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Myrtle Keppy papers

Identifier: IWA0480

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Scope and Contents

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.


  • Creation: 1926-2009


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.

Biographical / Historical

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.


2.80 Linear Feet

Photographs in boxes 1, 2, and 4. boxes

Language of Materials



Champion hog breeder, farm woman, 4-H leader, and president of the Iowa Porkettes.

Method of Acquisition

The papers (donor no. 776) were donated by Myrtle Keppy in 2001 and subsequent years.

Related Materials

Iowa Porkettes records (IWA): 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 (IWA): 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.

Doris Malkmus, 2001; Elizabeth Engel, 2004; Sharon Lake, 2008.
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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)