In Memoriam: LHC Founder Eartha Dengler Passes at Age 91

Our founder Eartha Dengler passed away peacefully at home in St. Louis Park, MN on March 8, 2014, exactly 36 years to the day of forming the Immigrant City Archives, now known as the Lawrence History Center.
Those who knew Eartha personally, as well as those who did not have that distinct pleasure, but who carried out her mission through their work at the Lawrence History Center are deeply saddened by this loss. As a community we will mourn and reflect on her leadership and vision – the impact of which on our “immigrant city” will be felt for generations to come.

Eartha sent us these sentiments for our annual Eartha Dengler History Award Ceremony in June 2013:

“The story of Lawrence and its people is the story of America - of people pursuing a better life, of families taking care of each other, of hard work, of industry and of freedom. It's a story that most of us share. I am almost 91 years old and still the courage & fortitude of the people of Lawrence inspires me. When I started 'the Archives' I had a simple vision that the story of an American mill town & its people had to be captured & told. Truthfully - there were many days when I wondered if this goal of mine would ever be achieved. I am so thrilled to see how many of you share this vision. Through your efforts & contributions we have together collected, preserved and shared the story of the remarkable people of this community. I send my love & deep appreciation.”

Our thoughts and prayers are with the Dengler family during this difficult time. We will miss Eartha deeply. May she rest in peace.

The Lawrence History Center board, staff, and volunteers will hold a celebration in honor of Eartha life in the near future as the family's wishes become known. Details will be posted as soon as they are available. Until then, if you wish to share a story about Eartha, please call us at 978-686-9230 or email.

Front page of Eagle-Tribune, March 10, 2014: Eartha Dengler, founder of the Immigrant City Archives, dies at 91, By Yadira Betances

We invite to read more about the remarkable life of Eartha Dengler here.

For a short clip of an interview about Eartha and her passion for civic life, America and immigrants, please view Eartha Dengler Receives "American By Choice Award"


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Founded in 1978 as the Immigrant City Archives, the mission of the Lawrence History Center is to collect, preserve, share, and animate the history and heritage of Lawrence and its people.