Monday, September 10, 2012

Amanuensis Monday: A Grand Purim Ball

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

I continue my project to transcribe family letters, journals, newspaper articles, audiotapes, and other historical artifacts. Not only do the documents contain genealogical information, the words breathe life into kin - some I never met - others I see a time in their life before I knew them.

I began this project back on February 16, 2009.  Since I began, many others have joined in on the meme. I am thrilled that this meme I started has inspired so many to transcribe their family history documents. Why do we transcribe? I provide my three reasons in the linked post. You may find others.


Below I transcribe an article from the St. Louis Daily Globe Democrat from 1878. It briefly describes a ball that the United Hebrew Congregation held as a fundraiser, listing many of the attendees.

St. Louis Daily Globe Democrat
March 20, 1878, Page 3.

The St. Louis Cadet Benefit and the United Hebrew Congregation Ball.


At Germania Hall

The Grand Purim Ball of the United Hebrew congregation, for the purpose of establishing a Sabbath school, was given last evening at Germania Hall, and was largely attended by the beau monde of the German population especially. The hall was filled with dancers, and the entertainment was a decided success. Postlewaite’s orchestra was in attendance and discoursed most excellent music. Towards 10 o’clock a most sumptuous repast was served, to which full justice was done, after which the festivities continued until late this morning. Among those present were Mr. and Mrs. B. Cohen, Mr. and Mrs. H. Lyon, Mr. and Mrs. Jos. Davis, Mr. and Mrs. M. Spiro, Mr. and Mrs. L. Halle, Mr. and Mrs. Chs. Bienenstock, Mr. and Mrs. J. Russack, Mr. and Mrs. M. Michaels, Mr. and Mrs. G. White, Mr. and Mrs. A Gershon, Mrs. And Mrs. Wm. Keiler, Mr. and Mrs. M. Michaels, Mr. and Mrs. A Rosenfield, Mr. and Mrs. N. Horwitz, Mr. and Mrs. B. Diamant, Mr. and Mrs. Sam’l Marks, Mr. and Mrs. S. Jacobs, Mr. and Mrs. A Lederer, Mr. and Mrs. A. Newmark, Mr. and Mrs. Jno. S. Wolf, Mr. and Mrs. L.E. Green, Mr. and Mrs. M.J. Steinberg, Mr. and Mrs. A. Seigel, Mrs. Rosenheim, from Nashville, Tenn., Dr. and Mrs. Messing, Mr. and Mrs. S. Bienenstock, Mr. and Mrs. Julius Sherrick, Mrs. Nohland, Miss Lizzie Keiler, Miss Rose Jones, Miss Eva Simmons, Miss Emma Davis, Miss Holda Bienenstock, Miss Gussie White, Miss Ada Lyon, Mr. and Mrs. Light, Miss Clara Maas, Miss Belle Barns, Miss Rosie Hart, Miss Jennie Eisenstadt, Miss Hattie Jacoby, Miss Bettie Cohen, Miss Minnie Cohen, Miss Sarah Greenfield, Miss Belle Greenfield, Miss Fannie Landoor, Miss Smith, Miss Rosenbaum, Miss Famous, Miss Teauar, Miss Herz, Miss Moss, Miss Horwitz, Miss Laura Green, Miss Rose Louis, Miss Fannie Samuels, Miss Anderson, Messrs. Morris Levy, L. Davis, Ed. Singer, R. Singer, H. Whittenberg, J. Frank, S. Bowman, Oscar Herman, M.E. Green, T. M. Davis, Diamant, Rawack, Horwitz, Cohn, F.L. Lyon, M. Davis, S.A. Gershon, Meier, Swope, Henry, Kauffman, S.M. Kauffman, S. Eisenstadt, L. Cohen, M. Russack, L. Millenberg, F. Farris, L. Punch, M. Eisenstadt, J. Judd, M. Landau, L. Mildauer, C. Steinberg, J. Keiler, S.W. Jacobs, H.L. Horwitz, Louis Renard, M. Spiro, G. White, Geo. Wolf and many others.


1. Beau Monde is a French term for Fashionable Society.

2. Of all the names in the list, the most interesting to me, naturally, are Mr. and Mrs. A. Newmark.  My Newmark ancestors first arrived in St. Louis in 1908.  However, they clearly weren't the first of the surname on the shores of the Mississippi.

I'm sure I'm not the only genealogist who detests the tradition of initials (as well as the tradition of not naming the wife at all.) However, I suspect this is Abraham Newmark.  According to the records at  Missouri Digital Heritage, Abraham Newmark died May 17, 1883 at the age of 63, and is buried at United Hebrew's Mount Olive Cemetery. He was born in Germany, and died in San Francisco.  According to the 1880 census, his wife's name was Jane, and she was born in England. They had a daughter named Carrie, who was born in Missouri.

It is unknown if they are related in any fashion.  My ancestors came from Warka, Poland, but it is thought that the surname originates in the Neumark territory of Germany, also known as East Brandenburg.

3. This article was found in the database: Nineteeth Century US Newsapers, available from Gale Cengage Learning.  Freely accessible to anyone with a St. Louis County library card

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