Fannie’s Sewing Book

Portrait of the Louis Anfenger Family

Fannie Anfenger

Louis Anfenger came to the Colorado Territory in 1870 during Colorado’s formative years. Louis was born in Bavaria in 1842 and died in Denver in 1900. He married Louise Schlesinger in 1871. Anfenger was a successful businessman and was a founder and supporter of Congregation Emanuel, the local B’nai B’rith, and National Jewish Hospital for Consumptives. He and Louise (1847-1938) raised a large family in their home at Champa Street and Twenty-Ninth Street in Denver, Colorado. The couple became the parents of eight children, who later also became leaders in the Denver community. It is said that Congregation Emanuel was founded at the bris, or circumcision ceremony, of Milton Anfenger, the eldest son of Louis and Louise Anfenger. Milton became a lawyer, Colorado State Senator in 1904, and owner of the Denver Bears baseball team in the 1920s. Louis and Louise’s daughter Flora married prominent Denver attorney Philip Hornbein, their daughter Stella married David Michael, and their daughter Fannie (1885-1965) married Sidney Rinds and they had one son, Louis Rinds.

Fannie Anfenger's Sewing Book

Gilpin Elementary School was named after William Gilpin, who was the first governor of the Colorado Territory (1861-1862).  As a young girl, Fannie Anfenger attended sewing classes in her grade school. This sewing book features Fannie Anfenger’s name on the cover.  The exercises within the book were completed by Fannie Anfenger and have examples, attached to the adjoing pages, from the most basic of hand stitching to quite advanced handwork and machine stitching. Her mother Louise, who created this sampler in 1861, probably taught her to embroider. Fannie Anfenger was a fashionable young woman, as evidenced by her photograph.

Louise Anfenger's Sampler

Louise Schlesinger created this sampler in 1861

The Sewing Book, the embroidered sampler, and the dress in the photograph are part of the Anfenger Family Diaries and Material Culture Collection, B106, in the Ira M. and Peryle Hayutin Beck Memorial Archives.

Questions?  Contact Dr. Jeanne Abrams, jeanne.abrams@du.edu, 303-871-3016.

June 2012

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