Saturday, January 29, 2022

Timeline for Selig Dudelczak Feinstein (1858-1915)

I've decided to create some timelines for my ancestors to organize the information I have on their lives.

Here is a timeline I have created for my second great grandfather, Selig Dudelczak Feinstein 

  • 1858-1862 Simcha Zelig (Selig) Dudelczak is born, likely somewhere in Volhynia, Ukraine.
    • Simcha means "Gladness" or "Joy" in Hebrew. Zelig means "Blessed" in Yiddish.
  • 1858 Brother, Yidel (Julius) born (Possible Twin)
  • 1860 Sister, Zlata (Lottie) born (Possible Twin)
  • 1868 Sister, Toba (Tillie) born
  • 1871 Sister, Bella (Rebecca) born
  • 1874 Sister Shprintze (Sylvia) born
  • 1883 Selig marries Nechama (Anna) Perlik (Source: 1900 census)
  • 1885 Son Shmuel Zvi (Harry Samuel) born. 
  • 1886 Son Chaim (Herman Max)  born 
  • 1888 Son Benjamin born 
  • 1889 Immigrates to US by self (Port of arrival: Castle Garden)
  • 1890 Wife, Children & Mother immigrate under the surname Feinstein 
  • 1890 Daughter, Pearl, born (Descendants share DNA with descendants of Selig’s siblings, so paternity is likely)
  • 1892 First appears in St Louis City Directory as a Shoer
  • 1893 Son, Morris, born
  • 1895 Son, David, born
  • 1896 Son, David, died 
  • 1898 Son, Aaron, born
  • 1898 Patents an improvement to fire hydrants with business partner Max Wieselman (who also immigrated from Volhynia)
  • 1899 Appears in City Directory as both Grocer and Blacksmith 
  • 1899 Son, Joseph, born
  • 1899 Vice President of new Tpheris Israel congregation
  • 1900 Blacksmith, residing at 1122 North Eighth Street, and according to the census, owner,
  • 1901 Opens Western Junk Shop - lasts until 1905
  • 1901 Daughter, Rose, born. Son, Joseph, died.
  • 1902-1913 Member of Progressive Order of the West fraternal organization
  • 1906 Mother, Gitel (Gertrude) died. 
  • 1906 Selig on Chesed Shel Emeth Society committee to build an Old Folks Home
  • 1906 Moves to 5600 Garfield. 
  • 1907 Sells property on Garfield to brother Julius Odelsohn
  • 1908 Opens real estate business with Son, Harry
  • 1910 Lives at 1941 Burd Ave
  • 1911 Selig & Anna purchase lot of Carr Primary School
  • 1911 Opens Central Laundry business with Son, Herman
  • 1912 Incorporates Famous Laundry
  • 1912 Charged with violating "Anti-Smoke Ordinances" at Central Laundry. (Coal smoke) 
  • 1914 Opens another laundry business with daughter, Pearl
  • 1915 Selig Feinstein died. 
  • 1915 Selig is recorded as donating $6 to Jewish Charitable & Educational Union
  1. I have yet to uncover a document with his date of birth. Years on documents vary. 
  2. No European vital records have been found so dates which appear on later records are less certain. 
  3. Between 1860-1868 it is likely other siblings were born. Family history suggests at least one named Gershon survived childhood and remained in the Ukraine as an adult. What happened to him is unknown.
  4. I do not know for certain where Selig (and his family) were between 1889-1892. They may not have moved to St. Louis until after everyone had immigrated.
  5. I have searched through deed indexes on microfilm, but have been unable to uncover the deed indicating Selig purchased 1122 North Eighth Street as the 1900 census suggests.  The vast majority of neighbors are listed as renters, and few addresses in the neighborhood have owners listed. Most owners of the tenements likely lived in other neighborhoods. Being a resident owner would have been unusual, but Selig's later interest in real estate might have started earlier. 
  6. He was possibly a member of the Progressive Order of the West fraternal organization prior to 1902, but that was the first year he appeared in the newspaper as a delegate to their annual convention. Similarly, he likely remained a member until his death.
  7. I have not uncovered Selig’s will so I don’t know if the donation was part of it or given before he died. A list of donations appeared in the newspaper. 
  8. I’ve found six occupations so far. Shoer, Blacksmith, Grocer, Junk Dealer, Real Estate Management, Laundry Management. 

Saturday, January 8, 2022

Who Cleaned Up The Eighth Street Yard?

What was the Eighth Street Yard? 

St. Louis Globe Democrat, November 14, 1892

The police of the Third District are constantly annoyed by rows between whites and blacks in what is known as the Eighth Street Yard. This yard,  which covers nearly a half block, is situate on Eighth street, between Carr and Biddle.

St Louis Post Dispatch, January 6, 1895

There are only four blocks in this territory, but within its sacred precincts are located Castle Thunder and the Eighth Street Yard, both of which have done more than their share toward making local history...It is one of the hardest beats in the city, and for one man to walk it alone at night would be an extremely hazardous undertaking.

Where exactly was the Eighth Street Yard? The first clipping above says it covered half a block on Eighth Street between Carr and Biddle. The clipping below provides an address.

St. Louis Globe-Democrat, March 6, 1893

1122 North Eighth. The tenement my 2nd great grandfather, Selig Feinstein, lived in, and owned, according to the 1900 census. The Eighth Street Yard appears a lot in the news between 1890-1895. Then it disappears. 

When and how was the 8th Street Yard, one of the toughest police beats, cleaned up? When did Selig Feinstein purchase the address? What was his role? In the early 1890s he is listed in city directories as residing on Seventh Street, but working as a shoer/blacksmith at 1106 North Eighth. So he would naturally have had an incentive to move to the same block he worked. Once he owned the property, did he just kick out the rowdy residents and recruit new ones?

I hoped to get to the library this weekend to research deeds on microfilm, to pinpoint the exact year he purchased the property, and whether he purchased any other property in the area. There is some family lore that he may have.  I do know that he went into the Real Estate business with his children starting in 1905, but he may have been a landlord of multiple properties before then. It doesn't look like I will get to the library this weekend due to weather and other factors. Maybe next weekend. 

Sunday, January 2, 2022

1122 North Eighth Street, 1900

In the 1900 Census my second great grandparents Selig and Annie (Perlik) Feinstein, their seven children, and Selig's mother Gertie were living at 1122 North Eighth Street in St. Louis, Missouri. They were in the front section, and are listed in the census as the owners. In the rear were several families: The Finkelsteins, Buchmans, Portnoys, and Shparbergs.  There were also several individuals - Sarah Freeman, Samuel Feingold, Morris Klingermann, Charles Mutsnick, and Wolf Simon. In total, there were 36 people residing at 1122 North 8th. 10 in the front, 26 in the rear. The country of origin for all adults was Russia.

Over the years I've written several entries on the Carr Square Neighborhood, and on the subsection called Little Jerusalem. Over the last week I decided to start with the families at 1122, and see what I could find out about their descendants. The term FAN Principle (Friends, Associates, Neighbors), credited to Elizabeth Shown Mills, is somewhat applicable. However, my primary intent wasn't to find out more about my ancestors through researching their neighbors. I was genuinely interested in what happened to the families living with my ancestors in the tenement.

Most of the single boarders are difficult to trace. I already knew that Rebecca Portnoy was Selig's sister, and she and her husband were childless. My new database after a week of researching Ancestry Hints is up to 275. A good proportion are the descendants of my second great grandparents, but unrelated surnames include Bernhardt, Buchman, Finkelstein, Friedman, Green, Kanefield, Klayman, Safron, Shcolnik, and Sparberg.

I'm ready to move on to the next address. I will probably move next door on the census, but I might make a detour to North Seventh Street where Selig's brother, Julius, was residing. Why am I interested? Having lived in St. Louis for my whole life I do expect to run across surnames that while not related to me, are still familiar. I'm also interested in fleshing out this community of Little Jerusalem where all of my paternal second great grandparents lived at one time. My Newmark ancestors arrived in 1909 and settled perhaps a block or two outside of the boundaries. The Cruvants, Blatts & Feinsteins all resided within the boundaries at some point.

I have created a secondary blog - Little Jerusalem 1900 to write about discoveries that aren't directly related to my family history. Today I posted a transcription of a news article about a War Between Candy Shops. It's a humorous story about competing businesses, and is a refreshing counterpoint to the disturbing descriptions of the tenement conditions I have read elsewhere. It also suggests that Candy Apples were introduced in St. Louis in 1900, 8 years prior to when they are said to have been invented in New Jersey. Some people might question how these two candy apples compared. Certainly many people confuse Caramel Apples with Candy Apples. But Caramel Apples are said to have been invented by Kraft Foods in the 1950s. It's not clear what was introduced in St. Louis in 1900 and how it may differ from what was introduced in 1908, but the description given in the newspaper article appears to resemble what we know today as Candy Apples. The origin story of the confection may need to be rewritten if Candy Apples were being sold by two candy shops in St. Louis in 1900.