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Deubener family collection

 Collection — Folder: S0358
Identifier: S0358

Scope and Contents

This collection includes family papers and business records from the Deubener family and Deubener's Shopping Bag, Inc. in St. Paul, Minnesota and Indiana ranging from 1887 to 1967 regarding family life, the estate of Henry J. Deubener, and the Deubener's invention of the shopping bag.


  • 1887-1967


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Legal title, copyright, and literary rights reside with Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library, Indianapolis, IN. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Biographical Note

German immigrants Henry J. Deubener and Anna Elizabeth Kloeffel wed on December 24, 1887 in DeKalb County, Indiana. They had one son, Walter Henry Deubener (1885-1980) and two daughters, Anna E. and Mabel E. Henry Deubener died on March 18, 1892 and was buried in Waterloo, DeKalb County, Indiana.

Walter Henry Deubener married his wife Lydia (1890-1974) in 1908. Together they ran the S. S. Kruesgne grocery store on 7th Street in St. Paul, Minnesota. In 1918, they invented the first handled shopping bag to enable customers to carry more groceries by hand. Walter H. Deubener first filed a patent for the bag with its string handles on November 15, 1918 and it was approved on May 27, 1919. About that time, the couple founded Deubener's Shopping Bag, Inc., which was relocated to 2702 Applegate Street in Garfield Park in Indianapolis, Indiana in 1928. By that time, the corporation was the largest manufacturer of quality paper shopping bags and distributed its product throughout the United States and to several other countries. Lydia died January 9, 1974 and Walter followed 6 years later on March 29, 1980. The Deubeners were generous philanthropists, leaving endowments to the Boy Scouts of America and Bethel University, as well as donating their estate on Lake George to to become a camp for disabled children and adults.


Items in the collection.

Deubener, Walter H. Shopping bag. U.S. Patent 1,305,198 filed November 15, 1918 and issued May 27, 1919. Accessed May 2, 2018. "Henry J. Deubener." Find a Grave Index. Accessed May 5, 2018. "Walter Henry Deubener". Find a Grave Index. Accessed May 5, 2018. "Lydia A. Deubener." Find a Grave Index. Accessed May 5, 2018.

Minnesota Women Business Owners. "Lydia Deubener." Minnesota Women Business Owners Hall of Fame. Accessed May 5, 2018.

"Relates Growth of Bag Company." Indianapolis Star, May 9, 1929, 24. Accessed May 2, 2018.


0.01 Cubic Feet (1 folder)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged chronologically.

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as a donation from Walter Henry Deubener on 1969/05/07.


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection processing completed 2014 Februry by Nikki Stoddard Schofield. EAD finding aid created 2014 Februry by Nikki Stoddard Schofield. EAD finding aid revised 2018/05/02 by Brittany Kropf.
Deubener family collection
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Repository

140 North Senate Avenue
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204 U.S.A.