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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.

1920

Clarksdale population grew from 3,473 to 7,552.

“The Wonder City of the Delta,” states the following facts:

1) Another source quoted 12,100.  School population was 1,400.

[1]

2) The Yazoo and Mississippi Valley, the numerous branch lines running in and out of the city adds greatly to the making of the city as a great railroad center.[2]

The Myrtle Hall School was completed.

Wall Street Journal on March, 1920, states that:

According to the report of the Manufacturers Record, the richest agricultural city of the United States in proportion to its population is Clarksdale, MS. The inhabitants of Clarksdale have not gained their wealth by reason of the opportunities of the war, but because it was discovered some time ago that the Mississippi Delta, in the heart of which Clarksdale is situated, is so rich in soil of the peculiar quality needed for the production of long staple cotton that the cultivation of it has been very successful, etc.[3]

Hollands Letter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


W. P. Holland's letter published by the Wall Street Journal[4]

February 22:  Many of the businesses have suffered from the financial depression that is nation wide. [5]

May 20: Miss Ada Chapman presented in a joint concert Mr. George Rogers, Tenor and

July 21: Newspaper article "Clarksdale is called the Magic City" included the Wall Street Journal of March 1920 article. 

According to Alvin Fink, “This was the time of dollar cotton.” Other quoted the article as saying: “the richest agricultural city of the United States in proportion to is population.[6]

Lester Sack, Sr. said he remembers the article being posted on the drug store front glass door.at Delta and 2nd Street.[7]

NOTE: The article above may be the specific article Sack, Sr. was referring to.

Cotton prices per pound during the 1920s and 30s:

1920

1930s

1930---$0.14

1921---$0.21

1931---$.09

1922---$0.21

1932-$0.06 (the famous "nickel a pound cotton")

1923---$0.29

1933---$0.09

1924---$0.29

N/A

1925---$0.24

N/A

1926---$0.18

N/A

1927---$0.18

N/A

1928---$0.20

N/A

1929---$0.19

N/A

Leon Califf said,

During the twenties, the Alcazar Hotel was the Peabody Hotel of Clarksdale. It had a roof. Some people--I don’t remember who was the organizer behind this thing. As you said, if you had a store you worked long hours and even on Saturday and in October, November, December you might not get home until one o’clock or later. But when Christmas Day came and went, business was over. So they used to have a single get together at the Alcazar for the week between Christmas and New Year’s. As I understand it, people used to come from a wide area, even by trains, by cars. Yea. and women used to come. Of course they would stay with family. The men would stay in the Alcazar. They would have dances and parties. Have a good time that last week of the year.

The whole purpose was to give them a chance to have an enjoyable period one week out of the year anyway. But also to try to match them The biggest problem, as I gather it to be, of the single Jewish man in a small town was loneliness. This was an attempt to bring the men and women together and if you could produce a union you could just do away with a lot of that loneliness.[8]

BNAI BRITH LEDGER SHOWS FOLLOWING NAMES OF RESIDENTS

Member

Member-ship assigned number

Book page references

Arthur A, Alpern, Rich

#46

29, 32, 36, 38, 39, 78, 79

Harry Baker

#43

28

M.M. Balkin

#42

32

H. Baskin

#75

26

Isadore Beck

See, that Beck from Memphis, his daddy started out here. You know that dress shop downtown.[9]

#98

35, 40, 78

Abe L. Block

#7

26, 32, 35, 38, 39, 78, 79

Walter Bloom

Moved to Clarksdale from Pine Bluff, AR.  He was the local representative of the Tastee Bread Co. Rabbi Benjamin Kelson was in charge of services.[10]

Sol Califf

#40

26, 29, 32

Cleve Brodofsky

#89

28

Sam H. Byer

W.W. Byer

#80

#69

26

26

Fred Cohen

H. Cohen

Sam Cohen

Charles Cohen, Coahoma

Charles Cohen and Alperins were kin.[11] 

#54

#31

#52

#68

28, 29, 32, 36

28, 29, 38

26, 29

26, 35, 38, 39, 59, 78, 79

Irving Damsker

#83

26

Louis Damsker

#94

35

John Diamond

John lived over there on Louisiana Street. He was in the slot machine business -- pin ball machine. He had children that were our age. In fact, I think Earl was in your class. Well, his wife wasn't Jewish. But the older son was John Diamond Jr., and then there was Earl, then there was another one that died in the fire, and he had two younger sisters.[12]

(#87

26, 28, 39, 56, 79

Nathan Fass

#88

28

Felix Mayer

#70

26

Jake Fink, Duncan[13]

#4

26, 29, 32, 39, 40, 78, 79

Isidor Frank

Joe Frank

Nathan Frank

#85

#60

#95

28, 55

29, 32, 35, 37, 38, 40, 78, 79

35

Robert Fried

#64

32

Max Friedman

Jake Friedman

#15

#49

26, 28, 35, 38

29, 32, 35, 36, 38, 39

Max Gail

#30,

29, 32, 35, 36, 38, 39

Louis Goldstein

#94

35

Abe Gordon

Harry Gordon

I don't think he was Harry Gordon. He was living with his sister, Lena Jacobson, in the 1900 Census.[14]

Ozer Gordon

Born in Russia and settled in New Orleans when first came to this country as a young man. When he moved to Clarksdale in 1920 he lived at 230 Catalpa Street.  He opened a store  and remained on Sunflower until ill health forced him to retire.  He was a patient at the state sanitarium for a time.  Children included:  (1) Mrs. Meyer Cohen and (2) Ben. [15]

#8

26, 36, 76, 78

Morris Greenspan

#2

28, 29, 35, 36

Victor Heuman

#28,

29, 33

Jacob Hirsberg, Friars Point

#22

36, 39 49, 79

Ben. Jacobson

Harry A. Jacobson

Lazar Jacobson

#5

#84

32

29, 32, 36, 39, 40

28, 35, 36, 38, 78, 79

38, 42, 79

J. Illtis

#35

26, 29, 32, 35, 38, 40, 78, 79

J. B. Iskowitz, Alligator

#73

26, 39, 71

J. M. Kabakoff

#6,

26, 32

Hyman Kantor (Kantrovitz)

#82

26, 33, 38

Robert Kaplan

#77

26, 35, 39

Ike Kaufman,

#11

26, 28, 29, 35, 36, 41, 78, 79

Max Kerstine

#61

32

Sol Kline

Myer Kline, Alligator

#72

#36

32, 35, 36, 39

28, 61, 32, 35, 38, 61, 79

J. Krieger

#76

26, 39

Berthold Landau

Max Landau

Rudolph Landau

#7

#1,

#10

25, 29, 36, 38, 40, 78, 79

28, 29, 32, 35, 38, 40, 78

26, 29, 36, 78

Morris Levine, Tutwiler

Jake M. Levinson,

#24

#25

29, 32, 58

40, 67, 79

Maurice S. Levy

#81

26, 32, 36

Harry M Lipson, Alligator

Dave/David  S. Lipson-Walker

Old man Lipson had a brother and lived in Marks?  They had a big blow up and David left. Never came back.[16]

#90

#47

35, 39, 45

26, 29, 36, 75

Emil Magdovitz

#44

32

M. Michaelson

#78

26

Henry Pachter

John Pachter

#94

#94

35

35

Max. Plitman

#18

26, 39

Isadore. Rappaport

#86

28, 78

I. Resnick

#34

32, 36

I. Rosenberg

Well, I guess he was Rosie Rosenberg’s husband and Will Levine's wife's sister. You know Ann Levine and Rosie Rosenberg were sisters. They had two daughters – yea, she had two daughters, I believe. Only time I ever saw her daughters was when they came for her funeral.[17]

#71

26, 35

Isaac Rosenfeld

He was born in Austria and as a boy, he came to USA.Owned a men’s furnishing store that was the best in town.[18]

M. Segal

Sol Segal

#48

#38

35, 36

29, 32, 35, 78, 79

Ike Shapiro

#20

28, 35, 38, 39, 78, 79

Sam Shepp

#21

28, 29, 32, 36, 38, 52, 78

John Small

John Small married Jenny Weiss. Before she married. She was [sister] to.Joe Weiss. Harriet Baskind was the wife of another son, Julius.[19]

#13

26, 29, 32, 35, 39, 40, 78

H. Steiner

#32

9, 32, 35

L. Still

#94

28

Ed Turner

H. Turner

M. Turner

Meyer Turner

#65

#67

#66

#79

26

26

26

26

M. Wolff

#74

26, 32, 36, 39

Abraham. Woolbert

M. K. Woolbert

A.W. & Leon

A. W and Leon (LW) lived in Clarksdale at one time.  Leon married Yetta’s sister, Minnie. Their children were also named Celeste, Freda and Kate.[20] (Greenwood, 2)

#9

#55

26, 28, 30, 35, 36, 38, 46, 78

29, 35, 36, 38, 78

 

 

 

 

 

CALIFF

(1910, 1930)

SOL & REBECCA

Leon said,

My parents hadn’t been married a year when they had my sister, Dorothy, their first child,. My mother came from an extremely dysfunctional family. Her mother died at a fairly early age - - she was about ten or so. Her father married a woman who was a widow with one child. This woman became a matriarch. Anything that she could do for her daughter to make her gorgeous and beautiful, and what have you, she did. The other children were neglected even verbally abused.

There were five children in the family – Rebecca, Isadore, Abe, Louis, Molly and one stepchild. There were five children that my grandfather had. So when my mother’s father remarried the woman had one child so that made six. My mother was verbally abused by her stepmother.

[Rebecca] had a brother named Louis.… [He] was the manager of some club - - Lions Club or something like that [It] had had a good reputation in its earlier days but had now developed into nothing more than an area where people would come and drink and play poker and what have you. But he was in charge of it. She used to keep a clean white shirt pressed with a black bow tie, that they had to wear. So he used to give her a few pennies every now and then. That is what little money she had. Her life was filled with disappointment because her brother, Louis, was killed by one of these drunk fellows who said that "that Jew son-of-a-bitch is not treating us right, and he’s not moving fast enough" and he pulled out a pistol and shot him.[21]

Yes. At that time, the younger brother named Abe ran off. He went and joined a circus. Later he went to a carnival, and he had the bingo stand at the carnival. There was a woman there. The circus had what they called a knife throwing act. He and the woman were part of the act. They got married. Her name was Edna. They had one son. They used to travel with the carnival all over the Midwest and the South during good weather. In the twenties, they had made enough money where they could winter in Florida. They used to go to Tampa or someplace. Then when the thirties came they didn’t have money left over. So they used to come and park their house trailer next to our house. Abe was not much of a salesman but he used to help out in the store a little bit. This was when we lived on Desoto. So to appease them, to appease Edna, his wife, we had Christmas while they stayed with us. After we left Desoto about 1936 and went to Catalpa they didn’t come.[22] They bought a house in Pascagoula, Mississippi. So we didn’t have Christmas after that. Just while she was there.

We celebrated Hanukah then—just a little something. Wasn’t a big deal but a little something.

My mothers became a very good cook. She used to make something that she called a Georgia pie. Something like a cream cheese today. But we liked it. I believe that of my genes came from her. My brother and my sister are far more like their father. I used to help out in the kitchen. I cook today.[23]

COHEN

(1896, 1880, 1890, 1900, 1910, 1930)

SADIE

Coahoma Women’s Club was organized February 20, 1920. First meeting was held in the home of Mrs. Charles Cohen. Miss Sadie Cohen acted as hostess. Mrs. R. l. Ralston was elected President.[24]

FINK

(1900, 1910, 1930)

JAKE

Jake was counted among the dozen millionaires in Clarksdale, which had a population of only 7,552 citizens. [25]

CELEBRATING HOLIDAYS

“We went to Temple.” Marion said, “we went to Sunday School.” My mother was Superintendent of the Sunday school for years, and we were all confirmed. But when it came to things like Hanukkah, I don’t remember us celebrating Hanukkah. I will say this, when Passover came around, Mama got rid of flour and bread. We were never allowed to have a Christmas tree, but Santa Claus was bountiful. We always had lots of Christmas presents, but we didn’t call them Christmas presents.”[26]

KERSTINE

(1868, 1880, 1890, 1900, 1910, 1930)

ISIDOR’S STORE

Several stories were told Margery about the original acquisition of the building at 238 Delta. The 1916 City Directory shows Adolph reopened the store at 236 Delta. This shows Max is a clerk in Adolph's store, and Caesar is a student. It did not include Isidor[27]. Isidor was in New York working for the Erie Railroad. Corinne said Adolph, however, ran it until Isidor took over in 1920, but that contradicts other facts. For example, Corinne, also said Isidor bought the land, inventory, and building from J Koestler's in1920.[28]

Isidor opened a men store (haberdashery) with children's shoes. After he had the men's store, he changed it to a ladies store just before he married. Corinne did not remember how Adolph and Landry exchanged buildings; for example, the bakery was there for a while. But it was the Delta Bakery managed by Fannie Goodman[29]

The Kerstine family home stood where the Kerstine store building was at 238 Delta. At the time (1892-1900) there apparently existed some sort of building on this lot, for Major Wildberger, an early historian and commentator on the scene wrote: "…and a Chinese with a name that sounded like a bell lived where Landry's is now." [30]  No. they did not have it from 1900 until when Isidor opened up. They were Germans. They weren't Jewish. They had a bakery in there.

Corinne said,

“I just don’t know, about 1900. I don’t know how many years Frank Koestler was in there. But then [he] moved to Greenville and opened up this tiling place. After the Koestlers had gone, John Diamond and Isidor Rosenblum were in the store. Isidor Rosenblum came in there for a while, but they went back to Denver. I don’t know what year the Rosenblum’s left. When Rosenblum left, John Diamond and Harry Kantor went together.”[31]

Corinne continued,

“Yes. Isidor opened store about May 1, 1920.” We do not know where he got the money to start. Adolph may have helped him. We do not believe he got the money from insurance due to the robbery in the Issaquena area in 1918. At that time, Isidor didn't believe in insurance. He might not have had any. He had to open up a whole new store.[32]

During an unrecorded interview in the 1980s Corinne told Margie Isidor borrowed the money from another source other than his dad or the bank. She believed Adolph Kerstine owned the building. Adolph Kerstine did not run the store. Another time Corinne told the author Isidor borrowed $10,000 to start his store and paid it off sometime in the 1950s. She talked about how excited he got when he paid it off and was the real sole owner.[33]

Caesar owned two businesses, but he didn’t own the building. One of his stores became a confectionery store later.[34]

KERSTINE’S TILE iNLAID SIGN

Isidor told the author the inlaid tile sign was an adapted from the Chevrolet sign.

He thought it was a good idea to pattern his logo after a well-known logo. He chose GMC Chevrolet, because the car was selling so well. He believed it would be a good omen for his store. He purposely changed the angles on the side to straight lines. He believed he could be caught by Chevrolet and sued for copying their sign.

Selma said she didn’t remember, but thought it might be around the time he opened up.[35] Adolph's first renter at 238 Delta was Frank Koestler. Koestler never owned it; he rented it.  He had a bakery. He wasn't Jewish. Koestler had just come over from Germany.  He was a friend newly over from Adolph's hometown in Germany. They were in there but then they moved to Greenville and opened up this tiling place.  He did tile designs for store-fronts like the one Isidor had in the walkway approaching his storefront door. We believe that the signs embedded in mosaic are Koestler's skill.[36]

SELMA

Selma said, “ In the 5th grade Mama would meet [me] at school and walked home with [me].”[37] She did not know why.

Lenora Sack commented whenever she saw Selma she was always with her grandmother who was holding her hand.[38]

LEVINSON

ROLAND

The 1920 U. S. Census says was born in Iowa in 1903. In 1920, he was living with his parents, Barnard and Rachel Levinson in Clarksdale[39]. By 1923, the city directory says he is a fur buyer and living at home (314 East Second Street). [40] Information ext to his senior photo says he is the Class Poet. He wrote the following poem in 1920 when he was a high school senior. It was published in the DELTA, the Clarksdale High School Annual.

Nuts! Nuts! Nuts!

That’s all in the world I see,

When I go into the study hall,

And those Freshmen look at me.

O, well for the Sophomore class,

That it spices the school with its “pep.”

Alas, for the girls and boys,

As their heads grow swell with this “rep.”

And the jealous juniors pass on,

Until at the close of the year,

No longer they resemble persimmons green,

But Seniors of Clarksdale, so dear!

Cotton! Cotton! Cotton!

Mississippi’s and the Delta’s pride!

You, like the Delta’s Seniors,

Forever in our hearts will abide.[41]

SHANKERMAN

(1910)

PHILLIP

Abraham sells his business to his son, Phillip.[42]

WIENER

(1910)

DAVE

Dave said,

The Silversteins, Hymie and Marian lived in Tutwiler during the 1920s.  He was from Beale Street they were kosher. The only Kosher Jews we had in Tutwiler. They had about four or five children: Herman, Nathan, they had Dorothy, one daughter.

The next town is Sumner. Sumner is the county seat. Then the next town is Webb. When we would come to Clarksdale for the Sunday School, we had the same thing as, uh, what do you call it when you pick up different people along the way—like a route. So we knew the people from Wynne. Let's see, Glendora people went to Greenwood because it was Orthodox. Clarksdale was more Reformed. Yea, but it wasn't much of a Reformed group; it was predominately Orthodox. But, my folks, when they really wanted Orthodox, they'd come to Memphis. They didn't trust the Greenwood one either.They were all buried in Memphis.

I grew up in Tutwiler and went to school there for twelve years. We played football against Clarksdale. They beat the hell out of us.[43]

1921

Stella Martin writes a newspaper article about fires in Clarksdale, “Written records of the fires in Clarksdale are in existence only as far back as 1921 when the Clarksdale Machinery Co. was damaged by fire to the extent of $30,000.”[44]

September 17: “Artists Concerts To Be Given Here Again This Year” “Musicians Famed the World Over to Appear on Local Stage.” The artists for this year included Eva Gautier, mezzo-soprano; Nina Morgan, Metropolitan Opera Singer and protégé of Caruso, and Robert Schmitz, pianist.

Additional artists added in later newspaper articles included Sabatini, a world famous violinist; and Maestro Dino  Alessi, who was Caruso's pianist.[45] 

Michael S. Coffman wrote, “Progressivism emerged in the late 1800s in the United States and led to the first major depression in the twentieth century from 1920-1921. Prosperity was restored in 1922 by doing exactly the opposite of what we are doing today.[46]

Wikipedia says, “The Depression of 1920–21 was an extremely sharp deflationary recession in the United States and other countries, shortly after the end of World War I. It lasted from January 1920 to July 1921.[47]

ABRAMS

(1900, 1910, 1930)

SAM

The depression of 1921 affected my family badly; however, my Daddy did not lose the business.[48]

BAKER

(1880, 1890, 1900, 1910, 1930)

HARRY

Because of his business Harry was bringing men to Mississippi to help him run his business. The only one Julia Baker Glassman remembered was a man who walked into Harry’s store and asked for a job. He hired him.[49]

Harry and Nellie took in people who came to town. There was a Mr. Jacobson. I don’t know whom he was kin to. He lived with them for a long time. There was another man who was a salesman who stayed in the territory, and he lived with them. Then, we had cousins who would come to visit a couple of weeks. No one stayed in hotels.[50]

Lawrence Magdovitz said,

Well, they said he was a rich man back in the twenties, and he bought all this land up in Tate and Panola Counties before the dam was built at Sardis. Water was getting ready to overflow, and their side broke. It was always a question as to whether broke or somebody dynamited it. Crops all got flooded and as a result they went broke.[51]

CALIFF

(1910, 1930)

SOL & REBECCA

Their son, Leon said,

In 1921, there was a terrible recession in the cotton business. They managed to hang on to their store and pay their bills to stay ahead. Of course, I wasn’t born then. That’s when the bottom fell out of the cotton market.  There were hard times. My parents had been married less than a year. She was pregnant. It was just hard times.… I’m sure the same thing holds true for them as it did in the thirties. that is, you were on your own, had no Social Security, no welfare, they didn’t have any family to back them up. So, it’s a wonder, their industriousness and their perseverance.[52]

FINK

(1900, 1910, 1930)

JAKE

Alvin and Marion contributed the following,

By now Jake’s cotton business occupied the entire top floor of the McWilliams Building, (corner of 3rd and Yazoo Streets). It was the tallest building in Clarksdale, with the name “Jake Fink Cotton Company” emblazoned across the top of it. Long after the hey-day of Jake Fink, several attempts were made to remove this sign by painting over it. No matter how often it was painted over, the name “Jake Fink Cotton Company” would always bleed through. They had to physically remove part of the building to remove the sign.[53]

(Weinstein, her cousin and the Henry Pachter family of Webb, to go to Chicago and stay at the new fancy apartment hotel called Sommerset on Michigan Boulevard. During these trips we always took the maid to take care of us.  Every time we would go with a maid, the maid never did want to come back after being in the places mother selected, especially Chicago.[54]

We spent summers in Bentonville, AR, at a big rambling hotel, which was done in American style. Everything was included: meals, room, all activities, everything. We used to take an apartment type complex in this old large rambling hotel. I think the man’s name that owned it was Clowder. He was partially crippled. If you did not have you car, he would drive people to Eureka Springs and other points of interest. He was his own tour guide. We also used to go to Shreveport, LA and Texarkana, AR to stay for a week or ten days visiting my grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Abe Woolbert. Some of the trips we took were on the train going overnight, and we had Pullman berths. Other trips were by car as my mother was never afraid to go without my father.[55]

FRIEDMAN

(1868, 1880 1890, 1900, 1910, 1930)

SAM & CELIA

This couple were married seven years before they started having children.They were born at home by Dr. Slaughter. Elaine said, “The depression of 1921 did not affect our lifestyle.”[56]

CHILDREN:

1) CHARLES

2) ELAINE 

Celia was in labor from Wednesday to Friday when she was born; she weighed thirteen pounds

3) TUNIE[57]

GOODMAN/LIBSON/WOOLBERT

(1890, 1900, 1910, 1930)

June 21: Recital presented by Miss Ada Chapman included Alice B. Goodman who played “Nodding Ferns” by Helm. This was a joint program with the dancing pupils from the class of Miss Bourgeois.[58]

JACOBSON

(1868, 1880, 1890, 1900, 1910, 1930)

SARAH

The special feature about Sarah in the Jewish Ledger states:

Became associated with the Beth Israel Sunday School. She served twice as the elected secretary. She also served as Secretary of the Semper Fidelis Club, a Jewish girls’ club formerly in existence. She participated in the Ladies Aid Society. She works as Deputy Clerk for the Chancery Clerk.[59]

PACHTER

(1868, 1880, 1890, 1900, 1910)

JOHN & MINNIE

David Pachter wrote,

John Pachter's wife, Minnie Hyman, was my mother's first cousin from St. Louis. Their father's were brothers. He had a clubfoot and dragged that foot when he walked. He and my dad were raised on the Lower East Side of New York where fistfights were frequent. Although both of them were small in statue, both had developed their chests and arms.

As a little boy, both my ears stood out like open bar doors. My mother told me Uncle John would visit our home every night when I went to bed and would put a tight knit cap on my head over my ears. It must have helped as I have a picture when I was about three with ears wide out then.

After Uncle John died (1921), Aunt Minnie gave me his dog, Browser. He was a dignified, aloof dog and he loved John.  However, he died soon after John. My mother let me bury him under a chinaberry tree outside the window to the room in which I slept.[60]

PLITMAN

(1910, 1930)

About 1921 or 1922 Max Plitman, a watchmaker,  stayed in our house when I was a baby. He told me that he had never heard anybody cried and scream like I did. That is when he must have met Lena and married her. He later opened a store with Lena.[61]

SACK/LIPSON

(1868, 1880, 1890, 1900, 1910, 1930)

ALMA & HARRY

Anne Neuman Adelson’s mother was a matron of honor for Alma & Harry’s wedding on March 22, either 1920 or 1921. Anne and Bernard’s father were married on March 22; so the two couples celebrated their anniversaries together many times.[62]

WIENER

(1910, 1930)

DAVE

Dave said,

When I was very very young, I'd say the big deal for us was to ride the train to Memphis—Yazoo and Mississippi Valley (Y&MV RR)..No, it was not the Yellow Dog which came through Tutwiler. The Yellow Dog went from Tutwiler to Yazoo City. I rode the L. E.…[which] went from Tutwiler to Memphis. … through Crenshaw … Marks … Lambert; it didn't go through Clarksdale. It would take about three hours to get to Memphis. It stopped at every town, had to have coal, water, whatever it was. The butch would come by and sell sandwiches. We didn't have a dining car. [He] was called 'butch' – [He sold] sandwiches, newspapers and magazines.  He stayed on the train,but there were no Pullmans in those days.

I had a lot of relatives in Cleveland, Mississippi, [and]--a lot of them in Shaw. Growing up in the Delta was different, because we were accepted, … and we played with the Christian children. I don't remember them trying to convert me at all. They would take you to their Sunday School.… They called it, the BYTU [or] The Baptists League.… They was not much on conversion. I don't remember their preachers trying to convert you. Yea. They didn't bother me in any way, there was no recruiting, or “you're going to die and go to Hell if you don't believe in Jesus.” I didn't hear that.  They would come to my father's store. I think that was different.

We had the bathtub. Hot water … was heated in a reservoir in the stove and went into the tank was iron and one or two people could take a bath after that you had to let more … but we had a bathtub; we had flush toilets. Pachter lived in Webb which is just a little north. We had electric lights, the stores all had electric lights, we didn't have any central heat. We had stoves or fireplaces. No, radios, that was too rich for us, but we had the stove that would warm up. We had fireplaces in each bedroom more or less. When it was cold you took, I'm sure you did the same thing, a hot water tank back of the stove. I'm talking about the twenties. Wasn't a hell of a lot different between twenties and thirties.

I went to a regular school. In those days you went to grammar school to the eight grade. Ninth through the twelfth was high school. We were in the same building, but they were separate. We had a gym. My teachers would start unmarried.… After, I'm sure the young men would marry them. My cousin married one of the school teachers there. Tutwiler must have needed them more than Clarksdale, because they were allowed to marry.[63]

WISE

(1910, 1930)

SOL & NAOMI

Ed said,

My father, [Sol] bought cotton before my time. He had a general dry goods store in Sumner and,for a while, had a furniture and hardware store also. I can't remember the dates, but he had both stores and a warehouse, which was not unusual. People warehoused a lot of merchandise in those days. That's just the way they did things.

After he got rid of the furniture and hardware store, … he continued to carry certain furniture items in the dry goods store.… The town was a very small community. He never really had appliances of things of that nature, but he had arrangements with the Memphis dealers, and he could send his customer to the Memphis showroom. They could pick it out and have it shipped to Sumner. He would give it to them That's how he would sell appliances and furniture to people.… So I thought that was right ingenious of him.

My mother never worked. She was one of the few Jewish women who did not have to work. I don't want to say mother never worked, but she did not go to the store. She never bought an item. She couldn't read a price code on an item. She was not really store-interested. She was a good saleslady matter-of-fact. And in the fall of the year she did work in the store, around Christmas time, on the weekends, things like that. And late years she was with my father just visiting the store. Business wasn't very good anyway. She would visit more after I was grown and gone, but it was more visiting.… She was not one of the Jewish women who in my observation many of them ran the stores, in that part of the world. 

I don't know how to define religious. In many ways I think I'm probably less religious. My mother had very little Jewish education, but she was the classic Jewish woman. There's no doubt in her mind about it, or the principles of it. What you did, and so forth, and as I said had very little formal Jewish education or upbringing.

My father enjoyed an Orthodox service. He used to [say] it was like going to the opera for him. He didn't really appreciate that, but I think it had some merit to it. But he thoroughly enjoyed it, and I maintained a membership at Baron Hirsch in Memphis as long as he was living, so that he would be comfortable. I would be comfortable taking him there and providing it for him. So because he really did, as I said, his theology was not exactly Orthodox but he enjoyed the trappings there very much[64]

1922

Unknown date: History of fires: In 1922 the Marion Theatre suffered a $100,000 fire loss.[65]

September 19: Former Ole Miss All-American and New York Giants All-Pro, Charlie Conerly was born.[66]

Another flood during this year again gave anxiety, but luckily no crevasse was recorded. The old Mississippi through its determination to break through the levee at a point in Tunica County instills more than ordinary concerns among residents of the upper Levee District. Company I, Second Mississippi Infantry volunteer their services at the call of the President. [67] 

Olive Edwards writes the following about the Clarksdale Hospital in Here's Clarksdale”, bimonthly publication,

In March, 1922 Clarksdale Hospital was incorporated, and the charter was issued and dedicated with appropriate ceremonies in 1923. Meyer Kline was a member of the board of directors. It was located at the corner that Pecan, Lynn and Choctaw Street meet. In the hospital's first-year operating 19 beds a total of 265 patients were admitted. Twelve babies were delivered. By agreement with the city /county one room was set aside for charity cases. McInnis Porter owned the only ambulance service in town and answers all calls. Annie Palmer tells how the ambulance siren was a signal for the switchboard to come alive. Citizens wanted information about what happened and to whom. Often anxious and the curious would crowd the hospital wall calls Clarksdale population was about 15,000 or less, then, and the town was more or less one neighborhood without strangers.[68]

ABRAMS

(1900, 1910, 1930)

SAM

I was in the first class at Bobo High School in 1922. I started there in 1918. This was the first year they had the Bobo High School building. [However the Here’s Clarksdale and Coahoma County says the building wasn’t built until 1930]. We graduated from [the building] in 1922.

A bunch of us used to stay out past midnight when the guards were gone. We would go in. One time, one Halloween we took a horse to the third floor. They had the study hall on the third floor. One time we put Plaster of Paris in the keyholes and tied the doors together where they couldn’t get in. When they found it---well no one would tell who did it. Heidelberg was going to expel everybody.

One time we took five pounds of pepper and put it on top of the fans in the study hall, and it went on all day. Two of us walked out of the study hall and turned on the fans as we were on our way out. You have never heard so much sneezing. (

Teachers I remember included Turnbuckle. Netty Rose was our English teacher. We used to say: “Dirty Rose sat on the piano, Netty Rose.'

My classmates included Lester Sack, the Connell/Carl twins, Willis and Jill; Morris Friedman, [Harry] Levinson was in the Glee Club and quartet; Jacob Jacobson’s father was a cotton broker who had a store on Issaquena [and Louis Binder].  He wasn’t Harris A. Jacobson’s son. Jacob was part of another family all together.

We were on the football team in 1922. The year that I graduated I wasn’t captain. I played end. I didn’t play much. I got hurt, but I don’t remember what the injury was. My mother came there, and she made me quit.

After I graduated in 1922, I went to the store. Some of my friends went to college, and they weren’t doing any good. They were just enjoying themselves. So I was thinking it was money wasted. Of course, it wasn’t a lot of money in those days, but still. So, I went on to the store and worked for my Dad.[69]

The special edition about Clarksdale Jewish congregation rom The Jewish Ledger included a biographical column about Dave and Sam in which it states, “Immediately after his graduation he was appointed secretary of the Congregation to succeed H. Kantor who had resigned. After completing the term he was elected Secretary for the ensuing year.”

The remaining article continues, “It is an instance of the old maxim 'Like father, like son.' Mr. David Abrams while serving admirably as President of the congregation, has, in his son, Sam, not a chip off the old block, but the old block, itself.”

The article concludes by stating, “During 1922, Sam was elected as Master Councilor of the DeMolay local chapter, an order for the uplifting of young men, shows that fraternity regarded him as a youngster of high ability.”[70]

CALIFF

(1910, 1930)

 SOLOMON

Leon said,

By 1922 the recession was over, and the demand for cotton increased. Economics turned around, and they started doing pretty good in that little store. They left that little shack, and I don’t remember if they bought or rented a larger house, three bedrooms. I don’t remember, [about] the fireplaces. Not too far down the street was the one-room schoolhouse that we used to go to.

FINK

(1900, 1910, 1930)

JAKE

Jake was singled out in an on-going column called “In the Public Eye” that gave biographies of outstanding businessmen in Clarksdale.  This is a reprint of that article:

Jake Fink, well-known and popular citizen, is the son of Mr. and Mrs. A Fink and was born in Poland, September 25th, [1886], and was a year old when his parents came to America to reside. He received his education in the schools of New York City where his parents settled, and after finishing school he decided to come south, and he cast his lot with the Delta in 1907, engaging in business in Shelby and afterwards opened a business in Duncan, where he resided for many years and where he was regarded as one of the most successful merchants in the community. In addition to being a merchant, Mr. Fink also bought cotton and also conducted considerable farming operations and was fortunate in being able to make considerable money.

Jake disposed of his mercantile interests and came to Clarksdale to reside, where he organized the Jake Fink Cotton Co., cotton factors, one of the most successful firms of this nature in the city. He built up a very lucrative business and has been quite successful since coming here, although since the financial depression has been on, very few people have made any money at all. The prospects for Mr. Fink’s business, however, for the future, seem exceedingly bright and most everyone here predicts the revivals of business by Fall.

Mr. Fink is very highly esteemed, takes pardonable pride in our municipal, industrial and civic affairs, is liberal with his purse and is a man of unusual business ability.

The couple has two children, a boy and a girl. Mrs. Fink is a splendid woman and is an ideal housekeeper, wife and mother and is an accomplished musician. They have a beautiful home in Oakhurst that is one of the show places of the city and their home life is most happy, and they are devoted to their children. Mr. Fink is one of the Register’s most substantial friends, and we are always glad when we can say a good word for him. [71]

Alvin told the author this story about the origin of the Clarksdale County Club:

About the time that the above article appeared, Jake approached a Fitzgerald with a proposition that a city with the wealth of Clarksdale could benefit from a country club. This being the hey-day of dollar cotton, everybody in Clarksdale was flush with cash and wouldn’t mind parting with some of it fer to have a good club. They agreed to put up the seek money to start the country club, [and] they would sell stock. The club was organized, and a share of stock was delivered to Jake.

At that time, according to Alvin, “

Daddy asked Fitzgerald for a share of stock for his brother, Joe, and share for one of his clients. The businessman told him ‘Jake, well, I’m sorry, but when the organization meeting came along, and the by-laws were drawn up, I was out of the city. The people who were in charge put a clause in the by-laws that only white male Christians could hold membership.

“With that,” Alvin concluded, “Daddy became highly infuriated. He tore up his share of stock and handed it back and asked for his money back. ”Jake had no desire to be the only Jew in the country club.”[72]

PAULINE

Pauline, Jake and Freda's oldest daughter recalled,

Kindergarten was a private school on School Street, the block right around the corner from my 2nd street home. Cage Brewer went to kindergarten with me, and he used to walk me home. He lived on Catalpa. Mrs. Annie Barren was my second grade teacher. Mrs. Monger was a principal of the elementary school. Mrs. Jessie Folsom was my fourth grade teacher. Ruby Baldwin was in my class too. She and her mother lived in one of my mother’s apartments on Oakhurst for years. As soon as she graduated from high school, she went to work in the bank, and years later became the Vice President.[73]

MARION

Marion was the youngest daughter not mentioned “In the Public Eye” article. She said,

I was the only Fink child born in the 226 Second Street house because it had just been finished. We were extremely close to the Kline girls (Reva, Pauline, Jessie)

Rabbi William Rosenblum named me. He later accepted the pulpit or the second largest temple in New York.[74]

FRIEDMAN

(1868, 1900, 1910, 1930)

April 24 Advertisement for Clarksdale Hide & Fur Co., owned by Max Friedman is promoting the sell of feed.[75] 

ROSE

The Jewish Ledger states, “Like Max, she was very active in Clarksdale affairs and organizations. She assisted in the Sunday School since 1916 but did not hold office until this year. She was elected President of the Sunday School Association.” [76]

HIRSBERG/OKUN

(1890, 1900, 1910, 1930)

JACOB

Jacob's son Bernard (also know as “Bugie”) proudly recalled this story about his father's values,

You asked about my father. I remember one incident: This was in January, cold, rainy night. I must have been thirteen, fourteen or fifteen years old. He was talking with one of the clerks, and there was a mock fur jacket that we had. The clerk had sold one. They were just casually talking, and Papa asked him what he’d sold it for. I don’t remember the exact figure, but I’m going to say $75. Papa said, 'you overcharged her. Do you know whom you sold it to?'

The clerk did and where the person lived, out of Friars Point on one of the plantations. Papa gave me $20 and told me to take it and give it to them. I said it was raining, cold as the devil, and these were not gravel roads, and these were dirt roads. He said, no, I don’t want her to be deprived of her money overnight. You take it to her. So take it; I did. She was gratefully shocked and took the money. That was my father. That was his principles of life. (B. Hirsberg, 8)  There never was any doubt whether a transaction was right or wrong. Now, he stood up for his rights, but if something was wrong, it was wrong and corrected it. [77]

Bugie added,

Mama and Papa did considerable localized traveling. They went to Hot Springs, down to the coast [and] Florida. That sort of thing, particularly in later life, when they had no responsibilities for the family.[78]

BERNARD

Bugie said,

There was very little distinction, socially in Friars Point. As I said, I never felt any discrimination. If it was there, I either didn’t realize it or, really, I had no Jewish playmates. There was nobody my age, even though at one time there were probably twelve Jewish families in Friars Point, enough for a minyan, but there was nobody my age. So, as a result, I was raised more as a Christian, Gentile, and I was, as far as any Jewish associations.[79]

I went to Sunday School one year.  I was confirmed after one year. I wasn’t in the first class.[80]

Flora Hirsberg, Bugie's wife said,

I met Bernard (Bugie) because he used to come to Sunday school. But lived in Friars Point. I couldn’t stand him. He was fat, and I don’t like fat folks. Then, [he] went off to college, and when he came back from college he had lost weight. His mama believed in feeding, and so, everybody in the family was gross.[81]

Our families were friends so I don’t remember when Sol, [Bugie's brother], and Jennie, [Flora's sister], got married or how she met him.[82]

KERSTINE

(1868, 1880, 1890 1900, 1910, 1930)

ADOLPH

While he was in Europe in 1922, Selma said, “Adolph brought German marks back [in] American Express checks pay to the order of Isidor for 22,000 German marks.” Selma added, “Isidor told [me] that they were no good. I don't know why. They were just pronounced no good. They were no good when he bought them.”

B'NAI B'RITH LEDGER SHOWS NAMES OF RESIDENTS/MEMBERS IN 1922

Member

Member-ship assigned number

Book page references

Harry Baskind

#43

39

M. Benenson

#91

36, 39

Victor. Binder

#101

40, 78

Dave Engleberg, Cleveland

#19

38, 64

Abraham Isaacson

#100

40, 70, 78, 79

Calvin D. Jacobson

#56

40

N. Marcus

#39

38

SHEPP

(1910)

SAM

Sam joined B’nai B’rith in 1916. In January 1922, he was elected Vice-President and became President in July of the same year. He was still President for this year’s term. (Jewish Ledger, New Orleans, 1923, 8) His other activities include the Masonic Lodge, #286,F. and A. M. and took the Scottish Rite Degrees then became a member of the Wahhabi Shrine of Jackson. He was in the mercantile business.[83]

1923

One fire destroyed 112 automobiles, including 17 new Chevrolets, at the Imperial Garage at Third and Yazoo was in 1923.[84]

Company I, Second Mississippi Infantry volunteer their services at the call of the President [Harding].[85] With the assistance of Julius Rosenwald Fund, a school building program for negroes inaugurated in the county. Company I, Second Mississippi Infantry volunteer their services at the call of the President [Harding].  Coahoma County Agricultural High School for negroes, the first of its kind in the south, established. [86]

New $60,000 Clarksdale Hospital opened.In its first year of operation nineteen beds served a total of 265 patients, and twelve babies delivered.[87]

CONGREGATION BETH ISRAEL

The Jewish Ledger says,

Rabbi A. H. Freyman conducted a choir for the Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur holidays, strengthening his original choir of two to one, now numbering five.

The Sunday School Association had grown to the principal, six teachers (Mrs. Sol Segal, Sarah Jacobson, Bertha Jacobson, Annie Friedman, Kate Woolbert and Jennie Okun) and 4 assistants (Mrs. Hyman Kantor, Freda Woolbert, Minnie Jacobson and Lenora Sack) and approximately 50 students.

President-Mrs: Max Friedman

Vice- President: Mrs. Hymen Kantor

Secretary: Sarah Jacobson;

Treasurer: Lenora Sack

Principal Mrs. M. Fass

Assistant Principal: Mrs. [Will] Goodman

They hold meetings the first Wednesday of every month. Each teacher holds a session at her home in alphabetical order. They discussed matters pertaining to the advancement and improvement of the Sunday school. School is conducted Sundays from 11 to 12:30 pm. The session begins in the early part of September and terminates in the first week of June. At the end of each school term, picnics are held, an event which the children looked forward to always.

A Purim play is another annual affair conducted by the Sunday school. The one this year was given on February 23.

At present the synagogue’s officers are:

President: David Abrams

Vice President: Sacharius Kaplan

Secretary: Sam Abrams;

Treasurer: Joseph. Iltis[88]

56 MEMBERS (FAMILIES)

1

Mr. R. L. Aaron

Shelby

2

Mr. & Mrs. Dave Abrams

Clarksdale

3

Mr. & Mrs. E. Abrams

Marigold

4

Mrs. H. Adelson

Marigold

5

Mr. & Mrs. S. Adler

Mattson

6

Arthur (Albert) & Rebecca (Marcus) Alpern

Rich

7

Meyer H. & Annie Aronson

Clarksdale

8

Frank & Nellie (Frank) Baker

Clarksdale

9

Morris & Ida (Frank) Baker

Clarksdale

10

Mr. & Mrs. L. Balicer

Clarksdale

11

Mr. & Mrs. Ben Balkin

Sumner

12

Mr. & Mrs. Harry Baskind

Alligator

13

Julius & Reva (Weiss) Baskind

Bobo

14

Mr. & Mrs. Mendel Benenson

Clarksdale

15

David & Lena Bernstein

Clarksdale

16

Joseph H. & Ashna (Ovsejobitch) Binder

Clarksdale

17

Will & Dora (Hendler) Binder

Clarksdale

18

Charles & Mollie (Marcus) Cohen

Coahoma

19

Herman & Rose Lea Damsker

Clarksdale

20

Jake & Freda  (Woolbert) Fink

Clarksdale

21

Mr & Mrs. Joe Fink

Clarksdale

22

Mr. & Mrs. Harry. Frank

Clarksdale

23

Max & Rose (Frankle) Friedman

Clarksdale

24

Mr. & Mrs. A. Goldberg

Sumner

25

Louis Goldstein

Clarksdale

26

Mr. & Mrs. Ozer Gordon

Clarksdale

27

Mr & Mrs. Jacob Hirsberg

Friars Point

28

Mr. & Mrs. L. D. Hirsh 

Clarksdale

29

Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Iltis

Clarksdale

30

Mr. & Mrs. J. Iskowitz

Alligator

31

Abraham & Eva (M.) Isaacson

Clarksdale

32

Harris A. & Yetta Jacobson

Clarksdale

33

Herman & Lena Jacobson

Clarksdale

34

Mrs. Sacharius Kaplan

Clarksdale

35

Mr. & Mrs. E. R. Kaufman

Clarksdale

36

Mr & Mrs. Meyer Kline

Clarksdale

37

Mr. & Mrs. Z. Landman

Clarksdale

38

Mr. & Mrs. David. Levine   

Clarksdale

39

Mr. & Mrs. Will Levine

Clarksdale

40

Mr. & Mrs. Barnet Levinson 

Clarksdale

41

Mrs. Fannie. Levinson

Clarksdale

42

Charles & Serra Marcus

Jonestown

43

Mr. & Mrs. S. May

Clarksdale

44

Israel & Bessie (Fineberg) Okun

Clarksdale

45

Mr. & Mrs. M. Rappaport

Clarksdale

46

Mr. S. Rappaport

Clarksdale

47

Mr. & Mrs. M. Rosenberg

Clarksdale

48

Mr. & Mrs. I. Segal

Clarksdale

49

Mr. & Mrs. Maurice Segal

Clarksdale

50

Mr. & Mrs. L. Selegman

Shaw

51

Phil & Ida Magdovitz Shankerman

Clarksdale

52

Ike Shapiro

Clarksdale

53

Fannie Shepp (Mrs. Ura)

Clarksdale

54

John & Jenny (Weiss) Small

Clarksdale

55

Louis Weinberger

Duncan

56

Mr. & Mrs. Abe Wiener

Tutwiler

57

Abraham & Yetta. Woolbert

Clarksdale

58

Mr. & Mrs. Sam Yaffe

Shelby[89]

ISSAQUENA HISTORY ABOUT JEWISH MERCHANTS in 1923

350 New York Store-dry goods (Benjamin Levine)

353 Goodman Baking Co.branch, William Goodman, manager[90]

The above two Jewish merchants were the first to move to Issaquena. This was identified in the 1923 City Directory as mentioned in the 1918 section, Max Kerstine had a story on a side street connecting to Issaquena but the actual location has not been identified.

Sam Abrams thought the following about the first Issaquena and the Jewish merchants on the street,

At some point, which no one knows when it changes to Jewish merchants. However, the red light district was first. The merchants were already there when his father had a store over there before WWI.

They had a black red light district. Where that point was, I’ll tell you a story too. A friend of mine, and he worked part time after school for a jewelry store. These were white whores had a lot of money so they bought a lot of jewelry from this man. This man wanted to make deliveries. So, I helped this young man and went to his place to deliver this stuff. Someone saw me out there and told my daddy. He raised holy hell that I was too young. Then he clipped me. The man thought I was out there enjoying the pleasures of the ladies, not for the delivery. This was not exactly on Issaquena Street but very close. [91]

BLOOM/ISEMAN

(1910, 1930)

LILLIAN

Julian said,

I remember my aunt got married the first time in 1924. Her maiden name was Lillian Iseman. She never had any children. She told me that when she was young, living in Memphis, [and] before she got married, she used to come to Clarksdale to dances and all kind of affairs. They stayed at Rosie Friedman's house. She used to put up the girls. And at the Elks Club, they had balls, and they used to call Clarksdale the "Little Paris of America." Yeah, she used to tell those tales about coming here and partying. They would come here from Memphis because there was so much going on.[92]

FREYMAN

(1868, 1880, 1890, 1900, 1910 1930)

AARON

The Jewish Ledger reports,

Aaron’s interest extended to the other Jewish organizations. He was a member of the Independent Order of B’nai B’rith Lodge, No. 660. He was an active supporter of the Zionist organization. In the last election he was chosen to serve as Secretary and held one of the first meetings that the organization has held in a sometime. The enrollment is growing, and he worked toward the recognition of the local Zionist brotherhood as one of the major organizations of Clarksdale’s Jewish life.

Aaron counts among his friends a great number of the Christian community of Clarksdale. He has been ever cognizant of their needs and aims and has gladly offered assistance in helping and improving their welfare as they have, likewise done in reference to the endeavors of the local Jewry.[93]

FRIEDMAN

(1868, 1880, 1890 1900, 1910, 1930)

GERTRUDE

Gertrude said,

I was confirmed, but went to Memphis to study for Confirmation because there was no Rabbi there to teach us.… The Rabbi from Greenville came to Clarksdale to confirm me. It was very important to me. I can’t say for a fact, but, as far as I know, I was the only one I remember at my confirmation.

She was confusing her confirmation with her participation in Edith May’s wedding in the Temple on Catalpa Street. I was in the new Temple, which was the first wedding she went to…. [I] thought it was Edith’s wedding. She said she thought the confirmation was in the old Temple because she could see her Aunt Helen Damsker singing at her confirmation. The new temple had all organs and all the things you know. [I] did not remember what grade in school [I] was in.[94]

Gertrude only remembered that she had to go. But she doesn’t remember whether she was fourteen or fifteen or sixteen years old. She said, “I do remember that I had to go from Clarksdale to Memphis every Sunday to be confirmed.”[95]

Then Gertrude added,

[My] very best friend was Mrs. Clark, that was of the Clarksdale Daily Register. I wrote for that paper during the summer --the society page. But, she was my dearest friend. I mean, by that, she was older, but she owned that paper after her husband died. Anything I wanted to do or did, it was ok with her.

This girl, Fannie, used to visit us in Clarksdale from Helena. She was Miss Arkansas. She was related.  Anna, (somebody) this may have been her mother, which would have been the mother of this girl because she was older than I - - that has been some years ago. (G. Nelson, 23. [NOTE; this individual interview was very confusing and very garbled in her presentation—to the level of disorganization][96]

ROSA

The Jewish Ledger says,

After her marriage to Max, she was very active in Clarksdale affairs and organizations. She lent her assistance to the Sunday School and served as President of the Sunday School Association, as Secretary of the Ladies’ Aid Society , as Treasurer of the Mother’s Club, the League of Women Voters and the Order of Eastern Star, and as a member of the executive Committee of the local Red Cross Organization.[97]

HIRSBERG

(1890 1900, 1910, 1930)

BERNARD (“BUDGY”)

I was confirmed probably in 1923, 1924, something like that. When we had the old schul.

Until I got into high school, primarily my social life was Friars Point. After that, it gradually expanded to Clarksdale. We became more involved. I have kept a few friends that were made in high school and from Friars Point. There’s only one boy who was in two or three grades with me that I know of that’s still living. There were some of the Friars Point friend that I was very friendly with but no particular contact with them. We remained friends, of course, but no socializing. [98]

HOCHSTEIN/LABENS

SAM HOCHSTEIN

Sam is clerk for Abraham Woolbert; Lillian, his sister is listed as not married and living with him.[99]

In 1927 Sam was a clerk in Simon Lurie's store.[100]

HARRY and LILLIAN LABENS

Harry and Lillian were both born in New York; he was born in 1899; Lillian in 1904.[101]. She was grew up in Clarksdale.[102]

CHILDREN

1) ALVIN, born in 1923

2) MAURICE, born in 1930

3) MALCOLM, born in 1945

Alvin reported,

Around the turn of the century Harry’s (my father) parents came over--about 1898. His name was Abraham. He had six sons and two sisters. His mother’s name was Dina. They lived in New York. My dad was an infant when they arrived. My parent’s real name was Skylab, not Labens.

I would say that is was after World War I, around 1920, my dad left New York to work in Minter City for the Adelman Brothers. Sissy Rosen and Sissy Rather were also working for them.

Harry married Lillie Hochstein in 1923. That same year, he went into business for himself in Duncan, South Highway 49-near Tutwiler & east of Greenwood. They lived there one year then moved to Yazoo City. 3) Harry had dry goods store “Jewish Hardware” for two years or six years in Duncan?

Harry & Lillie had their first child Alvin on November 23, 1923, in Clarksdale. They were all set up for me to be born on Catalpa Street at my Grandmother’s house. Things got sticky. They called McIntosh-Porter. In those days the mortuaries were involved with the regulations. They took Mother out to the hospital at 2:30 [in the hearse], because they used it as an ambulance too. The hospital was around the corner. Dr. Gray was there with Dr. Primrose, the family doctor. At my birth there were some complications. Dr. Primrose delivered me, and threw me on the cot. He said 'Let’s try to save the mother.'  Gray came over and gave me CPR. That saved me too. Well, the cord was wrapped around my neck. I guess that was the complications as best I can understand it. I was the third child born in the new hospital. The other two were Charles Marcus and Alan Tabor. Two out of three were Jewish boys.[103]

Before I left, [Clarksdale] was very good. I never missed a dance. It was better for the boys than the girls as they had to have dates. The only dances before the war were the Latova Club which included my mother's contemporaries. Even in the 1920s they had the dances for Thanksgiving and New Year's Eve.[104]

When I was born on Thanksgiving in 1923, my mother had to miss the dance that night. The driving force was Rose Friedman, because she was a take-charge lady and a shaker. [Max, her husband] was very civic. When we came back from the service {World War II] we had dances at the Elks club and at the B'nai B'rith Club. They met on Sunday with the poker games.[105]

I was in and out during the 1920s and 1930s with the poker games. One time Sam Schwartz Sr. pulled a knife on Hymen Kantor and tried to cut his throat when he was called a "son of a bitch." They had both pinochle and poker going at the same time.[106]

We moved to Clarksdale right after Maurice was born in 1929. And then, I went to school a few weeks in Clarksdale then we moved to Itta Bena, MS. I was in three different schools in the second grade—Clarksdale, Itta Bean-Yazoo City--that was 1929-1930.[107]

KERSTINE

(1868, 1880, 1890 1900, 1910, 1930)

SELMA

Corinne said,

Selma was brilliant in mathematics. She attributes that to Isidor who taught her everything she knows about math. He was so helpful and so understanding of her.[108]

Selma talked about winning her mathematics medal and first place,

I got a gold medal. I still have it. It was for Advanced Algebra - - first prize in the entire Delta. I was in the l0th grade. Isidor was a good teacher. I believed I understood everything he said. He helped me in math is the reason I did so well. I think that made me win.

They used to have field meets, and we went to Moorehead to take the exam. I went with Sherard Rawls.

She took several.  I don't know who else went with us. Her mother took us. See they selected somebody for each subject, and the teacher was mad at me, and that is the reason I won. Because she told me they had to give and take. I forgot who she was, but they made a speech that they had to take some that might not do as well because they were the only ones left. I could have killed her. I was the last one to choose. I was the only one left for Algebra. I said, doggone, I'm going to be first place. She did better than anyone else on the test in the whole Delta. Mama was sick at the time. She had inflammatory rheumatic, and I was taking care of her. I was studying hard, and Isidor was helping me. It doesn't really look like gold, but it looks more bronze. Well, it could have been, but they said it was gold. Yes, I couldn't even go back to get it. We had to go back to Moorehead, but I had someone bring me mine because Mama  (Molly) was sick.[109]

NOTE: The author was present when Selma's apartment was cleaned after her death. The medal was not found. It is possible she gave it to someone before she died.

Selma talked the cars her uncles owned,

If you went to Greenwood, it would take all day long [because] that was a dirt road, also. Yes. Isidor finally got a Ford. Before that, we went on the train. Selma said that when Isidor got his Ford I was about 15 years old. There [were] a lot of cars in Clarksdale. Nearly everybody had one. Max had a Nash. No, I think Isidor had a Nash. Max had a Buick. It had a rumble seat, and Isidor had the Nash by that time. I've got a picture somewhere.

Yea, I drove the car some. I know that there was a boy that kinda helped around the store. He was a little bit younger than I was. He and I used to run. I used to have a picture of the car. Me getting out of it. His name was Paul. We never did open that side door to get out. We just put a leg over it. Just jumped in and out of it. I drove it a whole lot.

One day he told me that the battery was down. He told me to take it home and put the throttle all the way down It was almost to the steering wheel and pull up the emergency brake and let it run to build up the battery. Well, I stuck it over there in the back yard. I did just what he said. Pretty soon, I looked out and it was headed for the river. The battery shaking/vibrating the car had caused the emergency brake to fall out. Another mud puddle stopped it. No, it didn’t go in the river.

We were living on Elm Street. I’m pretty sure. Caesar had a house out there. Yea, Isidor had one. We lived in Isidor’s. I don't know how long the Kerstine's owned the property or when they bought it.[110]

Selma said,

I knew a girl named Marjorie Crutches. She was one of my best friends, but she wasn't Jewish. We went everywhere together. We were best friends in high school.

I tell you Mama was sick all the time, and I didn't have chance to be with people Isidor would take me to a show once in a while. I had to take care of Molly [ grandmother]. Yeah, I waited on her all the time.  She wasn't an invalid or anything. If we'd had more women, you see. Well, Lillie was in California then; so that left me.[111]

1924

February 19: “Misha Fetish Concert Given Here in March”…. Misha Fetish will present Miss Mollie Horowitz, dramatic soprano; Harry Koh, violinist; A. Romanian, tenor and A. Kipper baritone.… She has given several successful recitals under the direction of her present teacher, Misha Fetish.… Romanian … appeared in a concert here some time ago in the high school auditorium for the benefit of blind Italian soldiers…. .[Hardwig. Peres of Memphis will lecture in connection with the concert here, given under the auspices of the Zionist organization.[112]

Harvey Cobb reports Charles Lindberg traveled around the country to take people for a plane ride; it was called “barnstorming. He stopped in Friars Point, because he had run out of gas. Cobb and his friend Harry Blair helped Lindberg find fuel. He asked to see the old mansion that was by the upper landing because they told him it was haunted. The next day he flew his passengers. The full account of this story is in Chapter IV, “Heading “of his 1927 book. Cobb did not know this was Lindberg until 40 to 50 years later when a friend told him that Lindberg had mentioned him in the book.[113]

Lester Sack Sr. said he did go barnstorming once with a pilot that landed but he did not know who the pilot was. He knew of only one time when a barnstorming pilot had landed and taken people for rides.[114]

BAKER

(1880, 1890 1900, 1910, 1930)

MORRIS

Julia said,

Daddy was a cotton farmer and a merchant. We were orthodox growing up. We went to the reform Temple in the 1940’s. We didn’t have a car. Daddy didn’t drive. We had a man that drove a truck. Our Uncle and Aunt, who lived next door, let us use their car. We loved to go out to the end of Clarksdale where the cotton press was to smell that cotton oil. It had the most marvelous fresh aroma. - - anytime-always. When it was cotton ginning time, Daddy would leave the house early, and Ed would take the wagons and finally the trucks (for a long time) to take the cotton to be ginned. Now, you don’t have to do that. You have seen the things along on the mats with the numbers where the gin comes to get them. Now, I understand, that they do a whole different method. They don’t have to empty the container. They take it and it goes through it.

Mother didn’t keep kosher. My grandmother and my aunts did. We never had ham in our house. On Passover, we took down the dishes. We had separate dishes. Daddy was very well versed in the Jewish religion. We were depressed during the Depression. He had to work so hard that he didn’t have time to tell us or teach us things. He would say the blessings on holidays. Mother would say the blessings over the candles. We went to Rabbi Freyman, Gerald Plitman’s grandfather. He had Kosher food. At Sunday School we learned Hebrew. We had tests even.  Phil Kantor used to help me all the time. We went to Friday night service.[115]

CALIFF

(1910, 1930)

LEON

Leon said,

Well, cars weren’t made that well. As I remember it, the biggest hazard was the roads. I don’t know, I presume my Dad got his first car about 1924 or 1925 - - something like that. All I remember is that my mother wanted to learn how to drive the car. He’d say, you don’t need to drive a car. You can walk from the house to the store in no time at all. She watched him. It had a stick shift and she watched. One time he parked the car on the street. They had a garage, but he parked the car on the street. When he left, she went, and got in the car and started driving it around. She was going to put it in the garage. She learned how to start. She learned how to shift gears, but she never learned where the brake was. She ran right through the back of the garage, but I think, to his credit, it was a big laugh.

They called her 'Bee' because she was so busy and so active. She wanted to know everything she could, but, anyway, she went through the back of the garage; That’s what stopped the car.[116]

FINK

(1900, 1910, 1930)

ALVIN

Pauline said, “Alvin and Milton Weinstein set the cotton on fire when Jake had his cotton factoring business on the top floor of the McWilliams Building. However, they didn’t lose the business as it was caught in time.[117](Adelson, 19,20)

MAY

(1900, 1910, 1930)

ABE

Fay reported that he used to work in the store. He said he used to drive the car when he was eight years old. He used to deliver groceries for his parents.[118]

NACHMAN

(1880, 1890 1900, 1910, 1930)

ALBERT (AL)

The newspaper article, “Al Nachman Sails for Trip Around the World.” says Nachman left New York, January 15 on board a vessel around the world via Havana, Cuba and the Panama Canal. [119]

He donated the large elk sculpture to the [Margery K1] Elks Club.

1925

A Summary of Clarksdale in the Clarksdale Microfilm Album #1 says,

Number of retail sections is 10 blocks.…

1)                 The city is one mile square and a country area of 25 miles north and south and east; 15 miles west to Mississippi River.

2) There is no itemization of wholesale houses; types of retail outlets for nationally advertised products; residential features.

3) Principal industries given as hardwood lumber, laundry, railway roundhouse, printing, cottonseed products , two compresses.

4) One legitimate theatre; 2 moving picture theaters;

5) All the railroads that come through;

6) Schools in 5 buildings with 2,400 students. Churches included one of each of the following: Baptist, Christian Science, Episcopal, Methodist, Presbyterian, Roman Catholic, Miscellaneous Christian and Hebrew.

7) The land rolls show that the total valuation of land in Coahoma County to be $17,285,975 for the 345,807 acres in the county.[120]

8) The compilation on the number of those subject to poll tax in the County is also of interest: White males to 2103; White male 1625; Negro male 5984 and Negro female 3827.[121]

April 4: “Symphony Plays before 900 in Local Theatre…. The St. Louis Symphony Orchestra played … in the Marion Theatre. “800 Children Hear Concert”…. of Clarksdale and the surrounding towns, Drew, Moorhead, Friars Point, Jonestown, Lula Rich, Lambert, Cleveland, Vance, Summer, Webb, Round away, Lyon and Greenwood enjoyed the matinee … under the direction of Rudolph Ganz, conductor… It was a fifty-three piece orchestra.[122]

August 17, 18, 19: “Delta Handicap Tran shoot Starts Today at Clarksdale…. Over 75 Shooters Already on Hand for Big Event—Starts of the Trapshooting Firmament Will Participate”; “Troeh Captures Huge Clarksdale Cotton Cup; Shooters Have Departed.… Visitors Warm in Their Praise of Clarksdale’s Splendid Hospitality.”[123]

September 4: “Fix Cotton Picking Price $1.25 in County. [124]

September 6: “Streets are Marked Today Denoting Stops”;[125]

September 7: “Mercury at 107 Degrees Here Sunday”[126]

“Over  14 Thousand Bales Cotton are Received in City”;[127] 

1500 Mexicans and Negro Laborers are Expected in County”; and[128]

Coahoma County’s cotton production reaches its peak - - 119,000 bales.  Mexican cotton pickers are imported from the Mexican border.[129]

September 8: “Think Cotton Picking Machine to be Success” says at the present time there are a few more details to be worked to perfection, the machine is almost human. Its mechanism is most complete and it seems to do everything but talk.[130]

September 15: “Cotton Pickers Train Expected on September 19”[131]

The following article appeared in the Jewish Spectator about Hardwig Peres, a prominent Jewish citizen from Memphis,  

At the request of the United States Government, Hardwig Peres will leave Tuesday for Clarksdale, Miss., to speak upon the Fourth Liberty Bond Loan. From Clarksdale he will visit several other neighborhood towns upon the same mission.

Mr. Peres is a forceful speaker, and is an American patriot 100 per cent pure, and there is no doubt that his contribution towards winning the war will be many thousands of dollars of Liberty Bonds that will be sold through his appeals to the people.[132]

The newspaper article labeled“Clarksdale Leads Mississippi in Jewish War Relief” says,

Jackson, Miss--Mississippi headquarters for the American Jewish War Relief Committee at Vicksburg which is under State Chairman Joseph Hirsch, has been getting some quite satisfying reports from workers in different parts of the state showing their preparedness to do a good vigorous day’s work next Monday, September 23. Before leaving on Thursday afternoon for the north, Dr. Albert p. Lewin, general traveling representative of the American Jewish war relief committee, who was in this section on a brief visit, expressed gratification at the way many prominent Jews and non-Jews, had taken hold of the work for carrying on the campaign in their respective local centers.

Already some good organized work has been done at Clarksdale, Greenwood, Jackson, Natchez, Yazoo City, Vicksburg and Meridian. Clarksdale has so far led the state in response to the call with a free will contribution of over $12,000 gathered at one general mass meeting at which meeting Joseph Newburger and Rabbi W. H. Fineshriber of Memphis were the principle speakers[133]

BINDER

(1868, 1880, 1890 1900, 1910, 1930)

JOE, VICTOR OR WILL

Dave Wiener said,

I don't know if it was Joe or what. I remember Mr. Binder. He'd go up on the bema. He had a great big talit. He would put around him and cover his head up.… I remember looking at him. I admired him. He'd go in the corner of the synagogue, and he'd [be] in there. …That was Mr. Binder.[134]

RACHAEL and TOBY

June 9: See Piano Recital given by Mrs. Jake Friedman.[135]

VICTOR/RACHAEL

As early as 1925 they moved to a house on Oakhurst Street[136] 

August 25: DAVID, 14-year-old son died by drowning.[137]

WILL & DORA HENTLER

Will & Dora moved to Clarksdale with two sons Leon and Herman. Will was a cattle buyer.[138]

BRODOFSKY

(1890, 1910)

CLEVE’S DELICATESSEN

“When you Want Real Good Eating You will find it.… Short Orders and Sandwiches—[Third] Street Near Delta Avenue” is an advertisement in Marion Theatre Program for 1925-1926 season.[139]

FINK

(1900, 1910, 1930)

MARION, PAULINE

Marion said, “Until I was seven or either years old, I was chubby. Mrs. Robertson or Robinson (Marion recalled the first name; Pauline recalled the second name) of Dyers, Tennessee, made my layette when I was born. She did all my clothes, as well as Pauline’s.  She did all the fancy smocking. I wore the long sleeves, the rickrack, smocked, smocking - - beautiful fabrics, pink and blue.I have hated pink and blue ever since. No baby jewelry, but Mary Jane shoes. In those days, little girls did not wear pants.

Pauline confirmed this by mentioning that the dresses were made of exquisite ball material and embroidered.[140]

JAKE

Alvin said that his father brought the first Mexicans to the Mississippi Delta to pick cotton this year, 1926 and 1927.[141]

ALVIN

Alvin said, “I used to get out of school (Old Oakhurst School Building) in the afternoons. We used to walk across the bridge, and that was my grandmother and grandfather’s store. They were always good for a nickel.”[142]

FRANK

(1890, 1900, 1910, 1930)

HARRY

Julia Glassman said,

Harry died in 1925.[143] They divided the property, and Aunt Nellie and Mama inherited a share of the same property. During the Depression that money came in very handy. My older sister, Alma, would go over with Daddy. They would collect the rent. Alma would keep the books. Sometimes Alma would go alone. When she came back,

Daddy would say: 'Where have you been so long?'

She would say: 'I played with all the little black babies.' She had pictures of them. She would bring some of them home with her.[144]

FRIEDMAN

(1868, 1880, 1890, 1900, 1910, 1930)

June 9: “Piano Recital-Enjoyed”, states ,- -

A beautiful recital was given last night by the piano pupils of Mrs. Jake Friedman at the home of Mrs. Louis Damsker. By means of music “The Enchanted Hour” was given. Mrs. Friedman was assisted by Miss Gertrude Friedman (Nelson) and Janice Panich, two expression pupils of Mrs. Archer.[145]

The program was rendered as follows,

The Enchanted Hour Miss Rachel Binder

The Fairy Jig Miss May Pappas

Boy at Play (duet) Misses Rachel and Toby Binder

Reading Miss Janice Panich

The Wicked Witch (duet )Miss May Pappas

Love by Moonlight Trio, Misses Binder, Pappas, Lee

The Pride of the Regiment Miss C. Gibson

Reading, “Ten Year Old Girls’ Marriage Views” Gertrude Friedman

The Aviators Rachael Binder and Teacher

The Swans, Duet Miss Gibson and Mrs. Friedman

Purple Pansies Olive Clara Clapham.

Delicious refreshments were enjoyed. The home was beautifully decorated in summer flowers.”[146]

OKUN/HIRSBERG

(1890 1900, 1910, 1930)

FLORA

June 10:  Flora Okun performed “Serenata” by Moszkewski in a piano recital given by Miss Ada Chapman, Miss Minnie Shannon and Miss Mauldin at the High School.[147] 

April 21: Flora O. performed with the chorus in several scenes of the Clemandele Revue presented at the Marion Theatre and given by the Clarksdale Rotary Club for benefit of the Boy Scouts of America.[148]

Flora talked about football and cheerleading:

I was one of two cheerleaders; the other one was Dot Cullen. I don’t know her name now, but she lives in Greenwood or Greenville. At one point Victoria Fitzgerald. We didn’t have routines; we would just, see, our field was the front of Elizabeth Dorr. They had something like a wire fence around the big yard in front. The cheerleaders were on this side, and the kids would be on the other side of the fence. They were not allowed on the football field. We didn’t have outdoor lights then. Friday afternoon, right after school the boys would get out a little bit earlier so they could dress and be ready to go on the field. 

The crowd stood up and down the field. There were no bleachers. When the team went down to the other end of the field, you went down, and when the team came back.… You followed the team. You were right opposite the players at all times. You were standing, now, we’re going a way back. I can’t tell you what year it was. I can’t even tell you how old I was at that time.

KERSTINE

(1868, 1880, 1890 1900, 1910, 1930)

Selman talked about Evelyn, her first cousin,

I was about seventeen when this happened. I know this was funny. See, Lillie and Evelyn came home and stayed a good while. Mama had to go to the hospital with pneumonia. Evelyn was about nine years old, and she was cute. She wanted Frances to help her with her lessons. Frances couldn't read or write, and Evelyn didn't know that. We had to tell her that she couldn't help her that she couldn't read and write.

All of the family thought Evelyn was so cute 'cause she talked without a Southern accent. She had an altogether different accent, and she was very friendly. There was one little boy, Alvin Kline, who talked to her a lot. She stayed a long time. I'd see her at recess “.[149]

SEGAL

(1930)

SYLVIA

Newspaper article says Sylvia performed in a piano recital presented by Mrs. O.C. Young. “Perhaps the greatest interest was centered in the baby class, composed of little tots of four and five years old. They brought down the house with applause, and they evidenced skillful training the execution of their parts.”[150]

1926

Coahoma County produces its second largest cotton crop. 2,000,000 bales were harvested.[151]

In 1926 during the summertime all businesses closed on Thursday afternoon. [152]

“Snow blankets Mother Earth” states, “Two inches of [snow] covered ground this morning.[153]

BINDER

(1868, 1880, 1890 1900, 1910, 1930)

RACHEL

On April 21, Rachel F. performed with the chorus in several scenes of the Clemandele Revue presented at the Marion Theatre and given by the Clarksdale Rotary Club for benefit of the Boy Scouts of America.[154]

CALIFF

(1910, 1930)

MOSE SOLOMON (SOL) and LEON (LEE)

Leon said, “I was born in June of 1926. My parents were living in Dublin, which was about ten miles south of Clarksdale, at that time. But of course, I was born in the Clarksdale hospital.”[155]

FRIEDMAN/NELSON

GERTRUDE

April 21: Gertrude Friedman performed a solo dance in Act One-Scene One-Song of India.  This was the Clemandele Revue presented at the Marion Theatre and given by the Clarksdale Rotary Club for benefit of the Boy Scouts of America.[156] 

KERSTINE

(1868, 1880, 1890 1900, 1910, 1930)

SELMA

Selma liked cooking. She said when she was a child ,she was only allowed to make fruit salad. “Mama wouldn't let me cook.” She added, “Because Molly liked to do all the cooking. She did until she got sick; then, we had a cook, … Francis - - half Mexican and half-colored, and she was some cook.”

Selma said that she never lived in Chicago with her father and stepmother.

I went to Chicago overnight, but I went by train. Isidor took me to St. Louis. He bought goods. We didn't even spend the night. We got back on the train at midnight and went -to Chicago. I was a senior in high school. Mr. Meadows was assistant principal, I thin. I was going to have physics with him, and I was going to miss one day, the first day of school. He said he wouldn't be responsible for me if I missed the first day. I never did take the course Well, the idea, he didn't want me to be off the first day of school. They were very strict that way in Clarksdale. We had a wonderful school, though.[157]

Selma continued,

I think one of the Cutrers was a friend of Isidor.  I just heard Mama talk about the Cutrers. Evidently she lived next door to them in some house. Mama knew the Cutrers because they were neighbors.… Well, the Cutrers had a parrot. Mama would get out and holler for Max to come to dinner, and the parrot would holler for Max to come to dinner.[158]

I think I remember the big house on Cutrer Hill - - the Cutrer home. It was the one that had a whole city block across from Desoto Street. Selma never went in the house. I remember that big house, and then there was a little house. Yea, but they had the big house. They weren’t right behind the other one. It was a pretty good distance from it. I used to know the lady that lived in the little house there, but I couldn’t remember [her name]. I kept her yard watered the whole summer. She came out and gave me a quarter. No, I take that back. She didn’t give me a quarter. She fixed my dress and charged me a quarter for it. She never gave me a quarter.[159]

CAESAR

Selma said,

While she was still in high school, Caesar, who was 10 years older, requested permission to return to the high school to take business courses, such as shorthand and typing. He also attended the Gregg School in Chicago. He would come to the school and bring hot lunches to Selma. He read to her by the hour because she thought he was extra good in English whereas Isidor helped her in math.[160]

KOOYMAN

(1930)

SIMON

The newspaper article says,

Simon was born in Oude Needier, the Netherlands [in 1882]. Kooyman was educated at the Beverwyk School of Music, graduating there in 1904. A desire to “see the world” led him to accept a job directing a city orchestra and a military band in Medow, Sumatra, Netherlands, East Indies.

While living in Sumatra [in 1909], he married Johanna Elizabeth Taberrmain. When World War I broke out, the couple moved to Long Beach, California and … remained in the U.S. for the rest of their lives. Before settling in Clarksdale in 1926, the Kooyman’s lived in Newton, Iowa, Lakeland, [Florida], Woonsocket, [South Dakota], Canton, [Illinois], Bay City and Navasota,[Texas].[161] [He was known as [an excellent pianist and violinist, Kooyman was also a skilled conductor, as well as an off-set lithographer and photographer.][162]

In 1936, he was music editor for the southland Music Publishing Company of Memphis and was well know as a composer as his compositions had been published by different publishers. He is known as the father of the Mississippi school band movement.[163]

Kooyman’s Clarksdale High School band was the first such musical organization in the state. It is well known as “The Pioneer Band” in high school musical circles in the state.[164] His CHS Band was ranked “first place” for six consecutive years.[165]

SEGAL

(1930)

SAM

May 3, 1926: Sam died on this day; born on 1903. He was one of the early graves in this cemetery.[166]

The obituary says,

The death of this young man, who was but 23, brought sorrow to his many friends. He had been ill for several weeks, with typhoid fever and after the first week's illness he was removed to the hospital for medical treatment.

Born in England, he came to this country when a small boy with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. I. Segal, and for the past ten years the family has resided in Clarksdale. Mr. Segal attended the city schools and graduated from the local High school with honors.

At the time of his death he was owned and managed a grocery store on Delta Avenue. He is survived by his parents … two brothers, Morris and Sol Segal, all of this city and one sister, Mrs. Harry Resnick of New York.[167]

WIENER

(1900, 1910, 1930)

DAVE

Dave said,

I doubt if we started Sunday School we were eight or ten. My sisters started younger, but in those days, I don't think we were organized. Probably, I must have been ten or twelve years of age when we started going regularly. In my age group--Harold Levine and Alvin “PeeWee” Turner from Webb was in that class, and they had Gilbert Balkin from Drew. I don't remember many others.

1927

May 20, 21, 1927: Charles Lindberg’s flight across the Atlantic.

April 21: The MS River levee at Mounds Landing near Greenville broke, beginning the Great Flood of 1927 when levees in 120 locations from Cairo, IL to the Gulf of Mexico collapsed.  Citizens of Coahoma County render heroic aid to flood sufferers.[168]

Information about the flood:

More than 30 states battle severe spring flooding, with widespread loss of life and property. The Yazoo-Mississippi Delta Levee District held up considerably well, but was not without some damage. The flood exposed problems of boils and under seepage with levee foundations. A large number of workers worked non-stop filling sandbags to hold off the floodwaters.

The greatest of all floods in the lower Mississippi Valley [was] so widespread was the distress that followed, the whole nation because aroused, all of which culminated in the Flood Control Act of 1928. an ample appropriation was made by Congress for river work. The levee work outlined under this act has been practically completed and our levee today is the result of this action on the part of the Federal Government.[169]

Mrs. Stewart’s account of life on a riverboat on the Mississippi River,

 I was at Rosedale in a houseboat in 1927, during the flood, all when a steamboat brought refugees in and the water was so high until the waves could wish over the levee. There were many steamboats bringing refugees in. Some sick, some blind, some well, some crippled, some of afflicted, and some women with babies that were born on the levee or on boats without shelter.  A small boat started through the break with 20 peoples on it and the engine stopped and the boat was capsized and there were 19 brought in caskets” [170]

During the interview with Labens, Jaegar and Kaufman, Labens said,

During the 1927 flood in Yazoo City: Function of the levee board is to cut off and straighten the river out as the flood waters run through it. Water couldn't make the turns/curves fast enough, and it created the back waters that caused the flood. It primarily flooded Yazoo City and Greenville. I remember leaving in a duplex in Yazoo City and my mother coming to the house in a boat because the water had come up to the front porch[171] 

DELTA QUEEN RIVERBOAT; was built between 1924 and 1927. It was launched in 1927 at a cost of $875,000; length 285 feet; staterooms = 27; passenger capacity = 174; crew= 75.[172]

New Depot completed; tracks through city are raised and subways opened.[173]

One of the first concrete roads in Mississippi was that stretch from Batesville to Oxford to get the people out of the Delta when a flood hit.[174] 

ISSAQUENA

Merchants and address:

1. 378 Issaquena: Max Kerstine, general merchandise[175]

BAKER

(1880, 1890 1900, 1910, 1930)

JULIA

Julia said,

Miss Olla Berry hit me on the hand with a ruler because I couldn’t sing in the 2nd or 3rd grade.  She said well you go into the coatroom with the boys. I had a Miss Walker in the 3rd grade but it was not Irene Walker. She was in Junior or Senior High School, but this was another Miss Walker because I remember the Miss Walker that taught me left. At that time, teachers could not be married. Most of them lived across the street or next door.[176]  (Julia Baker Glassman 1/2003, 17)

COHEN

(1868, 1890 1900, 1910, 1930)

FRED

Adele Cohen met Fred Cohen when he traveled to New York on a buying trip in 1927 and married in 1928.[177]

FINK/ADELSON

(1900, 1910, 1930)

ALVIN

Alvin said, “By the time I was twelve or thirteen years old, I was driving. You did not need a license. We use to go to Moon Lake to drive around.

Some of Alvin’s friends in his class included Julius Fitzgerald, Fletcher Maynard, Captain Curtis, Harold Simmons.[178]

PAULINE

Pauline said, “I took music lessons at different times from both Miss Ada Chapman and Miss Minnie Shannon, I quit in the 5th grade. I didn’t want to take it, and I quit. Mama had a fit, and so did Ms. Shannon. I just wrote her a note and left it on her piano saying, I wasn’t going to take any more.”[179]

MARION

Ms. Folsom started her twenty-seven tenure at Oakhurst Elementary School kindergarten teacher when Marion started school.[180]

HIRSBERG

(1890 1900, 1910, 1930)

BERNARD/”BUDGY”

Hirsberg said,

The citizens of Friars Point were an excellent group of people--a very concerned group. There wasn't any anti-Semitism at all. Let me put it this way. During the years I lived in Friars Point, I never experienced any. Well, I actually lived in Friars Point till I graduated from high school, and from then until 1932 when I got married, I was in school. I purposely went to summer school, because there was very little going on in Friars Point. It was a much more pleasant experience to stay in summer school. So I really, for all practical purposes, left Friars Point in 1927 when I graduated from high school. I attended grade school and high school there, No, it was a good school but it was not accredited, and, for that reason, I had to go to a state institution (Ole Miss) for one year before I could transfer. Until I was in the eighth grade, school was conducted in what had formerly been, a church. Then a residence was rented, and school was conducted there. But when I was in the eighth grade, they built a consolidated school, a very modern building at that time. And the caliber of the school, definitely, the quality improved. Yes, it went through the twelfth grade. 

I participated in sports, football and baseball. I played on the first high school football team that Friars Point had, when I was in the eighth grade, because of my size. I played high school football for five years, and baseball for five years. I was offered a baseball scholarship at the University of Illinois, but I couldn’t get in, because Friars Point wasn’t accredited. I did go the University of Illinois later. I went for accounting. They had an excellent school of accounting. I did not finish there. I went to Illinois; then transferred over to Bowling Green, Kentucky, which had a highly specialized accounting school. It was an excellent move. I decided to be an accountant when the University of Michigan increased their law school requirement from five to six years. I was going to the University of Michigan and that year they raised the requirement from five years to six years.  I thought six years was too long to go to school. As it actually developed, I went for five years.  My parents paid my tuition.[181]

KERSTINE

(1868, 1880, 1890 1900, 1910, 1930)

MAX

Max owned a store where Magdovitz’s was on Issaquena. Well, it was known as Mack when Max owned it. Store started by 1927 and closed 1933.[182]

SELMA

Selma completed high school in 1927.  When Isidor graduated in 1907, he said that they graduated from the 10th grade, and then Lenora told me they didn't have a 12th grade when she was there, so they had added it by the time Selma was there.[183]

Selma said, “I was still at Ole Miss when they had the first talking pictures in Clarksdale that was 1927.[184]

Selma talked about the trip to Old Miss where she was in college,

If you went to Greenwood, it would take all day long [because] that was a dirt road, also. The cinders blew in on the train if you put down a window you'd get full of black cinders. To get any air at all, you had to put the windows top, and they made me nauseated too.  At Ole Miss, I had to get up at 4:00 in the morning to catch a train to go to Memphis and come down to Clarksdale.[185]

Selma's degree in college was education. She could have just as easily gotten a degree in mathematics because she had taken that many courses in it and had done that well in it.[186]

Corinne has talked about discrimination with Selma who was on campus between 1927 and 1933. The following is a combination of each of them said about about being a Jewish girl at Ole Miss between 1927 and 1933,

First Corinne said,

[Selma told me] that there is a great deal of discrimination there. She did not make it to a sorority, because there were no Jewish sororities on campus. She had to sit at the end of the table when the sorority girls got to sit at the front of the table. She never had food by the time the bowl reached her in the cafeteria. She would not or didn’t fight for her rights. She hardly ate as a result of that.

She stayed in a boarding house with three or four girls at that time. It was through these girls that she developed a campus life. She was very shy and withdrawn in the very beginning from the way she describes it.[187]

Selma said,

I had to sit at the end of the table after the sorority girls. Another sorority invited me to their table. The second sorority was made up of people with high scholastic. I never got into any sorority. They didn’t take Jewish people. As far as I know they didn’t. The ones that asked me to eat there. It was about a month … I had to live in a boarding house, because I didn’t get into the dorm when I first entered college. No, they were not nicer to me in the dorm. They still didn’t want to share the food. It wasn’t that. After I went to the other table, everything was fine. Somebody sat me at that table. They didn’t want me, and I didn’t want them. I don’t know just somebody just did it. I didn’t say anything. I don’t know what sorority it was. That did happen, and I was there at least a week or two. Catherine McFarland was one of them. She made a good name for herself. She took social science. She asked me to sing. I sang in the choir on Sunday. I didn’t know it was, but I could sing fast enough to keep up with them.[188]

Selma talked about the cost of going to Ole Miss when Margie asked her if Isidor paid for her to go to college.

“No, [Isidor] did not pay for it. It didn’t cost me hardly anything over there. It cost about $15 every two weeks. The room rent was $5 a semester. I didn’t take any history. I mean I didn’t take any chemistry or anything. I didn’t have any fees. So, it was very little. All it cost me a $1 or $2 a day. I did have some money. Isidor told me the banks were paying. He told me to put my money in [not audible]. I had over $2500. I think I had that much in whatever I wanted to. He did help me out daily. I would maybe draw a dollar a day and write that check out. Of course, he helped me with clothes too. I wouldn’t ask for any clothes. If I wouldn’t offer to pay for them, I wouldn’t say anything about it. I offered to pay the cost of some things. I had a little money.[189]

Selma added, “I never met William Faulkner. I saw him every day. He was on the Ole Miss campus. He was famous when I was at school. I use to see him walking on the campus.”[190]

ISIDOR’S STORE

The photo shows Isidor and Nancy Vernon, a long time employee at Isidor's store. Corinne mentioned she did not know if the building with Nancy and Isidor in front of it looked that way the building looked when he bought it. She reported Nancy Vernon made the awning, but did not know which year.[191]

“No, no.”  Selma said, “Mrs. Vernon was not with Isidor when he opened up. Mollie [his mother] knew Nancy who had two kids and no job or home after the flood. Isidor was looking for someone to work and Vernon was looking for work. Mollie told her to apply and she did.”[192]

LANDAU

(1890, 1910 1930)

MAX

Max Landau’s business on Delta Avenue was the starting point at the hour of six for sixty automobiles [in a caravan] to journey through surrounding territory in a “Trade at Clarksdale” campaign excursion.[193]

LEVINSON

(1868, 1880, 1890 1900, 1910, 1930)

JAKE

“Trade at Clarksdale” article said,

Jake Levinson acted as the advance agent. He arrived in the town, such as Mount Bayou, before the caravan “and in a regular fashion had [everyone] gathered and ready to meet the booster train--he distributed whistles and in a few moments, everybody [sent] forth ear-splitting sounds.  Upon the arrival of the excursion, the band opened up with excellent music and [they] went wild with enthusiasm.[194]

Adele said,  “Jake Levinson’s store … had a horrible reputation.”[195]

MAGDOVITZ

(1910, 1930)

JOE

Joe talked about his trip to Clarksdale and subsequent residence,

When I was 19 years old, I arrived in Clarksdale on the 27th of September which was the day of the Jack Dempsey--Tunney fight. … I arrived just in time from Connelsville, Pennsylvania.…I remember that night because I was in because the whole family was over at Phil Shankerman’s store listening to the radio. His store was on the corner of Second beyond ... let me see ... Bernstein’s Furniture store was located at Second Street--corner of Second Street and just opposite Sunflower. The first street off of Sunflower was Yazoo. It was on the corner of Yazoo and Second Street. And next door was Phil’s on Second Street. Ida Shankerman, Phil’s wife is my sister. I don’t remember when she came. In 1927, their first child, Selma, was already born

I worked for Uncle Frank’s store for one year.

I had come down to visit my family living in Clarksdale, and it took me four years to get back. I worked for Uncle Frank for one year, and then, I worked Lamar Cohen for six months. [I] signed a contract. I went down to Alligator to run the furniture store. Both of the Kaplans were there at that time, but had not married.… Then, I had a job with Continental Baking Company, and I was with them for four years...three years. They are located in Clarksdale. I was cashier for a year and then chief clerk for three years. 

I was single and going to all the dances and having a picnic.[196]

WIENER

(1900, 1930)

DAVE

Dave said,

Yes I remember when Lindberg flew over [to Europe]. We had the radio then and they talked about it in the newspapers. We were told it was a big thing and so forth. He was the only one to solo fly, that he had flown by himself. They had had other people to fly across the Atlantic but it was two or three or something like that. Quite a few had flown. He was the first to fly solo.

I remember barnstorming in the twenties. Yea, they had a few, if you had a dollar or two, you could ride. I didn’t go up because my father would have killed me, and I didn’t have a dollar. But we would go out and watch them. Not many kid went up because they didn’t have a dollar--even the Gentile, very few of them.[197]

1928

Alvin Fink description of the 1920s decade in Clarksdale,

Between 1921 and 1929 were flush big times as people were living on the enthusiasm of dollar cotton or expensive cotton. Whoever went to the Sheriff’s office had to pay off if they needed the police to clean things up, or whomever, the Baptist ministers went after.[198]

Alvin Labens talked about the post flood period,

Between the two floods (1927-1936) or the late 20s, they patrolled the levees with the airplanes and with machine guns.… Authorized cars to be anywhere near the levee had to be identified on the roof so that the airplanes could tell. The people from Arkansas would blow the levee on this side, or the people from this side would want to blow the levee on that side. Blowing up the other side kept the water from coming on your side. It will go that way.

The forerunners of the cotton dusters were these planes that you would see in the movies of the old WWI planes with the machine mounted in front of the pilot. They didn’t have the 247 and the 57s. It was after 1927 that they built Highway 6.[199]

Flood Control Act passes Congress.  First contract for levee enlargement on the Lower Mississippi is let in the Yazoo-Mississippi Delta Levee District.[200]

July: Fire at a hotel at 223 Yazoo burned sustaining a $10,000 loss.[201]

 CONGREGATION B’NAI ISRAEL

Alvin Fink, said,

They went to Al Nachman who carried the loan for the new synagogue  However, he was more agnostic than Jewish. At one point Jake Fink said to him when they were having trouble meeting the pay off: 'Roxie you are going to wind up with a temple you might not need.'[202]

Alvin Labens said, “This is Bugie Hirsberg’s words [that Al Nachman said to the question of what to do if he become owner of the building.] 'Before I back off of this mortgage, I would have the pleasure of tearing this building down-brick by brick. Each brick would give me more pleasure.'[203]

Born in 1870 in Germany. Occupation was a real estate agent.

Bernard Hirsberg said,

I knew Al Nachman very well. He made this statement in my presence when he had a mortgage on the Temple, and there was an argument as to the amount of interest that the note was for.… He made the statement that we didn’t have to pay the mortgage, he would foreclose, and he would tear it down brick by brick. As he tore it down, he would get increased pleasure with each brick that was torn down.  Now that’s the unfavorable. The favorable is that he educated children, sent them to institutions of higher learning, that otherwise never have gone.[204]

BAKER

(1880, 1890 1900, 1910, 1930)

JULIA

Julia said,

I was an outdoor person who just loved to run; ride a bicycle. I just played all kinds of sports. At school, there was track, jump and basketball. At home, in the street, we would play tennis. Get up early in the morning and go to play tennis in front the school or on Third reset with Mildred and Goldie Isaacson…. I have forgotten the name of the school. It was in front of the one that had a lawn with tennis courts. We would play in the streets. Get together and play tennis with the little ones at each end watching for the cars.

We played baseball. The boy next door, Tom Davis, had a boxing thing on the tree. He would give me some gloves and show me how to box. I was about ten or twelve years old … something like that. I just like to run.

When we would walk or ride the bicycle, we went to where we called the end of town—on Catalpa [439 Catalpa], where the Tonkels used to live right there past the Temple.

We would go over to Oakhurst Street. Down at end there was an old cemetery with a brick wall. We would take our baskets, boxes and buckets and fill them full with blackberries. Schools were further down. Mama would say: 'You didn’t bring many home.' We ate them and didn’t get home with very many. I was in grammar school. We could walk all over town and not think anything of it. Some of my friends included the Issacson’s girls, Edith Tonkel, Sylvia Damsker, Sylvia Segal, and Polly Bernstein. Jessie Kline was a little older than me, but she was a real good friend. She was my sister’s age.[205]

COHEN

(1868, 1890 1900, 1910, 1930)

FRED

Complimentary advertisement by Maderia Shop in program for Walter Chapman, pianist, who was performing at the High School Auditorium on 3/18 under the auspices of the Clarksdale Woman’s Club.[206] 

Corinne Kerstine said, “Fred Cohen was liked by everybody. He was just a very, very nice person.”[207]  (Corinne, ??)

Fred's wife said,

I came in 1928 as soon as I married Fred. He already had his store at that time. The one on Delta that was a narrow, skinny store by Weller's Jewelry.

Adele said about cultural shock coming to the Delta from where she grew up in New York, “

[My] maiden name was Betesh. [I] lived on Flatbush Avenue, next to the Church of Flatbush in Brooklyn.… Well it was kinda like a culture shock, because all the reports I used to get from my friends in New York. They heard that I was coming.

It was a whole group of them saying 'Oh you are going down South? People walk around down there naked or barefooted. They don’t have shoes; they don’t have any clothes. What are you going there for?'

You know. I said, “I’m going down there to get married.”

She added,

[New York friends] thought I was crazy, of course. [My] greatest experience was when [I] came down by train from New York. We were two nights and one day on that train. I was sick as a dog. We finally get into Memphis. Then we have to take the train out of Memphis to Clarksdale. When I got to Clarksdale, at the railroad station, we couldn’t get off the train because all of Clarksdale, all of the Jewish congregation of Clarksdale, was at that station to greet us--to make me welcome to Clarksdale.

I’m looking for people that are naked and barefooted and all that, you know. That night we went to Rosie Friedman’s house for dinner on Mississippi. The first night we stayed in Clarksdale, we stayed at 438 Cherry Street in Walter and Kate Rothchild’s house. The house I ended up buying from them when they moved away. That was where I spent the first night in Clarksdale. The only thing built in Clarksdale was up to the block I lived on now [401 Second Street]. Nothing else. It was all cotton fields after that.

A lot of Jewish people lived in Riverside. Some people lived on Catalpa StreetAll along here but it stopped right there--called Riverton. Oh well, most of the Jews, the older Jews lived on Madison Avenue in Riverton. The first generation Jews lived over there. Their children and the younger generation moved over here on this side.

The Blooms and Rose Friedman lived over on the other side of the Desoto, near the Eliza Clark Elementary School. Rose Friedman lived over there. Bell married Walter Bloom and had a daughter, Edith. Edith had three children, one son named; another son, and Charlene who worked for Adele The Schwartz lived over there.

Corinne said, “Sophie Schwartz lives in Memphis and so does Theresa who married the Shaw boy.”[208]

Adele continued,

One of the [Schwartz]brothers passed away that use to work for with my son Stanley some time back.… The one you are talking about, Schwartz, lived in Ella Bacharach’s house, next to Stanley Basist’s two story house [on West Second Street]. Ella sold the house.

You know what I used to do. Everybody was so wonderful to me when I was a young bride. I was invited in every home in this town. I felt very well accepted, beautifully. So, when these young men were getting married, I was the first one that invited them to my home for lunch. They stayed for dinner [and] played cards all afternoon. Then, I would let them go home at night. Every young couple that ever came to Clarksdale. One of them spent the day. I think they stayed so late that I thought maybe they would have spent the week-end with us. I had so much fun.

We use to call Mr. Holland from the Planters Bank – Papa Holland. That was in the late 20s, you know, because the main bank was the Bank of Clarksdale. [I] was in Clarksdale when the article from the Wall Street Journal [was published] about Clarksdale.[209]

NOTE: Questionable what Wall Street Journal article she meant because the famous one was printed in 1920, not after 1928. It is the newspaper article at the beginning.

DAMSKER

(1890 1910)

ROSE SEED CO

March 18: Complimentary advertisement by Rose Seed Co. in program for Walter Chapman, pianist, who was performing at the High School Auditorium under the auspices of the Clarksdale Woman’s Club.[210]

FINK

(1900, 1910, 1930)

JAKE

Alvin said, “Cotton was good to Jake. He indulged his wife and children with every luxury. He owned a seven passenger Jordan Sedan and he drove a Stutz Bearcat.[211]

FREDA

Marion said,

Although Freda always had a wonderful cook in the kitchen, she cooked a delicious roast and a chocolate icebox cake with homemade ice cream … that was her repertoire. She ran a well greased home. We could be starving to death and Daddy would be downtown and very late for getting in for supper at night.… Some people have dinner, but we didn’t, we had supper. It was good. We had a cook there to serve it and clean up the kitchen. It might be eight o’clock at night, but we were not going to sit down at that table until Daddy walked in the house and sat down with us - -that is just the way it was. We could be starving to death, but we weren’t gonna get anything to eat until Jake got home. (Shackeroff, 15) Actually our main meal was at noon. Mama had two main meals a day as far as what went on. It wasn’t like sandwiches or coke or anything like that. I know daddy loved oysters. He would have sacks of oysters and shrimp shipped in from New Orleans. They came down from the Mississippi River, I guess All I know is that they would come in crocker sacks.[212]

ALVIN

Alvin talked about his childhood,

I went to Camp Chickasaw, North Carolina, during this summer and the next one. I was in the Boy Scouts. We met at the Presbyterian Church on Second Street. Dusty Buck, the first motorcycle cop was our Scout Master. They had us camping out on week-ends at Moon Lake.[213]

PAULINE

Marion said,

On Sunday’s when I started going to Sunday school, it was in the City Hall building. Max Friedman conducted everything. He was a great guy. I can remember that we would walk home on pretty days ,and then we had formal Sunday dinners. Afterwards, the men would come in to play pinochle and poker.  We had the Woolberts that lived right down the street from us on Second Street.

My Uncle Leon built the home that the Presley’s lived in on School Street. and the one they lived in until they moved to Cleveland.

I was probably in the sixth or seventh grade when I took art lessons from Mrs. Long. Ann Lawyer was one of my good friends. She was from Dublin. She came to school in Clarksdale. and I used to go to Dublin on the weekends to visit. We rode horseback. and they had a plantation. Her grandparents lived there. and they were big plantation owners. So did the Hayes own a big plantation. Gayle Shelton was a good friend of mine in school.

I was a close friend of Jessie Kline, because we lived next door to each other, and she lived and ate practically every meal at our house. In fact … [we] did everything together. Jessie was spoiled. I guess we all were. They didn’t want Marion tagging along; so I would set up tantrums because I wanted to go with them. [Mother] would have to intercede and try to get things right, so that everyone would be happy. I’m sure she found it most difficult.[214]

Pauline said,

Polly and Reva [Kline]were at least five years older than Jessie and I. We used to visit Marion Raymond Solomon in Helena. Helena folks were very close knit, and they didn’t want to be associated with people from Coahoma County. I have known Marion and David Solomon all my life. They went to dances in Helena, and they came to dances over here, as well as Memphis. The Junior Congregations invited us to Helena, and they came over here to dinner/dances. …. The Klines invited David Raymond and Dave Salomon for dinner, and I was also there. We sat next to each other, and were very friendly. I don’t remember whether David Raymond was rich or not, but he had never been at a table like the one he saw one evening. He knocked over a glass of water. I kind of made him feel better. You see, I had grown up over there next door, and I felt very much at home. Afterwards, Dave Solomon thanked me for speaking up for David Raymond.[215]

FRIEDMAN

(1868, 1880, 1890 1900, 1910, 1930)

ROSE

A newspaper article in the Carnegie Public Library Albums says, “Mrs. Max Friedman, a member of the Carnegie Public Library, helps to launch plans for building expansion.”[216]

HIRSBERG

(1890 1900, 1910, 1930)

BERNARD

Selma James said, “ One of the Hirsberg boys, who settled in Friars Point, went to Ole Miss when I did. It was Bernard.… He didn't have anything to do with anybody. Corinne likes him, I think. But he didn't have anything to do with me.”[217]

KAPLAN

(1910, 1930)

ROBERT & SADIE

Julian Bloom, Robert & Sadie's son-in-law said,

Sadie met Robert in Alligator after he was already there a long time. Then, they got married in 1928. That's when she started her life in Alligator. He had already built her a house there when they got married. She was from Chicago, Illinois.… Then they were like everybody else. They had a store. They were struggling. They stayed in the store, and they were busy. They never even mixed much with the Clarksdale people, because they didn't have time.[218]

Sadie Kaplan said she went to the Planters Balls. She mentioned going to parties in the plantation homes while she was down there. During the week, she participated in her life in Alligator. Back in those days, the planters and Alligator was a community with millionaires. Sadie said she and Bob were accepted. They were integrated into that society. She didn't need Clarksdale for a social life. She moved here instead of taking Joanne back and forth to school, and she participated some that way before. She came up here every Sunday to participate. Bob was the mayor of Alligator for years and years and years. A mayor in those days had a job just like a maintenance man.[219]

Bloom said, “If something happened to the water pump, they called him [the mayor] in the middle of the night.[220]

KERSTINE

(1868, 1880, 1890 1900, 1910, 1930)

MOLLY

Selma said:

I don’t know about how long it was that Mrs. Pearl came to see Mama. She would just come to visit her. She was a wife of the man owned who owned the local newspaper, Daily Register. Yea, Guy Clark was married to her. They were still very friendly. She said that when she met him on the street. He said Pearl, you sure look good to me. They were very friendly after they were divorced. She had been a Littlejohn before that. [221]

No, not an Upjohn, but something like that.  She had two boys by him--Arthur and Charles Littlejohn (not Upjohn). In the picture of  Isidor Kerstine's high school graduation, Charles Littlejohn is one of the five students.

KOOYMAN

(1930)

SIMON

Within in two years after his arrival [in Clarksdale], Kooyman joined forces with Wamsley and George Mackie on Mississippi College to organize the first State Band Contest . . . in which bands from Greenville, Woodville and Clarksdale dissipated eight Mississippi College in Clinton. (Clarksdale Press Register, 8/16/1951, column, page)

. . . “Small in stature and quick in movements and speech, (Mrs. Kooyman) and Bebe a twelve year old Pekingese, take long brisk walks over the city daily.  Before traffic increase so heavily Mrs. Kooyman on accompanied by Bebe in her wire basket was a familiar sight as they bicycled over town -- an exercise she enjoyed since early childhood in Holland.”

The newspaper article reports,

The Kooyman home located at the corner of Cuyahoga and Spruce was the scene of many gatherings at which music was the principle diversion. Most Clarksdalians of that time revered the remarkable couple and were well pleased that the Kooymans and “travelled three fourths around the world to make this city their home.”

Kooyman was renowned in his own time for the tongue-lashings directed at his students and for his propensity to throw well-aimed batons at offending bandsmen. He also was regarded, however, as a musician and teacher of consummate skill. [222]

NACHMAN

(1880, 1890 1900, 1910, 1930)

AL

Bernard Hirsberg said,

Al was a very public spirited person. His business was lending money, his money or his sister’s money.… That’s the way he lived other than during the time that he was connected with the city. I do not know if he came to Clarksdale before or after he met Max Kaufman. Al Nachman was not a permanent resident. He would spend part of the time here and a part of the time in New Jersey where his sister Hannah Frank lived.[223]

Irwin Kaufman said his father and Nachman served in the Spanish American War in the same division.[224]

WIENER

(1900, 1910, 1930)

DAVE

Dave said,

My mother died in 1928. I would have been.... I was twelve. I lived with my grandfather for a time in Memphis. My baby sister, when my mother died … was one year of age. Her name was Shirley Dell. The family was broken up, and I went to live with my grandfather.

[I] wanted to be Bar Mitzvah at Baron Hirsch I didn't go to Sunday School during this period. My grandfather taught me. You didn't learn anything you just memorized a prayer … you got up on the bema … you said your prayers, and that was it. I think you got a fountain pen or something.

We played in the band, I played a clarinet and I played football. I didn't get to play in the band much if the game was going on. Anyway, other times, the school band, we would have a concert. I was about ten, twelve, something like that when I started.[225]

1929

Things began to go down and down.  The banks started closing in 1929, not 1933.  The latter was when the rest of the banks were closed.[226]

Hebrew Watchman, the Memphis Jewish newspaper issued articles about Clarksdale social events,

June 6th :1) “Dance at the Elk’s Club?

The Jewish young men of this city are planning a dance to be given at the Elk’s Club on June sixth.  This affair will be an outstanding social event.  Many of the college set will be home and many from towns all over the Delta and other points are planning on coming so follow the crowd and come to Clarksdale for this gala affair.

2) “Benefit Sponsored by Aid Society—”

The spacious home of Mrs. Jake Fink on West Second Street was the scene of a lovely social function on Tuesday afternoon when she was hostess to a benefit bride party under the auspices of the Jewish Ladies Aid Society for the New Beth Israel Synagogue.  Many tables of players were formed composed of the ladies of the city and several nearby towns as well as the girls of the younger set.  The afternoon was a most enjoyable as well as profitable one.  Tempting refreshments were served at the close of the card games.

3) “Mother’s Day at Religious School—”

Mother’s Day was fittingly observed on Sunday morning when Mothers, Fathers, relatives and friends gathered to enjoy the beautifully arranged program of the Beth Israel Religious School.  Every number on the program was enjoyed and Mr. Max Friedman, the Superintendent, and his staff of teachers are to be congratulated.

4) “Mrs. Baskind Entertains with Bridge Party—”

The attractive home of Mrs. Julius Baskind on Catalpa St. was the scene of a beautifully planned bridge party last Wednesday afternoon when she was hostess to the LaTovah Club.  Roses and spring flowers were effectively used. Each table held an individual bud vase with a Dorothy Perkins Rose. Delicious fudge was served during the afternoon and at the close of the bridge games a delicious ice and salad course was served. High score went to Mrs. Joe Weiss and low score to Mrs. Simon Lurie who also won consolation. J Mrs. Max Friedman was the guest of the club for the afternoon and Mrs. Louis Binder a recent bride was a new member.

5) “Business Meeting for La Tovah Club”

Mrs. Mike Binder was the hostess to the La LaTovah Club Wednesday afternoon for a business meeting in her attractive home on Cuyahoga St. After the business session a tempting ice course was served.

6) Among those who attended the dance in Ruleville last Wednesday night were Miss Polly Kline and Messrs. Mike May and Julius Binder.

7) Mrs. Hyman Kantor has returned from Atlanta were she spent the Passover holidays with her folks.

8) Ed Price of St. Louis was a business visitor Monday.

9) Miss Lillian Sack was hostess to the Hi-Steppers, a social club in her home on Elm Street Saturday afternoon.

10) Max Friedman of this city and A. L. Block of Jonestown returned Wednesday from the B’nai B’rith convention in Mobile.

11) Misses Flora Okun and Lenabel May accompanied by Mr. and Mrs. L. Okun motored to Friar Point Friday evening and were guests of Mr. and Mrs. J. Hirshberg.

12) Mrs. A. Salomon and daughters Sally and Louise and Mrs. Ruby Goodman of Jonestown attended a musical at the High School Auditorium during the week.

12) Sally Woolf of Shelby was in Clarksdale Thursday.

13) Mrs. A. Alperin of Rich visited in Memphis during the week.

14) Misses Reva Smith and Betty Fink of Tunica were Sunday visitors in Clarksdale.

15) Mr. and Mrs. Dave Bernstein had as their guest on Sunday Mrs. Joe Kantor of Greenwood.

16) Sidney May attended a party for the Senior Class at Moon Lake Saturday afternoon. 

17) Miss Gertrude Friedman spent Sunday in Marks with her parents. 

18) Mr. and Mrs. H. Adelson of Merigold were in Clarksdale Sunday.

19) Miss Alice Goodman of Rosedale was the guest of Mrs. Jake Fink this week.

20) Miss Ray Binder motored to Moon Lake Saturday afternoon for the senior party at the Elks Club House.

21) Sam Dinner of Decatur was a recent business visitor in Clarksdale.

22) Abe May spent Sunday in Jonestown with his uncle and aunt, Mr. and Mrs. S. H. Friedman.[227]

Sept 18:

1) Mrs. Henry Lapides and children, of Isola, Miss., and Mrs. Herman Rosenberg, of Silver City Miss., passed through Clarksdale Sunday en route to St. Louis, where they will participate in the wedding of their brother Herman Israel to Miss Jerry Spigelglass, which will take place on Sunday, September. 22.

2) Miss Esta Bernstein is visiting relatives in Memphis.

3) Mr. and Mrs. Herman Damsker spent Sunday in Memphis.

4) Mr. and Mrs. Jake Friedman, of Marks, Miss., were the guests of relatives in Clarksdale, Sunday.

5) Mrs. J. B. Iskiwitz, of Memphis, is the guest of Mrs. Sol Segal.

6) Mrs. Louis Damsker and Mrs. Harry Cohen entertained on Tuesday afternoon with a benefit bridge party in the home of Mrs. Damsker on Oakhurst Avenue.

7) Misses Celia and Sadie Kaufman, Memphis, spent the past week-end as the guests of Mr. and Mrs. Sam Schwartz.

8) Mrs. Jake Fink and daughters, Pauline and Marion spent Tuesday in Merigold.

9) Mr. and Mrs. A. L. Frank, of Paducah, Kentucky, spent Sunday in Clarksdale with their son and daughter, Mr. and Mrs. Louis Binder.

10) Sidney May will leave this week for Washington University, in St. Louis, where he will study law. He will be joined in Memphis by Benedict Himmelstein, of Moorhead and several Memphians, who are also attending Washington University.

11) Joe Levingston of Drew, MS was a visitor in the city during the week.

12) Master Sam Schwartz, Jr. has returned home after having spent three weeks in Memphis with his grandparents.

13) Miss Rudy Goodman of Jonestown, who has returned from Chicago has announced the re-opening o her Dancing studio on September 23rd at the American Legion Hut.

14) Miss Lilly Rosenblum of Long Beach, California is visiting in Clarksdale as the guest of relatives.

15) Misses Polly and Reva Kline accompanied by Norman Engelberg motored to Drew and Ruleville Wednesday.[228]

October 29: PANIC due to Stock Market Crash in New York. The state ginned 1,750,000 bales. In that year, Mississippi ranked second among principal production sates in point of yield of lint cotton per acre. A photographic aerial survey is made of the entire county--the only one of its kind in the United States.[229] 

December: Showed Harry D. Kantor's dry goods store at 252 Sunflower heavily damaged fire, with an $8,200 loss.[230]

December: Portion of a letter a woman living in houseboat on Mississippi River:wrote.

Some time in December, 1929, Mr. Fitzgerald's ferry boat named the Nancy F caught fire while in the middle of the river. My husband got in our boat and went down to pick up some people out of the water and out of a life boat. All of the people were saved and not any drowned.[231]

SCHOOL The Central Heating Plant at the school was completed.[232] 

CONGREGATION B’NAI ISRAEL

Temple on Catalpa Street erected. Harry Baker, President.[233] Jake Fink, M Kaufman, Louis Goldstein were the Building Committee.[234] (Opening Ceremony Program). Harry Baker was president right before the dedication.[235]

Jake was responsible for the temple being built. It brought all those religious people from that little school. He got them to come into the temple. Max Weiss, ho was mentioned in the anniversary issue came down from Memphis often; he was a salesman. He had a lot to do with the Temple too.[236]

Pauline Fink Adelson said that she had one chandelier, which had cut crystal prisms, was ordered but not used when the Temple was built. It survived the fire but needed cleaning.

Dave Abrams was first elected as Vice President of the Congregation Beth Israel. He was promoted from this office to the Presidency at the following election. At some time he also held the office of Treasurer.[237]

The Clarksdale Press Register newspaper article said,

The present synagogue at 401 Catalpa was dedicated in 1929 by Rabbi Abram Brill of Shreveport and Rabbi S.A. Rabinowitz of Greenville. Greetings were brought by Mayor L. A. Ross and the Hon. J. H. Johnson for the civic bodies.[238]

Jews professing one of the three have all belonged to Beth Israel, and an attempt was always made to accommodate all of them … these activities were all moved to that building. By 1952, Reform, Conservation and orthodox services were all being conducted there. The Reformers gradually moved up to the main sanctuary and were granted part of that service time. As younger people moved up to high office, Reform became dominant, an organ was installed, the Union prayer Book (mostly in English) was adopted, and the congregation joined the Reform national body, the Union of American Hebrew Congregations.[239]

BAKER

(1880, 1890 1900, 1910, 1930)

HARRIET

Harriet was born during this year.

I remember when the new Bridge was there. You had to go down. They made parks on each side of the river. They had steps you went down. The bridge walked across, and they you went back up. The Fourth Street Bridge was opened for traffic. Later on, they built another bridge on Oakhurst. But when they took off that old wooden bridge they built the one that is there now. They had an old wooden bridge at Second Street.[240] 

CALIFF

(1910, 1930)

LEON

Leon continued with his family history,

I have earlier memories of my mother’s garden in the back yard. I maybe was three years old, and I remember playing on my tricycle in the back yard. She and my father loved corn. They used to grow lots of corn. I was riding my tricycle and looking at her there at the corn, and I made a circle. When I came around she was gone. I thought.… I started crying.… I thought my mother was gone … what happened? Actually, she went into the corn to harvest it. That just sticks in my mind because it scared me so much.

I remember my father bought me an Indian outfit. You know, just like they would show in the movies how the Indians would dress up. I had an Indian outfit, and I had an arrow. I put it in my mouth. I ran, and I fell down. They thought the arrow had gone all the way through, but it luckily had just sort of got caught on a tooth. I don’t remember all the varied details of it, but I remember how scared they were. I was, too, and how relieved we were that it had.[241]

DINNER/DEINER

(1930)

BLANCHE

Blanche described the history of her parents and the Bolshevik Revolution, My parent's names were Ester Busel and Reuben. When he came to Galveston, they asked him what was his name? I guess they had interpreters. He couldn't understand if they asked him in English.… But they had an interpreter, and they asked him what was his name, and he said Dinner, just like but it's spelled different than they spelled it. They spelled it D-I-N-N-E-R like a regular dinner.  But in Russia it's spelled in Russian letters D-E-I-N-E-R. His birthday is July 15th the year was approximately 1889. We never talked about it. We were so young. We loved my mama. We didn't care how old she was or when she was born. You never saw her without her white apron. She was always in the kitchen. It was stark. She wore the most expensive shoes to cook in the kitchen. She wore it for dress but where did she go?

I was born in Mariupob, Russia, in 1913. I was three months old. He left in 1914. I was born in December-Hanukkah. Mama named me. She doesn’t remember the date. She said, on the third day of Hanukah, I named you--about a week later or ten days later. So I called up Rabbi Scott. You know, Henry Scott? And I asked him: “What date did it come as in 1913--Hanukkah?’ He said the 19th. But she named me a week or ten days before so I must have been born a week before, ten days before. He said, forget it, just keep the 19th. It stayed that way. Yea, the third day of Hanukah every year comes on a different date. Of course, the children didn't know what day to remember, whether it was nineteenth or, sometimes lower, sometimes higher date, so he said just stick with nineteenth. I was probably born at home. In Russia, who goes to hospital? I don't think anybody went to the hospital to have children like here. My mother never talked about my birth. But they always go by holidays and see if you know... but my birth record was burned during the Pogroms--wherever they hid the records. So that's why she couldn't remember. I tell you, we had so much hardship who could remember?

See, I had a brother before me. He was so handsome that every time mama would take him any where, up town, a walk on the street, people would stop her and stare at him. He was so beautiful. Mama thought they gave him kind of hurry - - I’m a hurry - - That means evil eye or something. She believed in it. And while she was nice to him she was taking all kinds of poison to get rid of me because she got pregnant with me. They all say that if you nurse a baby you don't get pregnant, but evidently she did. So she took everything that people told her will make her lose. Nothing happened. And so the doctor say, Mrs. Dinner, stop trying to lose your baby. You will kill you and the baby. So, you might as well stop because you are not going to lose it. So when I was born, mama said, I was black and I was so little, like a little black cat. And my mama's parents begged God, prayed to God to do the biggest favor for Esther and take her baby away. She lost him. Then another reason, they all prayed to God to take me. and when I was born, I was little bitsy thing. I doubt if I weighed two pounds. I was just like a little cat, I was ugly. Even my mother’s parents prayed for God to take me away. That doctor the best looking one the ugly one. As I was getting older I was getting cuter and cuter, I had beautiful brown hair, wavy.

I didn’t come to the United States until I was eleven; that was 1923.[242] He is three years younger than my mother who came here when she was thirty-eight, so he was about 25 years old.

I lived through the Bolshevik Revolution as a child. Bolsheviks, Communists. You name it. I was there. I remember everything. They had Communists when I was there, and they had Bolsheviks, too. I don’t know the difference. Lenin and Trotsky, they were there--The President—No, I never saw him.

I remember the shooting, I remember that much. I remember hiding in the cellar, people getting killed. And I remember seeing so many people got killed; they laid them on the sidewalk. I was about five years old. Oh, we used to hide in our landlady's cellar. They killed so many, it was pitiful. You could see some without legs. Some they'd stuff them with straw. Terrible. The soldiers have no heart. They were just injured so badly; you couldn't recognize them. But we had siren, and every time they knew they were going to start shooting, and boy, just like you see in the movies, shooting, I remember it, I will never forget. The soldiers came. Yea, the Bolshevik/communists whatever you want to call it. It wasn't good  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.

I remember hiding under the bed when the soldiers... See our windows had shutters. And they were closed tight so no light would show. And when the soldiers would knock on the door, and the shutters were closed they couldn't see, and they would say, "Open the door, you damned Jews. We know you're inside probably hiding. My mama would say … don't make a sound, children don't talk, don't move and don't make a sound. Those soldiers are going to kill every one of us.

They came in one day. It was in the morning--and my uncle, we lived together with my uncle, and he had children, too. So, the soldiers came in, and they told my uncle, my mother, my aunt, everybody to stand against the wall. They didn't see me, I was little bitsy thing. I bet I was about five years old or four years old. Our landlady was Catholic, and she liked us. So I ran. They didn't see me getting out of the door, and I ran to the landlady's house. It was about [second] or third house, and I begged her to please come save my family. The soldiers are there, they want to shoot everyone. She ran, and she got in the house. She raised her arms and yelled 'Stop' just as they were pulling the trigger to kill them all. She says, 'Stop, you're going to kill the wrong people. They're not Jews.'

'How you know?'

She says, 'I'm their landlady.'

So they said, 'What religion are you?'

And she said, 'Catholic.'

“Well, Catholics don't lie. You have to swear.'

She swore to save all of us. She had a basement. Whenever they had those pogroms, they were throwing, shooting bullets, all kinds of stuff to kill people. So we used to hide in those barrels. She was so good, a kind lady. So that's how I saved my family. Because I was little nobody could see me. I was little even when I came to America.

My mother’s parents had a bakery. My uncle and my mother were all of us from the other children. I don’t even remember how mother - - -I was so little.  They must have died young. We had pictures of my grandmother she was seventy five (75 )years old, and I’m a little bit of thing with my grandmother my Daddy’s grandmother. The only one I remember.

When we came to the United States, my Daddy heard that his mother died, she was fifty (50) years old. Her skin was real young.

Yes, I was seven years old when we move from Mariupob to Minsk, because that was a big city. Mariupob was a small town and we lived in a house. My mother’s parents had a bakery, and she helped in the bakery. She worked with her brother. He had a bakery. So he baked bread and did salad to go to market. After her parents died, she tried-I can't remember what she did. My aunt, who lived with her was a seamstress; so, she sewed for different people. She helped us, and, she was the best seamstress. She made all of our clothes. I can't remember what Mama did; I remember she was sick. I know, one time, she almost died.

I didn’t get to school often. Every time, the school season, I would start in school maybe one week then they closed up again. I didn't have any Russian schooling at all. I didn’t get to Hebrew school either.  Who went to Hebrew? They don't let you go to any school. So, I couldn't even write or read because I didn't go to school. But I could speak Russian with all the language. Every time they let you start school, when the school opened up. Every time I go up there, it was no time when they closed up again. So, I never really had an education. No, I wasn't educated there. I was educated in the United States.

My brother, Samuel, was fourteen years old. He graduated believe it or not at fourteen. He was brilliant. He was called, and when they found out he was Jewish, they wanted to kill him. He met the newsman friend, and he was crazy about my brother. My brother told the officers that he wasn’t Jewish.

They’d say, 'Are you sure?'

He would say 'Yes, I’m his best friend, he’s not Jewish.' And of course, he didn’t look Jewish. He had golden blonde hair, he didn’t have a big nose like most Jews. He didn’t look Jewish at all. So they let him alone. Otherwise, they would have killed him. That friend saved his life. Yea, they were killing Jews everywhere, just like Germans. We were so worried about him when he was gone, you know.

After we finally moved to Minsk, my brother got a job with some office. He was a messenger boy. It was in a two-story building. He was fourteen at that time. In order to get a free place to live they gave us a kitchen. Five people were living in that one 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. I remember we slept on top of the oven. It was warm on top so three or four of us could sleep on top.

Because we got 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 coal, 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 till 6 in the evening-froze to death. I tried to sell the charcoal. Nobody wanted to buy it. But, you know, you smell all the good food they cooked. It made me almost faint. I didn't have 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 that 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 wouldn't give 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 would they 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 went in 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.

Yea, on the way to the office, where 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: 'Oh 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 and 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 couldn’t hardly move. So, I took it easy. On the second floor we lived so I had to walk a lot of steps. Well, I got to our kitchen and couldn't knock on the door for Mama to open the door because my hands were stiff. 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.

Yes, I will never forget it. The next day, I broke out with sores--maybe they were chicken pox--who knows. It was big sores all over my body-my head-everything. My poor mother - - No, I don't know what it was. But, I have something to remember.--those are from those sores. Look at them. I can be brown from the sun. 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. Oh, she was an angel. She felt so bad. And, finally she washed my hair with kerosene or something. I don't know what it was. She didn't want any of the kids to have lice that [was] going around. I never had it because Mama always kept us clean, you know. I never had but one little dress, we washed it clean every day.

My sister and I had to clean twenty four rooms on that floor. Office rooms, you know. When they left, when the office was closed, one day she would dust the desks, and I would sweep. Another time, I would dust, and she would sweep. She was thirteen, and I was ten years old, no, I was seven years old in Minsk, and she was ten. When I was sweeping, I found a dollar on the floor, I guess Russian it would be a ruble I don’t know how they count. I said, 'Mary, shall we keep it?'

'We’d better not. Those men may have put it purposely on the floor to see if we were honest.'

So, I said, 'we’d better give it back.' And the guy who was in the office was two blocks away. So I ran for two blocks, and asked him if he’d lost a dollar. He took it. It wasn’t even his. I could have used it much more. He took it. I went back, I don’t care. We had a clear conscience.

I swelled up from hunger. Would you believe it? I was seven years old--Starving to death. While my father was over in this country at the time, making all kinds of money. He used to gamble every night. He was despondent. He wanted to forget. He said to my mother three times, 'come to the United States.' Each time something happened. Either her mother was sick or sister or something, and she felt like once she comes to American she will never be able to go back. She’ll never see them again. Put off each year... She wasn’t denied coming, she just decided not to come. Yea, when she was ready to come, we couldn’t come. They wouldn’t let us out of Russia. The Communists, the Bolsheviks, they’re nothing but crooks. It’s all the same I was too little to remember the President.

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 ten cents for a whole day, and I got ten cents. A whole day, I want you to know, for ten cents. We were lucky to make ten cents. Plus, they didn't pay my brother nothing because they gave us free living quarters.

When he was fourteen, my brother, bless his soul, he was like my daddy. He was so sweet. And my aunt was with us wherever we went. So she made him a coat. I forgot what kind of coat either from a potato sack or something. She made him a beautiful coat. When he went outside, you know he delivered messages wherever they'd send him, he saw a poor man sitting on the corner, he was freezing, he didn't have a coat, and I think he had amputated leg and selling pencils. He felt so sorry for him he took off his coat and covered him up. He wouldn't even take a pencil.

When he came home, Mama said, 'Mein Kampf, where is your coat?'

He said, 'Mama, please don't be mad. I saw a real poor man selling pencils. He wrapped his feet with papers.  He didn't have no coat, nothing. So I took it off and gave it to him.'

She said, "That's OK, Mein Kampf, God will help you." You understand that? God will help .you! He did a good deed. And honestly he was that way until he died.

I played with a very rich little girl just across the street from the office where we lived in Minsk. Her daddy was Mafia, and he was in jail. But they had a white maid ,and the table was from one end to the other, and they had a silver samovar. She came before the little girl had breakfast, and so the maid asked me if wanted to have breakfast with my friend and I told her . That I already had breakfast, and I didn't have one bite in my mouth, and she fixed her French toast. I thought I would die. Because I had too much pride, and I didn't want her to know that I was hungry. I really was. But that's wrong. I know when my kids were little, I used to invite their friends to eat with them. I used to invite their friends to eat with them. I figured if their friends eat my kids will eat, too. The friends weren't ashamed to ask for second helpings, my kids didn't even finish the first, Freddie, David. I thought it was a charity.

In Russia, I had one little dress, it was flannel. One dress my Mama washed and ironed every day.  It was very plain with buttons up the front, long-sleeved, flannel, and it had little flowers in it--printed. It was more gray, pink or something like that. So, the maid said, 'she couldn't stand it. Cause every time I came there I wore the same dress. So she said, How many dresses you have made the same way? You always look so clean and so you never mess it up

And so I said, 'Oh, my aunt is a seamstress, and she made me seven because I liked one each day. Can you imagine? I was seven years old. I had to lie about it because I was so proud. My mama used to wash and iron every day. She was so clean. Honestly and we were always spotless--no matter how poor we were.

I learned my pride from my parents or did you just have it inside because my parents were like that. My mother didn't want to expose their poverty. Nobody knew. Because we always had enough pride that we want everybody to know that we weren't poor was lots of people like my parents. Yea, they had people standing in line to get little food. I was seven years old, but I remember standing in line, they were serving hot chocolate. It was a long line. And it wasn't made with milk, it was with water. Listen, I was tickled to death to get with water, too. I stood in line for it--A long time but I don't know how many hours. It was such a long line. But when my time came, they were out of it! They were out of it. So, I said Oh, my God. I always had tears in my eyes. I was so hurt, you know. Here I couldn't sell the charcoal, froze to death, then I got sick after that, here I'm standing in line for hot chocolate, and didn't even get it. I didn't know anybody.

I just had one girlfriend. I played with neighbor kids. And you know that we never walked barefooted outside, never. I always had shoes whether they were new or old. Mama bought me a pair of shoes. They lasted me forever because I was easy on shoes. But up to this day I don't walk barefooted. No. I didn't like … you don't know what you catch. Diseases and … I don't want to catch no disease on my feet.

When my daddy arrived in United States without his family in February 1914, he was sent to Greenville and lived there about ten years. He ran away from Russia-Mariupob on the Yukon. When he came to Greenville, naturally he didn’t know a word of English so he got a job. [He] never was a shoemaker in his life, so he got a job with a man that shoe repairs, and while he was fixing the shoes some kind of hot oil got in his eye and it blinded him. So he gave it up. He gave it up, that’s not for him, shoemaking. He was quick, high tempered. So he was in Russia, he owned a grocery store, that’s more like a delicatessen. Daddy, he had a grocery store. So he decided he’d open up a deli store and a little restaurant. Those Russians are smart. He worked for shoe repair shop, he saved up a little money. He had the eye but he couldn’t see-- one eye was blind.

You know a Gentile man came to Daddy’s restaurant, and he called him a damned Jew. So, you know what, he was real strong, my Daddy. The man was bigger than my Daddy. He picked him up and threw him right through that glass window. Well, they have to call - - -Threw the man that called him a damned Jew, he said, "nobody’s going to call me a damned Jew.” He didn’t kill him. He was wise to help pay for the man’s injuries. Knock the hell out of him and then pay for them. He was sharp, and he was very strong. He had a fight with some guy in Russia. I noticed he had a little cut in his ear. Kinda like that... I said, "What’s that?" And he said he had a fight, and he bit part of his ear off.

COMING TO AMERICAN FOR THE REST OF THE FAMILY

Daddy sent papers for my mother to come too. He sent out one paper - - two; he sent three times. Ever 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. We didn’t get here until 1923.

When we finally were able to come to America, my daddy sent us clothes, shoes. I remember my daddy sent each child, six pairs of shoes. He didn't know what sizes even, six or eight. He had me two years older even on the citizen papers. But I wasn't that old. I would have been, instead of eighty two, I'd be eighty four, according to the papers. Anyway, maybe I have to be older to bring me over, and he raised the age. Because my brother was sixteen and my sister was thirteen.

My daddy sent some more papers When they finally let the Jews or anybody move and go and leave the country That's when we got the third papers.… citizen papers, and they let us out.

We got ready to come to America we stopped in Moscow. From Moscow we went to Rigel, Latvia, then Berlin, Germany, Paris. We were in Switzerland. We were in all those...We made more like a resort or vacation. He’d keep telling us we should stay at least one or two weeks in each place. So we were supposed to be first class because he paid for that. The name of the ship was. S.S. Missouri. We got on the ship in France. We went through a whole month it took us to get to United States.

In Paris because we would never be able to go back—so, we kept shopping when we were in Paris and Berlin, Germany. We kept buying and buying clothes and watches and everything. And then we’d say, 'How much more can we buy?'

And they’d say, 'Oh, you’ve got plenty more, go ahead, shop some more.' And we shopped some more, But my Daddy, he sent so much money, they kept the rest of it, probably, because we got tired of shopping. So, when we came to Greenville, Mississippi, all the society ladies, they came to the house to look at our dresses, and they wanted to make the same style, because they came from Paris. That was something.

To get to La Havre, France to catch the boat-first--we had the papers, you know. So, we could walk out. No. They didn't tell us how much money. From Minsk we went to Riga, Latvia, from there we went to Berlin, Germany. And we were supposed to go by train. We came through New Orleans.

No, my daddy had all that arranged so it wasn’t hard going through customs. My daddy at certain times, he was running late. He met us about a half an hour later. But he had a very good friend there in New Orleans. So he called him up, and he asked him to please meet us. He couldn't tell us from Adam, but he could tell when we got off the ship that must have been Mr. Dinner's family - - it was three children and my mother and I. My dad got to New Orleans by train.

Yes. He was living in Greenville.  He had small restaurant and delicatessen--Kosher. He made a good living, he had lots of money and he rented a nice home for us, it was furnished, everything was nice. He even had a maid for me, to bathe me. And I never seen no 'schwartze' (this is a Yiddish word for black person). And I was afraid that her black would get on me. She would try to catch me. She would run all over the house to put me in the tub, and I wouldn't let her bathe me.

So she complained to my daddy. He'd say 'How come you won't let Mattie bathe you?'

And I'd say, 'Because I don't want her black on me.' So he said, 'It won't come off.' She was fat. She was real sweet.

When we came there, Daddy was still in that old restaurant. Then later on he moved right on the corner, had a real wide window in the front of the restaurant.

I liked Greenville very much. The people were nice. We had a lot of friends. I didn’t have a lot of trouble going from poverty to being very wealthy in a small town—I enjoyed it. My daddy had plenty food there, and we had clothes. He had a friend of his, beautiful lady, to take mama to shop. She took us to a lovely [store]. Her name was Sara Toffee. She was so beautiful. And she was much younger than my mother, you know. She took us to a store up there named Levy's. She was buying a hat and mama was buying a hat, too. So, they showed them. Those years seventy five dollars for a hat was a lot of money. So she bought, I think maybe one or two hats. Papa told her, buy anything you want, he didn't care how much it was. Before we came, he made a lot of money. He was lonesome. So, he used to play poker with people. He'd tell us he would lose maybe five thousand a night. He would drink. My daddy liked 'schnapps' [American Yiddish for liquor] too. So, he used to lose a lot of money. But he still had plenty. And we lived in a three bedroom home on Shelby Street .He bought nice furniture. We were just about one or two blocks from the levee. We used to walk up to the levee in the woods.

Sadie Stein was my friend. I remember Ester Schwartz from Clarksdale. I think her maiden name was Bernstein. She married Mrs. Schwartz's son. He was a dentist. I don't know his name, I forgot. She lived also in Greenville. She won as Miss Clarksdale. Esther had a beautiful voice at one time. But I forgot what year, but anyway, she was chosen Miss Clarksdale.

We came in August, see, in September I started school. I was a few months before ten years old. And when school started I was in the first grade because I was so tiny. I didn't know one word of English and I hadn't been educated--Even in Russian. I was promoted every three months. The teacher was so surprised that I caught on so fast. Because I didn't have any other learning except English, see, and I could write real good. I didn't have to have private lessons or anything; I learned in school. That’s why they kept putting me up from the first grade to the second grade and then at the end of the second grade.I went to Greenville school through fifth grade. Then we moved.

My sister had more education. I think they started her in the fifth grade.

My brother was so smart. They put him in the twelfth grade. The professor came to my daddy's store, he said, "Mr. Dinner, Sam don't have to go to school. He's can teach those twelve year old kids. He's too smart. All he needs to do is go to night school to learn how to read and write.

When Sam learned how to read and write and speak, he got a job in Clarksdale because he didn't like my daddy. He chose Clarksdale as it really wasn't the nearest small town like Ruleville and Cleveland and Greenwood, Mississippi. He worked for no, not for their parents, he worked for Levines, they had a dry goods store.

When we lived in Greenville we’d come to see my brother. It was gravel road, horrible as there was no train across there to Greenville. You had to go by car. We drove it. My Daddy’s Ford, it was new. But then he had to fix it after the accident. We met Pasha [Bessie] Okun first, before we met the Isaacsons. Mrs. Okun was really nice. We used to eat over at her house.

When my brother was in Clarksdale, we still lived in Greenville. He bought a little Ford, brand new Ford. He knew how to drive. I don't know how he learned everything. So, he read, he wrote, he could spell, I don't know how he did it.

Sam took correspondence courses from LaSalle University from Chicago. All his papers came back hundreds. He wanted like CPA, bookkeeping, he was real smart. He never got the CPA. I don't know what happened. He got married to Belle Rosenbloom from Memphis. But anyway, maybe he got in accounting, that's what he got because he made all hundreds. He was good.

For several more years, my daddy had a little restaurant and delicatessen, and there was Paramount Picture Show right on the corner, and right on the corner across was my Daddy’s place. My sister and I wanted to go to this picture show, He'd say, 'Here, you and Mary go to the show. Go see a show.'

'What's a nickel?' A nickel for her and a nickel for me—so, we'd go up to the show. We saw the whole show. We'd come back. We didn't know we could see it again as long as you're in there. So, every time it was over we'd get more nickels. We didn't know-- we could sit there and see it three times if we wanted to. But each time we went back and paid more. You know, we were greenhorns.

I know one time, Daddy tried to get n the good side with me. So he took me shopping in a dime store. He says, 'Come on I'll buy you a doll.'

So I happened to see my teacher from the first grade. I said, "Papa, there's my teacher."

'Well, say hello to her. 'I wouldn't say hello because I was so ashamed and I was shy. So he said, 'I'm not going to buy you nothing.'

So I say, 'OK with me!' I had my way anyway. But, he always gave me anything I wanted. So he brings me a little tricycle. It was too small for a two year old child. Because I was small, you know--a triscooter you push with your feet.  I couldn't ride anyway.

We had it. He and I didn't get along at all. I wouldn't go near him. I couldn't get used for him to be my daddy. I depended on my brother. My brother was like a father to me. And he idolized me. And if my daddy touched me and hurt me [Sam] told him, 'Don't you dare put your hand on her. I'm gonna call the police and arrest you.' Yea, he couldn't get along with my daddy and I couldn't either. Mary got along with him. She was born on his birthday, too, they both had the same month, same day--July 5th. But I never could because I didn't know what Papa was.

THE 1927 MISSISSIPPI FLOOD

We lived in Greenville from 1923 until 1927. We had a big flood. Our furniture was swimming inside the house. And there was a real good friend, he had a jewelry store and he had an attic in his house. We didn’t have, and we all went to his attic.

Anyway, so we're all hiding in the attic. Of course we couldn't come down because the downstairs was full of water. And so we prepared food - everybody had plenty of food in the attic. We weren't just out there and the other neighbors, too. So, we had enough food. Just before we ran out of food somebody found out there were people living in the attic, and they [came] to save us. So they came with a boat inside the house, and they helped us get out and took us to the levee to put us on a ship. It was going to Vicksburg. We were refugees. So, when the flood happened, when they pulled us out of the attic, we were on the way to Houston. So, we stopped in Vicksburg. The Vicksburg people got us a place to spend the night, you know, all the refugees; and they took care of us. 

My daddy lost everything. He lost the deli and everything as well as the house. Yea, so, he left, whether he sold his deli restaurant, he sold it or he closed up - I know he went to Houston. All the peddlers from Houston used to talk to him. Mr. Dinner, you could make a fortune, do what we do. Item costs a dollar you can charge the Mexicans ten dollars. So he went. He was a month in Houston before we came.  Yea, the peddlers used to come and eat in his restaurant, and my daddy was complaining, you know, that we were in a terrible accident.

A BAD CAR ACCIDENT

The main reason my daddy went to Houston happened after the flood. Before he went to get a job or sell or be a peddler, we took a ride to Clarksdale to see my brother. Well, it was a brand new car. And we took another guy named Glassman, Julius Glassman his name was. He wanted to go to Clarksdale. He had relatives there. So he said, 'OK, we'll take you.' But he worried my daddy. He wanted to drive. My Daddy said, nobody's going to drive this care anywhere.

All the way to Clarksdale Julius drove [my daddy] crazy. H wanted to drive, just for a few minutes. He said, 'no few minutes.' So, on the way back, when we got ready to go, this guy.… and he wanted my daddy to let him drive.

[Daddy] said, 'I guess you'll never stop begging.… I'll let you drive for five minutes, no longer.' Well, he got behind the wheel somewhere but I can’t remember the exact location. It wasn't five minutes when we all turned over.  I know it was on a highway, and it was kind of a hill and the car went rolling. And when it stopped, part of it was on the track even and a train was coming, too. So, people in cars passed by, they saw it was a big accident, so they came to help. And my daddy was so strong. Mama was right between the iron and it was pressing on her chest. Couldn't get her out. She couldn't breathe even. She would die if we didn't get her out. The only way, my daddy took that iron part that was pressing her, and he bent it like this. Can you imagine? God gave him strength he'd have to save us. From then on, he got something out of joint, and he suffered with it the rest of his life, he used to do like this to get it back in place. He was a character, though. And of course...I couldn't breathe.

My poor sister, Mary, had the worst. They took my sister to a clinic. She had sense enough to cover her face with her hands. You know the acid from the battery was pouring on her body. Half of her breast was burned. All down her legs, her knees. They rushed her to the hospital in Greenville. She was a whole month in the hospital before they sent her home. She almost died, though. The doctors didn't believe she would live. That poison was going to her heart already. But they worked on her.

They saved her but a month later, they sent her home … where she had to lay naked and put just buckets and buckets of Vaseline to cover. She was about fourteen or fifteen years old, fifteen the latest, but she was closer to fourteen. So even at home she had to lie under the light, she was baking, the skin would turn black. They'd send a nurse or somebody to check her. They used to pull the dead meat off. They were treating her. They had to put the Vaseline in her burns, and she could stand no cover. [She] had to be without cover, and it was like a tent over her. She had scars. She took the scars to the grave. Mary died from cancer, though. Yea, she had scars but she wouldn't go swimming. You know, she was ashamed of it.

Later, Julius Glassman married Julia Bell Baker.[243]

So my daddy, after the accident, he really lost everything. That hospital cost him a fortune. Kept her a month. So he decided to go to Houston, like what the peddlers told him. So he stayed with a lovely family; their name was Morris. They kept him at their house, and they fed him. So he bought little goods, you know whatever you sell to Mexicans, and when we came to Houston, he took us to this lovely family. They fed us. She raved about us and Daddy. So when we all came, then he rented a little house--a really small house but we had it for ourselves.

LEAVING GREENVILE AND MOVING TO HOUSTON

When Mary got well we went to Houston because Daddy was in Houston. When we came there, we lived in a little bitty house. I remember he went peddling and he came back. He only peddled one week. When he came home, he said 'I’m not going to do this selling.' He said, 'That’s cheating.' He didn’t have the heart to sell even a Mexican something that cost him a dollar, charge him ten dollars. That’s what those Jewish peddlers did. He didn’t have the heart to do it. So he quit that. It hurt him. He felt guilty. He said to hell with the peddling. So, he went and got a job with Wyandotte. He was so ... he had so much experience with Wyandottes in Houston--big concern. A grocery store but they handled everything - - Real big store. They’re famous. So he got a job to sell in life. That was his line. He knew more than the managers did. But my daddy had a temper. Nobody could tell him what to do. So one of the managers, he was a young manager, came to tell him something, I don’t know. They didn’t like that maybe he gave them an ounce over. My daddy couldn’t stand--he gave them exactly a half a pound...maybe it was an ounce over. I don’t know what was the problem, but they complained.

Anyway, he said, 'You don’t like it.' He took his apron off, and he gave it to the manager, and he said, 'Here, you do it.' And he walked out. Nobody could tell him what to do. He didn’t like it anyway, working for somebody else. He’s always made his own living.

LEAVING HOUSTON AND MOVING TO CLARKSDALE

And my sister, as young as she was, she got a job as a sales lady in the department store; I think it was Foley's downtown. Yea, the same company owns Goldsmith's. [Federated Stores]

My mother was just a good housekeeper and the manager. She cooked and everything. It was less than two years that we stayed there. And my daddy said, 'Mama, Let’s go to Clarksdale and be with Sam.' You know, we were such a close family. She missed him. I missed him. We all loved him. Anyway, so we all moved to Clarksdale. And we stayed with the Okuns until we found a house in Clarksdale. We lived next door to the Levines--The Rosenblooms and the Levines.

Bugie Hirshberg was a handsome boy. His brother, Sol, was my brother’s best friend. And Sam was in love with Jenny. Even though she was a couple of years older than my brother. But he didn’t care, he was in love with her., but because Sol was his best friend he wouldn’t hurt him. I think he was his best man at the wedding.

My brother, Sam finally quit Levines and went to Memphis, and that’s how he met his wife. He worked for his wife’s uncle in Memphis. He married Belle Rosenbloom. Belle grew up in Memphis and worked for her uncle also. They were poor, her parents. And so her aunt and uncle, her daddy’s brother and his wife, gave Belle board and room and wages - you know whatever they paid them for. They got married when I was in the eighth grade. I started in sixth grade when we moved to Clarksdale.

My daddy started his restaurant right away. In 1929; he borrowed money from the bank. And he paid them - he had the best credit. Anytime he needed extra money he’d send my sister to the bank and ask the President to lend him so much money. He asked her, 'How come your Daddy don’t come? How come he sends you all the time?' Because, I don’t why, but I guess he’s ashamed. Every time my sister would come he would pay them back in no time. He had double, triple-A for honesty. Every time my sister would have to go back to the bank to borrow more money, they gave it to her just like that. They knew he paid up right away. My daddy wouldn’t cheat anybody one penny.

The restaurant was located one store before the corner of Third and Sunflower Streets. And across from his restaurant Mr. And Mrs. Cohen had a shop. Their store was right across from Daddy. It was next door to Joe or Max Binder.

Bernsteins had a corner furniture store next door to the restaurant. Across the street on the corner, across from the filling station, was the Levine store, the Cohens, than the Binders. Cleve Brodofsky, who was next to Binders, had a restaurant too. But finally, when my Daddy opened, he had to close up. I think he had a corner restaurant.

FINK/WOOLBERT

(1890, 1900, 1910, 1930)

JOE

Joe, Jake's brother, lost monies and jumped out of a window.[244]

JAKE & FREDA

Though [Jake] had lived a charmed life, he was not immune when the bottom fell out of the cotton market, (cotton went from $1 per pound to five-cents). Thus, the fluffy, white gold and the land on which it grew was de-valued. Jake Fink lost much of his fortune and his Second Street home in the Crash of 1929…. The Second Street home was sold to the Nails and later owned by Joe Weiss and his family.[245]

HOUSE

The 1929 City Directory shows the Fink living at 226 West Second Street. The 1930 U. S. Census shows they are living at 310 School Street.[246]

Then, they rented a house on School Street where the Woolberts lived across the street. Marion said,

The Finks moved to the Alcazar Hotel for a short time; then rented a big house of School Street. The house burned due to a hot iron in the utility room.… That house burned when I was in the Second grade (1929).

[We] moved to another house about a block from the burned house.… The Sebulsky’s lived on the corner. We were across the street. The Fields owned the house on the corner next to us. The one right near the Temple, the Nichols house. That is the house I graduated high school in.[247]

Money was never mentioned in her home. If she wanted something, [my] mama would say, 'Well we will have to delay it because we are having hard times.' But, money was outlawed, you didn’t mentioned money. So, she was just that way,  and we never did without anything. There were always servants in the house, in the yard. I don’t know how they did it. All I know is that they did it. He always had the power to bounce back. Not to the tune of being a millionaire, but he always bounced back where we never knew that there was anything missing.[248]

Pauline remembered “Both Jake and Freda read a great deal but [I] did not pay attention to what they read. [MY] father played pinochle with Myer Kline, Al Nachman, Sam Sack and his brother, Joe who lived in Merigold.”[249]

Alvin referred to the “Old Gin Rummy Gang.”

Clarksdale was the center for salesmen, as they are coming out of Memphis, they would stop here. They stayed overnight. Now, this was when they were, you know when they first started coming through they came through on a train. About five of six trains a day came through Clarksdale. Well, when a salesman ever came through, like a man by the name of Max Weiss, I don’t know how many, there used to be. They even played pinochle, six or seven rounds at our house or at another house.… [They]would take the dining room tables, leave the pads on and put a sheet on top. They would play cards there. We would go in the next morning and couldn’t stand it because of the stink of the cigars. They were all cigar smokers, but that’s the way traveling men did in those days. They packed their cases, and the doorman took them over from the hotel back to the station. They went to the next town.[250]

CLARKSDALE OR DELTA WHOLESALE GROCERY

It would take more than the stock market crash and the closing of the banks to finish off Jake Fink.[251]

Alvin talked about his parents surviving the stock market crash,

In the depths of the depression, Jake liquidated practically everything that he had and was sitting on some cash. He and Meyer Kline from Alligator, about six or seven of his friends couldn’t get furnished one year. Jake and Meyer Kline thought about it, and it led Jake into the wholesale grocery business.[252]

[My dad] contacted the Gauchaux Sugar whom he had worked for in New Orleans. Charles Gauchaux told Jake, 'Don’t worry about it Jake. I will send you three or four carloads of sugar. You pay me, pay the company when you can.'

Jake also had a friend in the flour business, Hutchinson Candy. He also had a friend head of the American Tobacco Company in Memphis. When the trade slumped he had chewing tobacco, sugar and flour. They had it made! You could furnish a pretty good crop with that as that is what they wanted. They couldn’t get money from anybody, you know. Banks closed, and those Peacocks you know what Peacock, the bank owner said, '[I] am not in that business.' He was concerned that the business would fail. He just wanted to see profit because he couldn’t do anything with the stock. Peacock said that if Jake could show him property of bonds and stock he couldn’t do a damn thing. It was quite a situation. There were two banks where there used to be three or four banks.[253]

The Journal article about Fink writes, “He was soon set up in the wholesale grocery business. He had three or four carloads of sugar, some flour and chewing tobacco.”[254]

FRIEDMAN

(1868, 1880 1890, 1900, 1910, 1930)

CELIA

Gertrude Nelson said,

When we lived there, Jonestown had between 500-700 people. One street, one block on the main street that had grocery stores, dry goods store, general merchandise, variety stores, a couple of service stations and of course, the school-all 12 grades. Of course there were farmers, but most of them either lived on the edge of town or out on the farm. Very few lived in town. Some of the planters were very old. Alcorn Russell, a descendant of Governor Alcorn of Mississippi (1870), Barksdale and Haney were other big plantation owners.

Mama always fixed the Jewish food, she had learned from older people in town. We always had a lot of southern and Jewish cooking, because there were many meals where we had nothing but vegetables. Mama made kugels, latkes and all the well known Jewish dishes. Mama was best known for not only her cooking and especially making dill pickles, but also her sewing. She was always ready to lend a hand to anyone in the community. It was a very close-knit community. [People responded to crisis,] such as sickness fires, most any type of crisis.[255]

MAX

Max Friedman was a big worker in both the Masonic Order and the Boy Scouts too—highly respected.[256]

KERSTINE

(1868, 1880, 1890 1900, 1910, 1930)

MOLLY

Corinne said “Ella or Francis was the Kerstine’s maid. [She] was so good to Molly. They had her for years before she went to Kansas City. She was one-half Mexican and one-half Black-American.[257]

Selma added, “I forget her name. It was a Mexican name. She was a really good cook. Mama was so particular, she couldn't get one to clean up good enough, but when that Frances came, she liked her. “ Selma did not remember or know how much they paid the cook but she said, “I don't imagine it was much. She had a whole face full of gold teeth.”[258]

MOLLY’S ILLNESS & DEATH

Selma mentioned,

I don't know when I started giving Mama shots with morphine and codeine now, but it lasted a long time. She had an enlarged heart. She was choking all the time. Her heart would choke instead of hurt. She choked and choked to death. She would have one shot right after the other. She had part morphine and part codeine.

Isidor made me watch him just to be sure he got the right amount in there. He was so scared that she might die after one of those shots. You know Dr. Carr had the reputation. He had a lot of patients that had shots. Dr. Primrose was out of town. Isidor went to Florida one day, and he told me to call him back if Dr. Primrose left town. Dr. Primrose left town, and I called him. He turned right around and came back. He wouldn’t stay.[259]

Selma said,

[My] grandmother went to bed and never got up again. [She] died in 1929, age 68 It was after [I] went to college. Mama was on the daybed, and she fell off the bed onto her face. I couldn’t get there. [The newspaper obit] said she died in her sleep, but that was a lie.

We used to go to Helena once a year. Mama was buried over there. We would drive to Friars Point and catch the ferry They put your car on that flat thing [and] put something, under the wheels. It took about forty minutes to get over there. We'd go to the graves over there. They have all the different denominations together in the graveyard. [This was before the Jewish cemetery was started, After that Molly’s grave was in the cemetery so she may have been talking about going there to visit Rosa’s grave also.] They're in a row. We used to go there every Mother's Day. We'd take the ferry, just a flat boat, I thought it was going to [turn] over.[260]

Selma referred to her inability to stop crying/mourning over her grandmother’s death as a nervous breakdown. She said,

I was supposed to go back to school, and I did but I didn’t stay. [I]finally went to California where Aunt Lillie was. When I went to Ole Miss or to California she fixed me two shoeboxes. Isidor took me to Memphis. We left them in the car when I went to get my train ticket. Someone stole them. You drove to Memphis to catch the train to California.[261]

Selma said: “When Mama died, I know Adolph gave me $300 to give Lilly $100 each month that I would be out there. Lillie wanted [me] to go to school at UCLA.” Selma said, “[I] couldn’t handle the big campus.” So, she returned to Mississippi and to Ole Miss after nine months.[262]

REMEMBERING COLORADO

When Mama died, Adolph may have been in Colorado with Lilly. I know the first time, you see, Lilly went out there to stay with him. They stayed in that little summerhouse we had in Colorado. We had two of them. You could look across and see Pikes Peak. I don't know where Evelyn was. She may have been married. (NOTE: Evelyn was only 15 years old in 1929) I don't know what became of those two houses.

Selma picture of Evelyn and Selma on the donkey was taken. She was sixteen when I was out there. I was 21 years old.

Selma said: Francis/Ella remained with the family after Mama died. She made Selma breads and biscuits. She fried chicken and made caramel cakes. She was very young. She cooked for Isidor, Max, Caesar and Daddy for a long time.[263]

Selma said,

When Lillie’s husband died,[in 1949], Lilly couldn't even collect Social Security because she wasn't old enough. Isidor Kerstine went out there. He had to get her Social Security to live there. Lilly owned her own home. She lived in Long Beach before living in Glendale. She didn't just spend her summer in Long Beach. She lived there. They owned a house in Long Beach and in Glendale. I don't know if they sold the house in Long Beach when they moved to Glendale. I stayed in the Glendale home when I was out there.[264]

ISIDOR

The author's father, Isidor often talked about his father Adolph's wish for his sons to not marry. He wanted his daughters, but not his sons to marry. He ruled the roost as he was a strong patriarch. Adele Cohen Kline tells the following which happened between 1929 and 1932.

Isidor wanted to get married. It was after I got married and came down. Of course, the first thing I had to do when I was here, I had to go buy shoes. I would sit there and talk to Isidor. And, he was very fascinated with the life of a Jewish woman that is married. He knew too many of them. He thought that I had the most wonderful marriage in all the world. He thought that nobody had one like it, and he was going to try to have one like it. If we had a slack day, I would go in there and sit. We would talk about New York, talk about Brooklyn, about business.

Aaron Kline said about Isidor: He was a good dancer. I remember that, and the dances we use to give. He never missed a dance.

Adele said: . On my goodness. He never missed a dance. He never stopped dancing. He was just a heck of a wonderful dancer and good company. We use to have him out for lunch and dinner.[265]

KLINE

(1900, 1910, 1930)

AARON

Kline’s travel capsule is known as The Whale Store, an old-fashioned dry goods emporium on the town’s one-block Main Street where he went to work fifty-five years ago in the heyday of small-town America.[see 1939, Kline] Inside the store, named for a line of clothing thins haven’t changed much. Outside, it’s a different world.

Aaron Kline’s brother opened The Whale Store in1929, the year the stock market crashed and the Great Depression began. Times were still hard when Aaron arrived. [266]

LABENS

(1930)

HARRY & LILLIAN

Alvin said, “

We moved to Clarksdale right after Maurice was born in 1929. And then, I went to school a few weeks in Clarksdale then we moved to Itta Bena, MS. I was in three different schools in the second grade—Clarksdale, Itta Bean-Yazoo City--that was 1929-1930.”

Itta Bena means is the Indian words for 'home in the woods'. They were another Jewish family there,, the Friedman. I experienced anti-Semitism. For example, we were the only Jewish kids in town; called him “Jew Baby”—“killed Jesus.”   However, the economics were good; my dad was making good money there.[267]

MAGDOVITZ

(1930)

HARRY

Harry arrived in Clarksdale to visit his Uncle Harry Baker.  He had started by running some of Kline’s stores in Alligator.[268]

MARCUS

(1868, 1890 1900, 1910, 1930)

BESSYE

Gertrude said, “The Marcus’s kept kosher. Bessye did not mix her milk and meat dishes. She only used the parts of the beef that were the Kosher cuts. She could not buy her meats from a Kosher butcher so she would bring them home and Koshered them just as they had come from a Jewish butcher. Her chickens, her meat, everything, each piece was kosher.[269]

MAY

(1868)

SIDNEY

5/14: Sidney May, popular member of the Senior Class of Clarksdale High School, won the fourth place in the third National Competitive examination on “League of Nations” a contest for all accredited high schools--1,200 papers submitted.

Sidney holds the position of secretary of the Senior Class and is business manager of the Spotlight, the school publication. He is author of the “Class Will” and has an important role in the senior class play, “The Charm School.”

It was his privilege last year to be chosen member of the Junior Class to accept the class memorial from the 1928 class and again at this time he will present the school with the memorial from the 1929 Senior class. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Harry J. May.[270]

SALOMON

(1890 1900, 1910, 1930)

LORRAINE & THEODORE ROOSEVELT “TEDDY”

This couple Lived in Coahoma; had a son named Alan who lived in Memphis, TN. Teddy Salomon’s, sister married a Solomon over in Helena.[271]

WIENER

(1910, 1920)

DAVE

Dave Wiener Jr said,

They had the Ku Klux Klan came through Tutwiler one time. It must have been in the Twenties. We had a doctor there, Doctor Harrison, who was Catholic, and they were after the Catholics and the Jews. They looked for a Jewish family. So the Marshall, or whoever it was, told them to get out of Tutwiler, this doctor's been here for thirty years, and these Jews are not giving us. We never had any trouble with that. I don't think Clarksdale had. I never heard of any. We did have that one, but other than that...There was prejudice there and discrimination there but it was real subtle--it was social. You didn't go to their churches, you weren't invited to eat in their house too much--nor the Country Club.[272]

commandment to set aside a portion of the dough from any bread].



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

[2] Clarksdale, MS The Wonder City of the Delta, 1920, Scrapbook #1, Carnegie Public Library Scrapbook. Clarksdale, Mississippi, pp. 1, 2, 10.

[3] Clarksdale is called The Magic City”, 7/27/21, Scrapbook #1, Carnegie Public Library Scrapbook. Clarksdale, Mississippi, pp. 1, 2, 10.

[4] USA. National Archives,. Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29. 1910 United States Federal Census for W P Holland Mississippi Coahoma Clarksdale District 0033. p.1, Lines 5, 6. Provo, UT: Ancestry.com, 2006. <www.search.ancestry.com.> (April 25, 2014 .)

[5] "Clarksdale, The Queen City; Its History and Promise for Future." Clarksdale Press Register, Carnegie Public Library Scrapbook #1, 5 Clarksdale, Mississippi.

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

[7] Sack, Lester, Sr. Interview by author. Clarksdale, Mississippi. September 30, 1993. Oral taped interview.

[8] Califf, Leon Interview by author. Memphis, November 5, 2002. Oral taped interview.

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

[10] "Walter Bloom Dies Suddenly at Home Here'd." Clarksdale Press Register (Clarksdale Mississippi), October 4, 1943.

[11] Magdovitz, Lawrence.

[12] Ibid.

[13] This notation from the B’nai B’rith Register contradicts that Jake moved to Clarksdale in 1917 as this shows he is still living in Duncan. Magdovitz, Lawrence.

[14] Magdovitz, Lawrence.

[15] Ibid.

[16] Ibid.

[17] Ibid.

[18] Lost Obit reference for this information.

[19] Magdovitz, Lawrence.

[20] Greenwood, Amy Morrow. Interview by author. Chicago, Illinois. October 28, 1999. Phone taped interview.

[21] Ibid.

[22] DeShanto, Dorothy, G. V. Mitchell, and E.R. Thomas. Clarksdale Mississippi City Directory. 1933, 116.

Baldwin, Robert Morton, ed. The Baldwin and Register Clarksdale MS Con Survey Directory. ABCD ed. Vol. 1. No. 32. Hebron, Nebraska: Baldwin Con Survey Company, and Clarksdale, Mississippi: The Clarksdale Register, 193,. p. 114.

[23] Califf, Leon.

[24] Fant, Mrs. F.H. Assignment #29,” WPA Historical Research Project of Coahoma County. Clarksdale, Mississippi. July 15, 1936.

[25] Weeks, Linton. “The New World, 1900-1930.” Clarksdale & Coahoma County: A History. Clarksdale, Miss. (P.O. Box 280, Clarksdale 38614): Carnegie Public Library, 1982, p. 111.

[26] Shackeroff, Marion Fink. Interview by author. Jackson, Mississippi. October 10, 1999. Oral taped interview.

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

[27] Piedmont Directory Company Publishers Incorporated, Clarksdale, Mississippi City Directory, 1916-1917 (1916), 34, Record for Adolph Kerstine. Digital image. Ancestry.com <www.ancestry.com> (Accessed July 22, 2016).

[28] Kerstine, Corinne. Interview by Harold Forst. Jackson, Mississippi. January 6, 1985. Oral taped interview.

James, Selma Weinberger. Interviews by author. Jackson, Mississippi. January 1987 through November 2001. Oral taped interviews.

[29] Ibid.

Piedmont Directory Company Publishers Incorporated, Clarksdale, Mississippi City Directory, 1916-1917 (1916), p. 34, Record for Fannie Goodman. Digital image. Ancestry.com <www. ancestry.com> (Accessed April 24, 2016).

[30] Edwards, Olive. "Landry's Since 1891." Here's Clarksdale, March/April 1978, pp. 6-9.

[31] Kerstine, Corinne.

[32] Ibid.

[33] Ibid.

[34] Ibid.

[35] James, Selma Weinberger.

[36] Ibid.

Edwards, Olive. "Landry's Since 1891." Here's Clarksdale, March/April 1978, pp. 6-9.

[37] James, Selma Weinberger.

[38] Beatus, Leona Sack. Interview by author. Clarksdale, Mississippi, September 4, 1993. Oral taped interview.

[39] USA. National Archives,. Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29. Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29.20 United States Federal Census for Roland Levinson Mississippi Coahoma Clarksdale District 0037. p.6 Line 56. Provo, UT: Ancestry.com Operations, 2010. Accessed May 1, 2016. www.search.ancestry.com.

[40] Piedmont Directory Company Publishers Clarksdale, Mississippi City Directory, 1923-1924 (1923). Vol. III. The Delta Series. Asheville, NC. The Miller Press. Record for Roland Levinson, p. 172.

[41] Levinson, Roland. "Senior Poem." CHS Delta, High School Annual, 22. Clarksdale, Mississippi: Clarksdale High School, 1920. Margery Kerstine Private Collection.

[42] “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. <www.pressregister.com> (Accessed April 17, 2016).

[43] Wiener, Dave, M.D. Interview with author. Memphis, Tennessee. April, 2003. Oral taped interview.

[44] Martin, Stella. "Local Fire Department Has Grown Steadily During 51 Years It Has Served Clarksdale." Clarksdale Press Register (Clarksdale Mississippi), March 14, 1959, 16.

[45] Carnegie Public Library Scrapbook Collection, Clarksdale Scrapbook #1, p. 170.

[46] Coffman, Michael S., Ph.D. "The Forgotten Depression, 1920-1921." Accessed May 07, 2016. http://newswithviews.com/Coffman/mike128.htm.

[47] "Depression of 1920–21." Wikipedia. December 30, 2015. <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Depression_of_1920%E2%80%9321#cite_ref-NBER_1-1>. (Accessed May 08, 2016).

US Business Cycle Expansions and Contractions, National Bureau of Economic Research. Retrieved on September 22, 2008.

[48] Abrams, Sam & Lolly. Interview by author. Memphis, Tennessee. January 17, 1994. Oral taped interview.

[49] Glassman, Julia Baker. Interviews by author. Memphis, Tennessee. 1993 2003 and 2012. Oral taped interviews.

[50] Ibid.

[51] Magdovitz, Lawrence.

[52] Califf, Leon.

[53] Shackeroff, Marion Fink.

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

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

[55] Ibid.

[56] Alexander, Charles, Elaine, Sarah, and other family members. Interview with author, 1994. Oral taped interview.

[57] USA. National Archives,. Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29. 1920 United States Federal Census for Celia Friedman Mississippi Coahoma Beat 3 District 0032. p. 52, Line 35. Ancestry.com Operations,, 2010. Accessed May 21, 3026. www.search.ancestry.com.

[58] Carnegie Library Scrapbooks, Carnegie Public Library, Clarksdale, Mississippi. Carnegie Library Scrapbooks, Carnegie Public Library, Clarksdale, Mississippi.168.(Carnegie Library Scrapbooks, Carnegie Public Library, Clarksdale, Mississippi.

[59] "Jewish Historical Edition of Clarksdale, Mississippi." Jewish Ledger [New Orleans, LA] Mar. 1923, 6.

[60] Pachter, David. "History of Greenwood, MS Reform Synagogue 1851-1982." Greenwood Mississippi Public Library. (unpublished manuscript) 4.

[61] Glassman, Julia Baker.

[62] Adelson, Pauline Fink. Interview by author. Merigold, Mississippi, October 31, 1999. Oral taped interview.

[63] Pachter, David. "History of Greenwood, MS Reform Synagogue 1851-1982." Greenwood Mississippi Public Library. (unpublished manuscript), pp. 10, 24.

[64] Wise, James Edward. Interview with author. Memphis, Tennessee. June 28, 2005 Oral taped interview.

[65] Martin, Stella. "Local Fire Department Has Grown Steadily During 51 Years It Has Served Clarksdale." Clarksdale Press Register (Clarksdale Mississippi), March 14, 1959, 16.

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

[67] 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.

[68] Edwards, Olive. "The Clarksdale Hospital." Here's Clarksdale, September/October, 1978, p. 6-9.

[69] Abrams, Sam and Lolly.

[70] "Jewish Historical Edition of Clarksdale, Mississippi." Jewish Ledger [New Orleans, LA] Mar. 1923, p. 6.

[71] “In the Public Eye.” Carnegie Library Scrapbooks, Carnegie Public Library, Clarksdale, Mississippi. p. 200.

[72] Fink, Alvin.

[73] Adelson, Pauline Fink.

[74] Shackeroff, Marion Fink.

[75] Carnegie Library Albums, Carnegie Public Library, Clarksdale, Mississippi, p. 223.

[76] "Jewish Historical Edition of Clarksdale, Mississippi." Jewish Ledger [New Orleans, LA] Mar. 1923. p. 12.

[77] Hirsberg, Bernard. Interview by author. Clarksdale, Mississippi. April 27, 1994. Oral taped interview.

[78] Ibid.

[79] Ibid.

[80] Ibid.

[81] Hirsberg, Flora Okun. Interview by author. Clarksdale, Mississippi. September 30, 1993. Oral taped interview.

[82] Ibid.

[83] "Jewish Historical Edition of Clarksdale, Mississippi." Jewish Ledger [New Orleans, LA] Mar. 1923, p. 6.

[84] Martin, Stella. "Local Fire Department Has Grown Steadily During 51 Years It Has Served Clarksdale." Clarksdale Press Register (Clarksdale Mississippi), March 14, 1959, p. 16.

[85] 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.

[86] Ibid. See www.jewishsouth.org/system/files/sjh_v._10_2007_rockoff.pdf

[87] Edwards, Olive. "The Clarksdale Hospital." Here's Clarksdale, September/October, 1978, pp. 6-9.

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

[89] Ibid.

[90] Piedmont Directory Company Publishers Clarksdale, Mississippi City Directory, 1923-1924 (1923), p. 172. Vol. III. The Delta Series. Asheville, NC. The Miller Press. Record for William Goodman,

[91] Abrams, Marilyn Binder. Genealogical Private Collection and Temple Israel Archives, Memphis, TN.

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

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

[94] Nelson, Gertrude Friedman, Interview by author. Vicksburg, Mississippi. March 16,1995. Oral taped interview.

[95] Ibid.

[96] Ibid.

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

[98] Hirsberg, Bernard.

[99] Piedmont Directory Company Publishers Clarksdale, Mississippi City Directory, 1923-1924 (1923) p. 157. Vol. III. The Delta Series. Asheville, NC. The Miller Press. Record for Sam Hochstein. Digital image. Ancestry.com <www.ancestry.com> (Accessed Accessed June 5, 2016).

[100] Piedmont Directory Company Publishers Incorporated, Clarksdale, Mississippi City Directory Vol IV, The Delta Series, 1927-1928 (June, 1927), p. 32. Record for Samuel Hochstein; digital image. Ancestry.com <www.ancestry.com> (Accessed Accessed June 5, 2016).

[101] USA. National Archives and Records Administration, 1930. United States of America, Bureau of the Census. 1930 United States Federal Census for Harry Labens Mississippi Yazoo Yazoo City District 10. p. 26, Line 85. Provo, UT: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2002. <www.search .ancestry.com>. (Accessed June 5, 2016).

[102] Labens, Alvin. Interviews by author. Memphis, Tennessee., November 3, 2001, October 2008, and May 22, 2009. Oral taped interview.

[103] Ibid.

[104] Labens, Alvin, Burt Jaeger, Irvin Kaufman.

[105] Ibid.

[106] Ibid.

[107] Labens, Alvin.

[108] Kerstine, Corinne.

[109] Ibid.

[110] James, Selma Weinberger.

[111] Ibid.

[112] Carnegie Library Albums #!, Carnegie Public Library, Clarksdale, Mississippi , p. 172.

[113] Cobb, Harvey. Clarksdale Press Register, Internet Edition, May 27, 2003.

[114] Sack, Lester, Sr.

[115] Glassman, Julia Baker.

[116] Califf, Leon.

[117] Adelson, Pauline Fink.

[118] May, Faye Millstein. Interview by author. Memphis, Tennessee. October, 2010. Oral taped interview.

[119] “Al Nachman Sails for Trip Around the World.” Carnegie Library Albums] #1, Carnegie Public Library, Clarksdale, Mississippi, p. 116.

[120] Carnegie Library Albums] #1, Carnegie Public Library, Clarksdale, Mississippi, p. 5.

[121] "Coahoma Land Value At Over 17 Million." Clarksdale Press Register (Clarksdale Mississippi), August 27, 1925.

[122] Carnegie Library Albums #1, Carnegie Public Library, Clarksdale, Mississippi, p. 173.

[123] Ibid, pp. 23-31.

[124] Ibid, pp. 144-145.

[125] Ibid, p. 132.

[126] Ibid, p. 135.

[127] Ibid, p. 140.

[128] Ibid, p. 144.

[129] 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.

[130] Carnegie Library Albums #1, Carnegie Public Library, Clarksdale, Mississippi, #1, p. 141.

[131] Ibid, p. 144.

[132] "Hardwig Peres Goes to Mississippi Upon Patriotic Mission." Jewish Spectator (Memphis, Tennessee, New Orleans, LA, 7, column 4. Copy available at Temple Israel Archives, Memphis, Tennessee.

[133] Ibid.

[134] Wiener, Dave, M.D.

[135] "Piano Recital Enjoyed." Clarksdale Press Register (Clarksdale Mississippi), June 9, 1925, p. 174. Carnegie Library Albums #1, Carnegie Public Library, Clarksdale, Mississippi.

[136] Abrams Marilyn Binder genealogical private collection, Knoxville, Tennessee.

[137] "JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry - USA – Mississippi, Kentucky Burial Record." JewishGen“ Record of David Binder. The Home of Jewish Genealogy. Accessed June 12, 2016. http://www. jewishgen.org.

USA. National Archives and Records Administration. Bureau of the Census. 1930 United States Federal Census for AL Nachman Mississippi Coahoma Clarksdale District 13, p. 8, Line 100. Provo, UT: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2002. <www.search.ancestry.com>. (Accessed June 12, 2016).

·                     [138] "Will Binder Dies in Crash." Clarksdale Press Register (Clarksdale Mississippi), September 27, 1950. Carnegie Library Obituary Album, Carnegie Public Library, Clarksdale, Mississippi.

[139] Carnegie Library Albums #1, Carnegie Public Library, Clarksdale, Mississippi, p. 177.

[140] Adelson, Pauline Fink.

Shackeroff, Marion Fink.

[141] Fink, Alvin.

[142] Ibid.

[143] "JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry - USA – Mississippi, Kentucky Burial Record." JewishGen - The Home of Jewish Genealogy. Accessed June 12, 2016. http://www. jewishgen.org.

[144] Glassman, Julia Baker.

[145] "Piano Recital Enjoyed." Clarksdale Press Register (Clarksdale Mississippi), June 9, 1925, 174. Carnegie Library Albums #1, Carnegie Public Library, Clarksdale, Mississippi.

[146] Ibid.

[147] Carnegie Library Albums #1, Carnegie Public Library, Clarksdale, Mississippi, 173.

[148] Ibid, p. 177.

[149] James, Selma Weinberger

[150] "Piano Recital Enjoyed." Clarksdale Press Register (Clarksdale Mississippi), June 9, 1925, p. 174. Carnegie Library Albums #1, Carnegie Public Library, Clarksdale, Mississippi.

[151] 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.

[152] Edwards, Olive. “LANDRY'S' Since 1891”Here's Clarksdale, March/April, 1978, p. 9.

[153] “Snow blankets Mother Earth.” Clarksdale Daily Register (Clarksdale, Mississippi), January 8, 1926, 130. Carnegie Library Albums #1, Carnegie Public Library, Clarksdale, Mississippi.

[154] Carnegie Library Albums #1, Carnegie Public Library, Clarksdale, Mississippi, p. 177.

[155] Califf, Leon.

[156] Carnegie Library Albums, Carnegie Public Library, Clarksdale, Mississippi, p.177.

[157] James, Selma Weinberger.

[158] Ibid.

[159] Ibid.

[160] Ibid.

[161] Carnegie Library Albums #1, Carnegie Public Library, Clarksdale, Mississippi, August 16, 1951, p. 177.

[162] "MBA State Band Clinic Pictures." MBA State Band Clinic Pictures. Accessed June 26, 2016. http://msbandmasters.com/Famepages/kooyman.htm.

[163] (WPA Historical Research Project, Coahoma County, Fine Arts, Assignment #16, project no. 2984 Interview)

[164] (Clarksdale Press Register, 8/16/1951, column, page).

[165] "MBA State Band Clinic Pictures." MBA State Band Clinic Pictures. Accessed June 26, 2016. http://msbandmasters.com/Famepages/kooyman.htm.

[166] Joyner, Patti. "Sam Segal (1903 - 1926) - Find A Grave Memorial." Sam Segal (1903 - 1926) - Find A Grave Memorial. November 26, 2014. Accessed June 26, 2016. http://www.findagrave. com.

[167] "Death Claims Young Citizen: Sam Segal Crosses The Bar After An Illness of Several Weeks At The Hospital." Clarksdale Daily Register (Clarksdale Mississippi), May 4, 1926.

[168] 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.

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

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

[170] Montroy, Florence, “Houseboat, Coahoma,” United States. WPA. Series 241. Clarksdale, Mississippi: WPA, 1936.

[171] Labens, Alvin, Burt Jaeger, Irvin Kaufman.

[172] MOD Content Management System. "Delta Queen History | Steamboats.org." Delta Queen History Steamboats.org. Accessed June 26, 2016. http://www.steamboats.org/steamboat-pictures/delta-queen/delta-queen-history.html.

[173] 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.

[174] Labens, Alvin.

[175] Piedmont Directory Company Publishers Incorporated, Clarksdale, Mississippi City Directory, Vol. IV, The Delta Series, 1927-1928 (June, 1927), p. 32. Record for Max Kerstine. Digital image. Ancestry.com <www.ancestry.com> (Accessed November 6, 2015).

[176] Glassman, Julia Baker.

[177] Kline, Adele Cohen, Aaron Kline and Corinne Kerstine.

[178] Fink, Alvin.

[179] Adelson, Pauline Fink.

[180] Shackeroff, Marion Fink.

[181] Hirsberg, Bernard.

[182] Kerstine, Corinne.

[183] Beatus, Lenora.

[184] James, Selma Weinberger.

[185] . Ibid.

[186] Kerstine, Corinne.

[187] Ibid.

[188] James, Selma Weinberger.

[189] Ibid.

[190] Ibid.

[191] Kerstine, Corinne.

[192] James, Selma Weinberger.

[193] Carnegie Library Album #1, Carnegie Public Library, Clarksdale, Mississippi.

[194] Ibid.

[195] Kline, Adele Cohen, Aaron Kline and Corinne Kerstine.

[196] Magdovitz, Joe, Interview by author. Memphis, Tenessee. November 4, 2002 Oral taped interview.

[197] Wiener, Dave, M.D.

[198] Fink, Alvin.

[199] Labens, Alvin.

[200] 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.

[201] Martin, Stella. "Local Fire Department Has Grown Steadily During 51 Years It Has Served Clarksdale." Clarksdale Press Register (Clarksdale Mississippi), March 14, 1959, 16.

[202] Fink, Alvin.

[203] Labens, Alvin.

[204] Hirsberg, Bernard.

[205] Glassman, Julia Baker.

[206] Carnegie Library Album #1, Carnegie Public Library, Clarksdale, Mississippi.#1, p.289.

[207] Kerstine, Corinne.

[208] Ibid.

[209] Kline, Adele Cohen, Aaron Kline and Corinne Kerstine.

[210] Carnegie Library Album #1, Carnegie Public Library, Clarksdale, Mississippi.#1, p. 289.

[211] Fink, Alvin.

[212] Shackeroff, Marion Fink.

[213] Fink, Alvin.

[214] Shackeroff, Marion Fink.

[215] Adelson, Pauline Fink.

[216] Carnegie Library Album #1, Carnegie Public Library, Clarksdale, Mississippi.

[217] James, Selma Weinberger.

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

[219] Kaplan, Sadie Kaplan. Interviews by author. Clarksdale, Mississippi. September 30, 1993 and October 1, 1993. Oral taped interviews.

[220] Bloom, Julian.

[221] James, Selma Weinberger.

[222] (Clarksdale Press Register, 8/16/1951, column, page).

[223] Hirsberg, Bernard.

[224] Kaufman, Irvin. Interview by author. Clarksdale, Mississippi. November 18, 1993. Oral taped interview.

[225] Wiener, Dave, M.D.

[226] Fink, Alvin.

[227] Israel, Mrs. Al. Hebrew Watchman, June 6, 1929.

[228] Ibid, September, 1929,

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

Morris, Richard. "America Between Two World Wars, 1919-39: Domestic Issues." In Encyclopedia of American History, 337. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1953.

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.

[230] Martin, Stella. "Local Fire Department Has Grown Steadily During 51 Years It Has Served Clarksdale." Clarksdale Press Register (Clarksdale Mississippi), March 14, 1959, 16.

[231] Resource: 241 – Houseboat, Coahoma -- folk tale FC Florence F. Montroy title Mr. and Mrs. Louis N. Stewart Carnegie Public Library, (Clarksdale, Mississippi).

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

[233] Beth Israel Anniversary Issue, June, 1939.

[234] Opening Ceremony Program, Dedication Service, 1939.

[235] Glassman, Julia Baker.

[236] Adelson, Pauline.

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

[238] "Beth Israel & 75th Year to Be Celebrated." Clarksdale Press Register (Clarksdale Mississippi), October 10, 1969, Columns 1-6.

[239] Ibid.

[240] Glassman, Julia Baker.

[241] Califf, Leon.

[242] “New Orleans, Passenger Lists, 1813-1963 for Blanche Dinner.”The National Archives at Washington, D.C.; Washington, D.C.; Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at New Orleans, Louisiana, 1903-1945; NAI Number: 4492741; Record Group Title: Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service; Record Group Number: 85. 327. Accessed July 17, 2016. http:// interactive.ancestry.com/7.

[243] "Miss Julia Bell Baker Weds Mr. Julius Gassman of Memphis: Ceremony Beautifully Solemnized Sunday." Clarksdale Press Register (Clarksdale Mississippi), March 31, 1941.

[244] Fink, Alvin.

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

[246] Interstate Directory Co.'s Clarksdale, Mississippi City Directory 1929-1930 (June 27,1929). p. 45. Clarksdale, Mississippi, City Directory 1929-1930. Record for Jacob Fink. Digital image. Ancestry.com <www.ancestry.com>. (Accessed July 31, 2016).

USA. National Archives and Records Administration. Bureau of the Census. 1930 United States Federal Census for Jacob Fink Mississippi Coahoma Clarksdale District 16. p. 9, Line 4. Provo, UT: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2002. <www.ancestry.com> (Accessed July 31, 2016).

[247] Shackeroff, Marion Fink.

[248] Ibid.

[249] Adelson, Pauline Fink.

[250] Fink, Alvin.

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

[252] DeShanto, Dorothy, G. V. Mitchell, and E.R. Thomas. Clarksdale Mississippi City Directory. 1933, p. 121.

[253] Fink, Alvin.

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

[255] Nelson, Gertrude Friedman

[256] Labens, Alvin.

[257] Kerstine, Corinne.

[258] James, Selma Weinberger.

[259] Ibid.

[260] Ibid.

[261] Ibid.

[262] Ibid.

[263] Ibid.

[264] Ibid.

[265] Kline, Adele Cohen, Aaron Kline and Corinne Kerstine.

[266] Ibid.

[267] Labens, Alvin.

[268] Magdovitz, Harry. Interview by author. Clarksdale, Mississippi. 1987. Oral interview.

[269] Nelson, Gertrude Friedman.

[270] Goldberg, Leon. Hebrew Watchman May 14, 1929. p, 1.

[271] Bloom, Julian.

[272] Wiener, Dave, M.D.

 


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