I recall my dad (Leonard Ghertner) told a story that Simon Ghertner’s name had been changed at Ellis Island to include the ‘h’ at Ellis Island because ‘it looked better’. Actually it appears Simon Ghertner never entered the United States through Ellis Island. According to this Smithsonian article, immigrant’s names weren’t routinely changed at Ellis Island.
While that seems like a set-up for fudging a difficult name into the record books, or maybe even just making the best guess on a name that perhaps a nonliterate immigrant might not know how to spell correctly, it didn’t go down that way at all, Urban says. Name changes “could happen, but they are not as likely as people have been led to believe,” he says.
Ellis Island inspectors were not responsible for recording immigrants’ names. Instead, any error likely happened overseas.
To leave the home country—whether Italy, Slovakia, Austria, Poland or elsewhere—immigrants had to purchase a place on a ship—whether bound for New York or one of the other U.S. ports accepting immigrants.
At the shipping line’s station in Europe, a clerk wrote the passenger’s name in the ship’s manifest, sometimes without asking for identification verifying the spelling. The shipping clerk also asked a set of questions, largely to determine if male immigrants could do manual labor, as that was the main reason they were being allowed into—and often, courted by—a burgeoning America.
When I posted the page of family tombstones (here), somehow two Scharff stones were omitted. Here are the headstones for Jessie Grace Block (1899-1972) and her son, Eduard L. Scharff (1923-2009). Here is a link on Findagrave.com for Scharff’s buried in Pulaski county Arkansas; there is no tombstone picture for Bette Scharff (1924-1963), who was EL’s first wife. Emma Block Scharff (1895-1980) and Lynton “Pappy” Scharff (1897-1985) were both cremated so there are no stones. As Pappy’s father had wanted cremation (here); it’s possible that influenced Pappy’s decision.
“Mama” Grace Block Scharff
EL Scharff, Sr.
News that Simon Ghertner was elated that his first child, Alven, had been born was reported in the Nashville Tennessean 26 April 1914 which was seven days after the blessed event.
Leica cameras are among the most prized cameras ever made. Leica 35mm rangefinder models were used by many photojournalists to capture black and white images.
How the ‘Leica Freedom Train’ Saved Hundreds of Jews from the Holocaust
From 1920-1956, Ernst Leitz II was the head of Leica Camera, but perhaps his most impressive achievement took place from 1933-1939 when Leitz and his family rescued hundreds of Jews by smuggling them out of Nazi Germany. When Hitler came to power in 1933, Leitz, concerned for the safety of many of his Jewish employees, transferred them (along with retailers, family members and friends of family members) out of the country to sales offices in France, Britain, Hong Kong and the United States.
Over the next several years, Ernst Leitz and his daughter, Elsie Kuehn-Leitz, continued to help many escape Nazi persecution. The “employees” were transported to their destination, where they were then helped to find jobs. They were paid a stipend until they could find work and given a Leica camera, primarily because they held a significant financial value and could be sold if necessary.
Upon the Kristallnact in 1938, Leitz increased his efforts, with the “Leica Freedom Train” being the most productive in 1938 and 1939. Upon the invasion of Poland in September of 1939, Germany closed its borders and Leitz’s operation ended.
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Joseph Alexander Cullom, co-founder of Cullom & Ghertner Printing, died at age 93. I’d always understood Mr Cullom’s first name was John. This death notice supports the understanding that the firm was founded in 1906. Cullom sold his interest in Cullom & Ghertner to Simon Ghertner in 1926. Continue reading →
Published 29 Aug 1961: Cullom & Ghertner buys Stoddard’s office supply.
from 29 Aug 1961 Nashville Tennessean
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Frank helped me find this in the archives of the Nashville Tennessean newspaper. There are hundreds of mentions of Simon Ghertner – Cullom & Ghertner, many of which are advertisements.
I can say with some confidence the firm started in 1906; this article is from 19 April 1908. It appears the online archives of the paper only go back as far as the fall of 1907.
The firm of Cullom & Ghertner is less than one and a half years old, yet it has already been obliged to double the capacity if it’s plant and is now installing a new Miehle cylinder, the latest and best printing press used in it’s line of work.
From 19 April 1908