Jews in the News, 1915

The Great War

The paper had news of the war on the front page of almost every issue.  A handful of articles gave a sense of how the first full year of war touched the members of the Homestead’s Jewish community.

  • 1/9/1915: Officers and Men of Jewish Regiment Fighting for England

    1/9/1915: Officers and Men of Jewish Regiment Fighting for England

    1/9:  Front and center in the paper was a photograph of the “Officers and Men of Jewish Regiment Fighting for England” (at right).

  • 1/28: The Russian premier denied reports that pogroms were taking place against of the Jews in Russia. Full article below.
  • 1/30: “A letter was received recently by Mrs. Rosa Heilbron, of 132 E. Eighth avenue, from her nephew, Herman Rotchild, a soldier in the German army.” The letter is included in the article below. His words about how Germans felt early in the war and his attitudes as a German Jewish soldier are particularly fascinating.
  • 5/15: “Eli Goldston, of London, England, is doubtless glad that he listened to the pleading of his brother, I.J. Goldston, a well known merchant of 619 Eighth avenue, and did not sail on the Lusitania, but boarded the New York instead. Several months ago Eli Goldston came to Homestead to visit his brother. He intended to sail on the Lusitania, having received word that his son, Joshua, had enlisted in the British army and the family were anxious for him to be at home. His brother, having read of the danger which had been predicted for the ill-fated ship, finally induced him to take passage on a steamer under the protection of the American flag.”
  • 7/13: “Among Canadian casualties dated June 2, 1915, is mentioned the name of Sergeant Mendelsohn of the 13th Canadian artillery, killed at Saint Noble, Belgium. Harry Mendelsohn enlisted in the 44th Canadian infantry on January 10, 1915, gave his age as 24, occupation bookkeeper and address as 1108 Ann street, Homestead, Pennsylvania…Young Mendelsohn was well known in Homestead, having been employed as a clerk in O.H. No. 3 of the steel works for several years…He was a nephew of I.J. Goldston, who conducts a department store on East Eighth avenue, near Heisel street, and Mrs. Harry Mervis, who husband conducts a wholesale liquor store on Ann street…He was born in England, of Hebrew parents, and when the war broke out he became a strong supporter of the country of his birth.”  Full article below.
  • 9/3:  “Condition in Galicia Beyond Description — A picture of woe was painted by Jews regarding the condition of their race within the war zone and in Palestine.  The meeting was called by the Central Committee for Relief of Jews Suffering Through the War, and was held in Atlantic City a few days ago.”  The article went on to detail the terrible conditions of the many Jews living the “war-racked (sic) regions of Eastern Europe.”  These were the places Homestead’s Jews had left and, in most cases, still had family.  Read the full article below.
  • 9/21:  “No race is sacrificing more in the world war and no race will gain less for themselves as a result of it than member of the Jewish faith,” began an editorial in Homestead’s paper.  The article tabulated all the countries for which Jews were then fighting — Russia, France, Austria, German, and Britain.  “Scattered into every country upon the face of the globe, the most self-sacrificing patriotism burns fiercely in every Jewish breast.”  Full article below.
  • 11/17:  “The Public Whist to be given by the Hebrew Ladies’ Aid Society at Realty hall, Eight and Amity street, on Wednesday, Nov. 17, is given for the benefit of the European war sufferers.  The following committee is in charge:  Mrs. M.I. Grinberg, Mrs. H.S. Schwarz, Mrs. Feldman, Mrs. Lebowitz, Mrs. I. Grossman, Mrs. Davidson, and Mrs. B. Friedlander and Mrs. Lehier (sic?  Lohrer?).”  This was the third article after previous ones on 11/15 and 11/16 failed to mention the fundraiser.  The earlier articles noted that that, “Handsome prizes will be awarded and a luncheon served during the evening,” and that “The society is expecting a large crowd.”

Integration

  • 1/22: The Central Relief association held a meeting the previous evening to discuss distribution. “A vote of thanks was tendered the Boy Scouts for their excellent work of collecting packages on Bundle day. A report of this work by the chairman of the committee Joseph Lasdusky is incorporated in the report to the association.”
  • 1/26:  In the section of the Boy scout news column discussing “Troop no.1 the oldest scout organization in Homestead district,” the paper mentions that “scout scribe Lasdusky was instructed to send away for a German silver medal which will be used to reward the individual scout standing highest each month.”
  • 2/17:  The Homestead Chamber of Commerce choose eleven directors, including Joseph Lasdusky, Leo Half, and H.L. Little.  2/23: At the first board meeting, Half was appointed vice president, H. Little and L. Half comprised two-third of the home trading publicity committee,  Lasdusky was one of four on the picnic committee, and Half was one of three on a special committee appointed to confere with the borough council.
  • 3/10:  “There will be two civic picnics again this year for Homestead, Chairman Lasdusky of the Chamber of Commerce committee having failed in his efforts to get the Business Men’s association to join with them in holding a joint affair at Homestead park.”  The article went on to tout how great his picnic will be.  On the same day a separate article on the Business Men’s association appear, only mentioning Louis Freeman in connection with a committee to work on the sidewalk ordinance then pending in borough council.  (One of the bigger civic issues that winter, this proposed ordinance was written to limit how much sidewalk space merchants could use to display their wares.  Obviously this was a major issue for the Jewish merchants!)  The Chamber of Commerce was the young, upstart organization who displayed much more energy and innovation in promoting the town than the much older, more established Business Men’s association.  The newspaper articles make it seem that the Jewish merchants were far more numerous and active in the newer organization… I wonder how much I can read into that?!  3/19:  “Starts Things Going,” touted the next headline about his effort. “Manager Lasdusky Selects His Assistance (sic) for Outing – Big Time Coming.” His assistants included  H.L. Little and the burgess!
  • 4/8: At the previous evening’s Businessmen’s banquet, “excellent music enlivened the occasion. Half Bros., furniture dealers of Eighth avenue furnished one of their finest and latest new Edison Diamond Disc phonographs on which some of the latest records were rendered.”
  • 4/21: At the previous evening’s Chamber of Commerce meeting, “Chairman Lasdusky, of the Outing committee, told of the plans that were under way was (sic) to make the annual outing, to be held at Homestead Park July 30th, the greatest affair ever held in Western Pennsylvania. Some entirely new features are to be introduced and a record breaking crowd is to be gotten out.” They also were preparing for the next day’s Home Trading Day, the largest in some time.  Home Trading Days continued in April, May, June, July, September, October (when it was transformed into the “Friday Bargain Day”), November, and December.  While there was a good deal of newspaper promotion, there was discussion as in the past about the leaders and internal planning.
  • 5/19:  The rivalry between the two business organizations came to a head as they discussed a possible merger!  The Chamber of Commerce wanted consolidation not absorption; the majority of their members, including H.L. Little, opposed being tagged with the name of the older organization.  A committee to consider this change was formed with Mr. Half, chairman. “On the call for the report of the picnic committee it was disclosed that Jospeh Lasdusky, the general chairman, had been advised that on account of the state of his health, he would have to largely give up active business.”   He resigned and was replaced.  The consolidation was announced on 6/30.
  • 6/15 The Businessmen’s Association (the older org) was ready for their big outing at Conneaut tomorrow.  The train committee included Ben Little, and Morris Half was on the refreshment and dancing committees.
  • 6/28:  Mrs. I. Grossman was elected to be a director of the Homestead Hospital for a two-year term!
  • 6/30:  “Miss Fannie Kartub, of Hays, was elected to the position of teacher in Hays Borough.”
  • 7/1:  The Progressive Literary Club “numbers among its members some of the livest fellows of the town,” including debaters Bernard Weis and Harry Winer.
  • 7/27/1915: General Committee Home Trading Outing

    7/27/1915: General Committee Home Trading Outing (Lasdusky and H.L. Little pictured)

    7/22, 7/23:  Monday was raised to cover the Home Trading Day outing.   It came from many merchants, include Half Bros. $15, I. Grossman $2, Jacob H. Miller $1.00, H.L. Little $5, Max Adelsburg (sic) $2.00, Sam Fogel $1.00, Shuster & Workman $2.00, I.S. Grossman $1.00, Harry Glick $1.00, Ben Little $3.00, B. Friedlander $5.00, Yee Lee $1.00, Dr. Kartub $1.00, Dr. Reiter $1.00; Morris Grinberg $1.00, D. Saron $1.00, Sam Margolis $1.00, B. Schwartz $1.00, Magram Podolsky $1.00, L. Hilk $.50.  Alas, despite all the hype, the outing on 7/29 fell short of the attendance record due to the rain.  (The Businessmen’s organization had their rival picnic in June.)

  • 7/30: My great-aunt Olga Hepps was chosen to be a teacher at the Franklin school in Mifflin township.
  • 8/11:  Mrs. Grossman was on the hospital corn roast committee.  She and two others were responsible for table no. 4.
  • 9/9:  B. Friedlander was listed as one of three directors for the First National Bank of Munhall.
  • 10/13:  The town announced it will have a Hallowe’en parade again!  Louis Freeman was appointed to the planning committee.  10/15:  The float and automobile committee included Lee Half.  10/21, 10/26:  The prizes were from many town merchants, including Half Bros., Louis Freeman, H.L. Little, Sam Fogel, B. Friedlander, D. Gross, Glick meat market, Joseph Lasdusky, Mallinger, Jacob Hilk, Meyer I. Grinberg, and Ben Little.  10/23:  Money was raised from the businessmen, too, including 2.00 from Sam S. Mervis.  (And apparently no one else from the community?!)  10/28:  Aids for the parade included Louis Freeman, Max Markowitz, and H.L. LittleJoseph Lasdusky was one of the judges.
    11/1/1915: Prize categories for the Hallowe'en parade

    11/1/1915: Prize categories for the Hallowe’en parade.  James Petty won “Best Hebrew,” and T. Koestline won “2nd best Hebrew.”

    As in years past, some of the categories were, ummm, not politically correct.

  • 12/6: A recital in the Carnegie Library music hall put on my local music teachers included performances by Ida Stern (first movement of Beethoven’s Pathetique piano sonata), Ruth Grinberg (piano solo, “Eldorado Polka de Concert,” by Bartlett), and Jennie & Gertrude Friedlander (piano duet of Moskzowski’s “Valse de Concert”). The concert concluded with “The Grand Ensemble” playing the Swedish Fest March by Perfect. This group included Ida Friedlander and Morris Trau on violin.  12/8:  The reviews came in:  “Ruth Grinberg played well indeed…Miss Ida Stein gave a keen interpretation of Beethoven’s sonata Pathetique.”
  • 12/7: Homestead’s Boy Scout Troop #2 was first mentioned in Homestead’s newspaper on 10/30/1914 and multiple times thereafter, but never with the names of members of the Jewish community.  I now know that it did not become an exclusively Jewish group until early 1919.  But even in this early incarnation, Jewish boys were involved in scouting in general (first mention 2/13/1914) and Troop 2 in particular.  On this date the paper noted their involvement for the first time in a Troop 2 activity — a debate won by David Lebovitz and Edward Haupt. Additionally, Sam Hepps won the silver medal for second-highest number of points in Troop 1 for the month of November.
  • 12/15: At the recently merged Homestead Businessmen’s Association meeting, candidates for office did not include any Jewish merchants.  Two new members included “Emil Lebovitz, proprietor of the Munhall drug store, and Daniel Saron, proprietor of an Eighth avenue confectionary store.”
  • 12/30:  “Tonight in Carnegie Music Hall, Mrs. Agnes McClure Cline will give her Annual Musical Review, a show that is always looked forward to by the people of Homestead…Most of the performances will be given by Mrs. Cline’s pupils, who are the cleverest youngsters in the community.”  On the bill were specials readings by Marion Moss (“Oh!”), Ruth Moss (“The New School”), Sarah Jacobson (“Two Little Outcasts”), and Sarah Freeman (“I’ve Got a Rock”).  Mamie Mervis and chorus were to sing “Ypsilanti,” and Sarah Jacobson was to “[assist] in pantomime” Mrs. McCline’s reading of “Angels of Buena Vista.”  Sarah Jacobson’s pantomime and Mamie Mervis’ singing were singled out in the review published the next day.

School and Sports

  • 1/6:  A local basketball team called the H.E. Colgans won with Klein at center and Israel, who made 7 field goals, at guard.  2/17:  This team played in the library tournament with Lasdusky as forward.  3/1:  The Colgans lost, with Lasdusky at forward, Klein at center, and Israel at guard.  Trau played center for another team.  3/8:  Klein and Lasdusky mentioned again as Colgan players during the Saturday library games.  3/30:  All three were mentioned playing in a game at the end of the month.
  • 2/27:  Homestead beat North Braddock at debate, with Harry Winer representing Homestead.  He debated again on 4/29 and won.
  • 3/2:  The Junior basketball league write-up mentioned Trau as a player for Homestead’s 8th grade team. “The guarding of Morgan and Trau held the special team to only two baskets.. Trau scored two field goals.”  3/3, 3/8, 3/30: Another Trau played center on the C.L.C. (Carnegie Library Club).  3/30:  Another mention of Trau on the C.L.C. team.
  • 3/8:  A Latin play called “A roman girl” was presented by the boys of Homestead High.   The cast included:  Gaius Licinius Crassus Adulescens…Jacob Kartub; Appius Claudisu Caecus…David Lebovitz; Lucius Licinius Lucullus…Bennie Gross.
  • 3/20:  At the high school class banquet, the speakers included Harry Winer, Bernard Weiss, and four others.
  • 3/27: “The Eighth Grade Stars defeated ‘Chicky’ Hepp’s (sic) Mayflowers by the score of 8 to 2. The all around playing of the Eighth graders was the feature. The pitching of McGeever was great, he allowing the opposite batsmen but two hit (sic). Chapel behind the bat caught eery man who tried to steal. Ben Carpe at short couldn’t miss and Straka, as usual, had the tin can under the bag at first, thereby putting the hoodo on the Mayflowers. Scotty Cooper, in the left field, played a good game, except that at times he thought he was playing soccer.”  Chick Hepps was my grandfather; even his own sons called him that!
  • 4/13:  In a preview of the senior class comedy to be performed in two days, the paper notes that “Miss Fanella Mervis is admirably fitted for her part.”
  • 4/16:  Night school pupils Regina Schwartz, Bessie Padolsky, and Sarah Liberman were all honor roll students who had an average of 75 or more.
  • 5/4:  In the Boy scout news section, the Homestead baseball team in the midget league included Hilk as center, Carp at first base, and Trau in right field.   The 5/12 paper reported on a subsequent game where Hilk was in left field and Trau in right.  Their team lost to West Homestead by a run.
  • 5/15:  The high school organization entertained, with guests including Harry S. Weiner and Bernard Weiss.  There was also a banquet for the victorious high school debaters at the Forbes home on Tenth ave at which Harry Weiner was one of the guests of honor.
  • 5/28, 5/29: In the Homestead high school senior class play, Jacob Hepps and Joseph Gross had parts.
  • 6/1:  The Homestead High School commencement was scheduled for this evening.  The graduates included Grace Grossman, Jacob Hepps, Joseph Gross, Samuel Israel, and Fanella Mervis.  Anna Kartub received a Certificate of Efficiency in shorthand, typing, and bookkeeping.  The exercise concluded with a benediction delivered by the pastor of the Presbyterian church.  The high school orchestra, including Morris Trau, played.  The previous evening, the baccalaureate sermon give to the graduating class was on Matthew 7:32.
  • 6/2:  The graduates of the Manual Training school included Edith Widom, David Lebovitz, Bennie M. Gross, and Isadore A. Lasdusky.
  • 6/14: The twenty-five anniversary banquet of the high school alumni association took place the previous evening. “For the first time in recent years, all the old grads turned out.” One of the speakers was a familiar name. “C.W. Frankel, Esq., congratulated those in charge of the banquet on their success and urged the new officers to make the banquet an annual event.”
  • 6/16:  Five Homestead pupils received diplomas from the University of Pittsburg, including Maurice Haupt (master’s degree from the department of engineering) and Abe Hepps (bachelor of arts).
  • 6/18:  In the “Juvenile news” section, Samuels played right field for the Columbia baseball team.
  • 10/13:  The high school had a program honoring “America’s greatest living poet — the “Hoosier poet” James Whitcomb Riley (who wasn’t actually named, as though everyone would know who the “Hoosier poet” was!) His poems “‘The Raggedy Man’ and ‘Our Hired Girl’ were well read by the Misses Jean Patterson and Gertrude Friedlander respectively.”
  • 10/15:   The alumni football team was defeated by high school team. A Lasdusky boy played left uardg.
  • 10/23:  Homestead High defeated Duquesne with Siegal playing right guard.  10/28:  Siegal played right guard again against Braddock, which had three Mervises on its team — cousins to our Mervises?
  • 10/30:  Munhall High School was defeated by the Duquesne University academic team 49-0.  Lasdusky played left guard, not that we should be proud of that.
  • 11/24:  In the list of the high school players before the big Homestead-Munhall Thanksgiving game, Siegel, right guard, was listed as 18 years of age, 5′ 10″ and 150 lbs.  If you aren’t intimidated by his measurements, perhaps these pictures of him and his teammates will help.  The debater Harry Winer is pictured as well as their student manager!
11/26/1915: Homestead High School Team, Local Champions

11/26/1915: Homestead High School Team, Local Champions

  • 12/16:  The high school Christmas program included Jennie & Gertrude Friedlander playing a piano duet and Ruth Grinberg a piano solo.

Business Doings

  • 1/4:  “Leo. Half, of the firm of Half Brothers left yesterday for a few weeks visit to Grand Rapids, Mich., Chicago, Ill., and other western cities where he will purchase all the latest designs of furniture for the big store on Eighth avenue. He will be joined the latter part of the week by his brother, Morris.”  1/28: “Leo Half, of the firm of Half Bros., the Eighth avenue furniture dealers, has returned from a visit of over two weeks at Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Chicago, Ill., where he has inspected the stocks of furniture in these two main centers of the market…While away Mr. Half placed a considerable number of orders which will insure a very complete spring stock for the Big Eighth avenue store.”
  • 2/13: “Half Bros. bought a full car of cotton felt mattresses direct from the Heart of Dixieland. They came to the Homestead Penna. station last Thursday…These were bought during December for February 1st delivery at a price considerably less than every known in the history of mattress manufacturing.”
  • 2/20: The list of liquor licenses was published. It included: Bernhard Hepps, 406 Dixon street; Samuel Margolis, 448-450 Third avenue; Benj. J. Schwartz, N.W. Corner Fourth avenue and Dickson street; and Jacob H. Miller, 121 East Eighth avenue.  3/5:  The Women’s Christian Temperance Union (W.C.T.U.) of Homestead took out a page-and-a-half advertisement listing all “the names of persons who have signed liquor license applications this year.” It listed men who signed multiple applications, and then all the signers for each applicant.  Although it was meant to shame the signers, for me it was a delightful source of insight into my family’s line of work.  3/12:  They even had a prayer meeting “for all mothers and daughters of the community…for a dry town.”
  • 3/12:  “Morris Grinberg gets his wall paper by the car load. Last week he received the largest consignment ever shipped to Homestead. This paper is now on sale in his store on Eighth avenue, just above Dickson street.”
  • 3/19:  “Joseph Lasdusky is introducing something new at his millinery opening today. In his window he has a living model showing the creations of his work shop and also those of the leading shops of the east. Demonstrations are also being given in the inside and a great throng of ladies is looked for tonight.”
  • 5/22:  “Half  Bros., the furniture dealers, furnished the Victrola music for the birthday social given Thursday evening in Dixon’s hall under the auspices of U.S. Grant Circle, G.A.R.”
  • 6/10/1915: The top half of an advertisement for Half Brothers' 16th anniversary.

    6/10/1915: The top half of an advertisement for Half Brothers’ 16th anniversary.

    6/10: “Half Bros., the well known Eighth avenue furniture dealers are inaugurating tomorrow one of the most important selling events they have ever announced. The sale is in the nature of a celebration of their 16th year in business and promises to eclipse any similar event that have ever attempted…Half Bros. store is now looked upon as one of the old-time establishments, having started 16 years ago in a small store in the Taylor building on Eighth avenue near Ann street. Their growth has been a steady and substantial one, as shown by the splendid five-floor building which they are now occupying.”  See below for a longer article about their history from 6/11.

  • 6/11:  “Practically all retail meat dealers of Homestead have decided to join the Retail Butchers & Meat Dealers’ Association of Allegheny county.” Among those initiated at on 6/8 in their assembly hall were Israel Roth and the Friedlander Bros. “Organization is surely the cure for all evils that the retailer has to content with,” the article concluded — ironic given their opposition to worker organization.
  • 7/2: “H.L. Little announces that his shoe store will close at 6 o’clock every evening on and after July 6, during July and August, excepting pay nights and Saturdays.”
  • 7/20: “Just ten years ago today H.L. Little arrived in Homestead and took possession of the shore store which he is running today…His store is now one of the largest given over exclusive to the shoe trade in the Monongahela valley…In honor of his tenth business anniversary Mr. Little today inaugurated a twelve-day sale…”  The full article with his picture below!
  • 7/24: “Leo Half, of the firm of Half Bros., on Eighth avenue, has returned home from an extended visit to Grand Rapids, Mich; Chicago, Ill., and other cities in the Northwest to purchase furniture, rugs of all the new designs out for the big store. While away on the trip to the largest factories nothing escaped his eye in making selections for the big store.”
  • 7/27: “One of the leaders in the great National contest of Hoosier Kitchen Cabinet agents this year is Half Bros...Forty-five hundred dealers took part,” but the Half Bros. came out on top.
  • 8/3:  “Sold for William Marsh to Herman Lemborsky (sic) lot 30×110 with two frame houses, located Thirteenth avenue, Homestead, consideration $1,550.”   (Often real estate sales were listed, but I suspect only a small subset of the actual transactions.)  8/23:  “Louis Gluck to Samuel Rosenthal, 24 by 100 feet on Second avenue, Homestead, for $1,200.”
  • 8/4:  “Buster Brown and his dog, Tige, will be the guest of Ben Little, at the latter’s shoe store tomorrow, he will hold a reception for the children.  Buster will arrive in town early and will drive about seeing the sights in Fin Armors prize pony rig.  All children should go down street to see him.  He will have something to give them.”
  • 8/10: “The Gypsy colony in Gold alley was stricken with consternation yesterday when it was learned that fourteen of their number had become deathly sick and were under the care of a physician as a result of eating toadstools in mistake for mushrooms, which they had gathered in the fields in the surrounding suburbs…Dr. N.C. Kartub, of Fifth avenue, was summoned, who diagnoses their ailment and administered an antidote, thus probably saving at least some of their lives.”
  • 8/17: “Louis Lasdusky, son of Joseph Lasdusky and David Irwin… have formed a partnership and will engage in business in Donora. They have rented one of the largest store rooms in the town and will lay in a large stock of ladies ready to wear goods and millinery. The young men are hustlers and their many friends here predict great success for them in their business venture.”
  • 8/31: “Joseph Lasdusky returned Sunday evening from New York and Philadelphia where he purchased a full stock of goods for his Eighth avenue store. He stated that according to reports business in the East was remarkably good and the prospects for future business bright. For this reason Mr. Lasdusky laid in the largest stock he has ever brought to Homestead and was purchased directly from the manufacturers and importers…”
  • 9/13:  “Max Little has accepted a position with the Voctor (sic) shoe store on Eighth avenue as manager.”  (This store was Jacob Little’s.  He was previously at H.L. Little’s.  Both men were his uncles.)
  • 9/15: “At Lasdusky’s store at 335 Eighth avenue there was a busy and resplendent scene last night, it being the forty-eighth millinery opening, and the display of the latest styles was never so profuse or pretty. Mr. Lasdusky but recently returned from the east where he secured the very latest designs from Paris and New York. The display window was very attractive, and the store was full of sightseers and purchasers the entire evening.”
  • 9/25:  “One of the largest business leases which has been written in Homestead for many years is that between B.J. Stenger and Half Bros., the big Eighth avenue furniture dealers, which was closed this week.  The contract includes the leasing of the large five-story building on Eighth avenue, between Amity and West streets where the firm’s store is now located.  The lease runs until 1927 and involves almost $50,000 for the period…”  The much longer article is below.
  • 10/18: “While the streets were thronged with people Saturday night, about 8 o’clock, three men quietly entered the wholesale liquor store of Michael Tierney at 213, Eighth avenue, West Homestead, and holding up two men present Michael Tierney, Jr., son of the proprietor, and Jacob Blumberger, with draw revolvers rifled the cash register securing $642…When the three men entered the store Tierney and Blumberger thought they were customers, until…they looked into the muzzles of two revolvers and were requested to hold up their hands.” With the exception of a 1914 bank robbery, “no such daring robbery has ever occurred here.” Full details below.
  • 10/25:  A wholesale license was transferred from H.J. O’Donnell, 347 Eighth avenue, to Harry Glick (this involved court approval).
  • 11/11: “The Victor Shoe Store will begin tomorrow to celebrate its Fifth Anniversary by conducting a big sale, lasting ten days. This store has been wonderfully successful since opening here and a sale conducted there is bound to catch the trade…”
  • 11/12:  “H.J. O’Donnell and Leo Half attended a banquet given by the Talking Machine Dealers’ Association of the Pittsburg district at the Fort Pitt Hotel, last night. The spread was an elaborate one and there were some good talks on this ever-growing talking business.”  11/13: “Half Bros. the Eighth avenue, furniture dealers, have on display in one of their windows, a very unique and clever attraction. It is a reproduction of the familiar Victor trade mark, “His Master’s Voice,” and both the dog and Victrola are made entirely of candy…The detail with which the work is carried out is remarkable and is well worth a trip down street to see.” (The display came from the banquet.)
  • 12/4:  “Joseph Fogel, of Eighth avenue, has accepted a position with the famous clothing store in Braddock.”
  • 12/1: “Dr. M. Leichter, of New York, a noted foot specialist, arrived Homestead this morning and for the next two days will be at H.L. Little‘s shoe store where he will be pleased to meet all those who suffer in any way with their feet…”
  • 12/9:  “Morris Grinberg, the congenial proprietor of Grinberg’s Department Store at 609 Eighth avenue, near Dickson street, announces that after 22 years successful merchandising finds his present location entirely too small to accommodate the various departments…He has closed a deal for the lease of a large and commodious double store, at 515-517 Eighth avenue, between Dickson street and Ammon street…”  Full article below about the complete plans for a February re-opening.
  • 12/22: “I.S. Grossman, who has been in the clothing business in Homestead for the past 26 years, is selling out to quit. He will vacate his room at 345 Eighth avenue as soon as his stock is sold out. Mr. Grossman has not yet decided what he will do after quitting the clothing business but expects to retire from active work for some time. Although quitting business in Homestead, Mr. Grossman will continue to reside here.”  12/30: A follow-up article noted that the Homestead Loan company will move into his building.
  • 12/21:  Jacob Weiss was listed at the manager of the foreign department of the Monongahela Trust Company.

Personal Woes

  • 1/2:  “Samuel Fogel, aged 22 died last night after a long illness. He was a son of Morris Fogel, a former policeman. The funeral will be held at the family residence tomorrow forenoon at 11 o’clock.”
  • 1/20: “Mrs. Rosa Schwartz, aged 29, wife of Benjamin Schwartz, a well known hotel keeper at 464 Fourth avenue, died yesterday afternoon at the hotel. She was born in Hungary and has been a resident of Homestead for the past 12 years. She was a member of the Rodeph Shalom Hebrew congregation, the Hebrew Ladies Aid society and took an active part in the work of the congregation.” More in her obituary below.
  • 2/2:  “Miss Minnie Glick, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Glick, of 510 Fourth avenue, who was injured some time ago by falling on the ice, was taken to Homestead hospital last Saturday. She is reported somewhat improved.”
  • 2/23:  “I. Lincoff, of the Homestead Loan Co., is able to be out after an illness of grippe.”
  • 2/11/1915: Part of an ad about Nathan Schwartz quitting business.

    2/11/1915: Part of an ad about Nathan Schwartz quitting business.

    2/24: “The Rapid Savage (sic) Company has purchased the stock of Nathan Swartz an old Homestead business man, who had to quit and leave town at once on account of ill health and tomorrow they will offer it for sale at prices that should make it go quickly…”

  • 3/11:  “Arthur Schwartz of Seventeenth avenue is improving rapidly at the West Penn hospital after a severe attack of appendicitis.”
  • 3/16: “Jacob Seigel, who conducts a poultry store at 463 Fourth avenue, reports that he was robbed of $300 by robbers who entered his house early this morning He awoke at 1 o’clock as he intended to go to the city to purchase goods. He discovered his trousers, which contained his money, missing and grabbing another pair and dressing, he hastened to the street where he observed two men running up the street. He fire three shots to attract the police. Capt. Shinton responded, but the robbers had fled…”
  • 3/18:  “Louis Freeman, the fruit dealer of Eighth avenue, is able to be out again after a week’s illness of the grippe.”
  • 3/24:  “Miss Elizabeth Numeroski, bookkeeper at Louis Freeman’s fruit store, is confined to her home on Thirteenth avenue, with tonsillitis.”
  • 1/7/1915: The top half of an ad annoucing that Harrison Bros. was closing. (Click to enlarge.)

    1/7/1915: The top half of an ad announcing that Harrison Bros. was closing. (Click to enlarge.)

    3/26: “The Harrison Bros., after one year’s business in Homestead, will close their doors tomorrow evening. The firm in its short stay in Homestead has gained the confidence of the buying public and was building up a nice business, when sickness and death in the family compelled them to sell out their stock and quick. For the past month they have been conducting a closing out sale and tomorrow evening this sale ends and Monday morning they will move. The members of the firm have made many friends among the business men of the town and all are sorry to see them leave. Read their final announcement to the public on page three today.”

  • 4/9:  “Tenoch Yeshiko (sic?), of Homestead, was acquitted of the charge of stealing a china closet in his trial in criminal court yesterday. The information was made by Samuel Markowitz, of Munhall. The defendant claimed that the prosecutor had given him the closet to paint and that the information charging larceny had been made before he had time to return it.”
  • 4/13: “William Lasdusky, aged 42 years, a brother of Joseph Lasdusky, a well-known Eighth avenue merchant. died Saturday at his late residence, 5526 Hornhurst street, East End, Pittsburg…”
  • 4/28:  “Joseph Lasdusky has been confined to his home for nearly a week on account of sickness.”
  • 5/14: “Miss Rosie Goldstone, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. I.J. Goldston of 619 eEghth avenue who is under treatment at the West Penn hospital is improving nicely.”
  • 5/24:  “Miss Dorothy Goldman, of Third avenue who was operated on at the homeopathic hospital last week for appendicitis is improving nicely.”
  • 6/17:  “Mrs. Freeman, of the Messenger apartments, a well-known fruit dealer of Eighth avenue, lost a valuable diamond setting from a ring while out automobile riding on the Beechwood boulevard. The ring was presented to her by her husband last Christmas.”
  • 6/30: Louie Freeman‘s mule balked and tied up traffic — wagons and automobiles alike — at the corner of Eighth avenue and Ann street for a half-hour. “While it stood meditating on a misspent life the air turned blue with the equally sinful language used…[Freeman] owns two multes but this is the best and most consistent stopped.” The amusing article is below.
  • 7/6: “In a fire which occurred at 1 o’clock this morning the stable belonging to H.S. Jacobson, a meat and produce dealer, 441 Third avenue, the building was destroyed and a horse suffocated.” Chief Bryce estimated $1000 in damages; Jacobson $2000. The origin of the fire was unknown.
  • 7/17: “Herman Greenstein, of 332 Eighth avenue, was arrested yesterday in Pittsburg under peculiar circumstances.” “The auto patrol of the Oakland police station,” carrying an old man overcome by the heat, “narrowly averted a collision with a grocery wagon driven by Herman Greenstein. At the hearing this morning it was shown by the evidence that the patrol was running rapidly and some confusion occurred in the street traffic and Greenstein, not being to blame, was discharged.”
  • 9/1:  “Louis Freeman, fruit dealer, of Eighth avenue, is confined to his home suffering from rheumatism.”  9/28:  “Louis Freeman, of the Messenger, apartments, has returned home from Mt. Clemens, where he was taking treatment for rheumatism.”
  • 9/11: “H. Little, of the Sweet Home Dairy, in Mifflin township, back of Bellwood, lost a valuable horse yesterday. It is thought the animal died of glanders, a disease which it is said is epidemic in that vicinity. Horses are higher in price now than for many years owing to the demand in Europe, and this one was valued at $300.”
  • 10/1:  “Miss Ethel Widom, of Fifth avenue, is confined to her home with tonsillitis.”
  • 10/18: “Six people were painfully injured last night about 8 o’clock when a street car on the Monongahela division ran into the rear end of a milk wagon on Brown’s bridge. The wagon was owned and driven by Benjamin Siabitch (sic), of 431, Third avenue, and in the wagon were his daughter, Sarah, aged 10 years; his son Morris, aged 6; his brother Herman and Morris Leberman. Siabitch was thrown from his seat and cut and bruised on his right left. Sarah and Morris received lacerations on the scalp, Herman Siabitch was cut on the arm and Leberman received contused wounds about the body. They all suffered considerably from shock but not were seriously hurt…The car and wagon were only slightly damaged.”
  • 10/25: Here’s a new-fangled sort of accident. “A large plate glass in one of the display windows of Half Bros. Furniture store on Eighth avenue was broken this forenoon in a peculiar manner.” A man “was having one of the tires of his touring car blown up at the Central garage, adjoining the furniture store, when the rim of the wheel flew off with great force and was thrown a distance of 20 feet, striking against the glass. The force of the blow shattered a large section of the glass into fragments.” No one was hurt, but the glass cost $300.
  • 11/9:  “David D. Grossman, aged 44 years, a brother of I. and I.S. Grossman, merchants of Eighth avenue, died last Thursday in Denver, Col., after a long illness.  I.S. Grossman has left for the west and will bring the remains here for interment, expecting to arrive on Thursday of this week.  Mr. Grossman was in business in New York until several yesterday ago, when he retired and went west for his health.  He was a visitor here on several occasions, where he formed many acquaintances.  Besides his brothers here, he is survived by two others, Jacob and Max Grossman, of Duquesne.  Funeral services will be held Thursday afternoon at 3 o’clock from the home of his brother, I.S. Grossman, 345 Eighth avenue.”  11/10: “I.S. Grossman, who left here the latter part of the week for Denver, Col., to bring back the body of his brother, David D. Grossman, who died there last Thursday, will arrive in Homestead Friday morning, soon after which the funeral will be held. I. Grossman received a telegram at noon today from his brother, I.S. Grossman, at Council Bluff, Iowa, stating that the train on which he is coming was 12 hours late.”  11/12: “I.S. Grossman arrived from Denver, Col. at midnight last night…The remains were taken in charge by Gillen & Coulter, undertakers, and borne to the home of Mr. Grossman, at 345 East Eighth avenue, where the funeral services were held at 9 o’clock this morning, conducted by Rabbi Samuel Widom, of Rodef Shalom synagogue. The interment followed in the Jewish cemetery near Homeville…”
  • 11/19:  “Merl Little, son of Mr. and Mrs. H.L. Little, of Twelfth avenue and McClure street, is ill at his parents’ home with tonsillitis.”
  • 11/29: “Refusing to hold up his hands when ordered Saturday midnight by two masked men, Frank Hepps proprietor of a general store in the Library road near Castle Shannon” — and brother to various Homestead Heppses — “caught up a meat cleaver and started for the men. Eventually Hepps was shot. Read the article below for the details.
  • 12/6: “Mrs. I.S. Grossman and her son, Arthur, of Eighth avenue, have returned home from Sharon, Pa., where they attended the funeral of their nephew and cousin, Harry Schermer, aged 11 years, which was held on Saturday. Mrs. Schermer, the mother of the child, is a sister of Mrs. Grossman.”
  • 12/10: “Isaac M. Mervis, aged 72 years, of 541 1/2 McClure street, died yesterday of cerebral ailment in St. Francis Hospital where he was taken about ten days ago. He was an old resident of Homestead and was engaged in shoemaking. The remains were brought to Gillen & Coulter’s undertaking rooms where they were prepared for burial. The funeral was held this afternoon at 1:30 o’clock and the interment followed in the Jewish cemetery.”

Travel and Socializing

  • 1/4:  “Ralph Lasdusky left last night to resume his studies in the University of Pennsylvania at Philadelphia. He was accompanied by his brother, Lewis, who will take up his residence in the above city for the present.”
  • 1/13:  “A pleasant surprise party was held last night at the home and Mr. and Mrs. D. Numerosky complimentary to their daughter, Elizabeth. At 10 o’clock a nice luncheon was served after which games furnished delightful amusement to the young people The party broke up at 12 o’clock.”
  • 1/28:  “Mrs. I.J. Goldstone (sic), of Eighth avenue accompanied by her daughter, Miss Rose have (sic) returned home from a visit with friends in Pittsburg.”
  • 2/15: Buying treyf food on Shabbat pays off! “Benjamin Schreiner, of East Fourth avenue on Saturday purchase a quart of oysters of Jacob Seigel at the fish and produce market, 463 Fourth avenue on Saturday and while eating one of the bit on a hard substance which he at first mistook for a piece of shell, but on examining it to his surprise he found it was a pearl of unusual size and its estimated value is said to be $175.”  (And it happened again to someone else on 3/3!)
  • 2/18:  “Mr. Jacob Weis, manager of the Monongahela Trust Company’s foreign and steamship ticket department has moved from 115 West Ninth avenue to the Aukewitz apartments at Twelfth and Glenn street.”
  • 2/27:  “Joseph Lasdusky will leave this evening for New York to purchase his Spring stock. Enroute he will stop over in Philadelphia and visit his son, Ralph, at the University of Pennsylvania.”
  • 3/2:  “Miss Minnie Glick of Fourth avenue is visiting at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Frankel in Duquesne.”
  • 3/11:  “Miss Elizabeth Numeroski (sic), bookkeeper at Louis Freeman’s fruit store was a visitor in the city yesterday.”
  • 4/9:  “Max Little, clerk in Little’s shoe store, visited friends in East Liberty last evening.”
  • 5/4:  “Miss Toby Silverman, of Baltimore has returned home after spending a few months with her sister, Mrs. H.L. Little of McClure street. Mrs. H.L. Little and son Meri, accompanied by a maid, have left for Baltimore, Md., to visit Mrs. Little’s parents.”
  • 5/14:  “Miss Lillian Stein, of Eighth avenue, was calling on friends in Wilkinsburg last evening.”
  • 6/3:  “Mr. and Mrs. H.L. Little and son, Meri, arrived home from Baltimore last evening.”
  • 6/7:  “Our old friend, Louis Segelman, formerly of this place, now of Squirrel Hill, cut up a great game of ball for the Monongahela Division team Saturday, he bringing in the winning run in the tenth inning of a hotly contested game at West Elizabeth Saturday afternoon. Mrs. H.L. Little and son, Merle, of Twelfth avenue, Munhall, who have been spending a couple of months with Mrs. Little’s parents in Baltimore, returned home yesterday. Mr. Little went to Baltimore last week and accompanied his family on their return.”
  • 6/14:  “Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Lasdusky and son, Harry, left last night for Philadelphia to attend the commencement exercises of the University of Pennsylvania, from which their son, Ralph, graduates. Mr. Lasdusky will arrive home Thursday morning, while Mrs. Lasdusky and sons will travel for several weeks, visiting New York, Atlantic City, Providence and Boston.”  6/19: “Joseph Lasdusky, a well known business man of Eighth avenue, has returned home from Philadelphia where he attended the graduating exercises of the University of Pennsylvania. His son, Ralph, was a member of the graduating class in economics. His wife will remain in the East with her son Ralph and Harry for a week and will visit in New York, Boston and other cities before returning home.”
  • 6/17:  “Mr. and Mrs. I. Grossman, of Eighth avenue entertained a number of their friends at a box party at the Schenley theater last evening.”
  • 6/21:  “Mrs. R. Rosen and daughter, of East End, spent yesterday with her sister, Mrs. L. R. Freeman, of Eighth avenue, yesterday.”
  • 7/1:  “Mrs. Joseph Lasdusky and son Harry have returned home from an extended tour of the Middle and New England states. A reception was tendered Harry upon his return by the boys of the Y.M.H.A.”
  • 7/12:  “Miss Elizabeth Numeroski, cashier in Louis Freeman’s fruit store, left this morning on a two week’s vacation in Oil City.”
  • 7/16:  “Miss Minnie Margolis, of Dickson street, has left for a two weeks’ vacation in Oil City.”
  • 7/21:  “Miss Elizabeth Numeroski and Miss Minnie Margolis, returned home last evening after visiting the latter’s sister Mrs. N. Melvin, of oil city.”
  • 7/24:  “Miss Elizabeth Numeroski has resumed her duties at Freeman’s fruit store after a two weeks’ vacation in Oil City.”
  • 8/2: “Morris Half has returned home from a business and pleasure trip to South Whitley, Ind.”
  • 8/4:  “Mr. Samuel Fogel, of 315 Eighth avenue, is spending the week with a camping party at Coal Valley.”
  • 8/5:  “Miss Rose Weiss, on Ninth avenue, attended a birthday anniversary complimentary to Joseph Shermer, Elventh street, Braddock, on Tuesday night.”
  • 8/6:  “Max Little is spending a two weeks’ vacation at Conneaut lake.  Harry Mervis, a well known barber, of Eighth avenue, left yesterday morning for a two weeks’ vacation to Atlantic City.  I.J. Goldstrom (sic) and daughter are spending a two weeks’ vacation at Atlantic City.”
  • 8/10:  “Miss Minnie Lebovitz, of Freedlanders (sic) Ladies’ Store is visiting at Atlantic City…Meyer I. Grinberg and son Ralph left Sunday for Cambridge Springs, where they will spend a few weeks. Miss Robenwitz, of Beaver Falls, is the guest of Mrs. B. Freedlander (sic), of Tenth avenue.”
  • 8/16:  “Morris Grinberg, a prominent merchant, of Eighth avenue, left for the East last night, where he will purchase his fall stock. From there he will go to Atlantic City and Philadelphia.”  8/27:  “Morris Grinberg, a well known businessman of Eighth avenue has returned home from Atlantic City and Philadelphia, where he spent a few weeks.”
  • 8/17:  “Mrs. E. E. Grossman, is spending two weeks’ recuperating on a farm near Evans City.. Max Little has resumed his duties at the H.L. Little shoe store after a two weeks’ vacation…Joseph Lasdusky will leave the evening for New York where he will lay in a stock of fall goods for his ladies store. He will also visit Philadelphia and Atlantic City.”
  • 8/18:  “Mr. and Mrs. H.L. Little and son Merle, of McClure street, left this morning for Cambridge Springs.”  9/1:  “H.L. Little, of Eighth avenue, is spending a few days at Cambridge Springs.” 9/3:  “Mrs. H.L. Little and son Merl, of Twelfth avenue, have returned from a two week’s vacation at Cambridge Springs.”
  • 8/19:  “Miss Ruth Grossman has just returned from a two weeks’ visit to Sunubry, Pa., where she was the house guest of Mr. and Mrs. M. Marcley…Mrs. I.S. Grossman and daughters, Grace and Esther, left last Tuesday for Jamestown, Pa., where they will join their son and brother, Arthur, who is spending the summer on a farm.”
  • 8/23:  “Miss Jennie Welshler, stenographer at Half Bros., is spending a two weeks’ vacation at Conneaut Lake.”
  • 8/26:  “Harry Mervis of Eighth avenue, has returned home from a two weeks’ vacation to Atlantic City…Henry Rosen, of Denver, Colo., is visiting his sisters, Mrs. L. Freeman and Mrs. J.W. Moss, of Eighth avenue.”
  • 9/1:  “Allen Goldston, of Ninth avenue, returned home from a two months vacation at Atlantic City.”
  • 9/4:  “Mrs. R.J. Gluck of West Eighth avenue, has purchased a 1916 Ford roadster.”
  • 9/14:  “Ben Mervis, of Trafford City, returned home from a visit with his parents in Homestead Park…Mrs. Anna Malavin, of Oil City, is visiting her parents on Dickson street.”  (RH was 9/9 and 9/10.  YK was 9/18.)
  • 10/18:  “Mrs. David Segelman, of Squirrel Hill, is spending the day with friends on Eighth avenue.”
  • 11/8:  “Miss Rose Weis, of Tenth avenue and West street, is attending the house party at State College.”
  • 11/17: “Mrs. Rosa Heilbron entertained the German Harugari Ladies lodge at her home, 132 East Eighth avenue on Monday evening. An enjoyable evening was spent in social pastime and luncheon was served by the hostess. Mrs. Fisher of Talbot avenue, Braddock, who held ticket No. 207 won the handsome bedspread which was raffled off during the evening.”
  • 12/3:  “Misses Bertha and Hannah Seigel, of McKeesport, spent yesterday with Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Fogel of Eighth avenue.”
  • 12/27:  “R.J. Glueck, of West Homestead, in the wholesale jewelry business in Pittsburg, has left on a business trip to Providence, R.I.”

Simchas

  • 1/15: “Miss Anna Goldman, entertained a party of friends at her home, 326 E. Third avenue, last evening in honor of her birthday anniversary. The guests of the evening were the members of the Young Women’s Hebrew Association. An enjoyable social hour was spent in social pastime (sic). Miss Sadie Siegle sang a solo and Miss Goldman rendered a piano solo. A theater party followed at the Grand and the excellent show was enjoyed by all. After the show a supper followed at Forsyth’s on Eighth avenue. Miss Goldman was voted a charming entertainer.”
  • 1/18: “Mr. and Mrs. I. Miller gave a birthday party yesterday afternoon at their home, 412 Dickson street in honor of their daughter, Miss Florence Miller.” Full details of the party, including Jewish and non-Jewish guests, below.
  • 2/12: “Meyer Morenz (sic), a former resident, now of Lowellsville, Ohio, will be married on next Sunday afternoon to Miss Sadie Freidman, daughter of Mrs. Sarah Freidman of Power Way, Youngstown, Ohio. The wedding will take place at the bride’s home. While here Mr. Moranz attended the local high school and a large number of friends from here will attend the wedding.”
  • 3/1:  “Mr. and Mrs. S. Weschler, gave a dinner party at their home on Seventh avenue, West Homestead on Sunday. At the dinner the engagement of their daughter, Miss Celia Weschler to Morris Mervus of Pittsburg was announced. Guests were present from Pittsburg, Sharpsburg, Wilkinsburg and Rankin.”
  • 3/10: “A delightful birthday party was held at the home of Mr. and Mrs. D. Numerosky, 125 East Thirteenth avenue in honor of their daughter, Hazel. Many good games were played to the amusement of the guests. At a late hour luncheon was served and the guests departed wishing the hostess many more happy birthdays. Those present were:  Jacob Schwartz, Belle Winer, Regina Markowitz, Lena Lebovitz, Jennie Markowitz, Louis Margolis, Bertha Silber, Elizabeth Hepps, Edith Widom, Anna Gross, Maurice Schwartz, Freemont Marks, Fanella Mervis, Samuel Harrison, Rose Hilk, Clara Winer, Willian Glick, Jacob Hepps, and Paul Numerosky of Homestead” and others from McKeesport, Glassport, and Pittsburgh, including Laurence Metz, future husband of Edith Widom!”
  • 5/25: “Miss Celia Samuels, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. I. Samuels, of Third avenue, became the bride of David Samuels, of Pittsburg, Sunday evening at a wedding in which Rabbi Aschinsky, of Pittsburg, and Rabbi Widom, of Homestead officiated. A wedding supper was served at the bride’s home at which covers were laid for 100. The home was beautifully decorated with palms and roses. The young couple left Monday evening for a honeymoon trip to the Panama Exposition.”
  • 5/25: “Samuel Fogel, owner of the Fogel confectionery, 315 Eighth avenue, and Miss Sarah Seigle, of McKeesport, were married last evening at 6:00 at the residence of Rabbi Aschinsky, Pittsburgh. After the wedding ceremony the young couple left for a honeymoon trip to Cleveland, Ohio. On their return, they will be at home to their friends in the McConnon apartments on Eighth avenue.”
  • 6/20:  “Mrs. Albert Gross of the Ackowitz apartments, entertained a number of friends at their home last evening in honor of her birthday. At a 1:00 hour a delicious luncheon as served. Covers were laid for 20, honey suckle and June roses formed the center piece.”
  • 7/26: “Miss Celia Welschler, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J. Welscher, of Seventh avenue and Amity street, was married last evening to Morris Marcus, of Rankin, at 7 o’clock, with Rabbi Widom officiating, at the home of the bride. The bride was beautifully dressed in white crepe de chine, with veil to match caught with orange blossoms. her floewrs were a bridal bouquet of white roses and lilies of the valley. At 8 o’clock supper was served and covers were laid for 75. After August 15 Mr. and Mrs. Marcus will be at home to their friends on Hawkins avenue, Rankin.”
  • 8/31:  “Miss Dora Soffer, of Duquesne, became the bride of Saul Weinberger, of Fourth avenue, at the home of the bride Sunday evening at 6 o’lock, Rabbi Widom, of Duquesne” — nope, Homestead! — “officiating.  The bride’s gown was of white silk embroidery and she carried a bridal bouquet of white roses.  A reception and dinner followed.  Over 75 guests were present.  The young couple will reside on Fourth avenue.”
  • 9/17:  “Born this morning to Mr. and Mrs. Max Gross of Third avenue, a son.”
  • 9/27:  “At a dinner party given at the home of Mr. and Mrs. H.S. Schwartz, of 378 Ninth avenue, last evening at 7 o’clock the engagement of Miss Regina Schwartz to Mr. Arthur Greenstein, of Fourth avenue, was announced.  Covered were laid for 30.  No wedding date has been set.”

Jewish Community

  • 1/2: “The I.O.B.B. lodge, No. 586 of Homestead will hold an open installation of officers on Sunday evening, January 3rd at 7:30 p.m. at the Rodef Shalom synagogue oh Homestead, Pa.” Details in article below.
  • 1/15: “At a recent meeting of the Hebrew Ladies Aid Society of the Montefiore hospital, Mrs. Morris Grinberg, of 342 East Twelfth avenue, one of the best known women in this vicinity was elected a director on the hospital board. This is the first time in the history of the hospital that a director was elected from the steel town. Mrs. Grinberg is an active worker in every movement to aid and help the unfortunate ones. Her host of friends are glad to hear the good news and extend their congratulations to the hospital in securing her services on the board.”
  • 1/26: “The Hebrew Ladies Aid Society of the Rodef Sholan (sic) congregation will hold a Whist party Wednesday evening, Jan. 26, at Realty Hall. A large crowd is looked for. Beautiful prizes will be given. The benefit is for the new synagogue. A pleasant evening is assured to all.”  1/27: The Hebrew Ladies Aid Society of Homestead will give another of their popular whist parties this evening in Realty hall, Eighth avenue and Amity street. Handsome prizes will be awarded to winners. Everybody is invited to attend. The whist will begin at 8:30 promptly.”
  • 1/28: “In less than few hours the five cases of Palestine Oranges which were received yesterday by Mrs. Joseph Lasdusky, Mrs. Morris Grinberg were sold. The committee in charge could have sold a dozen cases as the oranges were large and delicious. If possible more cases will be secured to aid the Jews in Palestine.”
  • 2/6: “At the Rodef Shalom synagogue, Tenth of McClure street Rabbi Ashinsky of Pittsburg and Mr. Allen Davis, professor of languages of the Pittsburg University will lecture on Sunday evening, February 7th, at 7:30 o’clock…”  2/8: “Over 200 people were in attendance last night at the Hebrew synagogue on Tenth avenue…Prof. Davis spoke in English on the subject of Education, and the Rabbi in Hebrew and on the subject of the European War…Rev. Ashinsky referred to the misery incident to the terrible conflict now going on between the nations for nothing. The rulers themselves, he stated, did not really know what the war was about. While he urged that the people contribute as generously as they could to the innocent suffers he said it produced a paradoxical condition…” Both articles below.  2/9:  “Rabbi Aaron Ashinsky and wife, of Pittsburg, were the guests of Mr. and Mrs. Morris Grinberg of Twelfth avenue on Sunday. Mrs. B. Davis and son, professor Allen Davis of the University of Pittsburgh, were the guests of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Lasdusky.”
  • 2/17: “A Young Men’s Hebrew Association has been recently organized at Duquesne. They will hold their initial reception and dance on Wednesday evening, February 17…”  11/11:  “The members of the Y.W.H.A. of Duquesne, will hold a dance in the Duquesne Bank hall Wednesday evening, Nov. 17. Miss Freda Halper, president of the society, will have charge. It is expected that many from here will attend.”  12/8: “The Duquesne Hebrew Ladies Aid Society will hold a dance in the bank hall on Main street, Duquesne, this evening. The Newmeyer orchestra will furnish the music. It is expected that many from here will attend the affair.”
  • 2/27:  “The Y.U.H.A. (sic) club will hold a Necktie and Apron Social and dance in Casino hall, Monday evening, Mach (sic) 1. Everyone is invited and a good time is assured to all.”
  • 3/15:  “Miss Molly Markowitz entertained the Y.W.H.A. society last evening in a most charming way at her home on Eighth avenue.  The evening was spent in games and music.  The rooms were beautifully decorated in St. Patrick colors  The guests were invited to the dining room where a delicious luncheon was served.  The favors were shamrocks.”
  • 3/27:  “The Young Men’s Hebrew society will hold a free literary entertainment tomorrow evening at 8 o’clock in Library Music hall.  A nice program has been arranged by the committee.  There will be a number of addresses, vocal solos, piano solos and recitations.  Everyone is invited.  Free to all.”  3/29:  “A very excellent literary program was rendered by the Young Men’s Hebrew association last evening at the Carnegie Library.  The music hall was comfortably filled by a very appreciative audience, an audience which called for several encores of the musical numbers.”  Program in article below.
  • 3/29:  “Feast of the Passover Begins Tonight…In preparation for the observance, business in the Hill district [of Pittsburgh] was in full swing yesterday, the city authorities having lifted the ban on Sunday selling because of the holiday beginning on Monday…Tomorrow special services will be conducted in the local synagogue on 10th avenue.”
  • 4/2: “A rumor has been spread that the Y.M.H.A. Jrs. are afraid to meet the Y.B.H.A. in the preliminary basket ball game at the Library Tuesday, April 6, 1915. Jacob Hepps, the self-elected captain and manager of the Y.M.H.A. Jrs., was boasting his team could wallop the Y.B.H.A. This high-thinking Mr. Hepps has another guess coming, at the Y.B.H.A., like men, will meet them any day of teh week. Mr. Hepps can state his reasons for not playing the Y.B.H.A. Players. –Y.B.H.A. Circulator.”
  • 4/5:  “Old Rivals Will Meet — The Y.M.H.A. basketball team of Homestead Y.M.H.A. will be on of (sic) Braddock, Tuesday evening April 6, at the Carnegie Library of Homestead.  The members of the Braddock Y.M.H.A. will attend the game in a body to cheer their team to victory and the seventy-five members of the Homestead Y.M.H.A. will be on deck to see that the Braddock cheering does no damage.  The two teams stand 50-50 for the season, thus far, and a good game may be expected.  The game will begin promptly at 8:15.”
  • 4/6:  “The Y.M.H.A. of Braddock will clash this evening with the local team of the same organization in the local library and a great contest will be the result, as both teams have won a game and the one tonight will be the rubber, and the rivalry will be intense.”
  • 4/7:  “Once again have the Homestead boys shown their superiority over Braddock in athletics.  Last night the Young Men’s Hebrew Association of the place met and defeated the Young Hebrews of Braddock in a most decisive manner, the final score being 39 to 21.  A large crowd witnessed the game, including many from Braddock who went home downcast and dejected, as they felt confident they were behind a winner this time.  But class tells and that is all there was to it.  Homestead had the class and the championship comes here.”  The Homestead players included Lasday (né Lasdusky!), Haupt, Mervis, Israel, Margolis, Fogel, Hepps.  M. Trau, timer.
  • 4/14:  A strange article appeared about a man named Nathan Cohen who was denied entry to various countries so he sailed around on a steamship and may be on his way home to Russia.
  • 4/20:  The Y.M.H.A. was listed as a new literary club at the library.
  • 6/4:  There was a picture and small news item about the sensational murder trial of a NYC policeman who arranged for Herman Rosenthal, a small-time bookmaker, to be killed by gangsters for going to the DA to report that he was paying off this policeman.  Another such item appeared on 7/28 when the policeman was executed.
  • 6/14:  “The Hebrew Ladies Aid society and the Sunday school of the Jewish Synagogue, of Tenth avenue, held their annual outing at Homestead Park yesterday afternoon.  Games of all kinds, races and a ball game were the enjoyments of the day.  At six o’clock dinner was served to all.”
  • 6/25: “For the purpose of collecting enough money to make a substantial payment on a new building in Breckinridge street, Pittsburg, girls from the Jewish Home for Babies sold flowers yesterday on the streets of Homestead and other towns in the valley as well as in the city. The movement to build this home which is non-sectarian, was started two years ago and enough money was collected to make a payment on the property, and yesterday’s collection was help defray the expense of remodeling and opening the home. Over $2,000 was realized.”
  • 7/1: “Notice to members of the Alumni Association of Homestead Hebrew Sunday school–A special meeting of the Alumni Association will be held Friday evening, July 2, at 7:30. All members are requested to be present.”
  • 7/15: “A meeting of the Alumni Association of the Homestead Hebrew Sunday school will be held at the residence of F. Schermer, East Eighth avenue this evening at 7:30 P.M. All members are requested to be present.”
  • 7/21:  “The Hebrew Ladies’ Beneficial Society, of McKeesport, will hold a picnic in Moss Side grove on Sunday, July 26.  Good music and a pleasant time are promised.  It is expected that quite a number from Homestead will attend.”
  • 8/14:  “Homestead Jews already are beginning preparation for the observance of Rasha Hasnah (sic!), the Jewish New Year, and Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, which come on September 9 and 18 respectively.”  The article went on to explain each holiday briefly.  Apparently services for YK last three days?!
  • Between 8/17 and 9/3 the paper published six different articles about the murder of Leo Frank, including photographs of his prison dormitory from which he was dragged, the map of the route taken by the lynch mob, pictures of Frank’s body hanging from a tree, and the crowd gathered outside the undertaker’s building after Frank’s body was found and taken there.  The paper excoriated the verdict of the Marietta coroner’s jury, which took three minutes to decide that it was impossible to identify who was responsible.  The amount of coverage of this event suggests it was considered one of the most notable national events of the year.
  • 6/8:  On the list of picnics scheduled for Homestead Park: “Sunday, June 13th – Jewish Synagogue, Homestead.”
  • 7/8:  “Miss Elizabeth Hepps, of Third avenue will entertain the Young Ladies’ Jewish Society at Homestead Park Sunday, July 11. All members are requested to be present.”
  • 9/7:  “Beginning at sunset tomorrow evening the celebration of the Jewish new year will begin and continue for two days, ending at sunset on Friday evening.  The Jewish new year’s festival is the oldest of all festivals celebrated in the civilized world, this being the five thousand six hundred and seventh-sixth. All the stores conducted by Jews in Homestead and vicinity will be closed on these two days — Thursday and Friday.”  The article went on to list service times.  9/8:  The paper followed up with a longer article explaining RH  observance (see below), which “combines some vestiges of antique ritual with expressions of human experiences and feelings true and real for everybody at all times.”  The high holidays that year overlapped with a period of unusually hot weather.
  • 9/17:  “The Jews of Homestead will celebrate the Day of Atonement, beginning this evening at 6 o’clock and closing tomorrow evening at 6.  The stores will all be closed this evening at 6 and will be closed tomorrow until 6, the conclusion of the celebration.  Appropriate services will be held in the synagogue.”  This article omits, but the 8/14 article notes, “Although one of these days” — YK! — “falls on Saturday this year, most of the stores in the city owned by Jews will be closed.”  An economic hardship!
  • 9/23:  An article appeared explaining Sukkot, which “began last evening and will continue until October 1.  The festival started here with services in the evening in the tabernacle on Tenth avenue, near McClure street…Some of the older Jews live in miniature tabernacles during this festival.”  More explanation below.
  • 10/22:  The Y.M.H.A. “[showed] their progressive sprit by bring the most mooted (sic?) subjects of the day squarely before the people of Homestead,” starting with a public debate at the synagogue about woman suffrage.  “The best advocates of both sides” were scheduled to speak — “Miss Helen, Allen, the most interesting of all the woman suffrage speakers” and “John A. Matthews, a notes member of the New Jersey bar.”  (Full article below.)
  • 10/25:  The previous article created a scandal!  “After the announcement of the meeting in Friday’s issue of the Daily Messenger a notice was received at this office stating that the meeting would not be held, owing to the objection on the part of some who claimed that the synagogue was not a proper place for such a debate.  But the objectors were finally over, for in the audience were old and young men and the older men and women of the audience appeared to derive as much entertainment from the debate as the younger element.  The audience was composed mainly of Jews, although there was a sprinkling of Gentiles.”    “The meeting was held in the social room which was crowded and the audience listened to the debate with close attention.  Dr. M.H. Moss acted as master of ceremonies.”  “The debate was nicely conducted, and while little that was new was furnished in the way of argument,it proved an interesting meeting.”  Miss Helen Hollander, a student of Dramatic Art in the Carnegie School of Technology, gave a dramatic reading after the debate.  (Full article below.)
  • 11/9:  At the Women’s club of Homestead, Mrs. Wolfe read a paper on “The Hebrew in American Life.”  I believe this was a non-Jewish society group.
  • 11/15: Another Y.M.H.A. meeting presided over by Dr. M.H. Moss. “Rev. Dr. Abner, of Worcestershire, England, gave a very interesting talk on the war. Mr. Hepner, a tenor singer from the Pittsburg synagogue, sang several selections and was accompanied on the piano by Miss Ruth Grossman, and Prof. Allan Davis of the University of Pittsburgh.”
  • 11/23: “At a meeting of the Hebrew Ladies’ Aid Society it was decided to change their meeting from Monday evening to the second and fourth Sunday afternoons of each month. The next meeting will be held in the synagogue on Tenth avenue, on next Sunday afternoon at 2 o’clock. A large attendance is expected by the officers.”
  • 12/3: “Next Sunday evening, December 6, at 7:30 o’clock, the Homestead Hebrew Religious school will give an entertainment in honor of the feast of Chanukah. The program will consist of vocal solos, recitations and piano selections by the pupils. The feature of the evening will be an address by Alan Davis, playwright and attorney, of Pittsburg. The friends of the school are cordially invited to attend.” 12/6: “The entertainment given by the Homestead Hebrew Religious school last night at the Library was a success. A large audience listened to a well-rendered program given by pupils of the school…After the completion of the program, the children were given their annual treat of candy from the Hebrew Ladies Aid Society of Homestead. The committee in charge of this feature was Mrs. Meyer Grinberg, Mrs. H.S. Schwartz, Mrs. I. Grossman, Mrs. B. Friedlander, Mrs. I.L. Lohrer and Mrs. H. Feldman.”  (Full article below.)
  • 12/17: Another open literary meeting of the YMHA! “Dr. D. Reiter, of Homestead, will speak on the subject of ‘The Jewish Question.’ This promises to be one of the best addresses every delivered before the Y.M.H.A., and is being looked forward to especially by the Jewish people of Homestead.” A Pittsburgh attorney, Jacob Seligsohn, was also scheduled to speak. “Arthur Grossman the chairman of the Board of Directors, has promised to have the new Y.M.H.A. quarters in the Homestead Savings Bank building ready for the occupancy by December 21. Since this announcement was made the enthusiasm of the members knows no bounds.” Basket ball, reading rooms, lounging rooms, educational classes, and monthly literary meetings would make up the Y.M.H.A.’s “very business winter.”  (Full article below.)
  • 12/31: “The Friday evening services at the Homestead Hebrew synagogue for December 31 will be held under the auspices of the Young Men’s Hebrew association. In addition to the regular services, a sermon will be preached by a visiting rabbi The Jewish people of Homestead are especially urged to attend this service. The members of the Y.M.H.A. will meet at their rooms in the Homestead Savings bank building at 7.30 p.m. and attend the services in a body. The services begin promptly at 8.00 o’clock. Through the courtesy of Mr. Stevens, a very fine little library has been installed in the Y.M.H.A. rooms. The rooms are now being occupied by the members. The board of directors will meet this evening to make plans for a housewarming.”

Ads

Ads appeared in the paper for the following stores.  In general there were far fewer ads for Jewish-owned stores than in recent years, with the exception of ads related to Home Trading Day.

  • Friedlander’s (The Ladies’ Store, 213 Eighth Avenue)
  • Half Brothers (Happy Home Furnishers, 120-122 East Eighth Avenue)
  • H.L. Little’s (Home of Good Shoes, 321 Eighth Avenue next to Hutsons)
  • Harrison’s (346 Eighth Avenue) — clothes
  • Ben Little (near Amity Street) — shoes
  • [Harry] Glick’s Cash Meat Market (349 Eighth Avenue, next to O’Donnell’s Drug Store); also Fifth Avenue Cash Meat Market (corner Fifth Avenue and Amity Street):
  • 1/26/1915: Lasdusky ad discussing the effects of the war on the slow economy

    1/26/1915: Lasdusky ad discussing the effects of the war on the slow economy

    Joseph Lasdusky (335 Eighth Avenue) — ladies’ clothing and hats

  • Nathan Schwartz (517 Eighth Avenue) — men’s clothing
  • Morris Grinberg Department Store (607 Eighth Ave. near Dickson Street)
  • Jacob Shapira (517 Eighth Avenue near Dickson) — clothes and dry goods
  • People’s Sanitary Meat Market (117 Eighth Avenue – new owners D. Berkavitz & Kovatch)
  • New York Bargain Store (517 Eighth Avenue)
  • Victor’s (311 Eighth Avenue, Jacob Little, proprietor) — shoes
  • E. Greenstein (corner 5th and Amity) — poultry
  • Fogel’s (next to Elite Theatre) — candy
  • Harry Glick (corner Sixth Avenue and Amity Street) — liquor
  • Gross (401-3 Eighth Avenue, on the busy corner of Eighth and McClure) — men’s clothes
  • I.J. Goldston (617 Eighth Avenue)
  • 12/11/1915: Louis Freeman ad for Xmas trees

    12/11/1915: Louis Freeman ad for Xmas trees

    Louie’s Place (221 East Eighth Avenue) — fruit & vegetables

  • I. Grossman (147 Eighth Avenue)
  • Meyer Grinberg
  • M. Mallinger

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