Volume #30, Issue #1, October, 1997
OF EUGENE, OREGON
by Robert Levinson
The late Robert Levinson was one of the great historians of Western Jewry. He was native of Portland and associated with the University of Oregon and subsequently be-came a professor of History at San Jose State College. He held a Bachelor of Science degree from Portland State College, and Master of Arts degree from the University of Oregon and later received his Doctor of Philosophy there. His Master's thesis was entitled "The Jews of Jacksonville, Oregon" and his doctoral dissertation was titled "The Jews in the California Gold Rush" which became a major book which enjoyed more than one printing. At the time he wrote this article, Dr. Levinson was 27 years of age. It consists of his interviews with Dr. A.G. Bettman, Mr. Julius Friendly, Mrs. Ray Goodrich and Mrs. Jennie Mitchell. This and other forthcoming pieces by him are reprinted with the permission of their publisher and the Levinson family. --W.Kramer
Interview with Dr. Adalbert G. Bettman, 2701 N. W. Cornell Road, Portland, Oregon 97210, April 28 and November 28, 1963.
Dr. Bettman' s parents were Goodman Bettman and Bertha Simon Bettman, who lived in Eugene, Oregon, from 1879-97. Goodman Bettman first came to Eugene in 1868, the same year his future wife's parents came to Portland. Goodman Bettman came to Portland because two married sisters were already living there. The first sister to come to Portland, Amalia, had met and married her husband in New York. "Amalia was small, wrinkled and leaned forward." She had two sons, Abe and Louis, and two daughters, Sarah and Amelia. The other sister, Mariana, came to Portland later and married a brother of her sister's husband in 1853 in Portland. The two brothers were named Baum. Goodman Bettman was rejected from the German military service because he was lame. He came to Portland with a sister who married Joe Bergman, a Portland butcher.
Another of Goodman Bettman's sisters married a Rosenblatt, whose brother, Moses Rosenblatt, established businesses up and down the Willamette Valley under the management of his relatives and soon sold the businesses to them. Rosenblatt set up Goodman Bettman in business in Eugene. He also set up Bettman' s brothers in business: Lazarus in McMinnville and Leopold in Buena Vista (near St. Paul, east of Newberg). Leopold soon moved to Lafayette. He never married and died at an early age in San Francisco. All these businesses were general merchandise stores. Lazarus Bettman later moved to Portland and lived for a while on Northwest 21st Avenue, between Hoyt and Irving Streets. The house is now gone. Lazarus Bettman died about 1920. His son, Henry L. Bettman, a violinist, conducted the Orpheum Theater Orchestra for many years.
The parents of Dr. Bettman's mother, Samuel Simon and Carolyn Stein Simon, were married in New Orleans. They met on board the ship that brought them to New Orleans. Carolyn Stein was on the ship with her family. The eldest Simon child was born in New Orleans. When the news of the great gold discovery in California was received in New Orleans, Mr. Simon took his wife and infant daughter back to Germany and secured a load of goods which he took with his family to Sacramento, California. After a great fire in Sacramento, which destroyed all his merchandise, the Simons moved back to Germany, where six more children were born. The mother of Dr. Bettman was born in Bechtheim, Germany. The Simon family then came to Portland in 1868. They lived on a twenty-one acre farm on what is now S.E. Division Street, between 21st and 26th Avenues.
A brother of Samuel Simon, David,•was already in Portland and owned forty-two acres on S.E. Powell Boulevard, next to his brother's twenty-one acres. It is believed that David Simon sent for his brother to come to Portland. David Simon was the father of United States Senator Joseph Simon.
Carolyn Simon was older than her husband and predeceased him. Samuel Simon then married a sister of Rabbi Jacob Bloch of Congregation Beth Israel of Portland. One child, a son, Nathan, was born of this marriage. Altogether, Samuel Simon made thirteen paying trips across the Atlantic Ocean.
Rabbi Bloch came to Eugene to perform Jewish weddings, funerals and circumcisions. It is doubtful that many Jewish funerals were performed in Eugene in the early days since the community did not establish a Jewish cemetery. Bloch never conducted any services for Sabbaths or holidays in Eugene since the early Jewish families in Eugene came to Portland fairly often. His trips to Eugene were restricted to the performance of those services requiring the presence of a rabbi and for the receiving of an LL.D. degree from the University of Oregon in 1895 or 1896 for his development of a map depicting the events of world history and their relationship to each other.
Rabbi Bloch gave Dr. Bettman his name of "Adalbert" after St. Adalbert, the Catholic bishop of Rabbi Bloch's native Prague. He also named Dr. Bettman's younger brother "Moses Montefiore," who was born in the same year the British philanthropist died. Dr. Bettman stated that Rabbi Bloch told him he was in the Civil War and helped to form carpetbag Reconstruction governments. How-ever, he did not favor the more extreme desires of the majority of the carpetbaggers. Once, in Arkansas, Bloch had the occasion to travel in his ministerial garb. He told a man he was a rabbi and as he sat in his hotel lobby, a large crowd gathered who had not seen a rabbi before.
Bloch was a very learned man but had a speech impediment. He preached entirely in English when he was in Portland.
Goodman Bettman carried the American flag when the Masons laid the cornerstone of Deady Hall, the first building on the University of Oregon campus, in 1873. Bettman was a Royal Arch Mason. Jews are not normally members of the Scottish rite since the Royal Arch and York rites are based on a belief in Christianity. Bettman said he did not know of the difference and stated he did not believe in Jesus but a friend said, "You believe in Jesus just as much as we do."
Dr. Bettman stated there was no anti-Jewish prejudice in Eugene. In fact, at community picnics, everyone referred to each other as "Brother," except Goodman Bettman, who was called "Mister Goodman."
Mr. and Mrs. Goodman Bettman were married in Portland in 1879 and lived in Eugene on what is now West Fifth Street. It is believed Rabbi Moses May of Congregation Beth Israel of Portland performed the wedding ceremony.
There was a big storm January 9, 1880, in Eugene. The wind was so fierce that it blew down the chimney on the Bettman home and blew out the fire in the stove. Mrs. Bettman's baking was literally ruined. So was the city of Eugene, but she did not know it until her husband came home that night and told her. (The Portland Oregonian, April 7, 1963, page 22, reported this storm.)
The Bettman general merchandise store, at the southwest corner of Eighth and Willamette Streets, had a safe. When farmers came to town with money after the banks closed for the day, Goodman Bettman consented to hold the money overnight in his safe. Bettman knew the safe was cracked and he never slept all night when given the responsibility of holding other people's money. Fortunately, none was ever taken.
There were four Bettman children: Adalbert G,. Moses Montefiore, C. Hugo and Nathan S. The last-named died at the age of two years in Portland of scarlet fever which he had contracted there. The family had a maid in Eugene, Mrs. Peterson, who later said the family dog howled all through the night that Nathan Beaman died.
The Bettman property had all sorts of fruit trees and grape vines, a cow, some ducks and chickens and a well on it. One day, Mrs. Bettman put a red shirt on the clothesline to dry. Some leaves blew on the shirt. When Dr. Bettman shook his shirt a turkey gobbler went mad and began to attack him. Bettman was scared of that turkey for a long time afterward.
When Dr. Bettman was four and one-half years old, on November 28, 1887, he started attending Kindergarten taught by a woman named Stole at St. Mary's Episcopal Church, located on the southwest corner of Seventh and Olive Streets. The next school he attended was held at the Presbyterian Church, located on the northeast corner of Eighth and Lincoln Streets. The teacher was Miss Hendricks (Ida Hendricks, a daughter of Eugene banker and University regent T. G. Hendricks) who married Frank L. Chambers. She died at an early age. "She was the prettiest woman I have ever seen." The next school he attended was on West Eighth Avenue, conducted by the Rev. Mr. Kruger, a retired Lutheran minister. Dr. Bettman recalled a soap factory located on the southwest corner of Eighth and Olive Streets. A lake was near the soap factory. Dr. Beaman and a classmate, George Hodes, had a raft with a pair of oars. Once, while crossing the lake in their raft, they lost their oars.
The fourth school Dr. Bettman attended was the Sisters' School, located on the northeast comer of Eleventh and Willamette Streets. He next attended Geary School, located at that time on West Fourth, not far from Blair Road. One of the teachers at this school visited Dr. Bettman two years ago to find out why he did not like her when he was her pupil. He told her he thought she was misnamed Mercy Applegate. She is now past ninety years of age.
In those days, boys who whispered in class were punished by a whipping administered by Professor Williams. Everyone took a bath once a week then. Mrs. Bettman saw stripes on her son Adalbert's back. Professor D. V. S. Reed, the Eugene Superintendent of Public Schools and then a candidate for State Superintendent of Public Instruction, begged Goodman Bettman to keep quiet about his discipline rules because such publicity would ruin him. Mr. Bettman kept quiet but Reed lost the election anyway. Whenever the State Superintendent of Public Instruction visited the Geary School in Eugene, the train stopped at the school to save the Superintendent the walk from the depot.
Dr. Bettman remembered his seventh birthday party in 1890. Many of his young friends were present. "We played Drop the Handkerchief and such strenuous games." His birthday cake was decorated with small dolls.
When Dr. Bettman was seven years old, the family moved to Eighth and Chamelton Streets.
They lived there seven years. At the time they moved to the above location, Goodman Bettman purchased a lot at the south-west corner of Seventh and Chamelton Streets, which was low in elevation. He hired someone to bring one to one and one-half feet of river bottom soil to the property in order to build it up. A creek ran through this lot. This second residence of the Bettman family in Eugene also had the appearance of a farm, with a cow, a dog, some ducks, geese and turkeys on the property. In this house the Bettman family had the first bathtub in Eugene, in a room just off the kitchen.
Goodman Beaman farmed the lot at Seventh and Chamelton Streets and raised vegetables there. He had another man plow and seed the property in return for the other man using one-half of the lot for himself. Bettman's portion never had a weed but the hired man never took care of his own part of the lot. Various kinds of fruit trees and many berry bushes ("pink and yellow raspberries but no strawberries") grew on the lot. Trees surrounded the property.
A brother of Mrs. Bettman, Henry Simon, lived in Eugene with the family a short while. He later moved to Salem where he had a cigar store opposite the Marion Hotel. Mrs. Bettman had a sister, Mrs. Solomon, whose husband was Postmaster of Junction City for a short time.
The Bettman store in Eugene had two locations. The first was the southwest comer of Eighth and Willamette Streets; the second was on Willamette Street between Eighth Avenue and the alley north, towards Seventh Avenue.
The farmers of the area would bring in their eggs and butter for merchandise. Credit was extended to them. Most of these obligations were met. Twenty feet behind the store was the warehouse. In back of the warehouse was a chicken house. No merchandise was ever stolen in those days. Goodman Beaman used to be the advisor and confidant of many farmers and urged them to sell their goods when he sold his own, at a good time. "And he always sold at a good time."
The Portland Oregonian, for June 10 and June 30, 1927, contains correspondence concerning Goodman Bettman outfitting John Whiteaker, Oregon's first statehood governor and newly-elected Congressman, with needed clothing for the latter's trip to Washington and of Goodman Bettman loaning him the trunk the Bettman family brought to this country from Germany to hold his new clothing.
Dr. Bettman recalled that Coxey' s Army camped near Blair Boulevard in Eugene in 1894. He also remembered that every Arbor Day, a tree was planted in front of the schoolhouse in Eugene. Each succeeding year, a tree was planted in the exact same spot on Arbor Day, because no one would take care of the tree after it had been planted.
Dr. Bettman and his brother Hugo saw President Harrison hanged in effigy in Eugene in 1892. The President did not meet the crowd that gathered at the train depot, even after a gift of trout was put on the train for him. By the time Harrison reached Albany, a telegram was waiting for him from his Eugene constituents: "Give back the trout and take the suckers."
Mrs. Bettman did not hesitate at Goodman Bettman's suggestion that they move to Portland, which they did in 1897. When the family was in Portland, Goodman Bettman gave a contract to an agent to sell "all or part" of the Eugene property he owned. The agent sold part of it and subsequently sold the rest, but Bettman rendered the second sale null and void because the agent fulfilled his contract by selling part of the property. The day the sale of the property was to take effect, the house burned down.
When the Bettman family left Eugene in 1897, there were no paved streets. Prisoners were used to clean the macadamized streets of the city.
One Yom Kippur, the circus came to Eugene. Goodman Bettman was the only Jewish merchant to close his store. Other years, the rest of the Jewish merchants probably closed their stores. Though their stores were not open, Dr. Bettman cannot recall services ever being held for the High Holidays, the three major holidays, or even a Yahrzeit service. The Jewish families of Eugene did meet on Yom Kippur but there was no service; they just gathered together.
Dr. Bettman practiced for his Bar Mitzvah in Eugene under the direction of Dr. Jacob Bloch. The actual Bar Mitzvah service was conducted in Portland.
It was recalled that most of the Jewish families in Eugene had prayer books which were used on occasion but not for any community-wide services. Some of the families kept traditions in their homes. In the Bettman home, there was no Seder on Passover (Dr. Bettman' s first recollection of a Seder was after the family moved to Portland) but little household work was done on Saturday. It is not remembered if Mrs. Bettman lit candles on Friday night.
Passover foods were ordered for the Jewish families of Eugene from the Pacific Coast Biscuit Company, Northwest 11th and Davis, Portland. A Mr. Wertheimer was present to approve the food as being kosher for Passover.
The Bettman family went to Harrisburg once for the Fourth of July when Dr. Bettman was about six years old, but he could not recall if any regular visits took place between the Jewish families in Eugene and Albany. Goodman Bettman purchased a plot in the Albany Jewish Cemetery but never used it.
There were several other Jewish families who lived in Eugene at the same time as the Bettmans.
The Charles Lauer family lived on the west side of Willamette Street, near Sixth Avenue. Mr. Lauer married Sarah, the sister of Samson H. Friendly. Dr. Bettman could not recall the date and place of this marriage. Mr. Lauer's office was in the bank building on the east side of Willamette Street, between Eighth Avenue and the alley south toward Ninth Avenue. He loaned money and one of his customers was the bank. Lauer had one sister, Becky, who never married. His children were Emmanuel H., Carrie, Barbara and Hennriette. Emmanuel attended the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and later moved to Los Angeles. On the alley between Sixth and Seventh Avenues, on Willamette Street, in back of the Lauer' s lived a Negro family named Stone. (Lauer owned the entire quarter block.) There were several Negro families in Eugene then and they were well thought of, the same as the Jewish residents. The Lauers later moved to Portland.
Abraham Goldsmith owned a cigar and tobacco store, on Willamette Street between Eighth Avenue and the alley north toward Seventh. He later moved this business to near the Baker House, now known as the Smeed Hotel. Dr. Bettman recalled that he and his brothers went to the Baker House every day and played with the Baker family children. Goldsmith had been married and was divorced, which was then considered a terrible thing. He lived as a single man in Eugene and had no children. When he died, Goodman Bettman may have been the administrator of his estate. Dr. Bettman remembered Goldsmith as a small, elderly, pleasant man.
There was another Goldsmith in Eugene, whose initial was either A. or S. (for Solomon, it was believed). He had a general store on Willamette Street whose front doors were of iron. He lived with his wife and three or four daughters on Eleventh Street, four or five blocks east of Willamette.
E. Schwarzschild had two daughters and two sons, Morris, Julius, Minnie (the youngest) and one whose name is not remembered, (Elsa). He ran a book store in competition with another operated by von Aewaschen. The two men would always bluff each other into working later and later each night. Schwarzschild lived on Olive Street between Eighth Avenue and the alley north toward Seventh, just before the Episcopal Church.
Samson H. Friendly's general store was located on Willamette Street in the middle of the block between Ninth Avenue and the alley north toward Eighth. The Friendly family lived on the southeast corner of Tenth and Willamette Streets, across the street from the Methodist Church. Friendly was a cousin of the brothers Max Friendly of Corvallis and Charles Friendly of Portland. Max Friendly established the first sawmill in Corvallis. He married the sister of Dr. Bettman' s mother.
Located across Willamette Street from Friendly's store was Henry Simon, a hatter, who lived with the Bettman family.
Wolf Saunders had a men' s-goods store in the Hoffman Hotel, formerly located at the northeast corner of Ninth and Willamette Streets. His daughter married Phil Gevurtz of Portland.
Ed Baum had a men's store on Willamette Street, in the alley between Eighth and Ninth Avenues and later on the south side of Ninth Avenue, the second or third store east of Willamette Street. He had a wife and one son and daughter. He later moved to Baker or Pendleton. The son later had a store in Pendleton.
Washauer, from Poland, lived in Eugene. His wife died in the birth of their third child, a son. The other children were a boy and a girl. A story told about Washauer is that he desired to remarry and asked his deceased wife for permission. Since she did not say no to his request, he interpreted it as her silent assent. But he and his second wife were divorced shortly after their marriage and he raised his three children by himself. He was buried in Ahavai Sholom Cemetery in Portland.
Louis Simon Napoleon Marx was a clerk for Goodman Bettman. He was not married at that time. .
Mrs. Friedenrich, the mother of Milton Friedenrich of Portland (who was born in Eugene) and the Wasserman family also lived in Eugene at the same time as these other families.
Dr. Adalbert G. Bettmanl of Portland, has won a wide reputation as a skilled plastic surgeon and in both lay and professional circles is regarded as well worthy of the confidence and respect of his fellow men. The Doctor was born in Eugene, Oregon, in 1883, and is a son of Goodman and Bertha (Simon) Bettman, who were married in Portland. His father came to this state in 1860 by way of the Isthmus of Panama from Bavaria, where he was born in 1845, and was essentially a self-made man, having from boyhood depended on his own efforts and resources, achieving a worthy measure of success. For a while during his early life here he was employed in a grocery store in Portland, and then completed his education at Portland Academy, which stood on the site of the Portland Hotel. In 1868 he went to Eugene and conducted a general merchandise business, in which prosperity crowned his efforts and he became one of the well-to-do and influential business men of that city. In the days before banks were established in Eugene, he owned the only safe in that locality with the exception of the one in the office of the Wells Fargo Express Company which closed when the train left in the early afternoon. Farmers freely used Mr. Bettman's safe as an overnight depository. In 1897 Mr. and Mrs. Goodman Bettman returned to Portland and Mr. Bettman was prominently connected with the retail drug business for a number of years.
Mrs. Bettman was born in Germany in 1853 and came to Portland with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Simon, in 1868, by way of the Isthmus of Panama. She resided in Portland until her marriage to Goodman Bettman of Eugene in 1879. To them were born four sons, surviving are: A. G., of this review; M. Montefiore, who is engaged in the practice of periodontia in Portland, and C. Hugo, president of the Bettman Nut Company of New York City.
A. G. Bettman attended the public schools and high school, and matriculated in the medical school of the University of Oregon, from which he was graduated with the degree of Doctor of Medicine in 1907, since which time he has engaged in the practice of his profession in Portland, having his offices in the Medical Arts building. He specializes in plastic surgery, in which he has shown extraordinary skill, and commands an extensive practice. He is attending surgeon at the Good Samaritan Hospital and is ex-president of its association and is consulting surgeon at the Shriners' Hospital for Crippled Children and Veterans' Hospital No. 77. He is a member of the Portland City and County Medical Society, its council and its board of censors, the Oregon State Medical Society, and a Fellow of the American Medical Association.
He is a trustee and president of the Medical Society Telephone Service, trustee "Northwest Medicine," Seattle, past-president Port-land Lodge No. 65, Independent Order B'nai B'rith, member Pacific Northwest Medical Association, treasurer Portland Academy of Medicine, member Oregon Public Health League, ex-president Alumni Association, Medical School, University of Oregon, ex-president Portland Medical Journal Club, member Portland Lodge No. 142, B. P. 0. Elks, and a member Congregation Beth Israel.
He has written a number of articles on plastic surgery which have been published in the leading medical magazines and have been well received by the profession. In 1921, in San Francisco, California, Dr. Bettman was united in marriage to Miss Hermine Loewy. A man of splendid personality, kind and sympathetic in his relations with his patients, he is held in grateful regard by hundreds who have benefitted by his able services, while through-out the community he is greatly esteemed.
Interview with Julius Friendly, 2014 N. W. Glisan Street, Apt. 210, Portland 10, Oregon, October 28, 1962.
Mr. Friendly's father was Charles Henry Friendly. He and his brother Max were both born in Germany. When they came to Oregon, Max settled in Corvallis, where he was in the sawmill business, and Charles settled in Portland.
On a trip to Germany, Charles Henry Friendly married Clara Fox, one of a family of ten or twelve children, five or six girls and five or six boys, who all emigrated to the United States. When the Fox children came to the United States, they were accompanied by one Mr. Seller, who organized a firm in Portland called M. Seller, later known as M. Seller and Co. (Members of the Friendly family became associated with this firm.) One Fox girl married a gentle-man in the crockery business in San Francisco. A Fox brother, Ike, lived in Albany, Oregon, and was in the cigar business. He married a Jewish girl from Shedd and took Julius Friendly with him to Shedd by railroad for the wedding as he wanted to have at least one relative present. "The ceremony was conducted by a rabbi from Eugene, since there was no rabbi in Albany." Another Fox brother, Leo, lived in Chicago and ran a woolen mill.
Charles Henry Friendly was fourth President of Congregation Beth Israel in Portland and an organizer of the First Hebrew Benevolent Association. He traveled around as agent for Bissinger and Co., who were in the hides and leather business. Business transactions in those days were done by barter. Not much money passed hands. At the end of a season, the farmers traded harvested food for clothing. Charles Friendly also operated his own general merchandise store in Corvallis while working for Bissinger. In addition to this, he conducted a branch business in Eugene. He purchased cattle skins all around the Willamette Valley.
There is a tradition that this Friendly family was related to the family of Samson H. Friendly of Eugene, but the exact relation-ship is not known today. Samson H. Friendly was married to Mathilda Adler. Julius Friendly does not remember anything about the Adler family except that some lived in Eugene and some in Salem. Samson Friendly had three daughters but no sons. He had a warehouse in Eugene and was quite wealthy. His generosity sent many boys through the University of Oregon who otherwise could not have afforded it. "Mr. Friendly had a wonderful reputation for doing this and the construction of the University of Oregon Millrace, north of the campus, is attributed to him."
Philip Selling had a clothing store on Front Avenue in Portland. His son, Ben Selling, helped organize Aiken, Selling and Co., a wholesale shoe company on Front Avenue. Julius Friendly used to work there and remembers working together with Anselm Boskowitz on Front Avenue. "Today's Jewish steel millionaires in Portland are in debt to Ben Selling, who outfitted all of them with horses and wagons to collect junk."
Julius Friendly was born in Portland in 1871 and is now 92. He married Emma Herrscher of San Leandro, California, who died in 1940. Mr. Friendly had one brother, Seymour, and three sisters. Seymour married Maude Fryer. They were married 65 years. Sister Laura married Jacob Rosenthal. Sister Emma married Sig Cohn who had a store in Tillamook. A child of theirs lived only about one year and was brought to Portland for burial. Sister Celia never married.
Ten Friendlys are buried at Beth Israel Cemetery in Portland. "When Jacob Rosenthal died, the family had to pay $500 to bury him because he was not a member of Beth Israel."
Daughters of Max Friendly of Corvallis were Sadie and Caroline. The former was for 25 years Secretary to the President of the First National Bank of Portland and pensioned for life by the bank upon her retirement. The latter was a mathematics teacher at Grant High School in Portland for over 30 years.
A daughter of Samson H. Friendly still living is Mrs. Fred E. (Carrie) Harris whose husband is a member of the Los Angeles Stock Exchange.
Mr. Friendly remembers the Jacobs family, who built a woolen mill at Oregon City; and Mr. Summer of Summerville (outside of La Grande) who was Jewish and had a general merchandise store there. He knows of no descendants of these families still living. Mr. Friendly never heard of any Jewish religious services held through the Willamette Valley but stated that the Jews he knew were observant. He recalled Jews living in Salem and thinks there was a synagogue there but is not sure if there was a synagogue building before the present one was constructed in 1947.
Interview with Mrs. Ray Goodrich, 2609 Fairmount Boulevard, Eugene, Oregon, July 31, 1963.
Mrs. Goodrich was born in Eugene July 24, 1881. She easily recalled several early Jewish families in Eugene because she grew up with many of the children of these families.
Bettman The Bettman family had three sons. Mr. Bettman was a clothier and his store was named G. Bettman. Mrs. Bettman was a small woman, who was always well dressed and who looked after her three sons marvelously well. Their home was on Willamette Street, between Sixth and Seventh. After a period of residence in Eugene, the Bettman family moved to Portland. Mrs. Goodrich did not remember Henry Simon, a brother of Mrs. Bettman .
Lauer Mrs. Goodrich remembered the Lauer family especially well. Mr. Lauer pierced Mrs. Goodrich's ears when she was young. Lauer was in the mercantile business with his brother-in-law, S. H. Friendly. There is a recollection of him in A. G. Walling's History of Lane County. "The Lauer's were grand folks." They lived at the corner of Sixth and Willamette. Although it is not remembered where Lauer married S. H. Friendly's sister, the fact was recalled that there were four Lauer children: Emanuel (later of Los Angeles), Carrie, Barbara and Henrietta. Mrs. Goodrich played with Henrietta as a girl, as they were the same age. She recalled cleaning Henrietta's tricycle once and making the spokes shine beautifully.
All the Lauer children but Henrietta graduated from the University of Oregon. At that time, public education in Eugene went only to the eighth grade. The University, however, sponsored a three year preparatory department, which took the place of a high school and prepared students for the University. At the University preparatory department, students had the benefit of being instructed by the regular University faculty.
Mrs. Goodrich stated that a friend of hers, Mrs. Harry A. Dunbar (nee Lulu Renshaw), 1049 Ferry Street, Eugene, was the closest childhood friend of Henrietta Lauer.
Following the demise of the Lauer parents in their old age, the family scattered. The last Mrs. Goodrich heard, Emanuel died in Los Angeles. Carrie had died a long time ago. Barbara lived in Idaho until her death and Henrietta moved to Portland with her mother. Mrs. Goodrich was not sure when or where Mr. Lauer died.
Friendly "As a child, I was always in and out of the Friendly house. I can remember Mrs. Friendly burning candles at certain times in memory of her sisters." Mrs. Goodrich and her mother became interested in sewing through Rosalie, one of the Friendly daughters. They all helped sew quilt pieces together for Mrs. Friendly. Once, a set of quilt pieces came to Mrs. Friendly in the shape of a cross and Mrs. Friendly refused to accept them.
Theresa Friendly married Wachenheirner, a wholesale jeweler from New York. One of their sons, Fred, took his mother's maiden name and was associated with the television production firm of Edward R. Murrow and Fred Friendly. Mrs. Wachenheimer lived outside of New York as a widow. "She wanted to be near her son of whom she was so proud."
Mrs. S. H. Friendly took her daughter Carrie to San Francisco, to a place where it was very easy for her to meet Jewish men. "My impression is that she met Fred Harris there." They now live in Los Angeles.
"The Friendly's and Lauer' s were high-class German-Jewish people." In the earlier days, all Eugene homes were open to University students. Everyone became well acquainted because the University enrollment was small. "The boys would drop in and we would talk. That is how Rosalie Friendly met Dean Hayes." He never became Jewish and in later years joined the Episcopal Church, but the Friendly family had a high regard for him.
The Friendly family first lived at Tenth and Willamette. Their last Eugene home was at Eleventh and High. The first Friendly home was always a social gathering place. It had been remodeled and brought up to date. Mr. Friendly had colored glass put in the front door transom with his name engraved in it. Mr. Friendly always stood with his thumbs in his lapels. When his three daughters grew up, he bought them a horse and a carriage and kept it in a stable. When he called up the livery stable for the carriage, he said, "Please send me mine team."
Mrs. Goodrich recalled that when her father (T. G. Hendricks, an early Eugene banker) retired, the family purchased a home on the McKenzie River, near Eugene. "Mr. Friendly looked the place over, standing in his characteristic pose, and said, `Look at them pines.' There isn't a pine on the place. There never was!"
The University students always mocked Friendly into speaking to them at rallies. "The speeches were always choice ones."
"On Saturday afternoon, Rosalie Friendly and I would go down to the Friendly store. Saturday was market day for the country Mr. Friendly dealt in hops and wool. There was a brick warehouse behind the store. We would crack pine nuts in the rear of the store." The store stood on the northern portion of the present site of the Eugene Main Branch, First National Bank, at Broadway and Willamette.
Mrs. Goodrich did not recall anything about early Jewish education in Eugene. She and Rosalie Friendly attended Junior Christian Endeavor meetings when they were partly grown but the meetings were primarily social. Nothing was ever said that was offensive to Rosalie.
"The Jews could not pick up matzos (sic) here. Mr Friendly sent for it in great quantities. They would always give it out to everyone. I presume he ordered it from Portland or San Francisco. He often went to San Francisco on buying trips."
A rabbi came to Eugene for the weddings of the Friendly girls. Huge banquets were held, to which almost everyone in town was invited. One wedding banquet was held at the Eugene Commercial Club. "There was champagne, of course." Mrs. Goodrich could not recall the dates of these weddings.
Mrs. Goodrich stated most emphatically that there was never any ill will directed against the Jewish families in Eugene by the
Christian community. "They were of us and with us. They were a fine class of people." Mrs. Goodrich recalled that the reverence the Jewish children gave their parents was very marked, as was the reverence of the adults toward their deceased relatives. The Jewish families were always close-knit and the children were always respectful of their parents.
Mrs. S. H. Friendly was an Adler. She had a brother in Baer City who was very prominent. Mrs. Goodrich could not remember any Adler's from Salem. A Mrs. Addie Hirsch was related to the Friendly family and visited Eugene. Carrie Friendly and Mrs. Goodrich visited her in Salem by train.
Mrs. Goodrich was unable to remember if any of the Jewish families lit candles in their homes on Friday night. Nor could she recall any Jewish children dying and being buried in Eugene. As far as she can remember, the Jewish families in Eugene had little, if any, association with the Jewish community in Albany. She remembers the name Senders of Harrisburg, however, and knows that this family went to Albany often.
Baum There were two Baum children, a daughter, Sadie, and a son, Sollie . The family ran a store on the east side of Willamette Street, between Eighth and Ninth, where Hoffman Jewelry is presently located. The store specialized in toys and notions. The Baum family moved to Pendleton but Mrs. Goodrich does not know why. The Baum home at Eleventh and High Streets is still standing. It is a white house and is presently- being remodeled. Mrs. Goodrich does not remember Mrs. Baum very well, because the Baum's were not here early, like the families Friendly, Lauer and Goldsmith. It is not known if these Baum's were related to the family of the same name in Albany and Prineville at this time.
Washauer The Washauer family had two sons, but their names are not remembered. The sons were "Slim Jim's". Mr. Washauer was not educated or high class, but was a good man. He owned some acreage and an orchard in southwest Eugene. The family lived here in the late 1880's and early 1890's.
Saunders Wolf Saunders was short and heavy set and ran a men's clothing store on Willamette Street. The townsfolk used to sing, to the tune of "Solomon Levi," "Where do you go to buy your clothes, Oh, Wolfie Saunders, tra la la." Mrs. Saunders was named Becky. She was little, fat, short and stubby. The Saunders family had several daughters. One daughter, Mae, married a Gevurtz from Portland. It is not remembered where the wedding took place. Mrs. Gevurtz died in Portland. Mrs. Goodrich could not remember the names of the other Saunders daughters.
Goldsmith There were two Abraham Goldsmith's in Eugene. The one Mrs. Goodrich knew took over the grocery store of the first Goldsmith. The first Goldsmith was a single man. The second Goldsmith had a son, Julius, and daughters Celia, Bertha, Lena, Zida, Freda and Meta. Bertha never married and operated a millinery store in Portland. Lena (pronounced Layna) married a Luckey, of an early Eugene Gentile family. She died last December and was a little older than Mrs. Goodrich. Zida, Mrs. Goodrich' s age, also never married and died a few years ago in Portland. Celia, Bertha and Zida made their home together.
Zida was very interested when she visited Eugene and was shown the synagogue by Mrs. Goodrich. She was heavy set and had light hair. Julius ran a smoking shop for several years in Eugene. He later had the same occupation in Oregon City. Mrs. Goodrich's church used to take care of a lady, Grandma Todd, who lived to be 105. She smoked a clay pipe and Julius Goldsmith kept her in tobacco. His wife was slender, well-dressed and Jewish. One daughter of Lena's was a physical education teacher.
The Goldsmith home was on the northwest corner of Eleventh and Pearl Streets. Julius built his parents a home in their later years. His wife is still living, at 2429 Cabrillo, San Francisco 21, California, with her son Ivan.
Schwartzchild E. Schwartzchild ran a bookstore where Cressey' s Bookstore in Eugene is presently located. He lived here for many years around the 1890's. He had two sons, one of whom was named Morris, and two daughters, Elsie and Minnie, both of whom are still living in the San Francisco Bay Area. The Schwartzchild family did not arrive in Eugene as early as the Friendly, Lauer and Goldsmith families. "They were fine people."
Elsie married a Jewish man (Durkheimer) from Portland. Mrs. Schwartzchild' s brother, Mr. Clevinger, worked for Mr. Schwartz-child in the bookstore.
Rosenblatt This family lived in Eugene in the very early days and then moved to Portland.
Stone Mrs. Goodrich did not remember a family by this name in Eugene.
Mrs. Goodrich does not recall any Bar Mitzvos or circumcisions being performed in Eugene. Her husband, Ray, was appointed a Regent of the University of Oregon on the death of S. H. Friendly in 1915. Her father, T. G. Hendricks, was one of the founders of the University as well as a regent for twenty-four years.
Mrs. Goodrich could not remember exactly how long these German families stayed in Eugene. When the migration of eastern European families came to Eugene, it was noted that they stayed more to themselves than the earliest Jewish families who had mingled more with the townspeople. There was less intimacy with Mrs. Goodrich's generation and the newly-arrived families than with those who had arrived earlier.
Interview with Mrs. Jennie Mitchell, 464 Laurel Street, Junction City, Oregon, March 7, 1964.
Mr. and Mrs. Morris Mitchell moved to Junction City in 1921, having previously resided in Eugene for a few years and before that in Portland. Mr. Mitchell had lived in Pueblo, Colorado, where he was a carpenter. He moved to Portland intending to marry but his brother married the woman intended for him. Mrs. Mitchell, nee Maus, had a sister and brother-in-law in New York.
Fine (originally Fendrich)—The Fines had moved to Portland from New York when they learned from the Removal Office there was a shortage of shoemakers in Portland. The funds for their trip to Portland were provided by the Removal Office. When Mr. and Mrs. Fine arrived in Portland they borrowed money from Ben Selling to pay for Jennie Maus' trip from New York. (The latter lived in New York only three months.) It was emphasized that the funds secured from the great philanthropist, Selling, were loans, to be repaid.
Morris Mitchell and Jennie Maus were married in Portland by the Rev. A. I. Rosencrantz. When Mr. and Mrs. Mitchell moved to Eugene, approximately 1917, the Fines were already living there. Fine owned a second-hand store and Morris Mitchell went to work for him. Fine's brother, Carl Fendrich, had a second-hand furniture store, located on the southwest corner of Eighth and Charnelton Streets. Following Carl Fendrich's death, his widow, Sara, married Jakob Brenner, a Eugene furniture dealer. Mr. Fine's wife also passed away and he remarried. There was a third Fendrich brother who was killed in a train wreck.
Although Mr. Mitchell was a carpenter and builder by trade, he established a furniture business in Junction City in 1921. He passed away in 1941. Mrs. Mitchell now lives with her daughter and son-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. Max Strauss.
Mrs. Mitchell recalled several Jewish families living in Eugene around 1920: Miller, Rubenstein, Golden, Sam Gans, Shallott, Fine and Fendrich.
The Millers and Rubensteins were cousins. Miller was originally named Rubenstein but changed his name. The two Miller daughters moved to New York before they married. There were two brothers named Golden. One operated a shoe store; the other, a dress shop. Both later moved to San Francisco; it is not known if they were related to the Golden family presently residing in Salem. Sam Gans died in the influenza epidemic in 1917. Charlotte had a store where Maurie Jacobs' Sterling Furniture is now located, on West Eighth Street. Mrs. Charlotte and Mrs. Sophie Nudelman of Eugene, sisters, were daughters of a brother of Esy Rubenstein. The Charlottes later moved to Centralia, Washington.
The Eugene Jewish community first worshipped in a house on West Eighth Street that was the residence of Hyman Rubenstein. Services were conducted every Friday night and a minyan was always present. The house was later remodeled into a synagogue and served the community until the present building was erected in 1952. Morris Mitchell read the Torah during Rosh Ha-Shanah and Yom Kippur services. The Torah was donated to the community by one of the synagogues in Portland in the hope that this gesture would help establish a Jewish community in Eugene.
Religious services were always conducted by the members of the community. Mrs. Mitchell could not recall any services being held requiring the presence of a rabbi. The men and women worshipped together from the beginning. When Hyman Pressman arrived in Eugene in 1930, he became the regular cantor for Friday night services.
The Jewish community was also quite close socially and the families gathered together often to play cards. Ladies from Salem would occasionally visit the Jewish ladies of Eugene. When Mr. Mitchell received word of the death of his mother in New York, he sat shivah in Junction City and the Jews of Eugene came- o Junction City to form a shivah minyan.
Mrs. Mitchell recalled another Jewish family living in Junction City in the early 1920's, Mr. and Mrs. Isaac Senders. The Eugene Jewish community that is the subject of this interview is entirely of eastern European origin. The German-Jewish community of Eugene of the 1870's, `80's and `90's (see interviews with Mrs. Ray Goodrich and Dr. Adalbert G. Bettman) had completely left the area by 1920.