Monday, May 11, 2009

Amanuensis Monday: Selig Feinstein and Carr Lane Primary School

Amanuensis: A person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another.

From patents to community service, my second great grandfather, Selig Feinstein has been one of my more surprising ancestors. Family lore passed down that his occupation was real estate, and that he had operated a laundry, though through city directories I learned for the first 15 years in St. Louis he had first been a shoer/blacksmith, and then became a junk dealer, before turning to real estate in 1905.

Last week I entered his name into Google Books again, and found a new appearance in the St. Louis City Board of Education Official Report. All Google Books gave me was a teaser:
"A proposition has been received from Selig Feinstein to purchase the land on which the Carr Lane Primary School was located, said land being located at the"
It was dated 1911. I wondered if this was related to a real estate venture, or something else. I was unable to view any more online, and had to track down a copy of the book, which wasn't difficult as Google Books links directly to WorldCat, and there were several local libraries that had it. Fortunately, before I did anything else, I conducted a search on "Carr Lane Primary School" and retrieved a second page number within the same volume of the Official Report. So I knew I had two references to look up at the library. Transcriptions appear below.

(pp. 401-402)
January 10th

V. Proposition to Purchase General Fund Real Estate

A proposition has been received from Selig Feinstein to purchase land on which the Carr Lane Primary School was located, said land being located at the northwest corner of Twenty-third and Carr streets, having a frontage of 75 feet on Twenty-third street, by a depth of 100 feet on Carr street, for the sum of $5,000.00 cash.

As the price offered is considered sufficient to justify the sale of the above property, it is recommended that the undersigned be authorized to offer same for sale at public auction at the Real Estate Exchange of the City of St. Louis and report the result of said sale to the Board for its action.

(p. 561)
March 14th

VIII. Sale of Land Belonging to the General Fund
(a) Baden School. [...]
(b) Carr Lane Primary.

The undersigned reports that pursuant to the action of the Board at its meeting on January 10, 1911, he offered for sale at public auction to the highest bidder, at the Real Estate Exchange in the city of St. Louis, at twelve o'clock noon, on Friday, March 3, 1911, the Carr Lane Primary School, described as follows:

A lot of ground situated in city block 962, fronting 75 feet on the west line of Twenty-third street, by a depth westwardly of 100 feet along the northern line of Carr street, together with the improvements thereon.

The same was bid in by Anna Feinstein, the highest bidder, for the sum of $5,000.00 cash.

It is recommended that the above sales be approved and that the proper officers be authorized to execute warranty deeds to be delivered to the successful bidders upon payment of the purchase prices.

Official report, Board of Education of the City of St. Louis, 1911, volume 17, pp. 401-402, 561.

* Anna Feinstein was my second great-grandmother, Selig's wife. A search on "Anna Feinstein" in Google Books doesn't retrieve any results, since in the text her surname is split between two lines with a dash. When I search for: "Anna Fein-stein" I find the above book.

* I looked in city directories for Selig last year through his death in 1915, however, I was unable to find the location of his businesses after 1911. According to the city directories, 1911 was when he started his fourth career in Laundry, with a store called Royal Laundry. Family lore said he had opened a second store, Farmer's Laundry, at 2300 Carr, which several of his children managed, but I was unable to find evidence of this in the city directories. The description above suggests it may have been converted from a former school. However, the 'frontage' of the school was on 23rd street, and usually that would mean a 23rd street address. There is a small possibility that the laundry and the school were on two separate corners of the same intersection.

* In 1906 Carr Lane Primary was on a list of schools that the St. Louis City Board of Education felt were worn out and should be replaced. Apparently they did. However, it isn't clear whether Selig felt it was still usable, refurbished it, or tore it down and built something new at that location. So I still have a few questions to answer in connecting this purchase to Selig's laundry.

If you choose to join me in Amanuensis Monday and post your transcriptions, feel free to add a link to your post below, or in the comments.

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