Jews in the News, 1904

Compared to previous years, there is a dramatic drop in the number of clippings — almost no ads, local news mentions, or articles…  Perhaps this is related to the economic depression that affected Homestead for most of the year?  Perhaps that is combined with the continued loss of interest in the Jewish community after interest peaked around the building of the synagogue in 1901-2?  By the middle of the year there were almost no social mentions of these guys, whereas in previous years I found many.  Nevertheless, there is still plenty to peruse below.

Real estate
Business doings
Liquor Licenses
Merchant Woes
Personal Woes
Synagogue, Holidays, and Jewish Community


  • 1/4:  Tiger A.C. beat the Tom Thumbs.   Segelman played forward and made 1 goal from the field.  On 1/19 the Tigers lost, but Segelman wasn’t playing…!
  • 1/27:  Various Homestead Homesteaders contributed to the poor in the stricken city of Butler, including: L.D. Markowitz, 50c; Half Bros., six comforts, six pair blankets; B. Friedlander, underwear.
  • 1/29:  A few members of the Jewish community were listed amongst the attendees of the business men’s 4th annual banquet:  Joseph Klein, Morris Half, and Philip Cohn.  Menus printed in past years showed the menu to be horrendously treyf, and this year the evening began with a prayer by a reverend.
  • 2/2:  Another relief fund began, this time for the families of the 181 men who died in a mining accident in Cheswick, PA on 1/25.   Amongst the earliest contributors, the Half Bros. with their $10.00 tied for the largest contribution.  No other members of the Jewish community were then on the list… in fact, the list was quite short… and so it remained until my great-grandfather “Bernard Hepps, the well known Hebrew citizen of the Second ward, turned in $28.20 collected by him, principally among his friends in the Second ward.  Mr. Hepps, who is a big-hearted man, was touched by the appeal sent out for aid for the Cheswick survivors and took it upon himself to make a canvas for subscriptions and in this proved very successful.”  The full list of contributors is at the end of this post.  The following day “the News-Messenger Cheswick relief fund has reached the sum of $248.45. Yesterday M.D. Weiss contributed $1 and a friend contributed $.25. The balance of the money on hand will be forwarded to Cheswick the first of next week.”  Later that week Carnegie announced he would double the fund.  On 2/11 the town had a memorial service for the victims, and days later some Cheswick people were brought to Homestead for services.  (A 9/12/2004 article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette helped me to understand why this accident affected Homesteaders so much:  taking place only a few months after the dedication of the new First Hungarian Reformed Church, it killed 58 of its members, amounting to a third of the congregation.  Given the likelihood of ties between the Jewish and non-Jewish Hungarian communities, it’s likely the accident personally devastated the Jewish community as well.)
  • 3/11:  Another sports team!  “The Heisel street Independents have organized a base ball team for the coming season and think they can make other teams hustle to beat them, as they have some boys who know the art of playing ball. Following is the lineup: Catcher, Henry Markowitz, pitcher Charles Frankle, shortstop, Frank McLaughlin, first base, Max Weiss, second base, Julius Hancock, third base, Michael Lacey left field, Francis Buck ; center field, Harry Markowitz; right field, John McLaughlin. Games can be arranged by seeing Henry Markowitz, the captain.”
  • 3/24:  The opening of a local chapter of a fraternal society, the Boaz Council No. 814 Royal Arcanium, included an address by Louis Lebowitz! “The Boaz Council is the oldest insurance order in Homestead and one of the strongest,” wrote the paper.
  • 3/26:  The Homestead high school baseball team had a practice game.  Segelman‘s position was “right.”
  • 5/3:  Amongst the contribution for the annual school picnic, the Half Bros. gave $3.  5/14:  They also offered a kitchen cabinet to the young lady of the Manual Training School cooking class with the highest average.
  • 5/17:  The Heisel Street stars defeated the Third Ave Tigers 8-7. “The Tigers tried in every way to get the Stars rattled but at the same time they rattled their own players.” The Heisel stars included H. Markowitz catcher, C. Frankle first, M. Weiss third, and M. Markowitz center.
  • 5/24/1904

    5/24/1904: Hepps and Grossman listed as bank directors

    5/24:  The new list of directors for the Homestead Savings Bank and Trust Co. included I.S Grossman, as it did last year, and now one additional Jew — my great-father, B. Hepps!  11/25: “The advertisement of the Homestead Savings Bank of Trust company…shows a healthy growth for that institution, even in the face of the business depression which swept over the country during the past year…This shows that people have great faith in the new institution and also that money is becoming more plentiful in Homestead.”

  • 6/18:  “Through the courtesy of Joseph Lasdusky, the popular merchant of 337 Eighth avenue, a party of friends were conducted through the Homestead Steel Mills and observed with great interest the process of the manufacture of steel and were amazed at the immensity of the mills and delighted with the manner in which they were treated by the officials of the company.  The party consisted of Mr. Claybon of New York; Miss Hening, Nashville, Tenn., Mr. and Mrs. Brodie, of Allegheny, Miss Swindell, of Sharpsburg, Mr. and Mrs. Hewitt, Miss Dodson, Mrs. Saunders, Miss Dorsey, Miss McGill, Mr. Franklin and Master Lasdusky, of Homestead.”
  • 9/23/1904


    9/22:  “During a fight at a well known club on McClure street Tuesday night David Segleman (sic) received several knife wounds and is now lying at his home on Eighth avenue under a physician’s care…There has been a desperate effort made to keep the matter quiet…All the men implicated in the matter are prominent…What caused the trouble could  not  be learned…It is not likely that any arrests will follow, as neither side wishes any further publicity and the police are not likely to take the matter up…”  9/23:  But Segleman charged his attacker with aggravated assault and battery!  “According to an eye witness, Segelman was in no way to blame for the trouble….Hall and Segelman finally got into an argument over a trivial matter and Hall is alleged to have lost his head and attacked Segelman, who is much smaller than he…Shortly after Hall came out and walking up to Segelman, according to the latter said, ‘Dave, if I called you —- —- I am sorry for it.’  Then all of a sudden he is alleged to have drawn some kind of a weapon from his pocket and struck Segelman on the side of the head, knocking him down.”  Much more in the articles below.


  • 1/21:  “The Hebrew Political club was reorganized last night at a meeting held on Ammon street, for the coming municipal campaign.  The following officers were elected:  Joseph Lasdusky, president; Alex. Lebowitz, vice president; H. Moskowitz, treasurer; M. Moskowitz, secretary; H. Polock, sergeant-at-arms.  The club intends to take an active part in the coming political contest and also in the presidential election.”
  • 2/13: “Two great political contests are on (one in the Second ward, where most of the Jews lived). Outside influence is being brought to bear and the entire town is becoming interested.”
  • 2/13:  “Politicians Are After W.A. Kessler’s Scalp in the Second Ward But He Is Keeping Them All Going…But Kessler has off-set this defection in his own party by interesting some of the better element of the Republican party of the ward in his behalf, and has also received the indorsement of the Independent Hebrew club, which is quite a factor in the ward.”  At this time the paper believed the Democrat Kessler to have a large lead over the Republican, Cox.
  • 2/13:  “The Hebrew indorsement (sic) of William Kessler for council in the Second ward seems to have hurt certain people, judging by the way they are trying to retaliate.”  Whoa, what does this mean?!
  • 2/15:  A article by the Hebrew political club responding to an article in Homestead’s other paper (which does not survive), revealed at least something of the effects of the endorsement.  They believed the article was written by a candidate who had solicited their endorsement, but failed to get it, so he wrote a nasty anonymous article in response.  Their letter reads, in part (full article below):

This shows his true nature. Well, he has a right to get sore. He has also a right to be vulgar, for as the election draws night he sees the hand writing on the wall. He sees that the H.I.P.C. has joined hands with the voters of the Second war, to throw over a person, who as an American citizen, in his anxiety for honors, attacks us with antisemitic language fit for the inquisitors of the Fourteenth century…

We were surprised at the remarks of the press and the attempted ridicule, not only of our business methods, but also of our faith…

  • 2/15:  In the same issue, the paper related that the “election promises to be very exciting. An attempt will be made it is said, to vote non-resident colored men in the Second ward” for Cox, the guy running against Kessler, “who is gaining ground and looks like an easy winner.”  Uh oh.
  • 2/16:  The evening before the election, opponents of Kessler’s targeted a Jewish family. “Charles Saltman entered the home of H. Pollock on Fifth avenue last night and enquired for something to drink, assuming that the home was a speakeasy.  Mr. Pollock was absent at the time, and his wife and son were badly frightened, when Saltman started to ransack the place…It is claimed Saltman was sent to the Pollock home by political workers opposed to Mr. Kessler and that a constable furnished him with a badge which he displayed to Mrs. Pollock and her son several times.” (Full story below.)
  • 2/16:  On Election Day the paper reported “Excitement High in Second Ward.” It seemed that the predicted shenanigans came to pass and a resulting fight closed the polls for a half hour.  Nevertheless, the paper predicted that Kessler “will be elected beyond a doubt if the vote at the time of going to press can be taken as a criterion.”
  • 2/17:  And yet Cox won with a big majority in the Second ward, beating Kessler 288-166.  Whoops.
  • 5/6:  “Aaron and company were arrested last night…Officer Smith having made the information against them, on a charge of violating a borough ordinance.”  You might think this news item is mis-categorized except for what happened at Aaron’s hearing the next day.
  • 5/7/1904


    5/7:  “Considerable indignation is being expressed by the Jewish residents and store keepers of the Second ward, over the action of Officer Smith in making so many charges against them, they claiming that he is aiming at them exclusively and that he does not pay attention to any other violaters (sic) of the borough ordinances.”  This followed on “a hearing held before Burgess Ross last night when Mr. Aarons of the firm of Aarons & Co. was up on a charge of throwing straw in front of his place of business.  Mr. Aarons had several witnesses at the hearing who claimed that the arresting officer, Smith, was prejudiced against their race and that he arrest them for the slightest offense, while many other people of the ward threw all kinds of rubbish in front of their houses and nothing was said about it.”  All that ensued was an investigation.

  • 8/31:  “The Homestead Hebrew Independent Political club held a large and enthusiastic meeting last night in their club rooms on Eighth avenue, over 50 members being present. During the evening ex-President Joseph Lasdusky was presented with a handsome gold medal as a reward for his hard work and faithful efforts in behalf of the organization.”
  • 9/6:  The Homestead Hebrew Political and Social club held a meeting in the synagogue with 300 people present, during which they present a “Thora” to the congregation.  Emil Lebovitz made the presentation speech, and Joseph Lasdusky and Dr. Morris (Moss?) spoke as well.  Full article below.
  • 9/29:  “The Homestead Hebrew Political club held their first reception in their club rooms on Ammon street last evening.  Guests were present from Braddock, Duquesne, McKeesport and Pittsburg and all had a royal good time.  There was speech making, music and story telling and a nice lunch served.  The club is in a flourishing condition and will take an active part in the fall campaign.  They, as  yet, have indorsed (sic) no candidate for president, but all are said to be unanimously in favor of Roosevelt, whom they consider has made a good president.”
  • 10/24:  “Morris Frankel, chairman of the Homestead Hebrew Political club executive committee, has issued an invitation to the embers of the Republican borough executive committee to meet with him tonight in the Hebrew club rooms, 11 (sic?) Eighth avenue, to talk over the coming election and arrange plans for getting out the full vote.  Every Hebrew in Homestead, it is said, intends to vote the straight Republican ticket and they propose to take a hand in getting out the vote of the party.”
  • 10/26:  The Homestead Hebrew Independent Political club held a rousing meeting in the club rooms last night at which they unanimously indorsed Roosevelt and Fairbanks, and the entire Republican state ticket.  A large delegation of visitors were presnt from Braddock, Duquesne, Pittsburg and McKeesport.  Speeches were made and Pres. Roosevelt praised for his fearless administration and fairness to all classes.
  • 11/3:  “The Homestead Hebrew Independent Political club will attend the big Republican rally in the opera house tomorrow evening in a body. They will march to the hall, headed by a brass band.”
  • 12/7: Local politics “are warming up.” In the second ward, where the Jewish community was concentrated, the sitting councilman announced he would retire. “Harry Haley is an avowed candidate for the office and thus far had everything his own way, he being a compromise candidate between the two factions. Morris Frankel and James Cush have both been spoken of for the office, but as their base announced themselves as candidates, and it looks as though Haley would have an easy thing at the primaries.”
  • 12/8:  “The Hebrews of the Second ward met last night in the rooms of the Hebrew club, kindly donated by the club for that purpose, and unanimously endorsed Morris Frankel for council.  Mr. Frankel is one of the leading Hebrew citizens of the town and a heavy property holder in the Second ward, where he has lived for the past 15 years.  Mr. Frankel said last night he was in the fight to a finish and intended to get out after votes at once.” (He lost in his first attempt in early 1903.)
  • 12/28/1904: Morris Frankel for council

    12/28/1904: Morris Frankel for council

    12/28:  A larger article appeared presenting him to the readers (see at right). “He came to Homestead and started in business on a small scale, and succeeded in building up a flourishing trade and by hard work and thrift succeeded in accumulating a lot of property.”


  • 5/21:  “M. H. Moss has graduated in medicine from the Chicago Eclectic College of Medicine and Surgery and arrived home yesterday.”
  • 9/28:  “Max Haupt, of Dickson street, will leave tonight for Cornell University at Ithaca, NY, where he will resume his studies in the course of civil engineering. Mr. Haupt is a junior this year.”
  • 12/1:  17 year-old Emanuel Haupt, son of Mr. and Mrs. Herman Haupt died of rhematism of the heart.  “He was a young man of more than ordinary intellectual attainments, being a graduate from the Homestead High school and having passed the first year of the medical department of the Western University of Pennsylvania.  It was his intention to fit himself for the medical profession which he expected to practice in Homestead.”
  • 12/7:  The class of 1907 of West Penn Medical College, of which he was part, passed a resolution to “extend to his bereaved family our sincere sympathy in their great loss” of “one of our best scholars.”

Real estate

  • 1/23: “N. Eskovitz yesterday purchased from Andy Butjicoksi a dwelling house and store room on Dickson street for $4,000. The lot is 30×110. The price paid is considered very low.”
  • 5/5: “Harry Pollat (sic?) of Fifth avenue has sold to Mike Sotnek, of Second ave., a six-room house on Fifth avenue, the consideration being $3,100. The house is of frame with all the latest modern improvements. The lot is 25×110 feet.”

Business doings

  • 3/11/1904 : Throughout all of March this ad appeared in the paper.

    3/11/1904: Throughout all of March this ad appeared in the paper for M. Marks’ auction.

    2/9:  “Max Ph. Schoenfield, the Eighth avenue clothier is in Beaver Falls on business. Mr Schoenfield will move into the building vacated by the Monongahela Trust Co, about Mar 1st…M. Marks’ jewelry store and collateral loan bank will occupy the room to be vacated by M. Schoenfield in the Beedle block. Mr. Marks, who is now located at the corner of Eighth avenue and Dickson street, expects to move about April 1st. He will greatly increase his stock as he will have one of the largest store rooms in town.”  3/29:  “M. Marks, the jeweler, will move from the corner of Eighth avenue into the room vacated by M. Schoenfield in the Beedle Block, Thursday.”  4/4:  “M. Marks, the jeweler, is moving into the Beedle Block today.”  And after all that, 4/23:  “M. Marks, the jeweler, will on Monday move from the Beedle block back to the McKeown building at the corner of Eighth avenue and Dickson street, which he vacated April 1st.  Mr. Marks was forced to vacate the building as Mrs. McKeown was applying for [a liquor] license, but she was refused and Mr. Marks lost no time in releasing th store room, as he had a good business in that end of town.”

  • 3/21: “A fine building is to be erected in Duquesne for Jacob Klein, who is in the banking business at 1340 Penn avenue, Pittsburg, as well as in Duquesne and Homestead. The first floor will be used for banking purposes and the basement as a foreign exchange and steampship office…it will be ready for occupancy April 1…The same architect is preparing plans for another building for Mr. Klein at the corner of Sixth avenue and Amity street, Homestead…The first floor will be used for banking room and store…” (Similar news first appeared in May of 1903.)
  • 3/24/1904


    3/24:  ‘Tis the season for millinery openings.  “The Lasdusky millinery store on Eighth avenue has made a close study of the prevailing styles this spring and have lately received from the East the latest designs in spring effects and will hold their opening tomorrow and next day. The store will be elaborately decorated with flowers, foliage and ribbons. No invitations have been issued, but everyone is invited to call and inspect the exhibit.”

  • 3/26:  “The annual millinery opening at Lasdusky‘s People’s store on Eighth avenue, is one of the most brilliant displays that any house in Homestead has ever made…The view from the street is so effective that a passerby, whether interested in millinery or not, cannot fail to be attracted by the elaborateness of the display.”  This flattering copy was probably an advertorial placed by the store, though.
  • 4/12:  “M. Schoenfield left for New York last night to add to his already large stock of spring and summer goods, he now feeling sure of a big business in his new stand this season…Sol Wolk, proprietor of Wolk’s Shoe House, in this place has formed a partnership with his brother, and opened a clothing store in the new building at the corner of Washington street and Fifth avenue, Pittsburg. They will manufacture their own clothing and both wholesale and retail it. Jesse Wolk will be in charge of the shoe store in this place.” 4/15: “M. Schoenfield, of the Schoenfield Company, returned last night from the east, where he purchased a large line of summer goods for their Homestead and Beaver Falls stores.”
  • 6/7:  “Grinberg Bros. have purchased a fine horse and wagon for their department store. This enterprising firm believe in progressing and keening up-to-date.”
  • 6/27:  “Joseph Lasdusky, proprietor of the Peoples’ Store, on Eighth avenue, left this morning for Philadelphia and New York, where he will purchase a full stock of dry goods and millinery, he will be gone two weeks, and upon his return will go to Boston, Atlantic City and other seaports, where he will spend his vacation.”  7/9: “Joseph Lasdusky returned home yesterday from a trip to Philadelphia, New York and Boston, where he went to purchase his fall stock for both his wholesale millinery business in the city and his retail department store in this place. He also combined pleasure with business and went sight seeing and reports having had a most successful and enjoyable trip. Some of the goods he purchased are already arriving.”
  • 7/16:  “Dr. Morris Moss, of Dickson street, who graduated from the medical college several weeks ago, has opened up an office at 547 Dickson street.”
  • 9/1:  “Jacob Steinberg, of Twelfth avenue, is moving his family to Connellsville, where he has purchased a valuable piece of coal and timber land. He will still continue to have an office in the city.”  (Not 100% sure this is the same Joseph Steinberg as ours, but 6/5/04 is the last time our appears in the synagogue records, so it’s possible…!)
  • 9/13:  “S. Wolk, of Pittsburg, was in town today looking after his business interests, here. He is now interested in a big wholesale and retail clothing house in the city.”
  • 9/19:  “S. Wolk & Co.’s store is closed, the clerks being engaged in marking down the stock for what promises to be one of the greatest shoe sales Homestead has ever witnessed. The sale starts Friday morning.”
  • 9/22:  The business men decided that they would stop handling trading stamps and 11 were prepared to sign an agreement to that effect, including Joseph Lasdusky, B. Friedlander, Grinberg Bros., I. Grossman, and I.S. Grossman.  On 10/12 they and six other signed the agreement.
  • 9/24/1904

    9/24/1904: Ad for Lasdusky‘s millinery opening

    9/24:  A long article about the fall millinery opening described the display at Lasdusky‘s People’s store at 317 E. Eighth avenue.  “The east window is handsomely decorated with golden rod entwined in scrollwork, and the main display consists of the latest effects in fall millinery.  The colors this season are unusually brilliant, the prevailing being burnt orange, brown and green…The combinations are exceedingly harmonious and beautiful.  The west window and the interior of Lasdusky’s contains a large and fine display of all kinds of women’s wearing apparel.  The new tailor-made costumes on exhibition are unquestionably the finest ever brought here, with all the latest designs for the fall and winter trade…”

  • 9/26: Another advertorial. “The greatest shoe sale ever witnessed in Homestead, or perhaps aywhere is that now going on at S. Wolk and Co.’s shoe store on Eighth avenue…So dense was the throng that three ladies fainted and two police officers had to be employed…”
  • 10/17:  “Lasdusky’s Peoples’ store is making a great success of their sale. They advertised in the News-Messenger only.”
  • 10/18:  “Max Siegle, of Dickson street, left last night for New York on business…R. Jacobson has opened a Kosher meat market in connection with his grocery store on Dickson street.”
  • 10/25:  “Half Bros., the furniture dealers, are about to remodel and enlarge their store and make improvements that will add at least one-third more floor space to their already large store…”
  • 11/8:  “Grinberg bros. received a car load of garbage cans yesterday for the borough.”

Liquor Licenses

New this year, the judges decided that the applications must be prepared by lawyers, after dealing with too many mistakes in past years’ applications (1/6).    Overall there was a large increase in the number of applications (2/25).

  • 2/27: Retail applicants: Morris Frankel, 611 Eighth Avenue; Isaac Hertz, 543-5 Fifth Avenue; Bernard Hepps, 404 Dickson Street; Harry Pollack, 453-5 Fifth Avenue; Reuben Schermer, 448-50 Third Ave; Morris D. Weis, 512 Heisel Street.
  • 3/15: Wholesale applicants: Philip Cohn, 500 Fifth Avenue; Louis D. Moskowitz and Maurice Markowitz, 206 Sixth avenue.

The Allegheny County Anti-Saloon League field remonstrances against two-thirds of the applicants, keeping the court workers up until midnight, and they intended to go into court asking for more time to file remonstrances against the rest (3/18).  In response, the Allegheny County Liqour Dealers’ Protective Association planned a special meeting to determine what action to take (3/19).  While the resulting hearings were “sensational” for some towns, they passed without incident for Homestead.  In the end there were two fewer saloons for Homestead (4/14).  Bernard Hepps had his licensed renewed. Isaac Hertz got a license for the first time. Refused were the rest — Morris Frankel, Harry Pollack, Ruben Schermer, and Morris D. Weis.

  • 10/25:  “The wholesale liquor store of Steven Kertes of 541 Fourth avenue was sold by the receiver at public auction yesterday afternoon and was knocked off to Adolph Hepps and Samuel Markowitz for the sum of $6,030.  There were several bidders at the sale and the bidding was extremely lively…They will take possession as soon as the license can be transferred…”
  • 11/7:  The paper reported on the transfer of the license on Saturday.  “The new proprietors of the Fourth avenue place, are well known Hebrew business men of Homestead.”

Merchant Woes

  • 1/12:  “Morris Frankel has made information before Justice Giles again an unknown ‘Hunky,’ who raised a disturbance in his store yesterday. The police are looking for the man.”
  • 1/18:  “Sol Wolk, the Eighth avenue shoe merchant was bitten on the arm by a drunken man who raised a disturbance in his store Saturday evening.”  The full story in the slideshow below.
  • 2/27:  “George Gelder has filed a bill in equity against Jacob Steinberg, of Homestead, to compel the sale of Steinberg’s interest in a patent right to satisfy a judgment which Gelder obtained again him for $65.”  (You may recall some mentions of his patent last year.)
  • 2/25:  As you may have noticed, often lawsuits are mentioned in the paper without a follow-up article with the resolution.  Here is an exception: a terrible accident that happened at the end of 1901 when a train hit Max Markowitz‘s wagon.  When it came to trial, “Markowitz alleges that the train was flagged in plenty of time to avoid the collision.  He further says that the engineer of the train saw the wagon on the track and refused to stop the train until it hit the wagon and then he put on the brakes.  The wagon was fastened in a large hole in the bed of the tracks and could not be extricated from the position.”  On 2/27 the paper reported the jury awarded him $224 in damages from the loss of the wagon and its contents.
  • 3/1:  Two robbers “entered Lefkowitz‘s shoe store at the corner of Dickson street and the P.V. & C. railroad, yesterday evening, and while the latter engaged the proprietor’s attention, the former is alleged to have taken a pair of shoes from a stand near the front of the store.  The men were arrested and sent to jail.”
  • 3/2:  Mike Silver was sent to collect the money owed a liquor wholesaler.  “He made his appearance at the [customer Zeher’s] house and after asking he man for the money he alleges that Zeher struck him several times in the face.”  In the end they settled, with Zeher paying court costs.
  • 3/21:  “A well planned attempt was made last night to burn the three-story frame building…The front of the building is occupied by Glick & Heaps, who keep a grocery store and meat market and it was in that part of the building in which the fire was discovered.  Lulu Heaps, a daughter of one of the proprietors discovered the fire about 8 o’clock…” Full story below (which I’m fairly certain concerns my great-grandfather’s brother Sam Hepps, who had a daughter Lula.)
  • 3/22:  As though that weren’t bad enough, the owner of the building had Harry Glick, co-owner of the store, arrested for the arson!
  • 3/23:  Fortunately, he was discharged, as no evidence was submitted which connected him to the crime.  Furthermore, Lulu Heaps‘ testimony showed that $100 was in the store at the time of the arson, and surely he would not have left the money in a building he intended to burn!  Full story in the article below.
  • 3/23:  “Officer Smith of the local force is at present busy notifying the various business men to clean up in front of their stores and several warrants have been issued against those who refuse to clean the paper and refuse that has congregated in front of their places of business…Yesterday afternoon warrants were sworn out against to business men named Samuel and Solomon, of Third avenue.  They were arrested by officer Smith and will be given hearings this evening.”
  • 3/26:  Many harnesses were being stolen from the various livery stables in Homestead.  When they finally tracked down the Pittsburgh dealer selling the stolen property, the Homestead constables “identified a set of harness belong to Markowitz and Moskowitz of this place.”
  • 3/31:  “Sensational Developments in the Finding of Plunder Stolen From Homestead Liverymen.  Sent Away by the Wagonload,” read the next headline on this subject.  Amongst the latest recovered harnesses was a new set belonging to Moskovitz.  “It was sold by Higgins to a man named Waldingnam in Hazelwood.  They were worth $35 and sold for $2.50.”
  • 4/2: H. Schoenfield was one of a number of merchants fined for distributing bills.
  • 4/19:  Joseph Freed, a grocery merchant of Heisel street, came before the burgess charged with “depositing filth and rubbish on the street…among other substances of uncertain composition, [the police officer] had found near his place a quantity of sauerkraut.”  A witness said that Freed’s business was “the filthiest place in town.  Because there was a debate over the quantity of sauerkraut — a thimble-full or a hat-full? — Freed was discharged.  The whole article is hilarious — read below.
  • 4/23:  “A little colored boy by the name of Jackson, stole a pair of shoes from in front of Wolk‘s shoe story yesterday, but in his hurry to get away, picked up two shoes that were not mates…a clerk in the store next door saw the boy running with the shoes…he soon came across a colored boy wearing new shoes that were not mates, and brought him to the store…His mother was sent for and promised to pay for the shoes and the boy was released on his good behavior.”
  • 4/25:  “John Fenor, of Dickson street, broke a window in the store of Morris Markowitz, Saturday evening.  The lad is very young and as he was passing the store, apparently without any reason, approached a large window and made a vicious kick at it, breaking the pane into many pieces…He was released on [his parents’] promise to pay for the window.”
  • 4/26:  “D. Jacobson, of Highland station, a dairyman of that place, came to Homestead this morning and made information against two men from Highland station, charging them with the larceny of poultry that he alleges was stolen from his coop some time last night.  Jacobson is a brother of R. Jacobson, of 530 Dickson street…”  Much more in the article below.  The next day the paper reported on various arrests were made in connection with the case.
  • 5/20:  “Andy Babbo was up before ‘Squire Miller last night on the charge of false pretense, M. Lefkowitz preparing the charge. It was about some shoes Babbo had bought from Lefkowitz without paying for them, but the case was settled by Babbo paying for the shoes and also paying the costs.”
  • 6/4:  “Julius Solomon, a merchant of Third avenue, was arrested by Officer Tierney at 11 o’clock today charged with obstructing the sidewalk in front of his store.  The officer states that he requested him to move his stuff away and that he refused.  Tierney then told him he would have to move it or go to the police station and then, the officer alleges, Solomon lost his temper and said he would have him removed from the police force, if he interfered any more.”
  • 6/9:  “Nathan Schwartz, of Homestead, was held for court in $1,000 bail…[charged] with secreting goods with intent to defraud his creditors.  He is accused of secreting 16 cases of merchandise for the purpose of escaping the claims of L. Gordon, L. Abels and Finkolther Bros.  All the parties live in Homestead.” 6/17:  The Nathan Schwartz bankruptcy case, which had been going on for some time, took a turn with he claimed the sold the disputed goods to his brother, B. Schwartz.  He hearing was continued for another week since the brother was sick, but in the meantime the disputed goods had to be “turned over to the receiver for Nathan Schwartz and sold for the benefit of the creditors.”  8/11: “The stock of Nathan Swartz, bankrupt No. 2501, who went into bankruptcy several months ago, was sold at auction sale this morning…” 9/13:  Nathan Schwartz asked “to be allowed to withdraw his petition for bankruptcy.  He alleges that he has settled with all but four of his creditors, and stands ready to settle with them, or to turn the money over to the court which is due them…The court granted a rule on the creditors to show cause why the bankrupt should not be allowed to withdraw his petition.”
  • 6/17:  “Grinberg Bros.’ horse ran away the other day and badly wrecked the wagon. The horse was also badly cut and bruised.”
  • 6/18:  “The jewelry and general store of Mark Fischel, 311 Dickson street, was robbed at an early hour this morning and good to the value of $50 carried off.  A large stone was thrown through the window.  The robbers then reach (sic) through and gathered in a number of revolvers and other articles and made off with them.”
  • 7/1:  “An exciting run-way occurred about eight o’clock this morning on Eighth avenue…a team belong to Moskowitz & Moskowitz, the wholesale liquor dealers, took fright at the corner of Eighth avenue and Amity street dashing up the Ave. at terrific speed, swaying from one side to the other, there being no driver on the box…” (Probably they meant Moskowitz & Markowitz?)
  • 7/9/1904


    7/9:  “The ‘Kids’ of Pottersville (sic?) who were fortunate enough to be up early this morning…[found] pies and cakes scattered about over the street for a considerable distance and all they had to do was pick them up and make away with them…It was raining hard at the time and some of the ‘kids’ imagined that the pies and cakes were coming down with the rain.  But of course they didn’t.  They came from Joseph Freed‘s broken wagon” when the wagon was truck by a street car.  They driver and horses escaped serious injury, but the contents of the wagon “disappeared in the hungry stomachs of the urchins of Pottersville, where there are more ‘kids’ to the square inch than in any place in the United States.”  Potterville was the impoverished neighborhood on the steel mill grounds, where the poorest mill laborers lived in what was meant to be temporary housing for the 1892 non-union laborers.

  • 7/19:  “Left Wagons on the Street. Two Brothers Fined For This Offense. Officer Noble arrested Alex Hepps and brother yesterday for violating a borough ordinance by leaving their wagons stand (sic) on the street over night. Acting Burgess Baird fined them $1 and costs at the hearing.”
  • 8/3: “Robbers entered B. Glueck‘s West Homestead department store early Tuesday morning by smashing the glass in the front door. They secured about $75 worth of goods, mostly clothing of which a large part has been recovered…”
  • 8/22: “During the high wind storm at 2 o’clock this afternoon the awning in front of Joseph Lefkofsky‘s clothing store, in the Beedle block, on Eighth avenue, came down and striking the large plate glass window broke it into a million pieces. The ‘dummies’ in the window were knocked in every direction and the employes (sic) ran frightened out of the building, thinking it was falling in. Boxes were strewn about Eighth avenue and it looked for a while as if there would be a veritable Kansas cyclone.”
  • 9/22:  “There was another mysterious disappearance in Homestead yesterday but this time it was not a case of supposed murder of suicide.  It was the disappearance of a dry goods box which had just been delivered to Isaac Grossman, dealer in queensware and other goods…”  Full story (about Ignatz Grossman) below.  What isn’t recorded here, is that this is the second robbery Grossman suffered this year — in August his heart was stolen by a visiting Esther Ecker, and it was this robbery that put them back in touch…!!!
  • 11/22:  A man gave H. Haupt a false name as a fake check in exchange for $15 worth of furniture.  Whoops.  Full story below.
  • 12/5:  “Had not Morris and Meyer Grinberg, of the firm of Grinberg Bros., who own the big department store on Eighth avenue above Dickson street, been working overtime last night, arranging for their Christmas display, their store would now be in ruins from fire.”  A lightbulb burst and lit the decorations.  Only $25 of decorations were destroyed.
  • 12/24:  “David Berger a Hebrew of Pittsburg, was arrested by Officer Smith, for violating a borough ordinance. He was selling gas mantels without a license. He was fined $1 and costs by Burgess Ross.”

Personal Woes

  • 1/11:  “Mrs. Morris Frankel, of Fifth avenue, who has been ill for some time was able to be out for a short time yesterday.”
  • 3/29:  “Morris Fogel, of this place, was injured on the accident to the Castle Shannon incline last night. While descending the incline the car was struck by a coal catr and derailed. Besides Mr. Fogel eight others were injured, some of them seriously.”
  • 4/5:  “Joseph Blumberger, of Cherry alley, is seriously ill.”
  • 8/23: Two men each entered a suit for $3,000 against Max Markowitz.  The first man said Max beat him and charged him with larceny.  The second man said Max charged him with larceny and disorderly conduct.  Both claim the charges were made to injury the men’s good name and credit.  Max was arrested and bail set at $600 total.
  • 8/27:  “Louis Beck, a Third avenue butcher was arrested last evening on the technical charge of receiving stolen goods…The object of the suit appears [to] have been to obtain possession of a team of horses alleged to have been stolen by another party and afterwards sold to Mr. Beck.”  An Anton Hepps (Alex?  Adolph?) furnished bail.  9/28:  “In Criminal court yesterday James Freed pleaded guilty to a charge of horse stealing and was sent to the workhouse for one year and six months. The charge was made by H.D. Marks, of McKeesport, who alleged the defendant stole a horse and wagon from him on August 23, last. The rig was valued at $350. Louis Beck was acquitted of a charge of receiving the stolen property, this charges also being made by Marks.”  10/4:  “Lewis Beck, the Third avenue butcher, who was acquitted of the charge of receiving stolen goods in criminal court on Wednesday, was yesterday also acquitted of larceny by bailee.   Both cases arose from the purchase of a horse from a man who afterwards pleaded guilty to having stolen it in McKeesport. In yesterday’s case the defendant had to pay the costs.”
  • 8/29:  “Sam Glick has entered suit against a driver for Peter Fesz, charging him with assault and battery before Justice Giles. Constable Doyle made the arrest. The hearing will be this evening.”
  • 8/30:  “Word was received from New York this morning that the mother of Mrs. Phillip Cohn and Mrs. Morris Frankel, of this place, had died in that city…” I am very sorry for their loss, but also, I had no idea they were sisters, so I’m kind of also not!  The article suggests she was buried in Homestead, but I don’t see anyone in the cemetery who could be her…
  • 9/1:  “A horse owned by Sam Markowitz, proprietor of the New York Bakery, ran off from the bakery on Heisel street this morning and  before it was stopped, the 10-year-old son of Markowitz received some painful bruises on the leg, the wagon was demolished and the horse was badly bruised and cut.”  Full story below.
  • 9/17:  “Max Mervis, a Braddock liveryman, has made info before Justice J.B. Jones against William Wiefer for larceny by bailee. The suit is the result of a horse trade. The man exchanged horses but agreed to re-exchange. Mervis took the hose he had gotten back, but Weifer hired the other for a while, and when Mervis went after it, Wiefer stated he was unable to return it as it has been stolen. The case will be heard next week.”
  • 9/27:  On his way to school Abe Swartz was struck by a street car and dragged a considerable distance…but somehow survived unscathed!  Full story below.  (Unsure if this poor boy was part of the Jewish community or not.)
  • 10/15:  “A desperate attempt was made this morning at 7.45 o’clock by Abraham Morris to take his own life…”  Druggist Emil Lebovitz, Dr. Moss and others saved his life.  The full, sad story below.  “It is also worthy of mention that it is a rare thing for a Hebrew to take his own life. They appear usually to have the fortitude to stand every misfortune, however great.”
  • 11/8:  “Mrs. M Grinberg who has been ill for the past week, is much improved.”
  • 11/15:  J. Frinburg?  Finberg?  Feinberg?, a Braddock jeweler, sued a Homestead officer for false arrest.  He was arrested some time ago when a man accused him of stealing his watch.  “The strange part of the affair was that Finberg seeing the officer, got frightened and ran into Grossman‘s clothing store and hid.”  This case was found in favor of the officer.  11/21:  Then he sued the officer and the chief of police for $5,000 in damages.


  • 3/15:  “Miss Jeannette Kreiselman, of Castle Shannon and John Schotz, formerly of Homestead, were married Sunday afternoon at 5 o’clock by Rabbi Mendelssohn at the home of the bride’s parents.”  Is this their former rabbi who went to Tennessee?  “Misses Hattie Cohn and Jennie Samuels acted as bridesmaids and Messrs. Samuel Glick and Louis Samuels as groomsmen…Guests from Homestead were…Miss Sara Steinberg, Mr. and Mrs. Fogel, … Louis Moskowitz, Bernard Hepps and Harry Glick.”
  • 4/19:  “A very pleasant social event last evening was a party given by Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Lasdusky at their home on Ammon street in honor of the first appearance of Mrs. Lasdusky’s sister, Anna, in society.  Many guests from Homestead, Pittsburgh, Toledo, Nashville, and Duquesne were present.  See full article below.
  • 4/19:  “As published yesterday” in one of the few newspapers that does not survive 🙁 “twin boys were born to Mr. and Mrs. Bernhardt Hepps on Sunday.”  (This article as mentions that during the same time period on the same street, another set of twins and two single babies were also born!)
  • 4/20:  “Anthony Hepps,” (either Alex or Adolph), “Harry Pollock, M. Estervich, Samuel Hepps and J. Jones appeared before the burgess last evening and manfully acknowledged that they had a little celebration Sunday, but it would be a very puritanical individual who would not excise them…for they met to celebration the stork’s visit to Dickson street. Their friend and a relative of some of them, Bernhardt Hepps, was presented with two boys by his wife.”  They got off, but read the full article below for the hilarity that ensued in court.
  • 4/22:  “Mr. and Mrs. G.R. Caplan of Pittsburg, have issued invitations for the marriage of their daughter, Ray, to George Wolk, to take place May 3rd in Baum’s auditorium, East End. The groom is a brother of Sol and Jesse Wolk, of this place and has just gone into business with the former on Fifth avenue, Pittsburg. Many Homesteaders will attend the weding.”
  • 5/9:  “The engagement of Miss Helen Gleck (sic), niece of Louis Gleck, of 614 Heisel street, and Adolph Rosenblum, two well known young people of the Hebrew circles of Homestead, was announced last evening…Miss Gleck is the efficient bookkeeper in her uncle’s store and Mr. Rosenblum is also employed there.”  Awww!
  • 5/21:  “One of Homestead’s charming girls…Miss Freida Askowitz (sic), niece of Mr. and Mrs. E. Askowitz (sic), of 406 Dickson street, will be united in marriage to B. Borkowitz (sic), a prominent young man of Braddock.  Both the young people are well known among the younger set of both this place and Braddock.”
  • 6/9:  The wedding of Miss Freida Weiss and B. Borkowitz (still sic) took place in a ceremony at the Hebrew synagogue “conducted in accordance to the Hebrew custom, being quite long, but none the less solemn and interesting.”  A celebration at the Fifth Avenue opera house with 500 guests followed.  “The bride and groom will go to housekeeping…[in] McKeesport.”  Full write up, with the list of the bridal party and party details, in the slideshow below.
  • 6/22:  “We neglected to mention the arrival of a new citizen in the town. He came to the home of M. Grinberg, of Grinberg Bros. department store, last week. He is a little fellow weighting ten pounds and has come to stay.”
  • 8/11:  “Mr. and Mrs. Morris Grinberg, of Twelfth avenue, entertained about thirty children last evening in honor of their daughter Ruth, aged four…Miss Ruth received many beautiful and valuable presents.”  Guests came from Pittsburgh, McKeesport, and Homestead, and judging by the names in the article below. comprised Jewish and non-Jewish children.
  • 8/24:  During the marriage of Fannie Keizler, “a popular young lady of this place” and “the sister of Bernard Hepps, the Dickson street hotel proprietor,” and Maurice Keizler, “an enterprising business man of Braddock,” “the bride’s veil in some unknown manner caught on fire and but for the promptness of one of the guests it might have resulted disastrously.”  After the ceremony in the Homestead shul, 200 guests had supper in the Fifth Avenue Opera house.
  • 10/10:  After the wedding ceremony and supper of “Miss Bella Haupt, daughter of H. Haupt, a well known Hebrew merchant of Dickson street, and Maurice A. Richman, a Pittsburg business man…[they] got into a carriage…a man approached on each side…and Mrs. Richman was snatched from the arms of her husband…”  Before you get horrified, it turns out that this kidnapping was a prank by their friends?!  Full story below.
  • 10/21:  “Mr. and Mrs. Morris Grinberg celebrated their sixth wedding anniversary at their home on Twelfth avenue Wednesday evening by giving a family dinner party.  The evening was spent in a most enjoyable manner, the dinner being an elaborate one.  The guests consisted of only the immediate relatives of the couple and one or two close friends and all extended their best wishes to the congenial couple before departing home.”
  • 12/14:  “Mr. and Mrs. B. Glueck of West Homestead have announced the engagement of their daughter, Laura, to Dr. M. Moss, of Dickson street, Homestead.  Mr. Glueck was formerly in business on Eighth avenue, Homestead, and now runs a department store in West Homestead, the family being one of the most prominent among the Hebrew families of Homestead, Miss Laura being an estimable and accomplished young lady. Dr. Moss, the prospective groom, is one of the rising young professional men of the town and represents the Second ward on the board of health.  The wedding will take place shortly after the holidays.”
  • 12/22:  “Mrs. E Kline, of Dickson street, announces the engagement of her daughter Rose, to Benj. Schwartz of Pittsburg.”


  • 1/4:  “Mr. and Mrs. Lasdusky left last night for New York, where they will spend two weeks in pleasure and buying a new stock of millinery and spring goods. On their way home they will stop at Philadelphia for a few days.”  1/16:  “Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Lasdusky are home after an enjoyable visit in New York. Mr. Lasdusky combined business with pleasure while away and purchased some goods at a very low figure and will have some bargains to spring in a few days. He also ordered his spring goods.”
  • 2/13:  “Dave Skirboll, of South Sharon, was a Homestead visitor yesterday. Dave says Sharon has been a dead town for the past six nonths, but things are beginning to pick up, several of the mills having resumed during the past two or three weeks.”
  • 4/23:  “Miss Anna Lasdusky spent yesterday with friends in Pittsburg.”
  • 6/3:  “Emil Lebowitz was visiting yesterday with several friends at Carnegie and spent a very pleasant afternoon.”
  • 7/21:  “Mrs. Maurice Frankel and son, Charles, of Fifth avenue, left this morning for Atlantic City, where they will spend the next two weeks.”
  • 7/25:  “Miss Anna Lasdusky, bookkeeper for Lasdusky’s Peoples store, left this morning for Scotdale, where she will spend her vacation.”
  • 8/10:  “Mrs. Joseph Lasdusky and two sons, left for Scottdale this morning, where they will spend a vacation with relatives.”
  • 8/11:  “Arthur Grossman has just arrived from Jefferson, Greene County, where he spent his summer vacation. He was visited by his family who spent two weeks at the same place. The family arrived home Wednesday, August 3, but Ruth and Arthur remained…they took part in a musicale August 6th.”
  • 8/12:  “Miss Esther Ackerd, principal in the Hebrew Institute, New York, who has been visiting relatives on Dickson street, for several weeks, has left for Monessen, where she will spend a few weeks.”  Actually, her name is Esther Ecker, and she began a romance while in town…!!!
  • 8/29:  “Lee Half, of the firm of Half Bros. furniture dealers, has returned home from a trip to New York and Atlantic City.”
  • 9/6:  “Mr. Felbman (sic) of the plate mills and Louis Lebovitz were the guests at a Hebrew party in Pittsburg Sunday evening.”
  • 9/14: “Samuel Margalos, of the Second ward, is home from Cambridge Springs.”

Synagogue, Holidays, and Jewish Community

Although Passover was not mentioned, as it has been in previous years, a Hebrew peddler from Pittsburgh who was arrested for selling in Homestead without a license “requested his case to be held over until this week on account of the celebration of the passover (sic) by the Hebrews” (4/5).

Although this year brought the 10th anniversary of the shul, it does not appear there was any kind of celebration.

  • 2/5:  “The eighth annual ball of the Homestead Hebrew congregation, Rodef Sholem, takes place at the Fifth avenue opera house next Tuesday.  Bernard Hepps is chairman of the arrangement committee…”
  • 2/10:  “The Homestead Hebrew congregation had a great time at their annual ball in the Fifth avenue opera house last night, over 600 people being present…B. Hepps was chairman of the committee having the affair in charge and he, along with Morris Frankel, looked after the affair last night and saw that the large crowd was well handed and that all had a good time…There were many out of town guests present, Pittsburg and Braddock both sending large delegations…”
  • 2/10:  “Morris Frankel’s son lead (sic) the orchestra in several numbers at the Hebrew ball last night. The little fellow is an accomplished musician.” (The little fellow was then 14 or 15.)
  • 2/19:  “The Zionist council of Pittsburg, composed of delegates from 14 Zionist societies of the district, which in turn are subordinate to the American Federation of Zionists, has applied to the local courts for a charter…The movement, which has a present membership throughout the world of over 3,000,000 and a local membership of about 2,000…There are quite a number of Jewish residents of Homestead interested in the movment for the granting of the charter.”  (Homestead’s Zionist Society was organized a year prior.)
  • 3/5:  “The Hebrew societies of McKeesport and vicinity have completed their arrangements for the Zionist convention to be held in that city tomorrow and many Homestead Hebrews will attend.  Over 150 delegates and about 1,000 visitors are expected…”
  • 7/12:  “The Cultured Hebrew population resident in Homestead doubtless will be interested to an extent to know what work is outlined in the program from the eighth summer assembly of the Jewish Chautauqua society, which will open tomorrow and hold daily sessions for three weeks.  Many of the eminent Jewish rabbis and scholars of this country are expected to participate, and those Homestead Hebrews who are summering or visiting at the popular resort will very likely attend some of the sessions…”
  • 8/17:  An article discussed a “butcher, who is a foreigner, [who] is in the habit of doing his own slaughtering…contrary to the borough ordinance.”  It does not seem that this man is Jewish, given that he slaughtered pigs, but it suggests that this ordinance may have complicated kosher slaughtering as well.
  • 8/24:  “Zion day will be celebrated today at Kennywood park by the Jewish population of Western Pennsylvania.  The observance of this event will bring together the 20 Zionist societies in this vicinity with a membership of over 3,000.  A program of athletic sports has been arranged and a baseball game will be played by Tiphereth and the Zion literary societies.  Nossakof’s orchestra will furnish music for dancing all day and in the evening a band concert will be given at the pavilion.”
  • 9/8:  “Next Saturday is the Jewish New Year.  All the local Hebrews are preparing to observe the day and nearly all will close their places of business.”  To have to be closed on Saturday was a real economic hardship.  And by “next Saturday” they meant “this Saturday,” because Rosh Hashana was 9/10-11 that year.
  • 9/10/1904


    9/9:  The paper once again explained Rosh Hashana to its readers (full article below), concluding “Services will be held in the Jewish synagogue on Ammon street at 7.30 this evening and at 9.30 tomorrow morning.  All the Hebrew merchants will keep their places of business closed all day tomorrow, but will open in the evening, the holiday ending at 6 o’clock.”

  • 9/17:  In the Deaths column (!) was printed, “Monday is the Jewish day of Atonement, the most sacred of all Jewish holidays. All the Hebrew merchants will keep their places of business closed all day.”
  • 9/20:  “Yesterday was a Jewish holiday and was generally observed throughout Homestead.  The stores were closed and the Hebrews passed the day in fasting and prayer…” Full article below, including an innovative new spelling for the day.
  • 11/15:  “A charter has been granted to the Hebrew club of Homestead.”
  • 12/1:  “The Homestead Hebrew club, the main social organization among the Hebrews, held a meeting last night in their finely appointed rooms at 611 Eighth avenue when it was decided to hold a dance some time in January, the exact date to be determined later.  The name of this club was recently changed to Homestead Hebrew club and is non-political.  A charter was recently granted and it is now in a flourishing condition.  Their dances are of unusual interest and attended by prominent people from Pittsburg and all surrounding towns.”
  • 12/7:  “A most interesting event among the Hebrew people of Homestead, was the celebration of the ‘Chanaca,’ or Feast of Candles, by the children of the Hebrew school in the synagogue.” The long list of participating children and adults are Charles Frankel, M.D. Weis, A.B. Hepps, William Fogel, Rev. Newman, William Gluck, Isaac Maraus, Ralph Lasdusky, David Pollock, Dr. Moss, Louis Lasdusky, Maurice Haupt, Frank Wise, Meyer Moranza, Fannie Swartz, Arthur Grossman, Hazel Hepps, Rose Wise, Stella Cohen, Louis Lasdusky, J. Marcus, Ida Steinberg, Charles Frankel, Ralph Lasdusky, Abe Hepps, Julius Cohen, Frank Wise, Isaac Marcus, Morris Frankel, Joseph Lasdusky; their parts are listed in the article below.
  • 12/8: “There will be a new order instituted in Homestead on Sunday which is of great interest to the Hebrew residents of the town. It is the lodge ‘Benn Brita,’ (sic!) which means, sons of Unity.” The article describes the ceremony to come… for the new B’nai Brith lodge.  “The following are the charter members of the local branch:  Joseph Lasdusky, Igantz (sic) Grossman, Morris Grinberg, Myer Grinberg, B. Little, Maier Viess, I.J. Goldstone, Louis Gluck, Sam Markowitz, Joseph Fried, Max Gross, Morris Frankle, Mark Fishel, Nathan Izkovitz, R. Shermer, Max L. Siegle, B. Friedlander, Jos. Blumberger, Dr. M.H. Moss, B. Hepps, David Segelman, S. Sabel, H. Schoenfield, Philip Cohn, R. Jacobson, M. Marks, Maurice Markowitz, Sam Gluck, B. Gluck, H. Haupt.”
  • 12/12: The lodge was organized last night. The ceremony is described in the article below. Representatives from Braddock, McKeesport, and Pittsburgh lodges attended.  “The officers elected last evening were:  I. Grossman, president; Maurice Grinberg, vice president; S. Markowitz, treasurer; S. Sabel, secretary; Max S. Siegel, assistant secretary; Joseph Lasdusky, monitor; M. Marks, Dr. Moss, trustees; Max Gross, inside guard; Joseph Fried, outside guard.”




Revival meetings were conducted in Homestead from 2/14-2/28 by Evangelist Ferdinand Schivera.  He had last been in town in winter 1895, when he made quite a splash, and his 1904 visit proved no different.  His sermons were reprinted in the paper daily, and attendance grew from one meeting to the next.  He stayed in the area after completing his stay in Homestead, and a revival he held in McKeesport in mid-March attracted 50,000 attendees, making the most successful one in the country that year.  He returned to Homestead later in March for about a week and returned again in mid-April through early May, at which point he and his son returned home to Jamaica, Long Island to rest after their hard work.  Taking advantage of this opportunity is our old nemesis Maurice Ruben, the converted-Jew-turned-evangelist, from whom we last heard in October 1903.  (Remember him?)

  • 3/4:  “There will be held in the Homestead Mission, 226 Eighth avenue at 7:30 tonight, a lecture on ‘Jewish Mission Work,’ accompanied by stereopticon views by Rev. Deing, of Cleveland, Ohio. Maurice Ruben will also be present.”
  • 3/31:  “Mrs. Cecelia Gondrett, the vocalist, a worker in the Jewish mission, Pittsburg, who has done much to make the series of services a success, will be at the meetings which will begin on the 19th of April…Mr. and Mrs. Ruben of the Jewish mission visited here yesterday and were heartily received by the workers of the meetings.  The evangelist and ministers expressed their thanks to the newspapers of Homestead for their willing help in reporting the meetings.”  In an article of 3/23, when she was first introduced to the Homesteaders, the article noted, “Mrs. Gondrett is not a Jewess as one might infer from her being connected with the Jewish mission.  Mrs. Gondrett is a Swedish lady and is only a worker at that mission.”
  • 4/30/1904


    4/30:  “A call has been issued by some of the workers for Monday at 7:30 at 225 Seventh avenue, for the conversation of the Hebrews of Homestead.”

  • 5/3:  “All Day Evangelistic Service…The address of the afternoon was delivered by Maurice Ruben, of the Jewish mission, Pittsburgh.”
  • 5/5:  “Next Tuesday evening will be the last opportunity the people of Homestead will have to hear the stirring words of Evangelist Schivera…The meeting at Steenson’s hall will, however continue two nights longer under the direction of Maurice Ruben, a converted Hebrew, of the Jewish mission, Pittsburgh.”
  • 5/10:  “Tomorrow night the evangelistic services will continue under the leadership of Mr. Reuben (sic), of the Jewish mission, Pittsburg.  He will have many interesting things to say as he is a converted Jew and is familiar with both sides of the important question of Judaism and Christianity.”
  • 5/12:  “Mr. Ruben will give his experience in full tonight, how he came to become a Christian and the opposition of his friends against him, which landed him in prison and nearly in a lunatic asylum.  A large congregation is expected.  Especially does he wish his Jewish brethren to come.”
  • 5/13: “A large crowded assembled in Steenson’s hall last night to hear Mr. Reuben, the converted Hebrew, tell of his trials and misfortunes resulting from his renouncement of the Jewish faith and accepting the Christian religion.  He related how he was placed in prison and later in an asylum; how his wife left him and his former friends deserted him and offered him liberty on condition that he leave the city or recant and give up Christianity.”
  • 5/14: “Services will be held each evening next week at which Mr. Ruben will speak.”
  • 5/16: “The evangelistic services are still being continued under the leadership of Mr. Ruben and Mr. Davidson…At the evening services a still larger crowd greeted Mr. Ruben, who delivered a strong address which was listened to with the greatest attention…Meeting will continue throughout the week.”


Here are the people/businesses who advertised during this year.   In general there were far fewer ads than in recent years (and almost no real estate ads, as there had been) — perhaps a sign of business continuing to slow down after the boom around the turn of the century?  Or because of the wage reduction at the start of the year?

  • Half Brothers (Realty Building, Eighth and Amity)
  • I.J. Goldston (617, 619 Eighth ave.)
  • Lasdusky’s (337 Eighth ave.)
  • Philip Cohn (349 => 249 Eighth ave.)
  • M. Marks (corner Dickson st. and Eighth ave.)
  • B. Friedlander (517-519 Eighth ave.)
  • R. Jacobson (530 Dickson)
  • Wolk’s (313 Eighth ave.)
  • Segelman’s (331 => 231 Eighth ave.)
  • A. Marcus (618 Eighth)
  • Grinberg Bros. (607 Eighth ave. between Dickson and Heisel)

Also, on 4/2 and afterwards a list of merchants accepting trading stamps appeared.  Of interest to us:

  • Wolk’s Shoe House (313 Eighth)
  • A. Marcus, gents’ furnishings (621 8th ave)
  • Klein & Ackard, groceries & provisions (820 ann street) — maybe?
  • H. Gluck, meats & provisions (491 Eighth avenue)
  • A. Lefkowitz, clothing & furnishings (522 Dickson)
  • H. Gluck, groceries & provisions (431 Eighth avenue) — a duplicate?
  • M. Marks jewelry, watches and clocks (Beedle block, Eighth avenue)
  • Mark Fischel, musical instruments (211 Dickson street)
  • Philip Cohn, gents’ furnishings (349 Eighth avenue)
  • Max Schoenfield, clothing & furnishings (cor. Eighth avenue and Ann street)

Another list of trading stamp merchants from 4/15:

  • Boots and shoes
    • Wolk’s shoe store, 313 Eighth Ave.
    • A. Marcus, 621 Eighth Avenue
    • A. Lefkowitz & Co, 522 Dickson St.
  • Clothing
    • Philip Cohn, 349 Eighth Avenue
  • Gas fixtures
    • H. Gluck, 491 Eighth Avnue
  • Jewelry, Watches and Clocks
    • M. Marks, 228 Eighth Avenue
  • Meats and provisions
    • Max Gross, 616 Heisel street
  • Musical Instruments
    • Mark Fishel, 311 Dickson Street

And another from 9/26 included I. Grossman, 501 Eighth Avenue (China, Glass, Housefurnishings, Bric-a-Brac, Fancy Goods); Louis Glick, 540 Heisel St. (Groceries); S. Little & Bro., 609 Eighth Avenue (Gents’ furnishings); S. Samuels, the New Bon Ton.

Cheswick mining disaster 

These are the men who contributed to the fund raised by B. Hepps in February.

  • Morris Frankel..$5.00
  • Feath & Kerr..$2.00
  • Joseph Tomcsanyi..$2.00
  • Haley Bros..$2.00
  • B. Hepps..$1.00
  • Andrew Szinjey..$1.00
  • Philip Cohen..$1.00
  • Cash R..$1.00
  • M. Quinn..$1.00
  • Adolph Hepps..$1.00
  • Stephen Gress..$.50
  • M[oskowitz] & M[arkowitz]..$.50
  • Max Markowitz..$.50
  • Cash C..$.50
  • Nick Kohut..$.50
  • I.S.G[rossman]..$.50
  • John Szokoly..$.50
  • Alfred Maiden..$.50
  • Mark Fischel..$.50
  • Korachi..$.50
  • R. Shermer..$.50
  • John Smajda..$.25
  • Joe Recso..$.25
  • Steve Kondas..$.25
  • N. Igkovitz..$.25
  • George Ihnat..$.25
  • Alex Hepps..$.25
  • Louis Beck..$.25
  • Julius Schmidt..$.25
  • Julia Soloman..$.25
  • Stephen Jurchso..$.25
  • Cash L…$.25
  • Cash W…$.25
  • N.N…$.25
  • Rudie Dango..$.25
  • Louis Mehalko..$.25
  • Mike Saman..$.25
  • Mike Besedack..$.15
  • Joe Susi..$.15
  • Mike Susi..$.15
  • Dan Kason..$.10
  • Andy Zekosky..$.10
  • John Sabo..$.10

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