Lena Goldsmith Basch, Final Chapter: Joseph Basch’s Twins

In 1930, Joseph Basch and his wife Ida Steinhauser were living in Columbus, Ohio, with their twin children, Elene, a Smith College graduate, and Joseph, Jr., a graduate of Ohio State University. Joseph, Sr., continued to work in the tobacco business with his brother Joel.

Elene Basch married Robert Weiler on October 14, 1931, in Columbus. Robert, the son of Adolph Weiler and Blanche Kahn, was born on December 31, 1902, in Hartford, Indiana.1 His father was born in Germany, and his mother was born in Indiana. By 1910, the family had moved to Columbus, where Adolph Weiler was a clothing merchant.2 Robert graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and in 1930 was living in Marion, Ohio, working in real estate sales.3

Ancestry.com. Ohio, County Marriage Records, 1774-1993

Elene and Robert settled in Bexley, Ohio, and had two children during the 1930s. In 1940, they were still living in Bexley, and Robert was working as an insurance broker.4 Elene’s parents Joseph and Ida were living in Columbus, and Joseph continued to own Levy Mendel, the tobacco business.5

Elene’s twin, Joseph, Jr., had moved to Highland Park, Michigan, by 1930, where he was working as a taxi driver and lodging with a family.6 (He was enumerated twice in 1930, once with his parents in Columbus and once in Highland Park.7) By 1935 he was living in Detroit and was still there in 1940, working as a parking lot attendant.8

I was able to get more insight about Joseph, Jr., and his mother Ida from these excerpts from the oral history interview conducted by the Columbus Jewish Historical Society with Alan Weiler on April 8, 2008.

Weiler: … My uncle Joseph moved to Detroit, Michigan where he lived an unusual life. He worked for General Motors on the assembly line, married a woman, but never had nerve enough to tell his mom that he was married. When she went up to visit him he introduced her as his maid. … He lived on Second Avenue in downtown Detroit where it was unlikely to have a maid. My grandmother thought that her son had a maid rather than a wife.

Interviewer: Why was he afraid to tell her? If he were married, he thought she wouldn’t approve?

Weiler: Exactly. My Uncle Joseph was a stutterer. His mother, my grandmother Ida Basch, was a very domineering woman. After he finished Ohio State he just wanted to get out of town and he ended up living in Detroit, I think became an alcoholic, really lived a very unusual life. The lady he married, Winola, was a lovely lady. ….

I found Joseph Basch, Jr. traveling with a woman named Lola Basch in 1958; I assume this was the woman Alan Weiler remembered as Winola.

The National Archives at Washington, D.C.; Washington, D.C.; Series Title: Passenger and Crew Lists of Vessels and Airplanes Arriving at Miami, Florida.; NAI Number: 2771998; Record Group Title: Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, 1787 – 2004; Record Group Number: 85,  Ancestry.com. Florida, Passenger Lists, 1898-1963

She was born Lola Brown, daughter of James Brown and Lisa Sparks, on October 31, 1916, in Ivyton, Kentucky.9 In 1940, she was working as a servant in a household in Johnson County, Kentucky. So maybe in some sense Joseph did not lie to his mother—Lola had been at one time a maid, although in someone else’s home.10

Joseph Basch, Sr., died June 17, 1953,11 and his wife Ida died two years later on March 3, 1955.12 They were survived by their two children and two grandchildren. Their daughter Elene died in Columbus on November 25, 1973,13 followed just two months later by her husband Robert Weiler on January 28, 1974.14  For more about Elene and Robert and their lives, I highly recommend the oral interview done with their son Alan in 2008, which you can find here.

Joseph Basch, Jr., died on December 31, 1988, at the age of 82.15 I found this intriguing death notice in the January 2, 1989 Detroit News (p. 26):

“Basch,” Detroit News, January 2, 1989, p. 26.

Who are these stepchildren? Is “Lois” really Lola? The only seemingly relevant link I could locate was to Charles Fryman. I found a Charles W. Fryman born in Perry, Kentucky, on November 27, 1943, on the Kentucky Birth Index listed with a mother named Lola Ball.16  The Social Security Applications and Claims Index lists Charles Willie Fryman born November 27, 1941, with parents Charlie I Fryman and Lola Brown.17 I could not find any marriage record for Lola Brown and/or Charlie Fryman, however, so perhaps Charles W. Fryman was born outside of wedlock. He is listed on the Social Security Death Index with a birth date of November 27, 1942, and a date of death of July 15, 2000.18 He certainly appears to have been Lola Brown’s son. I could not find any connections to Lee Compton or Lucy Jacobs, however.

At any rate, although Joseph Basch, Jr., may never have had children with Lola, he certainly seemed to have a large family of stepchildren and step-grandchildren in his life.

With this post, I close another chapter in the family of my four-times great-uncle Simon Goldsmith and his children with his first wife Eveline Katzenstein and specifically the story of their daughter Lena. Lena Goldsmith Basch seems to have been a strong and smart woman, a woman who not only raised her children and cared for her husband Gustavus, but who ran a business and helped to support her family financially. She and her children left their mark on their long-time home of Columbus, Ohio.

Now I will turn back to and complete the stories of Simon’s children with his second wife, my three-times great-aunt Fradchen Schoenthal—my double cousins Henry and Hannah Goldsmith.


  1.  National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington D.C.; Roll #: 2481; Volume #: Roll 2481 – Certificates: 397850-398349, 21 Apr 1924-22 Apr 1924,
    Ancestry.com. U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925 
  2. Adolph Weiler and family, 1910 US census, Census Place: Columbus Ward 4, Franklin, Ohio; Roll: T624_1181; Page: 5B; Enumeration District: 0074; FHL microfilm: 1375194, Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census 
  3. Columbus (OH) Dispatch, October 26, 1930, p. 39; Robert Weiler, 1930 US census, Census Place: Marion, Franklin, Ohio; Page: 14A; Enumeration District: 0191; FHL microfilm: 2341527, Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census 
  4. Robert Weiler and family, 1940 US census, Census Place: Bexley, Franklin, Ohio; Roll: m-t0627-03068; Page: 7B; Enumeration District: 25-4, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census  
  5. Joseph and Ida Basch, 1940 US census, Census Place: Columbus, Franklin, Ohio; Roll: m-t0627-03242; Page: 12B; Enumeration District: 93-55, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  6. Joseph Basch, Jr., 1930 US census, Census Place: Highland Park, Wayne, Michigan; Page: 10A; Enumeration District: 0994; FHL microfilm: 2340809,
    Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census 
  7. Basch family, 1930 US census, Census Place: Columbus, Franklin, Ohio; Page: 22A; Enumeration District: 0029; FHL microfilm: 2341529, Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census 
  8. Joseph Basch, Jr., 1940 US census, Census Place: Detroit, Wayne, Michigan; Roll: m-t0627-01844; Page: 10B; Enumeration District: 84-158, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  9. SSN: 400363565, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 
  10. Lola Brown, 1940 US census, Census Place: Johnson, Kentucky; Roll: m-t0627-01322; Page: 13A; Enumeration District: 58-13, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  11. SSN 297323868, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 
  12. “Mrs. Ida Basch,” Columbus (OH) Dispatch, March 4, 1955, p. 48. Ancestry.com. Web: Columbus, Ohio, Green Lawn Cemetery Index, 1780-2010 
  13.  Certificate: 085726; Volume: 21489, Ancestry.com and Ohio Department of Health. Ohio, Death Records, 1908-1932, 1938-2007 
  14.  Certificate: 002636; Volume: 21563, Ancestry.com and Ohio Department of Health. Ohio, Death Records, 1908-1932, 1938-2007 
  15. SSN: 365167257, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 
  16. Volume Number: 058, Certificate Number: 28711, Volume Year: 1945, Ancestry.com. Kentucky, Birth Index, 1911-1999 
  17. SSN: 405567939, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 
  18.  Number: 405-56-7939; Issue State: Kentucky; Issue Date: 1959, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 

Final Chapter for Joel Basch and His Family: Tragedy and Generosity

In 1930, Joel Basch was still in the tobacco business and living with his wife Jeanette and sons Sidney and Gustavus in Columbus, Ohio. Sidney was working as a clerk in a finance company and Gustavus as a salesman in a furniture store.

Joel Basch, 1930 US census, Census Place: Columbus, Franklin, Ohio; Page: 13A; Enumeration District: 0042; FHL microfilm: 2341530
Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census

In the 1930s, Gustavus moved to Miami. In 1940, he was still living in Miami, where he was the manager of a tourist camp.1 I wondered what that meant and searched for Gustavus in the newspaper databases and found this advertisement from the December 6, 1936, Miami Herald (p. 72):

Apparently a “tourist camp” was a place for tourists to stay while vacationing in Miami—a place to park a trailer or rent a cottage. As indicated in the advertisement as well as on Gustavus’ World War II draft registration, this was his own business.

His parents, Joel and Jeanette, were listed right above him on the 1940 census, but they were enumerated twice in 1940—once in Columbus living with their older son Sidney, once in Miami with their younger son Gustavus. The Columbus enumeration was done on April 11, 1940, and the Miami enumeration was done on April 30, 1940. The Columbus enumeration reported that Joel, now 73, was retired, and that Sidney, 43, was a clerk at an insurance company.

Joel and Jeanette Basch, 1940 US census, Census Place: Columbus, Franklin, Ohio; Roll: m-t0627-03243; Page: 9A; Enumeration District: 93-77
Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census

Joel and Jeanette Basch and Gustavus Basch, 1940 US census, Census Place: Dade, Florida; Roll: m-t0627-00580; Page: 4A; Enumeration District: 13-22
Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census

Gustavus enlisted into the US Army on August 11, 1942,2 when he was 38 years old. He was serving as the “chief of the radio nets for his fighter squadron in 1943.” According to Wikipedia, a radio net is “essentially a moderated conference call conducted over two-way radio…. A net manager is the person who supervises the creation and operation of a net over multiple sessions. This person will specify the format, date, time, participants, and the net control script.”

“Visits Parents,” Columbus (OH) Dispatch, October 8, 1943, p. 14

The family suffered a terrible loss on January 10, 1945, when Sidney Basch had a cerebral hemorrhage and died in the family’s garage in Columbus.  According to his death certificate, his body was not discovered until ten hours later. The newspaper reported that a neighbor found Sidney’s body, lying between the garage door and the rear bumper of his car; the paper also reported that Sidney had a history of heart attacks. He was 48 years old when he died.3

Sidney Basch, death certificate, Ohio Deaths, 1908-1953,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-DH64-VL8?cc=1307272&wc=MD96-DTP%3A287601701%2C287601302 : 21 May 2014), 1945 > 00001-03300 > image 1423 of 3510.

His brother Gustavus was serving in Europe at the time of Sidney’s death, but must have been discharged not long afterwards. He spent several months with his parents in Columbus after his discharge before returning to Florida in October of 1945.4

Two years later Jeanette Mendel Basch died on December 26, 1947. According to her obituary, she had been ill for a year. Jeanette had outlived two of her sons—Robert, who’d died as a young child, and Sidney. She was survived by her husband Joel and son Gustavus.5

But Joel only outlived Jeanette by three years. He died on December 8, 1950, from a heart attack and arteriosclerosis. He was 87.

Joel Basch, death certificate, Ohio Deaths, 1908-1953,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-6Q67-VC2?cc=1307272&wc=MD9N-9P8%3A287599801%2C294723701 : 21 May 2014), 1950 > 74601-76700 > image 303 of 2329.

Gustavus, who according to Joel’s obituary 6 was the secretary-treasurer of Tourist City Corporation in Miami when his father died in 1950, continued to live in Florida for the rest of his life. He died on November 13, 1989, in Miami, at age 85. Gustavus had not married or had children.7

An article that ran in numerous Florida newspapers revealed that Gustavus had died a wealthy man. In his early years he had invested in real estate in Miami that he sold after World War II; he had successfully invested his profits in the stock market and died with an estate worth five million dollars. He left two million dollars to the Miami Metrozoo and smaller amounts to his alma mater, Ohio State University, the United Negro College Fund, and South Miami Hospital. I found it ironic that Gustavus had done so well “gambling” on the stock market, given that his father Joel had lost his business as a young man due to gambling debts.8

As neither of Joel and Jeanette’s sons had children, there are no living descendants of Joel and Jeanette (Mendel) Basch. But their stories are not forgotten.


  1. Gustavus Basch, 1940 US census, Census Place: Dade, Florida; Roll: m-t0627-00580; Page: 4A; Enumeration District: 13-22, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  2. Ancestry.com. U.S., World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946. 
  3. “Solicitor’s Body Found in Garage,” Columbus (OH) Dispatch, January 10, 1945, p. 1. 
  4. “To Miami,” Columbus (OH) Dispatch, October 2, 1945, p. 12. 
  5. “Mrs. Jeannette Basch,” Columbus (OH) Dispatch, December 27, 1947, p. 3. 
  6. “Joel Basch,” Columbus (OH) Dispatch, December 9, 1950, p. 11. 
  7. SSN: 265019585, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 
  8. “Frugal Man Leaves $2 Million to Zoo,” The Tampa Tribune, 25 Nov 1990, p. 29. 

Lena Goldsmith Basch, Final Chapters: Frank and Hinda

In 1930, four of Lena Goldsmith’s six children were still living—Frank, Hinda, Joel, and Joseph. They ranged in age from Joseph at 63 to Frank at 73. Their children, Lena’s grandchildren, were all adults by 1930. In fact, by 1930 Frank had five grandchildren himself, and one more would arrive in the 1930s. Joel and Joseph would also have grandchildren born in the 1930s. And there were also more marriages among the grandchildren in the years that followed.

The next three posts will conclude the saga of the Basch family of Columbus, Ohio. This post will complete the stories of Frank and Hinda; Joel and Joseph will be discussed in subsequent posts.

Frank Basch’s family

Lewis Basch, Frank and Freda (Rosenthal) Basch’s son, married Maryleone Freund on June 30, 1931. Maryleone was the daughter of a rabbi, Charles J. Freund, and Elizabeth “Bertie” Oberdorfer. She was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, on November 29, 1910, but also lived in Grand Rapids, Michigan. In 1930 she was living with her parents in Toledo, Ohio.1

Lewis Basch, marriage record, “Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2013,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:939L-FZFC?cc=1614804&wc=Q6SP-NLG%3A121350601%2C123701101 : 15 July 2014), Franklin > Marriage index and records 1935-1937 vol 108 > image 208 of 330; county courthouses, Ohio.

After marrying Lewis, Maryleone completed her undergraduate degree at Ohio State University. Lewis and Maryleone would have two children in the 1930s.

U.S., School Yearbooks, 1880-2012″; Yearbook Title: The Makio; Year: 1932
Ancestry.com. U.S., School Yearbooks, 1900-1990

Just three months after her brother Lewis’ wedding, Coryne Basch, Frank and Freda’s daughter, died at age 33 from appendicitis on September 27, 1931.  According to her death certificate, Coryne was the owner of a kindergarten. Coryne was survived by her parents, her sisters Rae and Ruth, and her brother Lewis. She had never married or had children.

Coryne Basch, death certificate, Ohio Deaths, 1908-1953,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:X6HL-K9C : 8 March 2018), Coryne Basch, 27 Sep 1931; citing Columbus, Franklin, Ohio, reference fn 53945; FHL microfilm 1,992,473.

Frank Basch died on January 5, 1934, in Columbus, from coronary disease and hypertension. He was 76 years old. With his death, only three of his siblings remained.

Frank Basch, death certificate, Ohio, County Death Records, 1840-2001,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-6QM9-HSN?cc=2128172&wc=7DZ2-PQB%3A1296032501%2C1296824302 : 2 October 2014), Franklin > Death certificates, 1926-1927 > image 1504 of 3280; county courthouses, Ohio.

In 1940, Frank’s three surviving children were all living in different places. Lewis and his family were living in Bexley, Ohio, a suburb less than four miles east of Columbus. Lewis was a dentist in private practice.2 His sister Rae was living with her family in Chillicothe, Ohio, fifty miles south of Columbus; her husband Sidney Katz continued to be a clothing merchant.3  Ruth and her husband Sigmund Front and their children were living in Wheeling, West Virginia, in 1940, where Sigmund was managing an electrical supply store.4 Sigmund’s 1942 World War II draft registration revealed that he was no longer working in his father’s Front Company business, but for Westinghouse. I could not locate Freda Rosenthal Basch, Frank’s widow, on the 1940 census.

Sigmund Front, World War II draft registration, The National Archives at St. Louis; St. Louis, Missouri; WWII Draft Cards (Fourth Registration) for the State of West Virginia; Record Group Title: Records of the Selective Service System, 1926-1975; Record Group Number: 147; Series Number: M1937, Ancestry.com. U.S., World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942

Rae Basch Katz lost her husband Sidney six years later. He was 57 years old when he died on July 6, 1946.5 She outlived him by 23 years; she died on October 25, 1969, at the age of 73.6 Rae and Sidney were survived by their three daughters.

Freda Rosenthal Basch died on September 16, 1954, twenty years after her husband Frank. She was 85 years old.7

Ruth Basch Front’s husband Sigmund died in Wheeling, West Virginia, on November 2, 1960. He was 66.8 Ruth later moved to Florida, where she died at age 83 on June 1, 1988. Ruth and Sigmund were survived by their two sons.9

Tragically, Lewis Basch lost his son Richard, who, like his father, was a dentist, on July 3, 1970, when Richard was killed in a car accident after his car crossed the median on the Kentucky Turnpike and struck another vehicle. Richard was only 33 and was survived by his wife and two children.10

Lewis Basch and his wife Maryleone remained in the Columbus area, and Lewis died there on July 5, 1986, when he was 86 years old.11 He was survived by his wife Maryleone, who died at 90 on February 14, 2001, in Columbus.12 Their daughter survived them as well as their grandchildren.

Hinda Basch

In 1940 Hinda Basch was living alone in Columbus without an occupation.13 She died four years later on June 23, 1944, from hypostatic pneumonia and myocardial degeneration. She was 83. She was survived by her brothers Joel and Joseph and a number of nieces and nephews. She had no direct descendants.

Hinda Basch, death certificate, Ohio Deaths, 1908-1953,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:33S7-9PKP-W466?cc=1307272&wc=MD9X-TP8%3A287599501%2C294550101 : 21 May 2014), 1944 > 36501-39300 > image 1707 of 3268.


  1. State File Number: 2830A, Ancestry.com. Utah, Birth Certificates, 1903-1911. Charles Freund and family, 1910 US census, Census Place: Salt Lake City Ward 5, Salt Lake, Utah; Roll: T624_1607; Page: 5B; Enumeration District: 0142; FHL microfilm: 1375620, Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census  Freund family, 1930 US census, Census Place: Toledo, Lucas, Ohio; Page: 15A; Enumeration District: 0080; FHL microfilm: 2341570, Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census 
  2. Lewis Basch and family, 1940 US census, Census Place: Bexley, Franklin, Ohio; Roll: m-t0627-03068; Page: 10B; Enumeration District: 25-1, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  3. Sidney Katz and family, 1940 US census, Census Place: Chillicothe, Ross, Ohio; Roll: m-t0627-03138; Page: 18A; Enumeration District: 71-22, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  4. Sigmund Front and family, 1940 US census, Census Place: Wheeling, Ohio, West Virginia; Roll: m-t0627-04436; Page: 6B; Enumeration District: 35-37, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  5. Ancestry.com and Ohio Department of Health. Ohio, Death Records, 1908-1932, 1938-2007 
  6.  Certificate: 202624; Volume: 90023, Ancestry.com and Ohio Department of Health. Ohio, Death Records, 1908-1932, 1938-2007 
  7. Ancestry.com. Web: Columbus, Ohio, Green Lawn Cemetery Index, 1780-2010; Original data: Green Lawn Cemetery Burials. Columbus, Ohio. Joe and Dick Fleshman. http://greenlawn.delaohio.com/greenlawn/Greenlawn/index.htm: accessed 09 February 2012. 
  8. FHL Film Number: 857652, Ancestry.com. West Virginia, Deaths Index, 1853-1973 
  9. Ancestry.com. Florida Death Index, 1877-1998 
  10. “Son-in-Law of Dr. King Dies, The Newark (OH) Advocate, 09 Jul 1970, p. 22; “Dental Surgeon, Farmer Die in Separate Accidents,” The (Louisville, KY) Courier-Journal, 04 Jul 1970, p. 15. 
  11.  Certificate: 052193; Volume: 26521, Ancestry.com and Ohio Department of Health. Ohio, Death Records, 1908-1932, 1938-2007 
  12.  Certificate: 010106; Volume: 32734, Ancestry.com and Ohio Department of Health. Ohio, Death Records, 1908-1932, 1938-2007 
  13. Hinda Basch, 1940 US census, Census Place: Columbus, Franklin, Ohio; Roll: m-t0627-03244; Page: 81A; Enumeration District: 93-119B, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 

Lena Goldsmith Basch’s Grandchildren Reach Adulthood

As seen in my last post about the Basch family, the children of Lena Goldsmith Basch suffered two losses in 1915. Their brother Jacob died on April 5, 1915, and Ella’s husband Isidor Shatz died seven months later. But not all the events of the 1910s were sad ones.

On February 5, 1917, Lena and Gustavus Basch’s oldest granddaughter, Frank’s daughter Rae, married Sidney Katz in Columbus.  She was twenty years old, and he was 28.

Ancestry.com. Ohio, County Marriage Records, 1774-1993

Sidney was born in Ohio on January 13, 1889,1 and grew up in Cincinnati, where in 1900 he was living with his widowed mother, Dina Bing Katz, and siblings.2 Sidney’s father Henry Katz had died when Sidney was just ten on December 24, 1899.3 Both of Sidney’s parents were German immigrants. In 1910, Sidney was living with his mother and sister in Cincinnati, working as a traveling millinery salesman.4

Rae and Sidney settled in Chillicothe, Ohio, about fifty miles from Columbus, where their first child, Dorothy Basch Katz, was born on March 19, 1919.5 In 1920 they were still living in Chillicothe, and Sidney was working as a dry goods merchant.6 Rae and Sidney had a second child, Jean, born on June 19, 1920,7 and then a year later a third daughter Frances was born on November 5, 1921.8

Rae’s younger brother Lewis served in World War I. He enlisted on October 18, 1918, when he was just eighteen. He was discharged two months later after the war ended.9 In 1920 he was back in Columbus, living with his parents Frank and Fred and his sisters and attending Ohio State University. According to the 1920 census, no one in the household was employed.

Frank Basch, 1910 US census, Census Place: Columbus Ward 3, Franklin, Ohio; Roll: T624_1180; Page: 8A; Enumeration District: 0057; FHL microfilm: 1375193
Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census

Joel’s son Sidney Basch also served in World War I. He served from November 1917 until April 25, 1919.10 In 1920, he also was safely back home and living with his parents Joel and Jeanette and brother Gustavus. Joel was still in the tobacco business, and Sidney was a clerk in the industrial slate business.11

In 1920, Joseph Basch and his wife Ida were living with their twins, Elene and Joseph, Jr. Their father Joseph, Sr., was working with his brother Joel in the tobacco business.12

The two sisters, Hinda and Ella, were living together in 1920. Neither had children, and neither was working. The bequests left by their brother Jacob (and perhaps by Isidor Shatz also) must have left them sufficiently comfortable that they did not need other income.13

Thus, as of 1920, the surviving five children of Lena Goldsmith and Gustavus Basch were all living in Columbus, Ohio.

The 1920s brought another marriage and more children to the extended family. On March 9, 1925, Frank and Freda (Rosenthal) Basch’s youngest child Ruth married Sigmund S. Front in Columbus.

Ancestry.com. Ohio, County Marriage Records, 1774-1993

Sigmund was born on November 4, 1893, in Krakow, Poland, to Henry Elias Front and Rose Thieberger.14 He immigrated with his mother and siblings in August, 1899, joining his father who was already here.15 By 1901 the family was settled in Wheeling, West Virginia, where his father was working as a laborer in a brewery in 1910.16 In 1920 Sigmund was living with his family and working, along with his brothers, as a salesman for the gas and electric supplies business now owned by his father in Wheeling and known as The Front Company.17

Their wedding received a lovely detailed write-up in the Columbus newspaper, which also reported that they would be living in Wheeling after their honeymoon:

Columbia (OH) Dispatch, March 10, 1925, p. 16

Wheeling is about 130 miles east of Columbus, Ohio, and I have no idea how Ruth and Sigmund met. After marrying and settling in Wheeling, they had two sons born in the 1920s. In 1930, Ruth and Sigmund and their children were living in Wheeling, and Sigmund was now the secretary of the Front Company, according to the census, although the 1930 Wheeling directory lists him as its president.18

Meanwhile, Ruth’s father Frank Basch and his wife Freda and their two unmarried children, Coryne and Lewis, were still living in Columbus in the 1920s. Lewis studied dentistry at Ohio State University graduating in 1925,  and then he served in the dental reserves.19 In 1930, Lewis was living with his sister Coryne and his parents in Columbus where he was practicing dentistry. He was the only family member with an occupation listed.20

Frank and Freda’s oldest child Rae, who had married Sidney Katz in 1917 and moved to Chillicothe, Ohio, was still living with Sidney and their three daughters in 1930. Sidney was a clothing merchant.21

As for the other Basch siblings, the 1920s were relatively quiet. Joel Basch and his family continued to live in Columbus. In 1926, Joel purchased for investment a building in Columbus, perhaps with his inheritance from his brother Jacob.22 In 1930, Joel was still in the tobacco business and living with his wife Jeanette and sons Sidney and Gustavus in Columbus. Sidney was working as a clerk in a finance company and Gustavus as a salesman in a furniture store.

Joel Basch, 1930 US census, Census Place: Columbus, Franklin, Ohio; Page: 13A; Enumeration District: 0042; FHL microfilm: 2341530
Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census

The youngest brother Joseph and his wife Ida were also still in Columbus during the 1920s. Their daughter Elene was studying at Smith College in the 1920s,23 and her twin brother Joseph was a student at Ohio State University.24  In 1930 both Joseph and Elene were living at home in Columbus, where their father continued to work in the tobacco business with his brother Joel. Neither Elene nor Joseph, Jr. was employed.25

There also do not appear to have been any noteworthy events in the lives of the two sisters, Hinda Basch and Ella Basch Shatz, during the 1920s. Ella, however, was not destined to enjoy the next decade. She died on January 29, 1930, from heart failure; she was sixty-four. According to her obituary, she had been a social worker, although I never saw any indication of that on any of the census records.26 She had been a widow for almost fifteen years and had no children who survived her. Under the terms of her brother Jacob’s will, the property that she had inherited from him now passed to her sister Hinda. Hinda continued to live in Columbus in 1930.27

“Ohio Deaths, 1908-1953,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-D4LQ-GG4?cc=1307272&wc=MD96-DN5%3A287601401%2C287598802 : 21 May 2014), 1930 > 00001-02900 > image 2674 of 3183.

There were now four remaining siblings left in the Basch family: Frank, Hinda, Joel, and Joseph, all living in Columbus, Ohio. By 1940, there would only be three left.


  1. Sidney Katz, World War I draft registration, Registration State: Ohio; Registration County: Ross; Roll: 1851088, Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 
  2. Sidney Katz, 1900 US census, Census Place: Cincinnati Ward 2, Hamilton, Ohio; Page: 3; Enumeration District: 0017; FHL microfilm: 1241274, Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census 
  3. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/156611817 
  4. Sidney Katz, 1910 US census, Census Place: Cincinnati Ward 2, Hamilton, Ohio; Roll: T624_1188; Page: 4A; Enumeration District: 0023; FHL microfilm: 1375201, Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census 
  5. SSN: 300184495, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 
  6. Sidney and Rae Katz, 1920 US census, Census Place: Chillicothe Ward 1, Ross, Ohio; Roll: T625_1431; Page: 10A; Enumeration District: 132, Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census 
  7. Ancestry.com. U.S. Public Records Index, 1950-1993, Volume 1 
  8. Ancestry.com. Ohio, Birth Index, 1908-1964 
  9. SSN: 273365982, Branch 1: ARMY, Enlistment Date 1: 18 Oct 1918, Release Date 1: 11 Dec 1918, Ancestry.com. U.S., Department of Veterans Affairs BIRLS Death File, 1850-2010 
  10. Ancestry.com. Ohio Soldiers in WWI, 1917-1918. 
  11. Joel Basch and family, 1920 US census, Census Place: Columbus Ward 5, Franklin, Ohio; Roll: T625_1381; Page: 3B; Enumeration District: 96, Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census 
  12. Joseph Basch and family, 1920 US census, Census Place: Columbus Ward 4, Franklin, Ohio; Roll: T625_1381; Page: 4B; Enumeration District: 86, Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census 
  13. Hinda Basch and Ella Basch Shatz, 1920 US census, Census Place: Columbus Ward 7, Franklin, Ohio; Roll: T625_1381; Page: 3A; Enumeration District: 138, Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census 
  14. SSN: 233053103, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 
  15.  The National Archives at Washington, D.C.; Washington, D.C.; Records of the US Customs Service, RG36; NAI Number: 2655153; Record Group Title: Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, 1787-2004; Record Group Number: 85, Ancestry.com. Baltimore, Passenger Lists, 1820-1964 
  16. Wheeling, West Virginia, City Directory, 1901, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995. Sigmund Front, 1910 US census, Census Place: Wheeling Ward 7, Ohio, West Virginia; Roll: T624_1692; Page: 15B; Enumeration District: 0108; FHL microfilm: 1375705, Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census 
  17. Sigmund Front, 1920 US census, Census Place: Wheeling Ward 7, Ohio, West Virginia; Roll: T625_1966; Page: 4B; Enumeration District: 102, Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census 
  18. Sigmund Front and family, 1930 US census, Census Place: Wheeling, Ohio, West Virginia; Page: 13B; Enumeration District: 0036; FHL microfilm: 2342284, Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census 
  19. “Play Will Open Graduation Days at University,” Columbus Dispatch, Friday, Jun 12, 1925, Page: 6. “More Reserve Officers,” Columbus Dispatch, Wednesday, Jul 15, 1925 Columbus, OH Page: 5. 
  20. Frank Basch and family, 1930 US census, Census Place: Columbus, Franklin, Ohio; Page: 3B; Enumeration District: 0044; FHL microfilm: 2341530, Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census 
  21. Sidney and Rae Katz and family, 1930 US census, Census Place: Chillicothe, Ross, Ohio; Page: 1B; Enumeration District: 0021; FHL microfilm: 2341599, Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census 
  22. “Store Building Sold,” Columbus Dispatch, June 13, 1926, p. 27. 
  23. Columbia Dispatch, December 28, 1924, p. 30 
  24. School: Ohio State University, School Location: Columbus, Ohio, USA, Yearbook Title: Makio Yearbook, “U.S., School Yearbooks, 1880-2012”; Yearbook Title: Makio Yearbook; Year: 1926 
  25. Joseph Basch, 1930 US census, Census Place: Columbus, Franklin, Ohio; Page: 22A; Enumeration District: 0029; FHL microfilm: 2341529, Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census [Elene is listed a number of lines below her parents and brother on the page.] 
  26. “Mrs. Ella Schatz, Social Worker, Passes Away,” Columbus Dispatch, January 30, 1930, p. 2 
  27. Hinda Basch, 1930 US census, Census Place: Columbus, Franklin, Ohio; Page: 3A; Enumeration District: 0056; FHL microfilm: 2341528, Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census  

A Brother’s Will: A Caring Sibling

By 1910, Lena Goldsmith and her husband Gustavus had passed away, but they were survived by their six children and by nine grandchildren—Frank’s four children, Joel’s three children, and Joseph’s two children. All their children and grandchildren were living in Columbus, Ohio, except for their daughter Ella, who was living with her husband Isidor Shatz in Findlay, Ohio.

Two members of the family died in 1915. First, Jacob Basch died at age 56 from a cerebral hemorrhage on April 5, 1915. He had been suffering from chronic nephritis and myocarditis. His brother Joel was the informant on the death certificate.

Ohio, County Death Records, 1840-2001,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-62VC-K3N?cc=2128172&wc=7DZ2-PQ7%3A1296032501%2C1296751602 : 2 October 2014), Franklin > Death certificates, 1915, no 1-1803 > image 995 of 1856; county courthouses, Ohio.

Jacob had never married and had no descendants, but he left a very long and very detailed will, and it is clear from reading it just how close-knit these siblings were. Jacob provided for all five of his siblings and named all three of his brothers to be the executors of his will. It is obvious that he gave a lot of thought to how he wanted his assets divided.

 

I, Jacob Basch, of the city of Columbus, county of Franklin and state of Ohio, do make this my last will and testament, hereby revoking any and all former wills by me heretofore made:

ITEM I. I direct that all my just debts and funeral expenses be paid out of my estate as soon as practicable after the time of my decease.

ITEM II. I give and bequeath to the National Jewish Hospital for Consumptives in Denver, Colorado, the sum of one thousand dollars ($1000.00).

ITEM III. I give and bequeath to the United Jewish Charities of Columbus, Ohio, the sum of five hundred dollars ($500.00).

ITEM IV. I give and bequeath to my brother Joseph Basch, in trust, the sum of five thousand dollars (5000.00) upon the following trust and purpose, to-wit: to construct and erect, at a cost not to exceed the sum of five thousand dollars ($5000.00) an income producing structure upon the plot of ground described and delineated as lot seventy-six (76), Sullivan’s Addition to the city of Columbus, Ohio, being the piece of ground hereinafter devised to my brother Joseph Basch for and during his natural life, and upon his death, to his children, share and share alike absolutely and in fee simple. I direct that the trust fund provided for in this Item of my will be raised by the sale of such amount of my said securities as shall be necessary. In the event that said structure shall not cost the sum of five thousand dollars ($5000.00), the balance of said trust found shall be distributed among my brothers and sisters, share and share alike.

ITEM V. I give and bequeath to my brother Frank Basch an equal one-fifth (1/5) part of my personal property remaining after the payment of my just debts and funeral expenses and the legacies mentioned in Items II and III of this my last will and testament and the setting aside of the trust fund provided for in Item IV of this my last will and testament.

ITEM VI. I give and bequeath to my brother Joel Basch an equal one-fifth (1/5) part of my personal property remaining after the payment of my just debts and funeral expenses and the legacies mentioned in Items II and III of this my last will and testament and the setting aside of the trust fund provided for in Item IV of this my last will and testament.

ITEM VII. I give and bequeath to my brother Joseph Basch an equal one-fifth (1/5) part of my personal property remaining after the payment of my just debts and funeral expenses and the legacies mentioned in Items II and III of this my last will and testament and the setting aside of the trust fund provided for in Item IV of this my last will and testament.

ITEM VIII. I give and bequeath to my brother Joseph Basch in trust the remaining two-fifths (2/5) part of my personal property remaining after the payment of my just debts and funeral expenses and the legacies mentioned in Items II and III of this my last will and testament and the setting aside of the trust fund provided for in Item IV of this my last will and testament, to be held and used by him during the lives of my sisters Hinda Basch and Ella Schatz and during the life of the survivor of them, upon the following trust, to-wit: To invest and re-invest the proceeds of said personal property in United States, state or municipal bonds or in first mortgages upon improved city real estate, and to pay each of my said sisters Hinda Basch and Ella Schatz during their lives an equal one-half (1/2) of the net income of said investments, and after the death of one of my sisters to pay all the income of said investments to the survivor of them.

After the death of my said sisters Hinda Basch and Ella Schatz and the survivor of them, I give and bequeath said principal sum herein provided to Joseph Basch in trust of my said sisters, to my brothers Frank Basch, Joel Basch and Joseph Basch, share and share alike. In the event of the death of either or any of my said brothers before the death of the survivor of my said sisters Hinda Basch and Ella Schatz, then the share of said principal which would have been received by said deceased brother, if living, shall be distributed among his children, then living, share and share alike.

ITEM IX. In the division of my personal property bequeathed in Items V, VI, VII and VIII of this my last will and testament, I direct that the then value of my personal property be first ascertained and that a sufficient amount in cash to pay the legacy bequeathed to my brother Joseph Basch in trust for my sisters Hinda Basch and Ella Schatz and the survivor of them, be raised by the sale of such amount of my securities as shall be necessary.

I further direct that my said legatees Frank Basch Joel Basch and Joseph Basch may retain by way of investment any securities belonging to my estate at the time of my death, dividing said securities amongst themselves in such manner as to carry out the provisions of Items V, VI, and VII of this my last will and testament. In the event that my said legatees Frank Basch, Joel Basch and Joseph Basch can not agree as to the manner of division of such securities, then I direct that my executors shall sell all of said securities and apportion the proceeds in the manner directed in Items V, VI, and VII of this my last will and testament.

In the event of the death of my said trustee, Joseph Basch, I then appoint my brothers Frank Basch and Joel Basch and the survivor of them to act as such trustees and trustee, with full power to carry out the provisions of said trust.  I further direct that said trustees and trustee shall be bound by the limitations imposed upon my said trustee, Joseph Basch, as to the manner of investing said trust fund.  It is also my will that all future trustees who may be appointed to carry out the provisions of the within trust be likewise bound by said limitation as to the manner of investing said trust fund.

ITEM X. I give and devise to my sister Hinda Basch for and during her natural life my residence property known as 438 East Rich Street, Columbus, Ohio. From and after the death of said Hinda Basch I give and devise said property herein devised to her for and during her natural life to my brother Joseph Basch for and during his natural life. From and after the death of my said brother Joseph Basch, I give and devise said property herein devised to him for his natural life to his children, share and share alike absolutely, in fee simple.

I give and bequeath to my sister Hinda Basch absolutely all furniture, books, pictures and household effects which at the time of my decease shall be in, about or belonging to my aforesaid residence.

ITEM XI. I give and bequeath to my sister Hinda Basch an annuity of twelve hundred dollars ($1200.00) per year, for and during her natural life, payable on the first day of each and every month, and the payment of the same is hereby made a charge upon the realty hereinafter devised to my sister Ella Schatz, for and during her natural life. It is my will and I direct that said annuity of twelve hundred dollars ($1200.00) per year shall be a first and best lien on said real estate hereinafter devised to my said sister, Ella Schatz, for and during her natural life, and in the event said premises shall be destroyed by fire or rendered unfit for habitation so that the income derived from said real estate shall not be sufficient to pay said annuity, then in that event said annuity shall be paid out of the fund or funds realized from the fire insurance on said real estate. It being my will that in any and all events my said sister, Hinda Basch, shall receive an annuity of twelve hundred dollars ($1200.00) per year payable out of the real estate, either income or principal, hereinafter devised to my said sister, Ella Schatz, for and during her natural life.

In the event of the death of my said sister, Hinda Basch, before the death of my said sister, Ella Schatz, it is my will and I so direct, that my said sister Ella Schatz shall enjoy all of the net income of my said real estate hereinafter devised to her for and during her natural life.

ITEM XII. I give and bequeath to my sister Ella Schatz, for and during her natural life, subject to the annuity hereinbefore bequeathed to my sister Hinda Basch, all my real property, except my residence property hereinbefore devised to my sister, Hinda Basch.

My said devisee Ella Schatz shall keep the buildings upon said real estate in good repair and insured against loss by fire, and shall pay for such repairs, premiums of insurance, taxes and charges of every kind which may be lawfully claimed against said real estate. In case of loss by fire or other damage to such buildings and houses, I direct that my said devisee, Ella Schatz, shall rebuild and repair such property and pay for such rebuilding and repairing from the funds received for insurance.

In the event of the death of my said sister, Ella Schatz, before the death of my sister Hinda Basch, then in that event I give, devise and bequeath all of said real estate herein devised to my sister Ella Schatz, for and during her natural life, to my sister Hinda Basch, for and during her natural life.

Last will and testament of Jacob Basch, Will Records, 1805-1918 ; Index, 1805-1905; Probate Place: Franklin, Ohio,  Will Records, Vol Mm-Oo, 1915-1917,
Ancestry.com. Ohio, Wills and Probate Records, 1786-1998

ITEM XIII. After the death of my sisters, Hinda Basch and Ella Schatz, and survivor of them, I direct that my real property be divided as follows: [Each brother is then devised a specific property for their use and benefit during their lives and then to their children.]

ITEM XIV. I make, nominate and appoint my brothers, Frank Basch, Joel Basch and Joseph Basch, to be the executors of this my last will and testament, and I request that no bond be required of them as such executors. I also request that no bond be required of any of the trustees expressly mentioned in this will. In the event of the inability of death of my said executors, or any of them, the duties of said executorship shall be performed by the survivors or survivor of them.

Dated at Columbus, Ohio, this 29 day of March A.D. 1913

                                                            Jacob Basch

Signed by Jacob Basch and by him acknowledged to be his last will and testament in our presence, sight and hearing, who at his request have hereunto subscribed our names as witnesses in his presence and in the presence of each other, at Columbus, Ohio, this day of A.D. 1913

[names of witnesses]

 

A few observations about this will:

Jacob was apparently quite a well-to-do man, having not only what appears to be a fair amount invested in securities but also substantial real estate holdings. He also had a very sophisticated and specific plan for how he wanted his assets distributed. He appears to have had a slight bias in favor of his youngest sibling Joseph—giving him a special bequest of $5000 to build an income-producing building in addition to the bequest of his one fifth of the residual estate and naming him as the trustee of the trusts for his sisters Hinda and Ella and as their successor in interest after both had died. But overall he provided in his will for all five of his siblings and for his nieces and nephews.

Just seven months after Jacob’s death, his sister Ella lost her husband Isidor Shatz. Isidor was 67 and died on November 18, 1915 from paralytic ileus (an intestinal obstruction) and the suppression of urine followed by uremia. Joseph Basch was the informant on his death certificate. And although Isidor and Ella had been living outside of Columbus for all their married years, Isidor was, like Jacob and his parents, buried at Green Lawn Cemetery in Columbus.

“Ohio Deaths, 1908-1953,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:33SQ-GPFX-SYCQ?cc=1307272&wc=MD9F-XTL%3A287601901%2C294657901 : 21 May 2014), 1915 > 57771-60750 > image 2547 of 3300.

Ella then returned to Columbus and was living with her sister Hinda at 438 East Rich Street, the long-time family residence that Jacob had bequeathed to Hinda. From there  Ella was also in a better position to maintain the real estate that Jacob had left to her.

The Family of Lena Goldsmith Basch 1900-1910: A Tight Circle in Columbus

As of 1900, Lena Goldsmith Basch was living with her husband Gustavus and two of her adult children, Jacob and Hinda, in Columbus, Ohio.  Two of her other children—Frank and Joseph—were also still living in Columbus with their families. And the final two of her six children—Joel and Ella—were living with their families in Findlay, Ohio. Gustavus and Lena had five grandchildren in 1900—Frank’s three children and Joel’s two sons.

On June 27, 1901, Gustavus Basch died in Columbus at the age of 76. According to the Franklin County Record of Deaths, his cause of death was gastroenteritis from which he’d been suffering for six weeks.1

A year and a half later on January 24, 1903, the family suffered a tragic loss when four-year-old Robert Basch, the son of Joel and Jeanette Basch, died.2 According to the February 5, 1903 issue of the local Findlay newspaper, The Weekly Jeffersonian (p.7),  little Robert died from Bright’s disease or what we would now call nephritis—kidney disease. Both Gustavus and Robert were buried at Green Lawn Cemetery in Columbus.

Joel and Jeanette then had another child. Gustavus Mendel Basch was born on April 3, 1904, in Findlay, Ohio.3 He was obviously named for his recently-deceased grandfather. He was not the only grandchild born in this decade. Frank and his wife Freda had a fourth child, Ruth, born May 14, 1905.4 And Joseph and his wife Ida had twins born on April 5, 1906: Elene Rosalie Basch5 and Gustavus Joseph Basch,6 who like his cousin Gustavus Mendel Basch, was clearly named for his grandfather. (Joseph’s son later dropped the first name Gustavus and was known as Joseph, Jr.)

And who was Elene Rosalie named for? Sadly, her grandmother Lena Goldsmith Basch died just two weeks before Elene and Gustavus were born, and Elene must have been named for Lena. Lena was 80 years old and died from cerebral sclerosis from which she’d been suffering for five years, according to her death certificate. She was also buried at Green Lawn Cemetery in Columbus.

Ohio, County Death Records, 1840-2001,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:F6VT-TY1 : 10 March 2018), Lena Basch, 26 Mar 1906; citing Death, Columbus, Franklin, Ohio, United States, source ID 1906 v 2 fn 176, County courthouses, Ohio; FHL microfilm 2,032,443.

The March 27, 1906 issue of the Findlay (OH) Weekly Courier gave more insight into Lena’s demise:

“Died Friday in Columbus,” The (Findlay, OH) Weekly Courier, March 27, 1906, p. 2

Lena and Gustavus were survived by all six of their children and their grandchildren.

Aside from these births and deaths, the years between 1900 and 1910 were relatively quiet ones for the Basch family.  The directories for 1900-1902 show that Frank and Jacob continued to do business as Basch Brothers and Joseph and the mysterious Louis Basch continued to work at Levy Mendel & Co. In 1903, Frank was now associated with Rosenthal Bros. and Basch, his brother Jacob’s listing merely says “junk,” and Joseph and “Louis” were still at Levy Mendel. The 1904 and 1905 directories are the same, except Louis is missing from the Basch group. In fact, Louis never appears again. Given that Lena was ill for some time before she died in 1906, this seems to support my hypothesis that “Louis” was in fact Lena.7

Columbus, Ohio, City Directory, 1903
Source Information
Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995

Not long after his mother’s death in March, 1906, Joel moved back to Columbus. He sold his business in Findlay “at a great sacrifice” in order to return to Columbus, as reported in the Findlay Courier-Union on April 13, 1906 (p. 8); his father-in-law Levy Mendel had died just a month before Lena—on February 10, 1906,8 and apparently with the demise of both his mother and his father-in-law, he was needed back in Columbus to help run Levy Mendel & Company.

“National Buys Basch Stock,” The (Findlay, OH) Courier-Union, April 13, 1906, p. 8

Here is an advertisement that reveals the size and extent of Joel’s business in Findlay. He clearly had recovered from his earlier business failure caused by gambling:

Hancock County (OH) Herald, April 20, 1906, p. 10

Joel is listed in the 1906 Columbus directory, working for Levy Mendel & Co.; his brother Joseph was also still working there as he had been for a number of years.9

The 1906 Columbus directory raised another question for me. Frank is no longer listed with Rosenthal Bros. and Basch and in fact has no occupation listed at all. In 1907 he and Jacob now both have “junk” listed as their occupation, but in 1908 Frank again has no occupation listed though Jacob still lists junk as his occupation. The same is true for 1909 and for 1910.10

In fact, on the 1910 census, Frank reported that he had not worked for the entire year. Was he ill? Or had he just retired? He was only 53 years old in 1910. But since he lived another 24 years and listed that he was retired in 1920, I am inclined to think that Frank had just taken an early retirement. His four children were still quite young in 1910—ranging from five to fourteen years old.  How fortunate he was to be able to retire and spend more time with them.

Frank Basch, 1910 US census, Census Place: Columbus Ward 3, Franklin, Ohio; Roll: T624_1180; Page: 8A; Enumeration District: 0057; FHL microfilm: 1375193
Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census

His brother and long-time business partner Jacob, however, continued to work in the “iron and rags” business, as reported on the 1910 census. Jacob and his sister Hinda were still living in their family home at 438 East Rich Street in Columbus. Neither ever married.11

Joel Basch continued to work at Levy Mendel & Co., the cigar company. In fact, on the 1910 census, he is reported as an employer so he must have had some ownership or management interest in the business.12

Interestingly, Levy Mendel had named Joseph Basch, not his sons or son-in-law, to be his executor of his estate.13 Joseph had worked at the company for many years and was not an heir, so presumably Levy thought he would be a fair and capable executor. On the 1910 census, Joseph is also listed as an employer at Levy Mendel & Co, so perhaps he also was a part-owner of the business.14

I was very fortunate to find an oral history interview that was done by the Columbus Jewish Historical Society with Alan Weiler, grandson of Joseph Basch, on April 8, 2008. There are other interesting parts of this interview that I may refer to in later posts, but for now, I just wanted to quote this small portion that sheds light on the business in which Joseph, Joel, and their parents Gustavus and Lena had been involved and gives a snapshot of Joseph Basch himself.

My grandfather, Joe Basch owned a tobacco and candy company near the old Union Station on North High Street called the Levi Mendel Tobacco Company. He sold candy bars, which was of course was why I went up to see him. He sold cigars, cigarettes, pipes and there was a wonderful smell about his store. …He lived to be 93. He was called “the general.” He was a very handsome man. At least in my family he was called “the general.”

Finally, the remaining sibling, Ella Basch Shatz, was living in 1910 with her husband Isadore in Findlay, Ohio, where Isadore was a clothing merchant.15 With Joel’s return to Columbus in 1906, five of the six Basch siblings were now living in the same community. Only Ella was living outside of Columbus; she and her husband Isadore Shatz were still in Findlay even after her brother Joel and his family left that city.I wonder what it was like for Ella being the only family member not living in Columbus.  And I wonder whether she spent time visiting her siblings and nieces and nephews who were living about ninety miles away.

She would, however, be moving back to Columbus in the next decade.

 

 


  1. “Ohio, County Death Records, 1840-2001,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-99ZB-P99X-5?cc=2128172&wc=7DZ2-P3M%3A1296032501%2C1296613814 : 30 September 2014), Franklin > Death records, 1899-1903, vol 3 > image 173 of 402; county courthouses, Ohio. 
  2. Ancestry.com. Web: Columbus, Ohio, Green Lawn Cemetery Index, 1780-2010. 
  3. FHL Film Number: 961484, Ancestry.com. Ohio, Births and Christenings Index, 1774-1973. 
  4. FHL Film Number: 285137, Ancestry.com. Ohio, Births and Christenings Index, 1774-1973 
  5.  Number: 277-34-4589; Issue State: Ohio; Issue Date: 1955, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 
  6. SSN: 365167257, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007. Gustavus J. Basch, 1900 US census, Census Place: Columbus Ward 3, Franklin, Ohio; Roll: T624_1180; Page: 6A; Enumeration District: 0059; FHL microfilm: 1375193, Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census. 
  7. Columbus, Ohio, City Directory, 1901-1905, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  8. Ancestry.com. Web: Columbus, Ohio, Green Lawn Cemetery Index, 1780-2010 
  9. Columbus, Ohio, City Directory, 1906, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  10. Columbus, Ohio, City Directory, 1906-1910, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  11. Jacob Basch and Hinda Basch, 1910 US census, Census Place: Columbus Ward 6, Franklin, Ohio; Roll: T624_1181; Page: 6B; Enumeration District: 0098; FHL microfilm: 1375194, Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census 
  12. Joel Basch, 1910 US census, Census Place: Columbus Ward 3, Franklin, Ohio; Roll: T624_1180; Page: 5B; Enumeration District: 0060; FHL microfilm: 1375193, Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census 
  13.  Case Number: 19766, Item Description: Will Records, Vol Z, 1904-1905, Will Records, 1805-1918 ; Index, 1805-1905; Probate Place: Franklin, Ohio, Ancestry.com. Ohio, Wills and Probate Records, 1786-1998 
  14. Joseph Basch, 1910 US census, Census Place: Columbus Ward 3, Franklin, Ohio; Roll: T624_1180; Page: 5B; Enumeration District: 0060; FHL microfilm: 1375193,
    Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census 
  15. Ella and Isadore Shatz, 1910 US census, Census Place: Findlay Ward 4, Hancock, Ohio; Roll: T624_1187; Page: 11A; Enumeration District: 0075; FHL microfilm: 1375200, Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census 

Gustavus and Lena Goldsmith Basch 1890-1900: Who Was Louis Basch?

In 1890, Lena Goldsmith Basch and her husband Gustavus Basch and four of their six children were living in Columbus, Ohio, where she and Gustavus were involved in a cigar business called Levy Mendel & Company. Their son Joseph was also working there in 1890. Their older sons Frank and Jacob were in the junk business together,  doing business as Basch Brothers. Daughter Hinda was also living with her parents and brothers at 407 East Rich in Columbus.

Columbus, Ohio, City Directory, 1890
Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995

Two of Gustavus and Lena’s children had left Columbus by 1890. Their younger daughter Ella had married Isadore Shatz in 1888 and moved to Cincinnati. Their third oldest son Joel was living first in Lima, Ohio, and then in Findlay, Ohio, but in 1890, his business in Findlay had failed after he had incurred some substantial gambling debts.

But Joel was not back in Columbus in 1891. The Columbus directory for that year lists Gustavus in the cigar business, presumably Levy Mendel & Co, where “Lina” and their son Joseph were also working. Jacob and Frank were still doing business as the Basch Brothers.1

The 1892 directory is essentially the same, except for an entry that completely confused me:

Columbus, Ohio, City Directory, 1892
Source Information
Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995

Look at that last entry for Basch—Louis Basch, living at the same address—407 E. Rich—as the other family members and working for Levy Mendel & Co. Louis Basch also appears in the 1893 Columbus directory.2 Who was he? My search for a Louis Basch led me nowhere. There were a few men named Louis Basch, but they were all born much too late to be this Louis Basch or were living too far away.

So then who was Louis Basch? There was never a Louis Basch living in the same household as Gustavus and Lena on any census record. I did notice that Lena was not listed in most of the directories for the later 1890s, but Louis Basch was. Had she taken on the pseudonym of Louis Basch? After all, as reported in the prior post, the family’s junk business had once been known as L. Basch & Sons, where the L was apparently for Lena. Perhaps to disguise the fact that the business was run by a woman the family had created a male pseudonym? What do you think?

On January 25, 1893, Joel became the second of Gustavus and Lena’s children to marry. He married Jeanette Mendel, and guess whose daughter she was? Yes, Levy Mendel, the owner of the cigar company where Joel’s parents Gustavus and Lena and his brother Joseph and the mysterious “Louis” were then associated. 3 I would think that Levy Mendel must have been familiar with Joel’s past gambling issues and would not have permitted his daughter to marry Joel if he believed those problems persisted. So perhaps Joel had cleaned up his act and had been working for his future father-in-law’s business in the years before his wedding to Jeanette. As far as I can tell, Joel had no further gambling issues in his life.

Lima (OH) News, January 10, 1893, p. 8.

By 1894 Joel was was living with his wife and family in Findlay, Ohio, ninety miles away from Columbus. He and Jeanette had two sons born in the 1890s, Sidney Louis Basch on December 7, 1894,4 and Robert Basch on June 26, 1898.5  Both boys were born in Findlay, Ohio. In 1900, he and Jeanette and their two young sons were living in Findlay, and Joel listed his occupation as a merchant.

Joel Basch and family, 1900 US census, Census Place: Findlay Ward 4, Hancock, Ohio; Page: 7; Enumeration District: 0061; FHL microfilm: 1241283
Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census

By 1900, two more of Gustavus and Lena’s children were married. Their oldest child Frank married Freda Rosenthal in 1895. Freda was born in Germany in 1869 and immigrated to the US in 1887, according to the 1900 census.6 Unfortunately, I do not have any earlier records for Freda. Some Ancestry trees show her born in Cumberland, Maryland, but those trees provide no sources for that assertion, so for now I will rely on what is reported on the 1900 census. That census reported that Frank was a dealer in old iron and brass. Frank and Freda had two daughters born in the 1890s: Rachel (known as Rae), born September 3, 1896, in Ohio (presumably Columbus),7 and Coryne, born January 25, 1898, in Columbus.8  A third child, a son Lewis, was born on May 4, 1900.9

Frank Basch and family, 1900 US census, Census Place: Columbus Ward 6, Franklin, Ohio; Page: 4; Enumeration District: 0065; FHL microfilm: 1241268, Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census

Joseph Basch, the youngest of Gustavus and Lena’s six children, also married before the 1900 census. He married Ida S. Steinhauser on April 11, 1899, in Columbus. Ida was the daughter of Arnold Steinhauser and either Louisa Weichler or  Sarah Wechsler; sources conflict, and I don’t know which name was correct. Ida was born on September 2, 1872, in Franklin County, Ohio.10 In 1900, Joseph and Ida were living in Columbus, where Joseph was a tobacco merchant. More specifically, he was working for Levy Mendel & Company, as seen on the 1901 directory.11

Joseph and Ida Basch, Ancestry.com. Ohio, County Marriage Records, 1774-1993

In 1900, Ella Basch and her husband Isadore Shatz were living in Findlay, Ohio, as was her brother Joel. Isadore was a merchant.  They did not have any children after twelve years of marriage.12

In 1900, Gustavus and Lena were living with Jacob and Hinda and a servant; Gustavus reported that he was a landlord on the 1900 census, and Jacob was an iron merchant.13  Gustavus and Lena had five grandchildren by 1900—Frank’s three children and Joel’s two sons. More would arrive in the next decade.

But that first decade of the 20th century would also bring some painful losses.

 

 


  1. Columbus, Ohio, City Directory, 1891, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  2. Columbus, Ohio, City Directory, 1893, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  3. Mendel family, 1880 US census, Census Place: Columbus, Franklin, Ohio; Roll: 1016; Page: 147D; Enumeration District: 026, Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1880 United States Federal Census 
  4. Sidney Louis Basch, World War I draft registration,Registration State: Ohio; Registration County: Franklin; Roll: 1832018; Draft Board: 1, Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 
  5. Robert Basch, FHL Film Number: 961484, Ancestry.com. Ohio, Births and Christenings Index, 1774-1973 
  6. Frank Basch and family, 1900 US census, Census Place: Columbus Ward 6, Franklin, Ohio; Page: 4; Enumeration District: 0065; FHL microfilm: 1241268, Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census 
  7. Rachel Basch, FHL Film Number: 285136, Ancestry.com. Ohio, Births and Christenings Index, 1774-1973 
  8.  Ancestry.com. Web: Columbus, Ohio, Green Lawn Cemetery Index, 1780-2010, Original data: Green Lawn Cemetery Burials. Columbus, Ohio. Joe and Dick Fleshman. http://greenlawn.delaohio.com/greenlawn/Greenlawn/index.htm: accessed 09 February 2012. 
  9. Lewis Basch, Number: 273-36-5982; Issue State: Ohio; Issue Date: 1956-1958, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 
  10. Ida Steinhauser, FHL Film Number: 285135, Ancestry.com. Ohio, Births and Christenings Index, 1774-1973. 
  11. Joseph and Ida Basch, 1900 US census, Census Place: Columbus Ward 7, Franklin, Ohio; Page: 8; Enumeration District: 0070; FHL microfilm: 1241268, Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census. Columbus, Ohio, City Directory, 1901, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  12. Ella and Isadore Shatz, 1900 US census, Census Place: Findlay Ward 4, Hancock, Ohio; Page: 7; Enumeration District: 0061; FHL microfilm: 1241283, Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census 
  13. Gustavus Basch and family, 1900 US census, Census Place: Columbus Ward 6, Franklin, Ohio; Page: 3; Enumeration District: 0068; FHL microfilm: 1241268, Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census 

Lena Goldschmidt Basch, Wife, Mother, and Businesswoman: 1880-1890

With my last Goldsmith post, I finished the saga of Jacob Goldsmith and his fourteen children. Now I will turn to Jacob’s sister, Lena Goldschmidt Basch and her story.

We’ve already seen that Lena, who was born to my 4-times great-uncle Simon Goldschmidt and his first wife Eveline Katzenstein in Oberlistingen on April 17, 1828, immigrated to the US in the 1850s and married Gustavus Basch in 1856. They first lived in Connellsville, Pennsylvania, then in Pittsburgh, and finally by 1878 had relocated to Columbus, Ohio, where they remained for the rest of their lives.

Lena and Gustavus had six children: Frank (1857), Jacob (1858), Hinda (1860), Joel (1863), Ella (1865), and Joseph (1867). According to the 1880 census, all of them except Jacob were then living with their parents in Columbus. Gustavus and his oldest son Frank were working in a vinegar factory; Lena and the other children were all at home. Jacob was living and working as a clerk for a hotel in Hamilton, Ohio, which is about a hundred miles southwest of Columbus.1

Gustavus Basch and family, 1880 US census, Census Place: Columbus, Franklin, Ohio; Roll: 1016; Page: 201D; Enumeration District: 029, Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1880 United States Federal Census

The Columbus directories in the 1880s, however, had me confused. The 1880 directory listed Gustavus as the agent for “L. Basch Vinegar Works” and residing at 308 e Friend; there were also separate listings for Frank and Joel residing at the same address and identified as “vinegar makers.” The 1881 directory did not list Gustavus at all, but listed Frank and Jacob and “L.Basch” as working for L. Basch & Sons in the rags, iron, and metal business. Those three were all still residing at 308 e Friend. Joel now was listed as a clerk for J. Goodman and residing at 268 e Friend. In 1882, Gustavus reappeared and is listed along with Frank and Jacob as working for L. Basch & Sons and now all residing at 153 e Sixth; there is also a listing for the mysterious L. Basch, also working for L.Basch & Sons and living at 152 e Sixth.2

1881 Columbus directory

1882 Columbus directory

So who was L.Basch? At first I thought it might be Gustavus’ father, whose name was Louis. But there is no listing in the 1880 census or any other census for an L. Basch who could have been Gustavus’ father. I don’t think he ever left Germany. Had Gustavus named the business in honor or memory of his father?

Or could the L stand for Lena? That certainly would have been unusual—to have a business named for a mother and her sons, especially since Gustavus was still alive and well.

The 1884 directory seemed to answer that question:

Columbus, Ohio, City Directory, 1884
Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995

So “L. Basch” was Lena! How interesting that she was the one for whom this business was named, not her husband. In fact, in 1884, Gustavus isn’t even listed with the L. Basch & Sons business; Lena must have been the one in charge.

In 1886, Gustavus is back in the listings as G. Basch, junk dealer, and now the family is residing at 335 E. Rich.  Frank and Jacob were now working at L. Basch & Sons; Joel was working as a cutter, and Joseph was a salesman.

Columbus, Ohio, City Directory, 1886
Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995

By 1888, things had changed a bit:

Columbus, Ohio, City Directory, 1888
Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995

Now Gustavus was associated with Levy Mendel & Co, as was “L[ena] Basch;” Frank and Jacob were still in the L.Basch & Sons junk business, and Joseph continued to work as a salesman. They all, as well as Hinda, were living at 407 E. Rich. Only Joel and Ella were not listed. Where were they?

Ella, the fifth of Gustavus and Lena’s six children, was the first to get married. She married Isadore Shatz on April 11, 1888, in Columbus. He was thirty, she was 22. Isadore was born on December 25, 1857, in Austria- Hungary,3 and immigrated to the US when he was six in 1863 with his parents David and Fannie Shatz.4 They settled in Cincinnati where David Shatz was working as a stone cutter in 1870.5 In 1880, Isadore was working as a clerk and living with his family in Cincinnati.6 The 1886 Cincinnati directory lists Isadore as a salesman, his father David as a foreman cutter.7

Ella Basch and Isadore Shatz, Ancestry.com. Ohio, County Marriage Records, 1774-1993

As for Joel, I could not find him in the Columbus directories after 1886, so I turned to the newspaper databases to see if I could locate him. From this ad in The Lima News of June 29, 1888 (p.4), I knew that Joel had moved to Lima, Ohio, where he was an “artist tailor” making men’s suits for $20. Twenty dollars—imagine that! Lima is approximately 90 miles from Columbus.

In fact, Joel had been in Lima for a while because this article from the January 17, 1888, Lima News (p. 4) revealed that Joel had suffered $2500 worth of smoke and water damage due to a fire at his store in Lima. Fortunately his losses were covered by insurance:

By 1889 Joel had apparently left Lima and was working in Findlay, Ohio, which is 34 miles from Lima and 92 miles from his family in Columbus. This article reports that one of Joel’s employees had embezzled $230 from Joel.

“John Werst Arrested, Pays and Is Let Off,” Lima (OH) News, August 15, 1889, p. 4

Was all this just bad luck, or was something else going on? I ask because of the next article from the February 6, 1890 Lima News (p. 4). Apparently Joel was a bit of a gambler, and after losing a considerable amount of money, his family shut down his Findlay store:

Given that ending to his Findlay business, I wondered whether the fire and reported embezzlement were also schemes engineered by Joel to cover gambling debts.

Looking at Gustavus’ work record beginning in 1860 raises some questions about his business acumen as well. In 1860, he was a clothing merchant in Connellsville. In 1870, he was working for H. Bier & Company, a brass foundry in Pittsburgh. In 1880, he was in Columbus working for a vinegar company. In the 1880s he worked for some of the time in L. Basch & Sons, a junk dealership run by his wife Lena, and then for Levy Mendel & Company, a cigar company.  There are some directories where he had no occupation listed. That is quite a list of businesses over a thirty year period with no real consistency in the industries in which he worked—clothing to brass to vinegar to junk to cigars. The fact that he also moved with his family several times also creates a sense of instability.

But once the family settled in Columbus in the 1880s, for the most part they stayed put. Maybe Gustavus was a renaissance business man, using his skills in numerous varied enterprises, and not a flighty man who couldn’t find his niche. It’s hard to know.


UPDATE on Rebecca Goldsmith Levy: I was able to obtain a copy of her death certificate from Colorado. Please see this post for more information.

 

 

 


  1. Jacob Basch, 1880 US census, Census Place: Hamilton, Butler, Ohio; Roll: 997; Page: 409B; Enumeration District: 036, Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1880 United States Federal Census 
  2.  Columbus, Ohio, City Directory, 1880, 1881, 1882, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  3. Ohio Deaths, 1908-1953,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:33SQ-GPFX-SYCQ?cc=1307272&wc=MD9F-XTL%3A287601901%2C294657901 : 21 May 2014), 1915 > 57771-60750 > image 2547 of 3300. 
  4. Shatz, 1900 US census, Census Place: Findlay Ward 4, Hancock, Ohio; Page: 7; Enumeration District: 0061; FHL microfilm: 1241283, Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census 
  5. Shatz, 1870 US census, Census Place: Cincinnati Ward 1, Hamilton, Ohio; Roll: M593_1209; Page: 99A; Family History Library Film: 552708, Ancestry.com. 1870 United States Federal Census 
  6. Shatz, 1880 US census, Census Place: Cincinnati, Hamilton, Ohio; Roll: 1028; Page: 15B; Enumeration District: 166, Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1880 United States Federal Census 
  7. Cincinnati, Ohio, City Directory, 1886, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 

Simon Goldsmith: His Legacy—German Criminal, American Patriarch

In the last post we saw how a number of Jacob Goldsmith’s children left Pennsylvania when they reached adulthood. But Jacob Goldsmith’s children weren’t the only descendants of Simon Goldsmith who moved from Pennsylvania in the 1870s.

By 1878, Simon’s daughter Lena and her husband Gustavus Basch and children had moved to Columbus, Ohio.1 According to directories and the 1880 census, Gustavus was now in the vinegar manufacturing business, and his oldest son Frank, now 22, was working with him in the business. I assume it must have been this business opportunity that drew them to Columbus. In 1880, Lena and Gustavus’ four other children—Joseph, Joel, Hinda, and Ella—were also living with their parents. The only child who was not still living at home was their son Jacob, who was living in Hamilton, Ohio, and working as a hotel clerk. Hamilton is about 100 miles southwest of Columbus.2

Gustavus Basch and family, 1880 US census, Census Place: Columbus, Franklin, Ohio; Roll: 1016; Page: 201D; Enumeration District: 029
Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1880 United States Federal Census

As for Simon’s two youngest children, my double cousins Henry and Hannah, they were busy having children during the 1870s and 1880s. Henry and his wife Sarah Jaffa continued to live in Connellsville, Pennsylvania, where Henry was a clothing merchant. In addition to their first child, Jacob W. Goldsmith, who was born in 1871, Sarah gave birth to four more children between 1873 and 1880: Benjamin (1873),3 Milton (1877),4 Samuel (1879),5 Edison (1880).6 Five more would come between 1881 and 1889: Walter (1881),7 Florence (1883),8 Albert (1884),9 Oliver (1887),10 and Helen (1889).11 In total, Henry and Sarah had ten children. All were born in Connellsville.

Henry Goldsmith and family, 1880 US census, Census Place: Connellsville, Fayette, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1129; Page: 93D; Enumeration District: 035
Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1880 United States Federal Census

Hannah and her husband Joseph Benedict stayed in Pittsburgh where Joseph is listed on the 1880 census as a rag dealer. Hannah gave birth to her third son, Centennial Harry Benedict, on September 24, 1876, in Pittsburgh.12 In most records he is referred to as either C. Harry or Harry; I assume the Centennial was in honor of the centennial of the Declaration of Independence in the year he was born.

The 1880 census lists not only Hannah and Joseph and their three sons in the household, but also Hannah’s father Simon, and three of Hannah’s nephews: Lena’s son Jacob Basch and Henry’s sons Jacob and Benjamin Goldsmith. Since all three are also listed elsewhere on the 1880 census, I wonder whether these three were just visiting their relatives in Pittsburgh when the census was taken.

Joseph and Hannah Benedict and family, 1880 US census, Census Place: Pittsburgh, Allegheny, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1092; Page: 508D; Enumeration District: 122
Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1880 United States Federal Census

On March 17, 1883, at the age of 88 or so, Simon Goldsmith died in Pittsburgh; his death record states that he died of old age.

Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh City Deaths, 1870-1905,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XZ7D-M2S : 11 March 2018), Simon Goldsmith, 17 Mar 1883; citing v 33 p 550, Allegheny County Courthouse, Pittsburgh; FHL microfilm 505,832.

What an interesting, challenging, and rich life Simon had. He was born Simon Goldschmidt, the youngest child of Jacob Falcke Goldschmidt and Eva Seligmann in Oberlistingen. He had five children with his first wife Eveline Katzenstein, two of whom died as infants. He had spent time in prison for burglary, but his marriage and his family stayed together. After Eveline died in 1840, he had married a second time, his second wife being Fradchen Schoenthal. He and Fradchen immigrated to the US in 1845, a year after their marriage, and together they had two more children born in the US. Then Simon lost his second wife Fradchen in 1850. He also lost another child, his daughter Eva, sometime after 1862.

But Simon soldiered on, living first with his son Jacob in Washington and later with his daughter Hannah in Pittsburgh. He saw twenty-eight grandchildren born before he died, and five more were born after he died. In addition, he lived to see the births of eight great-grandchildren, and many more were born after his death. When he died, his children and grandchildren were spread from Philadelphia to California, pursuing and living the American dream. He must have looked at his family with amazement—that this man who had gotten himself in trouble with the law back home in Germany had somehow been able to start over in the US and create a huge legacy for himself and his family. Despite his struggles and his losses, he must have been grateful for all that he did have.

What would happen to Simon’s four surviving children and all those grandchildren and great-grandchildren? More in the posts to follow.

 

 


  1. Columbus, Ohio, City Directory, 1878, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  2. Columbus, Ohio, City Directory, 1878, 1879, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  3. Benjamin Goldsmith, World War I draft registration, Registration State: Pennsylvania; Registration County: Fayette; Roll: 2022796; Draft Board: 2, Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 
  4. Milton Goldsmith, World War I draft registration, Registration State: Pennsylvania; Registration County: Allegheny; Roll: 1908756; Draft Board: 08, Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 
  5. Samuel Goldsmith, World War I draft registration, Registration State: Pennsylvania; Registration County: Fayette; Roll: 2022796; Draft Board: 2, Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 
  6. Edison Goldsmith, 1880 US census, Census Place: Connellsville, Fayette, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1129; Page: 93D; Enumeration District: 035, Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1880 United States Federal Census (three days old) 
  7. Walter Goldsmith, World War I draft registration, Registration State: Pennsylvania; Registration County: Fayette; Roll: 2022796; Draft Board: 2, Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 
  8. Florence Goldsmith, 1912 Passport application, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington D.C.; Roll #: 156; Volume #: Roll 0156 – Certificates: 69177-70076, 01 Apr 1912-11 Apr 1912, Ancestry.com. U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925 
  9. Gravestone at https://billiongraves.com/grave/person/12971467#= 
  10. Oliver Goldsmith, World War I draft registration, Registration State: Pennsylvania; Registration County: Fayette; Roll: 2022796; Draft Board: 2, Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 
  11. Helen Goldsmith, 1912 passport application, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington D.C.; Roll #: 156; Volume #: Roll 0156 – Certificates: 69177-70076, 01 Apr 1912-11 Apr 1912, Ancestry.com. U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925 
  12. Centennial Harry Goldsmith, Yearbook Title: Cornell Class Book, “U.S., School Yearbooks, 1880-2012”; Yearbook Title: Cornell Class Book; Year: 1897, Ancestry.com. U.S., School Yearbooks, 1900-1990;  C. Harry Goldsmith, 1921 passport application, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington D.C.; Roll #: 1788; Volume #: Roll 1788 – Certificates: 102000-102375, 02 Dec 1921-03 Dec 1921, Ancestry.com. U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925 

The Gumps and the Business of Alcohol, Part II

We saw last time that as of 1915 when their father Gabriel Gump died, his four sons, Abraham, Louis, Harry, and Joseph, were all engaged in the family liquor business and that three of the four were living in Baltimore, where they’d been born and raised.

As of 1920, things had changed for Abraham Gump, the oldest son.  He and his wife Jennie were living in Los Angeles, and Abraham listed no occupation on the 1920 census.  Their two daughters had married.  Etta, the older daughter, had married Joseph William Ketzky, who was a native of Alabama and a doctor. They would have two daughters.  Ruth, Abraham’s younger daughter, had married Leslie Holzman Lilienthal, who was also a native of Alabama.  In 1920, Ruth was living with Leslie in Selma, Alabama, with his parents, Henry and Annie Lilienthal.  Henry was a dry goods merchant, and Leslie was working as a clothing salesman (perhaps in his father’s store).

I wouldn’t have thought there was a Jewish community in Selma, Alabama, but as this photograph of Temple Mishkan Israel in that city suggests, there was quite a substantial one.  According to this site, the synagogue was founded in 1870 and had about 80 members in the 1910s and 1920s.


English: Temple Mishkan Israel in Selma, Alabama.

English: Temple Mishkan Israel in Selma, Alabama. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) http://commons.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:MishkanIsrael.jpg

So how did two young women from Baltimore meet two men from Alabama? And how and why did their parents end up in Los Angeles? Well, according to his World War I draft registration, Joseph Ketzky had been a medical student at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore in 1917 and must have met Etta during that time.  Presumably Etta and Joseph then set Etta’s sister Ruth up with Leslie Lilienthal.  But I’ve no clue why Abraham and Jennie were living in California in 1920.

Joseph Ketzky World War I draft registration Registration State: Maryland; Registration County: Baltimore (Independent City); Roll: 1684137; Draft Board: 13

Joseph Ketzky World War I draft registration
Registration State: Maryland; Registration County: Baltimore (Independent City); Roll: 1684137; Draft Board: 13

Although I could not find him on the 1920 census, Louis Gump was still living in Baltimore according to several city directories from the early 1920s.  In all three directories Louis listed his occupation as a salesman.  Louis and Carrie’s daughter Rosalind and her family were also still in Baltimore; her husband Milton Wertheimer was a cigar manufacturer in 1920.

Harry Gump and his wife Mildred were still in Wilkes-Barre in 1920; Harry did not list an occupation on the census.  Joseph and Francella (Kohler) Gump were still in Baltimore, and whatever Joseph had entered as an occupation is crossed out and not legible on the 1920 census. In the 1922 Baltimore directory, Joseph gave his occupation as “investments.”

So what had happened to the family liquor business? Prohibition. The Eighteenth Amendment had been ratified on January 29, 1919, banning the manufacture, transportation, and sale of alcohol. Although it did not take effect for another year, obviously the Gump brothers got out of the business before it was too late.  By 1920, Abraham, Louis, Harry, and even Joseph were in or close to their fifties, and all but Joseph no longer were supporting children.

Prohibition agents destroying barrels of alcoh...

Prohibition agents destroying barrels of alcohol (United States, prohibition era) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It does not appear that they were too seriously affected by the loss of their business. After all, in 1925, Abraham and Jennie cruised to Cuba; they were back residing in Baltimore at that time. In 1929, they traveled to England. Louis and Carrie took a cruise to France in 1925. Harry and Mildred also cruised to France in 1925. Although they had to wait five additional years until 1930, even Joseph, Francella, and George got to take a trip to France that year.

By 1930, circumstances had changed again.  Abraham and Jennie were living in Atlantic City as of 1927, according to the city directory, but in 1930 they were again back in Baltimore, living with Etta and her two daughters. Although Etta still listed her marital status as married, by 1940 she reported that she was divorced.  She was quite an accomplished golfer, apparently, as I found numerous articles recounting her participation in golf tournaments.  Her younger sister Ruth had moved with her family to Columbus, Georgia, from Selma, Alabama, and her husband Leslie Lilienthal was a retail clothing merchant in Columbus.

English: A picture of Columbus in the 1940s.

English: A picture of Columbus in the 1940s. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Louis Gump and his wife Carrie were still in Baltimore in 1930, and Louis was selling stocks and bonds.  Their daughter Rosalind and her family were also still living in Baltimore where Milton was still a cigar manufacturer.

Harry and Mildred were still in Wilkes-Barre in 1930; Harry was retired.  And Joseph Gump and his wife and his son George were in Baltimore; Joseph was also retired.

Harry was the first of the brothers to die; he died at age 69 on June 23, 1937, in New York City, where he and Mildred had moved four years earlier. His obituary ran in two Wilkes-Barre papers:

Wilkes-Barre Record, June 24, 1937, p. 11

Wilkes-Barre Record, June 24, 1937, p. 11

His older brother Abraham died three years later on May 8, 1940; he was 77:

Baltimore Sun, May 9, 1940, p. 6

Baltimore Sun, May 9, 1940, p. 6

Three years later, the youngest Gump brother, Joseph, died on March 27, 1943. He was 72:

Baltimore Sun, March 28, 1943, p. 128

Baltimore Sun, March 28, 1943, p. 128

Louis Gump lived the longest; he died at age 87 on September 16, 1951.  He had outlived his wife Carrie, who had died in 1940, and had been living with his daughter Rosalind and her family.

As for the four Gump grandchildren, Rosalind lost her husband Milton in 1946; she lived until 1974 and died in Baltimore at age 86.  Abraham’s daughter Etta Gump Ketsky died in 1953 at 57; she had never remarried.  Her sister Ruth Gump Lilienthal died one month shy of her 100th birthday in 1999 in Columbus, Georgia.

Joseph’s son George Gump served in the US Navy during World War II and became a tax lawyer; he died in 1988 when he was 79.

Baltimore Sun, September 16, 1988, p. 91

Baltimore Sun, September 16, 1988, p. 91

This snapshot of the lives of the four sons of Gabriel Gump and Henrietta Mansbach and their children provided me with some insights into the effect that Prohibition had on some families in the US.  Gabriel Gump had established a very successful wholesale liquor business in Baltimore, so successful that it was able to support all four of his sons and their families up until Prohibition.  But that business was shut down by Prohibition.
Even after Prohibition, however, the family lived quite comfortably.  By 1933, when Prohibition was finally repealed by the 21st Amendment, the four Gump brothers were more or less retired and still apparently living well on whatever they’d earned from the business.  They do not appear to have suffered from the destruction of their family business and lived relatively full and uneventful lives.
That brings me to the end of my research about the three Mansbach cousins, the niece and nephews of my great-great-grandfather Gerson Katzenstein.  Next, I will return to Gerson and his family.