Santa Fe Living Treasures – Elder Stories

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Mel Pfaelzer

Mel Pfaelzer


Honored December, 1988

Mel Pfaelzer

When Mel Pfaelzer decided to go into the ink business, he broke with family tradition. "His father was in the meat business for sixty years with Swift and Company. All the Pfaelzer men were in the meat business," says his wife, Dicky Pfaelzer.

Born in Chicago in 1908 to Abe and Lily Pfaelzer, Mel was their only son. He had one sister, Beatrice. "He was the golden boy. His parents worshipped him," Dicky recalls.

His father was a horse person, and Mel's love of horses was immediate. "Mel showed at the International when he was six, at the Royal in Kansas City when he was eight, and he began showing for other people when he was eleven. His father was the only man in the Chicago stockyards who rode a horse English gaited. Everyone else rode quarter horses."