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Collection on Jacob D. and Eugenie Holtzermann

Identifier: M/A 0017

Description of Contents

The collection consists correspondence, personal papers, clippings and various biographical items on Holtzermann, his wife Eugenie (Jenny) and daughter Charlotte; papers, studies and correspondence related to Holtzermann's time on the Minneapolis Planning Commission in the late 1950s and early 1960s; and copies of the Minnesota Beacon.


  • Creation: 1931 - 1969


The collection is available for use in Special Collections at Minneapolis Central Library during the department's open hours.


Jacob D. Holtzermann was born in Minneapolis in 1902. He graduated from South High School in 1918 and went on to study at the University of Minnesota, graduating in 1921. He later earned a master's degree from Harvard University in International Law and pursued further studies at the University of Geneva, Switzerland and University of Munich in Germany.

Holtzermann initially worked as a branch manager for the National City Bank of New York. In 1931 he took over a dry goods store founded by his bachelor uncles Jacob and Louis in the 1880s. Holtzermann's Imports, located at 417-23 Cedar Avenue in the West Bank neighborhood, sold a variety of European goods. Holtzermann would continue to manage it for the majority of his life.

He unsuccessfully ran for the Minnesota State House's 31st District in 1934, 1936, and 1938. In 1938 he married Eugenie (Jenny) Velechovsky, a designer and illustrator from Vienna, Austria. She moved to Minneapolis and later became known in her own right for painting an extensive mural in the Children’s room of the Minneapolis Public Library in 1961.

In the years leading up to World War II, Holtzermann was an outspoken isolationist who opposed the United States' involvement in the war. He was a leader of the Minneapolis branch of the America First Committee; during August and September of 1941 he published a weekly newspaper called the Minnesota Beacon which espoused isolationist views. During this time Holtzermann frequently contributed articles to local newspapers and spoke at civic functions about what he had seen while traveling in Europe for business.

Once the US formally entered the war, Holtzermann served in the Army Air Force retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel.

Later in life Holtzermann served on the Minneapolis Planning Commission and on the Board of Directors for the University of Minnesota Alumni Association. He unsuccessfully ran against Walter Mondale for his US Senate seat during the 1966 election.

Holtzermann had a heart attack in late 1968 from which he never fully recovered. He died February 4, 1969, survived by Eugenie, his son, and three daughters. Eugenie Holtzermann died April 12, 1999.


1.25 Linear Feet (3 boxes)

Language of Materials


Collection on Jacob D. and Eugenie Holtzermann
Nick Steffel
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Hennepin County Library Special Collections Repository

Minneapolis Central Library
300 Nicollet Mall
Minneapolis MN 55401 U.S.A.