringement for any use rests exclusively and solely with the user. Users must properly acknowledge the Iowa Women’s Archives, The University of Iowa Libraries, as the source of the material. For further information, visit

Biographical / Historical

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.


12.00 linear inches

Photographs in Box 2 boxes

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Fort Madison civic leader and former president of the University of Iowa Alumni Association Board.

Method of Acquisition

The papers (donor no. 357) were donated by Lois Eichacker in 1996 and succeeding years, and by the Eichacker family in 2023.

Related Materials

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.

Natalie S. Brody, 1997; Bobby Jett, 1999; Shawn Averkamp, 2009
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Repository Details

Part of the Iowa Women's Archives Repository

100 Main Library
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City IA 52242 IaU
319-335-5900 (Fax)