Presentation will focus on Auburn Hero Don Lash

Eckhart Lash Presentation

Auburn Hero Don Lash – Learn about him on Wednesday, July 8 at 6 p.m.!

A presentation at the Willennar Genealogy Center will focus on the story of a local hero!

Don Lash – Auburn Hero will be presented on Wednesday, July 8, at 6 p.m., and will feature information about the life of 1933 Auburn High School graduate Don Lash. Sharon Zonker of Auburn, who is working with the library to research Lash’s life, will lead the presentation, which will include photographs and items related to Lash’s life. Attendees are also encouraged to bring items and stories related to Lash’s life and achievements to share at the presentation. Registration for the presentation is encouraged. Register by calling 925-2414 ext. 420 or emailing

The Willennar Genealogy Center: A Service of Eckhart Public Library is currently digitizing items related to Lash’s life in order to provide access to the materials online. The library has partnered with Lash’s son, David Lash, to tell Don Lash’s remarkable story.

Lash competed in the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin, Germany, and was a teammate of Louis Zamperini, the subject of the book and movie “Unbroken.” During his athletic career, he broke several records, and won the James E. Sullivan Award, the annual award given to the outstanding amateur athlete in the United States by the Amateur Athletic Union, in 1938.

Lash then entered law enforcement as a career in the late 1930s, working for the Indiana State Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, including time working under J. Edgar Hoover.

Lash continued to be invested in his home state, however. He developed a Christian-oriented camp for boys, served as an Indiana University trustee; and served ten years in the Indiana General Assembly. Lash died in 1994.

This is one of our Eckhart Summer Read events! Read more about Eckhart Summer Read by clicking here. Eckhart Summer Read ends on Saturday, July 11, with a Grand Finale, which you can read about by clicking here. There is still time to sign up to receive prizes and chances at our grand prizes.

The Don Lash Collection is part of a digitization project called “Extraordinary Hoosier Lives,” made possible by a grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services, administered by the Indiana State Library. The project will allow the Willennar Genealogy Center to provide digital access to items relating to the lives of four unique and important DeKalb County people – Don Lash; medical pioneer Dr. Bonnell Souder; circus founder M.K. Houlton; and Egbert Mott, the first practicing lawyer in DeKalb County. The items related to Souder, Houlton, and Mott are from the collection of the late John Martin Smith, a former DeKalb County historian and prolific collector of items of local, state, and national importance. The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 35,000 museums. Its mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement.


About Jenny

I am the Associate Director of Eckhart Public Library. My office is in the Administrative Annex, but I can often be found roaming the Eckhart Public Library Campus, performing acts of librarianship in every department! I love to read and learn about history. I'm also a huge fan of movies, TV and pop culture in general, and I love to read books of all types. Currently, I'm working my way around the romance section, with some historical fiction and graphic novels thrown in for variety! But you never know what I'm going to pick up next.
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