Jews in the News, 1909

The paper is always too bullish to be reliable, but it does appear that business began to turn around this year after the depression that began in 1907.  Overall, though, news mentions of the Jewish community were still fairly low compared to even a couple years prior.

Unrelated to Homestead, and of little interest to me, but likely exciting to you and our ancestors is that the Pittsburgh Pirates won the World Series in 1909!  It was covered by the Homestead paper in a modest way. Afterwards they wrote, “the curtain is down on baseball and everybody seems happy except those who bet on Detroit” (10/20/1909).

Liquor Licenses
Business woes
Merchant doings
Personal Woes
Travel and socializing


  • 1/2:  “Morris Frankel has been elected president of the Duquesne political club.”
  • 1/15:  B. Hepps, Morris Half, and I.S. Grossman were re-elected to the board of directors of the Homestead Savings Bank and Trust Co.
  • 1/29:  Dr. Moss remains on the board of the hospital, including the surgical staff.
  • 3/4:  The Daily Messenger sponsored a marathon (not a true 26 mile race, just a long range) and printed the huge list of entrants, which included Fogel, Weis, and Gross.  More entrants listed on 3/8 included Marks and Hyman Samuels, 15 years of age.  Entrant no. 280 was my grandfather, Jacob Hepps of 406 Dickson street, age 12!
  • 3/11:  Prizes for the race came from various merchants, including Half Bros, Meyer Grinberg, Jesse Wolk, Lasdusky, M. Marks, and Little Bros.  3/12:  One of the officials of the race of Leo Half.  3/15: The winner of the marathon race graduated from Harvard, where he one of the best collegiate long distance runners. and was then employed in metallurgy department of the Homestead Steel Works.   Julius Cohn placed 6th place in the boys division, William Fogel 14th and Frank H. Weis 23rd.  Otherwise they listed the numbers of those who finished, which included #280, my grandfather!
  • 3/19:  Marathon races were then quite the thing; many were happening all around the region. “‘Cooney’ Cohn, a former Homestead boy, won the Duquesne Marathon race yesterday.”  What kind of nickname is that?!  Is this the Julius who placed sixth in Homestead’s race?  5/24:  “Julius Cohen (sic), of Duquesne, won the five mile race in Wilmerdings on Saturday.  He is a former Homestead boy and will be down Saturday to take part in the excelsior class 10-mile race.”
  • 3/30: A photograph of the boys' race. Perhaps my grandfather is one of the boys pictured?!

    3/30: A photograph of the boys’ race. Perhaps my grandfather is one of the boys pictured?!

    3/23:  A special boys-only race included entrants William Marks and Jacob Moranze (sic), 12 years of age, of Eleventh avenue.   3/24:  The official included Leo Half and one of the prizes came from Little.  Additional entrants include included no. 281, Jacob Hepps of Dickson street, 11 years of age. 3/27:  He placed 30th out of over 300 boys!  Go grandpa!  (Or maybe his cousin of the same name?)

  • 4/28:  For the upcoming business men’s outing, the dancing committee included Harry Glick and Max Seigel, sports H. Little and Leo Half, music Morris Half and Joseph Lasdusky, and refreshment M.I. Grinberg and B. Gross.
  • 5/4:  The graduating class of the high school included Isabel Lebovitz.
  • 5/5:  Nominations for directors of the hospital association included B. Glick and (Mrs.?) Joseph Lasdusky (5 of 10 to be elected).  6/2:  The old directors won out in hospital election, including B. Glueck and Mrs. Joseph Lasdusky.
  • 5/11:  On Friday, 5/14, the high school was performing a play version of Pride and Prejudice for the benefit of the hospital.  The full cast was printed in the paper. Max Weiss played Sir William Lucas, and Isabel Lebovitz a maid at Netherfield. The musical overture was performed by Ruth Grossman.
  • 5/19:  At a Friday night program of Tennyson readings, Isabel Lebovitz read one of my favorites, “The Lady of Shallot.”
  • 5/28:  Homestead high school class day exercises included an “Ivy oration,” a charge from the seniors, delivered by Max Weiss.
  • 5/29:  The program for the commencement of the Eighth grade class of the Homestead schools, to take place 6/1, included recitations of “The Widow’s Light” by my great-aunt Olga Hepps and “My Other Clothes” by David M. Israel.  Besides them, other graduates included Emma Lillian (Emmeline) Siegel, who accepted the diplomas on behalf of the graduates, Charles D. Mervis, Maurice A. Markowitz, and Regina Haupt  — all of the Second ward (they comprised 6 of 12 graduates from that ward).
  • 6/9:  The business men’s picnic committees included: music: Morris Half, Joseph Lasdusky; sport: Leo Half; dancing: Max Segal; refreshment: B. Gross, Harry Aaron, Max Markowitz; reception: Max Gross, Ben Little. No one from the Jewish community was on the train committee.  6/16:  Prize winners in sports competitions at the picnic: Hyman Samuels, won first place and $2.5 in the boys’ race. In the 12 year old race first place was Phillip Samuels, $1,  and second place David Israel, 50 cents.
  • 6/12:  The Homestead high school alumni held their annual meeting.  Their president was Harry Skirboll!
  • 6/14:  Here’s a fascinating occurrence — at a social sponsored by the the ladies’ aid for the first Christian church’s birthday, Ruth Grossman played a piano solo.
  • 6/15:   For the hospital association ladies’ dinner those in charge of table no. 3 were Mrs. Joseph Lasdusky and Mrs. M. Marks.”
  • 6/17:  Another hospital tag day took place on 6/12.  Among those who collected money (collections ranged from 16 cents to $38.08 for all participants):  Ruth Sobel $2.19, Cecelia Marks $11.21, Edith Widom $1.50, Jennie Freidlander (sic) $4.55, Hazel Humersky (sic) $1.86, Gertrude Fredlander (sic) $1.51, Esther Grossman $4.27, Lillian Eskowitz $1.80, Rose Glick $2.43, J. Marks $16.05.
  • 6/22:  The town’s board of trade wanted to reduce the town’s police force to save money, so a motion was introduced in borough council to dismiss three policemen.  Councilman “McGuire stated that Fogel was not only incompetent but a non-taxpayer of the borough and that a suit was now pending for the collection of his delinquent taxes.”  The motion to dismiss the three officers was lost.
  • 9/14:  “M. Cohen (sic), who runs a fruit store on Sixth avenue,” the cheapest part of town, claimed two police officers arrested him out of nowhere, “claiming he had been beating his wife,” when actually she was sick and he was looking for a doctor.  While at the station house, the police let a man, possibly also a police officer, rob his store of $20.00 of candies, cigars, and cigarettes!
  • 10/16:  At the hearing, brought by Isaac Cohen “there was not the least evidence produced to prove the charge and while the Alderman reserved his decision it can be safely said that the case will be dismissed.  It seems many, including his wife, said he was beating her, he was wandering the street with a revolver, and they searched his place because he had been accused of running a speakeasy.  Full story below.
  • 11/16:  “While officer Morris Fogel was patrolling his beat this morning, he discovered a cow running at large, with great courage he arrest (sic) the animal and placed it in Bridges’ livery stable in Seventh avenue.” Finally he did something right!
  • 11/23:  The pupils of the Second war school prepared Thanksgiving exercises.   The program from the 7th and 8th grade stdents was printed.  It included contributions by Lena Lebovitz, Paul Numerosky, Bernard Weis, Samuel Weis, Benjamin Lazerovitz, and Flora Eskowitz.  Bernard Weis’ reading was entitled,”Thanksgiving Day Among the Jews!”
  • 11/24:  With the high school football team’s last game the next day (Thanksgiving), the paper looked back on a season in which Homestead won all seven of its games, “scoring 156 points while opponents blanked!”  Players included a Segelman (140 lbs.) and a Grossman (142 lbs.).
  • 11/29: Seven basketball games were played at the library on Saturday.  Players included Klein and Eskowitz.
  • 12/7:  At the Patheleon literary society and essay entitled “John C. Calhoun” was read by Abie Marks.
  • 12/8:  Every year the Homestead paper printed letters from children to Santa.  I never paid much attention to them.  Perhaps that was a mistake.  “Dear Santa Claus: Please send me a gocart, a big doll, a bed, some buts and candy and don’t forget mama and papa. Your friend, Gertrude Friedlander.”   (A go-cart was what they called strollers.)  That year there were so many letters they had to cut them off.
  • 12/28:  A letter from M.P. Schooley, minority leader of the borough council, to the local Board of trade, which included Joseph Lasdusky “and a score of other businessmen of this borough,” asking, “Are you willing to any longer intrust (sic) the spending each year of $125K for the running of this borough to a majority of council, as it is at present made up?”


In 1908 Homestead had a very successful parade. Would they repeat the feat?  As of 10/2, it appeared they might not.  “Are we going to have a Hallowe’en celebration?” asked the paper.  “The old committee refuses to solicit money this year and unless some one else undertakes the task there is not likely to be anything doing.”  At least $10 was needed for music and prizes.  And yet five days later the paper reported that the committee was arranging a big parade, “all efforts of previous years to be surpassed.”  Since Halloween was on a Sunday that year, and Duquesne and McKeesport had already claimed Friday night for their parades, Homestead chose Monday, 11/1.  “The Homestead celebration has become so well known a large delegation of spectators from those places are expected down” (10/23), and hundreds from Braddock, too (10/26).

Half Brothers donated $5.00 to the cause (10/22), B. Gluck 0.50 (10/27) and prizes came from Lasdusky, Little, and Ben Little (10/23).  The many aids for the parade included Henry Glick, Morris Grinberg, Leo Half, Max Glick, B. Hepps, Joseph Lasdusky, and Morris Frankel (10/27).

But what you really want to know is whether the Klan would re-appear, right?

  • 10/28: KKK to be in the Hallowe'en parade... again!

    10/28: KKK to be in the Hallowe’en parade… again!

    10/28:  “Word was also received from Monongahela that the Ku Klux were coming down 200 strong, lead (sic) by their band of 25 pieces and that they will be here on the early train.”

  • 10/30: “The Hallowe’en committee met last night and decided to invite every man, woman and child in Homestead and vicinity to take part in the parade on Monday…The Homestead Republican Club in full uniforms, but carrying no political banners, led by the Star band, will act as escort to the chief marshal, while the Ku Klux of Monongahela, 200 strong led by their own band, will have the right of line.”  I think this means that they went first?  “Next will come all the organizations on foot and following them will come the wagons and floats.”

It seemed there would be some prizes for costumes. “The Homestead sporting goods company have offered a real live possum to the best made up colored man in line. The white folks are barred from competing for this prize” (11/1). There were other costume prizes, too, like for the “best female impersonator” (11/2).

The day after the parade the paper reported it was “most creditable in every way.”  Eighth avenue was the most crowded it ever was. “The formation of the parade was as follows: Mounted aids on horseback” — all the aids, or just some? — “Monongahela band, the Monongahela Klu Klux (sic), mass of children in fantastic costumes, about 300 including a menagerie of elephants, camels, a large rooster and something that looked like a Carnegie diplodocus, gotten up by Stahl’s theater…” Floats by the businesses brought up the rear, including ones by the Little brothers, and Meyer I. Grinberg.  “What made the Klu Klux cluck so much after the parade?” joked the paper.

In mid-December the Hallowe’en committee reported its expenditure.  The second-highest expense was $40.00 to the KKK!  (The first highest was $55 to Walker for two bands; all the rest of the expenses were in the $10-15 range or lower, including $2.50 to Joe Freed for a prize.)

Liquor Licenses

On 2/5 the paper reported that there would be a big increase in liquor license applicants from Homestead.  On 3/24 the paper reported on the Homesteaders in license court.  There were seven new applicants in the Second ward, of whom, they noted, five had english names.  “The argument to the court was that the majority of licensed saloons in that ward were under the control of foreigners, and it was almost impossible for an English-speaking person to secure a suitable meal.”  On 4/2 the paper reported that there were only two changes overall the license list.  Granted were Bernard Hepps, 406 Dickson street and Samuel Margolis, 525 Heisel street.  Refused was Edward A. Hertz, 301 Dickson street.  It was believed the court was lenient due to the depression in business (4/2).

On 4/9 the paper reported that all but two of the applicants for wholesale license were held over, including Adolph Hepps & Samuel Markovitz, 465 Fourth avenue and Ephraim Marks, 222 Eighth avenue.  It was expected that none would lose their licenses, but they would be penalized for “the meeting of the wholesalers held last year just before the license court, which the court questioned the applicants so closely about this year. It came to the ears of the court that at this meeting all present had agreed to go into court and deny that they had any solicitors out, whether they had or not.” On 4/22 the paper reported that the wholesalers were called into court Saturday morning — most unusual! All were uneasy. “Speculation is rife…many believe that they will be censured by the court, while others are inclined to the opinion that a number will be refused. The entire trouble is the outcome of an alleged meeting, which the wholesaler dealers held last year prior to their advent in the license court, when it is alleged that the matter of solicitors was discussed.”  On 4/24 the paper reported that all got their licenses, and none were punished.  Phew!

  • 9/18:  Sam Margolis, who runs a hotel at 525 Heisel street, wants to transfer his license to the corner of Third avenue and Dickson street.  His case is being heard in court today.  The transfer is being opposed by Thomas Connelly, who owns the building in which he is now located.  The house has had a license for many years, Mr. Connelly having conducted the business there himself until two years ago.  The court continued the hearing for one month…hereafter hearings for transfers would only be heard once a month instead of every other Saturday as had been the rule.”
  • 9/23:  “Several applications for transfers of liquor license in this place were disposed of by the court yesterday.  The license of Samuel Markowitz and Adolph Hepps, 465 Fourth avenue, was transferred to Samuel Markowitz.  The transfer of…the petition of Samuel Margolis to have the location of his license changed from 525 Heisel street, to Dickson street and Third avenue…was held over.”
  • 10/6: “The wholesale liquor store of Ephraim Marks, Eighth avenue, is closed pending a transfer of the license…The application asks for a transfer from Marks to Marks & Pachuta, the former taking Mikula Pachuta into the business as a partner.”
  • 10/16:  “The application of Samuel Margolis, for a transfer from 525 Heisel street to Third and Dixon, was called.  The judge seemed familiar with the matter and looked with disfavor on the application.   It is not likely to be granted.”
  • 10/22:  “Ephriem (sic) Marks opened his wholesale liquor store by mistake yesterday, but it is closed today.  An application was made to the license court to have a transfer made to himself and Michael Pachulta, as partner.  The newspaper published the statement Saturday that the transfer was granted and on this supposition the store was opened.  It seems the case has not been acted on and besides he would have no right to open until he obtained a new license certificate.  As the place was opened through a mistake, it is not likely the court will view the slight transgression of the license law very seriously.”
  • 11/26:  Ephraim Mark‘s transfer was finally accepted!  The poor man’s place had been closed since September waiting for it to go through.  “This is probably the longest time a liquor house has been compelled to close on an application for a transfer in the history of Homestead.”

Business woes

  • 1/11: Some complicated situation arose regarding Meyer Grinberg leasing a building from a woman and then sub-leasing it to Max Gross, the butcher, and then protesting when she decided to evacuate the building to add an extension before the lease ended because she wanted to “give employment to the workmen when they needed it worst.”
  • 1/15:  “Starting tomorrow Morris Grinberg will offer his entire stock for sale at 45 cents on the dollar, he having adjusted his fire claim with the insurance underwriters. Some of the goods is (sic) damaged by fire but the greater part is only slightly damaged by smoke and water and all goes at a great sacrifice. The store is on Eighth avenue above Dickson street.” (Not sure what fire — I didn’t see this article prior?!)
  • 1/19:  A Wilkinsburg deputy constable arrested Homestead merchants who sold tobies there on a Sunday.  Two were Harry Pollack and Sam Molorana (sic?).
  • 1/24:  “A horse belonging to David Satin, 524 Heisel street, was struck by a train…was so badly injured that it had to be killed…It is reported that the driver attempted to get across the tracks ahead of the train…”
  • 2/19:  Two girls with a long history of shoplifting jewelry struck at a Jewish business were apprehended.  A search of their home revealed “jewelry secreted in almost every conceivable nook and crany.”  “Two watches and a ring, missing last week from the store of Isador Loncoff (sic), on Dickson street, were identified.”  2/20:  “Several articles of jewelry had been missing from Segelman‘s store on Eighth avenue and a further investigation of the house of the girls on Third avenue, where so much plunder was found, as reported yesterday’s Daily Messenger, will be made.”  2/25:  The article notes that the policeman “is still unearthing plunder alleged to have been stolen” by these same girls.  “About all [the officer] has to do is stop some little friend of the girls on the street and ask her if she has anything given to her by the girls and she will in the most unsophisticated way say:  ‘Oh,  yes, just wait until I go home and I will get it for you.’…” 2/26:  Despite all that, “after being given some good advice by the judge, [the girls] were sent back to their homes…promising to refrain from any unlawful acts in the future…”
  • 2/19:  “A brand new kind of swindle has struck Homestead.”  A man claimed to be an officer of the state screening midwife candidates.  “He said he great influence at Harrisburg and for #20 he oculd get her chosen as one of the two midwives to be appointed to Homestead.” The following day the paper described the swindler, who had been in McKeesport “[trying] to play the same game.  The man is described as having black eyes, a large nose, a Jewish cast of countenance and speaks with a distinct Hebrew accent.  He wore, while here, a dark derby hat, black shoes, a dark overcoat and a ring on his left hand containing a large red stone.  He carried in his hand a black leather valise filled with papers.”  There were at that time no regulations governing midwives, though many, including the paper, wished there were.
  • 3/4:  “The Wilkinsburg justice of the peace…is still plying his trade in Homestead.  Yesterday a man calling himself a constable went to the store of Louis Freeman, 221 Eighth avenue, and left a common business card with his clerk, Miss Jennie Rosen, and stated to her that information had been made again Mr. Freeman for selling on Sunday, and thus he must before before Justice John J. Walker…Mr. Freeman will pay no attention to the notice sent him yesterday…He could prove by a hundred witnesses that he never kept his store open on Sunday and besides he did not keep for sale any tobacco or cigars….It is said many others have received similar notices from this justice and when the man notified pays no attention to the notice nothing more is heard of it…The Daily Messenger has been highly commended for its efforts to protect the citizens from the attempts to this Wilkinsburg alleged ‘justice’ to extort costs from them.”  The paper called it “Blue Law Graft.”
  • 4/21:  “A young girl aged about 12 years, went into Lasdusky’s store on Eighth avenue yesterday afternoon and offered for sale specimens of sheet music.  After failing to do any business with the ladies at the store and ascertaining the fact that Mrs. Lasdusky was there, she went to her resident on Fifth avenue and told the servant girl that Mrs. Lasdusky had asked her to leave one of the pieces of music at the house and to collect 35 cents, the price of the music.  The servant not suspecting any attempt at fraud, paid the money.  The girl was evidently a stranger as she was not recognized by anyone in the store.”
  • 6/8:  “At a hearing last night in police court in which Mrs. Grossman, wife of I. Grossman” — really, I.S. Grossman — “who keeps a clothing store on Eighth avenue between Ann and McClure street, had been fined $3 and costs by Burgess Davis for throwing garbage from a Second story window to the pavement on Seventh avenue, there was a lovely set-to between the burgess and Grossman, in which Burgess Davis gave Grossman a severe scoring for criticizing the decision of the court.  After the fine was imposed Grossman undertook to give the burgess some directions in regard to fining a citizen and taxpayer of 20 years standing, but Burgess Davis gave him to understand he was running the court business and no favors would be shown defendants proven to be guilty just because they were old taxpayers.”
  • 6/14:  Professional safe crackers blew open the safe in the Half Brothers furniture store and escaped with over $100 cash.  Long article below.
  • 8/4:  A couple small, overnight robberies were reported affecting Benjamin Little and Morris Grinberg.  Little had $15 of hosiety stolen from his display case.  Grinberg suffered a dented door, but nothing more since the robbers failed to enter.  They left behind a piece of bent pipe which the police believed “might possibly lead to the identity of the person who attempted to enter.”  I love police work in Homestead.
  • 11/19:  A grocery wagon belonging to Joseph Freed was struck by a train, seriously injuring the driver, Samuel Klein.  The horse had to be shot, and the wagon was demolished.  Full article below.

Merchant doings

  • 1/2:  “Ticket No. 16 won the clock drawn for at Segelman’s store, Holder of ticket will please call and get the prize.”  1/4:  “It was ticket No. 99 that won the clock at Sigleman’s (sic) jwelery store, New Years day, instead of ticket No. 666, as announced on Saturday. Miss Rushe, of Eighth avenue, was the lucky one.”
  • 1/18:  “Morris Grinberg said this morning: ‘I did the largest business Friday and Saturday n the history of my store and all through a half page ad inserted in The Daily Messenger, that being the only advertising I gave my fire sale now going on. That half page ad was the best investment I ever made.”
  • 1/28:  A giant ad proclaimed “Closing out the Busy Bee Hive,” Benjamin Friedlander‘s place.  What’s going on?
  • 2/12:  An article mentioned Ben Feraveitch (Seiavitch), a milk man, renting a stable owned by a Levine of Pittsburgh.
  • 3/22:  An article after Leo’s Half‘s return from Chicago noted that he had just made there “one of the biggest deals ever consummated by a Homestead firm.” Of the merchandise he acquired, Half Bros. would “be able to offer them to the people of Homestead and community at far lower prices than every offered before.”
  • 3/26:  “Lasdusky‘s Peoples store is one of the most attractive places in Homestead just now, being trimmed as it is, for the Easter opening.  The display of trimmed hats is the largest and finest ever shown in the store, which has long been recognized as a leader along this line in Homestead.  No lady who loves beautiful things should fail to visit this store.  The opening will continue tonight and all day tomorrow.”
  • 4/7:  A long article, “Pretty Easter Hats are on Display in Local Stores,” listed the latest styles, “all of which may be seen at Lasdusky‘s in great profusion…He also makes a specialty of trimming hats, which necessitates carrying a large stock of trimmings, from which selections can be made.  The store is open every evening until 9 o’clock and the Easter trade indicates that business is on the upward turn.  When Mr. Lasdusky started the millinery department twelve years ago he had but one milliner. Now the workroom is too small to accommodate the force under the supervision of Miss Smith, the head milliner.”
  • 4/9:  “Marcus Marks, who has moved his jewelry store to Ann street, in the store room of the Savings bank building…has one of the finest window displays of jewelry in town.  Many pedestrians on that street have stopped to view the display and have expressed great admiration of the excellence of the exhibit.  The variety of designs and quality of stock indicates that he has an up-to-date store.”
  • 4/16:  “Morris Frankel, of Duquesne, was in Homestead today making arrangements to move back here about the first of next month. He expects to again engage in the gent’s furnishing business at his old stand on Fifth avenue.” Odd that he was moving back after only a year, especially since in the very same issue the paper noted a “building boom in Duquesne…best in its history and much money is to be expected in this line.”  His brother-in-law, “Samuel Ferderber has plans out for the erection of a fine new three-story brick hotel building at the corner of South First and Camp streets. Contractors are now bidding on the building.”
  • 4/27:  “Leo Half, advertising manager for Half Bros. furniture store, said last night that more people had visited their carpet department Saturday and yesterday than at any time since they had been in business in Homestead, and that the business for the two days has been the best in two years.  He attributed the crowd that turned out to his page ad run in the Daily Messenger, this being the only form of advertising the sale they resorted to.  He said:  ‘I tell you that ad brought them.  But then, we always have gotten results through the Daily Messenger!'”
  • 5/3:  “B. Friedlander has purchased the entire sotck of the J.A. Loux department store 1110 Wiley avenue, Pittsburg, from the Mercantile Trust co. receivers, the sale having been confirmed by the U.S. court. The entire stock of said firm will be brought to Homestead and offered for sale at Mr. Friedlander’s store here.”  On 5/14 he announced that the sale was underway.
  • 7/22:  On the sixteenth anniversary of Grinberg’s store in Homestead, this retrospective was written.  Strangely, it wrote his brother out of the story.

Sixteen years ago Morris Grinberg started up a small china and notion store at the corner of Eight-av and Gold alley. Through good treatment and the use of business methods, the business grew so rapidly that within a few years that room was too small for the business.  Then Mr. Grinberg secured a larger store, just a couple of doors below.  The business has continued growing in the new stand and it became too small for the immense stock that he carried, and in the year 1909 he leased a piece of ground and put up a building 25×110, with a large basement, and then opened up a general department store.  The business thrived in the new building, just as it did in the old, and at the present time Mr. Grinberg has one of the largest stores in the town, handling the best goods in ladies’ and gent’s furnishings, the finest line of china and house furnishings, floor oilcloth, linoleums, wall paper and a complete line of hardware and cutlery.

  • 7/29:  “B. Friedlander, proprietor of the Busy Beehive store, on Eighth-av, just below Dickson-st, has leased the first floor and basement of the Winer building, and will open a large department store.  The lease was closed this week and runs for a number of years.  Mr. Friedlander has been in Homestead for many years and has built up a large trade in his present location, but wishes to branch out.  He will continue to do business at the old stand as well as at the new one, and having two stores he will be able to handle a large assortment of stock.  His new store will be fitted out in an up-to-date manner and made one of the most attractive places in town.”
  • 8/2:  “Dr. M.H. Moss has moved his office to his new business block on Eighth Avenue near Dickson street.  He has a large reception room on the second floor and will occupy the third floor for his residence.  His officers are among the finest equipped in the county and the genial physician is being showered with congratulations by his friends on his new office.”  Also moving to his new business block is the People’s tea store.
  • 9/10:  “B. Friedlander‘s new store had a most brilliant opening last night, the place being jammed from 7 o’clock until the doors were closed at 10, apparently everyone in Homestead turning out to inspect it and pass judgment and the verdict was ‘A fine store and a credit to Homestead’…Mr. Friedlander has been in business in Homestead for ten years and has met with great success, he being the proprietor of the ‘Busy Bee Hive’ store at 519 Eighth avenue, which he will continue to run as an up-town store, but he will devote the most of his time to the new down town store.  He is a pleasant courteous gentleman and makes friends with his customers and is sure to make a success with his new undertaking” at 213 Eighth avenue. Read the article below for all the praise.
  • 10/1:  “Little Bros. are having a big front added to their shoe store.”
  • 10/1:  Lasdusky‘s Peoples’ store held its fall millinery opening this evening and the next day.
  • 11/2:  “Mose Half left last night for New York to purchase a new line of carpets for next spring.”
  • 11/8:  “Morris Frankel is again back in business, having opened a new store at his old stand at the corner of Dickson street and Fifth avenue.  Mr. Frankel conducted business at this stand for many years but about three years ago sold out and moved to Duquesne.  He is back again, however, and is again catering to his old trade and will be pleased to see any of his former friends at any time.  He is one of the best known men of the town, being a leader among the Hebrews and prominent in politics.”  The next day in an editorial note the paper commented, “After trying Duquesne, Morris Frankel is again in business in the Second ward. He knows a good town when he sees it.”
  • 12/3:  “Half Bros., the enterprising furniture dealers, have secured a long lease on the Hays street skating rink building and will use it as a warehouse…The building will be the largest in the town used for storage purposes.”

Personal Woes

  • 1/18:  “B. Glick met with an accident on Eighth avenue, Munhall,  yesterday afternoon while out sleighing, which fortunately resulted in no injury to himself or the young woman who was his companion.”  In short, when they got out to fix a tangled harness, the horse bolted.  Eventually they caught him and resumed their ride.  Elsewhere in the paper they referred to his accident as “the first sleighing runaway of the season.”
  • 2/8:  “Leonard, little son of Mr. and Mrs. Morris Grinberg, of Twelfth avenue, who has been ill the past week, is improving nicely.”
  • 3/18:  There were two recoveries from measles reported this morning to the board of health [including] Ida Friedlander, 513? Eighth avenue. The homes were fumigated today.”
  • 5/21:  A sad article attempted to explain why sixteen year-old Dora Margolis committed suicide by carbolic acid.  She lived with her parents Mr. and Mrs. Michael Margolis at 514 Third avenue and clerked for Daniel Suren‘s (sic) fruit store at 805 Eighth avenue.  The article indicated that no one had any idea why she did it.  The full, sad story is below.
  • 6/11:  “Max Glick is disposing of his household goods and will locate in Denver for his health.”
  • 6/14:  “Money talks but too much talk costs money in Burgess Davis’ court.  Saturday evening while Frank Sobel, a clerk in Sobel’s store, Eighth avenue, was having a hearing on the charge of choking a colored boy…and kicking his dog, the defendant remarked after being fined $2, ‘I thought it would be more’ and made other flippant remarks.  The Burgess aid, ‘I will just make it more if it will accomodate (sic) you’ and put the fine at $5.  Several witnesses were present to testify that Sabel (sic) comitted (sic) the affense (sic) charged.”
  • 9/16:  “Alex Rosenthal, of 423, 4th avenue” and others “have recovered from the diphtheria and their homes were disinfected today.”
  • 10/22:  A “mad dog ran amuck in [the] Second ward yesterday…Officer Patrick Corbett, who on account of an injury, is compelled to use crutches, struck the dog with one of them as he passed, which only accelerated his speed.  In the crowd was Nathan Eskowitz, who in his excitement grabbed one of Corbett’s crutches and hastened up the street in hot pursuit of the animal, leaving the officer helpless in the street.  He was unable to proceed until Eskowitz returned his crutch.”  HAHAHAHA.  The dog bit six people and several dogs before it was trapped in a cellar.

Travel and socializing

  • 1/4:  “Herman Shoenfield, of Wheeling, spent Sunday in Homestead.”
  • 6/7:  “Mark Fischell (sic) of Dickson street, is spending a few weeks at Mt. Clemens, Mich.”
  • 6/11:  “Mr. Harry Feldman left today for Mt. Clemens for a month.”
  • 7/15:  “Mrs. Joseph Lasdusky, who has been spending a few days with her sons who are the spending the summer in the country is expected home this evening.”
  • 7/27: “The following Homestead people are at Cambridge Springs…Louis Sigelman (sic)…”
  • 8/10:  “Morris Frankel, wife and family, have returned rom an outing at Conneaut Lake…J.L. Little has returned from a business trip to Boston, New York, and Atlantic City.”
  • 8/19:  “Jesse Wolk, the local shoe dealer, will leave this evening for Atlantic City and other cities in the East.”
  • 8/24:  “B. Friedlander, of Eighth avenue, and his head saleslady, Miss Minnie Lebovitz, left last evening for New York, where they will purchase goods for his new store on Eighth avenue. Jesse Wolk the shoe man, is spending a few days at Atlantic City.”
  • 8/30:  “Jesse Wolk, returned yesterday from a trip to Atlantic City and New York.”
  • 9/18:  “Mr. and Mrs. Frankel, will leave this evening for New York, were (sic) they will lay in a stock of gods for their new store they are about to open on Fifth avenue…Charles Frankel will leave the first of next week to resume his studies in Harvard College.”
  • 9/20: “Max Weiss left Sunday evening for Cincinnati, where he will enter the university.”
  • 10/22:  “Max Moss, member of the board of health from the First ward, left last night on a trip to New York.”  (Probably this is M.H. Moss.)
  • 12/22:  “Charles Frankel is home from Harvard College for the holidays.”


  • 1/27:  “The deadlock is broken in the home of Morris D. Weis, of 512 Heisel street. Heretofore the family has consisted of Mr.and Mrs. Weis and five boys and five girls, but now there is six boys, another one arriving last night and the father against has the best of it.”
  • 2/3:  “Samuel Glick, a well known Second ward business man, and Miss Irene Hertz will take out a marriage license tomorrow and will be married on Sunday at the bride’s home on Fifth avenue. Owing to the illness of a relative the wedding will be a quiet one.”
  • 2/8:  “Miss Irene Hertz and Samuel Glick were married yesterday aft the home of the bride’s parents on Fifth avenue.  The wedding was attended by the immediate relatives of the coupel and all had an enjoyable time.  A wedding dinner was served.  The young couple will be at home to their friends in the Messenger flats after March 1.”
  • 2/20:  “On Sunday evening Miss Pearl Fogel, sister of Morris Fogel, will be married to Joseph Ritter, of Pittsburg. The ceremony will be held at the Rodef Sholem Synagogue on Ammon street after which a reception will be given to the guests at the home of M. Fogel on Fifth avenue.  The young couple will  leave on Monday for a trip through Ohio, after which they will go to housekeeping in Pittsburg.”
  • 3/17:  Edward A. Hertz, of Fifth avenue, an employee of the Duquesne steel mills, and Miss Sadie Chadkin, of the North Side, Pittsburg, eloped to Youngstown, Ohio, Monday, where they secured a license and were united in marriage.  The groom is a son of Mr. and Mrs. Isaac Hertz, of Fifth avenue, and is a well known and popular young man.  The bride is a charming young lady but not very well known here.  She is, however, very popular in her set on the North Side.
  • 4/26:  “Dr. Storke visited the home of Meyer I. Grinberg, 335 Twelth avenue, last evening at 6 o’clcok and left a bouncing baby boy. Mother and baby are getting along nicely.”
  • 4/26: “The little friends of Jennie Friedlander, of Eighth avenue, tendered her a surprise party last night in honor of her ninth birthday.  The little folks spent the evening in playing games of all kinds and a nice lunch was served.  Those in attendance were Fannie Mervis, Goldie Schwartz, Elizabeth Bellstein, of Glassport, Fannie Hepps, Hazel Munerosky (sic), Florence Goldstrome (sic), Charles Davis, Henry Freedman, Willie Click (sic?), Isidore Lasdusky, Meyer Jacobson, A. Schwartz, M. (?) Schwartz, Louis Mangolis (sic?) and Frances, Gertrude and Ida Friedlander.”
  • 7/3:  “Leo Half, of the firm of Half Bros., left last night for Chicago to attend the Exposition in that city for the next two weeks.  On July 20 he will turn his attention to other things, that day being set for his marriage to Miss Carinne Cohn, a prominent young lady of Chicago.  The wedding will be a small but elaborate home affair and will be attended by his three brothers with whom he is associated in business here and other members of his family, who reside in Pittsburg.  The bride is quite cultured,being a teacher in the Northwesther University at Evanstown, Ill.,and is quite prominent in Chicago.  After a wedding tour of the great lakes the young couple will be at home to their friends in the East End, Pittsburgh.”
  • 7/30:  “Mrs. Harry Aarons, of Dickson-st, gave birth to a girl baby in the Homestead hospital Wednesday night.  This is the first child born in that institution and the parents are proud of the fact.  The superintendent and nurses of the institution are also proud of the infant and nothing is too good for it.  The child is to be christened” — ?!?!?! — “Edna H.H. the letters standing for the Homestead Hospital.  Mr. Aarons spoke highly this morning of the care and attention his wife is receiving at the hospital.”  (n.b. Her name is just “Edna Arons” on her birth certificate.)
  • 9/7:  “Miss Celia Glick, of Fourth avenue, entertained a few of her friends Sunday evening.  Among those present were Misses Anna Marks, Sarah Rosen, Molly Golomb, Minnie Glick, Leah Miller and Mary Swartz and Messrs. Henry Markowitz, Joe Glock, Maurice Golomb, Harry Markowitz, Harry Davis and Ben Golomb.  Refreshments were served at 10 o’clock and the evening was passed in singing, dancing and playing games.”
  • 11/18:  The Lasduskys gave a linen shower to a woman who had been one of the milliners in his store.  One of the guests was fellow store employee Rena Heilbron.  “Mrs. Lasdusky was assisted in receiving her guests by Mrs. M. Weissberg, of Pittsburg,” and Ralph Lasdusky played violin.  Full article below.
  • 11/23:  “Mr. and Mrs. H. Haupt of 525 Dickson street, announce the engagement of their daughter, Fannie, to Adolph Futfeld, of New York. ‘At home’ Sunday Nov. 28, 1909. No cards.”
  • 11/30:  “A very enjoyable surprise party was given by the Ladies Aid society at the home of Mrs. I. Grossman Sunday.  Mrs. Goldstein, of Pittsburg, accompanied by Mrs. Friedman, entertained the guests with her beautiful voice, her singing being the best heard in Homestead in a long time.  There were other entertaining features and at a late hour a dainty lunch was served.  Among those present were Mr. and Mrs. John F. Cox, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Lasdusky, Mrs. Frankel, Mrs. Moss, Mr. and Mrs Arons, Mr. and Mrs. Friedman, Mrs. Morris Grinberg, Mr. and Mrs. Lebowitz, Ida and Belle Lebowitz, Mrs. Goldstein, Mrs. Neuman, Mrs. Heilbraun, Mrs. B. Glick, Mrs. Finberg, Mrs. Markley, Mrs. Jenovitz and Mrs. Firestone, of McKeesport.”


  • 2/2: “The Hebrew Ladies’ Aid society held one of its enjoyable surprise parties on Mrs. Meyer Grinberg on Sunday night at the lady’s home on Tenth avenue.  There was music and singing and a general good time such as these ladies alone know how to have.  Mrs. Grinberg prepared a nice lunch and proved an excellent entertainer.”
  • 2/15:  “An enjoyable surprise was tendered Mrs. Morris Grinberg, of Twelfth avenue, by the Hebrew Ladies Aid Society.  Mrs. Grinberg was indeed surprised and gave up her house to the merry making people.  The evening was spent by singing and game.  Mrs. Gussie Sir Van and Miss Leah Sir Van, neices (sic) of Mrs. Grinberg, rendered some beautiful vocal selections.  At 12 o’clock the hostess invited the guests into the dining room where a dainty lunch was served.  Mrs.  Grinberg made an excellent hostess as she usually does.  The following were present.  Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Lasdusky, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Slone, Mr. and Mrs. B. Friedland, Miss Minnie Freedland, Miss Gussie and Leah Sir Van, Miss Gross, Mrs. M. Frankel, Mrs. Glick, Mrs. Arons and Mrs. Widom.”  I remain confused how Mrs. Grinberg could host a party she didn’t know about in advance?!
  • 3/5:  Due to overcrowding in the Second ward school, “the teacher’s committee has secured a room in the Jewish synagogue adjoining the rear of the Second ward school building…The congregation of Rodeph Sholem, has courteously granted the requested…As the Hebrew school does not convene until 4 o’clock, [the school room] can be used for both purposes quite conveniently.” Elsewhere the same issue of the paper noted, “The Hebrew school room on Ammon street, was fumigated this morning and will be ready to use for public school purposes Monday.”
  • 4/5:  “The Feast of the Passover is being celebrated today by the Hebrew people everywhere.  At the Homestead synagogue there were services this morning, which were largely attended.  This was the only public service here in commemoration of the day.”
  • 5/10:  “The Sunday school for the Hebrew children of Homestead was re-organized yesterday under the auspices of the Rudolf Sholem congregation in the synagogue on Ammon street.  The school started out with an enrollment of 75.  The school is divided into three classes and is under the supervision of M.D. Weis, who is assisted by Max Weis and Miss Anna Marks.  The principal thing taught in the Hebrew Sunday school is spiritual tolerance, the child being taught to love its neighbor regardless of religion or creed.  The local Sunday school is under the direction of the Hebrew school board and the members of the board take great interest in it.”
  • 5/24:  “The Ladies’ Hebrew aid society will not meet tomorrow evening on account of it being a holiday, but will meet Thursday night instead. They will hold their annual picnic at Kennywood Park, July 6. It will be an all day affair.”
  • 9/4: “Preparations have been commenced by the Hebrews of Homestead for the celebration of three of the most important and interesting holidays that appear in their calendar…Special exercises will be conducted on all these holidays in the Beth Jacob synagogue on South First street, and business will be suspended entirely among the members. The worst feature of the holiday is that the Day of Atonement — the most solemn of all Jewish occasions — comes on a pay day. Notwithstanding this fact, every orthodox Hebrew will close his place of business for the entire day.” (I thought the worst feature was the fast, but that’s just me!)
    • This mention got me all excited initially.  Is this related to the mysterious break-away congregation of B’nai Jacob?  After some consideration, I suspect not.  For one thing, Homestead doesn’t have a South First St.  The town was oriented east-west, and as of 1901 they didn’t even have a First Street anymore after selling off all their waterfront to industrial operations (4/20/1901).  So, I suspect they took this article from somewhere else and imperfectly adapted it.  (It’s clear that many of their Jewish holiday articles over the years include explanation taken from somewhere else.)  There was a Beth Jacob in Pittsburgh, but Pittsburgh doesn’t have a South First Street, and it wasn’t located on First Avenue, which Pittsburgh does have.  Oh!  It was Beth Jacob in neighboring Duquesne, which was then on South First Street!
  • 9/13: “The season of fall Jewish holidays begins Wednesday evening of this week and continues through October 7th, the principal holy days in that time being New Year’s day, Day of Atonement, Sabbath of Return, Festival of Tabernacles and the Festival of Conclusion….All the Homestead Hebrews will observe New Years day, Wednesday by closing their places of business and will also close up on the Day of Atonement which falls on Saturday, September 25 which is pay day at the steel works. This means a big loss to them in business.”
  • 9/15: “At sunset this evening there will be a lull in Homestead’s Jewish community and all will repair to the synagogue on Ammon street.” A long article explains how the holiday is observed, despite “the rapid stride of reform Judaism and the sudden opening of the outer world to the Jew of the old Ghetto,” which “have done much to draw many of the Jewish people away from the strictest observance.”
  • 9/16:  In the Local Briefs section:  “All the stores run by Hebrews in Homestead are closed today on account of Jewish New Year and will not be opened until 6 o’clock tomorrow evening.”  But none of their ads indicated that they would be closed, as in past years?!
  • 9/25: The paper from the same day as Yom Kippur. This is how excited Homestead was about its millinery openings. But Lasdusky had to wait for the next weekend.

    9/25: The paper from the same day as Yom Kippur. This is how excited Homestead was about its millinery openings. But Lasdusky had to wait for the next weekend.

    9/24: “Tomorrow will occur the Feast of the Atonement, the most sacred and important day of the year among the Jewish people and it will be generally observed in Homestead by orthodox Hebrews…All but two of the principal stores, of which Hebrews of proprietors, excepting the shoe stores, will be closed. These will be kept open for the accommodation of their gentile patrons of whom they have a large number. Services will be held in the synagogue the day will otherwise be fittingly observed.”  Lasdusky, Half Bros., and Friedlander mentioned their Yom Kippur closings in their advertisements.

  • 11/11:  “A ball is to be given in Turner hall Tuesday evening, Nov. 16th, for the benefit of the Hebrew school.  The affair is under the management of Morris Frankel, who is working hard to make it a success, as is also the committee which is assisting him.  The tickets are 50 cents each.  An excellent orchestra has been engaged for the occasion and a good time is assured all who attend.  The Hebrew school is kept up by the Hebrew citizens themselves the children attending it after the regular school hours in the public schools.  The institution is a good one and is worthy of assistance.”
  • 11/16:  “The Homestead Hebrew congregation met on Sunday in its meeting rooms on Ammon street and elected officers for the ensuing term.  The church has over 85 members and is rapidly growing in membership.  At present the congregation is in a flourishing condition, having paid off all expenses and have several thousand dollars in the treasury.  The following officers were elected:  President, B. Hepps; vice president, E. Schwartz; secretary, I. Grossman; treasurer, Morris Grinberg.”
  • 12/7:  “Great interest is being manifested by Homestead people in the Sixth Annual ball to be given by the H.B.S. society in the Montefiore auditorium, Fifth avenue, Pittsburg tonight.  The service of Prof. Tuteur’s orchestra have been secured to play for the dancing.  Louis Freeman, the Eighth avenue fruit dealer, is chairman of the committee on arrangements and he will take a large crowd from Homestead to the ball tonight.”
  • 12/7:  “The next event of interest in the calendar of the Hebrews of Homestead and, indeed of the entire world, is known as the Feast of Lights…The chief observance of the feast in this place will be in the nature of an entertainment, to be held in the Rodolf Sholem (sic) Synagogue on Ammon street Sunday, December 12, at which time a splendid program of musical and literary exercises will be carried out.  A number of the children of the congregation will participate, and the occasion promised to be one of considerable interest.”  There was no follow-up article to describe how the event went, alas.


  • 3/19: “The Southside Central Basketball League team was given a scare last night when they met Zion Council, amateur champions of Western Pennsylvania, at the Zion Auditorium…Fully 500 fans crowded the gym, and every good play was applauded.” The Zion Council team lost.
  • 3/20: “What promises to be an interesting game of basketball will be played at Zion hall next Wednesday between Zion Council and Homestead, champions of the Central league. This game winds up a very successful season for Zion Council.
  • 3/24: “The Young Americans” of Homestead “the champion basketball team of the world, simply toyed with the Zion Council team last night, defeating them by the score of 51 to 17. Zion council, however, has a good amateur team and many would like to see them play the Americus boys…”
  • 8/18: When Rothschild Held Up Bank of England

    8/18: When Rothschild Held Up Bank of England

    8/18:  A long article, “When Rothschild Held Up Bank of England” related an incident in which “a bill for a large sum drawn by Anselm Rothschild of Frankfort (sic), on Nathan Rothschild, of London, was presented for discount.  The bank made the reply that they ‘discounted only their own bills, not those of private persons.'”  In the end everyone was happy, and the bank did not collapse, but if you want to know the details, read the article at right.

  • 9/2:  “Emma Goldman and Marle Corelli (?) are two women who have announced themselves as opposed to women suffrage.  Neither thinks that women will be benefitted by being allowed to vote, although the ways of reasoning are different by which they arrive at the same conclusion.”
  • 10/12: The Hebrew Ladies’ Hospital Aid Society was preparing for two days of festivities to raise money for Montefiore Hospital. “No philanthropic entertainment of the season will be more attractive,” pronounced the paper (article above).
  • 11/15:  “To Eden Rather Than To Zion,” advised Rabbi Joseph Krauskopf in The American Israelite, reprinted in the Homestead paper.  “Back to the land,” is his advice.  The Germans were anti-Zionists in those days, and there was an obsession amongst the elite to get the lower classes to become respectable farmers instead of toiling in sweatshops (as this rabbi complained) or being petty merchants or peddlers (as others complained elsewhere).
  • 12/9:  “A literary and musical entertainment for charity” was announced in McKeesport.  “Among the organizations comprising the united charities are the B’nai Brith, Ladies’ Hebrew Aid Society, Ladies’ Hebrew Benevolent society and Ladies’ Hebrew Beneficial society.  These organizations, with assistance from a number of other local lodges in which the Hebrews of the city are identified, have been engaged in charitable work in the city for a number of years.”
  • 11/29:  Basketball season was back!  “Raphael, of the Zion Council team played for the visitors and it was soon apparent that he was out of his class.”   Oh.


Ads for the following merchants appeared in the paper during the year.

  • Lasdusky
  • Wolk’s
  • Half Brothers
  • Skirble, Feldman & Co.
  • Little’s
  • B. Little
  • Morris Grinberg’s Department Store
  • Busy Bee Hive / Friedlander’s
  • Meyer I. Grinberg’s Star Novelty Store
  • M. Marks
  • I. Grossman
  • R. & S. Markowitz
  • Segelman’s
  • The New Bon Ton (Trau)
  • Lincoff
  • Gross’
  • Morris Frankel

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