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David K. Eichler Collection


Held at: Chestnut Hill Historical Society [Contact Us]8708 Germantown Ave., Philadelphia, PA, 19118

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Chestnut Hill Historical Society. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

David Kemble Eichler (1913-2003) was a real estate agent and "popular local personality" in the Chestnut Hill neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (Mazzaccaro). After receiving a BA from Franklin & Marshall College, at the age of 23 Eichler was named head of the English Department at Chestnut Hill Academy in Philadelphia. He enrolled at Harvard University in 1940 to pursue a PhD in philosophy, but instead transferred to the business school and earned an MBA in 1943. He was conscripted into the Air Force during World War II, then moved to Washington, D.C., where he worked for the Far Eastern Commission to help democratize post-War Japan. (Lear).

Eichler returned to Chestnut Hill and started a real estate office with partner Bill Moffly in Chestnut Hill in 1960. It became very successful and as their staff grew, they opened satellite offices in nearby communities. Eichler continued on his journalistic bent, writing opinion pieces for The Chestnut Hill Local newspaper. (Mazzaccaro).

Eichler, who never married, was friendly with actress Katharine Hepburn (1907-2003). After seeing her in The Philadelphia Story on Broadway in 1939, he sent her a fan letter and they struck up a correspondence (Finding aid for Eichler MSS). Over the decades that followed, he accompanied her to the theater and sent her elaborate bouquets of flowers (Mann 481). Co-workers remember Hepburn telephoning Eichler at his real estate office (Mazzaccaro).

After Moffly's retirement, Eichler sold the firm in 1995, but continued to work there until soon before his death in 2003 (Mazzaccaro).


Finding aid for Eichler MSS. Lilly Library, Indiana University. Accessed December 29, 2011.

Lear, Len. "David Eichler, Hill Legend, Dies at 90." Chestnut Hill Local, August 7, 2003.

Mann, William J. Kate: The Woman Who Was Hepburn. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 2006.

Mazzaccaro, Pete. "Eichler and Moffly Marks 50 Years and Counting." The Chestnut Hill Local, October 7, 2010. Accessed December 29, 2011.

The David K. Eichler collection includes correspondence, working files, publications, books, floor plans and photographs. Subjects cover a range of interest and experience such as art, drama, travel, World War II service and subsequent diplomatic service, graduate school, employment, current events, business enterprises, community work, politics, and personal relationships. There are also 8 drawings for the house DKE built.

Boxes 1-3: Correspondence, 1898-1994. These boxes, arranged chronologically, include correspondence with Eichler's father, with his students, and miscellaneous correspondence labeled with correspondence.

Box 4: Major subjects of DKE's life. Arranged chronologically, subjects such as organizations, military, politics, lawsuits, etc., are addressed in correspondence, pamphlets, and clippings.

Box 5: Writings, circa 1930-1991. This box contains essays and articles on philosophy and politics as well as fiction and plays.

Box 6: Playwrights and plays. This books contains correspondence with and manuscripts of DKE's sister, Jean Eichler Reuterman.

Box 7: Clippings collected by DKE. Topics include crime, foreign language newspapers, communism, World War II, etc.

Box 8: Real estate papers. This box consists of financial records and bank statements from 1950-1994.

Box 9: Far Eastern Commission books and other books. There is one photo album and one box of invitations to events in addition to published books.

Box 10: Photographs and slides, circa 1910-1960. This box also includes yearbooks from 1935

Box 11: Sketchbooks. Photographs and sketchbooks from 1951 mention Susan Crose Clerici.

Gift of Kemble Bauman, 2003.

Chestnut Hill Historical Society
Finding Aid Author
Finding aid prepared by Celia Caust-Ellenbogen and Michael Gubicza through the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories
This preliminary finding aid was created as part of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories. The HCI-PSAR project was made possible by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
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