Adolph Bernstein (1908)

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Adolph Bernstein
Born December 30, 1908(1908-12-30)[1]
Elgin, IL (?)
Died November 24, 1992 (aged 83)[2]
Deerfield Beach, Broward, Florida[3]
Resting place Elgin, Illinois
Spouse Sylvia Horwitz
Children Elaine Bernstein
Ellie Bernstein
Harriet Bernstein
Eugene Bernstein
Parents Jean Bernstein
Minnie Simon
See map of Adolph Bernstein (1908)'s descendents and ancestors

In later years, Adolph began to refer to himself as Avram (his grandfather's name), as Adolph was no longer acceptable.

Adolph compiled a family tree on paper, starting in 1963, based on locating his father's Romanian relatives. This family tree is the basis for much of the information we have about the other branches of the Bernstein family tree.


[edit] Story of Adolph and Sylvia Meeting

Adolph and his friend Ted Stern had jars of fetuses which they were going to display at state fairs to make money during the depression. Their first stop was Minneapolis where Adolph stayed with sister (Reva Bernstein) and brother-in-law (Sam Lieberman) who had a sister named Jeanette R Lieberman, married to Ralph Henry Horwitz, who introduced Adolph to his younger sister Sylvia Horwitz at a shivah.

After Sylvia and Adolph met, they courted for a while, and Adolph's friend Ted took off for California without him. Adolph wanted to get married, but Sylvia's parents refused to allow it. Why? Because she had one older sister who was not yet married. So they had to wait until Mildred got married until they could get engaged.

[edit] Overview

Adolph bernstein kiwanis.png

"Adolph Bernstein’s life portrays the rich and valued participation of Jewish individuals in post-World War II Elgin. Bernstein, a member of the YMCA’s Board of Directors, chaired the publicity efforts for a fundraising campaign that supported a new building. He managed Fin ‘n Feather Farm and its popular Milk Pail Restaurant while helping lead his synagogue, the Community Chest, the Association of Commerce, St. Joseph’s Hospital, the Elgin Association for the Crippled, the Fox Valley Mental Health Society and the Kiwanis Club. When Elgin faced its biggest political question in the 1950s - the form of city government - leaders on both sides were Adolph Bernstein and Ben Rifken, native Elginites and sons of immigrant Jews.

"The immigrant parents of Adolph Bernstein and Ben Rifken had found Elgin a good place to raise Americans. Many Jews settled in Elgin as families in a community of diversity with strong public schools and people who valued them. Their children engaged with other Elgin kids in scouting or sports at the YMCA. Elgin was a springboard into American life for such people as Irene Wirtschafter, Marshall Goldman and Bobby Rosengarden."[4]

[edit] Role in Shaping Elgin's City Government

"In the fall of 1953, petitions were circulated calling for a referendum on the changeover. Elginites for City Manager, later known as Elginites for Council-Manager, was formed under the leadership of Attorney William W. Brady, Anita Connor, who was active in the League of Women Voters, and Adolph Bernstein. This group campaigned for a favorable vote. The incumbent mayor, Myron M. Lehman, then serving his fourth term, and his supporters opposed the change. They maintained that 'the American ideal of government means full-time representation, not part-time councils; government by the peoples' representative, not a one-man appointee...' ECM charged that 'We are driving an old car with gas pedals and no brakes.'

"On April 6, 1954, voters approved the plan by a relatively close margin, 5,905 to 5,105, and Elgin became the first commission-form city in Illinois to adopt the managerial option by referendum. The decision in this segmented industrial city was far less conclusive than in a residential, one-class suburb like Highland Park, where the council-manager plan was voted in by a margin of 3,754 to 81 in December of the same year."[5]

[edit] Career

Adolph's father Jean had died around age 50, and Adolph was convinced he would as well. As a result, he retired around age 47 and planned to spend his few remaining years relaxing. After turning 51 or so, his wife Sylvia kicked him out of the home and told him to go get a job. He did so, starting a second career that spanned another 15 years or so.

[edit] Historical Records

  • 1927 Elgin High School yearboook (including the photo used in his profile above)
  • 1930 census: Age 21, boarding with the Tubins in Chicago[6]
  • Adolph (age 28) and Sylvia (age 27) are listed in an Elgin City Directory (1937-1938) that says: "Bernstein Adolph (Sylvia) (L & B Cold Storage Co) also (Elgin Fruit & Produce Co) r 663 Preston ave (2)." L & B has its own entry: "L & B Cold Storage Co (E A Logan and Adolph Bernstein) 25-29 N State." Elgin Fruit & Produce has its own entry: "Elgin Fruit & Produce Co (Henry J Bittle, Fred Schock, and Adolph Bernstein) wholesale fruits and produce 108-112 Dexter ave."
  • Adolph (age 28) and Sylvia (age 27) returned from a cruise in the Carribean on Nov, 22, 1937 in the port of New Orleans. Their address is listed as 663 Preston Ave., Elgin, IL. Although Sylvia reported being seasick for much of this trip, daughter Harriet was conceived during it.
  • By 1941-1942, L & B seems to have added distribution on top of its storage business and has relocated. It's new city directory entry is "L & B Cold Storage & Transfer Co (E A Logan and Adolph Bernstein) 304 N Grove ave phone 2360." Adolph and Sylvia's entry shows they have moved to "r 38 River Bluff rd (3)."
  • Adolph (age 41) and Sylvia (age 40) are at the same address in the 1948-1949 city directory.
  • Phonebook listing for Adolph (posthumous) and Sylvia in Deerfield Beach, FL in 1996

[edit] Notes

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