Lawrence B. Goldsmith, Jr. (b1909)

Jewell Shelton Goldsmith & Lawrence B. Goldsmith, Jr. (from Catalogue)
Born:June 19, 1909, Huntsville, AL
Died:August 26, 1995, Huntsville, AL
Residence:206 Gates Avenue SE
Office:The I. Schiffman Building
Son of:Annie Schiffman Goldsmith
Son of:Lawrence B. Goldsmith, Sr. (b1883)
Father of:Margaret Anne Goldsmith
Husband of:Jewell Shelton Goldsmith


•  Margaret Anne Goldsmith Hanaw said this:
     "My father, Lawrence Bernstein Goldsmith, Jr., born in 1909, was educated at Webb School in Bell Buckle, Tennessee and at the University of Alabama. He worked in the cotton business for Mr. Shelby Fletcher, a cotton 'shipper', for a number of years and in 1936 became affiliated with 'I. Schiffman and Co. Inc.' His activities there included overseeing the farming operation and later the subdivision and real estate development of some of the farm property. He has served as President of the firm since 1972, prior to that time he was Secretary-Treasurer for thirty-six years." - 5 Generations

•  "Businessman with car dealership and specialized in commercial and farm properties, chosen to promote Huntsville area to US Army generals for Redstone Arsenal; financed construction of Russell Erskin Hotel." - HPA

•  Married Marguerite Newton June 8, 1940, divoced later. Married Jewell Shelton August 25, 1953 in Madison County, Alabama. - 5 Generations

•  206 Gates: "This antebellum home, owned by the Bernstein-Goldsmith families since 1875, was occupied by Mrs. and Mrs. Lawrence B. Goldsmith, Jr. until his death in 1995. Mr. Goldsmith's daughter, Margaret Anne Goldsmith Hanaw, inherited the house and subsequently leased it to Wesfam Restaurants, Inc., a franchise organization of Burger King owned by the Wessel family, to use as their corporate headquarters. Ms. Hanaw's adaptive reuse restoration of the house to provide offices for Wesfam while maintaining its 1924 interior and exterior decor, received an Historic Preservation Award from the Historic Huntsville Foundation in 1997. The house is designated as a contributing property within a National Historic District.
     The house has a recessed portico formed by extending one-story wings which are covered by a gambrel roof, thus creating a charming Dutch Colonial effect not found in any of the early homes. Four Doric columns are made from solid wood. Lovely leaded-glass sidelights and overhead light frame the doorway. The cornice is decorated with dentils extending across the wings.
     The site on which the house is located and the lot behind it are unique in that these two lots have nearly always been owned together. This property was purchased from the city commissioners to whom LeRoy Pope had sold it. The earliest portion of the house, built in 1818, consisted of the two front rooms and connecting entrance hall. Phillip A. Foote, a local merchant, was in possession of the house from 1819 until 1825.
     In 1827 John Brahan, already residing on the property, bought it for $4,000. Brahan, for whom Brahan Spring was named, was a large landholder, city commissioner, and Receiver of Public Monies in the Federal Land Office. In 1833 he sold the house and the adjoining lot to Dr. Edmund Irby, whose family retained ownership for many years.
     Two upstairs bedrooms and the lovely stairway with its delicately turned balusters were later additions to the structure. The house was essentially completed in 1834, which was noted on a copper downspout.
     At one time two of the present owners' great-grandfathers, Robert Herstein and Morris Bernstein, owned the back lot jointly. Later Mr. Herstein sold his interest to Mr. Bernstein who also purchased the house in 1874. Mrs. Bernstein was a close friend of her neighbor Miss Howard Weeden, well known Huntsville artist and poet. Ownership next passed to the Bernstein's grandson, Lawrence B. Goldsmith, Sr.
     During extensive remodeling in the 1920's, the house was enlarged and modern conveniences were added. Clapboard siding was removed. Both exterior and interior eighteen inch thick brick walls were stuccoes, moldings applied to the walls, and a basement and separate garage added.
     The living room, originally a bedroom, contains a fine Adam mantel. The large mantel in the dining room is of a simpler style. An antique family portrait of children is especially interesting.
     Surprisingly, no residence has ever stood on the lot behind the house - only a stable. A picturesque white picket fence surrounds the lovely back lawn which at one time contained 100 rose bushes. The Bernstein and Goldsmith stone carriage blocks are located in the yard. A 50-year-old shittim wood tree stands near a huge Japanese magnolia." - AAUW

Related Links:

•  5 Generations - Article titled "5 Generations of Life: 'My Family and the Huntsville, Alabama Jewish community' 1852-1983" by Margaret Anne Goldsmith Hanaw for Huntsville Historical Review, Volume 12, #3 & #4, Jul-82, Huntsville-Madison County Historical Society. The entire volume is connected to this family.

•  AAUW - Glimpses Into Antebellum Homes of Historic Huntsville, Alabama, Ninth Edition, by American Association of University Women, Huntsville Branch, Huntsville, Alabama, 1999, page 40.

• - Page owned by Jen White and can be viewed only with an paid subscription (Originally found at

•  Catalogue - The Bernstein, Herstein, Schiffman and Goldsmith Collection: A Catalogue by Margaret Anne Goldsmith, 2014 draft.

•  Find A Grave - Page originally created by Bobbie Christian and now maintained by Gene Hill

•  Hotel - Entire Quarterly dedicated to The Russel Erskine Hotel in the Historic Huntsville Quarterly, Vol. XXX, #3-4, Fall-Winter, 2004, Historic Huntsville Foundation. Oscar Goldstein, Lawrence B. Goldstein Sr., Lawrence B. Goldstein Jr. played large roles in the hotel. There are 48 instances of the name "Goldstein" found in this quarterly and often strong statements are made like: "He worked tirelessly on its behalf for about thirty-eight years". (pages 45 - 54).

•  HPA - Maple Hill Cemetery Stroll, by Huntsville Pilgrimage Association, 2012

•  Huntsville Historic Marker Index - Historical marker for Goldsmith-Schiffman Field (Originally found at

•  MCRC - Madison County Records Center

•  The Goldsmith Family Album

The Following Pages Link to this Page:
•  Annie Schiffman Goldsmith
•  Lawrence B. Goldsmith, Sr. (b1883)
•  206 Gates Avenue SE
•  5 Generations
•  Catalogue
•  Hotel
•  HPA
•  The Goldsmith Family Album
•  The I. Schiffman Building
•  Margaret Anne Goldsmith
•  Jewell Shelton Goldsmith