Keffer, Ivan W.
Ivan W. Keffer fonds. - [189-?]-1965.

ca. 71 cm of textual records. - 73 photographs.

View full finding aid of Ivan W. Keffer fonds (PDF)

Ivan W. Keffer (1890-1965) was an executive of the F.W. Woolworth Co. who was born in Berlin (now Kitchener), Ontario. He married Mary Louise Elligsen (1892-1982) of Sebringville in 1917. Keffer began working for the F.W. Woolworth Co. in 1912. In 1927, the company opened the subsidiary F.W. Woolworth GmbH in Germany. Keffer accepted a position to organize and develop this company and he moved with his wife and daughter Mary Jane (1926-2006) to Berlin, Germany, in 1927. He became managing director of the German company in 1933. The Keffers lived in Berlin until 1939 when they moved to 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.


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.

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


  • Title from content of the fonds.
  • Donated in 2010.
  • Some material is in German.

Call number: GA 210