Friday, March 4, 2022

More Tax Assessments for Selig and Anna Feinstein - And Fun with OCR

A month ago I found the 1910 Tax Assessment for my second great grandparents Selig and Annie Feinstein published in the St. Louis Globe Democrat 

I had been searching on his name and it came up. It was the only year it came up for, and I didn't dig much deeper.

This past week I was searching for his business partner, fellow blacksmith, Max Wieselman. A tax assessment list for 1907 came up:

I scrolled back a few pages and found my second great grandfather.

One nice thing about is you can view the Optical Character Recognition (OCR) text. Since I knew that it wasn't reading it as, "Feinstein," I was curious what it was reading it as. Felnatein. Reading an "i" as an 'l' isn't surprising. Neither is reading an 's' as an 'a.' So I started conducting more searches with various character replacements.

Then I went to the header on the first page. I wanted to find the list for as many years as possible. The opening sentence in the body of the article says "The Globe-Democrat, following its custom of many years, presents the complete list of St. Louis Taxpayers whose assessments are $5000 or more." How long was this custom?
Searching for "Assessments for Taxation" yielded no lists.
Searching for "St. Louis Taxpayers Who Are Listed" yielded none of the lists.
So I wondered - what was being indexed for the clipping above?

It looks like headline-size text is not read very well - which is the opposite of what I would expect. I searched for "Increase over last year" without much success. 

So far I have only uncovered 1902, 1907, 1909 and 1910 listings in my search from 1900-1915. I have found references to the listing in other years saying something to the effect "this list appears in today's paper," but the list isn't there. I think some years it may have been published in a separate pull-out section that didn't get scanned when the microfilm was made, and thus didn't get digitized. Though it is possible there are some years that have been digitized, but I just haven't had any luck finding the listings yet.


                                            Selig and Anna Feinstein didn't make the 1902 list




Selig's assessment dropped a little from 1907-1909, but a joint assessment with his wife appeared. From 1909 to 1910 the individual assessment remained the same, but the joint assessment grew. So far, this is all I know about the financial success of his real estate business.