The Gumps and the Business of Alcohol

Hannchen Katzenstein, my great-great-grandfather’s sister, and Marum Mansbach had three children; I’ve already written about the two sons, H.H. and Abraham. This post will be about their daughter and first child, Henrietta Mansbach.

As I’ve written previously, Henrietta married Gabriel Gump, brother of Eliza Gump, who was married to Henrietta’s brother Abraham.  Like her brother Abraham, Henrietta died relatively young at 61 in 1893.  In addition to her husband Gabriel, she was survived by four sons: Abraham, Louis, Harry, and Joseph.

Henrietta’s children and husband worked together in the family business, a wholesale liquor distributorship, and almost all of them lived their whole lives in Baltimore. Unlike the children of her brother, however, Henrietta’s children lived lives that were not marked by tragedy.

In 1887, Louis Gump, the second son, married Caroline (Carrie) Metzger.  She was the daughter of German immigrants, Aaron Metzger and Teresa Hamburg, and was herself born in Baltimore in 1865.  Her father was a horse dealer.  Louis and Carrie had a daughter Rosalind, on October 1, 1887. In 1894, Louis was working for Gump & Sons, his family’s liquor business. According to the 1900 census, Carrie had had two other babies after Rosalind, but only Rosaline was alive as of 1900.

Louis and Carrie Gump on 1900 census showing only 1 of 3 children alive

Louis and Carrie Gump on 1900 census showing only 1 of 3 children alive Year: 1900; Census Place: Baltimore Ward 16, Baltimore City (Independent City), Maryland; Roll: 615; Page: 12A; Enumeration District: 0209; FHL microfilm: 1240615

In December 1894, Abraham, the oldest Gump son married Jennie Hamburger.  She was also the daughter of German immigrants, Lewis and Rosa Hamburger; her father was a clothing merchant.  Jennie was born in Maryland.

Der Deutsche Correspondent December 13, 1894

Der Deutsche Correspondent December 13, 1894, p.4

The announcement reports that Jennie Hamburger married Abraham Gump, that they were married by two rabbis, and that there was a happy wedding celebration afterwards. It also lists some of the guests, including Harry and Joseph Gump, Abraham’s brothers, and Louis Mansbach, H.H. Mansbach’s son and Abraham Gump’s first cousin.

Abraham and Jennie had two daughters, Etta, born in 1895, and Ruth, born in 1899.

On December 27, 1899, the third Gump son, Harry, married Mildred Lewith of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.  Their wedding was described in incredible detail in this news article from the Wilkes-Barre Sunday News of December 31, 1899, p. 7:

jpg-elaborate_wedding_description_for_harry_gump_and_mildred_lewith-page-001

I will transcribe only a small portion of this long and extremely detailed article, but if you want to read an elaborate description of every step in their ceremony, click through to see the full text:

The wedding of Miss Mildred Lewith of this city and Harry Gump of Baltimore took place at the synagogue B’nai B’rith on South Washington Street at 7:30 Wednesday. The affair was the grandest Hebrew social event of the season. Everyone knew it was going to be a grand affair, but none thought it would be such a brilliant and gorgeous one, and surrounded by so much beauty.

[Then follows a lengthy and florid description of the clothing, the ceremony, the decorations at the reception, the orchestra, the gifts, and a list of the out of town guests.]

The bride and groom left on the midnight train for Old Point Comfort and will remain there for a week.  They will go to Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York, and finally will return to this city and take up their residence in handsome apartments at the Sterling Hotel until late next fall, when their home in Baltimore will be ready for them. The fact that the bride will not at once make her home in another city will be good news to her many friends, for she is a deservedly popular young lady and her friends do not want to part with her.

A few observations about this wedding article. First, Mildred must have come from quite a wealthy family.  Mildred was a native of Wilkes-Barre, and her parents, Lewis Lewith and Josephine Freeman, were immigrants from Nepomuk in what is now the Czech Republic, but was then part of the Austria-Hungary Empire. Lewis, like Harry’s father Gabriel Gump, was in the wholesale liquor business in Wilkes-Barre.  I assume that that is how the connection was made between Harry and Mildred. Mildred and Harry did not have any children.

An old bird-eye map (circa 1889) for Wilkes-Ba...

An old bird-eye map (circa 1889) for Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, United States. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Second, we think that social media today reveals too many intimate details about people’s lives, but even in 1899 the public was fascinated with the private lives of others. I also wonder how those whose marriage announcement followed this one in the Wilkes-Barre paper felt about their relatively meager announcements.

Thirdly, I don’t know what happened to the home being prepared for them in Baltimore, but as far as I can tell, Harry and Mildred never really left Wilkes-Barre, I am sure to the delight of her many friends.

Thus, as of 1900, three of the Gump sons—Abraham, Louis, and Harry— were married.   Their father Gabriel was living in Baltimore with Louis and his family in 1900, and the youngest son Joseph was living with them as well.

Louis Gump and family 1900 census Year: 1900; Census Place: Baltimore Ward 16, Baltimore City (Independent City), Maryland; Roll: 615; Page: 12A; Enumeration District: 0209; FHL microfilm: 1240615

Louis Gump and family 1900 census
Year: 1900; Census Place: Baltimore Ward 16, Baltimore City (Independent City), Maryland; Roll: 615; Page: 12A; Enumeration District: 0209; FHL microfilm: 1240615

Abraham was living with his wife Jennie and daughters in Baltimore also, and only Harry was living elsewhere—in Wilkes-Barre.

Joseph, the youngest son, married Francella (sometimes called Frances) Kohler sometime before June 25, 1907.  I cannot find any official or unofficial reference to the date of their marriage, but on that date a newspaper item appeared in the Baltimore Sun reporting that “Mrs. Joseph Gump” would spend July at the Blue Mountain House, a resort in the Blue Ridge Mountains near the border of Maryland and Pennsylvania.

mrs-joseph-gump-1907-in-baltimore

Baltimore Sun, June 23, 1907, p. 6

I wondered how Joseph Gump met Francella Kohler.  She was born in New York City in 1875 and lived in Brooklyn until she was about five when her parents, David Kohler and Jane Kurtz, moved to Baltimore.  David was a merchant, sometimes selling clothing, sometimes tobacco products, and Francella was one of eight children.  Her mother Jane died in 1880, and at some point her father David remarried, and by 1891 the family had moved to Savannah, Georgia.

So how did Joseph Gump meet Francella if she had moved from Baltimore by the time (and perhaps before) she was sixteen? He was four years older than Francella.  Perhaps they’d met while she and he were both growing up in Baltimore or their families were friendly.  Also, I found two items of social news in the Augusta, Georgia, newspaper, one from 1900 and one from 1902, reporting that Joseph Gump of Baltimore was staying in that city.  Although Augusta is almost 140 miles from Savannah, perhaps there was some event that brought Joseph and Francella together while he was visiting Georgia.

joseph-gump-in-ga-1902 joseph-gump-in-ga-1900

At any rate, Joseph and Francella married by June 1907, and on November 17, 1908, their son George Gump was born in Baltimore.  In 1910, Joseph, Francella, and George were living in Baltimore, and Joseph was working in the family liquor business.  Francella’s father David Kohler, widowed again, was living with them.

Joseph Gump and family 1910 US census Year: 1910; Census Place: Baltimore Ward 15, Baltimore (Independent City), Maryland; Roll: T624_558; Page: 4B; Enumeration District: 0259; FHL microfilm: 1374571

Joseph Gump and family 1910 US census
Year: 1910; Census Place: Baltimore Ward 15, Baltimore (Independent City), Maryland; Roll: T624_558; Page: 4B; Enumeration District: 0259; FHL microfilm: 1374571

Joseph’s father Gabriel was still living with his son Louis and his family in 1910. Gabriel was retired, but Louis was still working in the liquor business with his brothers.  Abraham also was still in the family liquor business, living in Baltimore with his wife and daughters.  Harry continued to live in Wilkes-Barre with his wife Mildred, and although the entry for him on the 1910 census is not legible, according to the 1910 Wilkes-Barre city directory, he was working as a commercial traveler, i.e., a traveling salesman.

On January 28, 1915, Gabriel Gump died at age 84 in Baltimore.  Although I could not find an obituary in the Baltimore Sun, the Wilkes-Barre Evening News (January 29, 1915, p. 5) ran this notice:

gabriel-gump-death-notice-1915

When Gabriel’s will was probated a month later, the Baltimore Sun published this article about the distribution of Gabriel’s estate:

Baltimore Sun, February 3, 1915, p. 4

Baltimore Sun, February 3, 1915, p. 4

 

Gabriel was survived by his four sons and four grandchildren: Rosalind, Etta, Ruth, and George.  In addition, when Gabriel died, he was already a great-grandfather.  His granddaughter Rosalind, daughter of Louis and Carrie (Metzger) Gump, had married Milton Wertheimer, who was born in New York in 1883, but was living in Baltimore in 1910 with his parents and working in his father’s manufacturing business. Rosalind and Milton had a son, Emanuel, in 1912.  A second son, Milton Wertheimer, Jr., was born just five months after Gabriel’s death in 1915.

Thus, at the time of Gabriel Gump’s death, his four sons and their families were prospering from the family’s wholesale liquor business.  The next decade saw drastic changes

 

 

19 thoughts on “The Gumps and the Business of Alcohol

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