Jews in the News, 1895

Unfortunately the microfilm is only available for the first three months of 1895.  During that time there are just a few mentions of members of our community.  (Also, starting with April 1895 the paper reverted back to a weekly newspaper mostly comprised of what we’d call wire reports today, so there were far fewer bits of local news like the articles I’ve found in this series so far.  Their reason?  “The field is not sufficiently large to profitably support a daily issue such as it was hoped to make the news” (3/30).  They had become a daily paper in November 1892, towards the end of the strike, when Homestead excited a great deal of attention, but clearly economic conditions in Homestead weren’t strong enough.)

Squire Kuhn to the Rescue

Two members of the community ended up court — as the plaintiffs.  The stories could not be more different.  In the first, we have Morris Frankel, then either a peddler or a clothier, unable to collect a bill.  In the second, we have Joseph Lasdusky, a successful merchant, whose servant was stealing from him.

The Homestead News, 1/17/1895

The Homestead News, 1/17/1895

The Homestead News, 1/19/1895

The Homestead News, 1/19/1895

More Markowitz’ Liquor License Woes

As I explain in the clippings for 1893, there was a limited number of liquor licenses for Homestead, and though some in our community applied each year, still none received.  Here’s how this year’s attempt went.

  • January 30:  Paper reports that applications for liquor licenses are coming in.  There are 30 so far.  Last year Homestead had more than 60 applications in total.
  • February 16:  There are 54 total applications from Homestead, including all of those currently with licenses who are seeking renewals.
  • March 29:  “The agony of the license court is over and many Homestead applicants have cause for rejoicing.”   All old applicants have been “granted the coveted privilege, but the town was favored with four additional licenses.”  Amongst the applicants who failed was “Samuel Markortz,” clearly our Samuel Markowitz.  A commentary accompanying the news report explains,  “This increase in the number is probably not due to an increase in the population of the town and subsequent greater demand for such places but rather to a different policy pursued by the license court.  One good likely to result will be the ridding out of speak easies to some extent.  There will also be an increase in the amount of the revenue which the borough receives from licenses.”

Not having a license cut one off from (legally) taking advantage of the workers’ pervasive drinking culture.  In February an evangelist came to town to stage a three-week revival, which was big, big news in Homestead.  He commented, “I was told this was pay day. Well I never saw so many drunken men on the streets in such a short time.”  Those of from families which were in the liquor business in Homestead will find this statement not at all surprising.

Jacob Siegle

To be fair, I don’t know if Jacob Siegle is Jewish.  I’m guessing that he is based on the names of his co-conspirators, Jacob Gudinsky and Max Weshlinsky, but I wish he weren’t — he doesn’t sound like the most honest guy in the world!

The Homestead New, 1/10/1895

The Homestead News, 1/10/1895

The Homestead News, 3/1/1895

The Homestead News, 3/1/1895


  • March 19: “Joseph Lasdusky, of Sixth avenue, went to New York yesterday morning to purchase his spring stock of goods.”

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