Early Beaumont Jewish Community 12
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The Harmony Club, another Jewish men’s social order, was organized on February 19, 1899, its founder and first and second presidents being Maurice Goldstein. In January, 1901, its officers were Abe Goldsmith, president; J. S. Gordon, vice-president; Wolf Hecht, secretary; Bernard Deutser, treasurer; and Joe Rosenthal, house steward. Other members of 1901 included Charles Stern, Silvestor Greenwood, M. Hecht, W. G. Hecht, L. Solinsky, Joe Solinsky, Abe Solinsky, D. L. Goldstein, J. Goldstein, A. Zwirn, L. R. Levy, S. Lederer, E. Deutser, Louis Schwartz, Sid Levy, Sidney Mayer, Morris Levy, E. Szafir, Sr., B. Szafir, Jr., Alex Szafir, H. Hirsch, R.        M. Mothner, Leo H. Mothner, S. Feinberg, Isadore Feinberg, Henry Roos, Nathan Roos, J. S. Gordon, H. Nathan, Sam Nathan, S. Light, E. Goldsmith, N. T. Cook, A. Cahn, J. Wiess, and Carl Broune.47

Two of the above-named members, Sam Nathan and Simon Light, also belonged to Beaumont’s Company D, Third Texas Infantry, during the Spanish-American War, and each returned to Beaumont after the war was over. During World War I, the city’s Jewish community was less fortunate. One young soldier, Sam Lewis, lost his life in that conflict.48

Unfortunately, all archives of the earliest Jewish activities in Beaumont have long since disappeared, and the old members of that era are deceased. The bulletins of the old Board of Trade or the early Beaumont Chamber of Commerce, 1901-1925, provide, however, many biographies and photos of the early Jewish community. And fortunately, the Galveston Daily News preserved much information for posterity by publishing something of early Beaumont Jewish activities at least weekly over a long period of years. As an example, the following announcement of January, 1898, reveals these facts:49

The Jewish Ladies’ Benevolent Society is meeting with every suc­cess in arranging for the third annual ball tomorrow night (Jan. 25) and the number of tickets sold indicates that the ladies will score a special hit. The bail will take place at the (Goodhue) Opera House, and there are a large number of the latest fancy costumes to appear at the entertainment.

It is in the hands of capable committees and will pass off smoothly. Invitations: Mesdames L. Solinsky, J. J. Loeb, and W. T. Smyth. Reception: Mesdames H. Hirsch, S. Feinberg; Messrs. R. M. Mothner. H. Hirsch, and S. Feinberg, Floor~ Messrs. H. Horwitz, Leo Mothner, Abe Goldsmith, and J. Frank. The ball is given for the benefit of a fund that is being raised to build a synagogue for Emanu-el Congregation in this city.

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47B. C. C, “History of the Harmony Club,” B. C. C., Art Souvenir-Beaumont. Texas, 1901, p. 36; photos of Harmony Club officers, ibid., p. 23; 011 Exchange, Advantages and Conditions of Beaumont and Port Arthur Today, 1902, p. 56.

48Blum et al., “Founders and Builders,” pp. 7-8; Beaumont Enterprise, Oct. 1, 1898.

49Galvesron Daily News, Jan. 23, 25, 1898.

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