Skip to main content

Carter, Lucille Ketchum, 1913-



  • Existence: 1913-


Lucille Ketchum Carter, nurse, Democratic Party loyalist, and wife of one-term Iowa Congressman Stephen V. Carter, was born in 1913 in Downing, Missouri, to Matilda and George Ketchum. Lucille Ketchum graduated from high school in 1931 and worked for two years at a medical clinic. In 1936, she graduated from the School of Nursing at the State University of Iowa (now the University of Iowa), where she met her husband. Steven V. Carter earned a JD from the University of Iowa College of Law in 1939 and the Carters moved to Leon, Iowa, where Steven V. Carter opened a legal practice and Lucille Carter raised the couple's two sons, Steven and Charles, in the dream house they built in Leon.

Carter was active in a wide range of community and volunteer activities such as the Red Cross, Cub Scouts, church committees, the Federated Women's Club, and the Democratic Party. Steven V. Carter ran for Congress from Iowa's 4th District several times before winning a seat in 1958. Lucille Carter participated actively in all her husband's campaigns. One year after he was elected, Steven V. Carter died of cancer.

Lucille Carter sold the family house in Leon, Iowa, in 1970 and moved to Washington, DC where she worked as a federal employee for twelve years. She managed the reading room suite for US Congresswomen in the Capitol for three years, and then served in security under the Door Keeper and the House of Representatives. Carter retired in 1981 but remained active in political affairs. She joined the Gold Star Wives of America in 1983, attended many Democratic Party events, and did volunteer work for First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, who she greatly admired. Carter often contacted political leaders to express her viewpoints on a wide range of topics.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Lucille Ketchum Carter papers

Identifier: IWA0131

1936 graduate of the School of Nursing at the State University of Iowa who was active in Democratic politics and whose correspondence includes round robin letters.

Dates: 1936-2008