Monday, December 14, 2015

Sam and Ida Tepper

Sam and Ida Tepper
     I mentioned in my post of March 8 this year that Meier David and Leie Tepper arrived in New York City on December 22, 1907 aboard the SS Lituania with several of their children[1].  Among those was Schlome, age 18, whose occupation was listed as "smith".  The family travelled to Philadelphia and by 1910 Schlome, now Sam, was living with his family, speaking English, and working an ironer in a tailor shop [2].
     Sometime between 1910 and June of 1917 Sam had met and married Ida Karzen.  He registered for the draft on June 5, 1917 describing himself as a fruit salesman, employed by J.M. Biedler.  He was tall, of medium build, with brown eyes and blond hair and he lived at 1519 N. Franklin Street in Philadelphia  with his wife[3].   I have no idea how Sam and Ida met, since Ida was from Cincinnati.
     Ida was born on August 3, 1892 in Cincinnati to Lewis Karzensky and Eda (Edith) Ostrovsky Karzensky [4]  who had arrived in the US in that year[5].  According to City Directories of the time, Louis worked as a presser until about 1914 when he entered the poultry business.  In 1914 the City Directory for Cincinnati shows Ida working as a stenographer in a bank building.  Both Ida and Louis are shown as living at 5305 Brotherton Rd[6].  The 1916 Directory shows Ida as still employed at the bank building.  Eda (or Edith as she was then known) died sometime in late 1916 or 1917.  She had written a will in March of 1914 which was probated on November 7, 1917, and in which she left her estate to her husband and then to her children, Ida and Samuel Karzen[7].
     In 1918 the Cincinnati City Directory shows Samuel D. Tepper living at 5308 Brotherton Rd, just down the street from Louis, who was now going by Karzen. Sam was working as a blacksmith.  Sam and Ida's first child had been born in January, 1918, and was named Edgar for his grandmother[8].  The 1920 census shows the family still living at the Brotherton Rd address, which they owned free of mortgage.  The census shows that the family did not own a radio, an item that was growing in popularity and the the Bureau was tracking as a proxy for urban and rural prosperity.  By this time, Lewis, now seventy-five, was living with them. Sam had gotten work as a tailor of women's garments[9].  Ida was pregnant with their second child, Florence, who was born in June of that year.  The third child, Robert Lee (Bobby), was born in 1924.
     The depression hit starting in 1929, and in 1930 the census found the family still in the Brotherton Rd. house, but now Sam was unemployed.  He had a wife, three small children and his aged father-in-law living with him[10].  By 1931 he had opened a service station at 5314 Brotherton Road, and a grocery at 5312 Brotherton[11].  By 1940, according to the census, Edgar was working as an attendant at the service station owned by his father, and Florence was a clerk[12].  The 1940 and 1942 City Directories show Sam still operating the service station in Cincinnati, but there is no mention of the grocery.  Edgar had enlisted in the armed forces in October, 1940 and Bobby followed in October 1942.
     For some reason, between 1942 and 1945, the family moved to Miami, Florida.  Perhaps it was the cold winters in Ohio, or perhaps it was because Sam's sister Rose and widowed sister-in-law/cousin Celia Zimmerman Tepper were already there (the tangled relationships among the Teppers and Zimmermans will be the subject of another post).  In 1945 Sam, Ida, and Florence lived at 4510 N.W. 10th St in Miami.  Sam was again in the produce business, and Florence was working as a case worker for Traveller's Aid[13].  World War II was still being fought, and Edgar, who had married Norma Abenschon in 1944, and Bobby were both still serving in the armed forces.  Florence married Manuel Mayerson in 1947 and moved back to Ohio.  In 1950, Bobby married Carolyn Dresser.
     The end of the war, and the desire of many of the thousands of servicemen who had trained there to become permanent residents made for a boom in Miami.  The Tepper produce business grew along with the city.  Meanwhile, according to his family, the pickles that Sam had made in his garage for a select few had grown into a business of its own.  According to the family story he would go to nearby Cuba and buy cucumbers in bulk and have them shipped into the port in Palm Beach County.  The 1958 Miami City Directory shows that Tepper's Wholesale Produce was being run by Edgar, while Sam was president of T&P Pickle Products, Inc, with Vivian (Zimmerman) Plasky (another Zimmerman cousin) as the vice-president, and Bobby as the secretary-treasurer[14].  The overthrow of the Cuban government in 1959 would have ended the forays to Cuba for cucumbers.
     Ida died in 1963[15].  Sam's widowed sister Bessie moved to Florida to help him, but in September, 1967, Sam married the recently widowed Pauline Kaufman (nee Stern)[16] and they moved to a duplex at 1176 Marseille Drive in Miami Beach.  Pauline died in 1979[17].  Sam continued to be very engaged with family, children, grandchildren, sisters and brothers.  He regularly came north to attend the annual anniversary parties for his sister Jennie Grosser and her husband Elcon.  He died on March 10, 1987[18], and was buried in Mt Nebo Cemetery.

1., New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957 (Provo, UT, USA, Operations, Inc., 2010), Year: 1907; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Microfilm Roll: Roll 1064; Line: 9; Page Number: 133  Record for Meier Tepper.
2., 1910 United States Federal Census (Provo, UT, USA, Operations, Inc., 2006),, Database online. Year: 1910; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 11, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T624_1390; Page: 6B; Enumeration District: 159; Image: 13. Record for David Japper.
3., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 (Provo, UT, USA, Operations, Inc., 2005), Database online. Registration Location: Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1907616; Draft Board: 13. Record for Samuel Tepper.
4., U.S. Social Security Applications and Claims Index 1936-2007 (Provo UT, USA, Operations Inc., 2015). Record for Ida Tepper.
5., 1910 United States Federal Census (Provo, UT, USA, Operations, Inc., 2006), Database online.Year: 1910; Census Place: Dayton Ward 4, Campbell, Kentucky; Roll: T624_467; Page: 5A; Enumeration District: 47; Image: 414. Record for Louis Karzensky.
6., US City Directories, 1822-1995 (Provo, UT, USA, Operations Inc., 2011, Records for Ida Karzen.
7., Ohio, Wills and Probate Records, 1786-1998 (Provo, UT, USA, Operations, Inc., 2015),, Will Records 1792-1918; Probate Place: Hamilton, Ohio. Record for Edith Karzensky.
8., U.S. Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 (Provo, UT, USA, operations, Inc., 2015) Record for Edgar Karzen Tepper.
9., 1920 United States Federal census (Provo, UT, USA, Operations, Inc., 2009), Database online,Year: 1920; Census Place: Cincinnati Ward 2, Hamilton, Ohio; Roll: T625_1388; Page: 2A; Enumeration District: 34; Image: . Record for Sam Tepper.
10. 1930 United States Federal Census( Provo, UT, USA, Operations, Inc. 2002), Database online. Year: 1930; Census Place: Cincinnati, Hamilton, Ohio; Roll: 1806; Page: 18A; Enumeration District: 408; Image: 459.0.Record for Samuel Tepper.
11., U.S. city Directories, 1822-1995 (Provo, UT, USA, Operations, Inc. 2011) Record for Samuel D. Tepper.
12., 1940 United States Federal Census (Provo, UT, USA, Operations, Inc. 2012), Database online. Year: 1940; Census Place: Cincinnati, Hamilton, Ohio; Roll: T627_3187; Page: 7B; Enumeration District: 91-19. Record for Samuel Tepper.
13., U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry. com operations, Inc., 2011), Record for Samuel D. Tepper.
14. Ibid.
15.  Ohio, The American Israelite, Cincinnati, Obituary Feb 14 1963. 
16., Florida Marriage Indexes 1822-1875 and 1927-2001 (Provo, UT, USA, Operations, Inc., 2006), Record for Samuel D. Tepper.
17., Florida Death Index, 1877-1998 (Provo, UT, USA, The Generations Network, Inc., 2004), Database online. Record for Pauline G. Tepper.
18.  Ibid.  Record for Samuel Tepper.