Hannah Goldsmith, Final Chapter: My Cousins the Scientists

This final post about the family of Hannah Goldsmith Benedict is about Hannah’s youngest son, C. Harry Benedict, and his two sons, Manson and William, and their lives after 1940. In an earlier post, we saw how both Manson and William went to Cornell and then on to MIT to get a Ph.D. in chemistry.

In the 1940 census, C. Harry Benedict was enumerated not in his longtime home, Lake Linden, Michigan, but in New York City, where he was, at least at the time of the census enumeration, living at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel. Since his occupation was listed as a metallurgist for a copper mining company and since I know he continued to work at Calumet and Hecla Mining Company for many years after 1940, I assume this was just a temporary residence while doing some work for the company in New York.1

Or perhaps he was just there visiting his sons, both of whom were working as research chemists in the New York City area in 1940, Manson for M.W. Kellogg Company2 and William for General Chemical Company.3

Both Manson and William changed jobs during World War II. In 1942 William moved to Washington, DC, to work for the Carnegie Institution as a theoretical spectroscopist. Spectroscopy is “the study of the interaction between matter and electromagnetic radiation.” After the war William worked for the National Bureau of Standards for six years and then joined the faculty of Johns Hopkins University as part of the “infrared group.” (I’ve no idea what that means.) He remained at Johns Hopkins for fifteen years. In 1967 he became a research professor at the Institute for Physical Science and Technology at the University of Maryland where he remained until his retirement in 1979.4

Meanwhile, his brother Manson left M.W. Kellogg in 1943 to work for Hydrocarbon Research, Inc. According to his obituary, “Dr. Benedict was well known for his pioneering role in nuclear engineering. He developed the gaseous diffusion method for separating the isotopes of uranium and supervised the engineering and process development of the K-25 plant in Oak Ridge, TN, where fissionable material for the atomic bomb was produced. He received many awards for his work on the Manhattan Project during WW II and for his later career as a scientist, educator and public servant, which focused on nuclear power and other peaceful uses of atomic energy.”5

After the war Manson stayed with Hydrocarbon Research until 1951 when he served for a year as the chief of the Operational Analysis Staff at the Atomic Energy Commission. Soon thereafter he returned to Massachusetts and joined the faculty of MIT as a professor of nuclear engineering. In 1972 he received the Enrico Fermi Award, which was described as follows on the Los Alamos website:

The Fermi Award is a Presidential award and is one of the oldest and most prestigious science and technology honors bestowed by the U.S. Government. The Enrico Fermi Award is given to encourage excellence in research in energy science and technology benefiting mankind; to recognize scientists, engineers, and science policymakers who have given unstintingly over their careers to advance energy science and technology; and to inspire people of all ages through the examples of Enrico Fermi, and the Fermi Award laureates who followed in his footsteps, to explore new scientific and technological horizons.

Manson remained at MIT until his retirement in 1973.6

Both Manson and William must have inherited or developed their love for science from their father C. Harry, who, like his sons, had gone to Cornell for his undergraduate training and then had spent his career devoted to science, in his case to metallurgy. Harry even wrote a book about his long-term employer, Calamet and Hecla, entitled Red Metal. It was published in 1952 by the University of Michigan Press.

After fifty years or so in Michigan, Harry and his wife Lena relocated to Brookline, Massachusetts, in 1961, presumably to be closer to their son Manson and his family.7 C. Harry died at the age of 86 in Brookline on April 3, 1963;8 his wife Lena followed just two years later on October 2, 1965.9 She and Harry are buried in Syracuse, New York, where Lena was born and raised and where she and Harry were married in 1902.10 They were survived by their two sons and three grandchildren.

William Benedict died suddenly at the age of seventy on January 10, 1980, in Washington, DC. He had had a serious heart attack a few years earlier.11 His wife Ruth died on October 2, 1993, in Washington. She was eighty years old. They were survived by their son and grandchildren.

Manson Benedict outlived his younger brother and his wife Marjorie. She died in Naples, Florida, on May 17, 1995; she was 85.12 Manson survived her by over ten years. He died on September 18, 2006, at the age of 98.13 Manson and Marjorie were survived by their two daughters and grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

I must admit that I have no real understanding of the work that C. Harry, Manson, and William did in their long and distinguished careers. Science has never been my strong suit, to say the least. But obviously each of these men left their marks on those with and for whom they worked and on the world.

That completes my research and writing about not only the children of Hannah Goldsmith Benedict, but also the entire family of Hannah’s father, Simon Goldschmidt/Goldsmith. Could Simon have ever imagined that after spending time in prison in Oberlistingen, Germany, and immigrating to America to start over in a new country, he would have grandchildren and great-grandchildren who would go to some of the most elite educational institutions in the country and become lawyers, doctors, dentists, teachers, musicians, business leaders, and scientists?  He may have had hopes that his descendants would rise above his own humble beginnings, but I doubt he could ever have imagined just how high above those humble beginnings his American-born descendants would go.

Next—a number of updates on other matters before I turn to Meyer Goldschmidt, another brother of my three-times great-grandfather Seligmann Goldschmidt.

 


  1. C Harry Benedict, 1940 US census, Census Place: New York, New York, New York; Roll: m-t0627-02657; Page: 84B; Enumeration District: 31-1406,
    Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census. I don’t know where Harry’s wife Lena was as she was not listed with Harry in New York nor was she enumerated back in Michigan, but I know that she and Harry remained married for the rest of their lives, so perhaps Harry just forgot to tell the enumerator that she was with him in New York. 
  2. 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. 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). 
  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. Naples Daily News, obit for Manson Benedict, GenealogyBank.com (https://www.genealogybank.com/doc/obituaries/obit/1143FE1BF2CFFAF8-1143FE1BF2CFFAF8 : accessed 5 May 2019). For more information about Manson’s work on the Manhattan Project as well as the rest of his life and career, please see the wonderful 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. “Harry Benedict of C & H Dead,” Ironwood (MI) Daily Globe, 04 Apr 1963, p. 15 
  8. Number: 369-03-5832; Issue State: Michigan; Issue Date: Before 1951, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 
  9. Obituary, The (Syracuse, NY) Post-Standard, 04 Oct 1965, p. 23 
  10. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/107277978 
  11.  Number: 143-01-8383; Issue State: New Jersey; Issue Date: Before 1951, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014. 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). 
  12. Ancestry.com. Florida Death Index, 1877-1998 
  13. SSN: 122057823, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007. 

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 

Always Something New for Me to Learn: The “Hidden” Databases on FamilySearch

After writing about the two oldest sons of Abraham Goldsmith and Cecilia Adler, I am glad to be able to turn to their daughter Rose. Rose was born on October 19, 1866, in Philadelphia, and as I wrote here, she married Sidney Morris Stern on May 25, 1892, when she was 26. Sidney was born January 14, 1861, in Philadelphia, and was the son of Morris Stern and Matilda Bamberger, who were German-born immigrants. His father was in the retail clothing business.  Sidney was a jeweler.

(Am I the only one who finds it amusing that Sidney the jeweler married someone whose surname was Goldsmith?)

UPDATE: Thanks to a question asked by my cousin Jennifer about Sidney’s mother Matilda Bamberger, I discovered another twist in my crazy family tree. In looking to answer Jennifer’s question, I realized that I had two women named Matilda Bamberger on my tree, both married to Morris Stern. They were obviously duplicates.  Looking more closely, I realized that Matilda and Morris Stern’s daughter Clara Stern was the mother of Julian Simsohn, who married Edwin Goldsmith’s daughter Cecile. In another words, Cecile married the nephew of her Aunt Rose’s husband Sidney.

That earlier post also reported that Rose and Sidney’s first child, Sylvan Goldsmith Stern, was born on March 2, 1893. Two years later Rose gave birth to twin boys, Allan Goldsmith Stern and Howard Eugene Stern, on August 6, 1895. I could not find Rose and her family on the 1900 census despite having their address in 1899, 1900, and 1901, but based on listings in the Philadelphia directories for those years,1 I know that she was living in Philadelphia with her husband Sidney and their two younger sons, Allan and Howard. Sidney was in the jewelry business with his brother Eugene.

However, their oldest son Sylvan, who was seven at the time, was not living with them in 1900. He was living at the Pennsylvania Institution for the Deaf and Dumb in Philadelphia; according to the census record, he could not read, write or speak English at that time. From later records I learned that Sylvan was completely deaf.

Sylvan Stern, 1900 US Census
Pennsylvania Institution for Deaf and Dumb, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Page: 1; Enumeration District: 1043
Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census

By 1910, however, Sylvan was living at home and could now read and write and was in school. The family continued to live in Philadelphia and was joined by Rose’s younger sister Estelle, who was working as a schoolteacher. Sidney listed his occupation as wholesale jeweler. They also had two servants living in the home, one doing “chamber work” and the other a cook:

Sidney and Rose Goldsmith Stern and family, 1910 US census
Philadelphia Ward 47, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T624_1413; Page: 6A; Enumeration District: 1193; FHL microfilm: 1375426
Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census

In 1915, when he was 22, Sylvan was living in Riverton, New Jersey, in a household with four other men: two men from Holland whom I presume were brothers, Peter and Anthony Hooydonk, a German immigrant named Ferdinand Frohlich, and a Pennsylvania native named John Peguesse.  All five men were in their early twenties and all were working in the florist business. Riverton is a small residential community about fifteen miles from Philadelphia across the Delaware River.

Sylvan Stern 1915 New Jersey census
New Jersey State Archive; Trenton, NJ, USA; State Census of New Jersey, 1915; Reference Number: L-06; Film Number: 8
Ancestry.com. New Jersey, State Census, 1915

While Sylvan was working in Riverton in 1915, his two younger brothers were in college: Allan was a sophomore at the University of Pennsylvania,2 and his twin Howard was a student at Cornell University.3

In 1917-1918, all three of Rose and Sidney’s sons registered for the World War I draft. Sylvan reported that he was living at 1613 Poplar Street in Philadelphia, but working as a nurseryman in Riverton, New Jersey, for Henry A. Dreer, Inc. He also reported that he was totally deaf.

Sylvan Stern, World War I draft registration Registration State: Pennsylvania; Registration County: Philadelphia; Roll: 1907959; Draft Board: 50 Description Draft Card: S Source Information Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918

Allan was living at the same address and reported that he was a college student, and Howard, also living at the same address, was employed as a farm laborer by Florex Gardens in North Wales, Pennsylvania, which is about 25 miles from Philadelphia. Allan served in the Army’s Bureau of Standards in Washington, DC, from March 15, 1918, until January 8, 1919, when he was honorably discharged.4  I did not find any record of military service for Sylvan or Howard.

Allan Stern World War I draft registration
Registration State: Pennsylvania; Registration County: Philadelphia; Roll: 1907959; Draft Board: 50. Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918

Howard Stern, World War I draft registration
Registration State: Pennsylvania; Registration County: Philadelphia; Roll: 1907959; Draft Board: 50.  Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918

In 1920, the whole family was still living at 1613 Poplar Street in Philadelphia. Sidney was retired at age 59, but his three sons were all employed. Sylvan and Howard were both working as florists in their own business, and Allan was employed as an electrical engineer. Rose’s sister Estelle was still living with them, now working as the director of a girls’ camp. 5

All three Stern brothers were married in the 1920s. First, on May 26, 1921, Sylvan Goldsmith Stern married Beatrice A. Osserman, the daughter of Simon E. Osserman and Dora Kessner in New York City. According to a source I found, Beatrice was, like Sylvan, deaf; she was born in New York City on October 30, 1899.  Her parents were immigrants from Russia/Latvia, and her father was in the real estate business in 1920.6  This news item from the Philadelphia Evening Ledger reported that one of the bridesmaids was Dorothy G. Gerson, Sylvan’s first cousin and the daughter of his mother’s sister, Emily Goldsmith Gerson.

Philadelphia Evening Ledger, May 23, 1921, p. 11

Sylvan and Beatrice had two children during the 1920s.

Howard Stern was the second son of Rose Goldsmith and Sidney Stern to marry; in 1926 he married Madeline Kind Kohn,7 another Philadelphia native; she was born on June 3, 1898, the daughter of Joseph Kohn and Clara Kind.8 Madeline’s father was a shirt manufacturer. Here is Madeline’s high school yearbook picture from 1916:

Madeline Kind Kohn,
U.S., School Yearbooks, 1880-2012″; Yearbook Title: Record Book of William Penn High School for Girls June Class, 1916; Year: 1916
Ancestry.com. U.S., School Yearbooks, 1900-1990

Howard and Madeline would have two children.

The last son to marry was Allan Stern, and his wife’s story is quite tragic. The Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Marriage Index on Ancestry reports that Allan married Gladys Fliegelman,9 daughter of Harry Fliegelman and Gussye Fridenberg, in 1928, but I learned an important lesson about that index while researching their marriage. More below.

Gladys was born on April 23, 1904, in Philadelphia.10  Two years later on June 30, 1906, her mother Gussye suffered complications after giving birth to a second child and died six weeks later on July 17, 1906, from parenchymatous nephritis or kidney disease.

Gussye Fliegeman death certificate
Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Pennsylvania, USA; Certificate Number Range: 065461-068420
Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966

Thus, Gladys lost her mother when she was just a toddler. Harry Fliegelman remarried in 1910, and in 1920, they were all living together in Philadelphia, where Harry was a furniture merchant.11

In 1924, Gladys graduated from the Philadelphia School of Design for Women; her photograph appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer with some of her classmates. She is in the middle of the photograph on the right.

Gladys Fliegelman School of Design graduation,
The Philadelphia Inquirer, June 6, 1924, p, 17

And then I thought that Allan and Gladys were married in 1928, as the Ancestry.com database indicated. But I was confused when I found this will that she wrote on January 30, 1929:

Gladys Fliegelman Stern will
Probate Records (District of Columbia), 1801-1930; Author: District of Columbia. Register of Wills; Probate Place: District of Columbia, Washington, D.C.

Gladys refers to herself as “a single woman, at present, and entering into a marriage with Allan G. Stern of Washington, District of Columbia, on January 31, 1929.” Since the Ancestry database of Philadelphia marriages indicated that they were married in 1928, why did she describe herself as single on January 30, 1929?

And this is where I learned something new. In discussing something completely different on the Tracing the Tribe Facebook page, a member there named Sharon Roth pointed out that FamilySearch has images of the Philadelphia marriage licenses and certificates.  They are not indexed for searching, but once you know the marriage license number from the index on Ancestry or FamilySearch, you can find the underlying documents by searching through the database of images by date and number.

This was a database that I could not find when I searched the FamilySearch records listings, so I am not sure how I would have found it without Sharon’s help. You can find the two databases here and here. Thank you to Sharon and to Amberly of The Genealogy Girl for showing me how to find these databases through the catalog on FamilySearch so that I now can find all these “hidden” databases. Amberly had actually blogged about this over a year ago, but I’d forgotten about her tips.  You can learn more from her blog here.

With this new information, I was able to find the license and the rabbi’s certificate of marriage for Allan and Gladys.  Now I know that although their marriage license was issued on December 31, 1928, they were not in fact married until January 31, 1929, the day after Gladys drew up her will.

Marriage record of Allan G. Stern and Gladys Fliegelmen, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, marriage records, Marriages, 568600-568799, 1928, pp. 358-359. FamilySearch.org

Returning to the will, its contents strike me as somewhat odd. Gladys bequeathed all her property and income to any issue she might have at the time of her death; that is, whereas one might assume that her husband would inherit before her children, Gladys wanted her estate to go directly to her children. Moreover, her will provides that if she died without issue, her sister would inherit all her personal possessions. Allan would only inherit 25% of her income and only for as long as he did not remarry. Gladys’ sister and brother would receive the other 75% of her income and the principal when Allan died.

Now call me a romantic, but this seems like a rather unromantic way to start a marriage—leaving your husband such a limited part of your estate.

Tragically, this will took on far more significance not long after Allan and Gladys married.  On February 6, 1930, a week after their first anniversary, Gladys took her own life by jumping from the seventh floor of Emergency Hospital in Washington; she had been a patient in the hospital for six months after an earlier suicide attempt when she had jumped from the fourth floor of the apartment building where she and Allan had been living. In its article about this tragedy, the Philadelphia Inquirer described her as a poetess.12  An article from a different paper reported that she had been “despondent because of poor health.”13

Thus, the new decade began on a heartbreaking note for the family of Rose Goldsmith and Sidney Stern and their sons, especially for their son Allan.

I was not surprised that I could not find Allan on the 1930 census, although he is listed in the 1930 Washington, D.C., directory as an engineer for Fred S. Gichner, residing at 3100 Connecticut Avenue; in the 1931 directory he was still working at Fred S. Gichner, but now residing at 3405 Woodley Road.  On the 1930 census, I found a Gichner family living at 3405 Woodley Road so it would appear that Allan may have moved in with his employer’s family after his wife’s death, although he was not listed at either address on the 1930 census.14

The rest of the family of Rose Goldsmith and Sidney Stern all continued to live in Philadelphia in 1930.  Sidney was retired,15 Sylvan was now working as a packer in a sporting goods business,16 and Howard was practicing law.17

Sadly, my cousin Rose Goldsmith Stern died less than a year after her daughter-in-law Gladys. Rose was 64 when she died on January 24, 1931, from heart disease: hypertension and arteriosclerosis leading to myocarditis and angina pectoris. Her obituary reported that she died from a heart attack. It also stated that Rose had been the manager of the Beth Israel Association for the Deaf and the national chairwoman of the Council of Jewish Women.18

Rose Goldsmith Stern death certificate,
Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Pennsylvania, USA; Certificate Number Range: 001001-004000.  Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966

Rose was survived by her husband Sidney and her three sons and four grandchildren as well as seven of her siblings. Her husband Sidney continued to live in Philadelphia. In 1940 he was living in the Majestic Hotel where his sister-in-law Estelle Goldsmith and brother-in-law Edwin M. Goldsmith were also living.19 Sidney died on October 19, 1942, also of heart disease.20

Sylvan Stern and his family continued to live in Philadelphia in 1940, and Sylvan was still working as a packer in a sporting goods store at that time.21 According to his 1942 draft registration, his employer was Edward K. Tryon Company.22 Sylvan died on December 21, 1960.  He was 67 years old. He was survived by his wife and children and his two brothers.

Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966

Allan Goldsmith Stern remarried several years after the death of his first wife Gladys.  In 1940 he and his second wife Margaret were living in Washington, D.C., where Allan was an engineer for an ornamental iron company, which his draft registration revealed was still Fred S. Gichner Iron Works.23  I could not find any other information about Margaret, but in 1956 Allan married for a third time; his third wife was Alma Hollander.24

Allan Stern died on June 9, 1964, from cancer, according to his obituary in the Washington Evening Star. The obituary reported that in addition to his long career at Fred S. Gichner, Allan had been a founding member of the Beth El Congregation of Maryland and had helped establish the Kaufman Camp for Underprivileged Children on Chesapeake Bay. He was survived by his wife Alma and his brother Howard.25

Howard Stern was the only of Rose Goldsmith’s sons to live beyond his 60s. In 1940 he was living with his family in Philadelphia and practicing law, which his draft registration in 1942 revealed was his own practice.26 Howard died on July 10, 1989, just a few weeks short of his 94th birthday. He was survived by his children.27

The family of Rose Goldsmith Stern certainly faced a number of challenges. But overall, they appear to have been a family that overcame those challenges, found professional success, and gave back to society in many ways.

Thank you once again to Sharon and to Amberly for their help!

 

 

 

 

 

 


  1. Philadelphia city directories, 1899, 1900, 1901, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995. 
  2. University of Pennsylvania Yearbook, U.S., School Yearbooks, 1880-2012″; Yearbook Title: The Record; Year: 1915. Ancestry.com. U.S., School Yearbooks, 1900-1990 
  3. Cornell Yearbook, U.S., School Yearbooks, 1880-2012″; Yearbook Title: Cornellian; Year: 1916. Ancestry.com. U.S., School Yearbooks, 1900-1990 
  4.  Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, WWI Veterans Service and Compensation Files, 1917-1919, 1934-1948. Original data: World War I Veterans Service and Compensation File, 1934–1948. RG 19, Series 19.91. Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, Harrisburg Pennsylvania. “Allan G. Stern, Official of Gichner Iron Works,” Philadelphia Evening Star, June 10, 1964, p. 37. 
  5.   Family of Sidney Stern, 1920 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 47, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T625_1646; Page: 7A; Enumeration District: 1791. Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census 
  6. Simon Osserman and family, 1920 US Census, Year: 1920; Census Place: Manhattan Assembly District 21, New York, New York; Roll: T625_1224; Page: 1B; Enumeration District: 1445. Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census 
  7. Marriage of Howard Stern and Madeline Kind Kohn, Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Marriages, 1852-1968. Original data: Marriage Records. Pennsylvania Marriages. Various County Register of Wills Offices, Pennsylvania. Film Number: 004141829 
  8. Madeline Kind Kuhn Passport Application, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington D.C.; Roll #: 1494; Volume #: Roll 1494 – Certificates: 141500-141875, 12 Feb 1921-15 Feb 1921. 
  9. Marriage of Allan Stern and Gladys Fliegelman, Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Marriages, 1852-1968. Original data: Marriage Records. Pennsylvania Marriages. Various County Register of Wills Offices, Pennsylvania. Film Number: 004141829 
  10.  District of Columbia Deaths, 1874-1961,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:F7TK-SXY : accessed 1 May 2018), Gladys Stern, 06 Feb 1930, District of Columbia, United States; citing reference ID 325790, District Records Center, Washington D.C.; FHL microfilm 2,116,108. 
  11. Harry Fliegelman and family, 1920 US Census, Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 32, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T625_1633; Page: 4A; Enumeration District: 1065. Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census 
  12. “Poetess Dies in Plunge,” The Philadelphia Inquirer, February 7, 1930, p. 7. 
  13. “Woman Ends Life Because of Illness,” The Dayton Herald,” February 6, 1930, p. 33. 
  14. Washington, DC, City Directories, 1930, 1931, 1929, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995. 
  15. Sidney and Rose Goldsmith Stern, 1930 US Census, Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Page: 8B; Enumeration District: 0397. Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census 
  16. Sylvan Stern and family, 1930 US Census, Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Page: 10B; Enumeration District: 1077. Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census. 
  17. Howard Stern and family, 1930 US Census, Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Page: 20A; Enumeration District: 1029.
    Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census. 
  18. “Mrs. Rose Goldsmith Stern,” The Philadelphia Inquirer, January 25, 1931, p. 17. 
  19. Sidney Stern, 1940 US Census,  Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: m-t0627-03698; Page: 81A; Enumeration District: 51-384. Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  20. Sidney Stern, death certificate, Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Pennsylvania, USA; Certificate Number Range: 085451-088100. Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966. Certificate Number: 86311 
  21. Sylvan Stern and family, 1940 US Census, Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: m-t0627-03752; Page: 12A; Enumeration District: 51-2119. Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  22. Sidney Stern, World War II draft registration, The National Archives at St. Louis; St. Louis, Missouri; World War II draft cards (Fourth Registration) for the State of Pennsylvania; Record Group Title: Records of the Selective Service System, 1926-1975; Record Group Number: 147; Series Number: M1951. Source Information
    Ancestry.com. U.S., World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942 
  23. Allan and Margaret Stern, 1940 US Census, Census Place: Washington, District of Columbia, District of Columbia; Roll: m-t0627-00563; Page: 66B; Enumeration District: 1-307, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census.  Allan Stern, World War II draft registration, The National Archives at St. Louis; St. Louis, Missouri; World War II Draft Cards (Fourth Registration) for the State of Maryland; Record Group Title: Records of the Selective Service System, 1926-1975; Record Group Number: 147; Series Number: M1939. Source Information Ancestry.com. U.S., World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942 
  24. “Alma Stern,” Washington (D.C.) Evening Star, September 23, 1979, p. 49. 
  25.  “Allan G. Stern, Official of Gichner Iron Works,” Philadelphia Evening Star, June 10, 1964, p. 37. 
  26. Howard Stern, World War II draft registration, The National Archives at St. Louis; St. Louis, Missouri; World War II draft cards (Fourth Registration) for the State of Pennsylvania; Record Group Title: Records of the Selective Service System, 1926-1975; Record Group Number: 147; Series Number: M1951. Source Information
    Ancestry.com. U.S., World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942 
  27. Number: 167-32-5823; Issue State: Pennsylvania; Issue Date: 1956-1958. Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014.  

Update on the Death of Norman Schoenthal and Why I Love Libraries and Librarians

I never really realized all the things that librarians do until I starting doing genealogy research.  I’ve loved libraries ever since my mother first took us to the local public library as small children on her first driving experience after she received her driver’s license. Those trips became a weekly adventure, and I remember the long, winding road that brought us to the library and the smell of the new books on display in the children’s room, which was on the lower level.  And I remember how we each could pick a few books to check out and take home for the week to be returned the following week.

In my professional career, I also encountered amazing help from law libraries and librarians.  They seemed able to find resources and books I’d never be able to find on my own.  The librarians where I worked could find something in a few keystrokes that might take me hours to find, if I found it at all.

My latest experience with a librarian has reinforced my appreciation and gratitude for all that librarians do. In my last post, I wrote about the sad death of Norman Schoenthal at age 41 as recorded on his death certificate.

Delaware Death Records, 1855-1961," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:KX3F-P3J : accessed 14 January 2016), Norman C Schoenthal, 15 Sep 1955; citing Wilmington, New Castle, Delaware, United States, Hall of Records, Dover; FHL microfilm .

Delaware Death Records, 1855-1961,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:KX3F-P3J : accessed 14 January 2016), Norman C Schoenthal, 15 Sep 1955; citing Wilmington, New Castle, Delaware, United States, Hall of Records, Dover; FHL microfilm .

I had wondered what Norman was doing in Delaware, why he was residing in Washington, DC, and whether or not his death was accidental, as originally reported, or a suicide, as the amended certificate indicates.  I had written to the Wilmington Public Library to see if there was a news article about the incident, and a reference librarian there responded in less than 24 hours and sent me an article that addressed my question.  For free! I am very grateful to Ben, that librarian, for helping me to solve the mystery of Norman Schoenthal.

Here is the article he sent, which is from the September 16, 1955, issue of the Wilmington Morning News (p.4):

NOrman Schoenthal death story part 1

Wilmington (DE) Morning News, September 16, 1955

Wilmington (DE) Morning News, September 16, 1955, p.4

 

 

Man Dies Under Truck Wheels

Norman C. Schoenthal, 41-year old Washington, D.C., hotel man, became Delaware’s 74th highway fatality victim yesterday, when he was killed instantly by a truck on Fairview Avenue, just off the DuPont Highway at Farnhurst.

State troopers said the victim either slipped, fell or dived from the side of the road and was run over by the four tandem wheels of a 20-ton tractor trailer operated by George R. Lammy, 32, of near West Chester.  The vehicle is owned by Trans Materials Company, Berwyn, Pa.

Troopers said Schoenthal was standing on the south side of Fairview Avenue near the Farnhurst Post Office, about 60 feet west of the DuPont Parkway.  The driver told police he saw the man at the edge of the road as he drove past and declared the latter seemed to jump under the four wheels of the trailer.

Investigation showed that Schoenthal was engaged in the hotel business and had spent Wednesday night at the Twin Willows Tourist Home, just in the rear of the post office.  His car was found at the tourist home.  Police said he apparently was traveling alone.

Lammy was driving the gravel-filled truck into the Petrillo Brothers gravel pit, where hot mix asphaltic road surfacing material was being prepared.

The truck driver was arrested on a charge of manslaughter and held in $2000 bail by Magistrate Samuel J. Hatton of New Castle.

Troopers are continuing their investigation. [The remainder of the article is about an unrelated matter.]

The article answered some of my questions.  It does not appear that Norman was a patient at the nearby state hospital.  It does confirm that he was living in Washington, contrary to the burial card from Mt. Sinai cemetery where Norman was buried, which said he was residing in Atlantic City at the time of his death.  The news article also suggests that Norman was still in the hotel business and was perhaps in Wilmington on business.

I also was able to find where the accident occurred, assuming that the post office is still in the same general location in Farnhurst.  Du Pont Parkway still exists and runs north-south in Delaware (also known as Route 13), and the post office is located right off the parkway south of where the parkway now intersects with Interstate 295.  Interestate 295 runs east-west and crosses into Delaware from New Jersey over the Delaware Memorial Bridge and runs west to connect with Interstate 95.  According to Wikipedia, construction of the Farnhurst interchange on Interstate 295 was not completed until 1961; my guess is that the road that was Fairview Avenue in Farnhurst disappeared at some point after Norman’s death as part of the construction of this interchange.  Probably the Two Willows Motel disappeared around that time as well.

 

But there are so many unanswered questions.  Did Norman jump in front of the truck as the driver asserted and as the coroner apparently concluded? He had been recently divorced, had lost his father, and had sold his business in Florida. He could certainly have been depressed.

What happened to the driver, who had been arrested on manslaughter charges? Certainly if the death was ruled a suicide, the charges should have been dismissed, I would think.  I asked  Ben, the reference librarian in Wilmington,  whether there were any follow-up stories about the investigation that had still been pending at the time this article was published, but he wrote back to say he’d been unable to find any.  I guess the legal niceties were not as important to report as the gruesome death itself.

What a terribly sad way to die, whether it was accidental or intentional.

Thank you again, Ben and the Wilmington, Delaware, public library for your kind and generous assistance.  And thank you to all librarians everywhere.

 

 

Disappearing Daughters and An Estranged Son? The Children of Julius Schoenthal, Part II

Sometimes genealogy research moves along smoothly, and all seems to fall right into place.  Then other times people disappear and other strange things happen. In my prior post I wrote about the two older children of Julius Schoenthal and Minnie Dahl, Leo and Rose. Their stories were easy to trace.  This post catches up with the two younger children and their families from 1920 forward.  They proved more elusive.

Sylvester Schoenthal

Although it was not hard to follow the life of Sylvester Schoenthal, the third child of Julius Schoenthal and Minnie Dahl, tracing the lives of his two daughters has proven to be quite challenging.

In 1920, Sylvester and Bessie (nee Rose) Schoenthal were living at 24 Randolph Place in DC with their two young daughters, Margaret and Helen, and five lodgers.  Sylvester was still working for the railroad, now identified as a carpenter. In 1930, the family was still at 24 Randolph Place; now Sylvester’s occupation was reported as mill foreman for the railroad.  His wife Bessie and his daughter Margaret (15) were living with him, as well as his sister-in-law Annie (more on that below), but there is no listing of his daughter Helen. Helen would only have been twelve years old in 1930, so where could she have been? I cannot find her anywhere else on the 1930 census, so perhaps the enumerator just somehow forgot to record her in the household.

Sylvester Schoenthal and family 1930 US census Year: 1930; Census Place: Washington, Washington, District of Columbia; Roll: 293; Page: 2A; Enumeration District: 0049; Image: 431.0; FHL microfilm: 2340028

Sylvester Schoenthal and family 1930 US census
Year: 1930; Census Place: Washington, Washington, District of Columbia; Roll: 293; Page: 2A; Enumeration District: 0049; Image: 431.0; FHL microfilm: 2340028

In 1932, Sylvester was listed in the directory for Alexandria, Virginia, as a car repairman for the “RF&PRRR,” (the Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac Railroad) , but also as residing in Washington, DC.

The Richmond, Fredericksburg, and Potomac Rail...

The Richmond, Fredericksburg, and Potomac Railroad – train starting out from Richmond, Virginia. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On February 28, 1933, Sylvester and Bessie’s daughter Margaret married John I. Wivel.  Margaret was only 18, and John just 21. In 1930 John had been listed on the census as a clerk in “Landsburg’s” [sic] department store and was living with his parents and siblings in the household of a cousin.  John was born in New Jersey, and his parents were natives of Maryland.  They were living on Randolph Place, the same street where the Schoenthals were living in 1930, so I assumed that was how Margaret and John met, but it was a different enumeration district so perhaps it was just coincidence.

In 1935 John and Margaret were living at 24 Randolph Place, and John was now a salesman at Hecht’s department store.

John Wivel and Margaret Schoenthal 1935 DC directory Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.

John Wivel and Margaret Schoenthal 1935 DC directory
Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.

 Sylvester and Bessie had moved to Alexandria by then, so Margaret and her husband had taken over the home where she had grown up.  They were still living there in 1936, but in 1937, John is listed (without Margaret’s name attached) as residing in Takoma Park, Maryland, and working as an investigator for a retail credit company.  He has a similar listing in the 1938 and 1939 directories for DC, and I cannot find him or Margaret at all on the 1940 census.  John joined the military in 1942, but I have no record for Margaret at all after the 1936 directory listing.

By 1940, Sylvester and Bessie had returned to 24 Randolph Place in DC, and Sylvester was working as a foreman for the Pennsylvania Railroad.  Neither Margaret nor Helen was listed as living with them on the 1940 census. (Note the butchered spelling of Schoenthal; this was a challenge to find.  I had to do it by the address, not the name.)

Year: 1940; Census Place: Washington, District of Columbia, District of Columbia; Roll: T627_553; Page: 2B; Enumeration District: 1-28

Year: 1940; Census Place: Washington, District of Columbia, District of Columbia; Roll: T627_553; Page: 2B; Enumeration District: 1-28

On May 21, 1941, Bessie Rose Schoenthal died; she was 59 years old and was buried at Cedar Hill Cemetery in Suitland, Maryland.

Bessie Rose Schoenthal memorial notice

Washington Evening Star, May 21, 1944, p. 14

Four years later, Sylvester died on June 14, 1945. He also was buried at Cedar Hill Cemetery.  He was 67 years old when he died. Like his brother Leo and other family members, his death was described as sudden.

Sylvester Schoenthal death notice June 15 1945 p 8 Washington Evening Star

Washington Evening Star, June 15, 1945, p. 8

 

As for their daughters, that remains a mystery.  As I noted above, I could not find any record for Margaret after the 1936 directory that listed her as married to John Wivel and living at 24 Randolph Place in DC.  On her father’s death notice in 1945, she is listed as Margaret Ricks, not Margaret Wivel, and since she was not listed with John in the 1937 directory or those in 1938 or 1939, it would seem that that marriage had not lasted. In a 1945 memorial for her mother, her name was given as Margaret Rose Rick.  But who was Ricks or Rick?  Although I have found many women named Margaret Ricks in the 1940 census, none seems to fit with Margaret Schoenthal.  So the search continues.

Bessie Schoenthal memorial notice 1945

Helen Schoenthal is even more mysterious.  As noted above, she is not even listed with the family on the 1930 census.  On her mother’s memorial notices dated 1944 and 1945, she is identified as simply Jackie. Or is Jackie someone else? “Daughter” in the 1945 notice is singular so could just refer to Margaret.  Then who is Jackie?  On Sylvester’s death notice dated a month after Bessie’s 1945 memorial notice, his daughters are identified as Margaret Ricks and Minnie Fox.  So did Helen become Jackie and then Minnie? I have tried searching with all different name combinations, but so far have not found anyone who I am certain was the younger daughter of Sylvester and Bessie (Rose) Schoenthal.  So that search continues as well.  If anyone has any tips, please pass them on.

Thus, for now I do not know if there are any living descendants of Sylvester Schoenthal.

Moretta Schoenthal

Moretta Schoenthal also proved to be a bit of a challenge.  You would think that someone with that name would be easy to find.  I have no idea where that name came from.  It’s not a first name I’ve run across at all in my research, although I’ve seen it as a surname.  On the 1880 census when he was just an infant, his name was listed as Maurice, but by 1900 when he was twenty, his name is spelled Moretto, and he was working as a cabinet maker, according to the census record. (It was also spelled that way on both the 1896 and 1897 DC directory listings.) On the marriage index in 1901, his name is spelled Moretta. On the 1910 census he is listed simply as M A Schoenthal; he was still a cabinet maker.  He was Moretta on his World War draft registration and working an insurance agent for the Life Insurance Company of Virginia.

Moretta Schoenthal draft registration for World War I Registration State: District of Columbia; Registration County: Washington; Roll: 1556835; Draft Board: 05

Moretta Schoenthal draft registration for World War I
Registration State: District of Columbia; Registration County: Washington; Roll: 1556835; Draft Board: 05

That brings me to 1920 when Moretta was living with his wife Annie and son Arthur as well as Annie’s brother William Heath.  Moretta was working as an assistant superintendent of an insurance company. His son Arthur was 17 years old and working at the Navy Yard as a machinist, as was his uncle William Heath.

Moretta Schoenthal and family 1920 US census Year: 1920; Census Place: Washington, Washington, District of Columbia; Roll: T625_207; Page: 3B; Enumeration District: 113; Image: 979

Moretta Schoenthal and family 1920 US census
Year: 1920; Census Place: Washington, Washington, District of Columbia; Roll: T625_207; Page: 3B; Enumeration District: 113; Image: 979

After that things got a little foggier.   Although Moretta was listed an insurance agent or salesman in every DC directory from 1922 through 1928, he is not listed in 1929, and I could not find Moretta on the 1930 census. Annie was still listed as his wife in the 1928 directory, but as noted above, his wife Annie was recorded on the 1930 census as living with Moretta’s brother Sylvester and his family; she was working as a child’s nurse.  She is also listed in the 1931 DC directory as a nurse, living at 24 Randolph Place, the same address given for Sylvester, but not Moretta, for that year.

As for Moretta and Annie’s son Arthur, he married Mazie Marie Connor on October 16, 1924.

Washington Evening Star, October 19, 1924, p. 58

Washington Evening Star, October 19, 1924, p. 58

Aside from the mention of the fact that Arthur was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Schoenthal and a description of his mother’s dress, I could not find one member of the family listed in the description of the wedding.  His best man was not a cousin; the ushers were the bride’s brothers. The bridesmaids also do not appear to have been Arthur’s relatives.  The wedding was in a church; had the other Schoenthals disapproved? That seems unlikely since Sylvester had married someone who wasn’t Jewish, as had his daughter Margaret, as far as I can tell. Arthur was an only child, but he did have first cousins and other relatives who might have participated.

Although I cannot find Arthur and Mazie on the 1930 census, they are listed as living at 323 Quackenbos Road in the 1929, 1931, and 1934 DC directories.  Arthur’s occupation shifted from a stone contractor to an engineer to a business agent in those three directories.

So where was Moretta in 1930? If his wife was living with his brother and listing her status as married, had Moretta died? It does not seem that that was the case as I found two records reporting that he died on March 21, 1940: a FindAGrave record for his grave at Cedar Hill Cemetery in Suitland, Maryland (where his brother Sylvester and sister-in-law Bessie would later be buried; they are, however, the only other Schoenthals buried there) and a listing in the Social Security Applications and Claims index.  If Moretta therefore was still living in 1930, where was he?  Both his wife and his son were still living in DC, so where could he have gone if he was still alive?

Then I found a death notice for Moretta:

Moretta Schoenthal death notice 1940

Washington Evening Star, March 23, 1940, p. 13

Two things struck me when I read this.  First, he died in Hagerstown, Maryland.  Second, neither his wife nor his son was listed as a survivor, only his brother Sylvester and sister Rose (Mrs. Joseph Pach).  A year later Sylvester and Rose published a memorial notice in remembrance of Moretta, and again there was no mention of his wife or son.

Moretto Schoenthal memorial notice by siblings

(Notice also the spelling of his name as Moretto, whereas the death notice had it spelled as Moretta.)

I decided to see if I could find an obituary for Moretta.  Since I knew he had died in Hagerstown, I looked to see if either of my newspaper databases included a paper for that town.  Newspapers.com did have the Hagerstown Daily Mail for the pertinent years, so I searched for Moretta Schoenthal, and I found nothing.  So I decided to search page by page for the issues dated around March 21, 1940, and found this obituary in the March 22, 1940, issue.  You can see why my search for Moretta Schoenthal failed; one letter off, and the search engine missed it:

Moretto Schoenthal obit in MD 1940

Once again, there is no mention of either a wife or a son.  Moretta had lived in Hagerstown for twelve years, which is consistent with his disappearance from the DC directories after 1928.  And he also seemed to have left the insurance business by 1940 to work for the Hughes Motor Company.

Knowing now that Moretta had been living in Hagerstown in 1930, I searched the 1930 census, looking for him in that location, and finally found him as M A Shoenthal, working as a carpenter in a door factory.  That is, Moretta had returned to his first career, doing carpentry.

M A Shoenthal 1930 US census Year: 1930; Census Place: Hagerstown, Washington, Maryland; Roll: 880; Page: 25A; Enumeration District: 0024; Image: 1070.0; FHL microfilm: 2340615

M A Shoenthal 1930 US census
Year: 1930; Census Place: Hagerstown, Washington, Maryland; Roll: 880; Page: 25A; Enumeration District: 0024; Image: 1070.0; FHL microfilm: 2340615

 

I do not know what took him to Hagerstown, or why, if his marriage was over, his wife Annie was living with his brother Sylvester and Bessie in 1930 and 1931, more than two years after he’d moved to Hagerstown.  Moretta is listed as single on the 1930 census, but Annie still listed herself as married.  I don’t know what happened to Annie Heath Schoenthal after 1931; perhaps she remarried because I cannot find anyone named Annie or Anna Schoenthal who would fit the right person.  Maybe she even died before 1940, thus explaining why she isn’t mentioned as a survivor.

But Moretta’s son Arthur was definitely still alive in 1940 when his father died.  In the 1940 census, he, his wife Mazie, and their young son were listed as living still at 323 Quackenbos Street.  Arthur was the business representative for the stone and marble mason’s union.  Now the earlier directory listings made more sense; he was a stone mason who had become a leader in his union.  (I still am not sure why one directory listed him as an engineer.)

In 1937, Arthur was appointed to the DC Wage Board as a representative of labor to help draft regulations for minimum wage provisions in the District of Columbia.

Arthur L Schoenthal to Wage Board 1937-page-002

Arthur L Schoenthal to Wage Board 1937-page-003

Arthur L Schoenthal to Wage Board 1937-page-004

Washington Evening Star, June 11, 1937, p.21

 

He left that position in 1940, garnering much praise for his work:

Washington Evening Star, December 18, 1940, p. 2

Washington Evening Star, December 18, 1940, p. 2

The board chairperson, Mrs. William Kittle (despite her position, still named by her husband’s first name), said the following about Arthur:

Loss of Mr. Schoenthal as labor representative on the board will be keenly felt. During his entire service, his attitude was reasonable, sympathetic and steadfast.  I can’t speak too highly of the contribution he made in establishing confidence in wage standards set by the board.

As that article described, he had become a field representative in the Apprentice Training Service for the Department of Labor in DC and Virginia.  In 1942, he became the regional supervisor of the Apprentice Training Service for the War Manpower Commission:

Washington Evening Star, November 1, 1942, p 21

Washington Evening Star, November 1, 1942, p 21

Arthur Schoenthal promoted 1942-page-003 Arthur Schoenthal promoted 1942-page-004

By May 1944, he was the Deputy Director of the Washington, DC, office of the War Manpower Commission.  In 1953, he was the Labor Department’s foreign labor chief.

According to his obituary, Arthur L. Schoenthal worked for the US Labor Department for over twenty years before retiring.  He and his wife Mazie relocated to Florida. Arthur died in San Francisco on September 20, 1974.  He was 71 years old.  He was buried at Queen of Heaven Cemetery in Pompano Beach, Florida.

Arthur Leo Schoenthal death notice 1974

Washington Evening Star, September 24, 1974, p. 19

 

It is somewhat remarkable to me that the grandson of Julius Schoenthal, who had served in the US Army in the Signal Corps in the 1870s and who had wanted to work for the US government afterwards but had been rejected, had a grandson who worked for many years for that government.  More importantly, his grandson Arthur worked to promote the interests of workers—perhaps he knew of his grandfather’s frustrating struggles to have his pension payments increased based on his alleged disabilities. In any event, I imagine that Julius Schoenthal would have been quite proud of his grandson’s accomplishments.

 

 

 

 

The Goat, the Photographer, and the Daughter: The Children of Julius Schoenthal, Part I

Although I have written about Julius Schoenthal up to his death in 1919, I ended that post saying that I would return later to write about his children and other descendants.  So here I am.  Just to recap, Julius was the Schoenthal sibling who spent most of his years in the US in Washington, DC, as opposed to western Pennsylvania.  He had served both in the German army and the US army, had worked as a shoemaker like his father Levi, and had had four children with his wife Minnie Dahl: Leo, Rosalia, Sylvester, and Moretta, all born between 1875 and 1879.

His wife Minnie died in 1899.  All of their children were married by 1905, and although the three sons remained in Washington, DC, Rosalia (called Rose) and her husband Joseph Pach settled in Uniontown, Alabama, where Julius died, presumably while visiting them, in 1919.

I will discuss each child and his family separately beginning with 1920.  Today I will discuss Leo and Rose; the next post will cover Sylvester and Moretta.

Leo Schoenthal

In 1920, Leo Schoenthal was working as the chief inspector for the DC Division of Weights and Measures, where he had been working for many years.  He and his wife Fannie (nee Pach, sister of Joseph Pach, Rose’s husband) were living on Westminster Street in DC with their daughter Minnie (17) and five boarders.

Leo’s long and distinguished career with the Division of Weights and Measures came to an unfortunate end in May 1922.  According to the two news articles reprinted below, Leo had been disappointed when the Commissioner of the Division, James F. Oyster, had passed him over for a promotion to superintendent of the division.  Leo himself admitted that he was dissatisfied with that decision.  It then seems that Leo, who was planning to start a publication called The Goat allegedly to discuss suffrage issues, wrote a series of notes that made serious accusations regarding Commissioner Oyster; the content of those notes was not revealed in either of the news articles although apparently they included attacks on his “integrity, morals, and personality” as well as charges of irregularities in the operations of the office.  The notes were found torn into pieces in Leo’s trash basket in his office, and although he claimed that he never intended to publish them, he was dismissed from his position.  Leo also said that he had planned to resign his position anyway after he had been passed over for the superintendent’s position.

Leo Schoenthal fired 1922 pt 1

 

 

Washington Evening Star, May 3, 1922, p. 18

Washington Evening Star, May 3, 1922, p. 18

 

Headline Leo Schoenthal fired

Leo Schoenthal fired Washington Times 1922

Washington Times, May 3, 1922, pp. 1,2

Washington Times, May 3, 1922, pp. 1,2

Thus, after 29 years with the Division, Leo was fired seemingly without much opportunity to defend himself.  The article from the Washington Times ended with these words: “The discharged chief was declared to be one of the most capable men in the weights and measures office.” What a sad way for Leo to end such a distinguished tenure in that office.

But Leo apparently bounced back.  In the 1923 directory for Washington, DC, Leo listed his occupation as “Westminster Press.”  Although I cannot find any specific information about this business, I assume it was a printing business owned and managed by Leo, based on information from the obituaries of both Leo and his wife Fannie (see below).  I also assume they named it for the street where many of the Schoenthals had once lived in Washington, including Hilda, their cousin, daughter of Henry Schoenthal.

1914 directory for Washington, DC Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.

1914 directory for Washington, DC
Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.

Five years later on September 13, 1928, when he was just 53 years old, Leo Schoenthal died suddenly while on vacation at a resort in Atlantic City.  He was buried at Washington Hebrew Cemetery.

Washington Evening Star, September 14, 1928, p. 9

Washington Evening Star, September 14, 1928, p. 9

In his will, Leo left his estate to his wife Fannie.

Ancestry.com. Washington, D.C., Wills and Probate Records, 1737-1952 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2015.

Ancestry.com. Washington, D.C., Wills and Probate Records, 1737-1952 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2015.

He wrote:

I give, devise, and bequest to my wife, Fannie Pach Schoenthal, all my property, real and personal, of whatever nature possessed.

I am not forgetful of the best interests of my daughter, Minnie Pauline Schoenthal, but feel confident that my wife will always be mindful of the best interests of my daughter, and I leave it to my wife’s judgment and discretion to give to my daughter any part of my estate she sees fit and able to give.

Three months later on December 2, 1928, the Washington Evening Star announced Minnie’s engagement to Myron Hess, the son of Fred and Marcianna Hess of Atlantic City.  According to the 1920 census, Myron was then working in his father’s photography business in Atlantic City.

Washington Star, December 2, 1928 p. 64

Washington Star, December 2, 1928 p. 64

Minnie Pauline Schoenthal married Myron Samuel Hess on January 6, 1929, at her mother’s home in Washington, DC, on Garfield Street.  The article below describes it as a small but elegant wedding attended only by the relatives of the bride and groom.

Washington Evening Star, January 13, 1929, p.46

Washington Evening Star, January 13, 1929, p.46

So who were those out of towners named as guests at the wedding?

Gus Oestreicher, who gave away the bride, was the husband of Sarah Stern, Hannah Schoenthal’s oldest child.  Sarah was Minnie’s first cousin, once removed.

Mr. and Mrs. Lehman Goldman were Flora Wolfe and her husband.  Flora was the daughter of Amalie Schoenthal and also Minnie’s first cousin, once removed.

Mrs. Jennie Arnold was also the daughter of Hannah Schoenthal and thus also Minnie’s first cousin, once removed.

Mrs. Julius Afferbacker was, I believe, Mrs. Julius Averbach or Bernice Arnold, Jennie Arnold’s daughter, and thus Minnie’s second cousin.

The others must either have been the groom’s relatives or  Fannie Pach’s relatives or people I have not yet found.  But even this small list gave me a sense of how connected the overall Schoenthal clan continued to be as of 1929.  Jennie, Flora, and Sarah were my grandmother Eva Schoenthal’s first cousins as was Leo Schoenthal.  Minnie was her first cousin, once removed.  But it does not appear that my grandmother attended this wedding.  Of course, by 1929 my grandmother had two young children and was living in Philadelphia and also had spent her childhood far away from the Schoenthal clan on the East Coast.  Nevertheless, it is a bit sad that she and her parents were not at this wedding (or at least not included on the list reported in the newspaper).

Minnie moved to Margate, New Jersey, near Atlantic City, after marrying Myron where he continued to work in the family photography business.  They would have two daughters during the 1930s, and in 1940 they were still living in Margate and Myron was still in the photography business.  Here is a photograph taken by Fred Hess & Son Photographers.

8904309974_6d80a1024e_n

Strolling the Boardwalk at Atlantic City by Fred Hess & Son. Date unknown, but looks like the 1920s. https://www.flickr.com/photos/28025169@N08/

Leo’s widow Fannie Pach Schoenthal took over Westminster Press after Leo died.  On the 1930 census she was living alone in Washington, DC, and listed her occupation as president of a printing business.  By 1940 she appears to have left Westminster Press; she was still living on Garfield Street, but now with five lodgers in her home.  Her occupation was listed as a lodging house keeper.  On October 19, 1946,   Fannie died unexpectedly from a heart attack while she was at the Wardman Park Hotel in DC (a place I have stayed in Washington); she was seventy years old.

Washington Evening Star, October 21, 1946, p, 8

Washington Evening Star, October 21, 1946, p, 8

Minnie Schoenthal Hess’s husband Myron died four years later on November 6, 1950, a month before his 52nd birthday.  His daughters were just teenagers when he died. In 1955, five years after Myron died, Minnie remarried; her second husband was A. Jay Trilling, who owned a paint company.  He died in 1983. Minnie lived to age 95, passing away on August 15, 1998. According to her obituary, she took over Myron’s photography business after he died.

TRILLING, HESS, SCHOENTHAL, MINNIE, who came to Margate as a bride in 1929 and lived in the same house in Marven Gardens for sixty-five years, died at Manor Care Nursing Home in Potomac, Maryland, on August 15, after a long illness. She was 95.

Mrs. Trilling was born in Washington, D.C. and moved to Atlantic City when she married Myron Hess. She took over as head of Fred Hess & Son Photography Studio following the death of Mr. Hess in 1950. In 1955 she married A. Jay Trilling, president of Trilling Paint Co. and former president of the Greater Atlantic City Chamber of Commerce as well as president of Temple Beth Israel. He died in 1983.

Mrs. Trilling served as president of the Women’s Division of the Chamber of Commerce, president of the Exchangettes, and she was a member of Soroptomist International, Beth Israel Sisterhood, Betty Bacharach Auxiliary, and the Ladies’ Auxiliary of the Children’s Seashore Home. She was a member for 77 years of the Order of the Eastern Star. Mrs. Trilling was especially proud that she was responsible for the beautification and restoration of Marven Gardens in the late 70’s.

(“Press of Atlantic City, The”, New Jersey, GenealogyBank.com (http://www.genealogybank.com/doc/obituaries/obit/0FB5351CB13A6EA1-0FB5351CB13A6EA1 : accessed 14 December 2015) TRILLING, HESS, SCHOENTHAL, MINNIE)

Thus, both Minnie and her mother Fannie became widows at a young age, and both took over their husbands’ business after their husbands died.   They were not only survivors; they were women who took on the responsibility of running a business to support their families.

Rosalia or Rose Schoenthal Pach

As noted above, in 1920 Rose and her husband Joseph Pach lived in Uniontown, Alabama.  Joseph was a dry goods merchant there. By 1930, however, they had returned to Washington, DC.  Joseph was now a commercial traveler selling ginger ale.  I wonder if they returned after Leo died to be closer to the rest of the family.  Rose and Joseph did not have any children, and perhaps they were lonely with no family close by in Uniontown; or maybe Joseph’s store wasn’t doing well.  In 1940, they were still living in DC, and Joseph was now a wholesale wine dealer.  On June 13, 1941, Joseph Pach died suddenly at home; he was sixty years old. (His sister Fannie Pach Schoenthal, Leo’s wife, also died unexpectedly in 1946.)

Rose died almost ten years later on January 23, 1951. She was 74.  Rose and Joseph had not had any children, so there were no descendants.  When Rose died, she had already lost not only her parents and her husband, but also all three of her brothers and at least two of her sisters-in-law.  There seemed to be a fair number of “sudden” or “unexpected” deaths in the family.

More on the younger two brothers in my next post.

 

Henry Schoenthal: His Final Years and His Legacy

Although I have completed as best I can the stories of five of the children of my great-great-grandparents Levi and Henriette (Hamberg) Schoenthal (Hannah, Amalie, Felix, Julius and Nathan), I still need to complete the stories of Henry, Simon, and, of course, my great-grandfather Isidore.[1]  In addition, there were two siblings living in Germany whose stories I’ve yet to tell, Jakob and Rosalie.  First, I want to return to Henry, the brother who led the way for the others.

As I wrote here, after living for over 40 years in Washington, Pennsylvania, Henry Schoenthal moved with his wife Helen (nee Lilienfeld) to New York City in 1909 to be closer to their son Lionel. Lionel had moved to NYC to work as a china buyer, first working for one enterprise, but eventually working for Gimbels department store.  Lionel was married to Irma (nee Silverman), and they had a daughter Florence, born on March 22, 1905.

In 1910, Henry and Helen’s other son Meyer had married Mary McKinnie, the daughter of a wealthy industrialist from Colorado. Meyer and Mary had met while Mary was a student at a girl’s boarding school, Washington Seminary, in Washington, Pennsylvania.  After marrying, they were living in Los Angeles, and Meyer was working for an investment company.

Hilda Schoenthal, Henry and Helen’s daughter, was working as a stenographer in Washington, DC, in 1911. She was living on the same street as her uncle Julius Schoenthal and cousin Leo Schoenthal, the 900 block of Westminster Avenue.

 

1911 directory for Washington, DC Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.

1911 directory for Washington, DC
Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.

According to her obituary (see below), Hilda moved to DC to work for a patent attorney.    In 1914, she was working as a bookkeeper for Karl P. McElroy, who appears to have been the patent attorney, as her brother Meyer later worked for him as well, as noted below in his obituary.

1914 directory for Washington, DC Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.

1914 directory for Washington, DC
Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.

In 1915, Henry and Helen were still living with Lionel (called Lee on this census, as he often was in other documents and news articles), Irma, and Florence on Riverside Drive in New York City.  Lee was still working as a buyer, and no one else was employed outside the home.  Lee’s draft registration for World War II shows that in 1918 he was still working for Gimbels, living on Riverside Drive.

Lionel (Lee) Schoenthal World War I draft registration Registration State: New York; Registration County: New York; Roll: 1786675; Draft Board: 141

Lionel (Lee) Schoenthal World War I draft registration
Registration State: New York; Registration County: New York; Roll: 1786675; Draft Board: 141

 

Thanks to the assistance of the Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh, I was able to obtain a copy of a letter that Henry Schoenthal wrote to his granddaughter Florence in December, 1918, when she was almost fourteen years old:

Henry letter to Florence 1918 1

Henry letter to Florence 1918 2

 

 

My darling Florence, I told you yesterday that I was mad at you, but I aint. Beg pardon, I mean I am not. I love you just as much as ever, but I would have been so happy if you had stayed a few days with us.  Of course I will have to send word to President Wilson that you went home and that you could not come to see him.  Maybe after a while when we have a home of our own here you will come and stay with us for quite a while.  We will show you that Washington, for natural beauty, beats any city you saw in the many foreign countries you have visited. Will you write me a little letter? Lovingly yours, Grandpa.

I love the teasing tone of this sweet letter to his granddaughter; it shows yet another facet of this interesting great-great-uncle of mine.  His diaries from his early years in Washington were all very serious, and the speech he gave on a return trip to Washington, PA, in 1912 revealed his spiritual and sentimental side.  Here we get to see some of his sense of humor and the affection he felt for his only grandchild, Florence, who probably like most teenagers was anxious to get home to her friends rather than spend more time with her grandparents.

I was at first a bit confused as to where Henry was living when he wrote this letter.  He refers to the natural beauty of Washington, but it’s not clear whether he is referring to Washington, PA, or Washington, DC.  I concluded, however, that he meant DC because his daughter Hilda was living there and perhaps he and Helen were planning to relocate there.  Also, the reference to seeing President Wilson makes no sense unless he and Helen were in DC.

Not long after the writing of this letter, the Schoenthal family suffered a sad loss. Henry’s son Meyer was living with his wife Mary in Blythe, California, working as a lumber merchant, when he registered for the draft on September 12, 1918.  Just three months later, Mary died on December 24, 1918.  She was only 31 years old.  They had been married for just eight years.  There were no children.

 

On the 1920 census, Meyer is listed as a widow, living alone, and still working in the lumber business. He had moved from Blythe to Palo Verde, California.

If Henry and Helen Schoenthal did move to DC for a period of time, by 1920 they had returned to NYC and were again living with their son Lee and his family on Riverside Drive, according to the 1920 census record.  Lee was still working as a buyer.  Hilda Schoenthal, their daughter, was still living in Washington DC, but was now working as a law clerk for the patent attorneys, according to the 1920 census.

On October 19, 1921, Meyer L. Schoenthal married for a second time.  His second wife was Caroline S. Holgate (sometimes spelled Carolyn).  By that time Meyer was considered a “prominent lumber dealer” and was president of the Blythe, California, chamber of commerce; his new bride was also “prominent socially” and had been president of the Sunshine Society in Blythe.

Riverside Daily Press article - Meyer Schoenthal 2d marriage 1921-page-001

Riverside Daily Press, October 20, 1921, p. 8

 

Caroline was also apparently a talented soprano, as I found numerous articles referring to her performances at various social events.  Here’s just one example.

Riverside Daily Press article -Mrs Meyer Schoenthal soprano-page-002

Riverside Daily Press article -Mrs Meyer Schoenthal soprano-page-003

Riverside Daily Press, January 28, 1924, p. 9

 

Perhaps she also sang at the celebration of the 50th wedding anniversary  of her new in-laws, Henry and Helen Schoenthal, which took place on May 8, 1922, in Atlantic City, New Jersey, although they were not among the guests listed in this news item.

Henry Helen SChoenthal 50th anniversary celebration 1922

Washington DC Evening Star, May 7, 1922, p.31

For that occasion,  Lionel/Lee Schoenthal wrote these very loving lines of verse in honor of his parents:

SchoenthalFamilyScans-page-002

Lionel (Lee) Schoenthal 1922

Lionel (Lee) Schoenthal 1922 passport photograph National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington D.C.; NARA Series: Passport Applications, January 2, 1906 – March 31, 1925; Roll #: 1829; Volume #: Roll 1829 – Certificates: 117226-117599, 09 Feb 1922-10 Feb 1922

 

(I haven’t transcribed the poem or translated the German lines here, but you can always click and zoom if you want to read it.)

Sadly, three years later, the Schoenthal family lost both Henry and his son Lionel.  Henry died on October 22, 1925, from heart and kidney disease.  He was 82 years old and had lived a good and long life for a man of his generation.  After training as a Jewish teacher and scholar in Germany, he had immigrated from Sielen, Germany, to Washington, Pennsylvania,the first of his siblings to do so .  Later, he had brought his young bride Helen Lilienfeld from Gudensberg, Germany, to Pennsylvania, and they had raised three children together after losing one as a baby.  In Washington, PA, he’d been a successful businessman and respected citizen.  When his son Lionel moved to New York City, Henry and his wife Helen moved there also to be near his son and his only grandchild, Florence.  He had lived there for the last sixteen years of his life, working for some of that time as an insurance salesman, as indicated on his death certificate.  He was buried at Westchester Hills Cemetery in Hastings-on-Hudson, less than fifteen miles from where my parents are living. Perhaps one day I will pay him a visit.

Schoenthal, Henry death page 1

 

The family must have been in complete shock when Lee Schoenthal died of pneumonia on December 5, 1925,  just six weeks after his father had died; Lee was only 48 years old, and his daughter Florence was only 20 years old when he died.

Schoenthal, Lee death page 1

 

Here is part of a long and detailed obituary from the December 10, 1925 issue of The Pottery, Glass, and Brass Salesman (p. 153):

SchoenthalFamilyScans-page-003

I will transcribe some of the content:

Lee Schoenthal, supervisor of the china, glassware and allied departments of Gimbel Brothers’ associated stores, passed away at his home in New York City early on Saturday morning, December 5, following an acute illness of two weeks.  [There is then a detailed description of Lee’s poor health, referring to his dedication to his job and overwork as contributing factors to his death.] …

Lee Schoenthal was born in Washington, Pa., April 12, 1877.  His father and mother, who were born in Germany, had come to this country some years before and Henry Schoenthal—Lee’s father—had built up a nice retail business in Washington.  Lee attended the schools of his native town and then his parents, themselves highly cultured, made the effort to give their son a collegiate training, sending him to Washington and Jefferson College, located in Washington.  During his college career he stood well in his classes and was particularly noted for his musical accomplishments, being leader of the college orchestra for several years.  As a matter of fact, it is entirely possible that if he had devoted himself wholeheartedly to music instead of to commerce he might have become a musical celebrity.  …

Some twenty years ago Mr. Schoenthal came to New York to “seek his fortune.” [Then follows a detailed description of Lee’s business career, first with the Siegel-Cooper Company and then with Gimbels.]…

Mr. Schoenthal, for a man of his comparative youth, probably developed more men as successful buyers of china and glassware than anyone else in the country.  He had that rare gift of imparting knowledge and that quality of the really big man of business that he never feared to impart all information he could to those who worked with him.  Modest to a degree, he could not help being conscious of his compelling influence and ability, so the thought never entered his mind that he might be jeopardizing his own position by teaching others all they could absorb from his store of knowledge and wisdom.

[The obituary then describes Lee’s interests outside of work, in particular his love of music, but also art and architecture.] Himself a deeply religious Jew of the modernist type, he could talk more familiarly of the history of the Catholic cathedrals and their adornments than many men of the Christian faith.

[Finally, the obituary described his family life: his happy marriage, his talented daughter, and his devotion to his parents, for whom he had provided a home for many years.]

The obituary thus focused not only on Lee’s distinguished business career, but also on his broad intellectual and cultural interests, his musical talents, and his religious and personal life.  It described him as a “deeply religious Jew of the modernist type” and as a man devoted to his family.  His family must have been very proud of him.

Both deaths were noted in Meyer Schoenthal’s home paper in Riverside, California:

Lionel Schoenthal death re Meyer 1925

 

Two years later on October 19, 1927, Florence Schoenthal, the grandchild of Henry and Helen Schoenthal and daughter of Lee Schoenthal, married Verner Bickart Callomon in New York City.  Verner Callomon was the son of a German Jewish immigrant, Bernhardt Callomon, who had settled in Pittsburgh and worked for Rodef Shalom synagogue there, the same synagogue to which Henry Schoenthal had once belonged.  Verner was a doctor, and his career was described as follows by the Rauh Jewish Archives at the Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh:

Verner Callomon (1892-1977) graduated with honors from the University of Pennsylvania in 1915 with a degree in medicine. He served as a junior lieutenant in World War I and returned to Pittsburgh to practice internal medicine. He was a pulmonary disease specialist and researcher at Allegheny General Hospital and Montefiore Hospital for nearly 60 years and was the chief of medicine at both institutions at different times during his long career. His research contributed to changes in the treatment of pneumonia. He was known both for his professionalism and for his compassion. In order to visit weather-bound patients, he rowed down Liberty Avenue during the 1936 St. Patrick’s Day flood and secured an Army jeep during the November 1950 snowstorm.

As far as I can tell, Florence and Verner settled in Pittsburgh after they married since that is where Verner is listed in the 1929 directory for Pittsburgh and also were their first child was born in 1929.

(The Rauh website also includes links to several articles about the Callomon family.  Of particular interest to me was the oral history interview with Jane Callomon, one of the children of Florence (Schoenthal) and Verner Callomon, on file at the University of Pittsburgh Library (“Pittsburgh and Beyond: The Experience of the Jewish Community,” National Council of Jewish Women, Pittsburgh Section, Oral History Collection at the University of Pittsburgh).)

In 1927, following her husband’s death, Helen Lilienfeld Schoenthal moved to Washington, DC, from NYC to live with her daughter Hilda.  They were living at 3532 Connecticut Avenue NW in 1927, and Hilda was still working for K.P. McElroy, now as a bookkeeper and notary public.

Meyer Schoenthal continued to prosper in California and was elected a vice-president of the California Association of Commercial Secretaries in 1928 (“Fresno Chosen Next Meeting Place California Commercial Secretaries,” Riverside Daily Press, January 14, 1928, p, 2) ; in 1929 he and his wife Caroline took an eleven-week trip to the East Coast, visiting not only his sister and mother in Washington, DC, but also his birthplace, Washington, PA, and many other locations.

Riverside Daily Press, August 5, 1929, p. 4

Riverside Daily Press, August 5, 1929, p. 4

Riverside Daily Press article - Meyer Schoenthal road trip 1929-page-003

Although Meyer and Caroline were still living in Riverside, California, on April 2, 1930, when the census was taken, by September, 1930, they had moved east permanently:

Riverside Daily Press, September 8, 1930, p. 7

Riverside Daily Press, September 8, 1930, p. 7

 

Note that Meyer was going to work for the same business that had long employed his sister Hilda, K.P. McElroy.

In 1930, Hilda and her mother were living in the Broadmoor Apartments at 3601 Connecticut Avenue. By 1932, Meyer and his wife had moved in with them, as listed in the 1932 directory for Washington, DC, and he and his wife were still living there with them in 1937.   Both Hilda and Meyer were working for K.P. McElroy, Hilda as his personal secretary, Meyer as the office manager.

Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.

Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.

In April 1930, Florence Schoenthal Callomon appeared in a production of C.B. Fernald’s “The Mask and the Face” at the Y Playhouse in New York City; a noted Shakespearean actor led the cast, B. Iden Payne.  Florence was a woman of many talents, it appears.  She also was an artist who had worked as an advertising illustrator for Gimbels before she married. I cannot find Verner or Florence on the 1930 census in either Pittsburgh or NYC, but regardless of where she was living, I am not sure how she pulled off appearing in this production since she had a one year old child at the time.

 

On October 10, 1937, the family matriarch Helen Lilienfeld Schoenthal died.  She was almost 89 years old (despite the headline on her obituary, she was one month short of her 90th year).  She was buried with her husband at Westchester Hills Cemetery:

Washington Evening Star, October 11, 1937, p. 12

Washington Evening Star, October 11, 1937, p. 12

 

Riverside Daily Press, October 18, 1937, p. 3

Riverside Daily Press, October 18, 1937, p. 3

From the second obituary in the Riverside Daily Press, it appears that Meyer and Caroline Schoenthal had by October 1937 moved to their own place at 2700 Rodman Road in DC.

By 1940, Meyer and Caroline were living as lodgers in a home with thirteen other residents at 2700 Quebec Street; Meyer, 56 years old, was still working for the patent firm.  His sister Hilda, now 65, was also still working at the patent firm and still living at 3601 Connecticut Avenue.

Florence Schoenthal Callomon and her husband Verner Callomon were living in Pittsburgh in 1940; Verner was a doctor in private practice.  They now had two children.

Hilda Schoenthal died on June 6, 1962.  She was 87 years old.

Washington Evening Star, June 6, 1962, p. 41

Washington Evening Star, June 6, 1962, p. 41

 

According to her obituary, sometime after 1940 she had left K.P. McElroy, her longtime employer, to work for Gulf Oil in their patent department.  If times had been different, I have a feeling that Hilda would have become a patent lawyer herself. On the personal side, she seems to have had an active social life with many friends and relatives with whom she traveled and socialized, according to several news items from the society pages of the Washington Evening Star.  Hilda was buried at Westchester Hills Cemetery, where her parents were interred.

Less than a year later, on February  16, 1963, the last remaining child of Henry and Helen Schoenthal,  Meyer Lilienfeld Schoenthal, died.  He was 79.

Washington Evening Star, February 18, 1963, p. 24

Washington Evening Star, February 18, 1963, p. 24

 

He died from a heart attack; unlike his sister Hilda and his parents, he was buried in Massachusetts, where his wife Carolyn/Caroline was born.  She outlived him by 20 years, dying in January, 1983, when she was 84.

The obituary revealed a few things that I otherwise would not have known about Meyer: that he had helped build a “noted nature trail” in the Southwest and that he was a philatelist (stamp collector).  It is interesting that, like his sister Hilda, he had gone to work at Gulf Oil Corporation after working for many years for K.P. McElroy.

The only surviving descendants of Henry Schoenthal after 1963 were his granddaughter Florence Schoenthal Callomon and her children.  Florence died in 1994 when she was 89 years old.  According to the Rauh Archives, she had been “a member and officer of many Pittsburgh and Pennsylvania organizations, including the Western Pennsylvania Women’s Golf Association, the Women’s Committee of The Carnegie Museum of Art, the Pittsburgh Symphony Association and the Rodef Shalom Sisterhood, among others.” From the oral history interview their daughter Jane referenced above, it is clear that both Florence and Verner were involved in many aspects of the Pittsburgh community.

Thus, Henry and Helen Schoenthal left quite a legacy.  Their three children all were successful in their careers and ventured far beyond little Washington, PA, where they’d been born: Hilda to DC, Lionel/Lee to NYC, and Meyer to California and then to DC.  Things came almost full circle when Florence Schoenthal Callomon, their granddaughter, returned to western Pennsylvania where her German immigrant grandparents had settled and where her father and aunt and uncle had been born and raised.  Pittsburgh is where Florence and her husband Verner raised their children and where those children stayed as even as adults.

I’d imagine that my great-great-uncle Henry would have been very proud of his three children and his granddaughter for all that they accomplished.  Even in 1912 he knew how blessed he had been in his life when he addressed his friends in Washington, PA, and told them:

I gratefully acknowledge that God has been very gracious unto me and that he has blessed me beyond my merits.

I feel very blessed to have been able to learn so much about my great-great-uncle Henry and his family, and I hope someday to be able to connect with his descendants.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[1]   Two of twelve children of Levi Schoenthal and Henriette Hamberg did not survive to adulthood.  Of the other ten, eight immigrated to the United States, including my great-grandfather.  One of the siblings remained in Germany, Jakob, and Rosalie returned to Germany to marry after a few years in the US.

The Schoenthals Come to America: 1866-1880

One of the things that I have found touching in researching many of the lines in my family is the way that families stayed together even after settling in the United States.  Although family members would sometimes move away as their children grew up and the job opportunities changed, brothers and sisters and cousins and others tended to all end up near each other when they first migrated.  In the case of the Schoenthal family, it’s even more striking since almost all of them ended up in a relatively small city, Washington, Pennsylvania.

Washington, PA 1897 By Thaddeus Mortimer Fowler & James B. Moyer [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Washington, PA 1897
By Thaddeus Mortimer Fowler & James B. Moyer [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

As I mentioned in my last post, my great-great-uncle Henry Schoenthal was the first sibling of my great-grandfather Isidore to emigrate from Germany to the United States. His aunt Fanny Schoenthal Goldsmith had preceded him with her husband Simon in 1845.  Henry was the second oldest child and the oldest son of Levi Schoenthal and Henrietta Hamberg, born on May 20, 1843, in Sielen.  His German name was Hienemann, named for Levi’s father, Hienemann Schoenthal, but he changed it to Henry after settling in the United States.

According to the Beers biography referred to here, “Henry Schoenthal attended the school of his native village up to his fourteenth year, at the same time learning his father’s trade [shoemaking], beginning when only ten and one-half years old, and working at the same until he was fifteen years old. For two years after this he took private literary instruction, and in the year 1859 was admitted into the Jewish Seminary in Cassel, Germany, an institution where young men were educated to become teachers in Jewish schools, and leaders of the service in the synagogue. At the end of the third year he passed an examination, and then taught school for three years in one place [Trendelburg].”[1]    His role as a teacher is also mentioned on the Alemannia-Judaica page for Trendelburg.

Despite being quite educated and having what would appear to be a good position, Henry must have decided that there were greater opportunities in America where his uncle Simon Goldsmith and his family had moved in 1845. Henry, still using the name Hienemann, sailed on the S.S. Hansa from Bremen, Germany, arriving in New York City on June 18, 1866.

Henry Schoenthal 1866 ship manifest, line 85 Year: 1866; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: M237, 1820-1897; Microfilm Roll: Roll 267; Line: 1; List Number: 679

Henry Schoenthal 1866 ship manifest, line 85
Year: 1866; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: M237, 1820-1897; Microfilm Roll: Roll 267; Line: 1; List Number: 679

As the Beers biography reports, Henry settled in Washington, Pennsylvania. “Selecting as his abiding place in the land of his adoption the thriving town of Washington, this county, he clerked for three years in the clothing store of [his first cousin] Jacob Goldsmith, at the sign of the “Golden Eagle,” in the room now occupied by C. A. House as a music store.”  Henry’s cousin had been well-established in Washington since at least 1854 as this August 23, 1854 article from the Washington Reporter (p. 2) reports:

Jacob Goldsmith ad 1854

On September 23, 1867, Henry’s younger brother Simon, born February 14, 1849, arrived in New York City on the S.S. D.H. Wagen, listing his occupation as a bookbinder and his destination as Pennsylvania.  Sailing with Simon was their sister Amalie, born Malchen on January 1, 1847, in Sielen. She also was headed to Pennsylvania.

Simon Schoenthal and Amalie Schoenthal 1867 ship manifest, lines 230 and 231 Year: 1867; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: M237, 1820-1897; Microfilm Roll: Roll 286; Line: 1; List Number: 1004

Simon Schoenthal and Amalie Schoenthal 1867 ship manifest, lines 230 and 231
Year: 1867; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: M237, 1820-1897; Microfilm Roll: Roll 286; Line: 1; List Number: 1004

The Beers biography continues, “Then in 1869, Mr. Schoenthal bought out the stationery business of Rev. James McFarland, at the “Green Tree Corner,” and has ever since conducted a prosperous and lucrative trade in books, stationery, notions, etc., at the same stand.”

Advertisement Date: Wednesday, June 7, 1871 Paper: Washington Reporter (Washington, Pennsylvania) Volume: LXIII

Advertisement
Date: Wednesday, June 7, 1871 Paper: Washington Reporter (Washington, Pennsylvania) Volume: LXIII

In 1870, Henry (now using Henry) and Simon were living together in Washington in what appears to be a hotel.  Henry was a book merchant, and Simon a bookbinder.

Henry and Simon Schoenthal 1870 census, lines 20 and 21 Year: 1870; Census Place: Washington, Washington, Pennsylvania; Roll: M593_1463; Page: 150B; Image: 290; Family History Library Film: 552962

Henry and Simon Schoenthal 1870 census, lines 20 and 21
Year: 1870; Census Place: Washington, Washington, Pennsylvania; Roll: M593_1463; Page: 150B; Image: 290; Family History Library Film: 552962

Simon book bindery 1870

Henry was also actively involved in the cultural life in Washington, bringing music to the people who lived there:

Henry Schoenthal music

 

In 1870, their sister Amalie Schoenthal was living in Pittsburgh with their uncle Simon Goldsmith, who had relocated to Pittsburgh by then.  His daughter Hannah had married Joseph Benedict, and they had a five month old baby Jacob at the time of the 1870 census.  Joseph was in the retail business (no product identified), and his father-in-law Simon was listed as a retired tailor.  Amalie’s occupation was reported as a “domestic.”  I don’t know whether that means she was working as a servant for her cousin or in the household of someone else.  I am curious as to who Eliza Brocksmith and her baby Jacob were, also listed in the household, but I’ve not yet found the connection.  Perhaps she was Joseph’s sister.

Amalie Schoenthal with Simon Goldsmith and the Benedict family 1870 census Year: 1870; Census Place: Pittsburgh Ward 5, Allegheny, Pennsylvania; Roll: M593_1295; Page: 567A; Image: 439; Family History Library Film: 552794

Amalie Schoenthal with Simon Goldsmith and the Benedict family 1870 census
Year: 1870; Census Place: Pittsburgh Ward 5, Allegheny, Pennsylvania; Roll: M593_1295; Page: 567A; Image: 439; Family History Library Film: 552794

Meanwhile, another sibling, Nathan arrived not long after the 1870 census.  Nathan, who was born August 6, 1854 in Sielen, was only sixteen years old when he sailed on the Frankfurt from Bremen to New York, arriving July 16, 1870.  He also settled in Washington, Pennsylvania, with his two older brothers.

Nathan Schoenthal 1870 ship manifest line 167 Year: 1870; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: M237, 1820-1897; Microfilm Roll: Roll 332; Line: 1; List Number: 683

Nathan Schoenthal 1870 ship manifest line 167
Year: 1870; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: M237, 1820-1897; Microfilm Roll: Roll 332; Line: 1; List Number: 683

In 1872, Henry returned to Germany where on May 8, 1872, he married Hewa (Helen) Lilienfeld of Gudensberg, the daughter of Meyer Lilienfeld and Malchen Engelbert.  Gudensberg is another town in the Kassel district of Hessen located about 55 km from Sielen.  I would love to know how that marriage was arranged.  Henry had been in the US for six years at that point and was 29 years old.  Had his parents made this arrangement for him?

Henry Schoenthal and Hewa Lilienfeld marriage record HHStAW Abt. 365 Nr. 386, S. 37

Henry Schoenthal and Hewa Lilienfeld marriage record
HHStAW Abt. 365 Nr. 386, S. 37

Henry and his new bride returned to the United States on May 24, 1872, sailing from Bremen on the Danae.  Strangely, Helen was listed under her birth name, Lilienfeld, not Schoenthal.  There are also two entries for Amalie Mannsbach, an eighteen year old, listed in between Helen(e) and Henry.  (I assume there were not two women with that name, but an error in the manifest.  Or maybe there were two cousins with the same name and of the same age.)  Since Henry’s brother Simon married a woman named Rose Mansbach in 1872, I am wondering whether Amalie became Rose in the US and whether Henry was bringing this young woman back for his younger brother.  But right now that is just speculation.

Henry Schoenthal and Helene Lilienfeld 1872 ship manifest lines 95 to 98 Year: 1872; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: M237, 1820-1897; Microfilm Roll: Roll 359; Line: 1; List Number: 484

Henry Schoenthal and Helene Lilienfeld 1872 ship manifest lines 95 to 98
Year: 1872; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: M237, 1820-1897; Microfilm Roll: Roll 359; Line: 1; List Number: 484

Meanwhile, a fifth Schoenthal sibling had arrived in western Pennsylvania while Henry was in Germany, getting married.  Felix, born Seligmann Schoenthal on December 15, 1856, in Sielen, arrived on May 11, 1872, according to the passport application he filed in 1919.  Although I scanned the entire ship manifest for the ship that arrived on that date from Bremen, I could not find his name.  Felix also asserted on his passport application that he was naturalized in the Court of Common Pleas in Pittsburgh on August 17, 1878. In 1880, he was living with his wife of two years, Maggie (or Margaret), in West Newton, Pennsylvania, and working as a clerk in the paper mill.  West Newton is about 32 miles east of Washington and about 25 miles southeast of Pittsburgh, so he was not too far from his siblings.

Felix Schoenthal 1880 US census Year: 1880; Census Place: West Newton, Westmoreland, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1204; Family History Film: 1255204; Page: 8C; Enumeration District: 109

Felix Schoenthal 1880 US census
Year: 1880; Census Place: West Newton, Westmoreland, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1204; Family History Film: 1255204; Page: 8C; Enumeration District: 109

A sixth Schoenthal sibling also had arrived from Germany by 1880—Julius.  He, however, has proven to be more difficult to pin down.  I have been unable to locate a passenger manifest that includes him, and if it weren’t for the fact that the Beers biography mentioned a brother named Julius who lived in Washington, DC, I probably would not have assumed that the Julius Schoenthal that I found in DC was related to my Schoenthal family.  When I found Julius on the 1880 census, the only clue I had to support the conclusion that he was related was the fact that, like Levi Schoenthal, he was a shoemaker.

Julius Schoenthal 1880 US census Year: 1880; Census Place: Georgetown, Washington, District of Columbia, District of Columbia; Roll: 121; Family History Film: 1254121; Page: 9A; Enumeration District: 012; Image: 0498

Julius Schoenthal 1880 US census
Year: 1880; Census Place: Georgetown, Washington, District of Columbia, District of Columbia; Roll: 121; Family History Film: 1254121; Page: 9A; Enumeration District: 012; Image: 0498

I didn’t have a German birth record for Julius so I assumed he was born before 1846 when the Breuna birth records that are available online began. Things got even more confusing when I tried to find information about when Julius arrived in the US and what he was doing in the 1870s.  What a hodge-podge of confusing and conflicting clues.

First, the 1910 census reports that Julius arrived in 1869, but the 1900 census said he arrived in 1875.  According to the District of Columbia, Select Marriages, 1830-1921, database on Ancestry, Julius married Minnie Dahl on March 15, 1874, in DC., so I knew Julius had to have been in the US by 1874 and that the 1900 census could not be right.  Then I found an entry for a Julius Schoenthal in the U.S., Civil War Pension Index: General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934, on Ancestry that indicated that Julius had filed a claim for a pension in 1897 as an invalid; it also indicated that Julius had served in the Signal Corps, but there were no dates of service indicated on the index card in that database.

Julius Schoenthal pension index card U.S., Civil War Pension Index: General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934

Julius Schoenthal pension index card
U.S., Civil War Pension Index: General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934

I was confused.  If Julius arrived in 1869 or 1875, how could he have served in the Civil War, which ended in 1865?

I decided to look for news articles, hoping I’d find something to shed light on when Julius had immigrated, and I found an article dated September 14, 1914, from the Washington Evening Star (p. 12) that added one more fact to the mix, bewildering me even further.

Julius Schoenthal news article re Germany WW I

If Julius had served in the Franco-Prussian War in 1870-1871, how could he have served in the US Civil War?  Had he immigrated to the US, enlisted in the US Army, and then returned to Germany to serve in that country’s army against France?  I thought maybe I should order his service file from the National Archives, but  it was fairly expensive, so I decided to hold off and see what else I could find.

I turned once again to the genealogy village and the Ancestry.com Facebook group to see if there was someone who was more expert with the U.S., Civil War Pension Index: General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934 database.  I was very fortunate to get tremendous help from a member there named Lillian.  First, she informed me that the so-called Civil War Pension Index covers more than just Civil War veterans, a fact that had not been clear to me when I read the database description.  Then Lillian pointed me to a document on Fold3, a genealogy website primarily focused on military records.  That document stated that Julius had enlisted in the US Army in 1873, eight years after the Civil War ended.

I’d seen this document earlier, but had dismissed it for a couple of reasons.  First, it said that Julius was born in Berlin.  That seemed not likely to be the right person since all of my great-grandfather’s other siblings were born in Sielen, not anywhere close to Berlin.  Secondly, it said he enlisted from Chicago.  I couldn’t imagine that my Julius would have enlisted from Chicago since no one else in the family was there, so I had dismissed this record.  Looking a second time at Lillian’s suggestion, I saw that Julius had been discharged in Washington, DC, on June 5, 1874, making it more likely that this could be my Julius.  But I was and am not 100% certain that it is.

It would make more sense, however, for Julius to have enlisted in 1873, not during the Civil War.  Maybe he had arrived in 1869 and had returned home to fight for Germany in the Franco-Prussian War.  Or maybe the 1910 census does not accurately record his arrival date and Julius had arrived after serving in the Franco-Prussian War, perhaps in 1872, and then enlisted in the US Army from Chicago.  He married Minnie Dahl, who was born in Germany, but I don’t know where he met her.  Assuming it was in Washington, that might explain why they settled there once he was discharged from the army in 1874 less than two months after they were married.

English: Pres. U.S. Grant (between 1870 and 18...

English: Pres. U.S. Grant (between 1870 and 1880) Français : Le président américain Ulysses Grant (Photo prise entre 1870 and 1880) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Lillian found one more piece of evidence that may provide more answers.  On May 12, 1873, a man named Julius Schoenthal wrote a letter to then US President Ulysses S. Grant, and that letter is in the Ulysses S. Grant Presidential Collection at Mississippi State University.  I have ordered a copy of the letter and hope to receive it within a week or so.  I am hoping that perhaps it will be the right Julius Schoenthal and that it will reveal something about his life before being discharged from the army and marrying Minnie Dahl.  Maybe I will find some clue, some evidence that ties him to my Schoenthals and explains some of the confusing and conflicting evidence I’ve found so far. And now I am curious enough about Julius that I broke down and ordered his pension file, but found someone who could retrieve it for me for a more reasonable price.

Assuming that Julius was in fact my great-grandfather’s brother, it would mean that by 1880 five of the seven surviving sons and one of the three daughters of Levi Schoenthal and Jette Hamberg had left Sielen, Germany, and moved to the United States.  All but Julius were living in western Pennsylvania in 1880. As the Beers biography points out, by 1880, Henry and Helen Schoenthal had had three children, “Madaline, born March 16, 1873, died in infancy; Hilda, born June 25, 1874; Lionel, born April 14, 1877.”  Amalie and her husband Elias Wolfe had had three: Maurice (1873), Florence (1875), and Lionel (Lee) (1877).  I assume the two Lionels were named for their grandfather Levi Schoenthal, who had died back in Sielen in 1874. Simon and his wife Rose had had five children in the 1870s: Ida (1873), Harry (1873), Gertrude (1875), Louis (1877—probably also named for Levi), and Maurice (1878).  Julius and his wife Minnie had four children in the 1870s: Leo (1875—also probably for Levi), Rosalia (1876), Sylvester (1878), and Moretto (1879).  Thus, in one decade the Schoenthal siblings had produced fifteen new American born children.

Levi Schoenthal death record March 1874 HHStAW Abt. 365 Nr. 773, S. 9

Levi Schoenthal death record March 1874
HHStAW Abt. 365 Nr. 773, S. 9

 

In the next decade, my great-grandfather Isidore would arrive as well as his mother and two other sisters.  There would be only one Schoenthal left in Germany, at least for a while.  Almost all the descendants of Levi and Henrietta (Hamberg) Schoenthal would be born in the United States.

 

 

 

 

 

[1] Text taken from page 1057 of:

Beers, J. H. and Co., Commemorative Biographical Record of Washington County, Pennsylvania (Chicago: J. H. Beers & Co., 1893).

Transcribed March 1997 by Neil and Marilyn Morton of Oswego, IL as part of the Beers Project.

Published March 1997 on the Washington County, PA USGenWeb pages at http://www.chartiers.com/.

Thanksgiving: More Gifts, More Gratitude

cemetery sign for Mikveh Israel

It’s been a week or so of amazing gifts.  First there was the package from Gau-Algesheim with the records and book relating to my Seligmann ancestors and the amazing help I received from Ralph Baer and Matthias Steinke with translation of these items.

Then a day or so after the Gau-Algesheim package arrived, I received a gift from my third cousin once removed Todd Graham.  Todd is the great-great-great-grandson of Jacob Cohen, my great-great-grandfather.  Todd wrote to tell me that he had been to the Federal Street cemetery in Philadelphia where many of our mutual Cohen ancestors are buried and that he had taken photographs.  He asked if I wanted to see the photos, and I said of course.  So here are the photographs I received from Todd.

First is a photograph of where our ancestor Hart Levy Cohen is buried.  There is no stone visible, and the rabbi at the cemetery explained to Todd that they believed that the stone had sunk beneath the surface and was buried underground.  I have written to the rabbi and asked whether there is anything we can do to uncover the stone or to mark the gravesite in some other way.

Burial Site of Hart Levy Cohen

Burial Site of Hart Levy Cohen

This photo shows where Hart’s children Lewis and Elizabeth are buried.  Again, the stones are not visible, but this is the location of their graves.

 

Burial sites for Elizabeth Cohen and Lewis Cohen (Hart's children)

Burial sites for Elizabeth Cohen and Lewis Cohen (Hart’s children)

Todd also took photographs of the stone for Jacob and Sarah Cohen.  Although I had a photo of this stone before from Rabbi Albert Gabbai, I am hoping that these will be easier to read so that I can learn what the Hebrew inscription says.

Jacob and Sarah Cohen monument Jacob Cohen headstone by Todd Jacob Cohen monument by Todd jacob headstone edit 1

 

Todd also found the stones for three of Jacob’s children.  First, a new photograph of the headstone for my great-grandparents Emanuel and Eva (Seligman) Cohen and my grandfather John Nusbaum Cohen, Sr.

Headstone for Emanuel, Eva and John Cohen

Headstone for Emanuel, Eva and John Cohen

Side of Emanuel Eva and John by Todd

Next are photographs of the headstones for Emanuel’s brother Reuben and his wife Sallie Livingston Cohen and of their son Jacob Livingston Cohen.

Reuben and Sallie Livingston Cohen

Reuben and Sallie Livingston Cohen

Jacob Livingston Cohen

Jacob Livingston Cohen

 

And finally, this is a photograph of the headstone for Todd’s great-great-grandparents Lewis and Carrie (Dannenbaum) Cohen and his grandparents William and Helen (Cohen) Bacharach.  Lewis Cohen was also the brother of my great-grandfather Emanuel Cohen.

Bacharach and Cohen headstone

Bacharach and Cohen headstone

Thank you so much, Todd, for these photographs, and I hope that we can do something to honor the graves of Hart, Lewis, and Elizabeth Cohen.

There is one more gift I want to acknowledge, and it came totally unsolicited and from a total stranger.  About two weeks ago I received a comment on the blog from someone who had found a set of matches on a website selling vintage items.  The matches were for a business called Selinger Associates at an address in Washington, DC.  Kimberly Crosson, the woman who commented on the blog, had purchased these matches and was now asking me whether this business was connected to the Selingers on my blog.  I was skeptical at first, I must admit.  I thought it was some kind of scam or spam.  But I emailed Kim and found out that not only was she not looking to make money, she was incredibly kind-hearted and generous and just wanted to get the matches to someone in the family—for no charge.

I checked the address and found that this was Eliot Selinger’s business.  Then I tracked down a descendant of Eliot Selinger and asked him if he was interested in the matches, and he was, so I put him in touch with Kim so that she could send him the matches.  I asked only for some pictures of the matches, so here is what Kim sent to me.  You can tell these are from a different era once you see the picture on the matches.

Selinger matches cover Selinger matches reverse

 

So once again, let me express my thanks to all these generous people, especially Todd and Kim for these photos, but to all who have helped and continue to help me with my research. I could never have done all this on my own.

And now I will be taking a short break from blogging for Thanksgiving.  May you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving, and thank you all for supporting me and providing me with so much help as I continue to learn about the lives of my ancestors.

 

 

 

 

Update: Adelyn Selinger’s Death Certificate

Today I received the death certificate for Adelyn Selinger, the nine year old daughter of Monroe and Estelle Selinger, granddaughter of Frederick Selinger and Rachel Cohen.  I have updated the appropriate post, but will include it here as well.

Adelyn Singer death certificate May 30, 1923

Adelyn Singer death certificate May 30, 1923

Adelyn died of meningitis and mastoiditis, a bacterial infection of the mastoid bone, which is located behind the ear.  According to WebMD, these infections are usually caused by a middle ear infection that has not been successfully treated.  Once again, I am grateful for modern medicine and all that pink amoxycillin my kids took for ear infections.

Notice also that the informant on the death certificate was Aaron Hartstall, Adelyn’s uncle, her father’s brother-in-law.  I assume that her parents. grandparents, and aunt were too distraught to provide the details for the death certificate.