Text Size

COTTON- - -FAMILY- - -RELIGION

Our values are represented by:

COTTON symbolizes daily activities related to productivity.

FAMILY works together as the mainstay of life, and

RELIGION glues all parts together.

1910

Clarksdale’s population was 4, 079.[1]

Before 1910: There was no independent Lithuania. Poland was a part of Russia; all of it was Russia.[2](Cohen/Kline, 21)

 January 4th: During the 81st session of the state Senate, Senator Theodore G. Bilbo introduced a bill, which died in committee, "to prohibit the manufacture, sale, barter, or giving away of Coca-Cola."[3]

CONGREGATION B’NAI ISRAEL

 

Building was formerly covered with white stucco.


JEWISH ORGANIZATIONS

The B’nai B’rith was started in 1910.[4] See 1915 for list of members found in a B’nai Brith ledger.[5]

COHN

(1900)

HARRY & CELIA

In 1920 Living at 211 Walnut Avenue with daughter, Ruth. He immigrated in 1904; merchant of dry goods store and taking in four Russian lodgers.[6]

FINK

(1900, 1920, 1930)

JAKE

Jake had “Jake Fink” painted across his store; people tried for years to remove it after he left by painting over it; however, it kept bleeding through.[7]

As Jake's retail store prospered and his cotton business grew, Jake took the next logical step and became a landowner. He purchased one of the big cotton plantations between Alligator and Duncan known as the Ike Edward’s place and began growing King Cotton, only to find one more obstacle in his path. Since he was now on the production end of the cotton business, he had to process cotton and needed access to a gin. The only cotton gin in Duncan was controlled by a group of people who were very selective; they refused to take Jake's cotton. But Jake wasn't about to be stymied. He bested the market; he got the money together; he’d bought out his brother-in-law; he'd beat up the wholesaler; he'd acquired the land; now he would build himself a gin. He went to work and organized a group of planters and very soon a second gin was in operation in Duncan. During the first season, it caused so much competition in the area that they had to protect it at night time with shot guns and armed guards. But it passed over and he became friendlier and more important in both the social and financial life of Duncan.[8].

FRIEDMAN/MAY

(1868, 1880, 1890, 1900, 1920, 1930)

CELIA MAY

Jacob, Joseph, Abe, Hymie and Celia were all born in Lithuania. When Celia, 16 years old and the last of five children, came to America by herself, her boat went through Baltimore and to Minneapolis. All her brothers were in America. She visited her brother (Harry Jacob May) in Clarksdale. Joseph and Hymie lived in Minneapolis; and Abe lived in Minneapolis.[9]

KLINE

(1900, 1920, 1930)

ABE

Aaron Kline said, “My other brother Abe married Rebecca Silverblatt from Friars Point. [He immigrated] in 1910. I was born the year he left for America. So, when I came, I didn't know him, and he didn’t know me, because of the 20 years difference in our age.[10]

MARKS

(1868, 1890, 1900, 1930)

SAM & HENRY

Sam and Henry Marks of Marks donated a bale of cotton to the Temple Aid, and it was sold to the highest bidder for $50.45. [11](Minutes, Helena AR, 1910, 4)

NACHMAN

(1880, 1890, 1900, 1920, 1930)

Township of Nachman

When a mill town grew up around the land of Emily Butts, four miles southwest of Clarksdale in 1910, local folks called the town Nachman because of Al Nachman, Miss Butt's overseer. Once the forests had been thinned out and cleared away, the mill folded, along with the Y & MV spur. By 1915, Nachman was a ghost town.[12]

Sam Abrams said,

Al Nachman was in the insurance business. My daddy's house that we lived on Madison in Riverton was the first one as many Jews lived on that street. Al Nachman furnished some money for this house.  He had a very low interest rate on it. He was very charitable. He put Buddy Brocato, an Italian boy, through college. He became a lawyer. He didn't have a family [in Clarksdale].[13]

WIENER

(1920) 

DAVE

Dave explained his father's immigration to the South,

My father's parents lived in Europe and were killed in the Holocaust. My father came to the United States in 1910. I would say maybe 1912, 1913. He came from Ketellin in the Ukraine, in Russia. This was at the end of the Russo-Japanese War--which Russia lost. Of course, it could only be one person's fault, the Jews. It's insane. The Jews fought that damned war. My grandfather had been drafted in the Army; he was in the Army … in those days, that was the Czar's way of getting rid of the Jews. So, he was in there about ten or twelve-years [old], so the difference between my father's age and his sister 's, my aunt's age would be about ten or twelve years. So, he was born in 1892, so in 1910., He was eighteen, he had to get out of Russia. So a lansmen who had a family in Philadelphia came by their town. I think they had enough money to get him a passport and he went with the lansmen to Philadelphia.

When [my dad] got to Philadelphia he didn't have enough money. You had to have fifty dollars to be self sufficient. He didn't have fifty, but you had to have a sponsor. So the lansmen wouldn't sponsor him. The Jewish Welfare had this program. This fellow Schipp, who was a very rich German, he didn't want the Jews to settle around New York. They had had trouble with labor strife, and he was trying to get them as far away as possible. He had a program where they would go to Galveston, Texas. So, my father got on the boat, and we became Southerners.

Jewish Welfare then got a German family in Bryan, Texas. In 1910, that was cowboy country--in the heart of where Texas A & M is now--between San Antonio and Austin somewhere--deep in the heart of Texas. He didn't like it. These German people were nice to him, but they never invited him to their home. They got him in a boarding house where there were cowboys. He couldn't speak a word of English, and those cowboys were not extremely sympathetic towards him. They didn't bother him, but he was very uncomfortable. Someone told him of Dallas, that he might find younger Jews. He was eighteen. He thought he might find younger Jewish people in Dallas. He got to Dallas and got a job. He couldn't be a salesman,[because] he couldn't speak enough English.They let him merchandise at Neiman Marcus.[14]

1911

September 11: Former U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt spoke to a crowd of about 6,000 at McComb in an effort to gain support for the building of the Panama Canal.[15]

Boll weevil’s first destructive entrance into the county revolutionized agricultural methods.[16]

CONGREGATION B’NAI ISRAEL

Alvin Find, said, “Max Friedman is given the credit for starting the Sunday School He organized the men and started the synagogue.”[17] The first synagogue was erected in 1910 at 69 Delta Avenue . Today, it is the law office of Thomas H. Pearson.[18]

We went to Sunday School in Clarksdale, a weekly occurrence except for the summer. Max Friedman conducted everything. [19] He was instrumental in the building of the first Jewish Synagogue on Delta Avenue.

Beth Israel Sunday School started- 4 teachers/50 students (approximately)[20]

Flora Hirsberg said,

We had a synagogue on Delta. When the Torah was bought for the Synagogue, a group, and I don’t know who they were, the men met it at the train. They marched from the depot (not sure if it was the new one at Issaquena or the old one between Delta and Yazoo). They marched from the depot, and I remember seeing them march down Delta. I have no idea how old I was, I mean I don’t know if I was little, eight or ten or eleven. There were two, I think. They marched down to the Synagogue, across from the Court House, and that was the beginning. Well, I don’t think that was the beginning, because they had to be organized to some extent. They just did not own a Torah.[21]

During Lenora Sack Beatus's interview, she mentioned that Freda Fink took the women over to the Elks Club because the Orthodox services did not include them. It was through this that the Sunday School started.[22]

Alvin Fink, and Flora Hirsberg added,

We used to go to the Court House and City Hall for Sunday School. They had the Sunday School up in the Court House where the jury used to sit was where my class was.Frieda Woolbert Fink was the first one that started the Sunday School. Somehow or other, she was the one who would be more interested in that type of thing.[23]

ABRAMS

(1900, 1920, 1930)

SAM

Sam said, “I don’t remember the year when my mother, sister and I moved to Memphis so that we could get an education, [which meant] I could go to Seder (means Hebrew school).”[24]

Sam continued, In the meantime, in 1911, we had everything to go haywire. My parents had a little girl in 1911. She lived just a few days. They buried her in Memphis. They didn’t have a cemetery in Duncan. There was a depression. My daddy lost a car and a store. And, William R. Moore was going to buy the stock back from my Daddy. Jake Fink outbid them. My daddy went back into business anyway. Jake Fink had a store across the street from us. [25]

HOCHSTEIN

(1900)

MAX

Sam Abrams said: “During an influenza epidemic in 1911, I had an uncle that moved to Clarksdale and had a store there. It was Lillie Laben’s father and mother who lived there. He contracted flu and my daddy took him into Memphis to the hospital. He died.”[26]

KERSTINE/ROSENBLUM

(1868, 1880, 1890, 1900, 1920, 1930)

LILLY

Lilly Kerstine at age 22 and Isadore Rosenblum, Denver, CO, married on November 5, 1911 at Peabody Hotel by Rabbi Max Samfield.[27] At the time, Isidor Rosenblum was in college to become an attorney. He dropped out and entered business in Clarksdale around this time.[28]

Isadore Rosenblum was working in a baker's shop. John Diamond was a friend of his. I don't what in the hell he was-- an Indian or something. Isadore had a sister and a brother in Denver. I don't remember the brother but I think he had a wife. I don't remember Lilly getting married in1911.[29]

LEVINSON

(1868, 1880, 1890, 1900, 1920, 1930)

BARNET

1910 Census spells his name Bonnet but his obituary spells it Barnet. He was born in Russia in 1866 and immigrated in 1900. He listed yard dealer as his occupation. His wife, Rodell was born in Russia in 1966. Information not available as to when she immigrated. The family was living next door to his brother, Morris on Delta Avenue.

CHILDREN:

1) Louis born in 1894 in Connecticut

2) Leah born in 1893 in Connecticut

3) Bessie born in 1897 in Connecticut

4) Jennie born in 1900 Kentucky[30]

MORRIS & FANNIE

Morris was born in Russia in 1862 and immigrated in 1908 He was a dry good merchant. His orbit said he died in Los Angeles in 1948.[31] His wife Fanny was born in Russia in 1866; however, her tombstone says 1859[32]. She immigrated with the children in 1904. Her brother was W. Levine and sister was Rose Levine Kaplan.[33]

CHILDREN:

1) Jake born in 1897 in Russia

2) Louis born in 1903 in Russia

3) Annie born I 1902 in Russia

4) Harry[34]

WIENER

(1920)

DAVE

Dave continued his story,

My father was in Dallas at Neiman Marcus. He always heard there were Jewish people east--younger Jewish people. So he ended up in Little Rock, Arkansas. He went to work, by that time, he could be a salesman, and he could speak English pretty well. Then, he finally went to Helena, Arkansas. Mr. [Dave] Solomon and his family had a wholesale dry goods company like William R. Moore or something like that in Helena. So he went to work for him.[35]

Meanwhile, how he met my mother in Memphis. All these greenhorns coming into Memphis from the old country went to the Neighborhood House where they taught them English and helped them get a job. So, he would get off from work at 11 or 12 o'clock on Saturday, catch the Tate Allen, which was one of the packet boats, and he got to Memphis at 8 o'clock in the morning. He would shower and shave and go to the Neighborhood House and look for greenhorns. So he met my mother there.

My mother had come came from a different part—she was from Latvia. They could speak German. It was a different culture. The pictures she brought back, German postcards, looked like a typical European city. Riga was a big city, maybe five, six hundred thousand, but they were really from Tooke which was a suburb, sort of but it was an all Jewish town.[36]

1912

Quoted from a newspaper article,

Honorable Earl LeRoy Brewer, member of Clarksdale’s bar elected Governor of Mississippi.[37] and served until 1916. He was the only governor elected without opposition and the only chief executive Clarksdale can claim. The big red brick Brewer home with its two-story white columns still stands at the corner of John and Clark Streets, a silent reminder of Governor Brewer and his family who moved to Clarksdale in 1902 from Water Valley. He had been appointed District Attorney of the newly created 11th Circuit District. Governor Brewer’s daughter, Mrs. Samuel C. Strite, donated a copy of his biography to the “Mississippi Room” of Clarksdale’s Carnegie Public Library.[38]

 Gravel surfacing replaced muddy roads.[39]

September 18: Article in Clarksdale newspaper says,-”There was no real estate developer to provide elegant homes for the top citizens moving to this town.”[40]

From an article about floods, “Back to back floods create crevasses in every levee district expect the Yazoo-Mississippi Delta Levee District. Workers still had to put up an intense fight during each flood, proving the need for constant levee maintenance and a well-organized flood fight plan.”[41]

Congregation Beth Israel

October:   The Jewish Historical Edition states “A.H. Freyman became the shochet, Kantor and Rabbi for the congregation.[42]

Flora Okun Hirsberg described the process for kosher meat:

[Freyman] would sell kosher meat, and that’s how the Clarksdale people were able to keep kosher. He lived on DeSoto [Avenue]. In the back of their house, they had a little house, which was his meat market. Where he would kill the chickens, you know if you kept kosher, you had to kill them a certain way. So, he would kill the chickens. I guess he would get it in Memphis. I don’t know where he got it. Then you buy your meat and have your chickens killed there.[43]

Abe Isaacson described how they dedicated the first Torah brought into the new synagogue on Delta Avenue,

In those days our Jewish population in Clarksdale was about ten families who earned a poor living from small businesses or peddling out in the countryside.T hey were all of the orthodox faith, newly come over from the Russian ghetto. [They] were faithful to the mosaic law and the traditions like they conducted themselves in the old country. They had to have a synagogue to worship their God in but where could they get enough money to build Sanctuary

Each one donated according to his means and started fund-raising campaign. Each one knew a friend in the Gentile population. Those religious Christians donated as much or even more than our own families could donate. The preachers in various churches urged their congregations to help their Jewish brethren build a sanctuary to the Lord. And now I will give you an example of the love the Clarksdale population had for our poor immigrants. It happened this way.  A man by the name of Louis Goldstein, a single man who lived by himself no family ties, no relatives decided he would donate a Torah to the newly built synagogue. He ordered one at a cost of two hundred dollars which was lots of money in those days.

They waited several months until it arrived by express one day. Now the same man planned an elaborate welcome for the Holy Scroll. He hired a hand of music, organized a parade from the Railroad to the new synagogue on Delta Avenue and he invited all the dignitaries in town to participate in the parade. So there came all the leaders in town, city officials, members of the Sheriff’s office, lawyers, doctors, and what have you. This was the procedure. Any one who would donate a hundred dollars would carry the Scroll a distance of ten paces and come to a stop. Then the next man would make a donation, maybe a hundred or fifty dollars and the torah was given him for ten paces, and that kept up till they reached the synagogue and Goldstein was the man who took the Scroll into the sanctuary.

We had a shochet at that time by name of Freyman (a shochet is a man who butchers kosher mats and fowls circumcises the newly born male child and serves as a Kantor in reading from the prayer book for the public.) He opened up the Scroll and read a portion from Genesis and made the blessing on the Torah. Then, the Mayor of the town made a nice talk and complimented our Jewish brethren for keeping the faith of our fathers and refreshments were served to all present after which we all went back to our daily tasks.[44]

COHN

(1868, 1900, 1920, 1930)

HARRY

Owned a tailor shop at 278 Sunflower Avenue; wife was Celia.[45] They married in 1915. His obit says he came to Clarksdale in 1912,[46]

CHILDREN: 

(1) RUTH born 1916 in New York City.

(2) BERNARD born I 1922 in Mississippi

FINK

(1900, 1920, 1930)

JAKE & FREDA

Alvin described his mother,

Freda was tall, skinny, with wonderful straight posture … slight back bend when she walked. She always wore white gloves. She was always elegant and ladylike and never passed across the line. If something were unpleasant to her, she would say 'Oh, let’s not talk about that.' …. She had backbone in[her]straight carriage. …. At the time of the Depression, when the stock market crashed, and Jake lost his money, she took her diamonds … to the bank to put them up as collateral.[47]

Alvin talked about his parent's courtship,

Jake met Freda Woolbert, a deep rose red haired girl, at a dance in Clarksdale. Her parents were prominent merchants in Clarksdale. She had just returned from school at Mississippi Institute Training for Women in Columbus, now Mississippi State University for Women. She was also taking private violin lessons from a teacher in Memphis. After the dance they corresponded. Jake proved to be a skilled letter writer.

Marion Shackeroff said, “I have read the love letters. My daddy had the most magnificent penmanship you will ever see, and the letters were absolutely exquisite.”[48]

Alvin continued describing his parent’s courtship.

Between 1911 and 1913 Jake closed the store early in Duncan and caught the afternoon train and to go to Clarksdale for his date with my mother. He would leave the railroad station and go out to my grandmother's house walking. In the summertime, it was all right, but in the winter time it was rather rough because at that time there was no bridge from bank to bank to cross the Sunflower river like there is today. It was just a footbridge across the river itself .… He told that many a night when it was cold and sleeting and frozen, that he practically crawled across that bridge when he would leave my grandfather’s house after dating my mother.

This was a great big two-story house with bedrooms downstairs and a number of bedrooms upstairs. They were heated by fireplaces and a big coal stove that sat in the rear of the living room. And of course, in real cold weather, people used to try to dress and undress around it. It happened that one time daddy came to see mother, and when he arrived, on the back of a chair there was a corset. This was an item of underwear that women used to wear. It was a lace type corset, and they put it around their middles to tuck in their waist. It happened to be my grandmother's corset, as she had undressed in the room long before my father had arrived. Unknowing to my mother when they let my father in when he knocked on the door, he sat down and waited my mother's corning down the stairs to greet him. He noticed that this corset was there, and he didn't want my mother embarrassed when she came down …. So, he took the corset and wrapped it up in a newspaper and hid it behind the pillow on the couch. The next morning there was an awful search for my grandmother's corset, and they finally discovered it behind the pillow. They finally realized that Jake had hidden it to prevent Freda’s embarrassment.

FREYMAN

(1868, 1890, 1900, 1920, 1930) 

AARON H. and RACHAEL B. LICHT

Aaron was born in 1870 in Russia. His parents. While living in Russia he was engaged in study and educating the children. Before they emigrated to American in 1891, She was born in Russia in 1870 and immigrated in 1895. They arrived in New York on August 14, 1892. They lived there until 1898 and served as Rabbi of the Congregation of Rabbi Loudor. They spent the next six years (1904) servicing the congregation in Peakskill, New York. He changed his residence to Norristown, PA to serve as Rabbi. For several terms he was the efficient secretary at B’rith Sholom and Ashkenazim and Montgomery Lodges of the Independent Order of B’nai B’rith.[49] When he moved to Clarksdale from Norristown to continue his rabbinical functions; however, his family did not arrive with him.[50]

Freyman had a beautiful voice. He wasn’t as big as a minute but he had a beautiful voice. I sang in his choir for a while. He acted as Cantor also.[51]

CHILDREN[52]:

(1)   Louis born 1892 in Russia.

(2)   Annie born 1893 in Russia.

(3)   Ida born in 1896 in New York.

(4)   Abraham in 1900 in New York.

(5)   Lena Freyman Plitman born in 1902 in New York.

Lena married Max Plitman. She was famous for being a marvelous cook. Lolly Abrams said she used Lena’s Strudel recipe.[53] She was known for her musical skills and acted as director of the Beth Israel Choir for many years

(6)   Meyer born in 1904 in Pennsylvania.

(7)   Jennie (not sure which one she married L.D. Hirsh/Sol Shepp) born in 1907 in Pennsylvania

ISAACSON

(Prologue, 1920, 1930)

ABRAHAM

Abraham “Abe” Isaacson was born in Poland in 1888 and immigrated in 1905. He married Eva Michaelson who was born in his same home town in Poland in 1896 and immigrated in 1903.[54]

Mr. Isaacson wrote about his adopted country and about his concern for Clarksdale and Coahoma County. He became a regular contributor to the local newspaper. Letters to the Editor’s column: In time, his name was almost as familiar to newspaper readers as was the names of those wrote daily. He wrote a lot of poetry. He also wrote varied memoirs based on the personal knowledge of local history which was published both in the newspaper and other local organs. See Prologue for poem “There’s Where the South Begins.“[55]

When Mr. Isaacson immigrated to America as a young man, he did not settle in Clarksdale for seven years. On his arrival in Clarksdale he wrote in one of his numerous letters to the Clarksdale Press Register,

Beth Israel Temple had fifteen families and was growing when I came to Clarksdale in 1912. Most of these people of the Jewish community were newly arrived immigrants from Eastern Europe. How they found out about Clarksdale to settle is hard to tell. Most of them first came to New York City, but not finding work or liking the congested city life with its sweatshops decided to travel further and explore the real America. They came South to Memphis; then, just a small settlement.

Here’s Clarksdale, in 1979 written by Abe said,

I traveled with what was Ringling Brothers, Barium and Bailey’s Circus working as a photographer before he finally settled in Clarksdale on the advice of his friend, Harry Kantor, who had been his boyhood friend in Russia. [Harry Kantor] had settled in Clarksdale in the early 1900s. Mr. Isaacson purchased a piece of property on Sunflower Avenue for $4,000 and then left the circus to establish a store on that site. He was to operate that store for more than 60 years. During his travel with Ringling Brothers’ Barnum and Bailey Circus, the itinerant photographer had encountered another friend from his boyhood days in Russia. Her family had moved from Russia and settled in Maine. Her name was Eva Michaelson.[56]

In one of these accounts, he wrote,

…when I came to Clarksdale we had fast shooting gunmen. They wouldn’t kill you, but hold you up for your money, but mostly in an argument in a poker game, or about money, wife, or sweetheart. In fact, Clarksdale was wide open to gamblers and what have you. A week that passed without a shootout was considered a dull week.

The couple established a home on Oakhurst Avenue and raised their family there.[57]

He became a member of Beth Israel Temple. Mr. Isaacson was one of its organizers and throughout its history, one of its prime movers. He was also a member of B’nai B’rith and Scottish Rights Masons, a member of the Clarksdale Lodge.[58]

CHILDREN

(1)              Mildred (Wasserman) born in Mississippi in 1919.

(2)              Goldie (Himmelstein) born in Mississippi in 1921.

(3)              Leah (Erik) born in Mississippi in 1926.

SHEPP

(1920)

SAM

Sam was 13 years old when he emigrated to America. He attended school in New York for a year and then moved to Duncan, Mississippi in 1912.[59]

1913

February 03: Income tax Amendment #16 ratified.

FLOOD: Another period of anxiety of high-water fight but luckily no crevasses was recorded.[60]

Paved streets replaced gravel surfacing.[61]

BRODOfSKY/BOROD

(1920)

MAX

Max built their home in Merigold. and help build the Temple in Cleveland. He lost his mother at six years old. lived at the Adelson’s in Merigold for 6 months. [62]

DINNER

(1900, 1920)

REUBEN/RUBIN and ESTHER RUSEL:

Reuben's naturalization paper and the 1930 U. S. Census say both Reuben and Esther were born in Russia in 1885; their married in 1905.

Children:

(1)   Samuel born in Russia in 1907

(2)   Mary born in Russia in 1909

(3)   Blanche born in Russia in 1911.[63]

Blanche said,

The reason why he ran away is my daddy had a grocery store. He made a good living. The store to him was a captive woman. She was so jealous of the Jews; so, my daddy was eating breakfast one morning. Meantime, he took the paper and was reading the news. He mentioned the Czar’s name as there was something about him. The neighbor came as she heard him mentioned the Czar’s name. She called the police and told them that he had cursed the Czar. Can you imagine? He never cursed him; he was just read the paper to my mother. He was explaining something about what the Czar was saying. Well, they came and arrested him; they put him in jail. You know how they take the jailers outside to work, you know, so, he had a chance to run away. He was real quick, and the soldiers did not see him. He was hiding under the bushes; he was hiding in swamps, he even jumped on the train to try to hide. He finally, by the hardest, came to the United States.[64]

They landed at Galveston, TX [in 1902]. And there were a lot of Jewish people on that boat. One was Mr. Cart; they sent him to Moorhead, Mississippi; Mr. Allen was another one; they sent to Moorhead. They tried to send the refugees to different places. (Dinner, 1) They sent my daddy to Greenville, Mississippi, of all places. So he was there and when my daddy became a [she said “senior” but I think she meant “naturalized” citizen] he sent papers for my mother to come too He sent one paper; he sent two papers, three times. Every time he sent papers she wasn’t ready to come on account of her parents was sick or something major had happened that she couldn’t leave. [65]

BLANCHE

Blanche talked about her life in Russia before immigrating:

Yes, I was seven years old when we move from Maryopol to Minsk a [bigger] city. Maryopol was a small town but not a farm community. We lived in town in a house. My mother’s parents had a bakery, and she helped in the bakery. After her parents died, she tried—I can’t remember. My aunt who lived with her was a seamstress; so, she sewed for different people. She helped us, and we all lived together. I can’t remember what she did; I remember she was sick, I know one time she almost died.[66]

Every time I would go to school about a week; then, it would close down. I didn’t have any Russian schooling at all. No, We did not go to Hebrew school; they wouldn’t let you go to any school. So, I couldn’t even write or read, because I didn’t go to school. I could speak Russian; however, they let you go to school when the school opened up. Every time I went up there, it was no time when they closed up again. So, I was educated in the United States.[67]

My mother worked with her brother [Samuel]. He had a bakery. He baked bread and did salad to go to market.… My brother got a job as a messenger boy with some office--in a two story building. He was fourteen years old. In order to get a free place to live they gave us a kitchen. Maybe was as big as your kitchen here. But, we didn’t have any furniture; nothing. All we had, they gave us; it was a Dutch oven, I guess you called it a Dutch oven. It was built out of stucco. You could put any kind of coal inside. You know how they have some houses built, not of brick, but of stucco? I remember we slept on top of the oven . It was warm on top; so, we slept there. Three or four of us could sleep on top.[68]

Yea, Bolshevik/communist whatever you want to call it, wasn’t good. Yea, honey, they killed not only they wouldn’t let you go to synagogue, they even tore down Catholic churches. I remember I was walking on the street, and you know, those statues of Mary and Jesus? They threw them outside on the street. They just didn’t believe in anything. It was terrible. It was so bad, honey–I can’t describe to you. I was only seven years old.[69]

I remember my sister and I got a job in the factory. She was ten; I was seven. Do you know what kind of job we had? You know those little books of matches. We stuffed the little boxes with matches. She got 10 cents for a whole day, and I got 10 cents. All day, I want you to know.

We were lucky to make 10 cents. Plus, they didn’t pay my brother nothing, because they gave us free living quarters. They furnished us with coal and wood and potatoes. So, my mother baked potatoes one day; then, she made potatoes latkes. All we had was potatoes; so, she fixed them different ways. She finally made charcoal out of coal and wood. She filled it up in a little bucket. She asked me to go to the market to try to sell it. All I could get was 10 cents. I didn’t have a coat, and it was winter time. It was so cold, snow, and I don’t know how long I had to walk to the market. I stood there. I know I left at 7 o’clock in the morning. Stood there from 7 pm till 6 in the evening—froze to death. I tried to sell the charcoal. No one wanted to buy it. But, you know, you smell all the good food they cooked.[70]

It made me almost faint and nothing to eat all day. I couldn’t stand any longer. All the people closed up and went home. You know, they sold food or different things. So, my hands were so frozen, I couldn’t hold the bucket. So, I had sense enough to put my hand under my arm like that (near the arm pit) I wasn’t giving up for nothing. I had to sell that charcoal. So, on the way home, I stopped at every store. It could be a delicatessen, or dry goods store, or furniture store. I stopped in every store and asked them if they would buy the charcoal for 10 cents. They would say in Russian: “Honey, I’ll give you the dime, but we don’t need the charcoal. You can sell to somebody and make the 10 cents more.” I would say: “On no. My mama told me not to accept money unless you keep the charcoal.” I was so little. After I had gone into about a half dozen stores, so finally one person felt so bad that they gave me 10 cents, and they took the charcoal. I wouldn’t go with the charcoal. We were so damn honest.[71]

Yea, on the way to the office, we had the little kitchen. I looked in the delicatessen window. I see a man cutting the crust off the bread, and he was putting the crust in the brown bag. I said to myself: “On my God, I bet he will throw that away. So, I went in and asked him: “Please what are you going to do with that crust you put in a bag?” He said that he was saving for another man who feeds the chickens with it. I said: “Oh, would you be so kind as to give me a little bit of it.” He felt so sorry for me that he gave me about a half bag. I had to walk the steps when I got to the building. I was so badly frozen that I could hardly move. So, I took it easy. On the second floor we lived. I had to walk a lot of steps. Well, I got to our kitchen and knocked on the door for Mama to open the door, because my hands were stiff, and they were really frozen. You can’t imagine I had a little flannel dress that is all. When it is below zero that is how cold it gets with snow. So, I had more sense when I was a little girl then I have now. I kicked the door with my foot. She finally heard me and opened the door. When she opened the door, I fell on my face—flopped right on my face.[72]

Yes, I will never forget it. The next day, I broke out with sores; maybe it was chicken pox. Who knows. It was big sores all over my body—my head—everything. My poor mother, she--No, I don’t know what it was. But, I had something to remember. Do you see those spots? Those are from the sores—look at them, I can be brown in the summer from a suntan. You can see where the spots are that were left with me. And, Mama was beating on my hands to try to warm them up. I don’t know what it was. Oh, she was an angel. She felt so bad. And, finally she washed my hair with kerosene.[73]

FINK/WOOLBERT
(1890, 1900, 1920, 1930)

Jacob “Jake” Fink & Freda Woolbert  

While Alvin wrote, Marion and Pauline talked about their parents early years,

March 25: Freda Woolbert and Jacob Fink married in her parent’s home. The Woolberts were the third family who had built and had moved to the south-undeveloped side of the Sunflower River. The founding fathers lived on the town side of the river. Alvin and Pauline were born in this house.[74]

Rabbi William Fineshriber, Congregation Children of Israel, Memphis, Tennessee, performed the ceremony. This was no arranged marriage, no yenta made the match. At first glance, this seemed an odd match between Jake, the dark immigrant, self-educated grammar school drop out, and Freda, tall and willowy, a college graduate as well as an accomplished musician from a wealthy established family. Their long, happy, and fruitful marriage proved once again the wisdom and foresight of Jake and Freda. They began their life together with a honeymoon trip to New Orleans, the city that had so fascinated Jake when he was a youngster searching for independence. The couple never made it to the Crescent City. They received a call from Duncan that Jake’s store was on fire. Jake and his bride turned around and rushed back to Duncan. They first lived at the Smith Boarding House. Lud Smith, one of their sons was later a plantation manager for Jake which lasted many years.[75]

Jake built his bride a house one block down the street from his store in Duncan. A very busy man, Jake was buying and selling left and right. He sold groceries, dry goods, coffins and hardware. He ‘furnished’ small farmers both black and white. He loaned money and took diamonds and gold as security. He bought land; he raised cotton and he bought and sold and ginned cotton. Jake, always a dandy, liked to have a barber shave him. Since there was no barbershop in Duncan, he brought a barber to town, a Mr. McMurphey, and set him up in a shop next door to Fink’s own store. [76]

With typical good humor, Freda Fink often told how that first night at the Smith Boarding-house in Duncan, when she and Jake went to bed, the slats fell out with a great clatter and the bed and mattress fell to the floor.[77]

FREYMAN

(1868, 1890, 1900, 1920, 1930)

AARON & RACHEL

Rachel and the family joined Aaron.[78]

KERSTINE

(1868, 1880, 1890, 1900, 1920, 1930)

SELMA

When Carlie and Max Landau lived next door to them on Yazoo street, Selma used to play with Carlie more than anybody else. Selma said,

She was just married; she couldn't have been very old. We played jacks on the floor at her house and then she taught me how to crochet.” My hair was down to here and Mrs. Landau would wash my hair. She was young; I don't have any idea how old she was. She had just moved to town because Max had a store. I used to always holler I didn't have anybody to play with and Mama would get a little colored girl to play with me.[79]

[I] had the measles when [I] was 5 years old. Mollie, grandmother, had curtains up to shield [my] eyes. When Dr. Primrose came, he took down all of them. 'That caused my eye problem.Dr. Primrose told Mama to keep me in a lighted room and put sheets over me but it still hurt my eyes.' Because they didn't have a hospital everything was treated at home. I guess we went to Memphis if someone had to go to the hospital.[80]

Although Selma didn't talk about her blindness at all, Isidor talked about her visual problem as though she was blind. She has always worn very thick glasses. People have always watched her very carefully about where she went. Wouldn’t let her do this and wouldn’t let her do that because of “her eyes.” (Selma does not give you this impression. She always acts as she can see with normal vision. The truth lies some where between the two extremes.[81]

SHACKEROFF/FINK

(1900, 1920, 1930)

Rabbi W. Fineshriber married Edwin’s parents the week before he married Freda and Jake Fink.[82]

WIENER

(1920, 1930)

DAVE

when Dave started talking, you didn't have to ask questions as he told the following information,

My parents got married in 1913...I doubt my mother [last name was Engelberg] was here six months when they got married. She had a brother who came here years ago. He opened up a slaughterhouse in those days – they called it an abattoir, where they killed animals. He was a butcher. In the old country, their name was Fleischer--Fleischer, the meat keeper. She came to Memphis from Latvia around maybe 1912. So, she was living in Memphis because of her brother. The first son, Alec, came over about 1890 or something. He came over long ago. He first had a store with Mr. Sternberg. They opened up a wholesale butcher shop and were the only ones that had kosher meat in Memphis. That could have been about 1900. I don't know, they've all been dead... I doubt he got into real business until about 1904 or 1905. It doesn't make any difference it was the turn of the century, that was her side of the family.[83]

The German Jews looked down on the Jews from Russia. They were uneducated. They were uncouth. They never did pay us. My father was not no, no, he was a secular man. He was not religious. He had been Bar Mitzvah, and all that but he was not and his father was too. They had a grist mill in Russia. When the farmers would bring their wheat and so forth; they would grind it. They would keep one part and give the farmer three parts.…So they were not in bad shape financially. They were sort of entrepreneurs.[84]

The Russians drafted all the Jewish boys when they were eighteen. The reason I'm confirming all this with you is so many people believe the Jews came to this country to make money. In fact, most of them came to get out of the Army because of conscription.… His father … – I'm sure -- didn't want to lose eighteen year old boy, who was healthy and knew what he was doing.[85]

My grandfather died in the Holocaust. They were killed ...well, they took them, and they dug that trench and machine guns. They were not gassed, they were machine gunned to death.[86]

When my parents got married, my father wanted to go in business for himself. So, Mr. Solomon knew about merchants in the small towns. I'm sure they were trying to help him, or they were trying to help the Helena Hotel Packet Company. So, they, I think, they loaned him 500 dollars or whatever it was, and he went into business in Tutwiler. The Solomons knew about the businesses in Tutwiler, and what was going on there as well. They had salesmen in those days, traveling salesmen, and they would go to the different towns. When he lost a customer, he'd want to put somebody else there. My father had moved to Tutwiler, and then, they got married. My parents were married by an Orthodox rabbi, and she moved to Tutwiler with him in 1913.[87]

There were a number of Jewish families in Tutwiler. At different times ... all right, the time I remember, the '20's, they had the Simpkins. Lydia Simpkins was my mother's sister –Lydia Dora Simpkins. My mother's name was Rose. The Aronsons lived there. Annie Aronson and her husband. This would have been about 1920-1921. The Sebulskys lived there—Maurice. Later, they moved to Clarksdale.  He had a daughter-Natalie.[88]

1914

June 28: The spark that started World War I was the assassination of Austria's Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie. The assassination occurred on June 28, 1914 while Ferdinand was visiting the city of Sarajevo in the Austro-Hungarian province of Bosnia-Herzegovina.[89]

Public Library opens due to Woman’s Club of Clarksdale efforts.[90]

Cotton market took a decided slump following outbreak of World War I.[91]

BAKER

(1880, 1890, 1900, 1920, 1930)

DAVE

Dave was Harry’s nephew. Dave’s daddy was the one that live in Riverton and died of cancer. 1900 Census says he was in Clarksdale in 1900 at 27 years old. Robert is from Ruleville.[92]

HARRY

Harry married Nellie Frank from Clarksdale in 1914. They had no children. They were very good to everyone and never turned away a stranger or a family member who needed a place to stay. Their three bedrooms home on Catalpa were always occupied. He was active in the synagogue and was president of the B'nai B'rith Men several times. His wife was a big help to him in their mercantile store while he farmed land that he either owned or rented. She was a fine seamstress. Nellie was in her 40’s when she passed away.[93][94]

Sam Abrams talking about the Baker family: “Harry Baker had stock. He had a lot of money. He was good to his whole family. He had two brothers, Morris and Frank. Morris children were Judy Bell, Alma, Sam and another son.”[95]

MORRIS

He married Ida in 1914.[96] They had four children:

CHILDREN

1) ALM: born 1917 in Tennessee; married Harry Lerner.

2) JULIA: born 1920 in Mississippi married Julius Glassman

3) SAMUEL born in 1923 in Mississippi.

4) HARRIET: born in 1930 in Mississippi.[97]

 

(Courtesy Julia Baker Glassman)

Ida is twenty years older than her brother Frank. Judy said,

When Daddy came over he went to New York. He used to say, 'I went to Uncle’s house in Trenton, Tennessee. They were having that summer with July 4th parade. He said, 'Uncle what is going on here?' His uncle replied, 'Didn’t you mama tell you’d be 16 when you got to America.' He answered, 'Yea.' His uncle said: 'They’re celebrating your birthday.' Then he went to Clarksdale and settled in Dublin with Harry, Frank and Oro. Harry and Frank told him he needed more education. They all went to the Yeshiva in Russia. Daddy said he learned more . Anyway Harry sent him to Memphis to a place on Upper Main Street where people could come and get an education. He went there. [98]

Note: Morris attended the training at the Neighborhood House, Memphis, sponsored by Temple Israel.

Ora Baker returned to Europe and returned in the late summer of 1916 for a visit.[99]

FRANK

One of his stores was in Riverton; one on the corner of Third and Delta. For a while he had the same store that Mr. Small had.[100]

CALIFF

(1920, 1930)

SOLOMON (SOL)

Leo Califf's story about his parents included,

My father had a general dry goods store. He had left Russia for the same reason that most of them left, that was to escape the Russian Army. He was nineteen years old.… It is a small town near Kiev, (Konstarslonowka, Russia: name that is difficult to make out on a small copy of the Registration Card #1463.)[101]

One little interesting point is that he stowed away on a ship. After a couple of days he ate up what little food he had. So, at night he would slip into the galley and steal food. Well, the cook pretty soon found out about it and he set up some people to catch him. This was 1911. He was born in 1892 and so he was 19 years old. The Captain of the ship threatened - they were almost [at] Haifa, Israel, which was a major seaport at that time. The Captain of the ship said he wanted to go to Haifa and put him off there. My father didn’t want to go there so he said, "Look, let me be your valet, I will take care of you, don’t have to pay me nothing just give me a little something to eat. And besides if you get me - they were going to Galveston, Texas - At that time Galveston was a major port of entry for the southern Jews - and he said, if you get to Galveston and you’re late the boss, the owner of the ship, is going to be mad, and he’s going to reduce your pay, so you’d better keep me and keep on schedule. And that’s what they did. And the B’nai B’rith met him in Galveston.[102]

Some time between 1911 and 1914, he worked for an oil company for a short time. But then there came a report that Baker Brothers in Clarksdale, Mississippi, were cattle buyers. They needed a strong young fellow to work for them. They would drive the truck, but the young boy would pick up the cows and do all the heavy manual work. My father was short, but he was very stocky and strong and the pay there was better than what he was getting in Texas, so he took it.[103]

Sol worked for the Baker Brothers for quite a number of years. He was the typical industrious, ambitious young fellow and he saved every dime that he could. He wasn’t married, and he’d exist on meager meals. But he studied to try to learn to read and write and speak good English.[104]

FRIEDMAN/MAY

(1868, 1880, 1890, 1900, 1920, 1930)

SAM & CELIA MAY

Gertrude Friedman Nelson described her family and youth,

Sam and Celia married and moved to Jonestown. At first they kept strictly kosher during Passover. We went to Clarksdale to Rabbi Freyman to buy meat from him and to have the chickens killed. Celia wouldn’t have it any other way. She changed dishes, the whole bit… We were [in Clarksdale] for the High Holidays. One time we stayed there to walk to the synagogue. Our parents let us know we were Jewish and we never forgot it.[105]

Our relationship with the rest of the town was not strained in any way—not openly. It was always some little feeling that we were different, that you picked up more from certain children’s parents more than the children themselves. I never felt it from a schoolmate that they were different. Our parents were very well respected in Jonestown.[106]

KERSTINE

(1868, 1880, 1890, 1900, 1920, 1930)

SELMA

Selma said,

When I was coming up, there was a girl, Minerva Tuttle. Her mother had a hotel next door. It was kind of a rooming house but they called it a hotel. I played with Minerva all the time, when I was little, mostly before I was six years old. We'd go over there and eat and see what they had. They ate in the dining room and then we'd come over my house and eat and see what we wanted. We went to Colorado one year, and they went too. I don't remember if they went with us but they were out there. Minerva was the youngest, and Emma Tuttle was older, about Caesar's age. They had one boy”.[107]

In Here Clarksdale's publication, Miriam Dabbs wrote the following about“Clarksdale's Tuttle Hotel”,

Clarksdale's Tuttle Hotel until 1930 stood…at 225 Yazoo. It had [twenty] rooms and a fine cuisine, which was the mecca for hungry traveling men coming into Clarksdale by train, on horseback or by buggy.… Mrs. Pearl moved to Clarksdale in 1908 with her parents from Yazoo City, Mr. and Mrs. Arthur C. Tuttle.…They bought the one and a half-story frame house which they expanded into Tuttle Hotel from a member of the John Clark family, Miss Pearl says. She and the other children entered grade school in a frame building on Sharkey next to the Episcopal Church.…The Alcazar was a frame building in those days, and at the Tuttle Hotel backed toward the Landry Store on Delta. The streets were neither paved nor graveled. Facing Tuttle House, across Yazoo was Mrs. Margaret Boarding House….Between Tuttle House and the Alcazar was the home of the early Kerstine Family, Mrs. Isadore'[sic] Kerstine's in-laws.[108]

Selma said her father died when she was six years old or 1914. She continued in contact with her stepmother after that. She spoke of her in a very kind manner when she talked about all the nice gifts she received from her.[109]

Selma said “Yes, I had a tricycle, a girl’s tricycle with a long front. I've got a picture of that when I was six years old.”[110]

Selma continued,

I do remember Lilly before she had Evelyn . She got so big and had on a pink satin dress. She wore that dress for six months--every day--Then they didn't think that women ought to walk the streets that way so you stayed home; however, she didn't want to stay home. So, she would get out and walk. At this time she believed that Isadore and Lilly were living in John Small's house.

Evelyn was born in Clarksdale in 1914 that means the family including Lilly and Isadore Rosenblum returned from Colorado. Corinne said she did not know exactly when they returned to Clarksdale before Evelyn was born.[111]

1915

The form presented to the National Register of Historic Places by the Clarksdale Preservation Committee said,

The New Alcazar Hotel is a four-story, eleven-bay, reinforced concrete and brick veneered hotel structure, completed in 1915 to the designs of Memphis architect Charles 0. Pfeil with Colonial Revival and Classical Revival influences. The structure occupies the equivalent of three city lots in Block G, at the northwestern corner of Yazoo and Third streets in downtown Clarksdale, Coahoma County, Mississippi. The front (south) facade of the structure faces Third Street. Its east (side) facade continues the design of the front for seven-bays along Yazoo Street.[112]

N. D. West leased the enlarged hotel from King & Anderson and assumed active management of the facility. He was to remain in that capacity for 28 years -- until 1943.

Weeks' discussion of Bilbo's campaign states,

Brewer had him followed by detectives in an attempt to discredit Bilbo in the Mississippi public eye. Bilbo won the governor’s race in 1915 and Brewer returned to Clarksdale to practice law. Bilbo refused to allow Brewer to deliver a farewell address.  When Brewer arrived in Clarksdale, his train was greeted by a crowd of well-wishers and a big brass band.  J.W. and Blanche Cutrer chauffeured the Brewers to the Alcazar Hotel where they lived until their home at the corner of Clark and John Streets was completed.[113]

JEWISH GIRLS CLUB: Date is unknown when the Semper Fidelis Club, a Jewish girls club was formed.

INFLUENZA EPIDEMIC

The influenza epidemic is mentioned in Clarksdale & Coahoma County: A History. Clarksdale, Miss. by Linton Weeks. Although Corinne Kerstine was not living in Clarksdale in 1915, she remembered how very bad it was in Missouri. She did not mention anyone in the family having it. Lots of people died like flies, usually within a day or two. She could not remember Isidor talking about it except for his experience in WWI with pneumonia in France.[114]

BNAI BRITH LEDGER SHOWS FOLLOWING NAMES OF RESIDENTS::

1. (Number in parenthesis is the ledger page number) This list confirms that the individual was a resident as of 1915; when more data is found, these individuals will be moved to the year of arrival in Coahoma County.

MEMBERS FROM SMALL TOWNS NEAR CLARKSDALE:

Will Abrams, Merigold (62)

E. Balkin, Glendora (50)

Harry Edelson, Merigold (65)

Dave Engleberg, Cleveland (38, 64)

Harry Goodman, Duncan (57)

H. Goldberger, Iola (43)

J. B. Iskowitz, Alligator (26, 39, 71)

Morris Levine, Tutwiler (29, 32, 58)

Will Levine, Coahoma (29)

Harry M Lipson, Alligator (35, 39, 45)

Leon Scheonholtz, Cleveland (77)

A. Spain, Tunica (69)[115]

K. Weiss, Alligator (34, 63)

Leon Woolbert, Cleveland (38, 40, and 46)

MEMBERS FROM CLARKSDALE:

Baker Magdovitz, Clarksdale (68): Lawrence said,

You know, my father had an older brother, Amile. And, of course, his mother was a Baker. And so, he came here. He was born in the old country; he was born before the 1900s. So they might have called him Baker because he lived here with Harry.[116]

No, there was an Amil Baker. I don't know exactly who he was brother to. It had to do with Julia Baker. It was before she was born. But Frank Baker, and Morris and Harry, they were all brothers. Lawrence added, “Well, Morris was a half. There were two wives. But Harry and Frank and my father's mother were from the first wife. Morris and some others who perished in the Holocaust were from the second wife.[117]

BERNSTEIN, Jake (53)

DAMSKER, Herman

At twelve years old Herman moved from Europe to New York. This year he moved to Clarksdale.[118]

DIAMOND, John (26, 28, 39, 56, 79)

FRIEDMAN, Max

This was the year that the successful grocery store was expanded into the Central Coal and Feed Company.[119]

GOODMAN, Will

GORDON, Abe (26, 36, 76, 78)

HEUMAN, Victor (29, 33)

JACOBSON, Lazar 5. (32, 38, 42, 79)

KABAKOFF, J. M. (26, 32)

KANTOR, Harry Kantor (Kantrovitz) (27)

KAUFMAN Ike (26, 28, 29, 35, 36, 41, 78, 79)

Ike Kaufman, you know his sister was Abe Gordon's wife and Saul Kaufman was a brother.

KAUFMAN, Joe (66)

LANDAU, Berthold (25, 29, 36, 38, 40, 78, 79)

Carlie marries Max and comes to Clarksdale.

LEVINSON

Jake M. Levinson, Clarksdale (40, 67, 79)

Magdovitz said,

They're brothers. There were different surnames. See the Schepps – old man Schepp was also a brother to Will Levine. See, their name was like Schepp- something. When they came to this country Scheppalevit, they made it Schepp. When Levine came and when Levinson came, they took the end off it, Scheppalevitch. It was the name Levine and Levinson. But they were actually all brothers.

Julia Baker told me that one of the Levines, I forget which, was it Charles Levine? That was one of the sons. Charles and Harold were the sons. Then there was the daughter, Fannie.  The father actually had to grow up in a different home than the family home because of conscription in the Russian Army. I know that's what she told me. I'm not saying it is a fact but that's what she told me. And that's how he got his name. She did tell me that Schepp was his brother. That's adding to your knowledge. That's all I know about it.[120]

LIPSON

Dave/David

S. Lipson (26, 29, 36, 75)

Morris Lipson, Clarksdale (48)

ROSENBLUM, Isidor (54)

Author's family: Isidor Rosenblum was related to Lilly, Isidor's sister.. This shows they were living here at this time. We had thought they had left before 1915, but this is evidence that he was still here.[121]

SCHWARTZ,

Benjamin (60)

Sam (47)

Lawrence Magdovitz said, “Sam Schwartz was a policeman before he opened his store. He was a city cop. All I remember is him having a second hand store. Schwartz never owned a store on Issaquena--he only worked for a second hand store.”[122]

SHAPIRO, Ike (28, 35, 38, 39, 78, 79)

Shapiro, I think he is the guy who had the store down here.  He is buried out at the cemetery. There was a Shapiro's ladies wear right over there, I guess, next to the Style Shop.[123]

SHEPP, Sam (28, 29, 32, 36, 38, 52, 78)

WOOLBERT, Abraham (26 28, 30, 35, 36, 38, 46, 78)

Amy Morrow Greenwood said, “Leon and Abraham married sisters. Leon’s daughters included: Celeste, Freda, Marion and Kate. Little Celeste settled in Helena, Arkansas. Marion married Willie Earl Kent and lived in Cleveland.”[124]

KERSTINE

(1868, 1880, 1890, 1900, 1920, 1930)

ISIDOR

Isidor worked for the railroad in Erie, Pa, before taking a job with an engineering company in New York City.[125]

SELMA

Selma said,

When she was seven years old, she lived on Yazoo. Mrs. Smith lived in one house. We lived in the next house, and the Landaus lived next to us.

I was seven years old when we left Clarksdale on Sunday. I think, to go to New York, and I got so sick on that train. They bought me an orange. In those days one orange on the train was 25 cents. [It] was a terrible price for that orange. I couldn't eat an orange. Some doctor happened to be on the train, and he told us just to wait till I got to Washington.… Then I'd eat everything. We went to New York to spend the summer there. Daddy had two little houses in Midland Beach he owned. We didn't stay with relatives. They'd come out to see us, but we didn't go see them. Infantile Paralysis broke out that Sunday we went up there. If we had known it, we wouldn't have gone, because it was terrible. Great big children, eleven [and] twelve years old, rolled around in buggies, baby carriages.

I had a time getting out of New York City. They had to pass me to go to Midland Beach, and after I got to Midland Beach, NY, I couldn't get out. They wouldn't let me go into New York City. And all summer those folks from New York used to come out and swim at Midland Beach. The officials of New York wouldn't let me go. It was quarantine. Mama wouldn't go into New York, because she wouldn't leave me, and the only time I got to see New York was going to Midland Beach and coming home.

We passed the Statue of Liberty, and I got to see it. It’s a green color. It's pretty impressive. When we got to New York, I had to have a certificate to get on the train. Isidor took me to the Board of Health while Mama and Daddy waited at the railroad station. Max was with us too. I would have had to go all the way back to get Mama to sign it if I couldn't have written my name, but I could write my name. So I got my certificate and got to come home. All I remember is that I could play out around the house but I was just like quarantined, and my legs hurt all the time. I was so scared I was going to get infantile paralysis.

[When] I was seven years old and had not started to school due to my poor vision. [I] started in the first grade, not kindergarten. So they kept [me] back a year. I did not wear glasses at that time

Selma described her school [as] a big school, not a one-room school. The author commented that Jeanette's sister, Lenora, told her when she went, there was a one-room school. Selma said there were plenty of rooms because she went to Oakhurst Elementary School and Elizabeth Dorr Junior High School. Selma said she remembered Mrs. Heidelberg, as Mayo. Others told Margie that Mrs. Heidelberg's maiden name was Mayo. [126]

Selma added “I was just a little thing.  In Denver, I was getting a fat stomach. Lilly told Selma to put on a corset because Lilly thought her stomach was too big. Mama said not to worry about it.”

Lilly added, “I am not going to put a corset on you.”

Selma finished by adding, “She thought my stomach ought to be under control I was about seven years old.”[127]

COMMENTS ABOUT SELMA’S CHILDHOOD THAT HAD NO SPECIFIC YEARS ATTACHED:

Selma described memories that have no specific year,

Selma said she never knew anything about Girl Scouts. She also did not know about a story that Corinne told about Molly who was given money by Adolph to take care of everything when he was in Europe. Corinne said she put it in the stove and someone accidentally started a fire in the stove because no one knew it was in there.[128]

Selma said,

She remembered when she was small that she fell down a whole flight of stairs and landed on a flowerpot. I broke the flowerpot. I didn't hurt myself. Once, I broke my head open when I fell down. I have been falling all my life. I use to fall down on the sidewalks when I went roller-skating. Up and down the street where I lived. I never skated to school. No, I did not enter any skating contest. I liked roller-skating.

Selma said,

when she was small she remembered knowing Lenabel May and Esther Bernstein. Lenabel was exactly my age. She was born the same day I was. We went to school together through high school. I don't remember if we went to kindergarten and grammar school together I don't remember Lenabel being in my class. Esther was a grade behind Jeannette Sack and me. I was helping Jeannette with her history exam, and she got disgusted and she said, let's go make candy. Yes, we did that. We made fudge.[129]

Selma remembered

Mr. Heidelberg as very strict. He didn’t teach Selma anything. Leroy Shillings was a boy I worked with at the Post Office. He went to school there too.…. He said they'd line up to go in, and all of a sudden as they were talking in line, they just disappeared into Heidelberg's office. [130]

Selma did not remember going to birthday parties when she was in Clarksdale. Corinne told Margie that Selma's grandfather, Adolph, did not let her associate much with the Russian Jewish people in Clarksdale.[131]

Lenora Beatus said you had to get up at 4:00 in the morning to drive to Memphis on a dirt road.[132] Selma also talked about traveling with the family, “Going to Memphis, they would travel later on by car. We went by train, I guess. We lived in Memphis one winter. When we just went up there from Clarksdale, we might go to buy clothes.”[133]

Selma talked about not going to Temple much or to the services She said,

I went to Sunday school a few times. I tell you, Jeannette Sack, … wore a new dress every Sunday. I had about two new ones. I didn't like to go at all. Well, I didn't have one all the time. I couldn't keep up with her wardrobe changes. And I didn't know anything about [Judaism], I felt out of place, and I quit[134].

Selma said,

Oh, Caesar wouldn’t eat a chicken, if he saw it alive before they killed it. He wouldn’t take a bite of it. Mama had one in the kitchen with its feet tied. When Evelyn was a child and was here with Lilly. Lord, there were more disturbances about that kitchen. Caesar said he wasn’t going to eat that chicken. He wasn’t going to eat dinner. Evelyn got to cry. She just picked the chicken up and told the butcher to come get it. She had a crazy family. He took the chicken. Caesar raised cain every time she had chicken. Selma said that after the fire they had to open up a whole new store.[135]

PETITION FOR STREET LIGHTS ON DELTA

Selma said,

Daddy was always wanting lights to cross the streets. He wanted 'white way' globes. The town council refused to vote on the monies needed for this. Adolph collected the necessary names on the petition that proved it was needed. Adolph went all over town getting signatures for putting streetlights,and to get traffic lights even though they did not need them. The first night, they sanded the street and band played in front of Kerstine’s store to honor him. Caesar played in the band.

Author can't find the newspaper photo showing street globe in a picture of Delta Avenue at the corner of Delta and Third Avenue taken circa 1915.

1916

Cotton price per pound was $0.15.[136]

January 17 & 18: “Governor Brewer to return home”; “Governor Bilbo Prevents Retiring Chief Executive from Participating in the Long established Custom—Not in Inaugural Parade.” [137]

Eliza Clark School and Oakhurst Annex completed.[138]

May 28: Walter Percy, well-known author, was born in Greenville.[139]

June 1: Clarksdale population was determined by five different sections and by white and colored:

TOWN SECTIONS

WHITE

COLORED

TOTAL

1. Riverton

256

482

738

2. Oakhurst

455

162

507

3. Lyon

154

152

306

4. North and East Railroad 1,548

5. North River, between R.R's 3,078

6. North River and West R.R   2,862[140]

Federal Building is secured through local Republican politicians’ efforts[141]. (Sage & Baucom)

Congregation B’nai Israel

First grave in Congregation B’nai Israel Cemetery: Binder-Eddie[142]  (Mar. 1, 1914-Dec. 20, 1916)

 Abe Isaacson wrote this poem about the cemetery;

Happened to be in Beth Israel cemetery the other day

A prominent member of the congregation had passed away

I looked around, saw so many monuments in gray stone

With the names of members hewn in, so artistically done

I read the names and took time to contemplate and ponder

And to my mind came memories of way back yonder

There were about fifteen members in our Jewish congregation

They brought this plot of ground by small individual donation

It was a five acre, buckshot, cotton field

A lone Negro, a skinny mule worked hard to make it yield

Neither of the two pool workers could imagine or foresee

That piece of hard dirt, a consecrated place ever to be

A few years passed by, nobody died, the place was forsaken

The five acres bought cheaply, by frogs and weeds was overtaken

You might say, some members were somewhat disappointed

That the purchased round was not dedicated and anointed

Forty years ago, by now, charter members are all there

Markers and marble stones are in site everywhere

And members of the congregation that are under the ground

Are far more in number than those alive and moving around

I read name, I took time to contemplate and ponder

There are names of friends from away back yonder

Whose friendship and devotion, I greatly miss

It is my hope, they are enjoying Heavenly bliss

Sleep on comrades, sleep the peaceful sleep of the just

I have a plot reserved amongst you, for to die, I must

For sooner or later on a date from above prescribed

The weary son of man must take his last earthly ride

I must say a good word for you, fifteen pioneer members

There are a good many of us here on earth who remembers

They sacrifice you made for religion, for Jewish tradition.[143]

LADIES AID SOCIETY

The Jewish Ledger states,

Jewish Ladies Aid Society formed by-Lena Jacobson, President. Mrs. Jacobson served several terms. Their goal was to provide charitable assistance through rummage sales that accrued significant financial aid. Another function of the organization was the annual New Year’s Ball.[144]

BRODOFSKY

(1920, 1930)

Moses l

He listed in 1916 City Director; living at 64 Sunflower.[145]

Family lived in Memphis during the 1910 decade

Children:

(1) Max

(2)             Cleve (wife was Lenora F)

(3)             Rose

(4, 5) 2 others but names unknown

CALIFF

(1920, 1930)

SOLOMON (SOL) & MOSE

Sol's son, Leon said,

One of the greatest problems facing the young Jewish men living in rural areas was loneliness. They were entirely by themselves. And they had … as it turned out unless they had another Jewish family…. They had no one to associate with. Records show that in 1916, he helped to bring his younger brother, Mose, [born in Russia in 1897]over.[146] And then, Mose, I don’t know how he got the money or how it all worked out. Mose came through Japan and San Francisco.[147]

Dublin, Mississippi, at that time was a major stop for the trains. The train used to stop there. Well, Mose and Sol Califf, Sol was my father, were the two who lived near Dublin. There were several others at Tutwiler which was only a few, maybe eight or ten miles away. As I understand, They did associate socially with non-Jews but on a limited scale. As far as businesses were concerned, their primary customers were the on the plantations in that area.[148]

HIRSBERG/OKUN

(1890, 1900, 1920, 1930)

BERNARD HIRSBERG

Bernard said,

Yes, I remember my family’s first car; it was an Essex.. I was probably… seven or eight years old at the time. I was too young to drive, but within a year or two. I did drive before I was ten years old. A farmer, who was a bachelor, taught me to drive. He had a Ford , and I would ride with him out to his place. Once we got out of town, he would let me drive. So I really learned to drive when I was probably eight or nine years old. There were no licenses needed.[149]

Living in Friars Point on the river, we had the boats. We had two lines of steamboats that served Friars point. The Adams Lind and the other was the Lee Line. They would bring freight and a great percentage of the freight that came into Clarksdale came through Friars Point, because the river rates were lower.[150]

ISRAEL and BESSIE/BETSIE OKUN

1910 Census says Israel and Betsie are in New York with three children. Israel was born in 1874 and immigrated in 1900. He owned his own shoe store. Betsie was born in 1875 and immigrated in1 1903. They were married in Europe in 1894. They were living on Third Street.[151]

CHILDREN:

(1)   Morris born in 1894 in Russia

(2)   Jennie born in 1906 in New York

(3)   Nathan born in 1908 In New York

(4)   Flora born in 1911 in New York

Flora said,

Mama did not go to school [to] learn to read and write. She had very little English education. They were from Latvia. Papa came first ,and then, he sent for Mama. They were married in Europe. I had an older brother, Morris, who came. We were in New York for a couple of years. I don’t remember anything about living in New York.[152]

See when they came from Europe they lived in New York. Then, moved to Dyersburg and from Dyersburg they came here. My parents left Dyersburg, Tennessee, to come to Clarksdale. I was about five years old when I came here. I was two when I left New York.

I had an older brother who passed away many, many years ago. He was very young when he passed away, but Morris came to Clarksdale first. He was the one who told Papa you must come here because this is a wonderful place to live. My Dad picked up and moved his family here. First, my Dad had a store at 219 Delta Avenue; then, he got a place across the street. The Bank of Clarksdale was across the street on Delta. That was the first bank. Then, there was Planters Bank, which was over on Third Street and Yazoo. So, Papa had the same store like he always had.[153]

I had an aunt, my mother’s sister, who lived in Dyersburg, and we use to go back and visit her every summer. We would travel by train to Memphis, and then, you had to change trains and take another train to Dyersburg. Mrs. Auerbach was Mama’s sister who moved here after Mama and Papa did.[154]

I had my sister, Jenny and my brother, Nat. Jenny is the oldest. Nat is the middle, and Flora is the baby. We are three years apart. Jennie is six years older than I am. We lived at 106 Jefferson. At that time, there was nothing here except trees and cotton fields and nothing this side of the railroad track. So, I started school when I arrived. Ora Robertson was my first grade teacher. She looked as old as Methuselah; however, she was about thirty-five years old. I have no idea how old, but she already had gray hair. She was about my height but a little thicker. I had Miss Barry in the second grade, and I was scared to death of her. I don’t think it was anything she did to me. It was a reputation she had. She never hit anybody, that I know of. She was just known for being mean. You had to be scared of her. I remember we had a morning recess and then noon. We used to take our lunches to school, until we moved across the street on Cherry Street; then, I could go home.[155]

When I first arrived the Jewish people did not mingle too well with the Christians. My early friends were Rachel and Toby Binder, but I don’t remember what year we became friends. They had been living here, and, I think, they had been born here. My non-Jewish classmates were not particularly friendly. They weren’t opposed to you or have anything against you; however, you just automatically did not blend.[156]

BESSIE OKUN

Flora continued,

My mama kept kosher for a while. When she first came there, it didn’t look like she was going to be able to. She didn’t know whether or not they were going to have kosher meat. She had no way of getting back and forth to Memphis. So I guess she did the best she could, and they then came and were able to keep kosher. She had two sets of dishes. I don’t know how she got weaned away from it. She just sort of gave it up. It gets to be a chore. We have Rabbi A. H. Freyman, and he sold kosher meat so that the Clarksdale people were able to keep kosher.[157]

KATZ/TRIPLET

(1920, 1930)

CLARA

Clara said,

The Triplet family moved to Lambert, four miles from Marks where we are now, from Memphis in 1916. And I was the first Jewish baby around that area that people had seen. People came from all around. I went to school to the tune of kids singing “Jew baby, Jew baby pull up your socks, strawberry, strawberry five cents a box.” It was just their way of saying 'I was something different.' My family moved there to make a living. My father had a store, general clothing, and then he bought land and farmed there. [He] was a director in the bank, and he turned the store over to his wife. He was a good farmer. He did cotton farming on about 500-600 acres at one time.[158]

KERSTINE

(1868, 1880, 1890, 1900, 1920, 1930)

ADOLPH:

Corinne said, “Adolph would take his family and go either to New York or to Colorado for a month or more. She believed he had a general store, because in those days they had general stores.” The 1916 City Directory lists A Kerstine as a clothing store.[159]

CAESAR

Picture in Here’s Clarksdale is of Caesar on the football team in 1916 so he had to have been in school at that time. Selma said he voluntarily returned to high school after graduating to take secretarial courses.[160]

LILLY

Selma Said,

I believe they left about 1916 because I remember Evelyn when she was almost two [years old], and they were still living in Clarksdale. I remember going into the bedroom. She was standing up in the crib. She was about one and one-half years old.

Evelyn said, 'Me just woke up.' She was so cute.

I don't think they left around World War I (WWI. I don't think he was drafted in WWI.

Corinne said: “They lived there about two or three years. I think they went to Denver first.” Silvermans letters states Isadore Rosenblum and Isidor Kerstine got along well.[161]

SELMA

Selma said, “I was using the Second Street Bridge when I was in the Second grade. The Little Sunflower River was not full when I lived there.”[162]

PACHTER

(1868, 1880, 1890, 1900, 1920)

RUBY-MABEL-FRANK

David Pachter wrote,

Approximately during this year Ruby Pachter's younger sister, Mabel Hymen Benjamin and her husband, Frank with Ruth, their daughter, moved to Webb, MS. Henry Pachter built them a house on the lot next to his. Uncle Frank was a printer by trade. He became Henry Pachter's bookkeeper. Henry owned and operated a store and a cotton farm. Ruth and David were constant companions and had many happy hours together. He is 3 months older than she is. They started school together in Webb at age 4. The first teacher was Miss Milard Abbey. Frank did not like the work and after 2 years, he moved his family back to St. Louis. Mabel often told the following story when David visited her in St. Louis later.

[Mabel] had a Negro maid and saved garbage for the maid to feed her hogs. When offered the garbage for her hogs, the maid said, “Us hogs don't eat slop!" in a very indignant manner. The brief story never meant much to me, but to Aunt Mabel, somehow that brief encounter with a Negro characterized her two years in Mississippi.[163]

RAPPAPORT

(1920)

MAX SIMCHA

Alvin Fink advised, “Simcha was the Rappaport's original surname, but they changed it back to Rappaport [when they moved to Clarksdale]. Fink identified the man who was related to the Rappaports but died during the flu epidemic of 1918-1919.[164] The only other evidence found was in the 1910 U. S. Census. He lived with Louis and Clara in Manhattan in 1910. He was born in Austria in 1886 and immigrated in 1909. He was working as a salesman. No document available to confirm where he was buried.[165]

This census shows Louis was born in Austria in 1856, and Clara, his wife, in 1878. She was also from Austria and immigrated a year later, 1901.

CHILDREN:

1) Samuel born in New York, 1908

2) Benjamin born in New York, 1910

3) Lena born in New York, 1911

4) Clair born in New York, 1912

5) Jenny born in New York, 1913[166]

During the 1915 New York State Census the Rappaport/Simcha family lived in Manhattan, New York,.[167]

During the interview with the Rappaports the following was explained: Louie Rappaport, their father, did not come to the U.S. as a Rappaport. I think that's a very important story; that this story should be told. He was raised by an uncle, whose surname was Simche. And when he came to the U.S., he used the name Simche until he moved to Clarksdale, and he went back to the family name, which was Rappaport. They were all born under that name, Simche.

Max married under that name also. I guess so, because his citizenship papers show Simche. He came from Austria, or Galicia. Galicia is a province, and the boundaries have changed so many times, but at the time it was a part of Austria-Hungary. (NOTE: The dictionary says Galicia was a region of SE Poland and W. Ukraine.) If you've ever hear the expression, Galiciana, there were Galicianas, and there were Litvaks—it was considered a province. [168]

Lena and Jennie continued,

Max came to Clarksdale because he had his brothers here: Sol Rappaport, and Isadore Rappaport. We do not know when they came to Clarksdale, and we believe they were single when they came here. They may have been single because Uncle Isadore married a girl from St. Louis. Aunt Lena was from St. Louis. Didn't they have a brother that was killed in Natchez or Vicksburg, or somewhere? Yes, Herb. (or Ben—check tape for this). He was a peddler, and he was killed as he was peddling. I'll tell you an interesting story.… Abe Levine was killed peddling. We had an Uncle Ben.[169]

Barbara said.

All the Jews who came here were peddlers. It was common, but I have a great uncle who was killed also. I can only tell you when I first learned about this. I was en route from Baton Rouge to Memphis by train, in 1957. The conductor on the train and I got into a conversation, and this was a Gentile man. He knew a Mr. Rappaport, who was a peddler and was killed in Natchez, back whenever. No, I don’t know the date. This story was completely new to me. I was a teenager at the time. I mentioned it to Sam and Rowena, my parents, and they told me, yes, they did. Daddy did have an uncle that was killed. His name was Ben Rappaport, and he lived in Natchez. Lena or Jennie said they knew Uncle Sol lived in Natchez. He came before 1915 or so.[170]

Isadore was married to Lena and Sol was married to Stella; Uncle Morris’s wife was Pauline. 1930: Louis born in Austria in 1858 and immigrated in 1893. In 1930, he was a junk dealer. Clara Winkler was born in Austria in 1878 and immigrated in 1894. They married in 1894. Jenny Rhodin, a sister-in-law to Rowena, was Samuel's wife.

It is difficult remembering which one added the information because they were interviewed at the same time. The tape did not differentiate the voices; thus, the following is quoted from the interview. Either Lena or Jenny said,

My father was Louis Rappaport; he was known as Louie. My mother was Clara Winkler Rappaport. They were married in New York but they were both from [Austria]. They came to Clarksdale as a couple with four children. They did not know each other in Europe from Galitia, a province of war torn Austria-Hungry. They met and married in New York.

Neither Lena, nor Jennie remembered being told they were going to move to Mississippi. Rowena reported that Sam told her that Louis’s brothers asked him to come, and he did. [171]

Barbara said,

My mother was about sixteen or seventeen years younger than Louis. She had to leave all her sisters in New York. In fact, my daddy was rooming and boarding with one of her sisters. [Louis] was the oldest, and when his father died, he had to take over the family. He had a sister in Europe.[172]

Rowena said,

When [Louis] got on the train in New York, he had heavy underwear and everything on. When he got nearer the South, it got warmer and warmer, and he’d take a layer of clothes off until he got here. He liked it very well ,when he arrived. They had a livery stable in New York. He wrote to Clara told her to get rid of everything and come South. He said, 'it was the land of the honey or something.'[173]

Lena said,

In May, Mama followed with four kids and a puppy dog. I don’t remember the trip down, but I remember when I got off the train. Our Uncle Morris’ daughter, Gussie, met us. I guess Uncle Morris was with her. His daughter met us, and I saw a chicken, I wanted to catch the birdie, 'cause New Yorkers don’t know a chicken running around.' And, she wouldn’t let go of my hand, and I was told I bit her. I don’t remember whether or not I liked it when I got off the train. Just that I hadn’t seen my father in several months, and I was looking forward to that.[174]

Jennie said, “I had no memories of New York before I left.”

Jennie said.

[I was] already in school but they put her back. I was twelve years old and in the second grade which I learned from a letter I had to get from the Clarksdale City Schools for my birth certificate. It was from Paul Hunter who stated the above data. I remember Ora Robinson was one of my teachers. Mr. Heidelberg was the superintendent. Lillian Shankerman was in my class, and we graduated together. I don’t know whether she was in my second grade or not. I remember Annie Bell, a teacher. I took piano lessons from Ada Chapman. I didn’t take long because I wanted to be a violinist. Mr. Kooyman wasn’t here at the time. I took from Mrs. Friedman; she had two sons and a daughter.[175]

Flora Okun Hirsberg was one year younger than me. Two of the Binder girls were also in my third grade: Rachel Binder Cooper, Toby Binder, Ida and Ann were twins. Sally was the youngest girl. The boys included Julius, Louis, Mike, Morris. They all lived on our street, and we played football, cops & robbers and baseball. We played out on Poplar; there were no tennis courts here, even at the schools at that time. We entertained ourselves with the movie, the Paramount on Yazoo, once a week, on Saturday … went in the morning, and parents had to come pick us up that night. The Delta was here before the Paramount. We went to Memphis to see a lot of things; like, “Gone with the Wind” in the 30s or 40s, but not in the 20s as we were in high school.

Toby and I used to study. If she studied at my house, I walked her to her home, and she walked me back home because we couldn’t walk separately, kept going back and forth so our mamas could go and walk with us. We lived on Madison, and they lived on Monroe. The Mays lived on Madison also: Lenabel, Rose, Edith and their brothers, Mike, Sidney and Abe. There was a bunch of Jewish families in the Riverton area, the Mays, the Joe Binders, the Victor Binders, the Rappaports. Auerbach's daughter lives in Greenville, Eva Auerbach Kaplan.[176]

My father was a peddler here first. Then, he went into automobile parts. His business was located at home. We owned our home. He went out to Ruleville and Cleveland and all over the Delta selling this inventory. Our first car was a pickup truck that he used.[177]

Lena remembered,

When they first arrived they lived with Uncle Morris on Tallahatchie Street. We lived with them until Daddy bought the house some months later. I am not sure which month but it was within the first year. My mother never said anything about having a hard time adjusting to this life. She just stayed home and took care of the kids.[178]

[Mother] was a grand cook. We never bought a loaf of bread—she made her own. She cooked cookies, cakes, but you had to use a hammer on the pie crust. She made extra loafs and shared her bread with everyone in the neighborhood on Fridays. Some Italian people lived next door to us (Antone), and he called it Jewish cake—never bread. She cooked mostly German recipes, meat and potatoes, heavy food, kugels, chicken and chicken soup. She made delicious gefilte fish. She taught me how without recipes. She was famous for her beer and wine—Did she ever put up a great home brew. When she died, we looked under the house and found gallons and gallons of wine that we didn’t know was there. She, nor my father, were heavy drinkers. She made wine for the holidays.

My daddy was very Orthodox. Yes, we kept Kosher. I have a tablecloth that mother had when she came from Europe. She came to live with her sisters but I don’t know the date. Rowena got most of her Passover dishes, and she sold most everything. She had about three sets of dishes:—two sets for the year and two sets for Passover. She sold almost everything she had before she went into the B’nai B’rith Home.

Mother could not read or write, but daddy could. He learned on his own; he wrote the way you pronounced it. He learned before he came to Clarksdale. We spoke Yiddish and English at home. When there was a non-Jew in our home, we instructed our mother:,“you speak English.” We all spoke English before we arrive in Clarksdale. If they had an accent the daughters would not say. However, Jennie/Lena said that when she was in Washington they made fun of her Southern accent.[179]

WIENER

DAVE

Dave said,

When my mother got pregnant with me she came to Memphis to be with her mother. August 24, 1916. I was born in my grandmother’s home - - Hill Street, Memphis. Her name was Engelberg--my mother’s mother,[180]

In addition to the above families the 1916 Classified Business City Directory showed the following Jewish merchant[181]

MERCHANT CATEGORY STREET ADDRESS

Baker, Frank dry goods 320 Delta Avenue

Baker, Harry dry goods 340 Delta Avenue

Balicer, Louis racket stores 216 Sunflower Avenue

Binder, Essie grocery/meat mkt 61 Madison Avenue, Riverton

Binder, Rachael dry goods 19 Third Street

Bodenheimer, Leopold general merchandise 242 Sunflower Avenue

Friedman, Max hides & furs 347 Yazoo Avenue

Frank, Mrs. Kate dry goods 214 Sunflower Avenue

Hirschfield, Isaac tailor 311 Delta Avenue

Isaacson, Abraham dry goods 206 Sunflower Avenue

Jacobson & Co. dry goods 346 Delta Avenue

Jiedel I & Brothers general merchandise 122 Sunflower Avenue

Kantrovitz, Hymen D. wholesale jewelry 216 Sunflower Avenue

Kaufman Mrs. E. R. dry goods 234 Sunflower Avenue

Kaufman & Goldstein tailors 234 Sunflower Avenue

Kerstine, Adolph dry good 236 Delta Avenue

Landau Max & Co dry goods 246=248 Delta Avenue

Levine, William dry goods 238 Sunflower Avenue

Levinson, Barnard men's furnishings 131 Third Avenue

Levinson Fannie dry goods 224 Sunflower Avenue

Nachman, Al Loans & investments Theatre Building

Notaries-Public

Powers & Co. dry goods Delta &nThird

men's furnishings

millinery & milliners

Rappaport, Isidor Delta Avenue Dept Store 322-326 Delta Avenue

Rappaport, Morris peddler 238 Issaquena

Sack, Aaron general merchandise 218 Delta Avenue

Shapiro, Isaac grocery 244 Sunflower Avenue

Small, John dry goods 312 Delta Avenue

Woolbert, Abraham tailor 232 Sunflower Avenue

1917

Cotton price per pound was $0.24[182]

 March 22: Sara Bernhardt, the famous actress appeared in Clarksdale at the Majestic Theatre.[183]

June 2: U. S. Gen. Leonard Wood visited Hattiesburg, marking the beginning of a new military satellite training camp, Camp Shelby

Company I, Second Mississippi Infantry volunteer their services at the call of the President.[184]

 June 22: Blues singer John Lee Hooker was born in Clarksdale.[185]

Year of the international epidemic during WWI [186](C'dale TimeChart1, Dan Tonkel interview)

September 10: Article in TOWN TALK, “Demand for and scarcity of house driving families from Clarksdale.”[187]

ABRAMS

(1900, 1920, 1930)

SAM

Sam reported, “I had my Bar Mitzvah in Memphis in 1917. My dad stayed in the store in Duncan.

Sam Abrams said his father first had a store on Delta Street in 1917.[188]

COHEN

(1868, 1890, 1900, 1920, 1930)

FRED

Adele Cohen-Kline said,

Fred was born in 1904. He was about thirteen years when he came over in1917. His brother was two years older. They come from Shiga, Beirut. He brought his younger sister with him, because the older one, Raphael, had come first. She was living in New York.…. when Fred decided to come, he brought his sister, Bertha.[189]

Raphael and Sam were already in New York. Sam didn't marry. He lived in Columbus. He died in Clarksdale because he came back here to stay with us when he was sick. He had lived here for years before that when he was a young man. [190]

Fred had another brother. Irving living in Columbus, Ohio, when he passed on. His daughter still lives there.[191]

FREYMAN

(1868, 1890, 1900, 1920, 1930)

IDA LICHT

Ida was born in Pennsylvania in 1898. She was the daughter of Rev. A. H. and Rachel Freyman. Ida suffered from appendicitis, adhesions and topic hepatitis. After the surgery a setback caused her death. She was employed at Max Landau & Company when she died.[192] This was one of the earliest graves of the Beth Israel Jewish Cemetery, Clarksdale.

HIRSBERG

(1880, 1890, 1900, 1920, 1930)

JACOB

According to Bernard, his son,

Money was not that important to my father. It was the principles. From the time (I don't remember the age, but I would say seven, eight, nine years old) if I wanted money, I went to the cash register and got it. I left a note as to how much I got, and what I was going to use it for. Fine - no problem, as long as you didn't abuse it, and you paid for everything that you bought.[193]

BERNARD

Bernard continued,

I remember during WWI, they brought a submarine up the river to Friars Point. It was part of a drive to sell war bonds and war stamps. They brought a light cruiser at a different time. It was more for showing it off. It wasn’t for any wartime situation. It had no relations to the war other than for the sale of war bonds.[194]

River traffic has never stopped, but nothing gets served there now [1994], except for the fact that they do have limestone, and they have a grain elevator over there now that ships by water.[195]

FLORA

Flora remembered her youth with these stories:

I went to dances when I was about eleven years old. That’s grown up formal dances that were at the Elks Club. I don’t remember much about the dances. I do remember that wearing pretty clothes was not important before you became a teenager. It became very important then. It was very impressive when you don’t have enough … that was serious trouble. Yes, it was painful. My papa just didn’t have it. There wasn’t anything we could do about it. He could have gotten it and gone into debt and not slept at night, you know.

Somehow or other, as poor as we were, my mama could take a hen and serve six people. She could cut that hen up where everybody would have too much to eat, plus a bowl of soup. See, first, she made the soup, then she would take the chicken, and she’d roast it or do something to it – delicious. My mama was the best cook that ever was. Absolutely. S

[Bessie Okun} was know for her kindness, her sweetness and her friendship, as well as her cooking. She made the best coffeecakes, nut pastries. She was not a fancy cook, just was a cook’s cook. I am sorry to say, I didn’t learn to cook from her. Well, I learned a very few of her methods—and I didn’t try, that’s what is so pitiful. To have an opportunity like that, and I did not absorb it. There were no measurements. To measure, you just throw it [in]. You know, you just take a handful and a cupful, and I don’t know, you got the right consistency and that was it. Their measurements were in their minds. They knew what it was supposed to feel and look like; that’s when they knew it was right.

That’s about it, I think. I’ve never put that into words, but that’s it. How they cooked and my mama was a marvelous cook, and I think her secret was that everything was cooked slowly and long (hours). Chicken had to cook for hours. I don’t know why it didn’t fall apart. And you know we had a coal stove. We didn’t have electric stoves. And you had to build a fire, and you had to add coals at the right time so that the oven wouldn’t be too hot for the cake. It was all put your hand in the oven--that was your thermometer.[196]

HIRSHFELD

(1920)

February 20: “Manny’s Coal Black Rose” was sung by little Miss Selma Hirschfeld very cleverly” at the Minstrel Show held at the Majestic Theatre.[197]

JACOBSON

(1868, 1880, 1890, 1900, 1920, 1930)

JAKE

February 20: Jake performed as Mr. Turpin who sat around in the circle. at the Minstrel Show held at the Majestic Theatre. Kelly performed as on of the end men and performed the solo, “Knock the 'L' Out of Kelly.” He performed a Blackface Specialist with Dos Wheelery during the group singing and dancing specialty of “My Grandfather Girl.”[198]

KANTROVITZ/KANTOR

(1920)

April 4: “Roof Gard Opens with a Grand Ball.” Closed by Manager Kantrovitz who stated that ….”the advent of warmer weather, he…re-opened the place and would continue it throughout the Spring and Summer.”[199]

KERSTINE

(1868, 1880, 1890, 1900, 1920, 1930)

ISIDOR

Isidor enlisted (or was drafted: March 20, 1917 to March 20, 1918)) into the Army for World War I and served in France.[200] lsidor was sent to France.

Selma said:

I remember when Isidor got sick with pneumonia in France. He was on the front lines. The only thing that saved him was that he got sick with the flu and had to fall out on the way to the front. Felled out is how he described it to everybody. That meant he was sent him back to the hospital to get well. He had pneumonia. He almost died, he said. That was the only thing that saved him. He fell out in line, and they put him in the hospital. Well, he got out pretty quick. He could have a pension, and he didn’t want to wait for it.[201]

Isidor always started his WWI story by saying he joined but did not want to shoot a gun or be in the infantry. He believed it to be ironic he was put in the Engineering Corp, which meant they were trained to go ahead of the infantry to exam and inspect bridges and the terrain.

MAX

Max was stationed in San Antonio. Adolph took us down there to be with Max in San Antonio, but he left on Saturday, and we got there on Sunday. He served in World War I. Max thought he was sick most of the time. ( Adolph went to San Antonio, Texas to speed up the process of getting him separated. [202]

ADOLPH & JULIUS

During World War I (1918) Adolph closed the store and followed his sons, Max and Isidor around the USA while they were in the Army. They spent at least one summer in Hot Springs. Well, I was in the second grade, about 9 years old, during World War I. We went to Hot Springs. That is where we were living at the time. Well, Daddy’s brother lived there. Nathalia’s father was Charles M. He had a [factory] that made bath towels and made robes out of bath towels. He use to have a thing to put your hand in. One side was real stiff and on the one side was cloth to wash with. He always kept Mama supplied with that. He always brought tea. He liked a certain kind of tea that he always had. Molly, I got a sack of tea for you. It would make her so mad.[203]

Selma said once that during WWI the family lived in Memphis. She also mentioned that this was during the time when they declared the war had ended, but it was a false alarm. The 1919 Memphis City Directory says Adolph and Caesar rooming on Adams.[204]

Selma said:

At one time, Adolph had a store but John Clark sold him the best property here. Daddy owned more than just the one house we lived in on Yazoo. During the First World War, he sold out a bunch of stuff at almost nothing because he said he didn't want any war money.[205]

When Selma said nine years old, she remembered there had an open pavilion at night. The pavilion was kind of a tent. They had the silent movies at the open pavilion. “Yeah, and then they used to pass around crackerjack, and have prizes.”[206]

Selma said, “The Little Sunflower River had already dried up. Almost, cause I knew someone who had a house that you had to spit in it to keep it dry.”[207]

KLINE

(1900, 1920, 1930)

MYER

Julian Bloom said,

In Alligator, Myer Kline had three plantations with about 300 families on those three plantations. He brought all those young men to Alligator to work, like my father-in-law Robert Kaplan, Harry Magdovitz, and Julius Baskind. They all started in Alligator working for Myer Kline. Then they branched out, and that's how they got in all these little towns like Drew and Sumner and Webb. They got a little experience, my father-in-law, of course, was in the hardware, his brother was the groceries, and then they had the dry goods. Actually, they all started out with a job with Mr. Kline, and they lived in what they called a hotel there, upstairs over Mr. Kline's stores. Then, they had a boarding house where they at., All of the early life stems from that ,and that's how they got to Mississippi.

The early 1900's, 1917, 1918, that's when Joanne's daddy (Robert Kaplan) came. All these men came there and Hilda Baskind Kaufman's daddy ice-skated on the Alligator Lake there, and Saturday nights there were shootings and going on's and doings.

In the hardware store, they sold everything from nails to coffins. Nobody ever paid any attention to who killed who or what or when. It's just hard to imagine that that kind of stuff went on, but it did. They would come to Alligator on the river by boat, but everything started from somewhere, you know.[208]

LANDAU

(1890, 1900, 1920, 1930)

January 25: Berthold performed the role of Julia Marlowe in the “Womanless Wedding” held at the Majestic Theatre.[209]

SILVERBLATT

(1900)

January 20: Charlie Silverblatt performed as one of the end men and sang the solo, “Joy Man Blues,” at the Minstrel Show held at the Majestic Theatre. He also participated in the group singing and dancing specialty of “My Grandfather Girl.” [210]

January 25: Charlie Silverblatt and Mark Hinman sang the duet, “I’ve Something Sweet To Tell you.” Caruso and Melab in the “Womanless Wedding” held at the Majestic Theatre.[211]

WEISS

(1930)

January 25: Ike/Isaac performed the role of Anita Stewart in the “Womanless Wedding” held at the Majestic Theatre.[212]

1918

Cotton price per pound was $0.32.[213]

January 9: Mississippi was the first state in the union to ratify the 18th Amendment, Prohibition.[214]

Marion Theatre opened first movie; “The Whip” was shown. (Marion Theatre to Open Next Monday Night”, Clarksdale Microfilm Scrapbook #1, 6)[215]

County at “over the top” for Liberty Loan Bonds and War Savings Stamps. Company I, Second Mississippi Infantry volunteer their services at the call of the President.[216]

Newspaper clipping in Carnegie Library scrapbook:

Although a Private Swimming Pool E. J. Mullens, Jr: Will give big opening next week; proceeds to go to benefit of Red Cross. E. J. Mullens Jr. will give Big Opening New Week. The handsomest and most modern place of entertainment in the city is fine new natatorium just completed by E. J. Mullens, Jr. at the family residence on the boulevard at a cost approximately $10,000 …with a 37 foot included projection that will shoot a person almost across the pool at a velocity of nearly hundred miles an hours to toy submarines, torpedoes and boats which are propelled in the water by means of large springs. The pool is 50 x 90 feet in dimensions has a depth ranging from 3 to 10 feet and will hold, when full about 420,000 gallons of water.[217]

During the interview Bernard Hirsberg had with Rabbi Plaut, Bernard said,

In the early twenties, [or] the late teens. Clarksdale had much better rail facilities. The emphasis was away from the river. For a long period of time, every automobile that was brought into Clarksdale came from the river. All of the cotton that was transported away from here went to Friars Point and was transported by rail. Used to have the freight lines operating out of Friars Point. In other words, a tremendous boon and of course, the only means of transportation up until the railroads.… The heavy freight moved by river. The emphasis was shifting from the river towns to Clarksdale as a commercial center.[218]

Unknown reference stated:

Possibly in response to the newspapers commentary, the late are R. N. McWillliams in 1918 hired an architect to draw plans for six-story hotel which was to have been located on Yazoo Avenue. Several structures were removed from the proposed site and foundation work began.

But in the time that followed the end of World War I was short-lived; the price of cotton drop in money became scarce in the Delta. The new hotel was never completed and the Alcazar went unchallenged as the city's largest and finest hotel.

Congregation Beth Israel

From “Plan New Jewish Temple in City,”

As a result of a meeting at the Hirschfeld establishment on Delta Avenue last night, at which a number of prominent Jewish citizens were present, the organization of a new congregation and the drawing up of plans for the erection as soon as conditions will permit, of a modern commodious house of worship, or temple were perfected including provisions for securing the services of an accredited and competent Rabbi.

The new congregation in accordance with a resolution unanimously adopted at the meeting last night, will hold regular religious services every Friday night at some public place or hall, temporarily secured for the purpose, until the plans for the construction of a permanent house of worship and the engagement of a pastor are finally carried out.

The new congregation’s initial service will be held at 8 o’clock next Friday night at the city hall and will be conducted by Professor George Tunkle of the Beth Israel Hebrew School, who will also deliver a short lecture on “The Synagogue and Its Mission.” The public is cordially invited.[219]

ABRAMS

(1900, 1920, 1930)

SAM

Sam continued describing his family moved to Clarksdale,

About 1918 we moved to Clarksdale because it offered better business. We moved next to a Ford’s Catering Shop. Right next to Ford’s was Friedman’s Court Yard. It was down by the railroad. I never will forget we use to hang stuff out in front of the store. In those days, one Saturday night I was young and foolish and black man stole a dress from in front of the store and ran into the courtyard. I ran after him. I told him stop, or I would shoot. He said shoot ahead. I didn’t have a gun with me. When we were on Delta and in Duncan, my daddy had women and men’s clothing stores. I don’t remember the year when he lost his merchandise on Delta, and he went to Issaquena to open up.[220]

The 1923 Clarksdale City Directory lists the store at 364 Delta.[221]

ARONSON

(1920, 1930)

ANNIE LEVINSON ARONSON

Married Meyer H. Later, she remarried and in 1985, she was buried by his last name, Osherwitz.[222]

Sam Abrams said,

I know Annie Aronson was bad. She was one of the funniest persons in the world. The story of the Pesach: when she called the women about the water being turned off. The ladies were preparing for Pesach and you didn’t have freezers or water for refrigeration so the ladies were doing everything without water the last minute.  She told them the water was turned off.

The one thing I can remember about Annie was one night. We were over to somebody’s house and there was a Jewish man that owned a furniture store. He managed it. Johnnie and Dorothy Gardner managed the a furniture store that formerly belonged to Dave Bernstein.

Johnny and his wife lived in Clarksdale. Annie disguised her voice and she acted like she could talk like a black person. She told this man that she had some money for furniture and wanted to buy some furniture for his wife. She had Johnnie coming down to the store at night to meet the man. I want to tell you something. We laughed.… Yea, he came. Anything she could do. She was filthy person. [223]

CHILD: MAURY

COHEN

(1868, 1890, 1900, 1920, 1930)

Adele said,

Fred had a display room in the McWilliams Building when he first came here. He was seventeen or eighteen years old.  He was carrying a pack; so he stayed at the hotel. Than, [when he] met up with [others], he told everybody he was French. He wouldn't tell anybody he was Jewish. So, some of the gentile people found out that he was selling linens. So, they called him up, and they would go to their homes and open his suitcase, and everybody was buying all the linens he had. He continued calling New York all the time to get more linens. At this time, he finally saw that he had to have a room.… He got a room in there on West Second. There was a two-story house down there, and it is still there. He used to stay there. No, where he stayed was over there. Before that, he was staying in the hotel where he was having his show room and all like that. But he couldn't afford a room yet, because he had no money. But he had to stay in a hotel so he would open his samples there in the hotel. People would come to the hotel. After he started getting on his feet, and he knew he needed a room, so he got that room over there.[224]

BLOOM

(1920, 1930)

WALTER

Walter was born in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, in 1890. Moved to Clarksdale; veteran of WWI; married Bell Ester Binder. His World War I draft registration says he is working for Sunflower Lumber Company. He was medium height with dark brown hair and eyes; he was single. The 1920 U. S. Census lists him as a furniture salesman. [225]

Child: Jacob E, born in 1920.

Brothers

Harvey (Helena)

Isaac

Ed (Memphis)

Sister

Fanny Woolbert

Children

1) Mrs. Albert Diness

2) Dorothy

3) David

4) Jacob

FINK

(1900, 1920, 1930)

JAKE AND FREDA:

Alvin wrote in his memoirs and Marion, his sister also added to the following,

Jake was one year too old for the draft. With the demands of the war machine, the economy of the nation and the Delta boomed. Jake and his business had outgrown the small town of Duncan; he moved, lock, stock and barrel, to Clarksdale. He only bought a limited amount of land to build his grand home worthy of his status at 226 West Second Street. The Myer Klines lived next door. Ed Peacock, banker, brought material out to the lot and appeared to be building a shanty on the rest of the lot. It cost Jake $5000 more to buy the property from Ed Peacock.

Prior to 1918 Jake operated in the name of Jake and J. W. Fink; at that time, he changed it to Jake Fink Cotton Company.

Jake had a partnership that he operated with Freda as far as the plantation was concerned, I think. During this decade, Jake bought some big plantations on the Riverside out there between Hillhouse and Sherad. He owned the sandpit down in Shaw, Mississippi. Owned a big place right next to the State Penitentiary at Parchman. Although he was in and out of a number of businesses, the cotton business remained his true love. I have often though about this and have come to the conclusion that cotton buying and selling is a very clean business in that you know the man you’re dealing with and the business is subject to a number of formalities. Jake could class 100 bales of cotton, and feel like he had correctly identified the staple and grade of each and every sample.

Pauline was born at her grandmother’s home; Dr. Gray was the doctor. = She was born within the six months period that her parents were living at the Woolbert’s because their new home on Second Street was not completed. They went to New York and St. Louis to purchase furniture for it. Marion said she mostly [bought the label] “Baker” and she kept the desk. They were conventional style of the day, not antiques. Freda did not care for antiques; she had elegant taste, which she used both in furniture and in clothes. Jake became President of the B’nai B’rith Lodge # 660.[226]

Alvin noted,

During WWI the haberdashers had shirts, men silk shirts as much as $25 and that is no money today, but in those days $25 to $35 was a lot of money for a shirt. And all that stuff, hightop shoes for ladies, that all went out of business. People kept their merchandise, but no money.[227]

FRIEDMAN

(1868, 1880, 1890, 1900, 1920, 1930)

GERTRUDE

Julia Baker Glassman said,

Gertrude Friedman, who was Max Friedman’s relative lived at our house for two years because my parents and my sister lived in Duncan. Uncle Harry had already built these two houses and said, 'That is going to be Morris’s house.' Daddy wasn’t ready to leave Duncan—two to three weeks before I was born, they moved to Clarksdale-206 Catalpa. The Friedman family lived in that house in Clarksdale for two years after they moved from Jonestown, and then moved to Clarksdale. That is Cousin Cecelia, Elaine, Charlie, Sam and Toonie's family. Yea, they stayed in Clarksdale.  She was older than I was. They were Bohemians; however, they moved around. Smart, beautiful, she played basketball, if I am not mistaken. She was tall. People are like gypsies until they finally settle.[228]

KERSTINE

(1868, 1880, 1890, 1900, 1920, 1930)

ISIDOR

Isidor graduated with honors from the University of Mississippi as a mechanical engineer. He won the University of Mississippi’s distinguished Taylor medal twice; once for outstanding GPA in mechanical drafting. We don’t know what the second award was.

Isidor worked in New York before WWI. After he graduated from college, he worked up there for three years. He signed up for the Army in April, 1918 while living in New York. He was sent to Paris in the Engineer Corps but had pneumonia and never fought. The military service card says he served as a private in the 152 Dep Brig to August 12, 1918, and the 116 Engineers while serving in Europe between August 16, 1918 and March 11, 1919. He was discharged on his birthday, March 20, 1919..[229]

SELMA

Selma remembered,

I was in the fourth grade, they had the first public eye examinations and the only thing I could see was that big E. I was having a hard time because the put everything on the board and I couldn't read it. I sat in front but I still couldn't see. [230]

MAX

Selma said,

When Max was first drafted in World War I, he went into the war in Arkansas at Camp Pikes. I think it is around Little Rock. To get out, Mama had to go get the doctor to sign papers that she was sick and needed him. That was the only way he got out. Isidor was at home and well settled up. Max was still in the Army. He was throwing a fit to get out. Max thought he was sick most of the time. Ancestry.com shows he was in WWI; Separation certification shows 3/20/1918. He liked to never got out. The war was over and they let everybody else out but Max. Adolph went to San Antonio, Texas, to speed up the process of getting him separated. Then once or twice she said that Isidor had to go down to the Mexican border to get him out.[231]

ADOLPH

Selma talked about her grandparents' marriage

Adolph and Mollie did not get along too well. Adolph found his marriage too difficult to enjoy. He would leave Mollie to travel to Germany. There he would remain for sometimes two years or longer. He would go to Germany and stay for extended periods of a year or so.

Selma talked about

Adolph didn't talk about his life in Germany very much. But he went over there after World War I and stayed awhile. He did not stay in Germany seven years like Corinne said. He never stayed that long when he went. He wanted Mama to go but she said she wasn't going away from her children.

Isidor always said, “His dad would go without luggage. He would just pick up and go. This left Isidor feeling the strong need to accept responsibility of his mother and the family, especially Selma.”

During the interview with Frost, it was mentioned, “Adolph was very generous with his money, while Mollie was very frugal”[232]

Selma talked about Adolph trips to Germany,

Adolph knew lots of Germans. He bought some property over there, and the Germans wouldn't let him rent it out. He had to let people live in it free of charge. She said she heard something about the Kaiser's sister living in his house as a free renter, but I wouldn't swear to that. I don't think the family ever tried to communicate with the family in Europe.[233]

Selma said,

I have a pin, a beautiful pin. They didn't have safety pins on the back. I've had it since before 1929, and it must be solid gold. It's got sapphires and rubies in it. Adolph brought that back to me from Germany.Yes, and he brought back a hand crocheted Bertha collar that I got. Note; Margie has the pin. It was not sapphires and rubies but garnets.[234]

Corinne said, “As the sons grew, Adolph worked very hard at teaching them to be very leery of marriage; he encouraged them to remain single. He preferred his girls marry so that someone could take care of them.”[235]

LURIE/EVENSKY

SIMON & SARA EVENSKY

Simon was born in Lithuania in 1890 and immigrated in 1906. Sarah was born in Missouri in 1899. Married Sarah Evensky; He used to wear his glasses up on his hair. He would look all over the store for them. Couldn’t find his glasses.[236]

Child: Leonard “Sonny”

1919

Cotton price per pound was $0.33.[237]

Prosperity at peak as an aftermath of war conditions. Long staple cotton soars to $1/pound, and land transferred as high as $400/acre. Company I, Second Mississippi Infantry volunteer their services at the call of the President.[238]

June 28: The Versailles Treaty, signed on June 28, 1919, was the peace settlement between Germany and the Allied Powers that officially ended World War I.[239]

Lithuania was an independent state. After the WWI, President Wilson gave all the Baltic States involved in the WWI their independence; primarily, Lithuania and Estonia. You might say that Lithuania was independent from 1918 until 1941 when Russia and Germany double-crossed each other. Then they were taken over by Russia.

 Elizabeth Dorr School was finished. It was a red-letter event as it had a large auditorium, indoor swimming pool, manual training facilities and many classrooms.[240]

1919-1920: Clarksdale High School Football team who won the Delta Champions. And second in the State included: (1) Jake Jacobson, (2) Morris Friedman, (3) Ike Baker, (4) Roland Levinson, and (5) Myer Friedman.[241]

BLOOM

(1920, 1930)

WALTER J

They lived at 319 Mississippi Street. [242]

BINDER

(1880, 1890, 1900, 1920, 1930)

MARRIAGES

1) Anne was Ida’s twin; she did not marry.

2) Ida married Sidney Levy.

3) Sally married and lived in Baton Rouge, LA.

4) Max married Bella.

5) Abe married Kay and lived in Columbus, OH.[243]

FRANK/CALIFF

(1890, 1900, 1920, 1930)

SOL & REBECCA

Leon continued the history of his parents,

My father was not a gregarious type person, and the life he lived, as I mentioned earlier, a frugal existence, to save money, to improve his life when he could, and to study. He had a very beautiful handwriting, and his favorite hobby later in life was reading, especially medical stuff. But anyway, a man who was a drummer, that’s what they used to call a salesman, came through and, of course, they used to sit and talk.… He told him about this single girl in St. Louis. My father went up there to buy merchandise for his store. I don’t know whether it was spring or fall, but it was in 1919.[244]

I can’t tell you much about their courtship, but I know that it was an instant, love at first sight. So they got married, and she came to Dublin, Mississippi, with him. Now he lived in a shack, and her father had been in the hardware business. She went to school until she was six years old. She had to leave school because his wife died, and she was the oldest girl. She had to be like the house mother.[245]

So, when she came to Dublin, first thing she did, was to bring inside plumbing into this little shack that they called a home.[246]

Julia Baker Glassman explained the family genealogical connections,

Rebecca “Bea” was born in 1900. [She] was my mother’s 1st cousin. Her father and my mother’s father were brothers.

Everybody stayed at Uncle Harry and Aunt Nellie’s house. Cousin Molly and Cousin Bea came from Centralist, Illinois to visit and stayed at her house. They came to Memphis. Cousin Molly met somebody. They married in Memphis and moved to Benoit, MS. I don’t know if Cousin Bea met Cousin Sol when he was working in Clarksdale.[247]

DAMSKER/LEA

(1890, 1920)

HERMAN/ROSA LEA

Herman not only moved into business for himself but married Rosa on August 22. Her home was Memphis.[248]

KERSTINE

(1868, 1880, 1890, 1900, 1920, 1930)

SELMA

Selma said:

Yea, I remember the [I left the] fourth grade. Because Clarksdale was so much a head of that school in Manitou, Colorado, … they put me in the fifth grade ) I went to school out there in the wintertime. When we went back to Clarksdale, they put me back a year again.[249]

I remember all that snow out there Caesar would join us in the summer.[250]

SACK

(1868, 1880, 1890, 1900, 1920, 1930)

CHILDREN:

1) LENORA Started dating Harry Wise, Belzoni. She told author she dated him for twenty-five years before he married her.[251]

2) ALMA

Married Harry Lipson of Marks, Mississippi at the Elks Club when Lillian was 8 years old. This was written up in the newspaper the Elks club.[252]

CHILDREN:

(1) MARION

Marion married a Harry Lipson who is a daughter of Alma, not a third child of the Sack. They lived in Tuscaloosa, AL. They had a daughter and a son. So there were two Harry Lipson who were not related. One of her children is Carolyn Lipson-Walker, a professor at the University of Indiana. Her thesis, “Shalom Y’ll,” was about southern Jewish folklore.[253]

(2) HARRY

Married to Dottie and lived in Marks.

CHILDREN: (1) CHARLES he lives in Chicago.[254]

(2)              BOBBY

The next one’s name is Bobby. He married and lived in Seattle. He was a garu.[255] He is married but I do not know how many children.

SHANKERMAN

(1880, 1890, 1920, 1930)

ABRAHAM

Shankerman’s began as a fledgling men’s store in 1919 when … Abraham Shankerman stopped in Clarksdale en route to visit his cousin in Greenville…. [He] looked around Clarksdale and liked what he saw. An immigrant from Lithuania … a tailor in Newport, Kentucky, a small town close to Cincinnati, Ohio. Abe and both sons Phil and Irvin decided to call their first Clarksdale store “Just Rite Tailor Shop” located at 319 Delta Avenue. [256]

WISE

(1920, 1930)

SOL & NAOMI

James Edward Wise reported,

My grandfather Wise came from Lithuania. Rena Shankman, [Memphis, Tennessee resident] has pretty well figured out where, but I forgotten what she told me because her grandmother and my grandfather were brother and sister.[257]

I'm not exactly sure when he came, but I was always told that he was here five or six years before he could send for his wife, and three children. My father was born in this country in 1895 so I just sorta go back from there that grandmother Wise must have gotten here at least a year before that so that would be 1894 and then take off seven years from that and that would be around 1887 so he came over sometime in that period, but nobody really knows for sure.

With him, came three children. Myer, who we've talked about before, who was born I believe in 1880, in Europe. How he got to the Delta I don't really know, but I know that he lived at one time in Friars Point, one time in Shelby, and one for a long time in my recollection in Belzoni and married Lenora Sack from Clarksdale after a long courtship.

[Myer] had also two daughters, one was the Rose Wise Fink who we've spoken about before married to Joe Fink, in Marigold, and one was Sarah Wise Adler. I don't know exactly how she got to Mississippi. I know Aunt Rose was visiting her brother, it's Myer, met Joe Fink … and, got married, and came to Mississippi.

[Rose's] sister Sarah and Wolfe Adler lived, far as I know, only in Madison, perhaps not. Wolfe Adler was killed by some kinda a highwayman, I don't remember much detail about that. She had two children, Florence and M.C. I barely remember their being in Mississippi. She lived in ,I believe Inverness, for a while. I can sorta remember them there. Then they left.  The older, her daughter, with another generation, Florence had a daughter my age so there was a long stretch of family there. Her daughter Florence was married and she went to live with them and so forth.

Now the other siblings were born in this country. My father was the first. His brother Leon lived in Denver. His brother Harry married and lived in Bells, Tennessee most of his life. Both had a daughter. Leon had a daughter, Mary Louise who married a fellow in St. Louis. Charles is a lawyer there. I can't remember the rest of his name. And the other one, Mary Lee Sher who lives here in Memphis was Uncle Harry's daughter. Notice they were all named for, I think, my grandmother Wise because I know her name was Mary. We had a Mary Leona, Mary Louise, and Mary Lee, so sure you will know when you I think they were all named for the same person.

We were always, I mean, there was no question about our being Jewish. We always, in my lifetime anyway, belonged to the congregation in Clarksdale. I went to Sunday School there, both Bar Mitzvah and confirmed there.

In my mother's early life, they lived in little towns in Arkansas. Say she was born in Darnell, and I know that she spent some time in Memphis with an Aunt because of the school situation in Arkansas.

I always said my father was the archetypical classical Reform Jew but if you told him that he would have gotten irritated. He selected those things that were important to him, and he had the education to make an informed selection.

Oh yes, in Lithuania I don't think they had any reformed Jews frankly. But no, they came as Orthodox. In fact, when my grandfather came to this country, he brought his family over. He peddled like everyone else at first. Then he got his store in Eminence not far from Louisville about forty miles, and that was about a train trip in those days. Now when he thought his family, was moving there, he took instructions on how to slaughter fowl. He got his shochet of one sort or another, in fact I have his shochet knife he used to kill. He couldn't kill a beef or anything like that, he could ritually slaughter chickens and ducks and geese and things like that. But they were absolutely Orthodox.

None of the children remained that kind of Orthodox. If you would have asked my father, he would have said he was Orthodox, but he really wasn't. We had the classic household, where we did not have pork in the house, unless mother and I might have taken in a slice of ham. We really didn't have any crab meat, although I don't really think there was any in that part of the country, but we were all on shrimp and oysters.

My mother’s father came from, I heard, from Poland. I know he came from Europe. He had a sister in Memphis named Levis.… Whether it was Poland or another country at the time I don't really know. H…. My mother's name was Lewis. Her mother's name was Levine or Levine depending on how much money you had. She was born in Virginia, and I believe her mother was. I know that would have been my mother's grandmother. But I'm not positive about that.

Frankly, much of the history, family history, died with my mother's sister Leah, who kept up with much of that, and my mother really didn't. As I say, I know her mother was born here, Mary Lewis, my mother's mother. And then we think Mary Lewis' mother was born here. I'm pretty sure that's correct.

I'm not really sure about my mother's Grandfather Lewis. I don't really know where he came from or when he was born. And I can't find him in the cemetery in Roanoke so two cemeteries there. I went to both of them, and I would assume that's where they have to be buried. I didn't ask soon enough when I was in college. One of the ladies that would come up from Roanoke who would come up and do Passover for the college students in the fraternity house knew my grandmother's youngest sister. But that lady is long since dead. She was a Mississippi. Foreman. She's long, long since dead. There's obviously nobody now living that could, that like that.

Oh their religion and what kind of religion we practiced. We did not, my mother never lit candles on Friday night. Although we had a quasi-- we always made Kiddish on Friday night. Frankly, my father made Kiddish, once again his classical Reform, made Kiddish with Bourbon instead of wine because he liked that a whole lot better. And course, the stores were closed only on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. We never closed the store for the first day of Passover or anything of that nature. We did observe Passover in our fashion. We never changed dishes or kept kosher or anything like that, but we didn't have breads or cakes or pies either. We had Matzas.  I can remember as a very small child, going to Rabbi Freyman's in Clarksdale to purchase them. And later years you went to Memphis and in later years after that Kroger came along. That was, those were our major observances I think.  I don't remember a Yahrzeit observance (means commemorating a death), I don't ever remember seeing a Yahrzeit candle. As I said, my father picked and chose pretty regularly. As a side to that I would ask questions of the things that I thought were very peculiar or rather beyond belief. He would say “No son, it just doesn’t pay to question certain things.” He didn’t believe them either.

I've always thought I've heard the stories that I was not to observe that. Clarksdale really had a socially rough Jewish element for a long many years. Certainly, when my father went there in the 1919, people just, no matter, you just weren't going to associate with them.

Well of course in little, small communities like that, people belonged to the synagogue. There may have been a few Jewish families, I know about your grandfather. There may have been a few Jewish families in Clarksdale that didn't belong to the temple, but I don't know who they could have been. So we were always affiliated with the synagogue, and my parents were very careful.  We had a very much of a non-Jewish social life. Twenty miles away to Clarksdale was a trip in the early days. We were very active in the non-Jewish community.[258]



[1] McLemore, Richard Aubrey. A History of Mississippi. Vol. I and II. Hattiesburg, Mississippi: University & College Press of Mississippi, 1973. 351.

"Coahoma County Is Famous Throughout Dixie for Its Abundant Crop." Clarksdale Daily Register and Daily News (Clarksdale, Mississippi), September 3, 1936, p. 5.

[2] Kline, Adele Cohen, Aaron Kline and Corinne Kerstine. Interview by author. Memphis, Tennessee. November 27, 1993. Oral taped interview.

[3] Cooper, Forrest Lamar. “Mississippi Matter of Fact”, 1995 Calendar Florence, Mississippi, 1995. [Note: use dates for page number.

[4] Bloom, Julian. Interview by author. Memphis, November 18, 1993. Oral taped interview.

[5] Magdovitz, Lawrence. Interview by author. Memphis, Tenessee. July, 22, 2004 and August, 2010. Oral taped and phone interviews.

[6] “1920 United States Federal Census for H Cohn.” Year: 1920; Census Place: Clarksdale, Coahoma, Mississippi; Roll: T625_873; Page: 41B; Enumeration District: 36; Image: 913, 81, Lines 82-83. Accessed January 31, 2016. http://interactive.ancestry.com.

[7] Shackeroff, Marion Fink. Interview by author. Jackson, Mississippi. October 30, 1999. Oral taped interview.

[8] Fink, Alvin , Interview by author. Memphis, Tennesseei. .November 27, 1993. Oral taped interview.

Tucker, Judy and Margery Kerstine. "Jake Fink: A Delta Entrepreneur." Arkansas Review 31, No. 3 December 2000, 214-20.

[9] Alexander, Charles, Elaine, Sarah, and other family members interview with author, 1994.

[10] Kline, Adele Cohen and Aaron Kline interview and transcripts with author, November 28, 1993.

“1910 United States Federal Census for Herman Jacobson.” Year: 1910; Census Place: Beat 1, Adams, Mississippi; Roll: T624_731; Page: 1B; Enumeration District: 0001; FHL microfilm: 1374744, 2, Line 87.

[11] Minutes, Helena AR, 1910, p. 4.

[12] Weeks, Linton. “Outskirts.” Clarksdale & Coahoma County: A History. Clarksdale, Miss. (P.O. Box 280, Clarksdale 38614): Carnegie Public Library, 1982, 84.

[13] Abrams, Sam and Lollie personal interview and transcript with author, January 17, 1994.

[14] Wiener, Dave, M. D. interviews and transcripts with author, 2004.

[15] Cooper, Forrest Lamar. “Mississippi Matter of Fact”, 1995 Calendar Florence, Mississippi, 1995. [Note: use dates for page number.]

[16] Sage, Harold K. and Madge P. Baucom. Clarksdale-Coahoma County, 1836-1936: One hundred years of progress in the Mississippi Delta: Centennial Edition. Delta Staple Cotton Festival Association 1936.

[17] Fink, Alvin personal interview and transcripts with author, November 27, 1993. Autobiographical papers included which was accidentally destroyed. Margery Kerstine Oral Interview Collection.

[18] "Beth Israel & 75th Year to Be Celebrated." Clarksdale Press Register (Clarksdale Mississippi), October 10, 1969, page 3, Columns 1-6 (from a 1880 manuscript).

[19] Nelson, Gertrude Friedman interview with author, March 16, 1995, transcript, Margery Kerstine Collection.

Shackeroff, Marion Fink interviews and transcripts with author, October 10, 1999.

[20] "Jewish Historical Edition of Clarksdale, Mississippi." Jewish Ledger [New Orleans, LA] Mar. 1923.

[21] Hirsberg, Flora (Mrs Bernard) interview with transcripts with author, September 30, 1993.

[22] Beatus, Leona Sack interview and transcript with author, September 4, 1993.

[23] Fink, Alvin personal interview and transcripts with author, November 27, 1993. Autobiographical papers included which was accidentally destroyed. Margery Kerstine Oral Interview Collection.

Hirsberg, Flora (Mrs Bernard) interview with transcripts with author, September 30, 1993.

[24] Abrams, Sam and Lollie personal interview and transcript with author, January 17, 1994.

[25] Ibid.

[26] Ibid.

[27] Samfield, Rabbi Sam. Marriage Registry: 1871-1915, Temple Israel Archives, Memphis, Tenneessee. Evelyn Silberman letter, February 2, 2002. Margery Kerstine Private Family Collection.

[28] Weinberger, Selma home interview with author, 1987-2001, transcripts. Margery Kerstine Genealogical collection.

Kerstine, Corinne interview and transcripts with author, 1977-1998, Margery Kerstine Collection.

[29] Weinberger, Selma home interview with author, 1987-2001, transcripts. Margery Kerstine Genealogical collection.

[30] “1910 United States Federal Census for Levinson.” Year: 1910; Census Place: Clarksdale, Coahoma, Mississippi; Roll: T624_737; Page: 12B; Enumeration District: 0033; FHL microfilm: 1374750, 24, Lines 87-97. Accessed February 6, 2016. http:// interactive.ancestry. com.

[31] "Barnet Levinson Dies in California." Clarksdale Press Register (Clarksdale, Mississippi), August 10, 1948.

[32] Franklin, Lynn. "Clarksdale Jewish Cemetery Burials." Beth Israel Cemetery. Accessed July 22, 2015. http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~ssjdb/Clarksdale.htm.

[33] "Funeral for Mrs. Levinson." Clarksdale Press Register (Clarksdale, Mississippi), Carnegie Public Library Obituary Scrapbook Collection. June 29, 1928.

[34] “1910 United States Federal Census for Levinson.” Year: 1910; Census Place: Clarksdale, Coahoma, Mississippi; Roll: T624_737; Page: 12B; Enumeration District: 0033; FHL microfilm: 1374750, 24, Lines 87-97. Accessed February 6, 2016. http:// interactive.ancestry. com.

[35] Weiner, Dave, M.D. Interview with transcript with author, April, 2003.

[36] Ibid.

[37] Sage, Harold K. and Madge P. Baucom. Clarksdale-Coahoma County, 1836-1936: One hundred years of progress in the Mississippi Delta: Centennial Edition. Delta Staple Cotton Festival Association 1936.

[38] "2 Colors of ‘’Yum!" Clarksdale Press Register (Clarksdale, Mississippi), September 12, 2003, sec. E.

“The New World 1900-1930.” Clarksdale & Coahoma County: A History. Clarksdale, Miss. (P.O. Box 280, Clarksdale 38614): Carnegie Public Library, 1982, 222

[39] Sage, Harold K. and Madge P. Baucom. Clarksdale-Coahoma County, 1836-1936: One hundred years of progress in the Mississippi Delta: Centennial Edition. Delta Staple Cotton Festival Association 1936.

[40] "Demand for and Scarcity of Houses Driving Desirable Families from Clarksdale." Clarksdale Press Register (Clarksdale, Mississippi), September 18S, 1912, Town Talk ed.

[41] Jennings, James. "History of Floods in the Delta." Clarksdale Press Register (Clarksdale, Mississippi), March 17, 2002, Front sec.

[42] "Jewish Historical Edition of Clarksdale, Mississippi." Jewish Ledger [New Orleans, LA] Mar. 23, 1923.

[43] Hirsberg, Flora Okun (Mrs Bernard) interview with transcripts with author, September 30, 1993.

[44] Isaacson, Abe. "The Old Days." Here's Clarkdale, January/February 1979, 10-18.

[45] “U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 for Harry Cohn,.” Ancestry.com. Miller, Ernest H., Editor, comp. Clarksdale, Mississippi 1916 City Directory. Vol. II. Delta. Anderson, S. C.: Ouila Printing & Binding Company, 1916. Accessed January 24, 2016. http:// interactive. ancestry.com.

“1930 United States Federal Census for Celia S CohnYear: 1930; Census Place: Clarksdale, Coahoma, Mississippi; Roll: 1142; Page: 5B; Enumeration District: 0017; Image: 900.0; FHL microfilm: 2340877, 10, Lines 98-100. Accessed January 24, 2016. http:// interactive.ancestry. Com.

"Mr. Harry Cohn Taken. Funeral Service Sunday." Clarksdale Press Register (Clarksdale, Mississippi), December 8, 1944. Clarksdale Library Scrapbooks, Clarksdale Public Library, Clarksdale, Mississippi.

Franklin, Lynn. "Clarksdale Jewish Cemetery Burials." Beth Israel Cemetery. Accessed July 22, 2015. http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~ssjdb/Clarksdale.htm.

[46] Abrams, Sam and Lollie personal interview and transcript with author, January 17, 1994.

[47] Tucker, Judy and Margery Kerstine. "Jake Fink: A Delta Entrepreneur." Arkansas Review 31, no. 3 (December 2000): 214-220.

Fink, Alvin personal interview and transcripts with author, November 27, 1993. Autobiographical papers included which was accidentally destroyed. Margery Kerstine Oral Interview Collection.

[48] Ibid.

[49] "Jewish Historical Edition of Clarksdale, Mississippi." Jewish Ledger [New Orleans, LA] Mar. 1923.

[50] Ibid.

[51] Abrams, Dave and Lolly interview with transcript with author, January 17, 1994.

[52] "Rabbi Freyman's Funeral Service Held Wednesday." Clarksdale Press Register (Clarksdale, Mississippi), August 16, 1939.

“1910 United States Federal Census for Aaron H Freyman.” Year: 1910; Census Place: Norristown Ward 4, Montgomery, Pennsylvania; Roll: T624_1379; Page: 6B; Enumeration District: 0115; FHL microfilm: 1375392, 12, Lines 64-72. Accessed February 14, 2016.. http://interactive. ancestry.com.

“1920 United States Federal Census for A H Freyman.” Year: 1920; Census Place: Clarksdale, Coahoma, Mississippi; Roll: T625_873; Page: 16A; Enumeration District: 37; Image: 964, 31, Lines 37-42. Accessed February 14, 2016. http://interactive.ancestry.com.

“1930 United States Federal Census for Adam H Freyman.” Year: 1930; Census Place: Clarksdale, Coahoma, Mississippi; Roll: 1142; Page: 23B; Enumeration District: 0014; Image: 797.0; FHL microfilm: 2340877, 46, Lines 53-56. Accessed February 14, 2016. http://interactive.ancestry.com.

[53] Abrams, Dave and Lolly interview with transcript with author, January 17, 1994.

[54] “1930 United States Federal Census for Abe Isaacson.” Year: 1930; Census Place: Clarksdale, Coahoma, Mississippi; Roll: 1142; Page: 3B; Enumeration District: 0017; Image: 896.0; FHL microfilm: 234087, 6, Lines 54-58. Accessed February 21, 2016. http://interactive. ancestry.com.

[55] Isaacson, Abe. "There’s Where the South Begins." Clarksdale Press Register (Clarksdale, Mississippi), June 30, 1986.

[56] Isaacson, Abe. "The Old Days." Here's Clarkdale, January/February 1979, 10-18.

[57] Isaacson, Abe. "There’s Where the South Begins." Clarksdale Press Register (Clarksdale, Mississippi), June 30, 1986.

[58] Kerstine, Corinne interview and transcripts with author, 1977-1998, Margery Kerstine Collection.

[59] "Jewish Historical Edition of Clarksdale, Mississippi." Jewish Ledger [New Orleans, LA] Mar. 1923.

[60] Sage, Harold K. and Madge P. Baucom. Clarksdale-Coahoma County, 1836-1936: One hundred years of progress in the Mississippi Delta: Centennial Edition. Delta Staple Cotton Festival Association 1936.

Kaufman, Irwin Research Collection, “Points of Interest.” Clarksdale’s Greatest Asset—Her Schools.”

[61] Sage, Harold K. and Madge P. Baucom. Clarksdale-Coahoma County, 1836-1936: One hundred years of progress in the Mississippi Delta: Centennial Edition. Delta Staple Cotton Festival Association 1936.

[62] Adelson, Pauline Fink personal interview and transcript with author, October 31, 1999.

[63] “Mississippi, Naturalization Records, 1867-2008 for Ruben Dinner.” Ancestry.com. Mississippi, Naturalization Records, 1867-2008 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012. Accessed February 21, 2016. http://search.ancestry.com.

“1930 United States Federal Census for Ruben Dinner.” Year: 1930; Census Place: Clarksdale, Coahoma, Mississippi; Roll: 1142; Page: 4B; Enumeration District: 0013; Image: 723.0; FHL microfilm: 2340877, 6, Lines 69-72. Accessed February 6, 2016. http://interactive.ancestry.com.

[64] Behrend, Blanche Dinner interview and transcript with author, July 1, 2006.

[65] “1930 United States Federal Census for Ruben Dinner.” Year: 1930; Census Place: Clarksdale, Coahoma, Mississippi; Roll: 1142; Page: 4B; Enumeration District: 0013; Image: 723.0; FHL microfilm: 2340877, 6, Lines 69-72. Accessed February 6, 2016. http://interactive.ancestry.com.

[66] Behrend, Blanche Dinner interview and transcript with author, 1995-1998.

[67] Ibid.

[68] Ibid.

[69] Ibid.

[70] Ibid.

[71] Ibid.

[72] Ibid.

[73] Ibid.

[74] Shackeroff, Marion Fink interviews and transcripts with author, October 10, 1999.

[75] Ibid. Fink, Alvin personal interview and transcripts with author, November 27, 1993. Autobiographical papers included which was accidentally destroyed. Margery Kerstine Oral Interview Collection.

Tucker, Judy and Margery Kerstine. "Jake Fink: A Delta Entrepreneur." Arkansas Review 31, no. 3 (December 2000): 214-20.

[76] Ibid.

[77] Ibid.

[78] "Jewish Historical Edition of Clarksdale, Mississippi." Jewish Ledger [New Orleans, LA] Mar. 1923.

[79] Weinberger, Selma home interview with author, 1987-2001, transcripts. Margery Kerstine Genealogical collection.

[80] Ibid.

[81] Kerstine, Corinne interview and transcripts with author, 1977-1998, Margery Kerstine Collection.

[82] Shackeroff, Marion Fink interviews and transcripts with author, October 10, 1999.

[83] Weiner, Dave, M.D. Interview with transcript with author, April, 2003.

[84] Ibid.

[85] Ibid.

[86] Ibid.

[87] Ibid.

[88] Ibid.

[89] Rosenberg, Jennifer. "History Basics: What Everyone Should Know About World War I." About.com Education. Accessed March 27, 2016. http://history1900s.about.com/od/worldwari/p/World-War-I.htm.

[90] Carnegie Library Microfilm Scrapbook #1, 114.

Sage, Harold K. and Madge P. Baucom. Clarksdale-Coahoma County, 1836-1936: One hundred years of progress in the Mississippi Delta: Centennial Edition. Delta Staple Cotton Festival Association 1936.

[91] Sage, Harold K. and Madge P. Baucom. Clarksdale-Coahoma County, 1836-1936: One hundred years of progress in the Mississippi Delta: Centennial Edition. Delta Staple Cotton Festival Association 1936.

[92] Ibid.

[93] Glassman, Julia Mae Baker interviews with transcript with author plus papers from her genealogical collection, 2003 and 2012. Kerstine Oral Interview Private Collection, Temple Israel Archives, Memphis, Tenneessee.

[94] Glassman, Julia Mae Baker interviews with transcript with author plus papers from her genealogical collection, 2003 and 2012. Kerstine Oral Interview Private Collection, Temple Israel Archives, Memphis, Tenneessee.

[95] Abrams, Sam home interview with transcript with author, January 14, 1994. Kerstine Oral Interview Private Collection, Temple Israel Archives, Memphis, Tenneessee.

[96] 1930 United States Federal Census for Morris Baker. Year: 1930; Census Place: Clarksdale, Coahoma, Mississippi; Roll: 1142; Page: 5A; Enumeration District: 0017; Image: 899.0; FHL microfilm: 2340877 9, Lines 35-44. Accessed March 20, 2016. http://interactive.ancestry.com.iff

[97] Ibid.

[98] Glassman, Julia Mae Baker interviews with transcript with author plus papers from her genealogical collection, 2003 and 2012. Kerstine Oral Interview Private Collection, Temple Israel Archives, Memphis, Tenneessee.

[99] Ibid.

[100] Ibid.

[101] "U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 for Solomon Califf.” Registration State: Mississippi; Registration County: Coahoma; Roll: 1682708, 30. Accessed February 21, 2016. http://interactive.ancestry.com.aliff

[102] Califf, Leon personal interview with transcript with author, November 5, 2002.Kerstine Oral Interview Private Collection, Temple Israel Archives, Memphis, Tenneessee.

[103] Ibid.

[104] Ibid.

[105] Nelson, Gertrude Friedman interview with author, March 16, 1995, transcript, Margery Kerstine Collection.

[106] Ibid.

[107] Weinberger, Selma home interview with author, 1987-2001, transcripts. Margery Kerstine Genealogical collection.

[108] Dabbs, Miriam. “Clarksdale 's Tuttle Hotel.” Here's Clarksdale, November, December, 1976, 16.

[109] Weinberger, Selma home interview and transcripts with author 1987-2001.

[110] Ibid.

[111] Kerstine, Corinne interview and transcripts with author, 1977-1998, Margery Kerstine Collection.

[112] "[CONVENTION REGISTRATION FORMS]." The Science Teacher 43, no. 8 (November 01, 1976): 60-63. Accessed March 5, 2016. http://www.apps.mdah.ms.gov/nom/prop/5267.pdf

[113] Weeks, Linton. “The New World 1900—1930.” Clarksdale & Coahoma County: A History. Clarksdale, Miss. (P.O. Box 280, Clarksdale 38614): Carnegie Public Library, 1982, 112.

Carnegie Library Microfilm Scrapbook #1, 103 [Letter to a member of a local WPA project from the First Assistant Postmaster General’s office]

[114] Kerstine, Corinne interview and transcripts with author, 1977-1998, Margery Kerstine Collection.

[115] Lawrence Magdovitz Private Collection. if I find the copies, they will be part of the Margery Kerstine Private Collection (hope to donate this to the Carnegie Library, Clarksdale, Mississippi.

[116] Magdovitz, Lawrence. Personal interviews and transcripts by author between July, 2003 and August, 2010. Kerstine Oral Interview Private Collection, Temple Israel Archives, Memphis, Tenneessee.

[117] Ibid.

[118] "Jewish Historical Edition of Clarksdale, Mississippi." Jewish Ledger [New Orleans, LA] Mar. 1923.

[119] McKeown, Mrs. J. L., Canvasser. “Assignment #3,” WPA Historical Research Project of Coahoma County. Clarksdale, Mississippi. July 15, 1936.

Weeks, Linton. “The Gay Nineties.”Clarksdale & Coahoma County: A History. Clarksdale, Miss. (P.O. Box 280, Clarksdale 38614): Carnegie Public Library, 1982. 92.

[120] Ibid.

[121] Ibid.

[122] Ibid.

[123] Ibid.

[124] Greenwood, Amy Morrow phone interview with author, October 28, 1999.

[125] Kerstine, Corinne interview with Harold Forst, Jackson, Mississippi., December, 19/85, transcript. Margery Kerstine Collection.

[126] Weinberger, Selma home interview with author, 1987-2001, transcripts. Margery Kerstine Genealogical collection.

Beatus, Leona Sack interview and transcript with author, September 4, 1993.

[127] Weinberger, Selma home interview and transcripts with author 1987-2001.

[128] Kerstine, Corinne interview and transcripts with author, 1977-1998, Margery Kerstine Collection.

Weinberger, Selma home interview and transcripts with author 1987-2001.

[129] Ibid.

[130] Ibid.

[131] Ibid.

[132] Beatus, Leona Sack interview and transcript with author, September 4, 1993.

[133] Ibid.

[134] Ibid.

[135] Ibid.

[136] Part C Economic Structure and Performance: Historical Abstracts of the United States. Vol. 3. Cambridge University Press, 2006, 3-208.

[137] Carnegie Library Microfilm Scrapbook #1, 193.

[138] Kaufman, Irwin Research Collection, “Clarksdale’s Greatest Asset—Her Schools.”

[139] Cooper, Forrest Lamar. “Mississippi Matter of Fact”, 1995 Calendar Florence, Mississippi, 1995. [Note: use dates for page number.]

[140] Carnegie Library Microfilm Scrapbook 9,039 Population of City of Clarksdale”, Clarksdale Microfilm Scrapbook, 1920, 4

[141] Sage, Harold K. and Madge P. Baucom. Clarksdale-Coahoma County, 1836-1936: One hundred years of progress in the Mississippi Delta: Centennial Edition. Delta Staple Cotton Festival Association 1936.

[142] “Eddie Binder” Accessed March 6, 2016,. http://www.findagrave.com.

[143] Isaacson, Abe Collection of Stories and Poem. Carnegie Public Library, Clarksdale, Mississippi.

[144] "Jewish Historical Edition of Clarksdale, Mississippi." Jewish Ledger [New Orleans, LA] Mar. 1923.

[145] “Brodofsky in the U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995.” Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011, 22.Miller, Ernest H., Editor, comp. Clarksdale, Mississippi 1916 City Directory. Vol. II. Delta. Anderson, S. C.: Ouila Printing & Binding Company, 1916., 24. March 20, 2016. http:// interactive. ancestry.com.

[146] “1920 United States Federal Census for Mose Califf.” Year: 1920; Census Place: Beat 4, Coahoma, Mississippi; Roll: T625_873; Page: 1B; Enumeration District: 39; Image: 1023, 2, Line 100. Accessed March 26, 2016. http://interactive.ancestry. com.ali

[147] Califf, Leon personal interview with transcript with author, November 5, 2002.Kerstine Oral Interview Private Collection, Temple Israel Archives, Memphis, Tenneessee.

[148] Ibid.

[149] Hirsberg, Bernard, “Budgy” interview and transcripts with author, April 27, 1994.

[150] Ibid.

[151] “1910 United States Federal Census for Israel Okun.” Year: 1910; Census Place: Bronx Assembly District 32, New York, New York; Roll: T624_996; Page: 15B; Enumeration District: 1414; FHL microfilm: 1375009, 30, Lines 61-65. Accessed February 6, 2016. http://interactive.ancestry. com.i

[152] Hirsberg, Flora Okun (Mrs Bernard) interview with transcripts with author, September 30, 1993.

[153] Ibid.

[154] Ibid.

[155] Ibid.

[156] Ibid.

[157] “1910 United States Federal Census for Israel Okun.” Year: 1910; Census Place: Bronx Assembly District 32, New York, New York; Roll: T624_996; Page: 15B; Enumeration District: 1414; FHL microfilm: 1375009, 30, Lines 61-65. Accessed February 6, 2016. http://interactive.ancestry. com.i

[158] Katz, Clara and Aaron-Kline, interview with Plaut, Rabbi Joshua.

[159] Kerstine, Corinne interview and transcripts with author, 1977-1998, Margery Kerstine Collection.

“U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 for Adolph Kerstine.” Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011, 22.Miller, Ernest H., Editor, comp. Clarksdale, Mississippi 1916 City Directory. Vol. II. Delta. Anderson, S. C.: Ouila Printing & Binding Company, 1916, 24, 59. March 26, 2016. http:// interactive. ancestry.com.

[160] Kerstine, Corinne interview and transcripts with author, 1977-1998, Margery Kerstine Collection.

Weinberger, Selma home interview with author, 1987-2001, transcripts. Margery Kerstine Genealogical collection.

Weeks, Linton. “Golden Rule Day.” Clarksdale & Coahoma County: A History. Clarksdale, Miss. (P.O. Box 280, Clarksdale 38614): Carnegie Public Library, 1982, 145.

[161] Ibid.

Silberman Evelyn Rosenblum letter. Margery Kerstine Genealogical Private Collection.

[162] Weinberger, Selma home interview with author, 1987-2001, transcripts. Margery Kerstine Genealogical collection.

[163] Pachter, David. "History of Greenwood, Mississippi Reform Synagogue 1851-1982." Greenwood Mississippi Public Library. (unpublished manuscript available in Greenwood, Mississippi, library).

[164] Fink, Alvin personal interview and transcripts with author, November 27, 1993. Autobiographical papers included which was accidentally destroyed.

[165] "1910 United States Federal Census for Louis Simche.” Year: 1910; Census Place: Manhattan Ward 7, New York, New York; Roll: T624_1008; Page: 7A; Enumeration District: 0096; FHL microfilm: 1375021, 13, Lines 1-5. Accessed April 24, 2016.. http://interactive. ancestry.com.

[166] Ibid.

“1920 United States Federal Census for L Rappaport.” Year: 1920; Census Place: Clarksdale, Coahoma, Mississippi; Roll: T625_873; Page: 42A; Enumeration District: 36; Image: 9141920, 82, Lines 44-49. Accessed April 24, 2016.. http://interactive. ancestry.com.

1930 United States Federal Census for Clara V Rappaport.” Year: 1930; Census Place: Clarksdale, Coahoma, Mississippi; Roll: 1142; Page: 10B; Enumeration District: 0016; Image: 877.0; FHL

[167] “New York, State Census, 1915 for Louis Simka.” Ancestry.com. New York, State Census, 1915 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012, 38, Lines 28-33. Accessed April 17, 2016.. http://interactive. ancestry.com.

[168] Rappaport Family. Interview by author, Clarksdale, Mississippi. November 11, 1993, Oral taped interview. Transcript, [Future Location]: Temple Israel Archives, Memphis, Tennessee.

[169] Ibid.

[170] Ibid.

[171] Ibid.

[172] Ibid.

[173] Ibid.

[174] Ibid.

[175] Ibid.

[176] Ibid.

[177] Ibid.

[178] Ibid.

[179] Ibid.

[180] Wiener, Dave, M. D. interviews and transcripts with author, 2004.

[181] “Classified Business City Directory.” Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011, 22.Miller, Ernest H., Editor, comp. Clarksdale, Mississippi 1916 City Directory. Vol. II. Delta. Anderson, S. C.: Ouila Printing & Binding Company, 1916, (58-64) March 27, 2016. http:// interactive. ancestry.com.

[182] Part C Economic Structure and Performance: Historical Abstracts of the United States. Vol. 3. Cambridge University Press, 2006, 3-208.

[183] Carnegie Library Scrapbook #1, Carnegie Public Library, Clarksdale, Mississippi, 164.

[184] Cooper, Forrest Lamar. “Mississippi Matter of Fact”, 1995 Calendar Florence, Mississippi, 1995. [Note: use dates for page number.]

Sage, Harold K. and Madge P. Baucom. Clarksdale-Coahoma County, 1836-1936: One hundred years of progress in the Mississippi Delta: Centennial Edition. Delta Staple Cotton Festival Association 1936.

[185] Cooper, Forrest Lamar. “Mississippi Matter of Fact”, 1995 Calendar Florence, Mississippi, 1995. [Note: use dates for page number.]

[186] Tonkel, Dan interview and transcript with author, January 1, 1994.

[187] Carnegie Library Scrapbook #1, Carnegie Public Library, Clarksdale, Mississippi, 10.

[188] Abrams, Dave and Lolly interview with transcript with author, January 17, 1994.

[189] Kline, Adele Cohen, Aaron Kline and Corrine Kerstine, home interview and transcript with author November 27, 1993.

[190] Ibid.

[191] Ibid.

[192] “Tennessee, Death Records, 1908-1958 for Ida Freyman.” Tennessee State Library and Archives; Nashville, Tennessee; Tennessee Death Records, 1908-1959; Roll #: 71. Accessed March 28, 2016. http://interactive.ancestry.com.

“U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 for Adolph Kerstine.” Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011, 22.Miller, Ernest H., Editor, comp. Clarksdale, Mississippi 1916 City Directory. Vol. II. Delta. Anderson, S. C.: Ouila Printing & Binding Company, 1916, 24. March 26, 2016. http:// interactive. ancestry.com.

[193] Hirsberg, Bernard, “Budgy” interview and transcripts with author, April 27, 1994.

[194] Ibid.

[195] Ibid.

[196] Hirsberg, Flora Okun (Mrs Bernard) interview with transcripts with author, September 30, 1993.

[197] Carnegie Library Scrapbook #1, Carnegie Public Library, Clarksdale, Mississippi, 167.

[198] Ibid.

[199] “Roof Garden Closed.” Carnegie Library Scrapbook #1.

[200] Kerstine, Corinne interview with Harold Forst, Jackson, Mississippi., December, 19/85, transcript. Margery Kerstine Collection.

[201] Weinberger, Selma home interview with author, 1987-2001, transcripts. Margery Kerstine Genealogical collection.

[202] Ibid.

Kerstine, Corinne interview with Harold Forst, Jackson, Mississippi., December, 19/85, transcript. Margery Kerstine Collection.

[203] Ibid.

[204] “U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 for Adolph Kerstine.” R. L. Polk & Cos 1919 Memphis City Directory for the Year Commencing May 1st, R. L. Polk & Co. of Memphis, Memphis, Tenneessee, 412. Accessed March 28, 2016. http://interactive.ancestry.com.

[205] Weinberger, Selma home interview with author, 1987-2001, transcripts. Margery Kerstine Genealogical collection.

[206] Ibid.

[207] Ibid.

[208] Bloom, Julius interview and transcript with author, November 18, 1993.

[209] Carnegie Library Scrapbook #1, Carnegie Public Library, Clarksdale, Mississippi, 164.

[210] Ibid, 167

[211] Ibid.

[212] Ibid.

[213] Part C Economic Structure and Performance: Historical Abstracts of the United States. Vol. 3. Cambridge University Press, 2006, 3-208.

[214] Cooper, Forrest Lamar. “Mississippi Matter of Fact”, 1995 Calendar Florence, Mississippi, 1995. [Note: use dates for page number.

[215] “Marion Theatre to Open Next Monday Night.” Carnegie Library Scrapbook #1, Carnegie Public Library, Clarksdale, Mississippi, 6.

[216] Sage, Harold K. and Madge P. Baucom. Clarksdale-Coahoma County, 1836-1936: One hundred years of progress in the Mississippi Delta: Centennial Edition. Delta Staple Cotton Festival Association 1936.

[217] “Handsome Natatorium Completed.” Carnegie Library Scrapbook #1, Carnegie Public Library, Clarksdale, Mississippi, 29.

[218] Hirsberg, Bernard, “Budgy” interview with Plaut, Rabbi Joshua, 1986.

[219] “Plan New Jewish Temple in City” Carnegie Library Scrapbook #1, Carnegie Public Library, Clarksdale, Mississippi, 30.

[220] Abrams, Sam and Lollie personal interview and transcript with author, January 17, 1994.

[221] Miller, Ernest H. Clarksdale, Mississippi City Directory. Vol. III. Asheville: Piedmont Directory Company, 1923, 102.

[222] “JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry - USA – Mississippi. Accessed April 2, 2016. http://www.jewishgen.org/databases/jgdetail_2.php.

[223] Abrams, Sam and Lollie personal interview and transcript with author, January 17, 1994.

[224] Kline, Adele Cohen, Aaron Kline and Corrine Kerstine, home interview and transcript with author November 27, 1993.

[225] “1920 United States Federal Census for Walter J Bloom.” Year: 1920; Census Place: Clarksdale, Coahoma, Mississippi; Roll: T625_873; Page: 10B; Enumeration District: 36; Image: 852, 20, Lines 94-96. Accessed April 3, 2016. http://interactive.ancestry.com.

Registration State: Mississippi; Registration County: Coahoma; Roll: 1682708, 453. Accessed April 3, 2016. http://interactive.ancestry.com.

[226] Fink, Alvin personal interview and transcripts with author, November 27, 1993. Autobiographical papers included which was accidentally destroyed. Margery Kerstine Oral Interview Collection.

Shackeroff, Marion Fink interviews and transcripts with author, October 10, 1999.

Tucker, Judy and Margery Kerstine. "Jake Fink: A Delta Entrepreneur." Arkansas Review 31, no. 3 (December 2000): 214-20.

Adelson, Pauline Fink personal interview and transcript with author, October 31, 1999.

[227] Ibid.

[228] Glassman, Julia Baker interviews between 2002 and 2010 included papers from Genealogical Collection, Memphis Tennessee.

[229] “New York, Abstracts of World War I Military Service, 1917-1919 for Isidor Kerstine.” Ancestry.com. New York, Abstracts of World War I Military Service, 1917-1919 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2013. Accessed February 6, 2016. http://interactive.ancestry.com.

[230] Weinberger, Selma home interview with author, 1987-2001, transcripts. Margery Kerstine Genealogical collection.

[231] Ibid.

[232] Kerstine, Corinne interview with Harold Forst, Jackson, Mississippi., December, 19/85, transcript. Margery Kerstine Collection.

[233] Weinberger, Selma home interview with author, 1987-2001, transcripts. Margery Kerstine Genealogical collection.

[234] Kerstine, Corinne interview with Harold Forst, Jackson, . December, 19/85, transcript. Margery Kerstine Collection.

[235] Ibid.

[236] Abrams, Sam and Lollie personal interview and transcript with author, January 17, 1994. 1930 “United States Federal Census for Simon J Lurie.” Year: 1930; Census Place: Clarksdale, Coahoma, Mississippi; Roll: 1142; Page: 8A; Enumeration District: 0016; Image: 872.0; FHL microfilm: 2340877,15, Lines 36-37. Accessed April 17, 2016. http://interactive.ancestry.com.

[237] Part C Economic Structure and Performance: Historical Abstracts of the United States. Vol. 3. Cambridge University Press, 2006., 3-208.

[238] Sage, Harold K. and Madge P. Baucom. Clarksdale-Coahoma County, 1836-1936: One hundred years of progress in the Mississippi Delta: Centennial Edition. Delta Staple Cotton Festival Association 1936.

[239] “New York, Abstracts of World War I Military Service, 1917-1919 for Isidor Kerstine.” Ancestry.com. New York, Abstracts of World War I Military Service, 1917-1919 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2013. Accessed February 6, 2016. http://interactive.ancestry.com.

[240] Weeks, Linton. “Golden Rule Days.” Clarksdale & Coahoma County: A History. Clarksdale, Miss. (P.O. Box 280, Clarksdale 38614): Carnegie Public Library, 1982, 149.

Kaufman, Irwin Research Collection, “Points of Interest.” Clarksdale’s Greatest Asset—Her Schools.” and “Clarksdale’s Greatest Asset—Her Schools.”

[241] Weeks, Linton. “Golden Rule Days.” Clarksdale & Coahoma County: A History. Clarksdale, Miss. (P.O. Box 280, Clarksdale 38614): Carnegie Public Library, 1982, 149 (Photo).

[242] Abrams, Marilyn Binder interview and papers in Binder Genealogical Private Collection and on file at Temple Israel Archives, Memphis, Tenneessee.

[243] Ibid.

[244] Califf, Leon personal interview with transcript with author, November 5, 2002.Kerstine Oral Interview Private Collection, Temple Israel Archives, Memphis, Tenneessee.

[245] Ibid.

[246] Ibid.

[247] Glassman, Julia Mae Baker interviews with transcript with author plus papers from her genealogical collection, 2003 and 2012. Kerstine Oral Interview Private Collection, Temple Israel Archives, Memphis, Tenneessee.

[248] "Jewish Historical Edition of Clarksdale, Mississippi." Jewish Ledger [New Orleans, LA] Mar. 1923.

[249] Weinberger, Selma home interview with author, 1987-2001, transcripts. Margery Kerstine Genealogical collection.

[250] Ibid.

[251] Adelson, Pauline Fink personal interview and transcript with author, October 31, 1999.

Beatus, Leona Sack Wise interview and transcript with author, September 4, 1993.

[252] Kerstine, Corinne interview and transcripts with author, 1977-1998, Margery Kerstine Collection.

[253] Ibid.

[254] Ibid.

[255] Ibid.

[256] “Shankerman's marks 50 years of growth in Delta with Golden Anniversary Event: Father and Son Team Guides Fine Men's Store.” Clarksdale Press Register. (Clarksdale, Mississippi) 1969. Accessed April 17, 2016, www.pressregister.com/2009/1/13/news.

[257] Wise, James Edward interview with transcript by author, June 28, 2005. Temple Israel Archives, Memphis, Tenneessee.

[258] Ibid.