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Zeb Conley Collection of Charles Ilfeld Papers

Identifier: AC 048-P

Scope and Content

The collection includes bits of this commercial history as well as the history of Las Vegas. A letter from his brother-in-law and partner, Max Nordhaus, describes a flood of the Gallinas River in 1904. Among a number of speeches delivered by Charles Ilfeld is one given before the Las Vegas Woman's Club in 1924 which is of considerable interest for its autobiographical content.

This material was originally owned by Louis Ilfeld, son of Charles, who had a deep interest in Las Vegas history and, most especially, Hermit Mountain and its miracle. Zeb Conley was given the material by an unknown donor through his secretary, a native of the Las Vegas area, because of his personal interest in Las Vegas history. The original collection contained a number of photographs which Mr. Conley divided, giving those relating to the Gallinas Valley to the Armand Hammer World College, while those of Las Vegas history remained with this gift.


  • 1904-1927
  • 1904-1927

Language of Materials


Access Restrictions


Copy Restrictions

Duplication allowed for research purposes. User responsible for all copyright compliance.

Biographical Note

Charles Ilfeld emigrated from Germany in 1865. After landing in New York, he set out overland for Santa Fe to join his brother, Herman. For six months, he worked in the Elsberg and Amberg business, learning Spanish and the mercantile business. Adolph Letcher and Ilfeld attempted to set up a store in Taos and when it did not succeed, they moved to Las Vegas in 1867 where they lost no time setting up a new business. This one was successful and, in 1874, Ilfeld took it over and it became known as The Charles Ilfeld Company.

Over the years, the company expanded until there were warehouses in Las Vegas, Santa Rosa, Albuquerque, Magdalena, Gallup and Santa Fe, and the business branched out to encompass many products and services. Charles Ilfeld died in 1929. The business continued until 1959.


1 Folder


Contact Information

  1. Fray Angélico Chávez History Library
  2. The Palace of the Governors
  3. P.O. Box 2087
  4. Santa Fe, New Mexico 87504-2087, U.S.A.
  5. Phone: (+)505.476.5090
  6. Fax: (+)505.476.5093
  7. Email:
  8. URL:


Guide to the Zeb Conley Collection of Charles Ilfeld Papers, 1904-1927
Edited Full Draft
Processed by Library Staff
Language of description
Script of description
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Language of description note
Finding aid is in English

Revision Statements

  • June 28, 2004: PUBLIC "-//Museum of New Mexico::Fray Angelico Chavez History Library//TEXT (US::NmSM::AC 48-P::Charles Ilfeld Papers)//EN" "nmsm1ac48-P.sgml" converted from EAD 1.0 to 2002 by v1to02.xsl (sy2003-10-15).
  • Monday, 20210524: Attribute normal is missing or blank.

Repository Details

Part of the Fray Angélico Chávez History Library Repository

Fray Angélico Chávez History Library
New Mexico History Museum
113 Lincoln Ave
Sante Fe NM 87501 USA
(505) 476-5090