Jews in the News, 1912

More activity related to the building of the second synagogue took place this year…. but not all that much, at least judging by the paper.  What caused the delay?  They bought a lot in November 1911 in a deal that was completed February 1912…  you’ll see they appointed a committee in early March and chose an architect the following month…  but they didn’t sign with a builder ’til the following summer.  Why???  It wasn’t economic conditions — Homestead was doing the best it had in years, though this slanderous article about Homesteadturned into months of controversy about what character the town was assuming.  Events outside of the region got some coverage, too, such as the Titantic and the first stirrings of war in Europe.


  • 1/4:  Adolph Lefkowitz was hired as an extra patrolman on the police force.
  • 1/6:  For the Homestead high school basketball team opener, Israel was substituted in as a forward.
  • 1/8:  During the recent library league games, Lasdusky made 4 field goals as guard for a second grade team.  First grade players included Margolis and Valinsky, and Israel in the wee grade.
  • 1/22:  Library results from Saturday named players: Margolis, second grade, guard; Lasdusky first grade forward and Israel guard.  The Tamaquas of Homestead lost to a Jewish team, the Coffey A.A., 39-31 Saturday night in Pittsburgh.
  • 1/24:  Library games junior league: Ferdeber, center; Moran (sic?), guard.  There were also Jewish players named for the McKeesport team.
  • 2/2:  And there was a YMHA team from McKeesport included in the league.
  • 2/5:  The latest library results only listed Lasdusky as center for first grade.
  • 2/7:  In the recent game of the McBride Seconds vs. Coffeys (a Jewish team from Pittsburgh), Lasdusky played center.
  • 2/12:  Library results: first grade Israel forward, Margolis center.  Lasdusky was scorer for this game and also for the second grade game and two wee grade games.
  • 2/14:  Louis Freeman was elected as a member of the town’s businessmen’s association.
  • 2/19:  Wee grade – Valinsky center.
  • 3/4:  Library games – Lasdusky center.
  • 3/12:  Library results – Israel guard.
  • 3/22:  A new national, non-denominational fraternal order called the Owls had been forming a local chapter since January.  Today the paper announced that the reception committee for the upcoming dedication included Morris Half, Ben Little, Nathaniel J. Feldman, Dr. M.H. Moss, Harry Aaron, and Joseph Glick.  3/28:  The Owl dedication was described.  It included a “lengthy program arranged by Nathaniel M. Feldman, of this city, who was for years on the American stage.”  The committee added members, including Henry Markowitz, Joseph Port, and Louis Freeman.  They opened their headquarters in the Beedle Block on 3/31.  The Titanic sunk on 4/15, and on 4/17 the Owls published a resolution in the paper expressing their sorrow.
  • 3/22:  “Louie Segelman, who played on the Homestead Independents last season, has accepted a contract with the Jamestown, N.Y., team this season and will leave the early part of May to join the team.  Louie’s many friends in this place are confident he will make good and all join in wishing him success.”
  • 3/25:  Library results – Israel guard on two teams, Hepps guard on Steeltown town, and Carpe guard on Iroquois. Steeltown won 24-12. They each made one field goal.
  • 3/28: Library results – Lasdusky center.
  • 4/15: The Columbia Midgets, a team for 12-14 year olds, included M. Siegel.
  • 4/26:  In a list of the cumulative stats of all Library League players who made more than 5 field goals, we read that L. Lasdusky of the McBride team made 15 and D. Israel of Carlisle made 11.
  • 5/6:  All the old hospital officers were nominated for re-election, including B. Glick.
  • 5/7:  Committees were named for an Owls outing. Advertising included Dr. M.H. Moss. Tickets Dan Sigel. Entertainment N. Escovitz, W.H. Sigel, Morris Half. Reception Harry Arons, Morris Half, B. Little, Joseph Glick, Dr. M.H. Moss, Louis Freeman. Lunch ticket Joseph Glick. Lunch B. Little, N. Escovitz, Louis Freeman.  Entertainment W.H. Sigel, chairman.  Floor H. Markowitz, Jos. Glick, Aaron Swartz, Louis Freeman.
  • 5/10:  Now it’s baseball season.  In the Eighth grade vs Third ward game, Markowitz pitched for the Eighth grade team.
5/25/12: Members of Homestead Hospital Association. Mrs. Lasdusky is woman sitting perpendicular on the left stoop.

5/25/12: Members of Homestead Hospital Association. Mrs. Lasdusky is woman sitting perpendicular on the left stoop.  The picture was published to coincide with a “tag day” fundraiser.

  • 5/27:  Tag day workers included Lillian Markowitz, Ida Silverman, and Esther Gross.  There were also Marks, Klein, and Weiss girls.
  • 6/12:  Manager Lawry of the Crawford White Sox “had strengthened his team somewhat by adding O’Leary and Segelman to the infield and when the twilight league opens will make them all go to come out ahead…The White Sox have been going some so far this season defeating some of the best semi-professional teams around Western Pennsylvania…”
  • 6/12:  The Homestead’s Businessmen’s association planned to protest this slanderous article by getting out a pamphlet to circulate all over the country. The committe for the pamphlet included Morris Half. Committees for their picnic were announced, too.  The dancing commitee included Harry Arons and Ben Little.
  • 7/2:  “Maxwell Moss’ time on the Board of Health has expired.” Is this our Dr. Moss?  I didn’t even know he was on the Board of Health?!
  • 9/23:  McBride juniors basketball team included Lasdusky.
  • 10/5:  In a Homestead High School football game Israel played left end and Mervis right tackle.
  • 10/12:  The high school won over Duquesne.  Israel played left end again.  The umpire was Hipps (sic).
  • 10/31:  Another high school game with Israel as left end and “umpire–Hepps, of Pitt.”
  • 11/4:  Homstead high lost again. Israel was right tackle. The next day the paper wrote that the team was “being called down on all sides by both student body and the faculty for failing to show more spirit and aggressiveness. The team has failed to show the old Homestead do or die spirit in the last few games and it is time they were waking up.”
  • 11/9:  They listened and won!  Israel was right end.
  • 11/11: In a junior league basketball game Lazerovitz played forward.
  • 11/23:  Homestead tied McKeesport 0-0 with Israel as right end.
  • 11/25:  Lasdusky and Israel played in the basketball league.
  • 11/29: Homestead won the big Thanksgiving day game against their rivals, Munhall.  Once again, Israel was right end, and the timekeeper was Hepps.
  • 12/3: Israel played in the library basketball games.
  • 12/4:  Homestead High closed the football season with a victory.  For one last time Israel played right end.
12/26: Letter from Harold Grossman to Santa!

12/16: Letter from Harold Grossman to Santa!

  • 12/23:  More basketball — Lasdusky and Israel played in the second grade game.
  • 12/30:  hstd high colds or the seconds – Israel fwd (little for bullevuew ii’s?)


  • 3/19:  Eighth grade entertainment tonight included a duet between Julius Markovitz and Abe Schwartz and a trio including Esther Grossman.   The cast for the play included Viola Schwartz, Effie Gross, and Maurice Schwartz.
  • 5/25:  In the Homestead senior class play Ruth Grossman played “Mrs. Fitz-Adma” in a play version of Cranford.
5/27/12: Homestead High School Graduates - Academic Course. The names don't quite match up, but I think Ruth is the second or third from the right in the top row of women.

5/27/12: Homestead High School Graduates – Academic Course. The names don’t quite match up, but I think Ruth is the second or third from the right in the top row of women.  The picture was published on the same day of their graduation.

  • 5/27:  The Eighth grade graduating class included Abe Schwartz, Ida Goldman, Viola Schwartz, Louis Markowitz, Maurice Schwartz, Effie Gross. Manual training class included Benjamin Lazerovitz.
  • 6/22:  “Miss Ruth Grossman, a 1912 graduate of the Homestead High School, graduated last evening from the Pratt Institute of Music Pittsburg…Miss Grossman played St. Saen’s Concerts with great artistic skill.  Her interpretation of this selection was very much appreciated by the large audience, among who were many people from Homestead.  Miss Grossman received a diploma as teacher of music.  She will enter the profession of teaching.”
  • 8/2:  “Miss Minnie Segelman, a popular teacher of room No. 4 of the Fifth ward school has tendered her resignation to accept a higher position in the North Side schools, Pittsburg.”
  • 9/14:  “Charles W. Frankel, son of Councilman and Mrs. Morris Frankel, of Fifth avenue, who has been spending his vacation with his parents will leave Monday Monday for Harvard College where he will resume his study in law. He graduated last year and received the degree of A.B. and will complete his studies in law next year.”
  • 9/30:  “Ralph Lasdusky, has resumed his studied in the University of Pennsylvania at Philadelphia.”
  • 10/1:  In the violin recital of Professor J.R. Swales:  Lucie de Lammermore, SingeleeHerman Saron; Spring Song, MendelssohnMiss Minnie Fineman.  The review the next day said, “the music hall was filled to its utmost, many being unable to obtain admission. Leo Patterson, Carl Gable, and Herman Saron were at their best…”
  • 10/5:  Miss Lebovitz was a teacher in the First ward school.
  • 12/21:  The high school pupils — including Olga Hepps, David Israel, Regina Haupt, Emaline Seigle, and Charles Mervis — put on a play!


  • 1/15:  Committees of Homestead borough council were named.  Morris Frankel was on street, police, and ordinance.
  • 2/6:  Councilman Frankel’s petition (from late 1911) to have all the crossing of the P.V.&C. railroad between Heisel and City Farm Lane declared open, was referred to the borough solicitor to report on the legality of the suggested proceedings.
  • 4/2:  “The United Political clubs of Allegheny county, composed of Hebrew voters residing outside of Pittsburg, held a meeting yesterday and indorsed candidates for Republican nominations for the legislature and for election as state delegates in the Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh and Twelfth Legislative districts.  All the legislative candidates who received indorsements are on the slate of the Mageee-Flinn faction except A.D. Slocum, of Homestead, who is on the Oliver slate in the Eleventh district…”  This is surprising given the general hatred for Magee after the Greater Pittsburg annexation attempt of the previous year.
  • 4/6:  For months there had been an ongoing debate about garbage removal.  After the first of May, the railroad would no longer haul garbage away, so a new solution was needed.  A whole article was devoted to Frankel‘s opinion.  He was “strongly in favor of having the garbage ordinance amended so that it will include the gathering and hauling away of the ashes from private residences.”  The article goes through this argument about how the money it would cost to gather them would be saved by not having to clean the ashes from the streets as often.  It seems many people in the town agreed.  The problems and debates went on for the rest of the year.
  • 5/7:  At a meeting of Homestead’s borough council “Nathan Schwartz sent in a bill alleged to be owing him from a borough employee to the amount of $10.35, there being a resolution of council in force providing that empoyees of the borough shall settle outstanding accounts within a reasonable time The communication was referred to the fire and light committee.”

Home Trading Day

1/6 home trading assoc met – next 1/18 – on Thursday instead of wed since wed. prayer meeting night

1/15  2 pg spread for home trading day  — half bros, friedlander’s, emyer I grinberg’s, I grossman, lasdusky, little’s (and 1/16 and 1/17 also)

1/18 “Trade at home today and every day” // woman for home trading day ppearance in harem skirt (What is this???)

1/19  ed home trading ad well protinzied in spite of the weather conds – whie there were not as many out as on soe previous occ, there was a great deal of interest in the eent… main biz streets, esp 8th ave, were place din good cond but some of the other streets were unpleasant to traverse

1/20 hoe traders meet – next – committee h.l. little, b. frieldnader

==> 1/23 ed about biz men’s banque t= “we hae an ideal (sic?) that we have been denied our share o fthe loaves and fishes which the commissioenrs of the country have ben so freely distributing.  Perhaps we have not been sufficiently industrious in crowidn gup to the pie counter, but the biz men are now going to try an dbreak intoa place in the vicintoy of the refreshments an to obtain a fair share of whatever is to be distribute dint he future.”

2/10 big ad for next home trading day (And otherstuff on front page)

2/13 2 pages of bargarins for home trading day –  a. soborsky home tailor + i. grossman + meyer grinbergs, luis freeman smaller ads,  , lasdusky + half bros bigger ads, ittle’s , friedlanders’s (And 2/14)

2/16 merchant sin gen well pleased over home tading yday yesterday and will meet this afte to arrange another rnext month – bi was good eysteday considering this is the of season in biz

3/11 half-pg ad for home trading day on wed

3/16 spring oepign – next firdy aft + evening

4/16 half-pg ad for home trading day

4/17 tomorrow home trading day – big oad of h.l. little, enlittle, lasdusky, and others

4/18 today home trading day – stores open tonight

4/19 doig big business – best day’s biz since the mvmt started

4/20  smal brief that h.l. little is a lucky place to deal… five of the lucky tix for the cash drawing were given out at this store home strading day. // home trading day for may committee incl h.l. little

5/20 tomorrow is home trading day

5/21 big crowds on the street today

5/24  meeting of hstd home trading day assoc – recommended that biz mens’ picnic be deferred ntil a date selected for next home trading day and be held at a more convenient location

5/29 too late to defer the outing – biz men’s assoc invite home traders to join them and they will return compliement

6/4 home trading day outing at hst dpark 7/31

6/11 home strading assoc outing committees – attraction & sports – hl little; transportation and publicity  – meyer griberg; refreshments ben little, b. Friedlander, finance – none. Receitpion committee – -joseph lasdusky, a sorosky (?)

6/15 another hoem trading day ad (6/18)

6/17 home trading day tomorrow //

===> 6/17 e on homeville – no doubt that with the completion of the improved road the pop of that comm will be largely increased.  There is osme good building terr in that section and it is bound to become a good residence section

6/18 home trading day today

7/9 hoem strading assoc – outing to hstd park 7/31 a “monster celebration”

7/15 money for home trading outding —  jos. Lasdusky 15.00 half bros T 15.00, h.l. little 10.00, b. Friedlander 10.00, a.b. gross 5.00,  ben little 5.00, m eyer grinberg 3.00, lousi freeman 4.00

7/17 aritlce about inducementslists the usual merchants

7/19 // home tradind ady merchants – good day despite heavy rain in aft and evening

7/23 home trading day outing – list of what will happen – incl fireworks

7/26 outing funds:  morris grinberg 2.00, i.j. golstrom (sic) 1.00, Nathan Schwartz 1.00

7/27  full prog for home trading day picnic “the time of life promised” – socialists also at park tomorrow?!

7/29  “president joseph lasdusky of the home tradin asosc has appointed the following comm to make arangemetns fo rhte next htd which will be held Thursday august 15. “ comm incl morris half and b. Friedlander

7/30  “all in readiness for the big outing at park tomorrow – greatest day in the history” – picture of lasdusky as prez of home trading assoc – parade in connection wth outing

8/1 homet trading day celebration outid eall expectation eyserday – 15k people visited grove – not a single mishap (Except balloon ripped and could not launch) – field day for kids & mill mgrs. Vs businessmen baseball game

8/7 ful report of expenses from home trading day outing

8/12 mr. stahl will display pix of home trading day outing – parade , &c.

8/14 homet rading day tomorrow

8/26 “joseph lasdusky, prez of the htassoc has called a mtg tonight in their hq on the second floor of the savings bakn budliing, corner of Eighth ave and Ann street, tfor the purpose of considering the fall campaign for boosting chomet rade…”

8/27  /home trading day mtg – joseph lasdusky prez and George hutson vp will arrange the details of the venig (9/19) and select the proper committee.  “the assoc is much graitifeid at the many dindiciatiosn of a revivl f biz of eveyr kid and will prepare to acquire some of he adv to be gained by it.”

9/16 half-pg ad for hoeom trading day

9/19 tomorrow home trading day   (yk starts tonight?!?!)

9/20  today home trading day, but no notice of it?!

10/9 // next home trading day 110/17 moses half an dmeyer girnberg on committee

10/16 tomorrow home trading day // hstd’s home trading day better than others

10/17 today is home trading day

11/9 no home trading day in nov – have ht week in dec “shop early and save the poor clerks” slogian .  arrangement commg – meyer girnberg.  Finance comm – b. Friedlander

11/16 home trading week – 8th ave to be illuminated with hundrds of lights

11/26  ad “December 2-7 big week” (htd now a week, remember)

11/28 ed about home trading week  // half-pg ad for ht week

12/2 beginning of ht week

12/3 ht holiday week “full blast”

12/7 ht week to be contineuse – biz men to keep up the holiday shopping mvmt (mre prizes in addition to prev which I didn’t mention bc who really cares)

12/14 s last day of 2nd ht holiday shoping week

5/18: Ad for Home Trading Day. Yes, the border is swastikas. Yes, this was common at this time. Yes, it's totally weird to see.

5/18: Ad for Home Trading Day. Yes, the border is swastikas. Yes, this was common at this time. Yes, it’s totally weird to see.


On 9/27 the paper said the town would have a big Hallowe’en parade this year.  This is by far the earliest they’ve ever known — thanks to the Home Trading Association taking charge!  On 10/5 the paper reported that Lasdusky named the organizing committee, which included Ben Little.  “If sufficient funds can be raised…as in former years the hotel men wil be expected to furnish the cash for the affair while the business men will give prizes and put the display in line.”  The paper crowd that the “the local celebration [was] noted all along the Monongahela valley.”   The committee got busy by 10/12, the committee reported, with articles of cash and prizes following.

On 10/24 the committees for the parade were named.  The committee to get the business men to turn out: Ladusky, H..L. Little, and two others.  Music committee:  Ben Little and another. Judges: Mose Half and another. “An effort will be made to get the business men and their clerks to turn out in a body, and to provide autombiles for the lady clerks.  All the fire companies in the surrounding territory will also be asked to take part in the parade and they will be alloted $5 to pay for hauling their apparatus.  Two brass bands and  drum corps…” would also take part.

On 10/30 the paper reported on final arrangements.  Apparently there was friction:  the committee moved the reviewing stand in front of Half Bros., then there was a motion to reconsider  having it in front of Hutson’s (both furniture stores, at that time they were having dueling large ads on the back page of the paper displacing each other).  In the end Half Bros. won out.  Some of the prizes: best looking girl, bananas from Louis Freeman; boy under 15 most becoming appearance, pair tennis shoes from Ben Little; best cowgirl make up in line, sweater from Lasdusky; best boy female impersonator, boys shoes from H.L Little; most original makeup, rocking chair from Half Bros.; most original girl makeup, pair slippers from Victor Shoe Store.  As before there were some un-PC categories like best German/Irish/Hebrew/Negro make up (Hebrew prize still a sack of flour!).

It was down to the wire… the very day of the parade, “Joseph Lasdusky, who has been in charge of the business men’s end of the Hallowe’en parade tonight wishes to urge upon all business men and clerks to turn out and help swell the division…”  At the same time, “Never before have there been so many fine Hallowe’en windows in Homestead…Everyone coming down to see the parade tonight should take a stroll around and see them.”  Besides Gross‘, the only one singled out from out community was Joseph Lasdusky‘s.  “Here is found a miniature theater with stage, boxes and a large audience witnessing a musical director are shown and the gaily dressed dolls in the boxes look more than pleased with the show.  This window is the idea and work of Louis Lasdusky and the young man deserve a lot of credit.  The day after the parade, they added, “Half Brothers’ furniture store on Eighth avenue had one of the best and most appropriately decorated display windows for the Hallowe’en celebration…Their display consisted of a regular country kitchen as it appeared in the fall of the year…the whole made a very pretty picture of rural home life…”

Afterwards the paper declared that the Hallowe’en parade “eclipsed all previous.”  Thousands of people turned out.   “Louis Lasdusky was out dressed as a girl wearing a big hat illuminated with electric lights, which gave it a novel appearance.” The decorated vehicles of business menen included Lasdusky and the Half Brothers.

2/3: Newspaper notice from the liquor wholesalers of Homestead, including Mervis and Markowitz

2/3: Newspaper notice from the liquor wholesalers of Homestead, including Mervis and Markowitz, that they were raising the price of beer.


“Saloon men are uneasy,” reported the paper on 1/20, as the 2/10 application deadline approached.  “Local saloon keepers who have been violating the law, have learned during the past few days that county detectives have been slipping into town of late…It is a well-known fact that some of the saloon keepers of the town have not hesitated to sell liquor to men of known intemperate habits and to minors.  It is also asserted that some of them have private rooms in connection with their bars where women guests are entertained…”

On 3/2 the list of liquor applications were published.  In the Second ward:  Bernhard Hepps, 406 Dixon st.; Isaac Hertz, 552-554 Fourth ave.; Samuel Margolis, 448-450 Third ave.; Benj. J. Schwartz, northwest corner of Fourth ave. and Dickson st.  In the Fourth ward:  Harry Arons, 200-202 Sixth ave.  On 3/9 the list of whole applications was published.  Second ward: Samuel Markowitz, 465 Fourth ave.; Samuel and Henry Markowitz, 465 Fourth ave.  Fourth ward: Samuel S. Mervis, 611 Ann st.

On 4/3 Homestead’s turn in license court came up.  There were ten new applicants, including transfers, and four applicants of “more than ordinary interest,” one of whom was Margolis!

Samuel Margolis, who has had license at the old Connelly stand on Heisel street, is applying for a license on Third avenue, and Thomas Connelly is applying for a license for his hotel now occupied by Margolis.  Connelly claimed that, for what he considers good and valid reasons he was compelled to refuse to release the building to Margolis.

(For context, note that the judge allocated licenses according to the worthiness of the proprietor and the location of his business.  Both mattered.)

On 4/19 the license results were handed down.  “Among the wholesalers Samuel Markowitz was refused” and “Samuel Mervis was given a penalty of 10 days.”  Naturally Markowitz asked for a re-hearing, but he was refused (5/1).  Also, “all the new applicants were refused.”  As for the Margolis/Connelly kerfuffle, “Margolis has a license for the Connelly place on Heisel street, but Connelly applied there this year and Margolis applied for a location on Third avenue.  Margolis was granted his license and Connelly was refused.”

The day before the new license year started on 5/1, the paper said that one of the “new retail houses” was “that of Samuel Margolis on Heisel street,” which confuses me since he had been on Heisel before and applied for Third? Did he have a new location on Heisel? The paper says his stand was “renovated and improved by Feath & Kerr, suitable for the purpose of saloons and everything is in readiness for the opening.”

The paper also noted a new rule the court enacted “prohibiting any kind of a free lunch being served by saloon keepers. Not even the flinty pretzel or the common hardtack of commerce will be permitted to be taken with the foaming beer. No more will the sausage or weiner grace the counter of the booze emporium. You get your drink and you pay your money and that is all there is to it.”  The paper’s editorial on 5/3 got even more poetic.  “The heart of the free lunch fiend is filled with gloom.  He riseth up in the morning and goeth to the saloon and, lo, there is no fodder in the rack.”  So it continues with lunch and dinner, ’til by late evening, “he whispers to the dispense of drinks with tearful eyes, yea, he pleads with him, but the bartender says ‘nothin’ doing,’ and with a wail of anguish the man wanders out into the cheerless night.”

  • 9/21:  “Petitions were filed in license court this morning for the revocation of the liquor licenses of Harry Aarons, of the Crystal hotel, at the corner of Sixth avenue, and Lincoln Paige, of the Frement hotel at Sixth and Ann.  The charges are selling to minors, selling to persons of known intemperate habits, selling to persons under the influence of liquor, catering to women of disreputable character, frequented by persons of disreputable character, conducting disorderly houses, allowing use of premises for assignation purposes.”  The charges were brought by the Allegheny County Retail Liquor Dealers Protective Association, which doesn’t seem to be protecting Arons, now do they?!
  • 9/24:  A follow-up article clarified things.  “The fact that Szwejkowski and Arons are both members of the association is taken as an indication that the crusade against illegal business methods will be fought until a finish…’No member of the association found violating the rules of court and conducting his business against the strict letter of the law will be allowed to go on without severe protestation from us.'”
  • 9/24:  “Adolph Lefkowitz, proprietor of the Manhall (sic?) drug store, and his clerk, Leon Leroy, will receive a hearing tonight before Justice George W. McCeery on the charge of selling intoxicating liquors without a license and on Sunday.  The information was made by William Keenan.”  So he wasn’t targeted by the non-Protective Association.  9/25:  They “appeared before the Justice last night when they waived a hearing and gave bail for the grand jury.”
  • 10/4:   “The hearing in the extortion suit brought by Harry Aaron (sic) against Detective William Keenan before Justice Walter Terrill, scheduled for this afternoon, has been postponed until next Tuesday afternoon.” From the Paige hearing, which closed on this day, “Louis Freeman said he had visited the place several times on business and had been shown through the house and had found it nice and clean and orderly but admitted he did not known much about the place.”

The Aarons trial exploded into the one of the biggest scandals Homestead had ever seen, at least judging by the newspaper coverage.

The hearing opened on 10/5 as expected. Just before he had the detective working for the Liquor league arrested on a charge of extortion, claiming that the detective tries to blackmail him and one accepted his $100 (in marked bills) to keep witnesses from appearing (10/3).  At trial a detective testified to seeing many men and women getting drunk there and using “very bad language, some of which was so vile that it was not permitted to be stated aloud but was whispered to the stenographer in order to get it in the record.” Another witness’ testimony was described “not of a nature for publication” (10/9). Various witnesses — from former employees to patrons to detective — suggested that women and men had improperly socialized together, downstairs and upstairs. A “foreigner” testified that Aarons brought a girl to him, who took his money after they “went upstairs” and he “[fell] asleep” (10/5). Uh huh.  Aarons’ attorney, A.C. Stein, suggested that the witnesses had been tampered with. The other side countered that Aaron’s brother-in-law, Max Seigel, who was employed as a bartender, did the same in return (10/8).

The defense began its case 10/8. The testimony was what you would expect — frequent visitors who never saw anything untoward, and police officers, too! An officer on Homestead’s police force said the Crystal was “the best hotel in Homestead for the accommodation of guests.” Dr. M.H. Moss, Morris Frankel, and I. Lincoff testified for Aarons, and brother-in-law, Daniel H. Seigel, a “traveling salesman” who lived at the hotel on weekends, too. The defense took a couple days.

While waiting for the verdict, a “sensation [was] sprung”: an plain-clothes officer, Boyle, was suspended for testifying he sometimes took a drink while on duty (10/11). (Some thought it was for the very act of testifying, but that proved not to be the case (10/15).) Councilman Morris Frankel was a “warm supporter” of Boyle’s and accused of “always being after” another officer who was in trouble that day, but politics, not the evidence, determined the outcome, the paper complained, resulting in everyone being reinstated as politicians traded favors (10/17). Then maybe Boyle resigned (10/21)? Or was fired (10/22)?

10/25: EXTRA!

10/25: EXTRA!

On 10/25 the paper reported the verdict that both Aarons and Paige would lose their licenses. The next day the judge’s decision was printed in full, accompanied by an editorial claiming that these cases were “hopeless,” as “these places were notorious here and had become a stench in the nostrils of respectable people. They had injured the reputation of Homestead abroad and gave an excuse for malignant persons to vilify the town and the people” (10/26).

Both appealed and were refused (10/31). The business were no longer able to sell liquor, though they could operate as hotels (10/29).

Despite all this, on 11/23 the paper declared that the Retail Liquor Dealers association was “Still After the Licensed Saloons — Violations of the Law Said to be Going on Here.”  And on 12/9 the county commissioner proclaimed to an evangelistic revival that “A Big Fight is Coming.”  >But then one of our guys fought back!  On 12/11 the headline read, “A Sensational Case on Trial in Court Today — Samuel Markowitz Claims a Conspiracy Lost Him His License and Implicates a Rival in Business.”  Remember how he lost his license in March?  Now he is suing two young men for

[swearing] falsely in the license court that they had purchased liquor in his store when under the legal age.  To explain the sensational part of the proceedings it is necessary to state that the grand jury has found a true bill against John Pido, a well known wholesale liquor dealer on Dickson street and Fourth avenue, and the two young men who are now on trial for perjury.  It is alleged that Pido obtained these young men, said to be relatives of his, to go into license court and make oath that Markowitz had violated the law so that he would lose his license and be forced out of business….It is intimated that there are two other liquor men in the Second ward who  may be charged with having conspired to deprive Markowitz of his license.

Work Woes

  • 1/16:  “B. Friedman, a prominent merchant of Eighth avenue, at a hearing before Squire J.B. Jones, was found guilty of employing school boys during school hours, and fined $10 and costs.  Truant Officer Brown seems determined to put a stop to this practice of employing school children during school hours.  As the law is all on his side he will probably succeed.”
  • 1/29:  “Samuel Margolias, a hotel proprietor at 525 Heisel street, and family, had a narrow escape from being suffocated with smoke at an early hour this morning, when the hotel building was discovered on fire.”  The fire started in the wine cellar and was discovered by a railroad watchman, who “broke in the door and ran upstairs through the dense smoke and rescued Margolias and wife and baby, who were asleep in one room, while the neighbors got the other four children out.”  The fire destroyed the dining room and went into the bed rooms for a total of $2,000 of damage, plus the loss of a lot of fine wine and whisky.
  • 6/17:  There was a “terrific storm” in the mountains yesterday “There was considerable property damaged caused by the storm in and around Homestead. Meyer Grinberg of Eighth avenue, suffering the largest loss. He had recently rented a basement room in the Realty building for storage purposes and it was filled with toys, screens and various house furnishings, most of which were ruined by the water. He estimated his loss at $500.”
  • 8/5:  “Shortly after five o’clock last evening an alarm was received from Third avenue and Dickson street…When the fire company arrived they discovered some waste paper burning in Glick‘s Meat Market No 434 Third avenue.  The blaze was extinguished before it gained any headway and the only damage was a broken window.”
  • 11/13:  “On Sunday night about 9:30 o’clock a policeman notified Benjamin Friedlander, a merchant at 213 Eighth avenue, that the rear door of the store was open.  An investigation revealed the fact that the lock had been broken and a portion of the store ransacked; $10 in change had been taken from the cash register and some rings, watch fobs and other jewelry from one of the showcases…”

Business Doings

  • 2/6:  “Last night Mrs. Joseph Lasdusky and the ladies of the store tendered Mrs Cavanaugh,” the former head saleslady,” a surprise farewell reception at he home of” Mrs. Cavanaugh’s mother.  She was leaving to join her husband in Canada.  “A delightful evening was passed and at 11 o’clock luncheon was served.  The party consisted of Mrs. Lasdusky, Mrs. McIntyre, Misses Cecelia Glick, Lillian Aldred, Rena Heilbron, Agnes Hartman and Catherine Novack.”  I assume all these women were also employees of the store.
  • 2/17:  “A deed was recorded yesterday for the sale of property by Philip Cohn to councilman Morris Frankel being a lot 25×1110 on Eighth ave. The consideration was $3100.”  These men were brothers-in-law; Cohn used to live in Homestead, but now resided in Duquesne.
  • 2/26:  “The large crowds on Saturday drawn through the page ad, in the Daily Messenger, bespeaks the high esteem in which the progressive firm of Half Bros. is held.  It was desired that every customer should receive prompt and courteous treatment and to those compelled to wait their turn, the firm offers their regrets for any delay occasioned by the rush. Half Bros. also wish to thank the many that took advantage of their special offerings and hope to meet a continuance of their future patronage…”
  • 19120711 b little store pic

    7/17: “This is the popular shoe store of Ben Little at 207 Eighth avenue.”

    3/6:  “Ben Little will move from the upper end of Eighth avenue to the building about to be vacated by Clarence Botsford, who will move into the building he recently purchased on the opposite side of the street.”

    3/14:  “Ben Little is getting ready to move from 609-11 Eighth avenue, into the building now occupied by Harvey Botsford at 207 and beginning tomorrow he will conduct a big sale.  He intends to quit the clothing and gent’s furnishing business…everything in these departments must be sold before he moves…”  3/26:  “Ben Little has started the remodeling of the building formerly occupied by C.F. Botsford on Eighth avenue near Amity street.  As soon as the alterations are completed Mr. Little will occupy the building with a complete line of shoes.”

    4/5:  “Ben Little moved into his new store room near Amity street yesterday and will be open for business there this evening.  He has a fine room, a new front and new furniture having been put in.  His formal opening will not take place until the latter part of next week, but he will take care of the Easter trade tomorrow, his being all new.”

    4/11:  “Ben Little has completed arrangements for the opening of his new shoe store at 207 East Eighth avenue, tomorrow and Saturday…Mr. Little has been in business here for ten years but he nok (sic) has the largest and most complete stock he has ever carried.  The display windows are nicely decorated for the opening.”

  • 3/23:  A long article detailed the spring millinery openings in town.  “Lasdusky‘s store, 335 Eighth avenue, was being rigged out today with a magnificent display of the latest styles and the window artistically decorated by Louis, his son, will be found very attractive…Miss A. Markly, the new saleslady in the millinery department would be glad to meet the patrons of Homestead and vicinity and show and explain the latest creations on display.  The ladies will not fail to see the elegant display at Friedlander‘s, 213 Eighth avenue.  The display windows of this store show all the latest styles and there is a large variety from which to select and while (sic) will satisfy the most fastidious taste.”
  • 3/29:  “Half Bros., the popular furniture dealers on Eighth avenue between Amity and West streets, entertained a throng of visitors at their annual opening yesterday and last night at their big store, but had the weather been pleasant there would doubtless have been a still larger crowd…Taking it altogether this year’s opening was one of the most attractive Half Bros. ever held, a delight to the visitors and a gratification to the firm.”
  • 3/29:  “H.L. Little, the shoedealer at 319 and 321 E. Eighth avenue, is having his spring opening and the window display and decorations, the handiwork of Samuel Fogel, are exceptionally fine…”
  • 6/6: H.L. Little (pictured!) bought out his brother's interest in their shoe store

    6/6: H.L. Little (pictured!) bought out his brother’s interest in their shoe store

    6/3:  “L.D. Moss, manager of the Homestead garage, has sold an E.M.F. 30 horse power car to the Homestead realty company for $1,250 cash. The car will be used for the use of the company in their real estate business.”

  • 6/6:  H.L. Little put a long notice in the paper (at right):  “I desire to inform my friends and customers that I am now the sole owner of ‘The Home of Good Shoes’ at 319 and 321 Eighth avenue.  I have purchased the interest of my brother, and have just started a big sacrifice or dissolution sale in order to get the money necessary to make the final payment on this purchase…”
6/13: Dissolution sale of H.L. Little & Bro.

6/13: Top half of the ad for the dissolution sale of H.L. Little & Bro.

  • 6/28:  “Joseph Lasdusky has his store all trimmed in honor of his anniversary sale which opens today.  Gay pennants announcing the sale are flying in front of the store and the interior presents a busy scene.  Many rare bargains are being offered.  The sale will continue for ten days.”
  • 7/12:  “B. Little announces his first shoe sale in his new stand starting today and lasting ten days. See his page ad on page three for prices.”
  • 8/15:  “L.D. Moss has sold his interest in the Homestead Garage, to T.S. Mitchell and has severed his connection with the firm. It is understood that Mr. Mitchell has entered into an agreement to sell the garage to Harry Hall of Sixth avenue and McClure street.”
  • 9/9:  “Wanted – Hungarian speaking saleslady. Steady position to right party. Strong boy to work in store Apply Grossman, Realty building, 147 Eighth avenue.”  The next day the ad was revised to request a “saleslady who speaks foreign languages.”
  • 9/24:  “Meyer I. Grinberg, a well known business man has awarded the contract for a thirty foot addition to his large store on Eighth avenue, which will extend his building to Seventh aveneue and give a room 110 feet deep.”  10/14:  “Meyer Grinberg, is getting ready to occupy the new addition to his place of business at 209 Eighth avenue, which will give him nearly double his present amount of space.  The addition runs clear through to Seventh avenue, and there is a basement underneath that will make an excellent sales room.  The addition will give Mr. Grinberg room to display his Christmas stock this year to much better advantage and allow him to branch out in other lines. He announces a remodeling sale in connection with Home Trading Day Thursday.”
  • 9/27:  “Joseph Lasdusky, a well known Eighth avenue merchant, and Ben Sachs, formerly manager of Young’s department store at McKees Rocks, have formed a partnership to conduct a business which will be known as The Ladies’ Store, to be located at the corner of Ninth street and Braddock avenue, Braddock.  The first expects to have its opening on Saturday, Oct. 5, and they will carry a full line of ladies’, misses’ and infants’ wearing apparel and a complete stock of stylish millinery…”
  • 10/28:  “H.L. Little has one of the most artistically decorated windows seen in this place for a long while.  It was arranged to display hunting shoes and shows a hunting scene…There is a crowd around the window all the time and many favorable comments are heard on the enterprise of Mr. Little.  The arrangement is the work of Sam Fogel, Mr. Little’s window trimmer.”
  • 12/21:  The list of barbers who agreed to stay stay open late on  Xmas eve included “Harry Mervis, 609 Eighth avenue, M.R. Mervis, 707 McClure street,” and others, most of whom sounded Italian.
  • 12/21:  The paper published a two-page spread of “who is who” ads to guess the identity of Homestead business men.  On 12/24 the answers were revealed — two were Ben Little’s for shoes and Half Brothers for furniture.

Personal Woes

  • 1/22:  “Mollie Schwartz, of 505 Fifth avenue, has recovered from an attack of diphtheria and the home was fumigated this morning by the health officers.”
  • 2/17:  In the first high school notes column for a while, Bernard Weiss was on the sick list.
  • 4/8:  “Henry Moss, aged 58 years, a retired business man, died yesterday morning at his home, 246 East Fourth avenue.  A few days ago he contracted a cold which developed into pneumonia, which was the cause of his death.  He was born in Austria and had been a resident of this vicinity for the past thirty years and was highly respected.  He was a member of the Hebrew congregation.  He is survived by his widow, two daughter and four sons, Mrs. M.H. Markley, Sunbury; Mrs. Herman Schwartz of Homestead, Dr. M.H. Moss, L.D. Moss, J.M. Moss and J.W. Moss.  Funeral services were held yesterday afternoon and interment was made in the Hebrew cemetery near Homeville.”
  • 4/17:  “Samuel Glick was discharged and George Dunco was fined $2 at a hearing before Burgess Thomas L. Davis in police court last night.  On Monday night…shouts were heard as [Dunco and friends] neared Dunco’s boarding place which is near Mr. Glick’s residence.  Glick hearing some one say he would stick a knife into another person, thought it was time to give the alarm and from the porch of his residence fired three shots toward the sky.”  Both men were arrested, though the burgess let Glick off.
  • 5/6:  “Louis Freeman, a well known business man of this place has entered a suit for $10,000 against Dr. Walker, for slander.  The suit grew out of a dispute over a black cat which Dr. Walker accused Freeman of stealing but which the latter claims was given to him by Victor Schultz, the milk man.  The result of the suit will be awaited with considerable interest owing to the prominence of the parties.”  This is a quarter-million dollars in today’s money!?!?!
  • 6/15:  “A fire in the residence of Isaac Hertz at 552 Fourth avenue last night about 10:30 damaged the building to the amount of about $800 and furniture to the amount of $1,000…A.M. Goldman, a son-in-law of Mr. and Mrs. Hertz had his right hand badly cut by broken glass…Mr. Hertz, who was on night turn in the mills, was notified but the fire was extinguished before he arrived…”  Full article below, including how the fire was started by mice?!  And also — is the first member of the shul I’ve found who works in the mill????
  • 7/5:  “Numerous Accidents Were Reported Yesterday as the Result of Fire Works Here.”  “Mollie Lefkowitz, the 2 year old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Adolph Lefkowitz, of 521 Dickson street, was severely burned on the left arm while playing about a pot of boiling starch yesterday afternoon…The following received minor injuries from the premature explosion of firework:  Isaac Miller, aged 35 years, three fingers of his right hand lacerated by a fire cracker… Samuel Hepps, aged 9 years, of 406 Dickson street, received a bad laceration of his right arm when struck by an exploding firecracker thrown by a man on the street.”
  • 8/1:  “I.S. Grossman, and his brother I. Grossman, two well known business me of Eighth avenue received a telegram last night from New York City that their father, Joseph Grossman aged 84 a retired business man was dead.  The two accompanied by Jacob and Max two other brothers of Duquesne left at once for New York where they will remain until after the funeral services.”
  • 9/30:  “Harry Arons…received word this morning that his brother, Joseph, with his brother, Ben who operates a drugstore at 1758 Twelfth street, Chicago, was attacked by masked robbers who entered the store on Saturday night.  He was beaten unconscious, bound and gagged, after which the robbers to $60 in money and $40 worth of stamps from the till, from his finger a diamond ring valued at $95 and a large number of fancy articles from the show cases.  Mr. Arons was found unconscious behind the counter by a man who entered the store to telephone for a physician.”  This is certainly more serious than any of the many crimes on Homestead proprietors…
  • 10/8:  “Samuel Jacobs, of Dickson street, who was struck by a street car on Eighth avenue on Saturday evening and carried to the office of Dr. M.H. Moss, where he received medical attention and alter removed to his home is improving.  He sustained a fracture of several ribs and bruises on the head and body, it will be some time before he fully will recover from his injuries.”
  • 10/15:  “As a Homestead and East Pittsburg car was descending Brown’s hill yesterday afternoon and while rounding the curve just above the entrance to the bridge, it got beyond the control of the motorman and becoming derailed, bumped into the bank and was partly overturned.”  Eight people were injured.  One of the Homesteaders was “Adolph Lebowitz, aged 65, of 525 Fourth avenue, Homestead; internal injuries, right ankle sprained; taken home.”  The headline proclaimed, “The Injured Will All Recover.”11/16:  “Adolph Lebowitz, aged 59 years, proprietor of the Munhall drug store, died at his home, 525 East Fourth avenue, last evening at 7:30 o’clock.  He was born in Austria in 1853 and has been a resident of Homestead for the past 12 years.  He was a member of the Rodef Shalom Hebrew congregation, a charter member of Agudath Orchun (sic) of Braddock, and a member of the I.O.B.A., of Pittsburg.  He is survived by his wife and seven children, Emil, Louis, David, Isabel, Lena, Jennie and Bertha.  His death was reported by his physician to be due to internal injuries received in a street car accident.  The funeral will be held at the family residence tomorrow afternoon at 1 o’clock.”
  • 10/10:  “Harry Mervis, a well known barber of Eighth avenue, has returned home from Passavant hospital, where he was confined for the past 11 weeks with an attack of rheumatism.”
  • 10/11:  “Miss Tobie Silverman, of Baltimore, Md., is the guest of her sister, [missing line] Munhall, she will remain here six or seven weeks.”
  • 10/16:  The previous after “smoke was observed issuing from the roof of the I.S. Grossman building at 345 Eighth avenue.  The building is three stories and the volume of smoke could be seen from a great distance.  A large crowd soon collected in the vicinity but went away apparently disappointed as the blaze was of no consequence…There was no damage whatever to the building.  Some excited individual must have sent word to Pittsburg that Homestead was being consumed by fire, as before the firemen had returned, a telephone message was received from the city enquiring about the big fire.”
  • 11/4:  “Mrs. Sadie Chalkin Hertz, aged 23 years, well known among the Jewish people of Homestead, died yesterday afternoon at 2 o’clock at the family residence, 1415 Buena Vista street, North Side, Pittsburg, of a tumor at the base of the brain.  The funeral will be held tomorrow morning and the interment will be made in the Hebrew cemetery near Homeville.  She is survived by her husband, Edward Hertz, and one child.”


  • 1/5:  “Louis Freeman, of Eighth avenue, is spending a few weeks in New York City.”
  • 1/6:  “Louis Moss and Albert Gross, of Eighth avenue and McClure street, and Robert Glick, of West Homestead, will leave this evening for New York City, where they will spend a few weeks.”
  • 1/23:  “Mrs. Mark Fischel, of Dickson street left last evening for New York City, where she will set sail for Europe, where she will spend ten weeks visiting her parents.”
  • 1/29:  “Miss Cecelia Shermer, of Pittsburg, was visiting friends in Eighth avenue yesterday…Miss Flora Eskowitz, of Dickson street, left Saturday for Scranton, where she will spend a few weeks, and will then leave for New York for a visit with relatives…Joseph Lasduksy, a well know business man of Eighth avenue, left on Saturday night for Atlantic City where he will attend the convention of I.O.B.B. as a delegate from this vicinity. He will be away three weeks and will visit his son Ralph, at Philadelphia who is a student tin the University of Pennsylvania. Hew ill also visit New York and other eastern cities to purchase spring goods.”
  • 2/6:  “Joseph Lasdusky arrived home last night from the East, where he combined business with pleasure, visiting Philadelphia, New York and Atlantic City.  While in New York he purchased his spring stock.  At Atlantic City he attended the convention of the Order of Bena (sic) Brith, as a delegate and was honored by being placed on the court of appeals committee.”
  • 2/23:  “Mrs. H.L. Little, arrived home last evening after spending several weeks with her parents in Baltimore.”
  • 2/27:  “Sam Vogal (sic), salesman in Little’s shoe store is visiting his parents in Tyrone.”
  • 3/7:   “Mrs. William Hamson and daughter formerly of Oakland is visiting her sister, Mrs. Meyer Grinberg of Twelfth avenue.”
  • 4/3:  “Ralph Lasdusky is home from school in Philadlepha for a few days vacation.”
  • 4/5 “Mrs. J. Grossman of Duquesne, was the guest of relatives in Homestead yesterday.”
  • 5/2:  “Mrs. Louis Amshell, of Pittsburg, spent yesterday with relatives in Eighth avenue…Mrs. Morris Frankel, of Fifth avenue, attended the annual meeting of the council of Jewish Women, which was held today in Fort Pitt Hotel.”
  • 6/22:  “H.L. Little, the shoe merchant will leave for the East tonight on a business trip.”
  • 7/1:  “H.L. Little is home from Baltimore where he took in the Democratic convention.”
  • 7/2:  “Mrs. H.L. Little has returned home from a four week’s visit to her home in Baltimore.”
  • 7/8:  “Miss Cima Silverman, of Baltimore, arrived in Homestead last evening and will spend several weeks with her sister Mrs. H.L. Little.  She was accompanied by her cousins Misses Cecelia and Yetta Mayerburg, of Chicago, who are on their way home from the Baltimore convention and who will resume their journey tomorrow afternoon.”
  • 7/22:  “Mose Half, of the firm of Half Bros. furniture and carpet store on Eighth avenue has returned home from Chicago, Ill.  He reports business very brisk in the Windy City and the prospects bright.  While away Mr. Half made an immense purchase of the latest style of furniture, carpets and rugs for the patrons of the big store.”
  • 7/23:  “Miss Cecelia Glick and her sister-in-law Mrs, Harry Glick, are spending their vacation in Toronto, Canada.”
  • 7/30:  “Mrs. I. Grossman and son Harold, of Eighth avenue have returned home from a visit with friends in Youngstown, Ohio.”
  • 8/7:  “Joseph Lasdusky a well known merchant of Eighth avenue and wife will depart tomorrow for Atlantic City. While away Mr. Lasdusky will combine business with pleasure and visit New York and Philadelphia where he will purchase fall goods.”
  • 8/19:  “Mrs. Clara Segelman, of Eighth avenue, accompanied by her daughters, Miss Minnie and Maude, have gone to Jamestown, N.Y., for a two weeks stay.”
  • 8/20:  “Miss Rose Ecker and Miss Esther Janowitz, of New York City, are the guests of Mrs. I. Grossman, of Eighth avenue.”
  • 8/23: “Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Lasdusky and son Louis, returned last night from Atlantic Citym where they spent a two weeks vacation. Mrs. Ladusky while East visited Ne York and Philadelphia where he purchased a large stock of fall goods for his Eighth avenue store.”
  • 8/23:   “Miss Renie Heilbron, milliner in Lasdusky’s store, has returned from her summer outing at Atlantic City.”
  • 8/28:  “Miss Rebecca Wiensky, of Savannah, Ga., is the house guests of Mr. and Mrs. Meyer I. Grinberg, of Twelfth avenue.”
  • 9/3:  “Morris Grinberg, proprietor of the Grinberg department store on Eighth avenue left for New York where he will purchase his fall and winter goods. Mr. Grinberg will spend some time in the East.”
  • 9/7:  “Councilman Morris Frankel, and wife of Fifth avenue have returned home from Mt. Clemens, Michigan, where they spent several weeks… Miss Cima Silverman, who has been the guest of her sister, Mrs. H. L. Little of Twelfth aenue, Munhall has returned to her home in Baltimore.”
  • 9/20:  “Henry Markovits, of Eighth venue, was a visitor to McKeesport last evening.”  Last evening was Kol Nidrei.
  • 10/4:  “Miss Sadie Moskowitz, of New York City, accompanied by her daughter, Miss Grace, have arrived here for several weeks’ visit with friends in this vicinity.  At the present they are the house guests of Mrs. J.B. Schwartz, of Fourth avenue.  A number of social events have been planned for Mrs. Moskowitz and her daughter before they return to their home in the East.”
  • 10/7:  “M. Markley, a former well known local business man now of Sunbury, is visiting friends here.”  (He was related to various Homestead families by blood and marriage.)
  • 10/28:  “Joseph Lasdusky, I. Grossman, and I.J. Goldstrom (sic?), visited Mr. and Mrs. Norris, yesterday at the Industrial Home for boys and were royally received as are all Homesteaders who visit the institution.”  There was a very long article about their visit in the Pittsburgh Jewish Criterion.  They were trying to provide for the Jewish education of the 11 of 128 boys there who were Jewish.
  • 11/26:  “Councilman and Mrs. Morris Frankel, of Fifth avenue have returned home from several days’ visit with friends in Salem, Ohio.”
  • 12/6:  “Samuel Fogel left last night to visit his parents in Tyrone. He will the (sic) back Monday and will assume his old position in H.L. Little’s shoe store.”  12/9:  “Samuel Fogel resumed his old position in H.L. Little’s shoe store today.”


  • 1/5:  “Mr. and Mrs. Louis Freeman, of Eighth avenue, entertained at their home with a birthday party in honor of the seventh birthday of their daughter, Sarah.  Games and music were indulged by the children until a late hour when a dainty lunch was served by Mrs. Freeman.  The guests present were Goldie Freeman, Lillian Freeman, of Pittsburg, Ruth Grinberg, Burtnett Grinberg, Sarah Plummer, Louise Plummer, Edythe Evans, Hazel Queck, Mary Chisholm, Nellie Layman, Tootsie Layman, Stella McBroom, Helen Barton, Martha Wallace, Norwod Wallace, and Virginia Weise.  Miss Freeman was the recipient of a number of beautiful presents.”
  • 2/23:  “Mrs. Joseph Lasdusky entertained a few out of town friends along with some of her Homestead friends last evening with a Washington birthday whist party. It was a very unique affair, souveniers appropriate to the day being given.”
  • 3/12:  “Mr. and Mrs. S.A. Goldstein, celebrated the twentieth anniversary of their marriage last evening at their home at 102 Eighth avenue.  About thirty guests were present from Homestead and out of town and a very delightful evening was spent in social past time.  Mr. and Mrs. Goldstein were the recipients of a large number of beautiful presents.”
  • 4/17:  “Miss Nellie Markowitz, entertained a number of friends at her home in Eighth avenue with a whist party after which a sumptuous luncheon was served at which covers were laid for thirty.  The centerpiece was a large bowl of Kilarney roses and the house decorations, the color scheme being carried out in pink and white.”
  • 4/18:  “Misses Leah Miller, Cecelia Glick and Minnie Gross were the committee in charge of the leap year dance held in Casino hall last evening at which thirty couples were present from Homestead, Braddock, McKeesport and Duquesne.  The hall was artistically decorated for the occasion and excellent music was furnished.  The young ladies were well pleased with the success of the affair and are contemplating holding another in the near future.”
  • 5/6: “There were big doings at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Lasdusky on Fifth avenue yesterday afternoon and evening, the occasion being a reception in honor of their son Isidor‘s confirmation, which took place Saturday in the synagogue on Ammon street in the presence of a large number of friends of the family…Refreshments were served and music rendered.  The honor guest received almost a wagon load of presents.”  Guests came in “from all over Western Pennsylvania.”  And yes, this event was his Bar Mitzvah.
  • 8/31:  “One of the social events of the week was a reception given by Mrs. I. Grossman, at her home, 510 Eighth avenue, complimentary to her sister Miss Rose Ecker, and her niece Miss Esther Janowitz, of New York City.  The decorations were green and pink while the favors were boxes of heart shaped candies.  Covers were laid for twenty.  Guests were present from Pittsburg, Homestead and Duquesne.”
  • 11/21: “An exquisitely appointed linen shower was tendered Miss Rose Friedman, of Dickson street, whose marriage to Oscar Mervis, of Zanesville, Ohio, takes place the coming Sunday evening, by the L.W.H.A. of Homestead, at the home of Miss Minnie Glick, of Fourth avenue…Miss Hazel Hepps was awarded a prize for having highest score in whist and Mrs. B. Klein of Moultrie street, Pittsburg, was awarded the booby prize…”
  • 10/21:  A fairly long article (below)  appeared about the “Brilliant Wedding” of Miss Minnie Gross of 1120 McClure street to Maurice Penner of Braddock at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh.  Her brother was Albert Gross, “one of Homestead’s popular business men.”  Her sisters Rebecca and Rose Gross and Mrs. Friedlander (of VA) took part.  Toastmaster was Robert Davidson.


Events related to building the second synagogue are catalogued elsewhere and linked to from here.

  • 1/9:  “Mrs. Joseph Lasdusky has been elected a director of the Mintifiore (sic) Hospital Association of Pittsburg.”
  • 1/9:  United Hebrew Benefit Ball
  • 1/18:  Big Benefit Ball Takes Place
  • 1/19:  An Appeal from Homestead
  • 1/22:  Big Benefit Ball Tuesday
  • 1/23:  The Hebrews Hold Their Ball Tonight
  • 1/24:  Hebrew Ball Proved a Big Success
  • 2/2: “The Hebrew girls of Homestead have organized a club for social purposes and announce a dance in Casino hall, February 19th. There are about 25 members of the club and they meet at the home of the members. While not a charitable organization they expect to help along with the work of building a new synagogue here. The dance February 19th will be followed by a series, lasting throughout the spring and summer. Cards for their first affair will be out the first of next week.”
  • 2/8: “At a recent meeting of the Lodge No. 586, Order of Bena (sic) Brith, officers were installed for the ensuing term. The reports of the officers show the order is growing very rapidly in membership. At the next meeting Joseph Lasdusky, who was a delegate to the convention at Atlantic City, will make his report. The following are the officers: President, Harry Gluck; vice president, H. Haupt; treasurer, Joseph Katz; inside guard, P. Pearlman; outside guard, Dr. D. Reiter.”  (His trip is mentioned in the Travel section above.)
  • 2/9L  “In announcing the officers elected by Lodge no. 586 O.B.B. (sic) in yesterday’s issue the names of I.S. Grossman, financial secretary and I. Grossman, recording secretary, were omitted by an oversight.”
  • 2/26: “The Hebrew Ladies Aid Society will hold a whist party and a dance on Thursday evening, February 29th, in the Casino Hall in Eighth avenue, and extensive arrangements are being completed by the ladies to care for a large crowd. A large n umber of handsome prizes will be awarded the winners and good music will be furnished. Lunch will be served during the evening.”
  • 2/28: “A public Whist party will be given tomorrow evening by the Hebrew Ladies Aid Society in Casino Hall for the benefit of the Religious school conducted by Homestead lodge I.O.B.B. Fifteen handsome prizes have been selected which will be awarded to the winners in the whist games. There will also be dancing which will be a specially enjoyable feature of the evening. Good music will be provided and the ladies of the society will put forth every effort to see that their guests have an enjoyable time. The cause of which this event is to be held is a good one being a school for religious education and the public generally are extended a cordial invitation to attend the whist and dance, for besides having a pleasant evening they will assist in a forward movement of general good to the community.”
  • 3/6:  To go Ahead (And yet… this is the last newspaper article on the subject this year!)
  • 3/9:  “The Homestead Hebrew Religious School will hold its first Purim entertainment under the auspices of the Homestead Lodge 586 I.O.B.B.”  The article elaborates the supporters of the school, nothing “great credit and appreciation are due to the Misses Bernie Rosenbaum, Sara Belle Goorin and Barbara Leevin, who together with Misses Lebovitz, Grossman and Hipps and Mr. Jacob Weiss of Homestead have made up a very efficient volunteer teaching staff.”  They invited the public to the event in the main auditorium of the Odd Fellows Hall on Ninth avenue.  The full article, below, lists the many children in the evening.
  • 3/12:  The Purim entertainment “was one of the most successful and enjoyable functions held by the Jewish people for a long time…The children’s program was rendered in a pleasing manner.  The function was well attended and exceedingly interesting throughout.”  Full article below.
  • 3/18:  “On Tuesday evening, March 19th, the Young Women’s Hebrew Association of Homestead will hold their first dance and recention (sic) in Casino hall in Eighth avenue, which promises to be a great success as a large number of tickets have already been sold for the occasion.  The Markowitz orchestra will furnish the music and a pleasant evening is assured to all who attend.”
  • 3/20:  “A very successful dance was held last evening in the Casino hall on Eighth avenue, by the Young Hebrew Women’s association, there being a large crowd present, many of them being from out of town.  Music was furnished by the Markowitz orchestra of Homestead.”
  • 3/30: A long article explaining Passover appeared in the paper. Read it below. “TO those still pining in slavery in Russsia and Roumania, it sings the song of ultimate redemption, while to those living under the blessed flag of freedom is teaches the ceaseless lesson of gratitude together with an appreciation of the higher civic duties and responsibilities of constitutional liberty.”
  • 4/23: Selected the Architect
  • 5/17: A long article explaining Shavuot appeared in the paper. Read it below.
  • 6/7:  “The Hebrew Religious school will hold its closing exercises for the season on Sunday afternoon in Odd Fellows Temple on Ninth avenue, at 2:30 o’clock.  The school has had a most prosperous year and at this function Sunday afternoon 37 prizes will be awarded to those pupils who have the most proficiency.  On Sunday, June the fifteen, a treat will be given the pupils of the school at Homestead Park.  With Sunday’s exercises the school closes for the two summer months, July and August, after which they will open again for the coming winter.”  Click below to see hew whole program for the exercises.
  • 6/10:  “The Hebrew Religious school closed for a season yesterday afternoon with a very interesting program in Odd Fellow’s Temple on Ninth avenue.  The program was elaborate and consisted of renditions by the pupils of the school.  There was a large audience presenting consisting of the parents of the children and people generally who are interested in this feature of the education of the young.  The Hebrew citizens are taking a leading part in the upward life of the young people and the closing yesterday is evidence of the excellence of their effort.  The school will be closed during the months of July and August to be re-opened in the month of September.”
  • 6/10:  “The Young Women’s Hebrew Association of Homestead, will hold their first evening dance at Homestead Park, Wednesday evening, June 12.  Good music will be furnished for the occasion.  A large crowd is expected from all surrounding towns.  The following reception committee has been appointed for the dance.  Misses Hazel R. Hepps, Leah Miller, Mollie Markowitz, Celia Glick, Rena Heilbron and Isabel Lebovitz.
  • 6/22:  “The Hebrew Ladies Aid Society have completed all arrangements for their dance at Homestead park next Monday evening.  The committee in charge of the affair is composed of Mrs. Morris Frankel, Mrs. Arkins and Mrs. Morris Grinberg.  The ladies have engaged a good orchestra and promises a good time to all who attend the dance.”
  • 7/10:  Every summer the Pentecostals set up camp in Homestead Park.  In the beginning the town was extremely troubled by their odd practices, though they got more comfortable as the years went on.  But then, this:  “The local Hebrews are considerably worked up over finding one of their faith in the camp of the Holy Rollers at Homestead Park…Some of the local Hebrew engaged him in a conversation last night and found that it was hard luck that drove him into the camp…He does not seem to know a whole lot about his professed new faith, and this morning called upon the local Rabbi and admitted he would feel more at home among his own people…”  Full, strange article below.
  • 8/6:  Want to join the High Holiday Choir?  (The address is the home of Rabbi Widom.)

19120806 want ad

  • 9/10:  “The Jewish holyday (sic) season begins somewhat earlier this year than other years.”  A very long article ensues, of course noting that, “All in business will close their stores at 6 o’clock Wednesday evening and keep them closed all day Thursday and many will also remain closed Friday.  The synagogue on Ammon street is too small to accommodate all the Jews of this vicinity and Turner hall has been engaged for services Wednesday evening and Thursday and Friday morning.  The Thursday and Friday evening services will, however, be held in the synagogue.”
  • 9/11:  Another long article explaining RH on erev RH (below) begins hilariously.  “‘La Shono Tovo Tiksavo.’  From the far North to the extreme south from East to West, this greeting will be employed by more than 11,000,000 Jews for the next two days.  The above is the Hibrais (sic!) for the Jewish New Year greeting.  Should one be accosted on the street with this greeting he should make reply, ‘The same to you.'”
  • 9/12:  “With impressive religious ceremonies and feasts and the observance of the ancient custom of blowing the ram’s horn, thousands of Jews of this vicinity at sundown last night ushered in Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year…”
  • 9/14:  “All orthodox Jews in Homestead celebrated the Jewish New Year, the celebration closing last night at 9 o’clock.  The stores were closed on Thursday and Friday.  Appropriate services were held in the synagogue, the last one being just before the close last evening.  The stores reopened after the clock struck 6.  The custom which is universal among all peoples to send New Years cards to friends, was generally observed by the Hebrews and many were sent out preceding the celebration.  The year celebrated on this occasion was the 5,673 anniversary of the creation, according to the Hebrew calendar.”
  • 9/20: Ad noting that the Half Brothers' store was closing early for Yom Kippur

    9/20: Ad noting that the Half Brothers’ store was closing early for Yom Kippur

    9/18:  “Another Hebrew Holiday,” announced the paper.  “Most sacred day of the Jewish year.”  A very long explanation, including an embarrassing amount of detail about kapparot, ensued.

  • 9/18: Old Officers Re-elected
  • 9/19:  “The local Hebrews will observe the day by holding services in Turner hall.  Services will be held from 6 o’clock until 9 Friday evening and from 6 a.m. Saturday until sun down.  Rev. Widom will lecture Friday evening and there will be special music.  All those in business will close their stores at sun down Friday evening and keep them closed until sun down Saturday evening.”
  • 9/19:  “With the first sign of impending darkness this evening, orthodox Jews throughout the world will commence an absolute fast which will not terminate until dusk tomorrow evening…Tomorrow the entire day will be spent in the synagogues and all Hebrews in business will keep their stores closed.  The Homestead congregation will worship in Turner hall as their synagogue is not large enough to accommodate all.”
  • 10/28: The Hebrew Ladies Aid Society will hold a dance and whist in Casino hall tomorrow evening for the benefit of the new Synagogue fund. The whist will start promptly at 8 o’clock. The committee of ladies in charge of the affair have been working hard for the event and have sold many tickets in advance and the attendance is sure to be large. There will be many from out of town. A good orchestra will furnish the music for the dancing.
  • 11/5: “Great preparations have been made by the Young Women’s Hebrew Association for their second annual ball to be held Wednesday evening, Nov. 3rd at the Turner Hall. A large crowd is expected from all the surrounding towns, as a large number of tickets have been sold by the members. The affair will also be a social as well as a financial success, as the Young Women have proved themselves capable of conducting very nice dances. The committee in charge consists of the Misses, Olga Hepps, Sadie Seigle, Hazel Hepps, Isabel Lebovitz, Mollie Markowitz, Leah Miller, Celia Glick.
  • 11/27: In an article about how Thanksgiving would be observed “in the usual appropriate and quiet manner” the paper mentioned that “the banks will be closed and nearly all the stores. Some of the Hebrew stores will be open until noon and probably the grocery stores, but with this exception the larger stores will remain closed all day.”
  • 11/28: Adding insult to injury, the paper then published an article explaining that “the day in the Jewish calendar that mostly corresponds with out American Thanksgiving is that of Purim.”  Gah!
  • 11/29: Naturally, the original mistake about not closing stores aggravated the Jewish community. Reading between the lines of the whole article, it suggested they saw themselves apart from the family and community spirit of the day. The entire response is worth reading:

Reflection on the Hebrews

In the Thanksgiving article which appeared in Wednesday’s Daily Messenger an unmeant reflection was cast upon the Hebrew business men of the town by stating that all the stores would be closed all day but some conducted by Hebrews, who would keep open until noon. As a matter of fact, only five stores were closed all day and two of these were run by Hebrews, all the rest keeping open until noon and there was no occasion to single the Jews out any more than any other. The writer did it thoughtlessly and we feel that the paper owes the Hebrew merchants an apology for any reflection cast upon the Hebrew business men just as ready as any of the other business men to close on a Holiday.

  • 11/30: The second problem was fixed by a letter Rabbi Widom wrote to the paper (below), explaining that Sukkot was the holiday from which Thanksgiving was derived. “In truth, we the American Jews, celebrate two Thanksgiving because we celebrate the American Thanksgiving and even have turkey for dinner.”
  • 11/30: A long article explaining Chanukah appeared (below).
  • 9/18: Ad for the Markowitz Orchestra, who were engaged for the I.O.B.B. ball

    9/18: Ad for the Markowitz Orchestra, who were engaged for the I.O.B.B. ball

    12/5:  “What will undoubtedly prove to have been one of Homestead’s most brilliant affairs this season, was the ball held yesterday evening at the Elks’ temple on Ninth avenue given by the Homestead Lodge No. 586, Independent Order of Be’nai (sic) Brith.  The Jewish residents of Homestead turned out in a body and there was also a large representation from Braddock, Pittsburg, Duquesne, McKeesport, McKees Rocks and the other nearby towns.”  The long article (below) goes on to discuss the crowd, the music, and the clothes.  “The committee in charge of the ball were Mssrs. I. Lincoff, chairman; S. Fogel, J. Glick, J. Friedlander, A. Hepps, B. Sacks and H Markovitz.  In charge of refreshments were the Mesdames Robert Davidson, Charles Sloan, Joseph Lasdusky and Morris Frankel.”

  • 12/20:  “On Sunday afternoon the Hebrew religious school will give a Christmas entertainment in the Odd Fellows Hall to which the public is invite. The program will be found in another column.”   That column begins, “Among the many entertainments arranged in honor of Christmas none will be more elaborate or enjoyable than that to be given by the Hebrew Religion school…The general public is invited to the entertainment which will take place at 2 o’clock.”  The program, listing the many children involved, is below.
  • 12/23:  “The Hebrew children of Homestead gave a most creditable entertainment yesterday afternoon in Odd Fellows’ temple on Ninth avenue.  The hall was filled with the parents and friends of the little ones, many Gentiles being in the audience and all were delighted.  The children showed fine training and some of them marked ability, it being one of the best children’s entertainments ever given here. The entertainment was given in honor of a Hebrew holiday.”


  • 1/11:  “Russia is having her hands full….The United States got busy and abrogated the treaty of 1832 because of Russia’s persistent refusal to honor passports in the hands of American citizens of Jewish faith.  Germany then kicked up a rumpus because the Jews of that country were treated as American Jews were treated when presenting passports for honor by Russia, and Russia had to back down treat the Germans with more respect.  Now England is stirred up and threatens to follow the example set by the United States.  The government of Russia has itself to blame; it has invited what it’s getting.”
  • 1/30:  “Louis Brandeis, of Boston, and D.A. Reed counsel for the United States Steel Corporation, clashed today before the Stanley committee over inquiry into the corporation’s labor policy.”  Brandeis “charged that the steel workers were worse than slaves.  ‘The slave workers were human,’ he said ‘and slaves came into personal contact with their owners.  On the other hand the owners of this steel corporation are in the position exactly similar to the absentee landlords in Ireland…'”
8/2: Advertisement for a YMHA picnic in Kennywood Park

8/2: Advertisement for a YMHA picnic in Kennywood Park

  • 8/22:  “Wellknown (sic) Hebrew Couple Married,” reported the paper about Miss Mollie Markovitz and Louis Mermelstein from McKeesport and Braddock, “both well known in Homestead Hebrew circles.”  Judging by the names they likely have many relatives in Homestead.
  • 8/24: “Prominent Hebrew Dead in Braddock,” reported the paper about “Morris Rosenbloom, aged 62, pioneer wholesale liquor dealer of Braddock and well known in Homestead.” Likely he had some connection to the Israel Rosenbloom who was a liquor wholesaler in Homestead for a time and also this Rosenbloom family.
  • 10/17: A longish article about the Septuagint quoted from the Letters of Aristeas and examined whether its story of the origins of the Septuagint could be true.


Ads for these businessmen appeared in the paper throughout the year.

  • Half Bros. (126-128 Eighth Avenue)
  • Victor Shoe Company (311 8th Avenue)
  • Little’s (“The Home of Good Shoes”, 319-321 Eighth Ave, between Ann and McClure)
  • Ben Little (609-611 Eighth Ave, then moved to 207 Eighth Ave, corner Eighth and Amity, “Ben Little’s new shoe store”)
  • Friedlander’s (213 Eighth Ave)
  • Jos. Lasdusky (335 Eighth Ave.)
  • Morris Grinberg (607 Eighth ave above Dickson St.)
  • I. Grossman (147 Eighth Ave)
  • Gross’s (401-403 Eighth Ave)
  • Meyer I. Grinberg (209 Eighth Ave)
  • Markowitz Orchestra (1119 McClure St, Munhall)
  • Segelman’s (Old Reliable Jewelry, Eighth and Amity “Where All Street Cars Stop”)
  • Louis Freeman (“The fruit, vegetable and produce man,” 221 East Eighth ave)

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