No More Dinkelspiels

My three-times-great-grandfather John Nusbaum had one sister who settled in the US (or at least she is the only one I’ve found): Mathilde Nusbaum, who married Isaac Dinkelspiel in Germany and immigrated with him to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. As I have already discussed, Mathilde died in 1878, and her husband Isaac Dinkelspiel died in 1889.  Their son Adolph died in 1896, and he had no children who survived him.  That left Mathilde and Isaac’s two daughters, Paulina and Sophia, to continue the family line, although not the Dinkelspiel name.  Sadly, Adolph Dinkelspiel was the last member of my family to have this rather unique and interesting name.

This post will focus on the family of Paulina Dinkelspiel. Paulina had married one of the three Simon brothers, Moses, and in 1880 they were living in Baltimore with their children: Joseph, Francis, Leon, Flora, and Nellie, ranging in age from eighteen down to eight years old. Moses was in the retail liquor business.  Moses remained in the liquor business throughout the 1880s and 1890s until he died on February 12, 1899, at age 64.  His wife Paulina Dinkelspiel Simon died five years later on March 29, 1904.  She was 63.

Paulina Dinkelspiel Simon death certificate

Paulina Dinkelspiel Simon death certificate


The terms of Paulina Dinkelspiel Simon’s will were disclosed in a news story in the April 16, 1904, edition of the Baltimore Sun, page 8.  She left her house and its contents to her daughter Nellie.  Her granddaughter Madeline Mayer (daughter of Flora Simon Mayer, to be discussed in my next post) was given $500, and the rest of the estate was divided evenly among her five surviving children, Joseph, Francis, Leon, Flora, and Nellie.  It is interesting that she singled out one child and one grandchild over the others.

Baltimore Sun April 16, 1904, p 8

Baltimore Sun April 16, 1904, p 8

Paulina was buried at Oheb Shalom cemetery in Baltimore along with her husband Moses, her parents Isaac and Mathilde (Nusbaum) Dinkelspiel, and the two children who predeceased her and Moses, Albert and Miriam.

Paulina and Moses Simon’s oldest child Joseph Simon had married Emilie Baernstein in July, 1889, in Baltimore, where she was born and raised.  By 1902, Joseph and Emilie had moved to York, Pennsylvania, where Joseph purchased a millinery shop.

York Daily, January 13, 1902.

York Daily, January 13, 1902.

Joseph and Emilie had a son Moses Joseph Simon, born in 1902, who died in May, 1908.  Unfortunately, I could not locate a death certificate for Moses, so I do not know the cause of death.  All I could locate was this notice of his funeral in the York Daily newspaper and his headstone.

York Daily May 4, 1908 p. 5

York Daily May 4, 1908 p. 5


Joseph and Emilie did not have any other children. They were members of the Hebrew Reformed Congregation in York and supporters of the local symphony orchestra. Joseph worked as a milliner in York for many years until his death in April 1928.  Emilie lived another twelve years.  After Joseph died, she relocated to Baltimore, where she died in 1940.  They were buried with their son Moses at the Prospect Hill Cemetery in York, Pennsylvania.

simon-joseph-0 headstone simon-amelia-0

(Emilie’s official name appears to have been Amelia.)



(All headstone images found at )

Joseph’s younger brother Francis Simon, known as Frank, was working as a clerk in 1895, and in 1900 he was living with his mother and younger sister Nellie, still listing his occupation as a clerk.  Like his brother Joseph, Frank married a woman born and raised in Baltimore, Bertha May.  According to the 1930 census, Frank married Bertha when he was 40 years old and she was 34, or in 1904.  They did not have any children.  In 1910, Frank and Bertha were living with Bertha’s father and her sister Tillie and brother-in-law Joseph Wurtzburger and their children.  Frank was working as the treasurer of a mercantile business.  In 1920 Frank and Bertha were living on their own, and neither was employed.  Frank was 54, and Bertha was 50. In the 1922 Baltimore directory, however, Frank is listed as being in the soft drinks business.  The 1930 census again lists them without occupations.

Frank died January 31, 1932, and is buried at the Baltimore Hebrew cemetery; Bertha was living with her widowed sister, Tillie Wurtzburger, at the time of the 1940 census.  Her sister Tillie died in 1945, and Bertha died in June, 1951, at the age of 81.

The third child of Paulina Dinkelspiel and Moses Simon was Leon Simon, born in 1866, two years after Frank.  By 1895 Leon had his own company, L. Simon and Co., listed in the Baltimore directory as a cloak manufacturing company.  He married Helen Wolf the following year in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.  Helen was born in Harrisburg, and her father William was a real estate agent there, according to the 1880 census.  Perhaps Frank’s mother Paulina had known the Wolf family when she was growing up in Harrisburg.

Leon and Helen had two sons, William Wolf Simon, born in 1897, and Mervyn Moses Simon, born in 1900: the first named for Helen’s father and the second for Leon’s father, who had died the year before.  Leon had no occupation listed on the 1900 census, but the 1902 Baltimore directory still listed him with L. Simon and Co.  On the 1910 census, however, his occupation appears to read “General Manager Furniture Business;” in the 1914 directory, his firm name now appears as Salontz & Simon, so it would seem that his cloak business no longer existed. I found a listing in a 1904 Pittsburgh directory for the Baltimore firm of Salontz & Simon in the fur business category.  The 1920 census is consistent with this, as it gives his occupation as a manufacturer of furs.  In 1930 he was still in the fur business, though now his occupation is described as a fur retail merchant. The 1940 census also described him as a retail furrier.

By Doug Coldwell (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 ( or GFDL (], via Wikimedia Commons

By Doug Coldwell (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 ( or GFDL (, via Wikimedia Commons

All through these decades, Leon and Helen’s two sons lived with them, and they worked in their father’s fur business once they were old enough.  Neither son ever married.  Leon died on August 29, 1941, and his son Mervyn died the following year on August 27, 1942.  He was only 42 years old.  I have ordered a death certificate for Mervyn to determine his cause of death.

UPDATE: Here is Mervyn’s death certificate.

Mervyn Simon death certificate

William Simon, the older brother, continued to live with his mother at least until 1956 when both are listed at the same address in the Baltimore directory.  (No occupation was listed.)  Helen Wolf Simon died November 29, 1965, and William died less than a year later on October 4, 1966.  All four members of the family are buried at Baltimore Hebrew Congregation.

I am going to skip the fourth child Flora for now and move on to the fifth child, Nellie Simon, the one who inherited the house from her mother Paulina Dinkelspiel Simon.  I had a lot of trouble figuring out what happened to Nellie after her mother died in 1904.  In 1900 she had been living with her mother and brother Frank; she was 27 years old and had no occupation listed. She is also listed in the 1902 directory at the same address at 844 North Howard Street, again with no occupation listed.  Since her mother bequeathed that house to Nellie when she died in 1904, I expected to find Nellie living there in 1910.  But I could not find her there, and although there was another Nellie Simon working as a hairdresser in Baltimore in the 1910s, the address was not the same.

One tree on listed Nellie as married to an Adolph Feldstein, but I could not find any direct sources to corroborate that marriage.  I was able to find Adolph and Nellie S. Feldstein on the 1910 census as well as the 1920 and 1930 census reports living in Philadelphia.  The facts about that Nellie seemed consistent with my Nellie Simon: her age, parents’ birth places, and her birth place were all right, although the latter two census reports had her place of birth as Maryland instead of Pennsylvania.  I still felt uncertain until I found a bill from the funeral home in charge of Nellie’s funeral in 1958.  The document listed Horace A. Stern as the person responsible for the bill.  Although at first the name did not ring a bell, a quick search of my own family tree revealed that Horace Stern was married to the granddaughter of Nellie’s sister Flora.  That was enough to convince me that the Nellie who had married Adolph Feldstein was in fact Nellie Simon, the youngest child of Paulina Dinkelspiel and Moses Simon and the grandchild of Mathilde Nusbaum and Isaac Dinkelspiel.

Nellie and Adolph Feldstein did not have any children.  Adolph worked in his father’s business manufacturing “haircloth.”  I had never heard this term before, but a quick look on the internet revealed that according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary online, it is “any of various stiff wiry fabrics especially of horsehair or camel hair used for upholstery or for stiffening in garments.”   Adolph was the secretary and treasurer of the company in the 1910s, and he continued to work in the business throughout the 1920s and the 1930s until his death by suicide in 1937.  As mentioned above, Nellie lived another twenty years, passing away in 1958.

Hair Cloth Loom

Hair Cloth Loom

It’s interesting that three of these siblings were all involved in the clothing trade, although different aspects of it: hats, furs, and haircloth.  (I am not really sure how Frank supported himself and his wife.)  It’s also interesting that three of the five children of Paulina Dinkelspiel and Moses Simon did not have children who survived them.  Joseph’s one child passed away as a little boy, and Frank and Nellie married but never had children. Leon did have two sons who grew to adulthood, but his sons never married or had children, so there were no descendants to carry on his family line.  Only Flora, the remaining sibling, had grandchildren and further generations of descendants.  I will discuss her and her descendants in my next post.