31 - Scrapbook.

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  • Textual record

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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

File consists of a scrapbook created by Keffer during the time he lived in Berlin and containing primarily newspaper clippings and personal correspondence. Clippings are mainly from German and American newspapers and relate to national and international news; some clippings also relate to the F.W. Woolworth Co. in Germany and in Canada and to personal interests (e.g. a Keffer reunion, a Berlin theatre performance the Keffers attended, etc.). The correspondence includes three letters each from Norman Schnieder and from Keffer's sister Ellie [last name unknown] as well as several letters from colleagues at Woolworth's and other friends. Some of the letters are addressed to Ivan and Mary Keffer and address the death in 1932 of Ivan Keffer's father.

The scrapbook also contains copies of several letters and a certificate from the National Socialist German Workers Party pertaining to the Woolworth Co. in Germany, several internal memoranda relating to the operation of the company, ephemera, and an inventory of Keffer's furniture and household items for customs purposes.

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Many items in the scrapbook were never fastened to the pages and are loose

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  • English
  • German

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