Ernst Nusbaum and Family in the 1880s: Years of Growth and Movement

There is one more line of the Nusbaum clan to complete, that of John’s younger brother Ernst.  Since it’s been two months since I last wrote about Ernst and his family, I thought I would first summarize what he and his family were doing in 1880 and where they had been before then.  Then we can bring Ernst and his family up to the 20th century.  Today I will discuss the 1880s.  I’ve included a series of Google Maps to show how much this family moved around in the 1880s.

Ernst is the Nusbaum sibling who may have lived in Philadelphia first and never lived anywhere else after settling there by 1851 when his first child Arthur was born.  Ernst was married to Clarissa Arnold, and in the 1850s he was a clothing merchant in Philadelphia with his firm,  Nusbaum, Arnold, and Nirdlinger.  Between 1851 and 1861, he and Clarissa had six children: Arthur, Myer, Fanny, Edgar, Henrietta, and Frank.  During the 1860s, Ernst continued to work in the clothing business with Nusbaum, Arnold, and Nirdlinger, and his children continued to grow.

The next decade presented serious financial challenges for Ernst and his family.  His company declared bankruptcy in 1870, and for much of the decade I could not find a listing that showed what Ernst was doing for a living.  Meanwhile, his oldest children were entering the workforce and getting married.  Between 1876 and 1879, Arthur married Henrietta Hilbronner, Fannie married Jacob Hano, Myer married Rosalie Aub, and Edgar married Viola Barritt.  Several grandchildren were born as well.  By 1880, only Henrietta and Frank, the two youngest children, were still living at home.

In 1880, Ernst was 64 and working as a cloak manufacturer, according to the 1880 census.  Until 1884, he and Clarissa continued to live in the same home where they had lived for many years and raised their children at 2105 Green Street.  In 1884 they were now listed as living at 2028 Mt. Vernon Street where they would remain throughout the decade.  Ernst was also continuing to work in the cloaks business throughout these years.

After his brother John died in 1889, Ernst was the only Nusbaum sibling left in the United States.  He and Clarissa continued to live in the same home, and he continued to work in the cloaks business into the 1890s when he was in his seventies.

As for the children of Ernst and Clarissa in the 1880s, their oldest child Arthur and his wife Henrietta had four children between 1877 and 1895: Florence (1877), Sidney (1879), Horace (1885), and Stella (1889).  In 1880 Arthur, Clarissa, and the two oldest children were living with Henrietta’s parents at 938 North 7th Street, and Arthur was working as a clothing cutter, presumably for his father-in-law, who was a clothing manufacturer.  In 1883 and 1884, Arthur is listed as a tailor, still living at his in-laws residence at 938 North 7th Street.  In 1885, he is listed at 1338 Franklin Avenue as he is in 1887, working as a salesman, and in 1888 he is living at 1814 Franklin with no occupation specified.  In 1890 they had moved again, now living at 1732 Gratz Street, and Arthur was working as a cutter.

Myer, the second child of Ernst and Clarissa, and his wife Rosalie Aub had two children, Corinne (1878) and Jacob (1879).  In 1880 Myer was working as a bookkeeper for a clothing company.  The family was living at 979 North 7th Street.  In 1885 his residence as listed as 1825 North 8th Street; Myer continued to work as a bookkeeper.  But in the 1889 and 1890 directories his residence is again 979 North 7th Street, as it was also in 1891.  In each, his occupation is bookkeeping.

Fanny, the third child, and her husband Jacob Hano had six children between 1877 and 1891: Louis (1877), Ernest (1880), Samuel (1883), Myer (1885), Alfred (1890), and Clarence (1891).  Six boys.  Wow.  Although I am no longer surprised to see a Jewish child named for someone living, the fact that Fanny gave a son not only the same name as her father while he was still alive (his middle name was even Nusbaum), but also gave another son the same name as her brother did surprise me.

Fanny and Jacob had been living in Youngstown, Ohio, in 1880, where Jacob had declared bankruptcy in 1878, but Jacob was working once again as a clothier in 1880 in Youngstown.  By 1884, however, Fanny and Jacob and their children had moved back to Philadelphia to 1823 Poplar Street, and Jacob was working as a salesman.  By 1889, however, the Hano family had relocated again, this time to New York City, where Jacob was a book dealer.  The family was living at 967 Park Avenue in Manhattan in 1889.  Fanny and Jacob never again returned to live in the Philadelphia area, but stayed in greater New York.

Although Edgar Nusbaum and his wife Viola Barritt had not been living together according to the 1880 census, they had a daughter named Selena, born in 1881.  On the 1881 Philadelphia directory, Edgar is still listed at his parents’ residence at 2105 Green Street, working as a salesman, but by 1882 he had moved out to 1331 Girard Avenue and was working as a clerk. A year later he is listed as a bookkeeper living at 1922 Van Pelt, in 1884 as a clerk living at 1318 South Broad Street, and he is missing from the 1885 and 1887 directories.  Edgar reappears in 1888, living at yet another address (2029 North 11th Street), where they finally seemed to settle down for a number of years.

(I cannot imagine moving as often as these people seemed to move.  I’ve lived in only two places in the last 30 years and in only five places total my whole adult life (and only three places as a child).  These people seemed to move every year or so.  I guess they had less “stuff” so moving was easier.)

Henrietta, the fifth of the children of Ernst and Clarissa, married Frank Newhouse in 1883 in Philadelphia.  Frank was from Philadelphia, one of eleven children, and in 1860 when he was six years old, his household included a governess and three domestic servants as well as the nine children then alive and two adults.  His father Joseph Newhouse, a German native, gave his occupation as “gentleman” on the 1860 census.  He had real estate worth $40,000 as well as personal property also worth $40,000.

Frank and Henrietta (Nusbaum) Newhouse were living at 2028 Mt. Vernon Street in 1884, the same address where Henrietta’s parents were living at that time.  Frank and Henrietta would live with Ernst and Clarissa at that address for many years.  Although Frank’s occupation was given as salesman in some of the directories and as late as 1889, in 1890 he is listed as part of the firm of Rice and Newhouse, tailors. Since all the other entries said he was a salesman, I thought the 1890 listing seems anomalous and perhaps wrong. But I checked the 1892 directory, and it still has Frank working at Rice and Newhouse and still identifies the business as tailoring.  Frank and Henrietta did not have any children.

Finally, the youngest of Ernst and Clarissa’s children was Frank Nusbaum, born in 1861. He’d been living at home in 1880, working as a clerk, and was still living with his parents in 1884 and 1885.  By 1885 his occupation had changed to bookkeeper. He married Dolly Hills in Philadelphia in 1887 when he was 26.  Unfortunately, I have not been able to find out anything about Dolly’s background.  The closest match was a Dollie Hill living on a farm in Pennsvylania with her family in 1870, but I could not find that Dollie on a later record.  Frank and Dolly had one child, Loraine, born in 1889. Frank and Dolly lived at 2017 Vine Street in 1888 and 1889.  Frank was at first working as a clerk and then as a salesman.

Here is one last map showing where each member of the family was living in the late 1880s (other than Fanny,  who was in New York):

Thus, the 1880s were a fruitful time for the family of Ernst and Clarissa (Arnold) Nusbaum.  Their children were all married, and there were a number of grandchildren born.  All but one of their children were living in Philadelphia, and most of the men were involved in the clothing trade, either as manufacturers, tailors, or salesmen.  After the hardships of the 1870s, life must have seemed pretty good for Ernst, Clarissa, and their children.  Unfortunately, the 1890s would not be as easy a decade.






One More Chapter in the 1870s: Ernst Nusbaum and Family

The 1870s were a pretty tough decade for my Nusbaum relatives.  There were business and financial troubles as well as numerous deaths of children and others.  So I admit that it is not with great enthusiasm that I return to the 1870s, but at least this is the last branch of the family to cover during that decade.  I’ve covered my three-times great-grandparents, John Nusbaum and Jeannette Dreyfuss, and their children, as well as the families of  Jeanette’s two sisters, Mathilde and Caroline, and also those of John’s sister Mathilde and the surviving families of John’s brothers Maxwell and Leopold.  That leaves only the 1870s story of John’s brother Ernst and his wife Clarissa and their children.

Ernst was the closest sibling in age to John, just two years younger, and he was apparently the only sibling who settled in Philadelphia perhaps as early as 1851  and stayed there for the rest of his life.  He had married Clarissa Arnold, a Pennsylvania native born in 1830 who was fourteen years younger than Ernst.  Ernst and Clarissa seemed to have been quite comfortable in the 1850s and 1860s.  By 1861, they had six children.  Ernst was in the men’s clothing business in a firm called Arnold, Nusbaum, and Nirdlinger.  (I assume the Arnold was one of his wife’s relatives.) By 1870, Ernst and Clarissa’s children were almost all teenagers or almost teenagers: Arthur was 19, Myer 18, Fannie 14, Edgar 12, Henrietta 10, and Frank was nine years old.  They were still living at 625 North 6th Street, the same home they had been in since at least 1861.  They also still had two servants living with them.

But in 1870, Ernst’s firm went bankrupt, as seen in this December 5, 1870, article from the Philadelphia Inquirer:

Bankrptcy of Adler Nusbaum Dec 5 1870 phil inq p 3

The Philadelphia Inquirer, December 5, 1870, p. 3


Three years later Ernst is listed in the notions business at 518 Arch Street in the 1873 directory.  Interestingly, his son Arthur and his wife Clarissa seem to have had a ladies’ furnishings business at the same address called Clares & Arthurs.  Arthur was still living at home, and the family had moved to 1000 North 6th Street by 1873.   Was this a move necessitated by the economic downturn?  Did Clarissa want to start working out of the house because they needed more money or was it just that her youngest child was twelve years old and the others well into their teens or twenties so she had the time and interest in doing so?

I do not know, but the following year, it appears that Clares & Arthurs no longer existed.  Ernst is listed without a business address, Clarissa has no listing, and Arthur is listed as a clerk. The next year, 1875, has Ernst living at 2103 Green Street without any occupation listed and Arthur listed as residing at the same address and working as a salesman at 730 Chestnut Street.  His younger brother Myer is also listed at the 2103 Green Street residential address.  In 1876, Myer is listed as working as a bookkeeper, but Arthur and Ernst simply have the residential address.  Same in 1877 and 1878 for Ernst and Myer, but Arthur is not listed at all. So had Ernst retired?  Or had he simply stopped working due to the recession? And where was Arthur?

Well, in 1879, when the recession was starting to end, Ernst is once again listed with an occupation—in the cloaks business.  Myer is still listed as a bookkeeper, and now Edgar, his younger brother, is listed as a salesman.  All three are still listed as residing at 2103 Green Street in the 1879 Philadelphia directory.

And where was Arthur?  I cannot find him in the directory listings for 1877 through 1879.  He had married Henrietta Hilbronner in 1876, and they had had a daughter Florence born in 1877 and a son Sydney born in 1879.  According to the 1880 census, they were all living with Henrietta’s parents on North Seventh Street.  Henrietta’s father Morris was a clothing merchant with his own business, and Arthur was working as a clothing cutter, presumably for his father-in-law.

The other children of Ernst and Clarissa were also getting married in the late 1870s.  Fannie Nusbaum married Jacob L. Hano on February 28, 1877, and they also had two children born by 1880: Louis F. Hano, born in Youngstown, Ohio, on November 30, 1877, and Ernst Nusbaum Hano, born May 16, 1880, also in Youngstown, Ohio.  Jacob Hano was born in Philadelphia in 1850 and had lived his whole life there.  In 1874 he’d been working as a salesman in Philadelphia, residing at 2026 Green Street, right across the street from Fannie and her family.  He had attended Crittenden’s Philadelphia Commercial College.  Perhaps he moved Fannie to Youngstown after they married because he believed that there were better business opportunities there.  Unfortunately, however, like others in the family and the country, he faced financial problems and declared bankruptcy in May, 1878.

jacob hano bankruptcy cleveland plain dealer may 15 1878 p 4

The Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 15, 1878, p. 4

He and the family remained in Youngstown, however, and he is listed on the 1880 census living there with Fannie, their two young sons, and his brother Benjamin as well as a servant.  He listed his occupation as a clothier, and his brother was working as a clerk in a department store. Thus, Jacob must have rebounded from his bankruptcy and started a new business.  They did not remain long in Youngstown, however, as we shall see.

Description: Postcard of Youngstown Sheet & Tu...

Description: Postcard of Youngstown Sheet & Tube (early 20th century) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Myer Nusbaum, Ernst and Clarissa’s third child, also married and had two children in the 1870s.  He married Rosalie Aub, and their first child Corinne was born on May 19, 1878.  Her brother Jacob was born the next year on June 24, 1879.  As noted above, Myer was working as a bookkeeper throughout the 1870s and was still employed as a bookkeeper in 1880 according to the census of that year.

Although the 1900 census indicates that Edgar Nusbaum married Viola Baritt in 1879 when he was 21 and she was eighteen, on the 1880 census he is still listed as living at home with his parents at 2105 Green Street and single.  My guess is that they did not marry until 1880, and their first  and only child Selina was born a year later on November 16, 1881.   As noted above, Edgar was listed as a salesman in the 1879 directory, and the same occupation is given in the 1880 Philadelphia directory, although the 1880 US census lists his occupation as a clerk.

Ernst and Clarissa’s youngest two children, Henrietta and Frank, were also still at home in 1880 at 2103 Green Street, depicted below.  Henrietta was 20 and Frank 19.  Frank was working as a clerk like his brother Edgar.  Their father Ernst listed his occupation as a manufacturer.  So perhaps the slowdown of the 1870s had eased, and Ernst and his sons were all then once again gainfully employed.


And now we can move on to the next decade. The 1880s may not have presented the same economic challenges as the 1870s, but as we will see, it presented other challenges and other changes for the extended Nusbaum family.