Early Beaumont Jewish Community 6
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In lieu of a trained rabbi, S. Feinberg, W. Bluestein, and probably others, acted as lay leaders for the Jewish assemblies, the latter possessing the only Torah in Beaumont in 1881. 20

Usually, Jewish weddings were the instrument for bringing visiting rabbis to Beaumont. Beaumont’s first was that of Sam Lederer to Mildred Hirsch, the daughter of Mrs. J. J. Loeb, in February, 1889, with Rabbi Kaiser of Galveston officiating at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church.21 The second was that of W. T. Smyth to Jeanette Schwerin in May, 1891. 22

Beaumont’s third Jewish wedding of record was that of Mattie Loeb to George Bliss, a young merchant, in March, 1892. Rabbi Wilner of Houston officiated at the City Hall, where “floral decorations were beautifully and tastefully arranged.”23 The weddings of’ Jake Nathan to Annette Levy, daughter of the rabbi, in 1900, and Ada Feinberg to Henry Roos in 1901 were the Jewish social events of those years.24

In 1888, of six dry goods firms doing a combined annual business of $220,000, five of them, Schwartz Brothers, H. Solinsky, L. R. Levy, F. Hecht, and E. Morris, were Jewish-owned. Levy was also in the grocery business. In 1889, Schwartz Brothers built a three-story building to enlarge their business.25

In 1889, three other Jews, R. M. Mothner, Hyman A. Perlstein, and M. H. Hirsch, settled in Beaumont, each with a favorable effect on the community, and Perlstein with only $11.90 in his pocket. Mothner became Beaumont’s second jeweler (Alfred Schwaner, the first). He became an organizer and the first president of the Jubilee Lodge, B’nai B’rith, and later of the Chamber of Commerce and the Beaumont Fair Association. In 1902 he and Perlstein brought in a Spindletop gusher on a site where, earlier, Captain Anthony Lucas reputedly had been unsuccessful.26

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20Blum et al., “Founders and Builders,” p. 9.

21Marriage Book A, Nr. 1281, Feb. 24, 1889, Jefferson County, Texas, Archives; Blum et al., “Founders and Builders, 1878-1923,” p. 2.

22Marriage Book A, Nr. 1441, May 27, 1891, Jefferson County, Texas, Archives.

23Marriage Book A, Nr. 1509, March 2, 1892, Jefferson County; Texas, Archives; Galveston Daily News, March 7, 1892; “Emerald of the Neches,” pp. 514-515.

24Blum et al., “Founders and Builders, 1878-1923,” pp. 5-6; Beaumont Enterprise, Jan. 24, 1901. See also photo of Mrs. Henry Roos in B. C. C., The Beaumont Country (Oct., 1913), Vol. 111, Nr. 3.

25Galveston Daily News, Apr. 12, 1889; “Emerald of the Neches,” p. 389.

26See biography of R. M. Mothner, Sabine Pass News, May 5, 1900; see also Block, “Emerald of the Neches,” p. 544; also ad and photo, R. M. Mothner, Standard Blue Book of Texas, 1908-1909 (Houston: 1908), pp. 101, 197; Perlstein Papers, Special Collections, Mary and John Gray Library, Lamar University.

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