Friday, January 4, 2019

Helen Korngold's Family History

To better understand Helen's 1919 diary I researched her family tree on I started the first tree for Helen's family.

The Korngold Genealogy

Helen Sarah Korngold was born September 27, 1897, in St. Louis, MO. The diary covers her senior year at Washington University (W.U.) in St. Louis. Helen was preparing to be a teacher, and in the fall of 1919, she taught at Wellston and Maplewood schools.

Helen was an extrovert, as her making numerous friends during her Colorado Springs trip in July proves. She was physically very active, participating on the W.U. basketball team, and enjoying swimming and dancing and participating in other leisure actives such as horseback riding and golf over the year.

In the 1917 Washington University yearbook, Helen appears as a member of the Deutsche Verein Club, which promoted interest in German language, literature, and life. Their annual play was “Der Dummkof,” performed on May 1 of that year.

She was active in her temple’s Sunday School programs, even teaching. Helen often burned the candle at both ends, but still was offered a fellowship by her distinguished history professor Dr. Usher. The lectures Helen attended, and the work of her professors such as Dr. Usher, indicate that she grew up in an open and progressive world.

Helen had loads of dates and admirers, including boys from university, temple, and her high school Central High chums. She was in no hurry to settle down but was driven toward her chosen career. She corresponded with many WWI soldiers, like Jules who sent her souvenir pillow tops and handkerchiefs. She was quite taken by war heroes like Summer Shapiro, who was from Boston, and Dewey Pierre Flambert. But these men were just passing through St. Louis.

Helen’s photo appears in the 1924, 1933, 1934, 1935, 1936, and 1937 Normandy High School yearbooks. Her degrees included A.B. Washington University, M.A. Columbia University, and the University of Southern California. She worked in Commercial Subjects in the Guidance Department.She also wrote an article, Guidance in Action: A High School Program in St. Louis, which appeared in “The Vocational Guidance Journal."

Helen met and married mathematician Fritz Herzog who taught at Cornell and later at Michigan State University. Helen was 40 years old and Fritz was 37.


The Korngold Family

In 1919 Helen lived on Page Boulevard in St. Louis, MO with her father Jacob B. Korngold, her mother Eva, her brother Karol, and sisters Lavinia, Otilia, and Florence.

Page Avenue was “one of the city’s more prominent east-west thoroughfares,” and named for Daniel D. Page, the second mayor of the city, who had owned considerable land in the vicinity. The houses were substantial brick buildings, typically with four bedrooms and three baths and over 2000 sq. ft. The neighborhood was not far from Forest Park, the site of the St. Louis World’s Fair and adjacent to W.U. new campus.

Jacob Bernard Korngold was born on October 6, 1863, in Kraków, Malopolskie, Poland, the son of Joacha Yocha and Moses Korngold. Jacob immigrated in 1876. He married Eva Frey in 1895. They had seven children in 31 years. He died on August 28, 1939, at the age of 75, and was buried in St Louis, Missouri.

The Book of St. Louisans showed Jacob Bernard Korngold was Republican, the party of Lincoln.

St. Louis had a long history of Jewish presence, and many of her friends outside of W.U. were children of self-made immigrants like her father, men who came to America in the late 1880s and went on to build successful businesses. Jews of German, Austrian, and Polish heritage comprise much of her social network.

The 1920 St. Louis census shows Jacob, Eva (45 Years old), Helen, 22, a teacher in the public school; Karol, at 21 a student; and teenagers Lavinia (17), Otilia (15), and Florence (14). The Korngolds lived in a neighborhood with other immigrants, most from Austria or Russia.

When Eva Frey was born in February 1874 in Indianapolis, Indiana, her father, David, was 33, and her mother, Sophia, was 27. She married Jacob Bernard Korngold in 1895. They had seven children in 31 years. She died on August 6, 1959, at the age of 85, and was buried in St Louis, Missouri.

Eva was born in 1874 in Indiana to parents David Frey and Sophia Herz who was born in 1844 in Lorzweiler, Mainz, German and immigrated in 1866. David was born in Austria and arrived in America in 1865. He died in December 1919, noted in Helen's diary. David and Sophia Frey had seven children, including Bertha Beryl Frey born in Poland in 1875, and died in 1929. Beryl was a music teacher and Helen took lessons with her. Beryle married Louis Lieberstein.

When David Frey traveled abroad on April 28, 1911, he was required to swear out an oath of allegiance that he had lived in the United States since 1880 and was a merchant. He was described as 70 years old, 5’ 5” tall, bearded with gray hair, brown eyes, fair complexion, and straight nose. Jacob Korngold vouched that he had known David for sixteen years.

Jacob and Eva were married on September 10, 1895. The 1901 St. Louis City Directory shows Jacob lived at 1441 Francis St, with his business J.B. Korngold & Co. located at 421 N. Sixth. In 1903 they are living at 3121 ‘Eads’ Ave. By 1908 they were on Page Ave.

The 1912 Book of St. Louisans biographical sketch reports that Jacob B. Korngold was a men’s neckware manufacturer, born on October 6, 1863, in Krakau, Austria to parents Morris and Jocha (Young) Korngold.  On September 17, 1878, he arrived in American on the ship Pomerania out of Austria. He was 15 years old.

The Book of St Louisians: Jacob Bernard Korngold was born in Krakou, Austria and was educated in the public schools there. He immigrated to American in 1877 and married Eva Frey in 1895. He was engaged in the sale of neckware, later learned the trade of cutting neckware. He lived in Tensas Parish, LA until 1891 managing a cotton plantation and mechandise store owned by Lucian Bland. In 1891 he went to Europe and returned to engage in neckware manufacturing.
Jacob first learned the cutting of neckwear and then managed a cotton plantation and store owned by Lucian Bland in Tensas Parish, LA, in the heart of the richest cotton production farmland.

Jacob traveled to Europe and returned on August 15, 1891, on the ship Elbe out of Bremen. He then set up his own business. The 1899 St Louis City Directory lists Jacob B. Korngold of the J.B. Korngold Co. manufacturing neckties.

The Book of Louisians lists Jacob’s organizational ties as Mason, Knights of Pythias, B’nai B’rith and reports that he enjoyed hunting and fishing.

The Knights of Pythias was the first fraternal order to be chartered by an act of Congress and is dedicated to universal peace, by promoting understanding among men of good will. B’nai B’rith, or Children of the Covenant, is the oldest Jewish service organization. The Freemasons is a fraternal lodge.

The St Louis Republic newspaper of February 16, 1903, includes a help wanted ad: “Neckwear Handlers Wanted – Experienced operators, finishers, and turners. J.B. Korngold & Co., Columbia Theater Bldg.” The nine-story Columbia Building was erected in 1892 at 318 N. 8th St.

The 1930 St Louis census shows Jacob working as an insurance agent. Perhaps his business was hurt in the stock market crash of 1929. Helen’s world of 1919 was not to last. The New York City families she visited in December include several who were importers of alcohol; the Volestead Act had passed in January of 1919 and in January 1920 Prohibition of sales, importation, transportation, or production of alcohol began. Other New York City families she visited were furriers. With the Depression could their business have survived?

On the 1930 census, Jacob gave his parents' birth in Poland, not Austria. Living with him were Eva, who listed her father as born in Poland and mother in Germany, and daughters Helen (30) and Otilia (25), who were both teachers.

In 1932 the St. Louis City Census shows Helen living with her family at 5253 Waterman, a few blocks from Forest Park. Otila, also a teacher, lived with Eva and Jacob. Jacob was an insurance salesman. Karol Korngold and his wife Flora were living on 5123 Cabanne Ave. and he worked for the Federal Commerce Trust.
not Jacob Korngold Death Certificate
Jacob died of chronic heart disease on Aug 28, 1939, and is buried in United Hebrew cemetery. Jacob’s death certificate shows he was a Real Estate Agent.  Helen’s mother Eva died on Aug 6, 1959, of cerebral thrombosis and is also buried in United Hebrew cemetery. Both have perpetual Memorials at United Hebrew, Jacob August on 29 and Eva on August 8.
Helen's siblings included:

Florence Miriam Korngold born August 22, 1905, and died June 21, 1995. In 1927 she married sportswear manufacturer Harry Reichman and they had two children: Nelson born in 1937 and Fred born 1931 and died 2012. The 1929 Frank Louis Soldan High School yearbook The Scrip lists alumni Florence Reichman as graduating in 1925. Harry’s WWI draft card shows he was of medium height and build with brown eyes and black hair and working as a clerk.

Lorine Esther Korngold married Harry Mendelson (1895-1888). The 1930 census shows Harry was a salesman for a hat broker, living with Lorine and son David. The 1940 census shows Harry was an insurance broker living with Lorine, son David, and a servant in University City, St. Louis. Lorine recorded a cello piece in 1921 and a notice appeared in the 1921 Central High School yearbook. She appears on a 1956 passenger list to England. She died March 14, 2001, in St. Louis.

Otilia Hannah Korngold was born in April 1904 and died on July 24, 2001. She appeared on the alumni list of Frank Louis Soldan High School. She attended Harris Teachers College in St. Louis and graduated in 1925. She received a B.A. from Washington University in 1936, and is listed as a deceased alumnus in the Fall 2001 Washington University Magazine.
Harris Teachers 1925
1925 Graduating Class of Harris College included Otilia Korngold offers pictures of Harris Teacher’s College

A September 3, 1926, Passenger List shows that Helen and her younger sister Otilia, age 22, arrived in New York City on the SS Rotterdam out of Southampton, England. Their address was 5253 Waterman, St Louis, MO.

The St Louis City Directory of 1932 shows Helen and Otila, both teachers, living with Jacob and Eva at 5253 a Waterman St.

Otila was 38 years old when she married Benno Albert Feuer, who was born June 1909 in Rotterdam, Holland in and arrived in American in 1931 at age 22.  In 1934 Benno became a Naturalized Citizen. Benno and Otila appear in the Enid, OK 1960 city directory which shows Benno was Assistant Vice President of the Continental Grain Co.

Ruth Korngold was born July 1900 and died of diphtheria in Oct 1904. Joseph Jonathon Korngold was born Dec. 24, 1907 and his death certificate showed he died July 16, 1913, of acute perforative appendicitis.
Karol Abraham Korngold
Karol Abraham Korngold  
Helen frequently mentions her beloved brother. Karol Abraham Korngold was born Nov. 8, 1898, and died on October 3, 1971. His WWI draft card records state that he was of medium height (5'9") and build (140 lbs) with blue or grey eyes and fair hair (brown). A soldier’s database of WWI lists Private Korngold’s assignment as “S.A.T.C.” or Student Army Training Corps.  (Students Army Tng C, Washington University, St. Louis MO to discharge). Karol was on the Jewish Welfare Board of Trustees.

Karol received a degree in law from Washington University in 1920. The 1930 census shows Karol was a lawyer living with his wife Flora (born August 1901 in St Louis and died in October 1985) and daughters Judith and Ruth in their $10,000 home. Karol A. died on Oct 10, 1971, and is buried in Mt. Sinai Cemetery. Flora died in October 1985. Both are in perpetual memory at Congregational Temple Israel in St. Louis October 3-9.

Helen and Fritz Herzog

Mr. and Mrs. J. B. Korngold, 5253 Waterman Boulevard, have announced announced the marriage of their daughter. Miss Helen, and Fritz Herzog, which took place Tuesday, Sept. 21. The bride received her M. A. degree from Washington University, University, and now is employed as head of the commercial department and director of vocational guidance at the Normandy High School. Mr. Herzog received his Ph. D. degree from Columbia University, New York, and at present is a member of the staff of Cornell University.

In October 1937 Helen married Fritz Herzog. Helen was 40 years old. Fritz Herzog was born in Poland (Posen on his death record) on December 6, 1902. He studied at the University of Berlin from 1928 until 1933. As a Jew, he was expelled from the university and immigrated to the United States to continue his education. On July 27, 1933, he arrived at New York City on the S.S. Washington out of Berlin. The Passenger List states that he was 30, a student, from Pozman, Poland and was Hebrew.

Fritz attended Columbia University and gained his Ph.D. in mathematics in 1934 with his dissertation Systems of Algebraic Mixed Difference Equations. He worked for the Smelting & Refining Company for two years as a statistician. From 1938 to 1943 he was in electrical engineering research at Cornell University.

The 1939 Ithaca, NY City Directory shows Helen as Mrs. Fritz Herzog, working at Cornell University as a “research elec. Assn.”  The April 1940 Ithaca, NY City Directory shows Helen married to Fritz Herzog. Helen was 42 years old. The 1940 U.S. Census for Ithaca, NY shows Friz was a college professor with a four-year college degree, living in rented housing, and married to Helen Sarah Herzog. Fritz earned $1650 a year and had worked 11 hours the previous week. Helen worked as a clerk at the university earning a salary of $0 a year and had worked 63 hours the previous week.
Helen, Fritz, and Helen's niece in 1957

In 1941 and 1942 Helen appears in the Ithaca, New York city directory as a clerk.

By 1945 Helen and Fritz had moved to East Lansing. In 1956 and 1959 she appears in the East Lansing city directory working as a clerk at Michigan State University and Fritz is a professor at MSU.

Fritz spent the remainder of his career teaching at Michigan State University in East Lansing, MI. He was a visiting professor in 1943 and an associate professor in 1946. Along with Michel G. Malti he solved an important problem in dynamo research. MI. Fritz was also known for his involvement in undergraduate education. I am sure that Helen was very involved with this interest. Michigan State University’s Herzog Prize competition honors Fritz, who “devoted significant efforts at undergraduate education and helped successfully prepare students of the Putnam exam” according to a June 2010 MSU press release. Fritz and Helen appear in the 1945 East Lansing, MI City Directory. The 1984 Directory show they lived at 1532 Cahill Dr, East Lansing. photo source

In 1969 Fritz was awarded the Past Distinguished Faculty award in Natural Science.

Helen passed on July 25, 1988. Fritz died of prostate cancer on November 21, 2001. Helen’s diary from 1919 ended up in a South Lansing, MI flea market shop.
Helen with her niece in 1957

Sadly, Helen's one pregnancy was unsuccessful. Her great-niece told me the family adored Helen and her husband. They were fun and loving.
The Helen Korngold Quilt

I created the Helen Korngold Quilt using scanned diary pages, St. Louis postcard images, embellished, and hand quilted. The quilt appeared in a show at the Michigan Woman's Historical Museum in East Lansing. When Helen's sister's granddaughter contacted me I sent the quilt and the original diary to her to share with her mother.
The Helen Korngold Quilt by Nancy A. Bekofske
Scanned diary pages and historic postcards
embellished, hand quilted
More about Fritz's career:

Fritz Herzog (6 December 1902 to 21 November 2001) was an American mathematician, known for his work in complex analysis and power series. He was born in Germany and studied at the University of Berlin until 1934 when he moved to USA. He received his Ph.D. degree at Columbia University on a thesis entitled Systems of Algebraic Mixed Difference Equations advised by Joseph Ritt (1934). Herzog was an electrical engineering research associate at Cornell University (1938-43), working with Michel G. Malti on dynamo research. Together they solved an important electric power problem on balancing dynamos, which had remained open since the days of Michael Faraday a century before. Most of his career was spent at Michigan State University (1943-73), and the Fritz Herzog Prize Endowment Fund was established in his honor. Herzog died at East Lansing of prostate cancer. He had a wife named Helen Herzog. ( Wikipedia )
Electrical engineering building

A footnote in the May 1971 Vol. 78, No. 5 The American Mathematical Monthly states, “Fritz Herzog received his Columbia University PhD. under J.F. Ritt."

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