IAGenWeb Project - Clayton co.

Louis Hirshfeld
Mendon Twp.

Louis Hirshfeld, the oldest wholesale and retail dealer in gents' furnishing goods, hats, caps, boots and shoes, trucks, etc., McGregor, established his present business here in 1862. He occupies a building eighty- five feet deep, twenty-four wide, one story and a basement, and carries a stock of $15,000. He was born in Schneidermuhl, near Berlin, Prussia, Germany, Sept. 19, 1833. His parents, Henry and Dorothy (Neuman) Hirshfeld, had a family of seven children, of whom Louis was the oldest. He attended school until thirteen, when he learned the tailor's trade, and followed that in the old country until 1854, when he came alone to America. He was ninety days at sea, and landed in New York City with only 15 cents in his pocket, and could not speak a word of English. He was not a boy to give up. He pawned a suit of clothes and purchased a small stock of "Yankee notions," and peddled with his pack in New York City for four months, then went to Gainesville, Ala., where his uncle gave him a stock of goods and a mule. He peddled in Alabama from 1854 to 1857, then went to New York City, thence to Chicago, Ill., where he married Rosalia Sommerfield on July 12, 1857. She was born in the town of Schneidermuhl, Germany, and was a daughter of Joachim and Hattie Sommerfield, who had a family of twelve children. After Mr. and Mrs. Hirshfeld were married he opened a merchant tailoring establishment in Chicago, which he operated until 1862, when he came to McGregor, Ia., and opened the old Clayton County store of clothing and merchant tailoring, which burned down soon after, and he established his present store. He and wife are members of the B'nai Sholen Synagogue, of Chicago, Ill., and have had a family of ten children, seven living, viz.: Henry, born Sept. 18, 1858, and engaged in business with his father; he married Lena Frank, of Chicago, Ill., June 6, 1882. She was born in New York City, and was a daughter of Moses and Yette (Kahn) Frank. Henry Hirshfeld is a member of Itasca Lodge, No. 111, I.O.O. F., of McGregor, and has held various offices in this lodge; is also a member of I. O.B.B., Daniel Lodge, No. 128, having been Secretary of this lodge three years, and is a member of the Young Men's Republican Association, of McGregor. Hattie Hirshfeld is the wife of Max Heidenrich, of McGregor; they were married May 8, 1881. Julius, Carrie, Rachel, Samuel and Frank, who reside with their parents. Mr. Louis Hirshfeld, subject of this sketch, is a Mason and a member of Bezer Lodge, No. 135, A. F. & A. M., and I.O.O.F., Itasca Lodge, No. 111; has been Secretary of this lodge eleven years, and Past Noble Grand Master twelve years; is a member of Encampment No. 28, and D. T. P. for McGregor Lodge two years; is also a member of I.O. B. B., Daniel Lodge, No 128, McGregor, and has passed all the chairs in this lodge; is a member of Garden City Lodge, No. 49, O.K.S.B., of Chicago, Ill.; Sons of Benjamin and Druids, of Chicago. In politics he is independent. He is one of the old and representative business men of McGregor, where he has been identified for the past twenty years.

source: History of Clayton County, Iowa, 1882, p.987-988
transcribed by Sally Scarff and Marlene Chaney


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