Why St. Louis? #general


BJ Rudman <bjrudman@...>
 

My great grandfather, Solomon RUDMAN, came to the United States from, I believe,
Zaslawye, Belarus in 1894. He immigrated through New York to St. Louis with some of
his children; his wife and other children came to St. Louis in 1895. To my
knowledge, he had no relatives in St. Louis. Were there any particular factors that
would have prompted him to travel the additional 1000 miles >from NYC to settle in
St. Louis? Was something going on in St. Louis at this time that was attractive to
immigrant Russian Jews? Was any attempt made to "recruit" immigrant Jews to St.
Louis? Was he following others he knew >from Zaslawye? Any information or ideas
would be very much appreciated.

BJ Rudman
Lexington, MA 02420


Jules Levin
 

BJ Rudman wrote:
My great grandfather, Solomon RUDMAN, came to the United States from, I believe,
Zaslawye, Belarus in 1894. He immigrated through New York to St. Louis with some
of his children; his wife and other children came to St. Louis in 1895. To my
knowledge, he had no relatives in St. Louis. Were there any particular factors
that would have prompted him to travel the additional 1000 miles >from NYC to
settle in St. Louis? Was something going on in St. Louis at this time that was
attractive to immigrant Russian Jews? Was any attempt made to "recruit"
immigrant Jews to St. Louis? Was he following others he knew >from Zaslawye? Any
information or ideas would be very much appreciated.
See the movie "Meet Me in St. Louis", with an incredibly young and beautiful Judy
Garland, which takes place in St. Louis at that time, and shows the spirit of
expansion and optimism that characterized the big new industrial cities of the
midwest -- Chicago, St. Louis, etc. There was a great economic boom and expansion
going on, and jobs were plentiful. My own grandfather started out as a tailor in
Chicago, but soon switched to "hod carrier", working on construction, because it
paid more than tailoring.

Jules Levin
Los Angeles


Roger Lustig
 

BJ:

Is there a Landsmanshaft >from Zaslawye? What did your g-gf do for a living?

Does the JewishGen Family Finder have entries made by people who cited both St.
Louis and Zaslawye as interests? For that matter, have you listed your RUDMAN
family for either place?

Roger Lustig
Princeton, NJ USA

BJ Rudman wrote:

My great grandfather, Solomon RUDMAN, came to the United States from, I believe,
Zaslawye, Belarus in 1894. He immigrated through New York to St. Louis with some
of his children; his wife and other children came to St. Louis in 1895.


tom
 

the st louis world's fair was in 1904, so there was probably an upsurge in economic
activity leading up to it.

in the absence of documentation, it's hard to guess what prompted your family to
move. sometimes they had relatives or acquaintances there, or they were offered
a job or a sales territory, or maybe they just heard stories that there were
economic opportunities there. or maybe, for some reason, they didn't like new
york, or had some reason for moving away >from the community?

even without instant communications, i think most of their reasons would be pretty
much the same as ours today.

tom klein, toronto

BJ Rudman <bjrudman@rcn.com> wrote:
My great grandfather, Solomon RUDMAN, came to the United States from, I believe,
Zaslawye, Belarus in 1894. He immigrated through New York to St. ouis with some of
his children; his wife and other children came to St. Louis in 1895. To my
knowledge, he had no relatives in St. Louis. Were there any articular factors that
would have prompted him to travel the additional 1000 miles >from NYC to settle in
St. Louis?


Frank Schulaner
 

BJ Rudman asked what might've brought his gg'father to that city. Must have been
because the 1904 Olympics and Judy Garland's Fair were scheduled together.
Understandable the building and recruiting started as early as 1895, the year
of Sol Rudman's aliyah. St.Louis had to be aware of Chicago's story; their 1892 Fair
wasn't ready to open till 1893.

Alice+Frank Schulaner


Marian Merritt <mmerritt@...>
 

My mother's father always said our immigrant ancestors were afraid if they stayed
in New York, they'd have to work in a sweat shop. Going to "frontier" cities like
St. Louis probably appealed to those with an entrepreneurial spirit. My own
relatives went to cities where the oil industry was getting started in western
Pennsylvania, and Ohio as well as pre-statehood Oklahoma and Texas. My
great-grandfather, a shopkeeper in little towns in Texas and then Oklahoma, would
go to St. Louis on buying trips in the late 1890's and there he met his future
wife.

Marian Merritt


Roger Lustig
 

St. Louis was not a "frontier" city in the 1850s, let alone the 1890s.
In the late 19thC it was a metropolis with 450,000 inhabitants and many
more outside the city limits--the fourth-largest city in the US in both
population and industrial output, and the junction of more railroads
than anywhere else in the country. 1894, the date mentioned by the
original poster, was 20 years after the completion of the Eads Bridge--a
feat of engineering that was celebrated worldwide.

There was a substantial Jewish population, many of whom had been there
since before the Civil War. They were largely German, of course, but
word would undoubtedly have leaked out to Jews elsewhere. People in
Eastern Europe would have known about it >from relatives, neighbors who
received mail >from their emigrant kin, landsmanshaften and the various
aid societies that existed then.

Speaking of which, many of those heading to the Golden Land came through
Germany, especially Hamburg. The Jewish aid societies there that helped
transients would undoubtedly have dispensed a little advice along with
the bread.

In short, one did not have to be particularly enterprising to look
beyond the East Coast, especially to the large Midwestern cities. If
memory serves, even Tevye the milkman was headed to Chicago.

Roger Lustig
Princeton, NJ

Marian Merritt wrote:
My mother's father always said our immigrant ancestors were afraid if they stayed
in New York, they'd have to work in a sweat shop. Going to "frontier" cities like
St. Louis probably appealed to those with an entrepreneurial spirit.
snip....


Sally Bruckheimer
 

I have two points that nobody seems to have made. First, the Lower East Side
of New York City was no paradise. It was exceedingly crowded and there
was crime and other problems. So some people wanted to go elsewhere if
they could afford it or connected with relatives elsewhere. My family,
as immigrants, mostly went elsewhere.

Secondly, those who left NYC were probably less religious than those
who stayed. During travel, and in smaller towns, they were less likely
to get kosher foodstuffs, minions, and schuls. Their children would have
to attend public schools and probably celebrate Christmas there.

Two of my ancestors, as immigrants who went elsewhere, helped found
synagogues where they resided, one in St. Louis and the other in
Bradford, PA, but they were not Orthodox in either case. The Bradford
family came >from Russia and were presumably Orthodox there, so I would
guess that they were less committed to Orthodoxy than some.

Even today, Orthodox Jews tend to stay in Orthodox communities in and
around big cities. If they went to small towns or even big cities away
from Orthodox communities, people would wonder what they are, so imagine
100 years ago or more. People were often less tolerant of differences and
more likely to shun (at best) people. My uncle opened a mens' clothing
store in rural New York State, probably about the late 1920's. Did he call
it Nathan's Clothes? No, he picked a thoroughly Christian sounding name for
it, so people wouldn't think it 'Jewish'.

But there were many reasons to go 'west'. Space and opportunities abounded.
Rather than slaving away at a sweatshop, people opened stores of various
kinds, and some even farmed. In Europe, most places Jews could not own land;
in the US, some Jews owned farms! After the Civil War, places like St. Louis
were full of new opportunities.

Sally Bruckheimer
Piscataway, NJ


Pamela Jacobs
 

I would like to thank all those who posted information about the
Industrial Removal Office and especially Bette Stoop Mas, who posted
the link to the index.

I knew that my maternal grandfather had come to Indianapolis, Indiana
(another "western" city easily accessible by train) shortly after
arriving in NYC in 1906 and that his employment there had been secured
by a Jewish organization, but I didn't know the name of the
organization until now.

I searched the IRO index online, and there he was, with date of
relocation, box, ledger and page numbers! I plan to visit the archives
at the Center for Jewish History and see what other genealogical gems
are contained in that ledger.

Again, thanks!

Pamela Ravin Jacobs
Brooklyn, NY, USA

Researching CHARASCH/CHARASZ, Brody---> Tarnopol; DICK/DYK, Tarnopol;
TAFFET, Tarnopol; RIVIN. Starobin; RAPPOPORT, Starobin.


Jules Levin
 

Sally Bruckheimer wrote:
snip... Secondly, those who left NYC were probably less religious than those
who stayed.


As a generalization this was true, but nevertheless there were Orthodox
Jews who ventured into the remote corners of America and tried to remain
Orthodox. My uncle by marriage was >from Cairo, Illlinois. He told me that
his father, who had a store in Cairo, was very religious. On their land
they raised chickens that his father shechted himself, and they raised a
calf every year. Once a year a traveling shochet (!!??) would come through
Cairo and shecht the animal, probably in the fall, so it could be butchered
and stored during the winter.

Jules Levin
Los Angeles