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The Steyerman Family Compiled by: Marilyn Brown & Sharon Lewis For Landmarks June 2008

The Jewish Community in Thomasville, GA

Herman & Ella Rosenberg wrote a small pamphlet about “The History of the Jews of Thomasville”. According to the Rosenbergs, the first Jewish families came to Thomasville from Germany in the 1870’s and 1880’s and from Eastern Europe in the late 1880’s and 1890’s. They came to Thomasville to “resurrect their broken lives in a hospitable climate of religious freedom, and to become useful citizens in the new world”.

Steyerman Family Tree • Simon Steyerman, brother of Louis Steyerman, married Rachel Adler and had 7 children. • Louis Steyerman, brother of Simon Steyerman, married Rachel Levenburg and had 5 children, including 4 sons (Heny, M. Clifton, Sidney V., & Lawrence) and 1 daughter, May. • Henry Steyerman, son of Louis & Rachel, married Rose Nason and had one son, Louis Steyerman II. • M. Clifton Steyerman, son of Louis & Rachel, married Bertha Glickman and had one son, Harry Clifton Steyerman. • Sidney V. Steyerman, son of Louis & Rachel, married Alma Steyerman – no children found in records • Lawrence B. Steyerman, son of Louis & Rachel, married Odessa Steyerman and had two sons: Larry and Victor.

Simon Steyerman 1849 - 1934 Simon Steyerman was the first of the Steyerman family to come to Thomasville from Germany in 1867. He was the brother of Louis Steyerman. Simon spent his early years in the grocery business with his brother Louis, and later years engaged in farming operations and real estate investments. He was on the Board of Directors of Thomasville National Bank and the Thomasville Building and Loan Association, and even involved in the ownership of the Cuban Cigar Company which was located at the present day Vashti. After retirement, “he bought cotton, produce and real estate and engaged a brokerage business for his own investments. He had a keen mind, a quick perceptive quality that brought him much success in business engagements.�

Mrs. Rachel Adler Steyerman (wife of Simon) – 1855 - 1944 Rachel Adler Steyerman was born in Stroudsburg, Pa., in 1855. She married Simon Steyerman in 1878 and came to Thomasville as a bride. She lived in Thomasville for 66 years. She & Simon resided in a residence at 330 N. Broad Street which is now across the street from the Post Office and is a business complex called The Village Square. Mrs. Steyerman was described as one “who held wifehood and motherhood as beautiful & sacred obligations.” They had 7 children. Mrs. Steyerman was “a devoted and faithful follower of the ancient Hebrew faith”.

Louis Steyerman – 1857 - 1940

Louis Steyerman Louis Steyerman was born July 11, 1857, near Frankfurt, Germany. At the age of 17, he followed his brother, Simon, to Thomasville shortly after the Civil War in 1873. Louis & Simon opened a grocery store at 105 S. Broad Street where the former CoCroft’s Music Store was. In 1926, Louis opened Steyerman’s, Inc. making each of his four sons head of a department. This new store was located at 102 S. Broad on the corner of Jackson & Broad Street. This Steyerman’s Store was considered a Thomasville institution. Louis Steyerman was a very talented business man. He was highly respected by his five children and by the community. He was very involved in many financial decisions around Thomasville and was heavily invested in stocks – both domestic and foreign.

Louis Steyerman’s Obituary in Thomasville Times Enterprise - April 27, 1940

Rachel Levenberg Steyerman – 1864 - 1952 Louis Steyerman went back to Europe and returned with bride Rachel Levenberg of England in 1887. Rachel was a well educated & traveled person; she was described as a woman of gracious presence. She came to Thomasville and never lost her English accent just as Louis never lost his German accent. Rachel spoke English & German, and Louis spoke German & English. According to their daughter, May Steyerman, her mother, Rachel, kept a “Proper English Home.” Rachel served biscuits and tea from an English silver biscuit box and a Queen Anne tea service that were wedding presents. Dishes and silverware were always washed in the butler’s pantry, while the pots and pans were washed in the kitchen. Over the dining room table hung a Jewish Sabbath light, a copper lamp that burned oil through a wick and was shaped like the star of David. There was a bell under the dining table that sounded in the kitchen and summoned servants. Other bells were throughout the house, and when rung, an arrow pointed to a “servant’s indicator” in the kitchen summoning the servants to that particular area.

Servant’s indicator in the Steyerman’s Kitchen

Henry Steyerman, oldest son of Louis & Rachel – 1888 – 1975 Henry was the 1st Vice President & Head of Men’s Clothing at Steyerman’s Inc.

M. Clifton Steyerman, second son of Louis and Rachel – 1890 – 1968. Clifton was the Secretary & Treasurer of the Corporation & head of Affairs of Accounting.

Sidney V. Steyerman, third son of Louis & Rachel – 1892 – 1966. At age 34, Sidney became President of Steyerman’s Inc. He was also head of Women’s Clothing.

Lawrence B. Steyerman, fourth & youngest son of Louis and Rachel – 1896 – 1959 Lawrence was the 2nd Vice President of Steyermans’ Inc. and head of Dry Goods & Piece Goods.

Mae Steyerman in 1979 showing some of Louis & Rachel’s (her parent’s) treasures to a Thomasville Times Enterprise Journalist.

May Beatrice Steyerman, only daughter of Louis & Rachel – 1898 - 1989

• Many described May as the devoted daughter. • She never married, and stayed with her parents in their home. • May was the sole heir of the Steyerman Home at 910 S. Broad Street, in Thomasville

Steyerman Family - Louis & Rachel Steyerman, and children: Sidney, May, Clifton, Lawrence, Henry, & dog, Muggs going for an outing in their 1913 Cadillac

Wars During Louis Steyerman’s Life

Wars during Louis Steyerman’s life • • • •

Civil War – 1861 – 1865 Spanish American War - 1898 World War I – 1914 – 1919 World War II – 1941 – 1945 World War II started as a result of the Aggressive invasion of Poland by Germany in 1939 & the Aggressive Invasion of China by Japan. Franklin D. Roosevelt declared war against the axis countries Germany & Japan after Japan’s surprise attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. Louis Steyerman tried to get his 80 year old sister out of Germany in 1939 after Poland was invaded by Germany. During this war, Hitler’s Nazi Party exterminated approximately 6 million Jews.

Letter from Louis Steyerman to the Department of Labor trying to get his 80 yr. old sister out of Germany in March of 1939.

Letter (reproduced) from Louis Steyerman to the Dept. of Labor dated March 30, 1939, requesting help to get his 80 yr. old sister out of Germany and to the United States. Steyerman’s

Thomasville, Georgia March 30, 1939 Mr. James L. Houghteling Dept. of Labor Washington, D.C. My Dear Sir: I have received note from Honorable E. E. Cox, representing the 2nd District of Georgia; he states that he would communicate with you relative to the needs of my sister in Germany who now resides in Weisbaden. She is 80 years old and I want to get her over here as early as I can; all papers have been executed for the immigration Visa, but the foreign consul advises her she will have to await her turn; I would like to know if there is any possibility of having her case given priority owning to her advanced age. The authorities are willing for her to emigrate to England providing I guarantee the $60.00 (sixty dollars) per month required by British Society. It is my desire to have her here with me, if there is anything you can do in the matter, I will appreciate the favor. Cordially Yours, Louis Steyerman

What Else Was Happening in the U.S. in1920’s when Steyermans opened their Department Store?

What was happening in the United States in the 1920’s? • • • •

Population Price of 1 gallon of milk Average annual income Popular book

• Children’s toys • • • •

Best Movie Styles Favorite sports Sports hero

121,767,000(1929) $.58 $1,574. A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway Erector Sets & Baby Dolls that say “Mama” Ben Hur Short Hemlines & Raccoon Coats Tennis, golf Lou Gehrig

What was happening in the United States in the 1920’s? • • • • •

Famous Outlaws Other Famous People Craze Favorite Cartoon Popular sayings

• Popular children’s games • Favorite Songs

• New Foods

Al Capone Albert Einstein Marathon dances Mickey Mouse “You’re the cat’s meow” Marbles, Jump Rope “Five Foot Two, Eyes of Blue” Welch’s Grape Jelly Popsicles Wrigley’s chewing gum

What was happening in the 1920’s?

• Firsts

Electric pop-up toaster Scotch Tape Contact Lens Radio Broadcast Electric Razor Dry Ice Transatlantic Radio telephone Antitoxin for Scarlet Fever First Motion Picture Hair Dryer Potato chips Manufactured Frozen Vegetables introduced

U.S. Presidents during the 1920’s

1913 – 1921 – Woodrow Wilson – Democrat • • • • • • • • • • •

1916 - Income Tax Became Legal 1917 – Wilson Declared War Against Germany (World War I) 1918 – League of Nations Established 1919 – Wilson given Nobel Peace Prize for helping to end World War I. 1920 – Nineteenth Amendment - give women the right to vote 1920 – Baseball’s Negro National League formed 1920 – Babe Ruth sold to the Yankees for $125,000. 1920 – First Hair Dryer introduced 1920 – Band-Aids invented 1920 – 18th Amendment – Prohibition Act – made liquor illegal. 1920 – Mohandas Gandhi – peaceful protests – he strived to free India from British rule. • 1920 – Adolph Hitler formed the Nazi Party • 1920’s – Zippers were invented – first used in U.S. Navy Flying suits. • 1921 – In China formed the Chinese Communist Party.

1921 – 1923 Warren Harding - Republican • 1921 – Immigration Restriction Act of 1921 – established the first quotas on immigration. • 1922 – Declared Limitation of Armament with Great Britain, Japan, France, & Italy. • 1922 – Teapot Dome Scandal – friends of Harding appointed to powerful positions. They accepted bribes for priceless oil reserves. Harding died of a heart attack just before the Scandal was publicized. • 1922 – Dictator Mussolini took over Italy with the Fascist Party • 1923 – First Electric Refrigerator designed in Sweden • American Birth Control League founded • Betty Crocker was popular • Einstein won the Nobel Prize for Physics for his Theory of Relativity • Insulin was first used to treat diabetes. • Reader’s Digest was first published

1923 – 1929 – Calvin Coolidge - Republican • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

1924 – Stalin took control of USSR & killed millions 1924 – U.S. granted citizenship to Native Americans 1924 – J. Edgar Hoover – became Director of the FBI 1924 – Kleenex & contact lenses were invented 1925 – Hitler’s Mein Kampf was published 1926 – Coolidge placed Commercial Aviation under Federal Regulation 1926 – Winnie-the-Pooh was written by A.A. Milne 1926 – Panama Canal Agreement 1926 – Television developed in Great Britain 1927 – Charles Lindbergh - Solo flight across the Atlantic 1927 – Model A Ford produced 1927 – Gutzon Borglum started the carving of Mount Rushmore 1928 – Japanese massacred Chinese Civilians 1928 – Coolidge encouraged the speculative “Bull Market” 1928 – Coolidge passed tax laws favorable to business 1928 – Walt Disney produced first animated cartoon with sound 1928 – Penicillin was discovered 1928 – First colored motion pictures 1928 – Iron lung was used to treat polio

1929 – 1933 Herbert Hoover - Republican 1929 – October 29th – Black Tuesday – Stock Market Crashes 1929 – Construction began on the Empire State Building 1929 - Clarence Birdseye developed frozen vegetables 1929 – Kodak produced the first 16mm color photographic film 1930 – Hoover was blamed for The Great Depression – did not believe in government aid for the unemployed & homeless • 1932 – Hoover loaned businesses billions of dollars to help them out of the depression • Hoover never accepted his salary for the presidency. • • • • •

What was happening in the World in the 1950’s when the Steyerman Department Store Closed? (Closed in 1956) • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Korean War Peanuts Comic Strip Betty Crocker Picture Cookbook Minute Rice introduced 22nd amendment passed limiting the president to 2 terms Holiday Inn Hotel chain was founded Mad Magazine issued Sara Lee marketed frozen cakes & pies President Eisenhower was elected Supreme court outlawed segregation (Brown v. Bd. Of Ed. Elvis Presley made first record Polio Vaccine was given to school children Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus Martin Luther King organized demonstrations Mickey Mouse Club on TV Disneyland Opened Procter & Gamble introduced Crest Dr. Seuss’ first book – The cat in the Hat Russia launched Sputnik Hula-Hoops Jet Service to Europe begins Alaska & Hawaii became the 49th and 50th states

What was happening in the U.S. in the 1950’s? • Population • National Debt: • Minimum Wage • • • • •

Popular Book: Popular Movie: Popular Song: Popular TV Show: Fashions:

• Popular Toys:

150,697,999 $256 billion $.75 per hr – raised to $1.00 per hr. in 1955 The Old Man and the Sea The Ten Commandments The Yellow Rose of Texas Father Knows Best Poodle Skirts, pony tails, Leather jackets for males Barbie dolls, Scrabble

Steyerman Family Homes

Simon & Rachel Steyerman’s Home According to Mrs. Simon Steyerman’s obituary dated June 6, 1944, the Simon Steyerman Family resided at 330 North Broad Street. Records show that at one time there was a home and office combination in this location. The Steyerman home has been destroyed and this location is presently a business complex called “The Village Square”. It is across the street from the Post Office.

330 N. Broad was the former site of the home of Mr. & Mrs. Simon Steyerman. Simon was the first Steyerman to come to Thomasville. Louis followed Simon here from Germany. Simon’s home site is presently The Village Square across from the Post Office. Records show that there used to be a home and office at this location. Photo Taken: June 2008

According to the 1886 Thomasville Directory, Louis & Rachel Steyerman’s First Home in Thomasville was on Remington Avenue next to the Episcopal Church. All 5 of their children were born while they resided in this location. There was no exact address mentioned.

The most well known Louis & Rachel Steyerman Family Home was built by Watson around 1904 and is located at 910 S. Broad on the corner of Broad and Hill Street – This picture shows the home being striped of old paint & repainted by “Paintmasters” – Dan Lyons of Thomasville, GA - Photo Taken: June 2008

The Steyerman Family Home 910 S. Broad is a Classic Revival Cottage – shown here being scraped and repainted when this photo was taken: June 2008

The Steyerman Family Home 910 S. Broad, Thomasville, GA Photo Taken: June 2008

The Steyerman Family Home at 910 S. Broad Photo Taken on Hill St. side of home – June 2008

Near the Hill Street Sidewalk close to The Steyerman Family Home

The Steyerman Family Home is now used for offices by The Archbold Medical Center Archbold Foundation

Central Hallway in the Steyerman House at 910 Broad Street, Thomasville, GA Date of picture: June 24, 2008

Dining Room in Steyerman House – presently used as offices by Archbold. Photo taken: June 24, 2008

Dining Room in the Steyerman Home at 910 Broad Street Presently used as offices by Archbold Photo taken: June 24, 2008

Staircase in Steyerman Home at 910 S. Broad Street Photo Taken: June 24, 2008

Unusual Copper Water Heater from Connecticut – According to May, daughter of Louis & Rachel, an identical copper water heater was sent to Greenwood Plantation. Photo Taken: June 2008

Copper Water Heater in Steyerman House Photo Taken: June 2008

Ornate Wood Ceiling in hallway of Steyerman House at 910 S. Broad Street Photo Taken: June 2008

Basement at Steyerman House at 910 S. Broad Street, Thomasville, GA. Photo Taken: June 2008

214 Glenwood Drive was the home of Henry and Rose Steyerman. Henry was the son of Louis & Rachel – Henry was Born 1888, Died 1975 Photo Taken: June 2008

145 Belmont Drive was built in 1936 by Lawrence Steyerman son of Louis & Rachel Steyerman – Lawrence was Born-Feb. 16, 1896; died Sept. 15, 1959. Photo Taken: June 2008

Steyerman Family Businesses

Steyerman Family Grocery Store was in the Present Day CoCroft Music Store at 105 S. Broad. This was run by Simon & Louis Steyerman. Photo Taken: June 2008

Brothers Simon & Louis Steyerman ran a Grocery Store here in 1885 (The Present Day CoCroft Building at 105 S. Broad Street) Photo Taken: June 2008

There is an “SB” at the top of The CoCroft Building which stands for Steyerman Brothers Photo Taken: June 2008

The Steyerman Family Business, known as Steyerman’s Inc., was located at 102 S. Broad. This Mission Style Building opened as a Department Store in 1926 and was run by Louis Steyerman & his four sons. Presently Coffee Interiors, Inc. owned by Gary & Betty Tucker - Photo taken June 2008

The Steyerman building faces both Broad & Jackson Streets. This is the Broad Street Entrance to the Steyerman Building at 102 S. Broad Street Presently Cargo Unlimited owned by Gary & Betty Tucker Photo Taken June 2008

The Steyerman Family Business corner stone – corner of Broad and Jackson notes the date Louis & Simon were in business – doesn’t really go with the building at 102 S. Broad. The Steyermans opened the Steyerman Store at 102 S. Broad in 1926.

Third Floor of the Old Steyerman Building at 102 S. Broad St. Presently is Coffee Interiors, Inc. Photo taken: June 24, 2008

Third Floor of The Steyerman Building – Presently Coffee Interiors, Inc. Photo Taken: June 24, 2008

The Steyerman Building at 102 Broad St. originally had duel staircases leading to a 2nd level Mezzanine with balcony overlooking the entire 1st floor. Presently Coffee Interiors, Inc. Photo Taken: June 24, 2008

Original Metal ceiling in the Steyerman Building at 102 Broad St. - Presently Coffee Interiors, Inc. Photo Taken: June 24, 2008

View of Steyerman Building (at 102 Broad Street) from the 1st Floor – looking up to the 2nd floor Mezzanine and stairs leading to 3rd floor. The building also has a full basement. Presently Coffee Interiors, Inc. Photo Taken: June 24, 2008

Silver Cup given to Louis Steyerman by his 4 sons: Henry A., Maurice C., Sidney V., and Lawrence B. Commemorating the opening of the New Steyerman’s Store in 1926. Photo Taken: June 2008

1926 Thomasville Times Enterprise article about the opening of the New Steyerman Store at 102 Broad Street – Father, Louis and four sons: Sidney, Henry, Lawrence, and Clifton

Another view of the 1926 Thomasville Times Enterprise article about the Steyermans opening their new store at 102 S. Broad St.

1926 Steyerman’s ad in the Thomasville Times Enterprise.

1926 Steyerman’s ad in Thomasville Times Enterprise.

November 23,1926 These items were included in a Steyerman ad in Times Enterprise • • • •

Fabric – Tweeds & Twills Flannels - $1.98 & $1.25 per yard Lady’s silk bloomers $.98 Departments: – Lady’s Hosier & Gloves – Handkerchief Dept. – Underwear & Corsets Dept. – Piece Goods (Fabric from the Orient) – Toilet Goods – Art Goods, Lace, & Notions – Fitting Rooms – Pattern Dept. – Men’s Dept. – Crossett Shoe Dept. for Men – Executive Offices on the Mezzanine – Boy’s Dept. – Lounge – Rug Dept – Luggage Dept – Men’s Dept. – Beauty Salon

Steyerman Family Documents

Written by sons in memory of their father.

Memorial Letter written by one of Louis Steyerman’s sons after his death. “Wheras, It has pleased the Almighty to remove from our midst, by death, our esteemed Father & co-laborer, Louis Steyerman, who has from our childhood occupied a prominent rank in our midst, maintaining under all circumstances a character untarnished, and reputation above reproach. Therefore, resolved, that in the death of our Father we have sustained the loss of our best friend whose guidance it was an honor & a pleasure to enjoy; that unquestioned probity & stainless life. We pray that Infinite goodness may bring speedy relief to our burdened hearts & inspire us with the consolation that Hope in futurity & Faith in God give even in the Shadow of the Tomb. My we as the sons of our Father so carry on this great work that he has started for us. Resolved that a copy of these resolutions may be entered in the minutes of the meeting of the stockholders of Louis Steyerman & Sons, Inc.”

Louis Steyerman & Rachel Levonberg’s Marriage Certificate in Hebrew

Louis Steyerman and Rachel Levonberg’s marriage certificate in English.

Louis Steyerman was heavily into the stock market. This document is dated 1924. Some of Steyerman’s Stock Certificates at the History Museum are dated June 25, 1929, indicating he was still buying stock just before the crash in Oct. 1929.

This is Rachel Steyerman’s will leaving the family home at 910 S. Broad St. to daughter, May Steyerman.

Rachel Steyerman’s will – leaving house and the larger portion of her estate to daughter, May Steyerman who always lived with her parents.

Louis Steyerman’s plea to the Dept. of Labor to get his 80 year old sister out of Germany in 1939.

Steyerman Family Cemetery Plot Laurel Hill Cemetery Thomasville, Georgia Photos taken: June 2008

Steyerman Family Burial Plot in Laurel Hill Cemetery in Thomasville, GA.

Steyerman Family Grave Site – Laurel Hill Cemetery, Thomasville, GA.

Steyerman family headstone – family plot at Laurel Hill Cemetery, Thomasville, GA.

Louis Steyerman, husband of Rachel and father of Henry, Clifton, Sidney, Lawrence, and May Steyerman. 1857 - 1940

Rae (Rachel) L. Steyerman, wife of Louis and mother of Henry, Clifton, Sidney, Lawrence, and May Steyerman. 1863 - 1952

Henry A. Steyerman – 1988 – 1975 Son of Louis & Rachel Husband of Rose Nason Steyerman Father of Louis Steyerman II

Rose Nason Steyerman 1894 - 1987 Wife of Henry A. Steyerman Mother of Louis Steyerman II

Louis Steyerman, II - 1920 – 2000 Son of Henry A. Steyerman & Rose Nason Steyerman

Maurice Clifton Steyerman – 1890 – 1968 Son of Louis & Rachel; Husband of Bertha G. and Father of Harry Steyerman

Bertha Glickman Steyerman 1892 – 1968 Wife of Maurice Clifton Steyerman Mother of Harry Clifton Steyerman

Harry Clifton Steyerman - 1927 – 1988 Son of Maurice Clifton Steyerman & Bertha Glickman Steyerman

Sidney V. Steyerman 1892 – 1966 Son of Louis & Rachel Husband of Alma Steyerman

Alma Steyerman 1905 – 1992 Wife of Sidney V.Steyerman.

Lawrence B. Steyerman – 1896 – 1959 Son of Louis & Rachel Steyerman Husband of Odessa Steyerman Father of two sons: Larry & Victor Steyerman

Odessa Steyerman – 1910 – 1998 Wife of Lawrence B. Steyerman Mother of two sons: Larry and Victor

May Beatrice Steyerman, only daughter of Louis & Rachel Steyerman 1898 – 1989.

June Gibson Steyerman 1927 - 1985

The Steyerman Family’s Influence on Thomasville The Steyermans were very astute business people. Their business sense and leadership in this community made a marked difference in Thomasville Commerce and the availability of fine products for Thomasvillians. The Steyermans were known for their intelligence and their integrity. Most records show The Steyerman Store closing in 1956. The Steyermen Family presence has been sorely missed as many of them dispersed to Tallahassee, Macon, and other surrounding cities. Some of the Steyermans must still consider Thomasville their home, however, as the latest internment to the Steyerman Family Plot at Laurel Hill was Louis Steyerman II on January 2000.

The Steyerman Family  

Overview of the Thomasville, Georgia, Steyerman families.

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