Two years after the tragic deaths of Philip and Nellie (Buxbaum) Goldsmith, the family of Jacob and Fannie Goldsmith had an opportunity for a joyful celebration. On March 9, 1898, Jacob and Fannie’s oldest grandchild, Rena Rice, daughter of Nathan and Caroline (Goldsmith) Rice, was married to Edwin Sternfels in Philadelphia. The Philadelphia Times provided a detailed report of the festivities:1
One of the most important of the many weddings which have taken place this winter was performed after the rites of the Jewish faith last night in the New Mercantile Hall…. It was the wedding of Miss Rena G. Rice, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Nathan Rice [Caroline Goldsmith], to Edwin Sternfels, of New York.
The guests assembled in the hall and there awaited the entrance of the bridal party. At the hour appointed, to the ever-new strains of the “Lohengrin” Wedding March, played by the orchestra, which was hidden behind the bank of bay trees, palms and exotics of every description, the bridal party entered the hall and moved slowly forward to the dais which had been erected just in front of the stage.
The master of ceremonies, J.J. Rice, led, followed by the ushers….[including] Sid G. Rice [brother of the bride]…of this city, following them coming the groom upon the arm of his mother and then the bride, dressed in a white satin gown, trimmed with duchesse lace, with diamond ornaments, and carrying the bridal Bible and lilies of the valley, upon the arm of her father.
Upon reaching the dais, around which was banked bay trees and palms, while overhead a canopy of exquisite beauty was made with festoons of asparagus vine studded with carnations, they stepped upon this platform, where the rabbi was standing, and the ceremony was performed which made them man and wife.
Following the ceremony a wedding feast was served, followed in turn by a reception and dance in honor of the happy couple.
The article concluded with a very lengthy list of some of those who attended the wedding. Among those listed were the following of my relatives:
Mr. and Mrs. A. Coleman: Emma Goldsmith and her husband Abraham Cohlman (typo in the article); Emma was Rena’s aunt, Jacob’s daughter.
Mr. and Mrs. A. Goldsmith: Abraham Goldsmith, Jacob Goldsmith’s brother, Rena’s great-uncle, and my three-times great-uncle
Mr. and Mrs. Harry Goldsmith: Harry was Jacob’s son and Rena’s uncle
Martin Goldsmith: I think this might be another typo and should be Milton Goldsmith, Abraham Goldsmith’s son and Rena’s first cousin, once removed. I have no record of a Martin Goldsmith.
Mrs. Fannie Goldsmith: Rena’s grandmother and Jacob Goldsmith’s widow.
Byron Goldsmith, Herbert Goldsmith, and Jerome Goldsmith: the orphaned sons of Philip and Nellie Goldsmith and Rena’s first cousins.
Jeannette Goldsmith: named as the flower girl, so presumably a child, but I’ve yet to find her. A mystery to be solved.
Mrs. I. Levy: Hannah Goldsmith, Jacob Goldsmith’s daughter and Rena’s aunt
Mrs. S. Mansbach: Sarah Goldschmidt Mansbach, Jacob Goldsmith’s sister and Rena’s great-aunt
Julius Mansbach: Rena’s first cousin, once removed, and son of Sarah Goldschmidt Mansbach
The Messrs. Raphael and the Misses Raphael: the family of Hulda Goldsmith Raphael, Jacob Goldsmith’s daughter and aunt of the bride
S.G. Rice: the bride’s brother Sidney Goldsmith Rice
In addition, although not included on the list of those attending, Jessie G. Rice, the bride’s sister, was named in the article as the maid of honor.
This was obviously quite an expensive affair, evidence of the prosperity of Nathan and Caroline (Goldsmith) Rice. According to the 1900 census, Nathan was still in the clothing business in Philadelphia, and he owned his house free of any mortgage. His son Sidney was “mostly” employed in the lithography business; he was now 27 years old. Also living with Nathan and Caroline in addition to Sidney and their youngest child Jessie was Nathan’s brother, Jacob J. Rice (presumably the master of ceremonies named as J.J Rice in the wedding article), Caroline’s widowed mother, Fannie Goldsmith, and two servants.
Caroline’s sister Emma and her husband Abraham Cohlman were also living in Philadelphia in 1900 where Abraham was employed as a salesman; their home was subject to a mortgage. They had no children, but two boarders were living with them.2
A third sibling, Hulda Goldsmith Raphael, was also living in Philadelphia, along with her husband Chapman Raphael and their three children. Chapman was in the wholesale liquor business, and their home was rented. They also had a servant living with them.3
One sibling had left Philadelphia. Hannah and her husband Isaac Levy were living in Circleville, Ohio, a small town of about 6000 people about 30 miles south of Columbus, Ohio, the closest city of any size. What were they doing there and when had they arrived? On the wedding guest list for Rena’s 1898 wedding as reported in The Philadelphia Times, Hannah was reported as Mrs. I. Levy of Circleville, Ohio, so she and Isaac were already living in Ohio by that time. On the 1900 census, Isaac had no occupation listed, but they did own their own home there, free of a mortgage.[^4}
But why Circleville, Ohio? I did find an unmarried man named Isaac Levy on the 1880 census living in Circleville and working in the clothing business, but he was born in France. Was this the Isaac Levy who married Hannah Goldsmith in Philadelphia twelve years later?4
Was the 1880 census just in error in naming his birthplace as France? As I wrote in my earlier post, Isaac Levy is such a common name that I can’t seem to narrow down the possibilities to learn more about the Isaac Levy who married Hannah Goldsmith. Unfortunately, Circleville is so small that I can’t even find directories or newspapers to search.
The other sibling whose 1900 whereabouts are somewhat mysterious is Harry Goldsmith. That is a subject for another post. Or another few.
- “Wedding at Mercantile Hall,” The Philadelphia Times, March 10, 1898, p. 7. ↩
- Nathan Rice and family, 1900 US census; 1900; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 28, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1469; Page: 14B; Enumeration District: 0674; FHL microfilm: 1241469 ↩
- Hulda and Chapman Raphael, 1900 US census; Year: 1900; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 32, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania;Page: 7; Enumeration District: 0808 ↩
- Isaac Levy, 1880 US census; Year: 1880; Census Place: Circleville, Pickaway, Ohio; Roll: 1058; Page: 570A;Enumeration District: 229 ↩