University of Chicago Library

Guide to the Carla Bennett Collection of Robert Redfield Papers 1933-1999

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Descriptive Summary


Carla Bennett Collection of Robert Redfield Papers




.1 linear feet (1 folder)


Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center
University of Chicago Library
1100 East 57th Street
Chicago, Illinois 60637 U.S.A.


Otto Albert Dreier (b. 1864) was a pharmacist, the Danish vice-consul of Chicago (1885-1895), legal partner to Robert Redfield (father of Dr. Robert Redfield), and Civil Service Cashier (1900-1932). Donated by Carla Bennett (b. 1929), Otto A. Dreier’s granddaughter, this collection contains the papers and photographs of Otto A. Dreier, particularly those concerning his family and relationship with Dr. Robert Redfield.

Information on Use


The collection is open for research.


When quoting material from this collection, the preferred citation is: Carla Bennett Collection of Robert Redfield Papers, [Box 3, Folder #], Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library

Biographical Note

Otto A. Dreier was born in Chicago in 1864 to Emil and Auguste (n. Fischer) Dreier. He married Christine Nielson, a concert and oratorio singer, in 1890. Dreier took over his father’s pharmacy and position as Danish vice-consul in 1885, upon his father’s retirement until 1895.

In 1892, as vice-consul, Dreier oversaw the installation of the Denmark exhibits for the Chicago World’s Fair. Tragedy struck when Dreier’s father died during this time. Dreier ended up selling the pharmacy and began a career in law with his friend, Robert Redfield (1870-1921), at the Chicago Claim Adjustment Company. In 1893, his daughter, Cecilia, was born.

In 1895, Dreier resigned as Danish vice-consul and traveled to Europe, where he met several members of Danish royalty and politics. In 1896, he saw the birth of his son, Albert Emil, followed by his sister Bertha's marriage to Robert Redfield. In 1897, Dreier took up a post as Teller in the Water Office and, in 1900, was promoted to Civil Service Cashier until he retired in 1932. During that time, he and his wife had two children, Marion Carla (b. 1902) and Frederick, but Frederick died at the age of 11. After his retirement, he visited his niece, Louise Redfield Peattie (1900-1965), in Menton, France. There, Dreier learned that his nephew, Dr. Robert Redfield Jr. (1897-1958), was taking an upcoming 1933 trip to Yucatan for the Carnegie Institution and made plans to join him.

Dr. Robert Redfield Jr. was an anthropologist and ethnolinguist who joined the University of Chicago faculty in 1927 after receiving a Doctorate in Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Cultural Anthropology and a Doctorate in Jurisprudence (JD) degree from the University of Chicago. In addition to serving as a faculty member, Dr. Redfield was the Dean of the Social Sciences from 1934 - 1946. He studied Mexican culture and peasant life and, later in his academic career, investigated the implications of cultural change in Mexican society. His work was instrumental in including the study of non-Western cultures at the University.

This collection contains the memoirs of Otto Dreier written while on vacation with Dr. Redfield in Mexico in 1933. It contains personal reminisces of the doctor, his wife, Greta Redfield (n. Park), and his daughter.

Scope Note

The materials are kept in a single series and their original order. The single folder consists primarily of Otto A. Dreier’s typewritten journal entries from February to March 1933. These pages were pulled for their information on Otto Dreier, Robert Redfield, their families, and law practice. In addition to the entries is information about Otto A. Dreier’s occupation and extended family in the form of photographs with notes and correspondence confirming his title as Danish vice-consul.

Related Resources

Browse finding aids by topic.

Redfield, Margaret Park. Papers, 1916-1975

Redfield, Robert. Ford Foundation Cultural Studies Program. Records, 1951-1961

Redfield Robert. Papers, 1917-1958

University of Chicago. Department of Anthropology. Records, 1929-1997

Subject Headings


Box 1    Folder 1

Memoirs of Otto Dreier Concerning Dr. Redfield