Fonds SCA223-GA210 - Ivan W. Keffer fonds.

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Ivan W. Keffer fonds.

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Physical description area

Physical description

ca. 71 cm of textual records
73 photographs : b&w, one col. ; 21 x 26 cm or smaller

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Name of creator


Biographical history

Ivan Wilbur Keffer was born March 21, 1890 in Berlin (now Kitchener), Ontario. He married Mary Louise Elligsen of Sebringville in 1917. Keffer began working for the F.W. Woolworth Co. in Hamilton, Ontario in 1912, after graduating from high school. He was named manager of a store in Stratford, Ontario in 1915, later working as a district superintendent and then buyer based in Toronto, Ontario. In 1927, the company opened the subsidiary F.W. Woolworth GmbH in Germany. The same year Keffer accepted a position to organize and develop the, moving with his wife and daughter Mary Jane to Berlin, Germany. He became managing director of the German company in 1933. The Keffers lived in Berlin until 1939 when they returned to Canada and settled in Toronto because of the political and economic tensions in Germany. Keffer continued to serve Woolworth’s as Canadian General Manager. In 1945, he was appointed executive vice president and treasurer of the company and the family moved to New York. Upon his retirement in 1953, the Keffers moved back to Toronto and lived in an apartment there as well as the house they built in Port Elgin. Keffer died January 7, 1965 and was buried in the family plot at Zion Evangelical Lutheran Cemetery in Vaughn, Ontario.

Custodial history

Scope and content

Fonds consists of material created and accumulated mainly by Ivan W. Keffer, and some by his wife Mary L. Keffer, that documents the lives and activities of the Keffers, especially during the time they lived in Germany. Records also relate to the career of Ivan W. Keffer at the F.W. Woolworth Co. Includes diaries, correspondence, photographs, souvenir postcards and other ephemera, personal documents, reports, clippings, and other material.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Donated in 2010.


Fonds is arranged in the following series:

  • 1. Ivan W. Keffer : Personal
  • 2. Ivan W. Keffer : F.W. Woolworth Co.
  • 3. Mary L. Keffer : Personal
  • 4. Souvenirs
  • 5. Photographs

Language of material

  • English
  • German

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Records restricted due to inclusion of personal information identified at file level.

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General note

Ivan W. Keffer and Norman C. Schneider were friends. Records related to Keffer and his family are included in the original accrual of the Schneider family collection (GA134).

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Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Arranged and described by Anita Streicher, July 2011.
General revisions as a result of database migration October 2021 by DR.

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