FAMILY BLACK AND FAMILY LOVEMAN

by May Sobel

Foreword

Dear David and Ann:

[Note: David Loveman and Ann Loveman Nowland, children of Henry Loveman (1874-?), brother of May Loveman Sobel]

Children are, or at least in my day were, always interested in tales about their parents and grandparents. As they grow older, they become absorbed in their own life stories and forget those of their ancestors. Often in later life they would give much to have some record of their forebears. This is especially true of those boys and girls who have known only one or perhaps none of their grandparents and even more true when those grandparents came, as have yours on your father’s side, from foreign lands.

I had the happiness of knowing one greatgrandfather and four grandparents and of visiting the land of their and their children’s birth and of seeing many of the places they had described. I saw the tavern and the castel and the original double of the house occupied many years ago by them. It was in the year 1908. As your grandfather David [Note: This Grandpa was David L., son of Morris L., 7th son of the first David Loveman with his daughter May and her husband Victor Sobel], accompanied by Uncle Victor and myself, walked through his native village looking for familiar landmarks, we came upon a peasant girl dressed in the elaborate holiday costume of the land: headgear, embroidered blouse, Zoave jacket, and top boots. She was standing on the steps of a small house. Your grandfather asked her in German what had become of the house next door. She shook her head. As it was at the time when the Nationalist Magyar spirit was at its height and it was deemed unpatriotic for a Hungarian to speak or even understand German, grandpa David tried again in whatever Hungarian words he could remember. Again she shook her head. Then “Perhaps you speak English,” she ventured. “Yes,” grandpa replied, “We’re American.” “So am I,” she said. “I’ve lived in America since my eighth year.” When we told her that our family had once lived in a house that used to be next door, she informed us that it had burned down but that we were welcome to go through that of her parents, which was just like it.

Among the unusual things in the home that excited our interest were the high bed with its mountain of feather-mattresses, the beautiful Hungarian pottery, and a white felt coat heavily embroidered in vivid colors, which lay on a bench in the stable. The coat was a sort of bonus, she explained. It was given by her father to his peasant helper who had worked well and faithfully for him for a year.

As we thanked her and turned to go, grandpa David could not resist asking how she came to be dressed in native costume. She told us that the peasants made fun of her American clothes, so, as she had bought the costume to take home to Chicago with her, she was wearing it to avoid being followed about and annoyed. Six years after we returned from Europe, the first word war started and now we are going through the horrible catastrophe of this second one. Probably you and Ann will never see the land of your paternal ancestors and you were born too late to see them and hear their tales at first hand, so I have written my recollections of them the best I can, in the hope that they will prove as interesting to you as they are to me.

Aunt May (Sobel)
[Note: May Loveman Sobel (1871-?), daughter of David Loveman (1838-1914)}


 

Chapter I.

 

In the two small connecting towns of Lichard [Licsert, now Licartovce, Slovakia] and Shomus [Somos, now Drienov, Slovakia], Hungary, five generations of Lovemans and Blacks are buried. At the time our story opens, in the early part of the nineteenth century, the descendants of these families still lived in Shomus, as good neighbors. Though their circumstances were very different, they were the best of friends.

The Blacks had for many years been the managers and overseers of the estate of a nobleman. There were several brothers: Morris was the manager of the farm, David was in charge of all financial matters, and Lazar was in charge of disposing of the crops. They lived in the castle, as the owner was an absentee landlord. In America this castle would be nothing more than a very large house, built of stone and covered with cement. It stood in the center of a small sanded courtyard, surrounded by a high fence of the same material as the house.

Directly across the street, but facing on a street running at right angles to that on which the castle stood, the Lovemans lived in a small two-room house, with a stable adjoining. Their combined bedroom and living-room had a wooden floor, raised three or four feet above the street, from which a few steps led down into a room with a hard packed dirt floor, which did duty as a kitchen-dining room. In one corner of this room was a large built-in brick oven which not only heated the kitchen by also the adjoining living room on one side and the stable on the other. The top of this oven also served as a warm bed in the winter time. Running along the walls of the kitchen-dining room was a plate shelf which in those days, over a hundred years ago, was a very fashionable and which became the style in America about forty years ago. Upon this shelf was placed colorful Hungarian pottery of the time. The rest of the furniture was of the simplest kind.

Your greatgrandpa Morris Loveman was the head of our family. He farmed in a small way, but his chief occupation was keeping the town tavern. Because of his known integrity, he was given the official approval of the Government for the sale of all alcoholic beverages. In that time the liquor industry was under the complete control of the Government. Greatgrandpa was one of a family of eight children, seven brothers and one sister. He was the youngest of the brothers. His mother and father had always been in straitened circumstances but were anxious to have at least one of their sons become a rabbi.

Grandpa Loveman was of the “Cohanim,” a title given to all Jews descended in the male line from the high priest Aaron, brother of Moses. A “Cohen” was allowed to give the benediction with the raised hands of the priest, was not supposed to go in a room with the dead, nor to visit the cemetery. After the older brothers were grown and helping with the family living the older Lovemans were at last able to scrape up enough money to send Morris to a rabbinical school in a neighboring town, though with barely enough for his living expenses. Grandpa Loveman’s sleeping quarters were the benches, or pews, of the synagogue where the school was held. He often said that there was only one soft wood bench in the room and the students would fight for that. In winter time it was bitterly cold and in order to keep their feet warm the students slept in their trousers, pulling them down over their feet. The townspeople thought they were doing a good deed, which would be recorded in heaven, when they offered to invite student for meals once or twice a week, but Grandpa Loveman was of a very independent spirit and when he was offered two or three meals a week in different houses, he felt no better than a beggar and could not make up  his mind to accept. He decided rather than do so he would stint himself and furnish his own food. He regretted his pride afterwards as he had only enough money to buy a large loaf of bread a week and had to notch this into seven portions and live on these have starvation rations while he was at the school. No wonder that after a year’s study he decided that the rabbinate was not for him and he came back home — much to the disappointment of his parents.

At the age of nineteen a marriage was planned for him by his parents and he was allowed to choose his bride from among his cousins. I have been told that he chose one, Eva Esther, not because of her beauty or cleverness, but because of her sweetness and fragility. She was seventeen and already considered an old maid. All of these things appealed to his feeling of pity and protection. At the time at which our story begins he was the father of six living children out of a family of thirteen. At that time very little was known of the proper care of either mothers or infants and the mortality among them was great.

 


Chapter II.

 

The first member of the Black family, as far as can now be traced, was a teacher of Hebrew, whose son refused to take the Hebrew learning offered to him by his father, in spite of severe whippings. This son made himself well thought of by the nobility of the region, and was liberal-minded enough to send his children to the gentile gymnasium (school), contrary to the custom of the Jews. About the year 1830, the revolutionary ideas of Rousseau were making themselves felt all over Hungary. In Hungary, however, the ideas and papers of Rousseau had to be kept hidden.

One of the five sons of this ancestor, David Black, later opened a school for his own children and the children of his friends. He was appointed by the Government judge of the Jewish courts of the district. He lived for the eighty years of his life in Shomus. He was an ardent freethinker but always gave to the Jewish Synagogue. From him descended the family with which our story opens, and their liberal ideas greatly influenced the thinking of the Loveman family.

At that time several of the Black brothers, all married and with families of their own, were living in harmony in the “castel” or castle. The Blacks were wealthy enough to have tutors for their children and allowed the children of the Morris Loveman family to take advantage of study along with their own children. In that was the Loveman boys received a good education; much better than would otherwise have been possible, as there were almost no schools which they could attend other than those for the study of Hebrew and the Jewish prayers and ritual. One amusing tale that was told is that the teacher, a Mr. Friedlander, who afterwards married one of the Blacks’ daughters, was going on a journey and before he left he soundly thrashed both Louis and Joseph Black. In amazement the boys said: “We haven’t done anything. Why are you whipping us?” The teacher replied: “I know what you are going to do while I am gone and I know you will need it.”

Perhaps another story of the boys’ school days that would be of interest is one that has to do with two of the Loveman boys. Grandpa Morris Loveman, and especially his wife, were strict observers of the laws and customs of the orthodox Jewish religion, and being in a town too small to support a butcher who met the requirements of that faith, were obliged to send to the neighboring larger village to have their fowls killed and meat butchered. One day, Uncle Emanuel and his younger brother, your Grandfather David, had been sent to this village to have a goose killed in the traditional way. On the way back the boys were caught in a very heavy snowstorm. The younger brother, David, became very tired and very sleepy and begged his brother to allow him to lie down for just a second or two. Emanuel protested and kept him walking but was about to give up, when a peasant driving a horse and wagon came by, going in the same direction. Emanuel begged him to give them a lift. The man refused and no amount of persuasion and explanation that the boy might be frozen to death if he did not allow them to ride, seemed to help. Emanuel was puzzled that the man should be so obstinate under the circumstances, when suddenly the reason struck him and he said to the peasant: “Now I know why you won’t give us a ride! If you still refuse, I at least will get home all right and I will tell the authorities. You know my father is the tavern keeper and I know what is in your wagon; you might just as well take us in because I know you are smuggling in liquor. If you take us I promise not to tell on you.” And so the peasant took them both in his wagon and they arrived home safely.

Among the elders of the Black family, Morris Black was the most beloved of the brothers. He was known for his kindness and humanity. As an illustration of his understanding of men, he once told Emanuel Loveman, who was working for him, to watch the peasants in the field. Emanuel saw a peasant woman go off with a bag of potatoes and started to rush after he but felt the manager’s hand on his shoulder, who said: “Stop boy! Last week her husband died and if we had sent her a bag of potatoes she would not have stolen them.” His judgment was much respected in the community. At one time grain was found to be missing from the bin and when the thief was finally caught he was found to be a discharged servant. Mr. Black sent for him and asked: “You have always been an honest man; how does it happen you turn thief?” The reply came: “When you discharged me for drinking I looked everywhere for work but when the men to whom I applied heard that your great patience with me had been exhausted they were sure I could not be of any use to them.” Of course, Mr. Black gave him another chance.

About the year 1850, when the Kossuth Revolution had failed, — largely because the Russians had been invited into the country by the Austrians to help them subdue the Magyars — the hard won rights of the Hungarians had been again taken away and the country was in a deplorable condition. Half-starved soldiers were moving through the land, asking for food and even taking it by force. The Blacks, though themselves, as we have said, in very good circumstances, rather than live in a country where conditions of almost serfdom had returned, had emigrated to America, seeking a land of freedom. They had come with a group of other Hungarians under the leadership of Kossuth. They finally settled in Cleveland, Ohio, where, after losing nearly all of their capital, reportedly $100,000 in gold, they succeeded at the sixth attempt in founding a lucrative business, the manufacture of cloaks and suits. When the Blacks had been in America for about ten years, Morris Black and his wife went back to Europe for a visit. They found about twenty friends and relatives, including a Mr. William Rich (who afterwards married one of the Loveman daughters), who wanted to come to America with them. Mr. and Mrs. Black had gone over second-class, intending to return the same way, but in order to bring back to America such a large number of people, many of whom did no have the necessary funds, they managed by buying steerage tickets for all, themselves included. When they reached New York they took their charges in an open wagon to Mr. M. Heilprin’s house in Brooklyn. It was shortly after the time that Commodore Perry had forced Japan to grant the “open door” to the United States. When the children of the neighborhood saw this open wagon full of foreigners, they screamed out that the Japanese were coming. When the immigrants arrived at the Heilprin home they spread out their belongings and (as they had done on shipboard) went to work to cook for themselves in the back yard. This display in the midst of their neighbors was very embarrassing to some of the Heilprin family; in fact, when Adessa, the daughter who felt herself to be the aristocrat of the family, came home from school and heard the cries of the children that the Japanese were coming and discovered they were in her own back yard, she immediately went up to her room and cried the rest of the day, refusing to come out. This same Adessa married a Loveman. Mr. Heilprin was a very good friend of both the Loveman and Black families. He was a Pole who had come to Hungary because of his revolutionary ideas, and who in a very shot time had mastered the Hungarian language. He had written articles for the revolution and had been made Kossuth’s secretary. The revolution having failed, he was exiled and finally came to America. After he settled in this country he helped found the well-known periodical “The Nation,” and was connected with it till the day of his death. Among other works he wrote the “Psalms of the Hebrews.” He also accomplished a monumental work as one  of the revisers of Appleton’s Encyclopedia.

Morris Black died some years before his other brothers, but he lived long enough to see his brothers and their children and his own immediate family happy and successful in every way, and to help many of his “landsmen” achieve the same success. His epitaph reads:

“Here rests a heart that beat for truth and right;

Loved freedom, hated cant, and longed for light,

That bled when base oppression’s triumph shone,

Felt others’ woe and bravely bore his own.”


Chapter III.

 

The home of the Blacks in America soon became the mecca for many visitors and emigrants from Hungary, among them being Louis Kossuth and Remenyi, the celebrated gypsy violinist. To tell the truth, the Blacks themselves looked as if they had considerable gypsy blood. The men had strong, robust bodies, and were dark-skinned, with strong features, and with their drooping moustaches resembled gypsy brigands. The women were good-looking, as the Blacks usually selected pretty women for their wives. They had ivory skins and large dark eyes. The whole family were extremely fond of music and some of the women had very sweet voices.

Speaking of the wives of the Blacks, David Black who was the learned member of the family married a lovely child of twelve, who did not want to be married and ran away to her home three times, but afterwards became a very happy wife and the mother of three daughters and one son. The son was killed by lightning at an early age. Morris Black, on the contrary, married a woman for her intelligence and strength of character, while Lazar Black became the husband of two wives. His second wife was so large and stout that in later years she actually had to be rolled around in a chair. She had no children. She made Lazar a very good wife and his children a good stepmother. Lazar Black was a very absentminded man and there are many humorous stories told of him. One was that he went around all of one day looking for his vest and did not find it until in undressing for bed that night found that he had put it on under his underwear. Another story is that his wife always went through his clothes when he returned from his journeys, in order to collect and send back to the various people in whose homes he had visited, or where he had been invited to meals, the linen napkins which she was wont to find in his various pockets. He lived to be ninety-three years old and in his later years not only delighted to help his daughter (who had married the aforementioned school teacher) in her various household tasks, but, with the aid of a strong magnifying glass, kept himself occupied in translating Hebrew books into German. He was very fond of his numerous grand and greatgrand children and always carried a copper snuffbox full of pennies for them. This Lazar Black, the businessman brother, you will remember, was your great-greatgrandfather and the head of the Toledo Blacks. He had three sons, Herman, Alexander, and Julius, and three daughters, Great-aunt Hart, Great-aunt Schoenfeld, and your great-grandmother, Mrs. Adolph (Ernestine) Friedlander. His sons finally established themselves in the manufacture of cloaks and suits in Toledo, Ohio. This business was afterwards changed to a retail business and became one of the city’s largest department stores, under the name of LaSalle & Cook. Mr. Cook was the son-in-law of Alexander Black. The oldest of the three Black brothers, Herman, moved back to Cleveland and was quite successful there. The three daughters, after living in various other towns, settled in Chicago, where they lived very comfortable lives until their deaths. Many Friedlander cousins still live in Chicago. For grandmother Friedlander see three supplementary pages.


Chapter IV

 

About the time the Black family emigrated the younger brothers of the Loveman family also began to think of risking their fortunes in America. Uncle Bernard Loveman, who was two years older than Grandpa Morris Loveman, in his youthful days had been the most religious one of the family, even quarreling with his oldest brother for not keeping the laws of Moses strictly enough. Later he had been converted by a traveling Polish Jewish philosopher to what today is called agnosticism, and he longed to be in a land were even the so-called freethinker was allowed to live in peace. For more about this interesting great-great-uncle I shall refer you to the notice of Cousin Erne Noa (now Mrs. Sam Davis), the granddaughter of Uncle Bernard Loveman, though these notes vary in quite a few details from my information. Cousin Erne writes:

“I am not certain about the name, David, of our great-grandfather, but I am sure of the name, Rosa, of our great-grandmother. All I know of her is that she was young and lovely, the mother of two sons. (I am ashamed to say I don’t know whether your grandfather or mine was the older), and, I think, a daughter, of whom I know nothing. They lived in one of those huge stone peasant houses of which I have seen many, where the master lived on the first floor or floors and the serfs on the other floors. A devastating fire, inside, drove them all out, and when they thought all were safe, a woman servant began to shriek that her infant had been left inside. Our great-grandmother rushed into the burning to save the baby, and perished there, along with whatever family papers there were, and that’s why we don’t have any data. Bernard Loveman was given a very good education. He was master of seven languages and was a student at the college or university at Kaschau. He early became aware of the hideous inequalities of the peasants and serfs, and became involved in the revolutionary activities when they first started. In the war, 1848-49, he did scout duty, and was forced, when the revolution failed, to flee the country; there was a price on his head. Leonora Loveman wrote a book called “Revolt” about a boy in the revolution in which the boy’s father, a doctor, was drawn from and based upon the exploits of Bernard Loveman.

“There is a story about Bernard’s wife, Grandmother Loveman, concerning a battle which occurred between Kaschau and the village Litchard where they lived. Their oldest son, Emanuel, was at college, Grandmother was at home alone with the children, and a sanguinary battle had been fought. she was determined to see that her son was safe and to bring him home — he was fifteen, and she went alone, at night, across the battlefield, strewn with dead and dying, to Kaschau, where she found the boy safe and brought him home. Her trip across Europe with her five children, to join her husband after his escape, must have been awful, but I do not know whether Bernard was with her, or how long it took, or where she met him, if he was waiting for her. Nor do I know from which port they sailed. When they arrived in New York, they had absolutely nothing but a little bag of uncut Hungarian opals. A land salesman got hold of Bernard, who must have been dazed anyhow from all he’d gone through, and took his opals in exchange for a large piece of land in Michigan on the Owosso [Shiawassee] River. There they lived for four years, and there Aunt Sarah was born, 1856, in a log house. I do not know whether they landed in America before or after Herman’s birth in 1852, but you see there was much time not accounted for between the failure of the Revolution in 1849 and the arrival in America in 1850 or 1851, and that’s why I think they must have been wandering about Europe until they could get away. Grandmother did not like to talk about it, and Mother did not remember.

“The life in Michigan must have been terrific, with neither of the parents fitted for pioneering. I used to look at Grandmother’s delicate white hands and wonder how she ever endured it. I think they went to Nashville about 1859 or maybe 1858, where your Grandfather Morris Loveman probably gave mine work to do, and he died there in either 1866 or 1867. He must have been a lovely man, for after all the years Mother never could speak of him without emotion; of his immense erudition, his gentleness, fastidious elegance, humor, and courage.”

It was in 1854 that the Morris Loveman family decided to come to America. They had written to Uncle Bernard Loveman — the adventurous agnostic brother who has just been described and who had settled with his family in Owosso, Michigan, about two years before, and had asked him if he would be able to look out for them until they could establish themselves in the new country. Bernard wrote back that he could just about give them a place to sleep and eat until they could make other arrangements. The reason for great-grandpa Morris Loveman’s decision to leave Hungary and go to America was because of his worldly fortunes, which had gone from bad to worse, as a result of the economic conditions in Hungary after the Revolution, and also because he hated to see the masses of the people oppressed by the Austrians and the wealthy classes. By stringent economy the family saved enough to pay for the trip across the country but they had to go on a very slow sailing vessel and in the steerage. This was partly the case because Great-grandpa was not willing to leave his family behind and send for them later, as was the practice of so many emigrants. They had a very hard trip. The journey took three months, and they lost the youngest child, an infant in arms, on the way. They had to make very great preparations for this long trip, for they not only took their bedding along, but because of their religious faith they felt they had to provide their own food and the utensils in which to prepare it. They and the other emigrants were allowed to cook their own meals on the boat. The trip from Hungary to Hamburg, Germany, the port from which they sailed, was also a hard one and had to be made by wagon. During the time of preparation, one of the boys, Grandpa David, who was about sixteen years of age, was taken by his father to the next large town to watch over the horses and wagon while Great-grandpa was doing his trading. They had a large blanket in the wagon, as the weather was still cold, and the youth was commanded to sit on this rug and  not stir from his seat, because it would probably be stolen if he left it for an instant. David obeyed his father’s orders punctiliously, although all sorts of diversions, many for his benefit, such as clowning and little vaudeville acts, were staged in the square, but he did not forget himself until a fight was started, right under his horses’ noses. Even then he did not leave his seat but must have leaned forward because the rug was gone when his father returned. I have heard that that was the last whipping he ever got. Greatgrandpa Morris Loveman, although a kind man, did not believe in sparing the rod. As a young man Great-grandpa Loveman smoked a pipe, but thinking it was a useless habit and designing that his sons should not follow his example, he denied himself this pleasure. It was not a useless sacrifice because none of his three sons, not their sons, ever used tobacco in any form. As for drinking, wine or brandy was kept on the sideboard but none of this family ever drank to excess.

When the family reached Hamburg where they had to stay over a night or two before the ship sailed, Great-grandpa Loveman tried to make arrangements for a night’s lodging at the hotel, but he found that the rates asked by the hotel were very exorbitant so he parked his wagon on the outskirts of the town and he and his family took out their bedding and slept on the ground. However, they finally reached New York safely. An amusing, and perhaps regrettable, incident occurred at their first meal in the new country. Great-grandpa Loveman warned his little flock to remember that each biscuit or slice of  bread they ate would add to the size of his bill and that their money was running short, so the children manfully restrained their appetites and each took only one of the biscuits that were passed at the old-fashioned board-house meal of which they partook. After the meal was over they were told that in America slices of bread or biscuits were not counted, that a person could have as many as they wanted with a meal. One thing that startled them, as it seems to have startled Dickens on his first trip to America, was the toothpicks, which they had never seen before. Great-grandma Loveman also developed a strong antipathy for the chewing gum habit that she found here. In describing it she used the very apt word “cowan,” which is either Hungarian or German for chawing.

The following sentence from a letter written by Great-grandpa Loveman after his arrival in America is here quoted: “Just think, our good friends the Blacks traveled over three hundred miles, from Cleveland, to greet us upon our arrival in New York. The Morris Lovemans landed in New York on July 4, 1854, and Great-grandpa Loveman took out first citizenship papers the same day. As the data on the family births had been lost on the trip coming over, and moreover were in the Hebrew calendar, Grandpa David delightedly chose July 4th for his birthday, though, truth to tell, he was probably born in January. The Lovemans, as had the Blacks, had a difficult time establishing themselves in America. They went from New York, with a probable stop-over in Cleveland, to the brother at Owosso in Michigan. When they arrived they found that Uncle Bernard had to give them sleeping quarters in wigwams, like those used by the Indians. Uncle Bernard lived on a farm and his older sons, David B. and Samuel, called Emmie, peddled through the country to help support the family. Emmie, who unfortunately died at an early age, was very successful as a peddler and he initiated Emanuel, Great-grandpa Loveman’s oldest son, into this business. In those days peddlers were welcomed throughout the countryside. They brought the news to the farmers of the land, and they also took the place of the small country store. Emmie Loveman was a well educated boy and had a fund of anecdotes and stories, and the farmers and their wives enjoyed seeing him arrive with his pack. Emanuel Loveman was also a pleasant fellow and found it comparatively easy to help the family gain a livelihood. Great-grandpa Loveman first worked in a logging camp and his second son, your Grandpa David, found work in a lime kiln, and the oldest daughter found work in the household of a neighbor family, so that they managed to get along until they could find something better. The work in the lime kiln was extremely hard, especially for young David whose fingers showed the effect of the strong lime which they handled. However, this work had no lasting effect, for in after years he was teased by his family “for his whiskers trimmed by Euclid and lily-white his hands.” A few years later he was also fitted out with a stock of goods to peddle. He traveled from Cleveland through the country as far West as Kansas City. The conditions there were not quite the same as in Ohio, and as the country was still largely unsettled, he had very often to sleep in barns; sometimes even in the open. It was during these trips that he contracted tuberculosis. The Lovemans had a very good friend, a Dr. Horowitz of Cleveland, whom they had known in Europe, and David went to him for advice. In those days, of course very little was known about the cure of this disease, but Dr. Horovitz told him he must stop exposing himself to all sorts of weather and must live a very regular live, get plenty of sleep, and never go into crowded rooms nor where smoking was going on. He also told him that in the condition he was then in he must not marry. However, at that time David was not thinking of marriage, though he did like to kiss his cousins and his mother always insisted on their allowing this as she would say it made him cough to run after them to accomplish his desire. David was in Kansas City when real estate was on the boom. He was offered a corner lot for his stock of goods (he had no money), but he had to have goods to trade in order to make his way home, so was obliged to refuse the offer. That lot is now in the center of Kansas City.

We find Great-grandpa Loveman and his son David a few years later trying the bakery business in Cleveland, and again successfully, manufacturing fire-crackers and torpedoes, but after a torpedo exploded and caused the loss of sight in one of Great-grandpa’s eyes and the loss of hearing  in one ear, this business was given up. Still later we find them located far to the South, in Mt. Pleasant, Tennessee, where they operated a fairly successful dry goods and notions business. The people of the South seemed without prejudice of any kind and the friendships made there lasted through the second generation after the Civil War. They tell the story that at the beginning of the war the last bolts of calico which had been left o the shelves unsold because of their very unattractive patterns, brought a dollar a yard — the South was not a manufacturing part of the country and the blockade had made such articles almost impossible to purchase. The courtliness of Great-grandpa Loveman’s three sons can be attributed in part to the southern aristocrats which whom they associated, though Hungary, their homeland, too is known for its chivalry and culture.

Because of war conditions, in 1862 the Morris Loveman family moved to Nashville, Tennessee, where Grandpa David Loveman established a small factory on the City Square, for the manufacture of corsets and hoop skirts, and Great-grandpa Morris opened a wholesale dry goods and notions business on nearby Cedar Street. Both businesses proved successful. That of Great-grandpa Loveman’s became the headquarters of the immigrants coming from the part of the old country from which he came. Usually without any cash payment or security of any kind, he started them out with a stock of goods. Among the hundreds that he trusted, only one, and that was a relative, failed to repay his confidence. He became so well known in this country that a letter addressed only to Morris Loveman, America, was received by him in the regular length of time for such letters to reach their destination. He was active in this business until a few weeks before his death. During his residence in Nashville he was active in the Jewish church and charitable organizations of the community, and was looked upon by all who knew him as a fine example of the courage and resourcefulness of the immigrant of the middle of the nineteenth century. The epitaph on Great-grandpa Morris Loveman’s tomb, written by his life-long friend, Mr. Heilprin, reads:

“He walked the paths of right and truth

In latest life and in his youth.

To leave behind an honored name

Forever was his only aim.

He courted neither wealth nor show

Tho’ eager all real worth to know.

He toiled and gave and blessings earned

And gratitude his love returned.”

 

Grandpa David Loveman’s business, under the name of D. Loveman & Company, expanded year by year, and when hoop skirts went out of style and large corset factories were established in the country, his business gradually changed into that of a retail dry goods and notions concern, later becoming a large department store, which is now in its eightieth year, under the name of Loveman, Berger & Teitelbaum. The store has lived up to its name of “The Satisfactory Store” and numbers among its customers three generations of the same families, many of them descendants of the friends the Lovemans made when they settled in the South shortly before the Civil War. When grandpa David died (1914) every Department Store in Nashville closed during his funeral.


Chapter V.

 

Marriages

 

During the years that the Blacks and Lovemans were establishing themselves in America, the families were brought still closer together by frequent visits and by marriages between members of their families. Laws had not yet been passed forbidding the marriages of first cousins, and while many of the Blacks and the Lovemans married their own cousins, they admired the characteristics and accomplishments of each other’s families so much that they also intermarried a great deal, so that after a generation many of the Lovemans and Blacks were related to each other on both sides of the families. To cite instances — Emanuel Loveman, the oldest son of Great-grandpa Morris Loveman, married Theresa Black, daughter of D. Black. Mr. Joseph Black, a son of Morris Black, married Fannie Loveman, daughter of Bernard Loveman. Joseph Black was afterwards Consul to Hungary during President Cleveland’s first administration. D.P. Loveman, a nephew of Great-grandpa Morris Loveman, married Estelle Black, and your grandpa David, the second son of Great-grandpa Morris Loveman, married a granddaughter of Lazar Black, Carrie Friedlander; H.P. Loveman, son of one of Great-grandpa Loveman’s brothers, married Louise Black, daughter of the aforementioned Joseph Black and Fannie Loveman.

You have probably noticed the many similar given names in our families. For instance, there were the three Emanuels, differentiated as Emanuel, Emmie, and Mendi; the three Davids — David, D.B. and D.R.; the Adolphs — Adolph, A.B., and A.P. Orthodox Jews named a child only for the dead as the living might cast disgrace upon the name, and of course the names of the best men in the family records were selected, hence the numerous duplication of given names.

The second generation of Blacks intermingled a great deal with the better class of non-Jews in Cleveland. The former were extremely liberal-minded and many of their children married out of the Jewish faith. The Lovemans were a little bit stronger in their religious faith than the Blacks and many Lovemans are still a part of the Jewish communities in which they live, although one or two of the second generation, and many of the third generation, have married non-Jews. Aunt Jettie Mills, the oldest child of the Morris Lovemans, whose second son married a non-Jewess, in speaking of this and of the children of her sister, Aunt Rose Rich, whose three sons married young ladies of the Christian faith, made the remark — “It is not that our boys have married Gentiles, because I like every one of them very much and they are making fine wives, but it is because I am afraid that the Gentiles will think there are no nice Jewish girls.” At another time she said — “Well, all we need in the family now to have a council of religions is a member of the Baptist Church,” and since she died the Lovemans have added a member of that domination to the Methodists, Christian Scientists, Unitarians, Ethical Culturists, Episcopalians, and Catholics, who joined the family council before. Though the marriages of the older generations were for the most part arranged by their parents, as we have noted, they usually turned out happily — more so than some of the marriages where the young people chose for themselves. Great-grandpa and Great-grandma Loveman’s marriage seemed ideal. I remember in his later years his children would gather at his home almost every evening, where a game of whist would take place. Grandma Eva Esther never played but sat by and enjoyed the game and the talk. At about 11 o’clock Grandpa would rise and go into their bedroom and turn down the bed. That was a signal that it was time to leave. Grandma would have stayed up all night as she was a very poor sleeper and would often rouse Grandpa every hour or so to ask him the time, but his patience was really remarkable. He also seemed to be delighted to help in many household tasks. Grandpa would reach home every afternoon about 5 o’clock, as he was in the wholesale business, and I have often seen him perched on the dining-room table to be near the drop light (they had only gas light in those days, and that very poor), reading the love stories to Grandma from a German newspaper sent from New York. Grandma, poor lady, had never been taught to read and write, as the only education thought necessary for women in those days was to be able to attend to home duties and to have a knowledge of the prayers and ritual of the Jewish faith, which latter they memorized. On Friday nights she would spread the sitting-room table with a special cloth, and lighting the two candles in the brightly polished candlesticks, would stand often for a half hour or more before them, praying for each member of the family. Her Sabbath clothes were made of a beautiful quality of grey or brown and white pin stripe silk, called summer silk, something like the taffeta of today, and with them she wore a pointed real lace collar with a large gold pin in grape design, with earrings to match. In those days the Jewish maiden was shorn of her locks before marriage, so as not to be too attractive to other men, and given a wig to wear; but Grandma, instead of the traditional wig, wore on week days a small tight cap with strings, and on the Sabbath a real lace cap with a little frill about the face and trimmed in silk or satin ribbons, usually blue in color. When the caps were washed the task of sewing these ribbons back in their original designs of puffs, or twists, was given to her granddaughter May. Speaking of this custom of wigs, Great-uncle Bernard Loveman wept bitter tears when the lovely blond locks of his pretty bride of 16 were cut off. He was only 19 himself.

Great-grandpa Loveman wore a finely woven suit of Quaker grey, a round soft hat, and a rather heavy gold chain across his vest. The family always bought the finest and best materials for their apparel but never bought clothes they did not actually need. I always took Saturday midday dinner with the old folks. They had a specially good meal, cooked on Friday, for that day and then too, they were at leisure to devote their time to the children, as they did no work on the Sabbath. The young grandchildren would gather around Great-grandpa Loveman in the morning after Temple and we would often have an ample party. He would pare and slice the apples for us. The peeling had to be in one long piece so that we could swing them over our heads and let them fall on the floor, to make what we thought were initials. These were supposed to be the first letters of the names of our future husbands and wives. We named the apple seeds, sticking them on our cheeks and foreheads, and deduced from them which were our truest lovers. Best of all were the beautiful sculptured slices Grandpa Morris could cut out of the apples — wheels and stars and figures of all kinds. While we watched we ate the little squares and triangles that fell and afterwards the big pieces. In the afternoons Grandpa Morris built card houses for the little ones to blow down. Grandpa Morris had almost o hair on his head which was like a great shiny moon with a narrow ring of shadow around it, but he had a fine gray beard and I often sat on his knee in the afternoons and worried him into letting me braid it into pigtails. After we were older he taught us to play a card game called “muggins.” We had great fun shouting “muggins” at each other. Grandma Loveman used to tell us the old story of the wolf swallowing the children except the one who hid in the clock. She called it “Jodola-Bobola.” It was the only one she ever told; in fact, Great-grandma Loveman talked very little. Once in a while after she was old and I was grown (she thought I could marry any man in the world), she would say: “Why don’t you marry so-and-so. He is such a pretty man,” or, “If you marry him you will get a mother-in-law much more religious than I am.” If I disappointed her about anything she would say” “You are a mean thing,” but she would soon forgive me and would have given me anything in her power.

Great-grandpa Loveman and Grandpa David both had a way with babies. Great-grandpa could coax the little ones to eat and could entertain them too. Grandpa David could quiet the most fretful infant. He couldn’t carry a tune but he had a way of crooning (ah-ah-ah’ing) that seemed to soothe them quickly to sleep. I have often seen him take a crying child on a railway coach from a worn out mother and in a minute or two the baby would be fast asleep. He had a great long beard and he let children catch hold and swing on it, to their great delight. One little boy came up to him in his store one day and said: “Is you Santa Claus?”

In later years, after Great-grandpa Loveman died, though he had left her with a more than comfortable living, Great-grandma Loveman had always to be persuaded by her children to replenish her wardrobe. When she was asked for whom she was saving her money she always replied: “ For my children.” Her children joined her husband in indulging her in every way. Her son David always stayed at home and sat with her on the Jewish holy days so that she could be sure that he was not disobeying the rules of the Church and going to his business as usual. The children who lived in other cities made a yearly pilgrimage to her home, her oldest son, Emanuel, coming to visit her in July even though he suffered very much from the summer heat. He was the money maker of the family and lived in New York, where he was Resident Buyer for his and his partner Bernard Friedman’s business, a large general dry-goods store located in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, called the Atlanta Store, later Friedman and Loveman’s. He came to the assistance always of any of his brothers or sisters in any financial emergency. “He loved to make folks happy and have things his own way.”

Great-grandpa Loveman was a very understanding and sympathetic man and his relations with his children were rather unusual. He took the greatest interest in his grandchildren too and was liberal and broad-minded in his ideas. Grandpa David had always given his earnings to his father to aid in the support of the family, and when he was twenty-one his father told him that from then on his money belonged to himself to use as he saw fit. For some years David remained a peddler. He was quite successful in this work and was able to put aside some money. He and his father afterwards opened a bakery business in Cleveland. Probably because of the lung trouble which he had contracted during the trips made while peddling through the country, the family decided to move o the South. They went to Mt. Pleasant, Tennessee, where, as I have previously mentioned, they were well received and where they lived a very pleasant life, until the beginning of the Civil War, when they moved to Nashville. They had never been able to understand how there could be slavery in a free country, and did everything they could to brighten the lives of the slaves (for whose services they arranged with their masters) by giving the darkies food and clothing for themselves in addition to the wages paid their masters; and so, while the family admired and liked the Southerners greatly, they shared the views of the Union Government when they emancipated the slaves. David was conscripted three times by the Confederacy, but each time was rejected because of his lung trouble.


Chapter VI.

 

About the year 1868 the Black and Loveman families were drawn still closer together by the marriage of Emanuel Loveman to David Black’s daughter, Theresa. Emanuel asked for Theresa’s hand because of his great admiration or the Black family and his appreciation of their many years of generosity and kindness to his family. In addition to this, Theresa was an attractive, pretty woman and the Lovemans, as well as the Blacks, had an eye for beautiful women. Theresa died early in life and their daughter, Leonora, who was not very strong, never married. Leonora combined in her character many of the good qualities of both families and made a very happy and worthwhile life for herself.  I quote the forward by Edward Dewey to one of her stories, “Revolt”:

“Leonora Loveman (d. August 1924) is of Hungarian descent. She is thoroughly familiar with the setting and the types that she brings into her story of the Hungarian uprising of 1848, and catches the spirit of bravado as well as the evasive Hungarian quality of fantasy presented colorfully in the legend of the mirage. Miss Loveman was known to many figures in the world of arts and letters. She had that peculiar magnetism that, while it is unique in itself, has the ability to attract others. In act her Cambridge home was a modern salon, a gathering place for historians and dramatists, poets and students. One of her plays, “The Stranger,” was produced at the Forty Seven Workshop. She was enthusiastic in whatever she did, and achieved the rare talent of simplicity and directness that make her stories facile to read and to conceive. She is by no means a stylist, but dwells constantly on the vibrant and telling forces of simple narration and dialogue. She writes a story for the fireside or the inglenook, a story for anyone who has not yet lost the enthusiasm of youth for adventure. “Revolt” traces the courage of a group of patriots under the great Hungarian, Kossuth, with all the verisimilitude of the period with which the author is so familiar, and colored by the pleasant imagination of a true artist and a keen observer.”

The ideas of two recent plays “Tarovitch” and “Strictly Dishonorable” remind one very much of an old play of Cousin Leonora, “The Bostonians.” “Tarovitch” greatly increased the importance of the servant theme of her play, and “Strictly Dishonorable” grew or shrank from the “Strictly Honorable Intentions” in the earlier play.

Grandpa David attended his brother’s wedding in Cleveland and there met the daughter of Adolph Friedlander, the old school teacher of the Blacks in Hungary, who had married Ernestine, the daughter of Lazar Black. Carrie Friedlander was a very sweet and lovely-looking girl of nineteen, and Grandpa David was attracted by her from the first. David and Carrie talked over old times in Hungary and David found that she was the very baby of whom he had often taken care while his and her parents went to the market town for their weekly supplies. They laughed over the memory of what happened to Cousin D.R. Loveman, who under similar circumstances, when the parents were delayed in their return, laid the child under the family goat where it was satisfactorily fed.

To return to Grandpa David: He fell very much in love with Carrie Friedlander but before saying anything to her he went to see Dr. Horwitz, hoping that by his careful living he had perhaps overcome his lung trouble. Dr. Horwitz was glad to tell him that the one lung had healed over, that the other lung was not affected, and that he could marry with safety. Grandpa David and Grandma Carrie were married in 1868 and were a very devoted couple, until her untimely death at age of thirty-five. She was beloved by all who knew her, and was thought as much of by all the Lovemans as one of their own family. It is said she was so modest and innocent that no one ever told a risqué story in her presence. She left three children but Grandpa David never married again, saying that he had never found any one who could fill his wife’s place. Aunt Jettie Mills and her husband shared the home of David and his three children for a year or two after Grandma Carrie’s death. Aunt Jettie’s only daughter, Hannah Mills, was a great help in taking care of the three motherless children. When it was time for Hannah to marry, Great-grandpa Loveman and her parents arranged what they thought would be a suitable marriage for her, but by that time the young people were beginning to choose their own mates and she objected very strenuously. As the head of the family, she went to Great-grandpa Loveman with her troubles, and although he was accustomed to the obedience of his children, he was broad-minded enough to listen to her reasons. The man in question was uneducated and uncultured and she said she did not like him, and he, with understanding unusual for one who had been brought up as he had been, immediately agreed that the marriage was not suitable. He lived to see her very much in love and very happily married to Victor Friedman, a relative of the same Black family with whom they had been friends for so long. Aunt Jettie, the oldest child of Great-grandpa Loveman, when a young lady, had several suitors, one of whom played cards with Great-grandpa Loveman. Aunt Jettie, who loved to watch the card games, and also to play (as did the whole Loveman family), caught the young man cheating during one of these games and told her father. The next time the young man came to call and wanted the usual game of cards, Great-grandpa promptly refused. Finally, this man said: “Do come on, Mr. Loveman, let’s play a fair game this time.” Of course, his marriage proposals were refused — also the game. Later in America this suitor came to Aunt Jettie, who was then Mrs. Mills, to ask her to intercede in his favor with her cousin, Rose Loveman, daughter of Uncle Bernard Loveman. Again he was rejected. Aunt Jettie, in speaking of her own marriage, said that her father after telling her of his wish that she marry Mr. Louis Mills, told her that he was a fine and honorable gentleman, and she ended with the words: “He certainly proved to be everything that a husband should be.”


Chapter VII

 

Uncle Adolph Loveman [4]

 

Uncle Adolph Loveman was the youngest of the three brothers; ten years younger than Grandpa David Loveman, and twelve years younger than Uncle Emanuel. He was adored by his brothers and sisters, and deservedly so. Full of life and good spirits, jolly and always in for a good time he was but “a grown-up boy,” yet he took his responsibilities seriously and was a gentleman in heart and manners. As a youth, after the Federalists occupied Nashville, about 1862, and they were putting up breastworks on Fort Nagley, he went out one morning to see the soldiers at work. They immediately took charge of him and kept him working with them the whole day. He reached home only after nightfall and I doubt if he had any lunch that day. Uncle Adolph had gone to school in Cleveland, Ohio, and to business college in Detroit, before the family moved to Nashville, and as a young man had many business experiences. In Nashville he clerked for Mr. Simon Lieberman in a shoe store. In 1866 we went to Greensboro, Alabama, and opened a general store. He stayed there several years and made $10,000; hen he went to Cleveland and went into the millinery and ladies furnishings business with Joseph Black, as Black and Loveman, and also in Fort Wayne, Indiana, under the firm name of Joseph Black & Company. He took charge of the Fort Wayne business in 1876. Partly through the bad judgment of his partner, who was buyer for the businesses, by 1878 he had lost everything but $500. During his residence in Fort Wayne he met and married Aunt Emma Loveman, a beautiful and lovely girl of that city. Uncle Adolph had really been very popular with the ladies but he always teased Aunt Em by saying that she was the thirteenth girl to whom he proposed.  Due to a fever he had when he was twenty-two years of age, Uncle Adolph had lost his hair, and with his long beard looked much older than his thirty years. Aunt Em’s father, Mr. Graf, was quite horrified when he first saw the “old man” his daughter had fallen in love with, but matters were soon explained. Uncle Adolph’s look of age caused him another embarrassing moment. On one of his visits to Cleveland he was delighted to see one of his not-so-young former school teachers in the store. He had been a pet pupil and greeting her with outstretched hand, said: “Miss —, I am so glad to see you. You remember your old pupil, Adolph Loveman, don’t you?” Drawing herself up indignantly, as this seemingly old, balk, long-bearded man addressed her, the not-so-young lady cried out: “The idea, I have never seen you before in all my life.”

When Uncle Adolph and Aunt Emma married, on February 6, 1878, he had not yet realized that he had only $500 left of that $10,000 investment, so he and Aunt Emma wonderful wedding trip. It lasted six weeks. They went to Louisville, Nashville, Chattanooga, Atlanta, Washington, and New York, and back to Fort Wayne. Every place they went they were entertained by relatives and friends, and in Nashville the members of the Standard Social Club gave them a royal public reception — the only time, I believe, the Club as a whole ever gave such a celebration to an ordinary ex-club member. I was a little girl, not much over seven years old, when Uncle Adolph brought his birds to Nashville to see his parents and friends, and I remember how beautiful she was; very slender and tall, with sparkling brown eyes, reddish brown hair, and a very beautiful complexion of natural roses and milk (she used no make-up of any kind). I remember particularly a gray silk dress with a little gray bonnet that she wore. She was my ideal of what a bride should be; in fact, I thought all brides had to look like that.

Grandpa David Loveman had been made trustee, along with Mr. Lieberman, of the estate of Mr. Goldberg, an old friend of the family. Mr. Goldberg had been in the lumber business and at the suggestion of Grandpa David Loveman, Uncle Adolph and Mr. Lieberman, who was Mr. Goldberg’s son-in-law, entered in to a partnership with Mr. Andrew O’Brien (who had long been employed as the superintendent of the plant), to carry on the sawmill and the lumber business which had been left in trust by Mr. Goldberg for his children. Uncle Adolph moved back to Nashville in January of 1879 and Aunt Emma followed him in March of the same year. Uncle Emanuel furnished the capital which Uncle Adolph had to supply as his part in the new firm. Grandpa David and Uncle Adolph were in partnership in each other’s businesses for many years. Whichever business was best able, helped to finance the other when it was needed: in fact, they even drew from the same account for their household expenses.

Uncle Adolph and Aunt Em lived within a very limited budget when they first came to Nashville and Aunt Em proved herself a very good manager and housekeeper, and even made room in her small home for many family visitors, some of whom were her own relatives and others Uncle Adolph’s. Uncle Adolph’s nephews came to Nashville to go to Vanderbilt University. At time your Dad, Uncle Lee, and myself (when Grandpa David took your Grandmother Carrie away in search of health to other places) lived with them too. Though celebrated doctors were consulted, it was all in vain and when your Dad was ten years old, Uncle Lee seven, and I thirteen, Grandma Carrie was laid to rest in Toledo, Ohio, where her parents and their younger children then lived. As I have already mentioned, Grandpa David, with his three children, lived for a year or so afterwards with Aunt Jettie Mills and her family, where we were well taken care of, but as Aunt Jettie and Uncle Louis were getting old it was thought better for us to live with younger members of the family. By then Uncle Adolph’s fortunes had much improved and about 1885 he and Grandpa David rented a home together on Fifth Avenue and we went to live with him and Aunt Em. Aunt Em, up to that time had been unable to bear children strong enough to live, and though it must have been a great sacrifice for her and Uncle Adolph, who after all were still a young married couple and entitled to have a private life of their own, Aunt Em had very generously and cheerfully agreed to the plan. And indeed she became a second mother to us. I married in 1897 and Grandpa David, your Dad, and Uncle Lee came to live with Uncle Victor and myself in 1900. By this time Uncle Adolph and Aunt Em were happy in the possession of a little son, Cousin Maurice Loveman.

 

 

 

Aunt Rose Rich

 

We have sketched briefly the lives of all of Great-grandpa and Great-grandma Lovcman’s children except that of Aunt Rose Rich, the baby of the family who was not four years old when the family emigrated. She was one of those women whom everybody loved and who loved everybody — lovely looking, with a pretty sweet expressive face, simple of tastes, unaffected and generous with her time and hospitality — almost to a fault; cheerful and kind at all times. She was loved and put upon by all the family. Her character reminds me of an Eastern legend regarding the punishment inflicted by Allah. There were three men who loved Allah. The first bowed in resignation to his God’s punishment, the second drew strength and knowledge under it, the third was so filled with love of Allah that he did not even known he was being punished, Aunt Rose loved her family in this third way. With never a thought of self or sacrifice, she gave her life to them. She died at the age of fifty-three. Aunt Rose had a very sweet voice and one of the stories she told was of the time when towards the close of the Civil War she was traveling on a steamboat with her parents. There were Federal soldiers on the boat and they heard her humming to herself and took charge of her, as they had Uncle Adolph at Fort Negley, and made her sing every Yankee and Rebel song she knew. Grandpa David also had a bout with the army. He had a fine new hat on, which a member of the cavalry regiment riding through Mt. Pleasant snatched off his head. Grandpa ran after him, caught up with the Captain and told him of the theft. The commander made the thief return the hat.

Great-grandma Loveman never quite mastered the English language and Aunt Rose had to act as her interpreter. One day while they were still in Mt. Pleasant, Aunt Rose and the little girls of some neighbors were attempting to dip snuff. Her mouth was full when Grandmother called to her that some ladies had come to visit and she needed her services immediately. Aunt Rose had no time to get rid of the snuff so she swallowed it and it had the same effect that the first cigar has on a boy; but she did manage to last out through the visit. Aunt Rose was in the first graduating class in the high school of Nashville after the Civil War. She was one of three students, the others being two young men. However, because of the illness of her mother she withdrew just three months before the date of graduation. One of the two young men in the class had a spell of sickness and he also was unable to continue in school which left just one member of that class to graduate. She was very well educated woman, as she was an insatiable reader; in fact, she could pick up a book anywhere at any time and become so absorbed in it that she was completely unconscious of what was taking place around her. Though, as we have said, the mildest of women, when enjoying a game of whist she would warn you she was going to pinch you if you trumped her ace, and she really did so. She could also have the best of times over a good book, comfortably chuckling to herself over it, and making up for the time so lost by staying up until all hours of the night to complete necessary household duties.

When Aunt Rose was first married she lived in Atlanta where her husband’s parents lived with her for some years. Later in life she moved to Nashville. She always had room for one or more visiting children though she had many of her own — ten living and one dead. Your Grandpa David and we children were often in her home. At one time, I remember, when we were living there five of us children wore down with the mumps, and with the exception of Uncle Lee who was very ill, the rest of us had a great time together. Aunt Jettie Mills and her children were there frequently too, and after Great-grandpa Loveman’s death Great-grandma Loveman lived with her for many years. Her husband, Uncle Willie Rich, was one of the gentlest of men, very hospitable and friendly, and their home was one that attracted numerous guests, both young and old. It was a beautiful home in every way. They were always planning interesting and exciting things for their children and their little friends and relatives.


Chapter VIII

 

Some Notable Cousins

 

The Lovemans and Blacks with all their marriages and intermarriages had a great number of double cousins, one might say, and they kept up with them, and still do, to the third and fourth generations. As we examine the occupations of these relatives we find that they are getting away from purely commercial pursuits. Of the third generation I have already mentioned Cousin Leonora Loveman. Another cousin, Robert Loveman, son of D.R. Loveman and Estelle (Esther) Black Loveman (the D.R. who brought in the goat in his emergency), was a poet of some renown. He was called “The Sweet Singer of Georgia.” I quote his “Glass of Tokay”:

 

In the land afar ‘neath Autumn skies

Some singing girl with love-lit eyes,

Pluck’d from the heavy hanging vine

The grapes that held this golden wine.

 

And I today, in after years,

Telling a truck to haunting fears,

Hold the warm beaker to my lips —

And kiss her blushing finger-tips.

 

For happy laugh and careless song

This mellow tide has cherished long,

And drinking deep, methinks her voice

From out its depths bids me rejoice.

 

And what would soothe thy cares and mine

Sooner, O friend, than such rare wine,

Whose magic mirror holds in thrall

Maid, music, autumn skies, and all.

 

Cousin Morris A. Black, Cleveland, Ohio, who died in 1938, was a pioneer in advocating open-shop unionism. He was President of the H. Black Co., from 1903 to 1922, which manufactured “Wooltex” suits and which won fame in the industrial field, partly because of the good relations maintained between the management and the more than 1,000 employees. Besides his success in business, Cousin Morris was personally responsible for pioneering and carrying out many civic improvements in Cleveland. For details, see supplemental pages.

Another is Amy Loveman, the daughter of A.P. and Adessa Heilprin Loveman, who is now co-editor of the
Saturday Review of Literature, and who is head of the twenty-five readers of the Book-of-the-Month Club, for that magazine.

Dr. J.M. Mills, Aunt Jettie Mills’ second son, who died recently, was a well-known surgeon and physician of New York City. He specialized in the diseases of the eye, ear, nose, and throat, and in later years became a consultant in his special field. among his patients were Caruso of the Metropolitan Opera Company, Norma Talmadge of the Screen, and many of the other great artists. As a young man he was Medical Officer on one of the Peary Relief Expeditions to the Arctic.

There is Dr. Celia Rich, who was Founder’s Medalist of her class in the Dental School of Vanderbilt University, and who was one of the first woman dentists in the South. She also won the Elliott medal in the Nashville High School for the highest average for the three years of high school.

Also perhaps worthy of mention is Cousin Albert Morehead, who has made a name for himself as one of the foremost bridge players of the day.

 

Family Beauties

 

The oldest “beauty” I recall was the beforementioned child wife, Regina Friedman Black. Aunt D. Black, as we called her, was old and very fat when I knew her but she still loved to dress up and wanted at all times to be surrounded by young people, whom she commanded to be light-hearted and to sing and dance for her entertainment. And her rights as the “Queen of Beauty and Gaiety” were always recognized and obeyed by members and friends of the family.

Cousin Sarah Loveman of Chattanooga was, in my opinion, a perfect beauty. Her face was oval with regular features, beautiful dark eyes, clear creamy skin, and black wavy hair. She had a sweet and gentle expression and a slender but well-rounded figure. Cousin Sarah was a real southern belle. She married Mr. Tom Crutchfield of Chattanooga.

Then there was Aunt Sarah’s niece, Cousin Emmie Black Billings, whose father, as you will recall, was Consul at Budapest, Hungary. I have heard that while there she was the toast of the nobility. She was shorter and plumper than her aunt, thought not at all doll-like in appearance. She had a fair complexion, pink cheeks and large blue eyes. Her hair was light brown and curly, and she had a pretty nose and a saucy chin. She was regarded as quite a flirt. She was married the first time to one of the New York “Four Hundred,” but he was a “black sheep.” After her divorce she married Mr. H. Billings and lived in Paris a great part of the time. One of her two daughters is a marquise.

The third and youngest of the family beauties is Mrs. Ebenezer Bogardus Shaw of Chicago, the former Lottie Sincere of that city. Her love story and marriage were very romantic but I cannot speak of them here. She was the granddaughter of Aunt D. Black. I was with her quite often when she was about 18. Tall, willowy, with brown eyes and natural blond hair, her shy, unselfconscious charm and loving nature attracted all who know her. All of these women, as I recall, used no make-up. Indeed, I heard that Lottie refused the request of her husband to have her hair touched up a bit, and that he gave secret instructions to the hairdresser to do so, before taking her to the opera in Paris while they were on their honeymoon.

 

Last Years of your Great-Grandparents, the Morris Lovemans

 

As the year of Great-grandpa and Great-grandma Loveman’s golden wedding approached their children were anxious to make it a very happy event and could think of nothing that would give them greater pleasure than to build them a home of their own. It was to be a surprise and so when the Loveman children bought a lot directly across from their daughter’s (Mrs. William Rich) home, they told them that their son David was putting up a home for himself. The house was a well-built cottage of red pressed bright, a rather new material in those days, with a large lot to one side, and new conveniences which son David saw when he traveled to New York with stop-overs in Cleveland, on his buying trips, and which had not yet become known in the South, were embodied in the plans for the home. It was one of the first furnace-heated homes in the South, and wire screens instead of mosquito bars were used — the first to be seen in any home in Nashville, but Grandpa David, when he went through the house found flies and could not imagine where they came from, whereupon some one remarked, — “Why, the doors have no screens!” After seeing that every window was carefully protected, Grandpa David and the builders had forgotten all about the doors. Grandpa and Grandma Loveman unlike most old people who dislike change and want things just like they are accustomed to having them, were delighted to try anything new, so that their children did not hesitate to put into the new kitchen one of the recently invented gas stoves, which proved to be a great pleasure to Grandma Loveman after they went to live in the new home. At last the house was completed and while Grandpa Loveman was away on one of his annual trips to New York, and Grandma had been sent for a short visit to a cousin in Columbia, the moving from the old rented house to the new home was accomplished. When Grandpa arrived home they took him and Grandma straight to the new home, telling him he was to have supper at David’s. The first thing they did was to go on a tour of inspection, thinking of course he would recognize his own belongings, but the only thing that he said anything about was, “David, I see you have a great big comfortable chair like mine.” The children were all too affected to speak, but his son-in-law, Mr. Rich, said, “Well, Father, this is your own chair in your own home.”

Then came the plans for the golden wedding celebration. A dinner and dance were decided on at the new Delmonico Hall, and of course every Loveman cousin with whom they had kept in touch, to the forty-second degree, had to be included in the list of guests invited. Every countryman, “landsleute,” in this country whom the Lovemans knew, all the related Blacks, and those not related, and all the numerous friends the Lovemans had made during their long life in America, were invited to be present at the celebration. Perhaps we can do no better than to close this brief history of the Lovemans and Blacks in America up to the year 1883, than to give verbatim the English translation of the article published in the Austrian-American paper of January 31, 1883, the address of which was given as No. 24 North William Street, P.O.B. 548, New York, and which had the distinction of being the only Austrian-Bohemian and Hungarian paper in the United States.

“Since we aroused the interest of our readers by the description of the golden wedding of Mr. M. Loveman and wife, Eva Esther, which appeared in our last issue, we believe we are doing them a favor in bringing this picture of the distinguished couple.”

 

Original correspondence.

“On the 16th of this month, relatives, friends, and countrymen had the honor to attend the golden wedding of Mr. M. Loveman and his wife, Eva Esther, in Nashville, Tennessee. About two weeks before, about two hundred invitations were sent out, and we can assure you that everybody who had the privilege of receiving one of these elegant cards, felt happy and honored about it. To participate in a celebration of the Loveman family was to their estimation well worth undertaking such a long trip. This proved to be true, since friends and relatives from near and far arrived, and about half of the United States were represented. The first guests came already on January 12, and all of them without exception were lodged and fed in a royal manner at their host’s expense, until their departure long after the festivities. Tokay wines, Havana cigars, and carriages were there in abundance, and indeed there was nothing wanting that money and hospitality could offer. The actual celebration took place on January 16th in the halls of the “New Delmonico,” a building not only decorated with exquisite taste, but also just built for an occasion like this. The celebrated couple arrived after all the guests were assembled, and were led to the seats of honor by the committee consisting of Mr. Louis Black, Cleveland, D.A. Falter of Chicago, and I. Noa of Chattanooga. Their seats were surrounded by the most gorgeous flowers and above them the wall was decorated with emblems, 1833-1883, and so on. The huge halls, where the celebration took place, resembled more the tropics than a small town in North America.

“After the honored couple were seated the orchestra played the “Wedding March” by Mendelssohn. Then, speaking for all present, Mr. J. Mihalovitch (now Mills), a grandson, addressed the couple according to the occasion, wishing them happiness and a long life to come. Following his speech, all guests formed a line, each pair approaching the honored couple to offer their own good wishes. This beautiful scene cannot be described and I shall always cherish it in my memory. After this the orchestra gave the signal to enter the dining hall. It is not possible to give you all the details of this beautiful affair, but let me assure you, that there was hardly ever a celebration in the whole South equal to this. It seems superfluous to mention that grant great quantities of genuine Hungarian wines were at hand, and the guests made ample use of it. About 150 wires were read during the dinner, most of which aroused repeated applause. One of them, a masterpiece, was sent by Mr. Gustav Pollack, New York. I like to mention. They were offered by little May Loveman, a grand-daughter, and Erne [Ernestine} Noa, a niece, and were met with great applause. After the banquet the younger generation took possession of the floor and they kept dancing until 4 o’clock in the morning. Mr. Loveman is still a strong and healthy man and is enjoying the greatest esteem and best reputation among his friends and fellow citizens. Finally, let me add the names of some of the most distinguished of the guests: Mr. A. Black, Mrs. Louis Black, Miss Kittie Newman, Miss Lillie Loveman, Cleveland; Mr. E. Loveman, Mr. and Mrs. Herman Rosenau, Mr. H.P. Loveman, Mr. Seago Pollatsek, New York City; Mr. and Mrs. Friedman, Tuscaloosa, Alabama; Mr. Wm. Teitlebaum, Mr. and Mrs. B. Rich, Mr. D. Rich, Atlanta, Georgia; Mr. and Mrs. Rice, Mr. A.W. Rich, Miss Jennie Weil, Milwaukee; Dr. Sincere, Mr. and Mrs. Ed Sincere, Miss Tillie Schoenfield, Mr. D. Falter, Mr. James Friedland, Chicago, Illinois; Mr. and Mrs. Greenspan, Columbia, Tennessee; Mr. and Mrs. Ed Glick, Clarksville; Mr. and Mrs. Fleischman, Murfreesboro; Mr. Sam Berger, Gadsden, Alabama; Mr. and Mrs. A.B. Loveman, Greensboro, Alabama; Mr. B. Loveman, Mr. and Mrs. D.B. Loveman, Mr. and Mrs. Ismar Noa and children, Mrs. H. Schwartz, Mr. Sam Schwartz, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Schwartz, Nr. and Mrs. I. Green, Mr. M. Weis, Thomas Crutchfield, Mr. G. Goodman, Chattanooga.”

Among the outstanding gifts received were: from the Black family, a very beautiful inlaid table, also a large leather photograph album with many pictures of Blacks and Lovemans already in it.

Many poems were written and dedicated to them and these, with numerous telegrams from those unable to be present, were read at the table.

 

Written by Aunt May Sobel, daughter of David Loveman


Supplement

 

Grandma Friedlander (Ernestine Black)

 

Probably some of the Loveman respect for learning and their love of reading came from the Friedlander side of the family, who were largely of the professional class, doctors, lawyers, teachers. As has been said, your great-great-grandfather, Adolph Friedlander, was tutor to the Black and Loveman families. He was also a school-teacher and a Hebrew and German scholar. He was very near-sighted and always, either when walking about the house or sitting in a chair or at table, had his nose in a book. As is often the case with such men, he was very impractical, so that the upbringing of the family of eight children and the management of their money affairs fell on the shoulders of great-great-Grandma Friedlander. She was Ernestine Black, the daughter of Lazar Black. She was a tiny, sweet-looking woman, one shoulder higher than the other (the result of a fall, she once told me) and though small and frail, her indomitable spirit and boundless energy, together with great common sense, enabled her to rear them in comparative comfort. After her marriage she lived (for a time a least) in the castle with the rest of the Black family, and her eldest son William was born there. When great-grandmother’s brothers (Hugo, Julius, Herman, and Alexander Black) came to America they brought some of her older children with them, among them, sixteen year old grandma Carrie who lived with her aunt Antonia (Mrs. Schoenfeld) in Chicago, until she married in 1868. As soon as great-grandma Friedlander’s sons were able they together with grandpa David brought her and the rest of her family to America. This was in the year of the Centennial celebration of our freedom, 1876, which took place in Philadelphia in the form of a fair or exhibition. Grandparents David and Carrie saw the fair in Philadelphia and then went on to New York to meet the incoming ship. Uncle Adolph Loveman was also there and in a spirit of fun introduced himself as grandma Friedlander’s son-in-law David but grandma would have none of him. “You have no beard, you can’t be my son-in-law,” she said. Finally he had to confess and took her to grandpa David and her daughter whom she hadn’t seen for ten years.

She, great-grandpa Friedlander, and the younger members of the family first went to Toledo, Ohio, to live, where her father and brothers were located. Her father, your great, great grandfather Black, moved from the home of his more prosperous son Alexander, to live with her, his favorite child, I believe. Her home became the gathering place of the family, especially during the summer months when her sons, daughters and grandchildren came from other cities to visit her. Her hospitality made every one welcome though she had to work very hard, with little or no help and small means, to keep all comfortable and happy. About 1890, some years after her father, and grandma Carrie had passed away, she went to live in Chicago where her sons were living. They were the proprietors of “Friedlander, Brady & Co., Manufacturers of Knit Goods.” In Chicago, her youngest son, Fred, who was devoted to her, together with Jacob Friedlander who had married her youngest daughter, Ida, bought a home for her on 44th Place. After some years Fred married and moved away, but she continued to live there with Aunt Ida and Uncle Jake for over thirty years. Her son Edward, than whom a more kind, thoughtful and generous man never lived, and who died sometime before she passed away, left securities to take care of her in old age. She lived to be over ninety and was very active till a year or two before her death in 1923 or 4. Characteristic is the remark she made the last time I visited her. She was then about eighty-five. “May,” she said, “You’ve paid me such a nice visit this year and we’ve had such good talks, you needn’t come to my funeral.” After her death, as she had requested,  ring were her initials engraved upon it was given to each of her grand-daughters. Sensible and practical though she was, she did not want to be forgotten.

Writing of great-grandma Friedlander brings to mind a story of Cousin Henrietta, eldest daughter of grandma’s favorite uncle, your great-great-uncle D. Black. Henrietta married one of her cousins Dr. Sincere. The story shows the devotion shown by them to grandpa David Loveman. It was during the Cholera epidemic of 1873, and grandpa David with grandma Carrie and me had escaped from Nashville on the last train to leave the city before the quarantine took effect. Grandpa David was stricken with the disease shortly before reaching Louisville. Dr. Sincere took him and us into his own home there despite the fact that he endangered his own life and that of his family. With Cousin Henrietta’s help as nurse he kept us there till grandpa David was fully recovered and we could go on our way north. This same cousin Henrietta had been admired or perhaps we should say loved by cousin Emanuel (Em) Loveman. His nieces, Erne and Bianca, have a little day by day diary of his containing business notes, addresses, bit of poetry and one very touching entry: — On one day he wrote only one line: “Thinking of dear Henrietta.” He was only 23 when he died.