Alfons Siffer

Zomergem 21.03.1850 - Gent 03.03.1941

Alfons Siffer attended secondary school at the Episcopal College in Sint-Niklaas, and after that he studied law in Leuven. He had to quit his studies due to health reasons. In 1874 he was granted his notary degree at the Ghent University. He was the cofounder and first secretary-treasurer of the Ghent branch of Davidsfonds in 1875 and later on board member of the national Davidsfonds (1878). In 1877 he cofounded the L.C. Siffer-Léliart with his affluent sister-in-law, who was the half-sister of his future wife. He became a bookshop owner, printer and publisher in Ghent on the corner of the St Baafs square and the Lange Kruisstraat. He married with Marie Fierlefijn in 1879. He was appointed regular printer of the Royal Flemish Academy for Linguistics and Literature. He also printed a large amount of magazines, including French journals such als Le magasin littéraire and Le Drapeau. In 1866 he established the magazine Het Belfort (The Belfry) and contributed articles as well. Additionally Siffer was the publisher of several catholic authors such as Karel de Gheldere, August Cuppens, Hugo Verriest, Alfons Moortgat, René De Clercq en Amaat Joos. He printed and edited publications by order of Gezelle, too, such as the Duikalmanak (1888-1899). The first episode was initially published by Karel Beyaert-Storie, but after an argument Gezelle ended up using Siffer’s publishing house in Ghent. The print run occurred in the St Augustine printing press. From 1895 onwards Siffer also acted in politics, i.a. as member of the House of Representatives.

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