Family Portraits: The Artists Behind the Portraits Discovered

I have spent the last six weeks or so posting updates and photographs I’ve received from cousins from my Seligmann, Katzenstein, and Schoenthal families. Today I return to my Goldschmidt/Goldsmith family. But before I begin writing about the next branch of that family, I want to post some updates I’ve received from Goldsmith cousins.

First, I want to share three wonderful portraits shared by my cousin Robin Goldsmith, the grandson of Doctors Milton Goldsmith and Luba Robin Goldsmith, about whom I wrote here and here and here and here. Robin is the son of Milton and Luba’s older son, Norman, who is also discussed in those posts and here.

The first two portraits are of Robin’s grandparents, Milton and Luba:

Milton Goldsmith, son of Henry and Sarah (Jaffa) Goldsmith. Painting by Mildred Silvette, 1938

Luba Robin Goldsmith. Painting by David Silvette, 1930

Robin took photographs of the portraits, and so there is a bit of a glow from the flash and some distortion. Also, the photograph cut off the names and dates, so I asked Robin to check for those. He did and reported back that Luba’s portrait was signed by David Silvette and dated 1930; Milton’s portrait was signed by Mildred Silvette and dated 1938.

David Silvette1, born May 28, 1909, and died August 29, 1992, was a very successful artist. He was described on one website as “one of Virginia’s most sought-after portrait artists in the early 20th century.” His portrait of F. Scott Fitzgerald hangs in the National Gallery in Washington, DC. Mildred Silvette was his younger sister, and she also was an artist; she studied under Hans Hofmann in the 1930s.

David and Mildred were the children of Ellis Meyer Silvette, also a well-known American portrait artist, who was born in Lithuania as Eli Meyer Silverberg. Ellis was living in Pittsburgh in 1910 with his wife Ella and the two children born at that point, including David.2 That time in Pittsburgh may be how the family connected with Milton and Luba Goldsmith.

Both portraits are beautifully done, and I especially love the way the texture of Luba’s dress and fur collar are depicted.

The third portrait that Robin shared with me is one of his father Norman Goldsmith.

Norman Robin Goldsmith, 1929

It is quite different in style—much more expressionist than the realistic portraits of his parents Milton and Luba. I love how Norman’s blue eyes, much like those of his father, stand out in this portrait. It is dated 1929 and has the artist’s initials, D.S. I have to believe that D.S. stands for David Silvette.

Thank you to my cousin Robin for sharing these with me.

 


  1. Anita Price Davis, New Deal Art in North Carolina: The Murals, Sculptures, Reliefs, Paintings, Oils and Frescoes and Their Creators (McFarland, 2008), pp. 122-125. 
  2. Silverberg family, 1910 US census, Year: 1910; Census Place: Pittsburgh Ward 4, Allegheny, Pennsylvania; Roll: T624_1300; Page: 5A; Enumeration District: 0325; FHL microfilm: 1375313, Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census 

Hannah Goldsmith Part IV: Her Granddaughters

We saw in the last post the academic accomplishments of Hannah Goldsmith Benedict’s two grandsons, Manson and William Benedict, the sons of her son C. Harry Benedict. Both had degrees from Cornell and MIT and were working as research chemists for different corporations in the New York City metropolitan area in 1940.

Meanwhile, Hannah’s granddaughters, Helen and Marian Benedict, the daughters of Jacob Benedict, were also growing up between 1920 and 1940. Helen graduated from Schenley High School in 1924 and went on to graduate in 1928 from the Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie Mellon University) in Pittsburgh, where she studied social work.1 In 1930, she was living in Cleveland, Ohio, working as a “girls’ worker” in a social agency.2

“U.S., School Yearbooks, 1880-2012”; School Name: Schenley High School; Year: 1924
Ancestry.com. U.S., School Yearbooks, 1900-1999

Marian Benedict was a member of the class of 1929 at the University of Pittsburgh, where she was a member of the Women’s Debating Association.3 In 1930 she was living in Pittsburgh with her father Jacob; she was working as a lab technician in a doctor’s office, and Jacob was working as an insurance agent.4

In 1930, Helen Benedict married John Engstrom Booher, the son of Wayne Booher and Dora Engstrom, who was born in Altoona, Pennsylvania on May 28, 1908. Helen and John had two children, one of whom was stillborn,5 before John’s tragic death from carbon monoxide poisoning on August 30, 1936, at the age of 24.6

Helen and her surviving child were living in Pittsburgh with her father Jacob and sister Marian in 1940, and Helen was working as a probation officer in juvenile court. Marian was working at the US Marine Hospital as a lab technician, and Jacob continued to work in the life insurance business.7

As for Hannah Goldsmith Benedict, she continued to live with her youngest son, C. Harry Benedict, in Lake Linden, Michigan. Hannah died there on November 30, 1939, at the age of 91. Every time I look at her death certificate, I am taken aback to see two of my ancestral names—Goldsmith and Schoenthal—and reminded again that Hannah and her brother Henry were my double cousins. Hannah was buried back in Pittsburgh at West View Cemetery with her husband Joseph Benedict.

Hannah Goldsmith Benedict death certificate, Michigan Department of Community Health, Division for Vital Records and Health Statistics; Lansing, Michigan; Death Records
Description: 167: Houghton, 1938-1943, Ancestry.com. Michigan, Death Records, 1867-1952

Herschel Benedict and his wife Mary remained in Pittsburgh between 1920 and 1940. In 1929 Herschel was working as a department manager for Shipley-Massingham Company, a wholesale drug company in Pittsburgh; he continued in that occupation in 1930. Later Pittsburgh directories in the 1930s listed Herschel without any occupation so perhaps he retired shortly after 1930 or lost his job due to the Depression.8

By 1940, Herschel and Mary had moved to Los Angeles, California, where he is listed on the 1940 census again with no occupation.9 But unfortunately, Herschel became embroiled in some controversy in the years after World War II. He was working as the associate deputy administrator of the aircraft and electronics disposal division of the War Assets Administration agency and was forced to resign when he and the deputy administrator of the division admitted that a sales agent of the WAA in Florida had helped them procure new cars for their personal use.10

Herschel Benedict died in Los Angeles on July 31, 1957, at the age of 86.11 His wife Mary had predeceased him. She died in Los Angeles on May 28, 1951, when she was 74.12 Both Herschel and Mary were buried back in Pittsburgh.13 They had no children and thus no descendants.

Jacob Benedict, the oldest son of Hannah and Joseph Benedict, died on January 19, 1953, in Pittsburgh; he was 82 and died from coronary thrombosis and arteriosclerosis. His first cousin Milton Goldsmith, son of Hannah’s brother Henry, was the doctor who signed the death certificate. His daughter Helen was the informant. Jacob was survived by his two daughters and grandchild.

Jacob Benedict death certificate, Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Pennsylvania (State). Death certificates, 1906–1967; Certificate Number Range: 000001-002250, Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1967

His daughter Marian only outlived him by twelve years. She was only 56 when she died on March 24, 1965, from bilateral pleural effusion due to reticulum cell sarcoma, a form of cancer. Her death certificate and obituary indicate that Marian was an x-ray technician.14 I wonder whether her illness was due to overexposure to radiation. Marian had never married and has no descendants.

Marian Benedict death certificate, Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Pennsylvania (State). Death certificates, 1906–1967; Box Number: 2424; Certificate Number Range: 020251-023100, Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1967

Marian’s sister Helen lived a much longer life.  She was 82 when she died on July 1, 1989, in Pittsburgh. According to one obituary, she died from complications of Crohn’s disease. Helen was survived by her child and grandchildren.15

In my next post, the last one about the family of Hannah Goldsmith Benedict, I will discuss the post-1940 lives of Hannah’s youngest son, C. Harry Benedict, and his two sons, Manson and William.

 

 

 

 

 


  1.  “U.S., School Yearbooks, 1880-2012”; School Name: Carnegie Institute of Technology; Year: 1927, Ancestry.com. U.S., School Yearbooks, 1900-1999 
  2. Helen Benedict, 1930 US census, Census Place: Cleveland, Cuyahoga, Ohio; Page: 8B; Enumeration District: 0479; FHL microfilm: 2341512, Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census 
  3. “U.S., School Yearbooks, 1880-2012”; School Name: University of Pittsburgh; Year: 1928, Ancestry.com. U.S., School Yearbooks, 1900-1999 
  4. Jacob Benedict and daughter, 1930 US census, Census Place: Pittsburgh, Allegheny, Pennsylvania; Page: 8A; Enumeration District: 0233; FHL microfilm: 2341713, Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census 
  5. The exact date of the marriage is somewhat unclear. A marriage license was taken out in March, 1931. New Castle (PA) News, 16 Mar 1931, p. 7. But Helen’s father Jacob placed an announcement in the The Pittsburgh Sun-Telegraph on April 9, 1931 (p. 26), stating that the marriage had taken place in the fall of 1930. Their first child was born October 1, 1931.  I will leave it to you to make whatever inferences you wish about why Jacob might have wanted to “backdate” the wedding date. The second child was stillborn on June 27, 1934. Certificate Number: 56394, Search for Infant Booher in Pennsylvania Wills & Probates collection, Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Pennsylvania (State). Death certificates, 1906–1967; Certificate Number Range: 054501-057500, Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1967 
  6. John E. Booher death certificate, Certificate Number: 74864, Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Pennsylvania (State). Death certificates, 1906–1967; Certificate Number Range: 072501-075500, Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1967 
  7. Jacob Benedict and family, 1940 US census, Census Place: Pittsburgh, Allegheny, Pennsylvania; Roll: m-t0627-03663; Page: 2B; Enumeration District: 69-390, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  8. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, City Directories, 1929-1934, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995. Herschel Benedict, 1930 US census, Census Place: Pittsburgh, Allegheny, Pennsylvania; Page: 12A; Enumeration District: 0231; FHL microfilm: 2341713, Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census 
  9. Herschel Benedict, 1940 US census, Census Place: Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California; Roll: m-t0627-00401; Page: 15A; Enumeration District: 60-278, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  10. “Two WAA Officials Quit after Criticism,” Fresno (CA) Bee Republican, December 17, 1947, p. 15. 
  11. Ancestry.com. California, Death Index, 1940-1997 
  12. Ancestry.com. California, Death Index, 1940-1997 
  13. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/169508860/herschel-newton-benedict 
  14. Obituary, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 26 Mar 1965 – Page Page 19 
  15. SSN: 182329199, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007. Obituaries, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 06 Jul 1989, p. 10 

Hannah Goldsmith Part III: Her Grandsons

We saw that as of 1920, Hannah Goldsmith Benedict was a widow, having lost her husband Joseph in 1917. She was living with her son C. Harry Benedict and his wife Lena and two sons, Manson (13) and William (11), in Lake Linden, Michigan. Harry was a metallurgist for a copper mining corporation.

Hannah’s other two sons were living in Pittsburgh, and both had been affected by Prohibition. Herschel, who’d owned a liquor distribution business, was without an occupation at the time of the 1920 census; he was living with his wife, Mary. Jacob, who had worked in the liquor industry in Kentucky and then in Pittsburgh, was now working in the food business, and he was a widower after losing his wife Clara in 1917. In 1920 Jacob was living with his two daughters, Helen (13) and Marian (12).

The 1920s saw Hannah’s four grandchildren become young adults and pursue higher education. Her two grandsons, Manson and William, achieved academic success in chemistry. Manson Benedict attended the Shady Side Academy, where the 1924 yearbook included this portrayal of him at sixteen:

Manson Benedict, Shady Side Academy, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, “U.S., School Yearbooks, 1880-2012”; Year: 1924,Ancestry.com. U.S., School Yearbooks, 1900-1990

After graduating from Shady Side, Manson attended Cornell University where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry in 1928. He was listed a faculty member there the following year.1 In 1930, he was working as a chemist for National Aniline and Chemical Company in Buffalo, New York.2

“U.S., School Yearbooks, 1880-2012”; Yearbook Title: Cornellian; Year: 1928, Ancestry.com. U.S., School Yearbooks, 1900-1990

Meanwhile, his brother William was following a similar path. He also attended Shady Side Academy:

William Benedict, Shady Side Academy, 1925, “U.S., School Yearbooks, 1880-2012”; Year: 1925
Ancestry.com. U.S., School Yearbooks, 1900-1990

As noted in that yearbook biography, he was planning to attend Cornell like his older brother and their father, and in fact he graduated from Cornell a year after his brother and was also elected to Phi Beta Kappa. And like his brother Manson, William was also a chemist.

“U.S., School Yearbooks, 1880-2012”; Yearbook Title: Cornellian; Year: 1929
Ancestry.com. U.S., School Yearbooks, 1900-1990

In 1930 William was back in Michigan, living with his parents and grandmother Hannah, and had no occupation listed. His father continued to work as a metallurgist.3

Both Manson and William continued their studies in the 1930s at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where both received Ph.Ds. William actually received his first—in 1933—and wrote his dissertation on the structure of nitrogen dioxide, a paper that became the basis of a “landmark paper.”4 Manson completed his Ph.D. two years after his younger brother, having spent some time working and then studying philosophy at the University of Chicago. His area of specialization was physical chemistry.5

The brothers then went in different geographic directions. Manson stayed in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he became a National Research Council Fellow and a research associate in geophysics. While studying at MIT, he met a fellow Ph.D. student, Marjorie Oliver Allen, whom he married in 1935.6 Marjorie, the daughter of Ivan J Allen and Lucy M Oliver, was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, on July 24, 1909.7 She graduated from Mount Holyoke College in 1931 and then, like her husband Manson, received a Ph.D. in physical chemistry from MIT.8 Manson and Marjorie had two children in the 1930s.

Manson’s brother William headed south to Princeton University after completing his doctorate at MIT and became a research fellow there from 1933 until 1935 when he then left academia to become a research chemist at the General Chemical Company in New York.9 He married Ruth Boschwitz on December 24, 1936, in New York City.10 Ruth was born in Berlin, Germany, on July 15, 1913,11 and immigrated to the US on November 24, 1920.12 She and her parents, Carl Boschwitz and Sophie Philipp, settled in New York City, where in 1930, her father was a bank executive.13 Ruth was a student at NYU Medical School when she married William Benedict.14 In 1940, Ruth and William were living with Ruth’s mother in New York City where William continued to work as a chemist in the chemical industry and Ruth was a doctor at a hospital.15 They would have one child born in the 1940s.

Manson Benedict also left academia in the late 1930s. In 1937, he returned to National Aniline and Chemical Company in Buffalo, New York, and worked there as a research chemist until 1938 when he joined the M.W. Kellogg Company in Jersey City, New Jersey, as a research chemist. He remained there for five years.16 Unfortunately, I could not find Manson and Marjorie on the 1940 census despite having their exact address in Radburn, New Jersey.

Manson and William both went on to have distinguished careers in their fields. More on that in a post to come.

 


  1. “U.S., School Yearbooks, 1880-2012”; Yearbook Title: Cornellian; Year: 1929,
    Ancestry.com. U.S., School Yearbooks, 1900-1990 
  2. Manson Benedict, 1930 US census, Census Place: Buffalo, Erie, New York; Page: 37B; Enumeration District: 0025; FHL microfilm: 2341158, Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census. Oral History interview of Manson Benedict by James J. Bohning, January 24, 1991, for the Science History Institute, found at https://oh.sciencehistory.org/oral-histories/benedict-manson 
  3. C.Harry Benedict and family, 1930 US census, Census Place: Torch Lake, Houghton, Michigan; Page: 3A; Enumeration District: 0040; FHL microfilm: 2340729, Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census 
  4. J.-M. Flaud, C. Camy-Peyret, R. A. Toth, Water Vapour Line Parameters from Microwave to Medium Infrared: An Atlas of H216O, H217O and H218O Line Positions and Intensities between 0 and 4350 cm-1, Pergamon, 1981 (dedication). 
  5. Oral History interview of Manson Benedict by James J. Bohning, January 24, 1991, for the Science History Institute, found at https://oh.sciencehistory.org/oral-histories/benedict-manson 
  6. Oral History interview of Manson Benedict by James J. Bohning, January 24, 1991, for the Science History Institute, found at https://oh.sciencehistory.org/oral-histories/benedict-manson 
  7. SSN: 017369908, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 
  8. Marjorie Allen, 1934 Mt Holyoke College yearbook, “U.S., School Yearbooks, 1880-2012”; Yearbook Title: Llamarada_Yearbook; Year: 1934, Ancestry.com. U.S., School Yearbooks, 1900-1990 
  9. J.-M. Flaud, C. Camy-Peyret, R. A. Toth, Water Vapour Line Parameters from Microwave to Medium Infrared: An Atlas of H216O, H217O and H218O Line Positions and Intensities between 0 and 4350 cm-1, Pergamon, 1981 (dedication). 
  10. License Number: 30940, New York City Municipal Archives; New York, New York; Borough: Manhattan; Volume Number: 13, Ancestry.com. New York, New York, Marriage License Indexes, 1907-2018 
  11. SSN: 578387103, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 
  12.  Year: 1920; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Microfilm Roll: Roll 2879; Line: 4; Page Number: 126, Ancestry.com. New York, Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957 
  13. Carl Boschwitz and family, 1930 US census, Census Place: Manhattan, New York, New York; Page: 29A; Enumeration District: 0542; FHL microfilm: 2341301,
    Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census 
  14. Ruth Boschwitz, 1936 NYU Medical School yearbook, “U.S., School Yearbooks, 1880-2012”; Yearbook Title: Medical Violet; Year: 1936, Ancestry.com. U.S., School Yearbooks, 1900-1990 
  15. William Benedict, 1940 US census, Census Place: New York, New York, New York; Roll: m-t0627-02655; Page: 61B; Enumeration District: 31-1337, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  16. Oral History interview of Manson Benedict by James J. Bohning, January 24, 1991, for the Science History Institute, found at https://oh.sciencehistory.org/oral-histories/benedict-manson 

Hannah Goldsmith Benedict 1900-1920: Gains, Losses, and Laws

As of 1900, Hannah and Joseph Benedict’s three sons were all adults, and Joseph had retired from his rag and paper business. Their two older sons, Jacob and Herschel, were still living with their parents in Pittsburgh, and the youngest son, C. Harry, was living in Michigan and working as an engineer after graduating from Cornell University. Soon all three would be married.

Joseph Benedict, 1900 US census, Census Place: Pittsburgh Ward 11, Allegheny, Pennsylvania; Page: 6; Enumeration District: 0142; FHL microfilm: 1241359
Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census

Not long after the 1900 census was taken, the middle brother, Herschel, married Mary Ullman on August 7, 1900, in Titusville, Pennsylvania. Mary was born on December 25, 1876, in Titusville to Jacob Ullman and Henrietta Rothschild.1 Jacob was born in the Alsace region of France, and Henrietta in Wurttemberg, Germany. Jacob was in the dry goods business.2

Herschel Benedict and Mary Ullman marriage record, Film Number: 000878594
Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Marriages, 1852-1968

A year after Herschel’s marriage, the youngest Benedict brother, C. Harry, was engaged to Lena Manson:

Pittsburgh Daily Post, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 21 Jul 1901, Sun • Page 15

As the article reports, Lena was from Syracuse, New York, where she was born on July 21, 1876.3 Her parents, Lewis and Jennie Manson, were immigrants from Russia-Poland, and her father was in the jewelry business in Syracuse.4 Lena, like Harry, had studied at Cornell, she for two years as a special student of English literature, and in 1897 she was working as a teacher in Syracuse. She also taught for three years at a high school in Erie, Pennsylvania.5

Harry and Lena were married on February 7, 1902, in Syracuse, New York.6

The last of the three sons of Hannah and Joseph to marry was their oldest son, Jacob or Jake. He married Clara R. Kaufman on February 14, 1905, in Pittsburgh. Like Jacob, Clara was a native of Pittsburgh, born on September 13, 1874, to Solomon Kaufman and Helena Marks, who were German immigrants. Clara’s father was a livestock dealer.7

Jacob Benedict and Clara Kaufman marriage record, Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission; Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Pennsylvania County Marriages, 1852-1973; County: Allegheny; Year Range: 1905; Roll Number: 549855, Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, County Marriage Records, 1845-1963

In 1910, Hannah and Joseph were living with their son, Herschel and his wife Mary. Joseph was retired, and Herschel was in the wholesale liquor business. By 1912, Herschel had formed his own liquor distribution business, Benedict & Eberle, of which he was the president.8

Herschel Benedict and family, 1910 US census, Census Place: Pittsburgh Ward 14, Allegheny, Pennsylvania; Roll: T624_1304; Page: 7A; Enumeration District: 0465; FHL microfilm: 1375317
Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census

By that time, Hannah and Joseph  had four grandchildren, but all were living quite a distance from Pittsburgh where Hannah and Joseph continued to live. The first was Jacob and Clara’s daughter, Helen, who was born on January 18, 1907, in Paducah, Kentucky,9 where Jacob and Clara had relocated from Pittsburgh sometime in the prior year and where Jacob was working for Dreyfuss Weil, a liquor distributor.10 Jacob and Clara’s second child, Marian, was also born in Paducah; she was born April 14, 1908.11

Meanwhile, Jacob’s brother C. Harry and his wife Lena also had two children during these years. Their first child, Manson, was born on October 9, 1907, in Lake Linden, Michigan,12 with a second son, William, arriving on July 4, 1909, also in Lake Linden. 13 C. Harry continued to work as a metallurgical engineer in Michigan for a company called Calumet & Hecla, a copper mining company.14

Sometime after the 1910 census, Hannah and Joseph must have decided that they did not want to live so far from all their grandchildren because by December 1912, they had left Pittsburgh and were living in Lake Linden, Michigan, where Harry and his family were residing.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 14 Dec 1912, Page 12

Then just two years after Hannah and Joseph left Pittsburgh, their son Jacob returned to Pittsburgh with his family after the company where Jacob worked in Paducah, Kentucky was sold, as reported in the February 4, 1914, edition of the Paducah Sun-Democrat (p. 5):

“Jacob Benedict Leaves for His New Home,” The Paducah Sun-Democrat, 04 Feb 1914, Page 5

Sadly, just three years after their move to Pittsburgh, Jacob suffered a terrible loss when his wife Clara died on September 17, 1917, from left parotid gland cancer. She had turned 43 just three days earlier, and she left behind her two young daughters, Helen (10) and Marian (9), as well as her husband Jacob.

Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Pennsylvania (State). Death certificates, 1906–1967; Certificate Number Range: 101201-104500
Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1967

The family was soon dealt another blow when Joseph Benedict died on December 23, 1917, at Harry’s home in Lake Linden, Michigan. Joseph was 83 and died from fibroid myocarditis. He was buried back in Pittsburgh, his long-time home.

Michigan Department of Community Health, Division for Vital Records and Health Statistics; Lansing, Michigan; Death Records
Ancestry.com. Michigan, Death Records, 1867-1952

Hannah remained in Lake Linden, Michigan, and was living with her son Harry and his family in 1920, where Harry continued to work for Calumet & Hecla as a metallurgical engineer.15

Hannah’s other two sons were living in Pittsburgh in 1920. Jacob was living with his daughters as well as a live-in caretaker for the children; he was employed as a salesman for a food company, though just two years earlier he’d been working for a bottling company.16 Herschel was living with his wife Mary as well as a servant, and he had no employment listed on the 1920 census record.17

At first I was puzzled by the changes in both Jacob’s and Herschel’s occupations, but then the lightbulb went on.

Both Jacob and Herschel had been in the liquor business. By 1920, liquor sales were prohibited throughout the US after the ratification of the Eighteenth Amendment on January 29, 1919. In fact, liquor sales had been under severe restrictions even earlier, as discussed on this website:

In 1917, after the United States entered World War I, President Woodrow Wilson instituted a temporary wartime prohibition in order to save grain for producing food. That same year, Congress submitted the 18th Amendment, which banned the manufacture, transportation and sale of intoxicating liquors, for state ratification. Though Congress had stipulated a seven-year time limit for the process, the amendment received the support of the necessary three-quarters of U.S. states in just 11 months. Ratified on January 29, 1919, the 18th Amendment went into effect a year later, by which time no fewer than 33 states had already enacted their own prohibition legislation.

The_Pittsburgh_Press, January 16, 1919, p. 1

So Herschel was forced out of business and Jacob had to change industries as a result of Prohibition. That must have been a difficult transition for both of them.

The first two decades of the 20th century were thus exciting and challenging ones for Hannah and her family. There were marriages and children but also deaths as well as the business challenges created by Prohibition.

 

 


  1. Film Number: 000878594, Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Marriages, 1852-1968; Year: 1928; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Microfilm Roll: Roll 4263; Line: 13; Page Number: 29, Ancestry.com. New York, Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957; Jacob Ullman and family, 1880 US census, Census Place: Titusville, Crawford, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1121; Page: 220D; Enumeration District: 122, Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1880 United States Federal Census; Marriage Registers, Extracts from Manhattan (1869-1880) and Brooklyn (1895-1897), Publisher: Dept. of Health, Division of Vital Statistics, New York, Ancestry.com. New York City, Compiled Marriage Index, 1600s-1800s. 
  2. Flora Ullman death certificate, Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Pennsylvania (State). Death certificates, 1906–1967; Certificate Number Range: 103201-105750, Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1967. Jacob Ullman and family, 1880 US census, Census Place: Titusville, Crawford, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1121; Page: 220D; Enumeration District: 122, Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1880 United States Federal Census. 
  3.  The National Archives at Washington, D.C.; Washington, D.C.; Series Title: U.S. Citizen Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Miami, Florida; NAI Number: 2774842; Record Group Title: Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, 1787-2004; Record Group Number: 85, Ancestry.com. Florida, Passenger Lists, 1898-1963 
  4. Lewis Manson and family, 1880 US census, Census Place: Syracuse, Onondaga, New York; Roll: 908; Page: 439A; Enumeration District: 219, Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1880 United States Federal Census 
  5.  “U.S., School Yearbooks, 1880-2012”; Yearbook Title: Cornellian; Year: 1902,
    Ancestry.com. U.S., School Yearbooks, 1900-1990. Lena Manson Benedict obituary,
    The Post-Standard, Syracuse, New York, 04 Oct 1965, Page 23. 
  6.  New York State Department of Health; Albany, NY, USA; New York State Marriage Index, Ancestry.com. New York State, Marriage Index, 1881-1967 
  7. Clara Kaufman Benedict death certificate, Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Pennsylvania (State). Death certificates, 1906–1967; Certificate Number Range: 101201-104500, Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1967. Solomon Kaufman and family, 1880 US census, Census Place: Allegheny, Allegheny, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1086; Page: 158A; Enumeration District: 006,
    Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1880 United States Federal Census 
  8.  Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1912, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  9.  Year: 1927; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Microfilm Roll: Roll 4101; Line: 1; Page Number: 187, Ancestry.com. New York, Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957; SSN: 182329199, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 
  10. Paducah, Kentucky, City Directory, 1906, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  11. Marian Benedict death certificate, Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Pennsylvania (State). Death certificates, 1906–1967; Box Number: 2424; Certificate Number Range: 020251-023100, Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1967; Year: 1927; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Microfilm Roll: Roll 4101; Line: 1; Page Number: 187, Ancestry.com. New York, Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957 
  12. “Michigan, County Births, 1867-1917,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:33SQ-GBZD-ZS1?cc=1923472&wc=4VWM-MT6%3A218907401%2C219048301 : 8 June 2018), Houghton > Births 1906-1908 > image 229 of 493; various county courts, Michigan. 
  13. “Michigan, County Births, 1867-1917,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:33S7-LBZC-55L?cc=1923472&wc=4VWM-MT1%3A218907401%2C219072901 : 7 September 2018), Houghton > Births 1908-1910 > image 169 of 438; various county courts, Michigan. 
  14. C Harry Benedict and family, 1910 US census, Census Place: Torch Lake, Houghton, Michigan; Roll: T624_647;Page: 16B; Enumeration District: 0135;FHL microfilm: 1374660, Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census. Title: Calumet, Michigan, City Directory, 1912, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  15. C. Harry Benedict, 1920 US census, Census Place: Torch Lake, Houghton, Michigan; Roll: T625_769; Page: 12A; Enumeration District: 173, Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census.  I found it interesting that Hannah chose to stay in Michigan rather than return to Pittsburgh. Joseph was buried there, and two of her sons, Jacob and Herschel, were living there, and Jacob must have needed extra help with his daughters. But Hannah must have been very happy where she was living in Michigan and thus stayed put rather than going back to Pittsburgh. She remained in Lake Linden, Michigan, for the rest of her life. 
  16. Jacob Benedict, 1920 US census, Census Place: Pittsburgh Ward 14, Allegheny, Pennsylvania; Roll: T625_1522; Page: 12B; Enumeration District: 550,
    Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census 
  17. Herschel Benedict, 1920 US census, Census Place: Pittsburgh Ward 14, Allegheny, Pennsylvania; Roll: T625_1522; Page: 9B; Enumeration District: 546, Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census 

Hannah Goldsmith Benedict, 1848-1900: Litigation and Fires Beleaguer The Family

The youngest of Simon Goldsmith’s children was his daughter Hannah; she was born to Simon’s second wife, Fradchen Schoenthal, my three-times great-aunt, making Hannah, like her brother Henry, my double cousin. Hannah was born in Baltimore, Maryland, on June 5, 1848. Since I have not written about Hannah in quite a while, let me recap what I’ve already written about her.

In 1850, Simon and Fradchen were living in Pittsburgh with Henry and Hannah as well Simon’s two daughters from his first marriage, Lena and Eva. Fradchen died later that year, leaving Hannah motherless when she was just two years old.

Simon Goldsmith and family, 1850 US census, Census Place: Pittsburgh Ward 3, Allegheny, Pennsylvania; Roll: M432_745; Page: 135A; Image: 274 Source Information Ancestry.com. 1850 United States Federal Census

Simon then moved to Washington, Pennsylvania, to live with his oldest child Jacob, presumably so that he would have support to raise his two youngest children.

Simon Goldsmith and family 1860 US census, Census Place: Washington, Washington, Pennsylvania; Roll: M653_1192; Page: 1188; Image: 627; Family History Library Film: 805192

In 1867, Hannah married Joseph Benedict. She was only nineteen, and he was 33. Joseph was born July 3, 1834, in Germany and had immigrated in 1857, according to the 1900 census. Hannah and Joseph settled in Pittsburgh after marrying. The 1870 Pittsburgh directory lists Joseph as a junk dealer. By the time the 1870 census was enumerated Joseph and Hannah had a five-month-old son named Jacob, born January 24, 1870, in Pittsburgh. Also living with them in 1870 were Hannah’s father, Simon Goldsmith, now a retired tailor, and Amelia Schoenthal, who was Hannah’s first cousin, her mother Fradchen’s niece and the older sister of my great-grandfather Isidore Schoenthal.

Joseph and Hannah Benedict, 1870 US census, ensus Place: Pittsburgh Ward 5, Allegheny, Pennsylvania; Roll: M593_1295; Page: 567A; Family History Library Film: 552794
Ancestry.com. 1870 United States Federal Census

On June 6, 1871, Hannah gave birth to a second child, Herschel Newton Benedict, in Pittsburgh. Five years later, Hannah gave birth to her third son, Centennial Harry Benedict, born on September 24, 1876, in Pittsburgh (named for the 100th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence).1 Hannah and her husband Joseph Benedict continued to live in Pittsburgh where Joseph is listed on the 1880 census as a rag dealer.

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

Unfortunately, the 1880s presented some difficult issues for Joseph Benedict and thus his family. In 1882 he became embroiled in litigation against the Antietam Paper Company. Joseph sold this company $813.03 worth of rags for which they had refused to pay, alleging that the rags were infected with the smallpox virus. The company argued that as a result of the infected rags, many people both in the paper company’s employ and in the surrounding area became ill and even died, causing the company to shut down its operations. The lower court rejected the paper company’s defense, and judgment in favor of Joseph was upheld on appeal.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 5 Sep 1882, Tue, Page 1

[To my former Contracts students—why do you think Joseph won this case?]

Just two years later in September 1884, the warehouse where Joseph’s rag and paper business was located was severely damaged by fire. Not only was there serious property damage, two firefighters were injured while trying to control the fire. The newspaper reports differed on their coverage of the fire. The Pittsburgh Daily Post wrote:

Pittsburgh Daily Post, 10 Sep 1884, Page 4

According to this article, the owners of the building were fully insured for the $5000 loss, though the aggregate loss (including the property of the tenants) was more like $40,000.

But an article from the same date published by The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette had a very different report on the insurance coverage for damages:

“Rags and Tea,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
10 Sep 1884, Page 2

So did the owners have insurance or not? Which paper had a more accurate report of the facts?

Joseph’s loss was partially covered by insurance, at least according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, but he nevertheless suffered a very significant loss. The Post-Gazette account noted that the fire was presumed to have started by spontaneous combustion of Joseph’s rags.

That was not the last time Joseph’s business was damaged by fire. In 1892, Joseph was now the owner of the building that housed his rag and paper business. A fire started when a gas stove overheated in the space in his building that was being used by a cigar business. Joseph’s business suffered only minor damage, according to the paper, because the fire did not reach the cellar where his business was located and thus only suffered water damage. The paper noted, however, that this was the third fire at this building within eighteen months.

“Fire in Allegheny,” The Pittsburgh Press – 23 Nov 1892 – Page 1

But Joseph was still operating his paper business at that location in 1894.2

Meanwhile, Hannah and Joseph’s sons were growing up in these years. In 1889, Jacob, the oldest son who was then nineteen, was working as a bookkeeper. The following year both Jacob and his brother Herschel were listed as bookkeepers in the Pittsburgh directory. Both were still listed as bookkeepers in 1898.3

At that time the youngest brother, C. Harry Benedict, was a student at Cornell University.

U.S., School Yearbooks, 1880-2012; Yearbook Title: Cornell Class Book; Year: 1897
Ancestry.com. U.S., School Yearbooks, 1900-1990

In 1900, Hannah and Joseph and their two older sons were living in Pittsburgh, where Joseph, now 65, was retired, Jacob was working as a bookkeeper, and Herschel was a salesman.

Joseph Benedict, 1900 US census, Census Place: Pittsburgh Ward 11, Allegheny, Pennsylvania; Page: 6; Enumeration District: 0142; FHL microfilm: 1241359
Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census

C. Harry was living in Lake Linden, Michigan in 1900, working as a mechanical engineer, according to the census record. But “chemical” was crossed out, and later records indicate that Harry was a metallurgical engineer, so I think either the enumerator or the person reporting to the enumerator was confused.

C Harry Benedict, 1900 US census, Census Place: Schoolcraft, Houghton, Michigan; Page: 19; Enumeration District: 0196; FHL microfilm: 1240715, Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census

Thus, by 1900, all three of Hannah and Joseph Benedict’s sons were adults, and their father had retired from his fire-prone business.  Soon there would be weddings and grandchildren.

 

 

 

 


  1. J.-M. Flaud, C. Camy-Peyret, R. A. Toth, Water Vapour Line Parameters from Microwave to Medium Infrared: An Atlas of H216O, H217O and H218O Line Positions and Intensities between 0 and 4350 cm-1, Pergamon, 1981 (dedication). 
  2. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1894, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  3. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1889, 1890, 1898, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 

Henry Goldsmith, The Final Chapter: Walter, Florence, and Helen

I conclude the story of Henry Goldsmith and his family in this post with final chapters on the lives of three of his ten children, those who outlived all the others: Walter, Florence, and Helen.

Walter Goldsmith and his wife Ella Rosenberg had suffered two terrible losses early in their marriage. Their first child had lived just a few weeks, and their second, Sarah, had died in 1921 from gastroenteritis when she was four. But Walter and Ella had had three more children after Sarah, as we have seen: Edison (born shortly before Sarah’s death in 1921), Stanley (1922) and Edna (1924). Thus, in 1930 Walter and Ella had three young children, and Walter was practicing dentistry in Pittsburgh.

Walter Goldsmith and family, 1930 US census, Census Place: Pittsburgh, Allegheny, Pennsylvania; Page: 32A; Enumeration District: 0220; FHL microfilm: 2341711
Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census

The 1930s appear to have been fairly uneventful for Walter and his family, and by 1940, the three children were teenagers, and Walter continued to practice dentistry in Pittsburgh.

Walter Goldsmith and family, 1940 US census, Census Place: Pittsburgh, Allegheny, Pennsylvania; Roll: m-t0627-03662; Page: 17B; Enumeration District: 69-370
Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census

On October 16, 1942, Edison enlisted in the US Army; he’d been a salesman at Gimbel Brothers when he registered for the draft:

Edison Goldsmith, World War II draft registration, Selective Service Registration Cards, World War II: Multiple Registrations, Content Source: The National Archives, Draft Registration Cards for Pennsylvania, 10/16/1940 – 03/31/1947

Edison served in the Army as a warrant officer and was honorably discharged on January 23, 1946. From March 10, 1945, until August 8, 1945, he served overseas in World War II.1

Edison’s younger brother Stanley registered for the draft, but was not called for military service. He was nineteen at the time and not employed. He does appear in the 1942 University of Pittsburgh yearbook as a member of the photography staff of that publication, so he must have been a student when he registered for the draft. According to my cousin Robin, Stanley had very poor eyesight, yet somehow managed to become a photographer.

Stanley Goldsmith, World War II draft registration, Selective Service Registration Cards, World War II: Multiple Registrations, Content Source: The National Archives, Draft Registration Cards for Pennsylvania, 10/16/1940 – 03/31/1947

As listed in the 1954 and 1955 directories, Stanley and Edison and their sister Edna were all still living with their parents Walter and Ella at 1263 Bellerock Street in Pittsburgh. Edison was the vice-president of Manor Products, a company that manufactured awnings, and Edna was a telephone operator for the M.H. Delrick Company.  Stanley had no occupation listed. Their father Walter continued to be listed as a dentist in all these directories.2

On November 25, 1955, Edna Goldsmith married Arnold Feuerlicht.

“Noon Wedding,” The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, November 18, 1955, p. 20.

Arnold was born in Sharon, Pennsylvania, on December 13, 1919,3 to Herman Feuerlicht and Guzella Baum. His father, a Romanian-born immigrant, was a baker. His mother was born in Austria-Hungary. In 1940, the family was living in Erie, Pennsylvania, and Arnold was working as a clerk in a shoe store.4

Arnold is listed in the 1955 Pittsburgh directory as an accountant.5 He and Edna thereafter purchased a new house in Wilkins Township, Pennsylvania, and had two children. After driving cross country on vacation and seeing Los Angeles, they moved In 1968, first living with Florence, and later purchasing a home in 1971, in Beverly Hills, California. Arnold continued to work as an accountant. 6

Four years after her daughter’s wedding, Ella Rosenberg Goldsmith died in Pittsburgh on November 21, 1959 at age 72.7 Her husband Walter survived her for twelve years; he died when he was 89 in August 1971.8

Walter and Ella were survived by their three children. Stanley died on February 24, 1994, in Pittsburgh; he was 71.9 The following year his brother Edison died on November 9, 1995; he was 74.10 Neither had married or had children. Their sister Edna survived them. She died in West Los Angeles, California, on October 19, 2007, at the age of 83. Her husband Arnold died less than two months later on December 5, 2007; he was 87. Edna and Arnold were survived by their children.

With Walter Goldsmith’s death in 1971, only two of Henry Goldsmith’s ten children were still living, his two daughters, Florence and Helen.  Florence died at 91 in Beverly Hills, California, on April 22, 1975.11

That left only Helen, the youngest of Henry Goldsmith’s children. In 1930 she’d been living with her husband Edwin T. Meyer and two sons Edgar and Malcolm in Pittsburgh. Edwin was an optometrist.12

On March 19, 1938 Edgar married Esther Orringer in Weirton, West Virginia.13 Esther was the daughter of Oscar Orringer and Rose Spann and was born on March 5, 1916, in Pittsburgh.14 Her parents were Austrian-born immigrants, and in 1920 her father was in the wholesale grocery business in Pittsburgh.15 A heartfelt thank you to Cathy Meder-Dempsey of Opening Doors in Brick Walls for locating Edgar and Esther’s marriage record.

Edgar Meyer and Esther Orringer marrriage record cropped

West Virginia Vital Research Records Project (database and images), West Virginia Division of Culture and History (A collaborative venture between the West Virginia State Archives and the Genealogical Society of Utah to place vital records online via the West Virginia Archives and History Web site accessible at http://www.wvculture.org/vrr), Register of Marriages Brooke County, West Virginia, page 213, top, Marriage License of Edgar Jaffa Meyer and Esther Orringer.(http://www.wvculture.org/vrr/va_view.aspx?Id=12012126&Type=Marriage : accessed 5 July 2019).

Edgar’s brother Malcolm married Carolyn Schnurrer on September 1, 1942, in Pittsburgh. Carolyn was the daughter of Michael Max Schnurrer, an architectural draftsman, and Eva Katz, both of whom were Romanian immigrants. She was born on December 15, 1919, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.16 Carolyn and Malcolm were both graduates of the University of Pittsburgh.

Pennsylvania, County Marriages, 1885-1950,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VF74-G8X : 18 October 2017), Malcolm G. Meyer and Carolyn Schnurer, 01 Sep 1942; citing Marriage, Pittsburgh, Allegheny, Pennsylvania, United States, various county courts and registers, Pennslyvannia; FHL microfilm 1,992,163.

The Pittsburgh Press, October 3, 1942, p. 18

Malcolm was a lieutenant in the US Army when he and Carolyn married; he was stationed at Camp Lee, Virginia. He served in the Army from May 4, 1942, until March 2, 1946, including two and a half years overseas during World War II. When he returned, he and Carolyn settled in Pittsburgh and had two children together. Like his father Edwin, Malcolm was an optometrist.17

Edgar and Esther also stayed in Pittsburgh for some time. They had one child. When Edgar registered for the World War II draft, he was working for Gulf Research and Development Company and living in Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania, just outside of Pittsburgh.

Edgar Meyer, World War II draft registration, Draft Registration Cards for Pennsylvania, 10/16/1940 – 03/31/1947, Selective Service Registration Cards, World War II: Multiple Registrations

But Edgar was not destined to stay in western Pennsylvania. In 1950 he is listed in the Buffalo, New York directory as a physicist.18 According to his obituary, he lived in Vienna, Austria from 1968 to 1970, working as a representative of the American Optical Company board of directors. Then he returned to the US and settled in Massachusetts where he was the manager of the medical products division of the American Optical Company from 1970 until 1972.19

During that time his father Edwin died. Edwin was 81 when he passed away on March 19, 1971.20 The family suffered another loss two years later when Malcolm’s wife Carolyn died in May 1973; she was only 53.21  Then just two years later Edgar Meyer died on April 17, 1975, in Pittsburgh, to which he had only recently returned upon retiring.  Edgar was sixty years old. He was survived by his mother Helen, his wife Esther, his brother Malcolm, his daughter, and grandchildren.22

Helen Goldsmith Meyer had lost her husband Edwin, her daughter-in-law Carolyn, and her son Edgar in the space of four years.

Helen herself died in August 1983 in Washington, Pennsylvania.  She was 93 years old.23 Her son Malcolm also lived a long life. He was also 93 when he died on May 1, 2011. He was survived by his children and grandchildren.24

I have just connected with two of Helen’s granddaughters and one of Walter’s granddaughters and hope to have more photographs and personal recollections to add to an update to this post. But for now, I have reached the end of the story of my double cousin Henry Goldsmith, his wife Sarah Jaffa, their ten children and many grandchildren.

And it brings me to the last of Simon Goldsmith’s children, my other double cousin Hannah Goldsmith, Henry’s full sister. Both Henry and Hannah were born in the US shortly after their parents immigrated; both lost their mother when they were just toddlers. Both overcame the odds and lived full and successful lives. Both lived those lives in western Pennsylvania.

Hannah’s story comes next.

 


  1. Ancestry.com. U.S., World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946; SSN: 181120537, Ancestry.com. U.S., Department of Veterans Affairs BIRLS Death File, 1850-2010; Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Veteran Compensation Application Files, WWII, 1950-1966. 
  2. Title: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1954, 1955, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  3.  Box Title: Fessler, Elwood E – Fiedor, John F (Box 246), Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Veteran Compensation Application Files, WWII, 1950-1966 
  4. Herman Feuerlicht and family, 1940 US census, Census Place: Erie, Erie, Pennsylvania; Roll: m-t0627-03650; Page: 7A; Enumeration District: 68-82, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  5. Title: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1955, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  6. Publication Title: Beverly Hills, City Directory, 1973, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  7. Ella Goldsmith death certificate, Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Pennsylvania, USA; Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1965; Certificate Number Range: 097051-099750, Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966 
  8.  Number: 169-32-7384; Issue State: Pennsylvania; Issue Date: 1956-1958, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 
  9. SSN: 201142857, Death Certificate Number: PA 2972985, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 
  10. SSN: 181120537, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 
  11. Social Security #: 572443297, Ancestry.com. California, Death Index, 1940-1997 
  12. Edwin T. Meyer and family, 1930 US census, Census Place: Pittsburgh, Allegheny, Pennsylvania; Page: 33A; Enumeration District: 0234; FHL microfilm: 2341713, Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census 
  13. Marriage Date: 1938, Marriage Place: Brooke, West Virginia, United States, Ancestry.com. West Virginia, Marriages Index, 1785-1971 
  14. SSN: 170013483, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 
  15. Oscar Orringer and family, 1920 US census, Census Place: Pittsburgh Ward 14, Allegheny, Pennsylvania; Roll: T625_1522; Page: 2A; Enumeration District: 548, Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census 
  16. Pennsylvania, County Marriages, 1885-1950,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VF74-G8X : 18 October 2017), Malcolm G. Meyer and Carolyn Schnurer, 01 Sep 1942; citing Marriage, Pittsburgh, Allegheny, Pennsylvania, United States, various county courts and registers, Pennslyvannia; FHL microfilm 1,992,163. Schnurer family, 1940 US census, Census Place: West View, Allegheny, Pennsylvania; Roll: m-t0627-03420; Page: 12B; Enumeration District: 2-593, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  17. Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Veteran Compensation Application Files, WWII, 1950-1966 
  18. Publication Title: Buffalo, New York, City Directory, 1950, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  19. “Edgar J. Meyer,” The Pittsburgh Press, April 18, 1975, p. 42. 
  20. Number: 172-32-4406; Issue State: Pennsylvania; Issue Date: 1956-1958, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014; “Dr. E. Meyer, Optometrist,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 20 Mar 1971, p. 13 
  21. SSN: 301016568, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 
  22. SSN: 169030713, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007; “Edgar J. Meyer,” The Pittsburgh Press, April 18, 1975, p. 42. 
  23. Number: 173-24-7039; Issue State: Pennsylvania; Issue Date: Before 1951, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 
  24. Issue State: California; Issue Date: Before 1951, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 

Nothing Is Better Than Getting First Hand Information about Relatives from One Who Knew Them Well

I’ve been very fortunate to connect with Henry Goldsmith’s great-grandson Robin, my fourth cousin, and he has generously shared with me some additional insights into the lives of his grandparents Milton and Luba, his parents Norman and Emphia, and other family members. As noted in the footnotes below, a good deal of the anecdotal information in this post came from Robin.

As we saw in my last post, Milton Goldsmith lost his first wife Luba on October 7, 1931. He continued to live with his two sons, Norman, who was, like his parents, a doctor, and Albert, who graduated from the University of Pittsburgh and receive a master’s degree from Harvard. And then on March 17, 1941, Milton married his cousin, Fannie Goldsmith, the great-granddaughter of Simon Goldsmith, who was also Milton’s grandfather. Milton and Fannie remained married for the rest of their lives.

On March 24, 1944, Milton’s son Norman married Emphia Margaret Fisher in Washington, DC.1

“Indiana Girl Weds Health Surgeon,” The Pittsburgh Press, March 29, 1944, p. 18

Emphia was born on April 17, 1910, in North Judson, Indiana.2 Her father Albert Fisher was born in Ohio and was, according to his grandson, a “classic country doctor” in North Judson; Emphia’s mother Noi Collins was born in Indiana and taught in a one-room school. Emphia attended Ward-Belmont College in Nashville, Tennessee, and Purdue University in Lafayette, Indiana, before graduating from the University of Chicago.   In 1940, Emphia was living with her parents and working as a laboratory technician; she later worked as a lab technician in a Chicago hospital.3

During World War II, Emphia moved to Washington, DC and worked as a mapmaker at Fort Meade. At the same time, Norman was serving with the US Public Health Service in DC. They married and moved to Gramercy Park in New York City, where Norman started a dermatology private practice. Emphia returned briefly to North Judson to be with her mother and sister Janet for the birth of her only child, Robin. Robin was born in a Chicago hospital. As recounted by Robin himself, “Two weeks later, long before it was common, Emphia and the baby boy in a basket flew from Chicago to join Norman in New York.” Sadly, Norman had contracted multiple sclerosis, and as he began having greater difficulty walking, the family moved to “the easier-to-get-around” Lancaster, Pennsylvania,  where Norman continued to practice medicine, now in an office on the same floor as the family’s apartment.4

According to Robin, “family members visited Norman and his family fairly frequently in Lancaster. Milton and Fannie visited on their way to annual medical society meetings in Atlantic City and at other times. Albert and Amelia [his wife, see below] and Walter Goldsmith’s children Edison and Edna came quite often. Florence Goldsmith Bernstein and Rae, SR’s widow, each visited at least once. In turn, Emphia and [Robin] visited Pittsburgh probably at least once a year and saw the rest of the relatives there, including seeing Walter for dental services and later for cousin Malcolm Meyer’s (Mac)’s optometry.”

Milton’s younger son Albert remained in Pittsburgh where he was a teacher and also a lecturer on art history at the University of Pittsburgh; he also participated in multiple musical activities, as reported in this profile from 1950:

“Who’s Who in Pittsburgh Music Circles,” The Pittsburgh Press, June 4, 1950, p. 75

Although Albert was not married when this profile was written, sometime not long after its publication, he married Amelia Wheeler, who was born on August 13, 1905,5 making her ten years older than Albert and about 45 when they married. Amelia was born in Pennsylvania and grew up in Pittsburgh, the daughter of George and Amelia Wheeler.6 In 1940, she was living with her widowed mother and siblings and grandparents in Pittsburgh.  Like Albert, she was a public school teacher.7

Milton’s older son Norman Goldsmith was not destined to live a long life. He died on October 8, 1953, from multiple sclerosis. He was only 46 years old, and according to his death certificate, he’d been struggling with MS for 25 years or since he was only 21.

Norman Goldsmith death certificate, Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Pennsylvania, USA; Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1965; Certificate Number Range: 086101-088800, Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette published a wonderful obituary that not only noted Norman’s professional accomplishments as a dermatologist despite being confined to a wheelchair, but also his successful career as a writer. (Recall that Norman had taken a writing course at the University of Pittsburgh with his mother Luba after he’d graduated from Cornell and before starting medical school.) Norman wrote numerous fiction and medical articles, drew a comic strip about Agent X-9, and published two books, The Atlantic City Murder Mystery and You and Your Skin. He was featured in a book, When Doctors Are Patients.

“Dr. Goldsmith, Physician and Author, Dies,” The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, October 10, 1953, p. 8.

After Norman’s death, his widow Emphia and son Robin continued living in Lancaster, though they moved from their downtown apartment house to a single-family house just outside the city. 8

In 1961, when Robin was in his freshman year of college, Emphia suffered a severe stroke while visiting her family in North Judson, Indiana, where Emphia had been born and raised and where her family lived. Robin wrote, “After years of hospitalization, she was able to move back to her mother’s home and navigate the small town despite her diminished physical and speech capacity.”9

Emphia and her sister attended Robin’s 1971 wedding in Rochester, New Hampshire, as did Albert (who, according to Robin, drove through a snowstorm from Pittsburgh because he was afraid planes would not be flying) and Edwin (Rex) and Helen (Goldsmith) Meyer’s son Edgar and his wife Esther, who had moved back from Vienna to Southboro, Massachusetts.10

Emphia died in Indiana, where she’d been born and raised, in January 1974 when she was 63. She and Norman are both buried in North Judson, Indiana.11

Meanwhile, Milton Goldsmith continued to practice medicine well into his 80s. He died at age 90 on January 10, 1968.10 His obituary appeared in both the Pittsburgh Press and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 11 Both obituaries noted his pioneering work in treating diabetes as one of the first doctors to use insulin. Milton was survived by his wife Fanniey, his son Albert, and his grandson, Robin. As noted in the prior post, Fannie died on July 27, 1975, at the age of 85.

As for Albert, he, like his father Milton, lived a long life. He died at the age of 93 on October 20, 2008.12 His obituary described him as a retired Pittsburgh public school teacher of home-bound children, a teacher of employees-children with special needs at the Children’s Institute, and a teacher of current events at the Vintage Adult Day Care center. Albert’s wife Amelia had predeceased him by almost forty years; she’d died on October 2, 1970.  Albert’s nephew, his brother Norman’s son, was named as his survivor as well as Albert’s first cousin Malcolm Meyer, son of Helen Goldsmith Meyer. 13 More on him in my next post.

Milton Goldsmith, my double cousin, was a very accomplished man—a top scholar in school and a successful doctor who did important work in treating diabetes. His first wife Luba was also very accomplished—the first woman to graduate from the University of Pittsburgh Medical School, she was also a writer and lecturer. Norman Goldsmith followed in his parents’ footsteps and was also a doctor who did important work and published books. Both Luba and Norman died far too young. But Milton remarried and lived a long life with his second wife, his cousin Fannie. And his son Albert, who followed his own path and did not become a doctor, had a long career as a teacher of children with special needs and was also an accomplished musician.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart to my cousin Robin, Milton’s only grandchild, for sharing his stories with me and giving me real insights into Milton and his family.

 

 

 


  1. Film Number: 002319414, Ancestry.com. District of Columbia, Marriage Records, 1810-1953 
  2. Certificate Number: 44190, Roll Number: 021, Agency: Indiana State Dept. of Health, Volume Range: 350 – 354, Ancestry.com. Indiana, Birth Certificates, 1907-1940 
  3. Albert Fisher and family, 1940 US census, Census Place: North Judson, Starke, Indiana; Roll: m-t0627-01095; Page: 10A; Enumeration District: 75-12, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census. The other information in this paragraph came from Norman and Emphia’s son Robin. 
  4. Publication Title: Lancaster, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1946, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995. The other information in this paragraph came from Norman and Emphia’s son Robin. 
  5.  Number: 208-18-3381; Issue State: Pennsylvania; Issue Date: Before 1951, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014. I could not find a marriage record for Albert and Amelia, but only newspaper items naming her as Mrs. Albert Goldsmith starting in about 1950, so I am estimating that they were married sometime after the June 4, 1950, profile of Albert in the Pittsburgh newspaper. 
  6. George Wheeler and family, 1910 US census, Census Place: Pittsburgh Ward 18, Allegheny, Pennsylvania; Roll: T624_1305; Page: 1B; Enumeration District: 0523; FHL microfilm: 1375318, Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census 
  7. Amelia Wheeler, 1940 US census, Census Place: Pittsburgh, Allegheny, Pennsylvania; Roll: m-t0627-03667; Page: 62A; Enumeration District: 69-517,
    Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  8. Lancaster, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1960, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995. The other information in this paragraph came from Norman and Emphia’s son Robin. 
  9. Information from Robin, Norman and Emphia’s son. 
  10. Estate and Proceedings Indexes, 1788-1971; Author: Allegheny County (Pennsylvania). Register of Wills; Probate Place: Allegheny, Pennsylvania, Notes: Proceedings Index, Vol 091-092, Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Wills and Probate Records, 1683-1993; Number: 187-36-9987; Issue State: Pennsylvania; Issue Date: 1962, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 
  11. “Rites Slated for Retired Oakland MD,” The Pittsburgh Press, January 11, 1968, p. 14; “Dr. Milton Goldsmith, Pioneer on Diabetes,” The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, January 11, 1968, p. 26. 
  12.  Issue State: Massachusetts; Issue Date: Before 1951, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 
  13. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 26 Oct 2008, p. 42 

Henry Goldsmith, Part VIII: Milton Goldsmith’s Second Marriage

While many of the children of Henry Goldsmith moved to Los Angeles in the 1930s, three remained in Pittsburgh, not far from Connellsville where they were all born and raised. The three who stayed behind—Milton, Walter, and Helen—remained in the area for the rest of their lives. This post will focus on Milton.

Milton had some sad times in the years after 1930. His wife Luba died on October 7, 1931, at the age of 52.1 According to her obituaries, she had been sick for over a year and died after an operation at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.  The obituaries not only discussed her medical career and accomplishments but also her literary skills and accomplishments:

“Dr. Luba Goldsmith Dies in Mayo Clinic,” The Pittsburgh Press, October 7, 1931, p. 6

“Dr. Goldsmith Rites,” The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, October 8, 1931, p. 5

Luba was survived by her husband Milton and sons Norman and Albert. Norman had just graduated from the University of Pennsylvania medical school in June, 1931,2 and his younger brother Albert was only sixteen and still in high school. After graduating from high school, Albert went on to the University of Pittsburgh, from which he graduated in 1936:

School: University of Pittsburgh, School Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USAYearbook Title: Owl, “U.S., School Yearbooks, 1880-2012”; Yearbook Title: Owl; Year: 1936, Ancestry.com. U.S., School Yearbooks, 1900-1990

School: University of Pittsburgh, School Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
Yearbook Title: Owl, “U.S., School Yearbooks, 1880-2012”; Yearbook Title: Owl; Year: 1936, Ancestry.com. U.S., School Yearbooks, 1900-1990

He then received a master’s degree in 1937 from Harvard.3

In 1940, Milton and his two sons were living together in Pittsburgh; Albert had no occupation listed on the census, and Milton and Norman were both practicing medicine.4

Then on March 17, 1941, Milton remarried. I found this in the most indirect way and late in my research. (In fact, I’d already started drafting this post when I found this second marriage.) I was searching for Milton in Pittsburgh directories in the 1940s to see whether he was still practicing medicine, and I noticed that some of the listings in the 1940s listed him with a wife, Fanny—for example, this one in 1949.

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1949, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995

I had not realized that Milton had remarried until I saw those listings, so I searched for information about this second wife, Fanny. I then found this announcement in the March 19, 1941, Pittsburgh Press (p. 25):

When I saw that Fanny’s birth name was Goldsmith and that she was from Philadelphia, I wondered whether she was a member of my extended Goldsmith family. There were many Fanny Goldsmiths on my tree, most born too early to marry Milton, but some were possibilities. Plus there were many other Fannie or Fanny Goldsmiths who were not related to me or to Milton.

Then I found one who died in Pittsburgh in July 1975 on the Social Security Death Index.5  So I turned to the newspaper databases, and I found this death notice for Fannie G. Goldsmith,6 who was indeed Milton’s wife:

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, July 28, 1975, p. 24

And when I saw that she had a brother named Lester and a nephew George, things started to click. Fanny Goldsmith Goldsmith was the daughter of George Goldsmith and the granddaughter of my first cousin, four times removed, Jacob Goldsmith, and the great-granddaughter of Simon Goldschmidt. George Goldsmith died suddenly in 1899  from pneumonia when Fanny was only ten, as I wrote about here. By 1900 Jacob and most of his children had moved west, and I had wondered whether George’s children had much of a relationship with the other Goldsmiths, especially after their grandfather Jacob died in 1901.

But apparently there was still some connection, as Milton and Fanny found each other in 1941 when he was 63 and had been a widower for ten years and Fanny was 51 and marrying for the first time. They were half-first cousins, once removed. Fanny was the daughter of Milton’s half-first cousin, George, as this chart indicates:

(The chart, generated by my Family Tree Maker software, fails to show that Henry’s mother was Fradchen Schoenthal, not Eveline Katzenstein, and that thus Henry and Jacob were half-brothers.)

My guess is that the extended family somehow facilitated this connection, but this was not a second marriage where a father was searching for a woman to care for his children. Milton’s sons Norman and Albert were adults themselves in 1941. The fact that  Fanny’s death notice identified Albert as her son suggests that there was a close familial relationship between Fanny and Milton’s children.

So I was happy to discover that Milton had remarried after losing Luba. Meanwhile, his sons were living their own lives. More on them in my next post.


  1. Death County: Olmsted, State File Number: 010312, Certificate Number: 010312,
    Certificate Year: 1931, Record Number: 601288, Ancestry.com. Minnesota, Death Index, 1908-2002. “Dr. Luba Goldsmith Dies After Illness Extending Over Year,” The Connellsville Daily Courier, October 10, 1931, p. 7. 
  2. “Penn Graduates,” The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, June 18, 1931, p. 6. 
  3. “Who’s Who in Pittsburgh Music Circles,” The Pittsburgh Press, June 4, 1950, p. 75. 
  4. Milton Goldsmith and sons, 1940 US census, Census Place: Pittsburgh, Allegheny, Pennsylvania; Roll: m-t0627-03653; Page: 4B; Enumeration District: 69-84, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  5.  Number: 188-36-5720; Issue State: Pennsylvania; Issue Date: 1962, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 
  6. As so often happens, some records spell her name Fannie, but most spell it Fanny. 

Henry Goldsmith, Part VII: The Westward Migration

For many of Henry Goldsmith’s children and grandchildren, the 1930s were years of westward movement. I don’t know what motivated this migration to California. Was it inspired by the ill-fated Jack Goldsmith, who went there in 1932 to study law at the University of Southern California and died in 1933 when he was just 24? Or was it the promise of greater opportunities in the years of the Great Depression? Perhaps that was what had inspired Jack Goldsmith to move to California in the first place. I don’t know.

Jack’s parents SR and Rae Goldsmith were possibly the first of Henry Goldsmith’s children to relocate. By 1935, SR and Rae Goldsmith had moved to Los Angeles. In 1936, SR was practicing law there, and in 1940 he was working as a stockbroker.1

But by 1940 three more of Henry Goldsmith’s eight surviving children were living in Los Angeles as well as two of his grandchildren. In fact, it appears that those two grandchildren may have led the way.  By March 13, 1934, Eleanor Goldsmith, JW’s daughter, and her husband Julian Rosenbaum and their children were living in Los Angeles, as reflected in Julian’s application for veteran’s compensation:

Box Title: Rooney, Andrew – Rosentall, Sam (369), Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, WWI Veterans Service and Compensation Files, 1917-1919, 1934-1948

Eleanor’s brother J. Edison Goldsmith soon joined her in California. He graduated from medical school in 1935 and then took an internship at Cedars of Lebanon Hospital in Los Angeles:

“Edison Goldsmith Medical Graduate,” The Connellsville Daily Courier, June 13, 1935, p. 2.

By July 1937, Eleanor and J. Edison’s parents, JW and Jennie Goldsmith, had also relocated to Los Angeles, as revealed in this news article about J. Edison’s engagement to Eleanor Heineman:

“Dr. J. Edison Goldsmith, Former Local Man, Is Engaged to Marry,” The Connellsville Daily Courier, July 24, 1937, p. 2.

J. Edison must have met his wife Eleanor while she was spending winters with her grandfather in Los Angeles. She was the daughter of Harry H. Heineman and Grace Livingston and was born on March 14, 1912 in Merrill, Wisconsin, where she was raised. Her father was a lumberman there.2 She and J. Edison were married on October 14, 1937, in Merrill, Wisconsin,3 and then settled in Los Angeles. In 1940 they were living with Eleanor’s mother Grace, and J. Edison was practicing medicine.3

“Merrill Girl Wed to California Man At Home Ceremony,” Wausau (WI) Daily Herald, October 15, 1937, p. 7

“Merrill Girl Wed to California Man At Home Ceremony,” Wausau (WI) Daily Herald, October 15, 1937, p. 7

In 1940, J. Edison’s parents JW and Jennie were sharing their household with yet another Goldsmith sibling, JW’s brother and long-time business partner Benjamin. That meant that there were now three Goldsmith brothers living in Los Angeles, SR, JW and Benjamin.

Benjamin and JW Goldsmith, 1940 US census, Census Place: Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California; Roll: m-t0627-00404; Page: 64B; Enumeration District: 60-200
Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census

And at some point before the 1940 census was taken, the Los Angeles Goldsmith brothers were joined by their sister Florence and her husband Lester Bernstein. Interestingly, Lester was enumerated twice on the 1940 census. On April 10, he was enumerated in Pittsburgh, living as a lodger with his sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Helen and Edwin Meyer; he was working as a real estate salesman. And then on May 1, he was enumerated in Los Angeles, living with Florence and working as a business analyst in the oil industry. Perhaps he’d been waiting for a job to come through before relocating.4

The following year the family lost their oldest sibling when JW Goldsmith died on October 9, 1941, at the age of 69. He was survived by his wife Jennie, his two children Eleanor and J. Edison, and two grandchildren with one yet to come.5

The last of the Goldsmith siblings to relocate to Los Angeles was Oliver, but he did not relocate until after the 1940 census. Oliver’s reasons for moving may have stemmed from the loss of his wife Sally on September 30, 1937, in Reading, Pennsylvania,6 where they had been living since about 1930 and where Oliver was practicing law. Sally died from a fulminating streptococcal infection of the throat and larynx and from septicemia. She was only 47. Oliver stayed in Reading for several more years, and in 1940 he was living alone and practicing law there.7

But by 1942 Oliver had followed his other siblings to Los Angeles. When he registered for the World War II draft, he was living with his sister Florence Goldsmith Bernstein and working for New York Life Insurance Company in Los Angeles. There were then only three siblings left in Pennsylvania: Milton, Walter, and Helen.

Oliver Goldsmith, World War II draft registration, The National Archives at St. Louis; St. Louis, Missouri; World War II Draft Cards (4th Registration) for the State of California; Record Group Title: Records of the Selective Service System, 1926-1975; Record Group Number: 147
Ancestry.com. U.S., World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942

The 1940s brought three more deaths to the family in Los Angeles. JW’s wife Jennie died on September 1, 1945, after suffering a heart attack; she was 72. JW and Jennie were survived by their two children and their grandchildren.8

Then Samuel Reginald “SR” Goldsmith died on June 1, 1948, in Los Angeles; he was 69.9 He was survived by his wife Rae, who died on April 26, 1972, at age 89 in Los Angeles.10 Their son Jack had predeceased them, as we saw.

Benjamin Goldsmith was the next to die; he died on September 25, 1955, in Los Angeles. He was 82.11

The Connellsville Daily Courier, October 25, 1955, p. 2

And he was followed three years later by his younger brother Oliver, who died on December 2, 1958.  He was only 71. Oliver had still been living with his sister Florence when he died. Neither Benjamin nor Oliver had children who survived them.12

Thus, by 1959, all four of the Goldsmith brothers who’d moved to Los Angeles had passed away. They were survived by the other four siblings: Florence in Los Angeles, and Milton, Walter, and Helen back in Pittsburgh. It’s interesting that the three siblings who stayed behind in Pennsylvania outlived the four brothers who’d moved west. Perhaps moving to California had been more stressful for the family than they expected.

More on the three who stayed behind—Milton, Walter, and Helen—in my next series of posts.

 


  1. California State Library; Sacramento, California; Great Register of Voters, 1900-1968, Ancestry.com. California, Voter Registrations, 1900-1968; S.R. and Rae Goldsmith, 1940 US census, Census Place: Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, California; Roll: m-t0627-00221; Page: 6A; Enumeration District: 19-43, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  2. Eleanor Heineman, Number: 560-56-6368; Issue State: California; Issue Date: 1957, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014. The National Archives at Washington, D.C.; Washington, D.C.; Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at San Pedro/Wilmington/Los Angeles, California; NAI Number: 4486355; Record Group Title: Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, 1787-2004; Record Group Number: 85, Description NARA Roll Number: 058, Ancestry.com. California, Passenger and Crew Lists, 1882-1959. Harry Heineman and family, 1930 US census, Census Place: Merrill, Lincoln, Wisconsin; Page: 2B; Enumeration District: 0008; FHL microfilm: 2342314, Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census. Grace Livingston birth record, FHL Film Number: 1287900, Ancestry.com. Cook County, Illinois, Birth Certificates Index, 1871-1922. 
  3. Edison and Eleanor Goldsmith, 1940 US census, Census Place: Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, California; Roll: m-t0627-00221; Page: 3B; Enumeration District: 19-40, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  4. Lester and Florence Bernstein, 1940 US census, Census Place: Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California; Roll: m-t0627-00405; Page: 9B; Enumeration District: 60-205, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census; Lester Bernstein, 1940 US census, Census Place: Pittsburgh, Allegheny, Pennsylvania; Roll: m-t0627-03663; Page: 6B; Enumeration District: 69-388, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  5. Ancestry.com. California, Death Index, 1940-1997 
  6.  Certificate Number: 85944, Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Pennsylvania, USA; Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1965; Certificate Number Range: 083001-086000, Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966 
  7. Oliver Goldsmith, 1940 US census, Census Place: Reading, Berks, Pennsylvania; Roll: m-t0627-03679; Page: 2B; Enumeration District: 70-35, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  8. “Mrs. J.W. Goldsmith,” The Connellsville Daily Courier, September 4, 1945, p. 2; https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/120802115 
  9. Ancestry.com. California, Death Index, 1940-1997 
  10.  Number: 549-66-0941; Issue State: California; Issue Date: 1962, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-201 
  11. Ancestry.com. California, Death Index, 1940-1997. 
  12. Ancestry.com. California, Death Index, 1940-1997; “Oliver Goldsmith,” The Connellsville Daily Courier, December 30, 1958, p. 3. 

Henry Goldsmith’s Grandsons: College Men

Before I left for England, I had been writing about Henry Goldsmith, my double cousin, related to me both as a Goldsmith and as a Schoenthal. Henry and his wife Sarah Jaffa had ten children, eight of whom were still living in 1920, all in western Pennsylvania. Sarah died in 1907, and Henry died in 1923. By then, six of their eight surviving children were married, and there were numerous grandchildren.

Two of their sons (JW and Benjamin) were in business together as merchants, one (Milton) was a doctor, one (Walter) a dentist, and two (SR and Oliver) were lawyers. Their two daughters also were quite accomplished, one (Florence) as a musician, the other (Helen) a teacher until she married and had a family. But we saw that after Henry’s death, there’d been some changes in the sons’ careers and that Oliver had moved away and married in Florida.

In the 1920s, not only were Henry Goldsmith’s sons making changes, his grandsons were as well. Three of his grandsons went away to college in the 1920s.

Norman, Milton and Luba Goldsmith’s older son, graduated from Cornell University in 1927.  Here is his photograph (left) from the 1927 Cornell yearbook:

“U.S., School Yearbooks, 1880-2012”; Yearbook Title: Cornellian; Year: 1927
Ancestry.com. U.S., School Yearbooks, 1900-1990

During the summer after his graduation from Cornell, Norman took a writing course with his mother Luba at the University of Pittsburgh, as reported in detail in the July 28, 1927 Pittsburgh Press..  Here is just a short excerpt from the article, which mostly focuses on Luba’s writing interests and background:

“Pitt’s First Co-Ed and Son Studying in Same Class,” The Pittsburgh Press, July 28, 1927, p. 4

Again the doctor looks at literature. Dr. Luba Robin Goldsmith, practicing physician for 21 years, is a student of composition in the University of Pittsburgh summer school. Attending some of her classes is her son, Norman R. Goldsmith, aged 20, a graduate of the 1927 class of Cornell university, who will enter the University of Pennsylvania in the fall. ….

Beside her in Prof. Maulsby’s class in journalism each morning is her son, Norman R. Goldsmith, who, like his two parents will be a medical doctor. He is tall, attractive with his mother’s blue eyes and open countenance.  When questioned as to his correlation of medicine and writing, he said:

“Medicine I want to make my vocation; literature my avocation, if possible. I like to write. I think that’s about all.” He wants to write fiction, chiefly short stories.  He has already written a book, “Liebestraum,” printed privately in a small edition. In the Goldsmith home in Squirrel Hill is Albert, aged 12, whose career has not yet been determined. He is sturdy and athletic, likes music and writes a little.

Norman then began his medical education at the University of Pennsylvania, following in the footsteps of his mother and father, who were both doctors.1

Norman’s cousin, J. Edison, who was one year younger than Norman and the son of JW and Jennie Goldsmith, followed his cousin to Cornell, but completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Pittsburgh. He then went to the Hahnemann Medical School in Philadelphia.2

Finally, the third cousin, Jack Goldsmith, son of SR and Rae Goldsmith, was a year younger than J.Edison. Like his father, Jack went to the University of Michigan, from which he graduated in 1931. He chose law as his profession, following in his father’s footsteps; he attended Harvard Law School for a year and then transferred to the law school at the University of Southern California.3

And then tragedy struck. Jack Tumpson Goldsmith, the only son of SR Goldsmith and his wife Rae, died on March 21, 1933 at the age of 24. Excerpts from the full obituary are transcribed below:

“Funeral Service for Jack Goldsmith Thursday Afternoon,” The Connellsville Daily Courier, March 22, 1933, p. 5.

The funeral service for Jack Tumpson Goldsmith, whose death occurred yesterday morning in New York, will be held at 2:30 o’clock Thursday afternoon at the residence in Wills road. ….

A heart condition, which followed a severe attack of arthritis in December, caused death at 9:50 o’clock Tuesday morning at the apartment of Jack’s aunts, Misses Anne and Martha Tumpson. He was 24 years old.

The young man, a son of Attorney Samuel R. and Rae Tumpson Goldsmith of this city, was completing a law course at the University of Southern California when his illness began. In recent weeks his health failed rapidly, but many friends were unaware of the seriousness of his condition and his death created a profound shock.

Jack Goldsmith was widely known in Connellsville and other places. He made friends readily and was rather widely traveled. He was a brilliant student and made scholastic records at the institutions which he attended. Although equipping himself for the practice of law he was keenly interested in journalism and writing of short stories and poems. He frequently submitted articles to publishers, some of them being accepted.  During a summer vacation, he was employed on the reportorial staff of The Courier.  It being his desire to further acquaint himself with journalistic work through actual experience.

Born on January 28, 1909, in Connellsville, Jack attended the public schools here.  After two years in the Connellsvillle High School he entered Staunton Military Academy, where he was graduated with honors. While there he was a member of the school band and very active in student affairs. He next entered the University of Michigan, where he received his bachelor of arts degree in 1931.

At Michigan he was a member of the editorial staff of the school paper and was able to give wide scope to his desire for journalistic effort. He also became a member of the college gymnasium team, the first ever to represent the university in intercollegiate competition. He was awarded a letter for his success in that department. He was also a member of the Pi Lambda Phi fraternity.

Upon completion of his course there he entered Harvard Law School, spending one year at that place. Then he felt he might like to locate, upon graduation, in California, and in order to better reach a decision he transferred his study of law to the University of Southern California last year.

It was while his parents were on a visit with him during the Christmas holiday that he suffered an acute attack of arthritis.  It was quite severe on December 27. He was taken to the Cedar of Lebanon Hospital at Los Angeles, where he spent three weeks. The illness left him with a heart condition.

On February 22 he journed across the continent by train, going to the apartment of his aunts in New York. There he was confined to his bed for three weeks. His mother was constantly with him and his father spent the major portion of the past three weeks in New York also. Both were at his bedside when death occurred.

One of the best friends Jack Goldsmith had made in Connellsville was Rev. E. H. Stevens, pastor of the First Baptist Church. Despite the great difference in their ages, they would often spend hours together in the discussion of philosophy. With much in common, especially the ideas the younger generation are now confronting, they became very close to one another. Rev. Stevens has been invited by the family to take part in the funeral service.

What a terrible loss to the family and to the community. I was puzzled by the connection between arthritis and a heart condition, but after a little research, I believe that Jack suffered from rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease, not the arthritis most of us association with joint pain. Rheumatoid arthritis is associated with damage to the heart.

I also was puzzled by the reference to the “college gymnasium team,” but found references to this terminology in some older sources referring to some kind of athletic team, though I am not sure exactly which sport. It might be gymnastics.

Jack Goldsmith is buried in Glendale, California. As we will see in the next post, among his other legacies, Jack may have inspired many in his extended family to leave Pennsylvania for the California dream.

 

 

 


  1. “Get Penn Degrees,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, June 18, 1931, p. 6. 
  2. The Connellsville Daily Courier, April 2, 1927, p. 6; The Connellsville Daily Courier, December 22, 1928, p. 6; The Connellsville Daily Courier, June 13, 1965, p. 2. 
  3. “Funeral Service for Jack Goldsmith Thursday Afternoon,” The Connellsville Daily Courier, March 22, 1933, p. 5.