Minter, Ilka Collection


Ilka Feather Minter


54 cubic feet


The Ilka Feather Minter Collection includes family papers, photographs, and books from the Feather, Minter, and Whitman/Howells families from the late 1800's to the 2000's. This collection was sorted in January-February 2004 by Clella Iles Jaffe, Scholar-In-Residence, Institute of Historical Survey Foundation.


Ilka was born and raised in Las Cruces , where she attended the Loretto Academy in El Paso, Texas and Sandia School in Albuquerque. The collection includes many pictures of the Sandia School as well as letters from school alumnae. After graduation, Ilka went to Bryn Mawr College and was active in alumnae events. She corresponded extensively with longtime NM friends, including Louise (Bronson) Bulman, Jim (and Frances Yeend) Benner, Eunice and Ed Mecham, and Abby Lewis Seymour. In addition to letters, the collection includes photographs of the Benners and the Seymours.

G. Adlai Feather, Ilka Minter's father, earned the first Masters Degree (1916) ever given from the University of New Mexico; he was also the first Rhodes Scholar from New Mexico, and he received the Ph.D. Oxon. from Wadham College, Oxford. He was in the Marines in WWI, and he worked for the YMCA in Germany in the early 1920s. This collection includes hundreds of letters, photographs, and artifacts from this period. Adlai returned to New Mexico where he was a professor at New Mexico College of Agriculture & Mining (now New Mexico State University ). Feather was a noted historian; the collection includes many handwritten research notes and manuscript drafts as well as numerous boxes of unsorted clippings relating to NM history and culture.

Ilka Italia Howells Feather, Ilka Minter's mother, was related to both the Howells and Whitman families; including Knauth and Robertson relatives. Her great-uncle was William Dean Howells. This collection includes correspondence from Marion Robertson, who worked for RKO in New York City ; from Percy Knauth, author and New York Times reporter; from Roger and Herbert Whitman, and other prominent East coast relatives. The collection includes detailed genealogies and information on these families.

The Feather family has other prominent NM citizens, including L. L. Feather (a judge in Artesia , NM ) and Bill Feather (prominent newspaperman in Albuquerque , NM ). This collection includes photographs and family correspondence as well as books and genealogies on the Landis and Feather families.

Herbert Minter, Ilka's husband, also comes from a prominent NM family. His father, Victor, was a civic leader in Carlsbad. Brother Victor was a lawyer in the East. His sisters, Margaret (Mrs. Walter "Potsy") Doss of Carlsbad, Virginia (Mrs. Marvin) May of Albuquerque, and Helen (Mrs. Art) Jackson of El Paso, Texas wrote hundreds of cards and letters. The collection includes many Minter family photographs.

After their marriage, Herb and Ilka lived in Pittsburgh , PA , where Herb worked for Westinghouse, and the family was involved in community events. The collection contains voluminous correspondence from Pittsburg friends, Westinghouse co-workers, and dozens of international visitors to the Minter home. Noteworthy, are several personal letters from Fred Rogers - the Mister Rogers of PBS television.

Communication researchers would be particularly interested in the correspondence. In addition to the correspondence mentioned previously, there are hundreds of cards and letters from the four Minter children: Ilka Lee Minter Boyer Peck; Susan Minter Stockley Santa Cruz, Mark Howells Minter, and Paul Minter.


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