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Spiegelberg-Ilfeld Family Papers

Identifier: MSS-523-BC

Scope and Content

The Spiegelberg Ilfeld family papers consist of 9 parts: I. An address book and wallet size account booklets; II. Personal letters; III. Personal letters of Herman Ilfeld to his wife Henriette, 1876-1883; IV. Legal documents; V. Business Documents; VI. Magazine and newspaper clippings; VII. Masonic documents; VIII. Miscellaneous; IX. A Grand Army of the Republic ribbon.

Materials are in English and German.


  • 1874-1963


Language of Materials

English German

Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Copy Restrictions

Limited duplication of CSWR material is allowed for research purposes. User is responsible for compliance with all copyright, privacy, and libel laws. Permission is required for publication or distribution.

Biographical Information

Charles Ilfeld was a successful business person in New Mexico for over seventy years. In 1865, Charles left Germany at age eighteen. After initially working in New York for a short time his older brother Herman, who had been living in New Mexico for several years, sent for Charles.

After two years of being a partner in various retail businesses in Santa Fe and Taos, Charles established his own business in the thriving town of Las Vegas, New Mexico. In May of 1874, Charles married Adele Nordhaus, whose brother Max later ran the Charles Ilfeld Company. Charles and Adele had three surviving children: Louis, Herman, and Arthur.

Herman Ilfeld, Charles' older brother, married Henriette Spiegelberg in October of 1874. Henriette was the only daughter of Solomon Jacob Spiegelberg. Solomon, the first of the Spiegelbergs to come West, was born in Hanover, Germany in 1826. He arrived in the United States in 1842 and later came west in 1846. He set up his own wholesale and retail business in general merchandise in Santa Fe. A few years later his brothers; Levi, Elias, Emanual, Lehaman, Willi, and Abraham joined Solomon in New Mexico. Most of the Spiegelberg brothers remained in New Mexico.


1 box (.26 cu. ft.)

Related Archival Material

Charles Ilfeld Company Records Center for Southwest Research, University Libraries, University of New Mexico Flora Spiegelberg Papers Center for Southwest Research, University Libraries, University of New Mexico Oral History Interviews of the Jewish Pioneer Video Project Center for Southwest Research, University Libraries, University of New Mexico

Separated Material

Photographs have been transferred to Spiegelberg-Ilfeld Family Photograph Collection.

Relevant Secondary Sources

  • Charles Ilfeld, Sedentary Merchant in the Arid Southwest, 1865-1884.1949.William J. Parish.
  • German Jews and The Commercial Revolution in Territorial New Mexico, 1850-1900.1959. William J. Parish.
  • The Charles Ilfeld Company: A study of the rise and decline of mercantile capitalism in New Mexico.1961.William J. Parish.
Finding Aid of the Spiegelberg-Ilfeld Family Papers, 1874-1963
Processed by CSWR Staff
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Finding aid is in English

Revision Statements

  • June 28, 2004: PUBLIC "-//University of New Mexico::Center for Southwest Research//TEXT (US::NmU::MSS 523 BC::Spiegelberg-Ilfeld Family Papers)//EN" "nmu1mss523bc.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 UNM Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections Repository

University of New Mexico Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections
University Libraries, MSC05 3020
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque NM 87131