Oscar Goldsmith

From Catalogue

A Portrait of Oscar Goldsmith by Maurce Grosser Circa 1930s (from Catalogue)
Residence:204 Gates Avenue SE
Residence:506 Franklin Street SE
Office:The I. Schiffman Building
Son of:David Goldsmith
Son of:Henrietta Henline Goldsmith
Grandfather of:Maurice Grosser
Grandfather of:Oscar Goldsmith Grosser
Husband of:Betty Bernstein Goldsmith
Father of:Lawrence B. Goldsmith, Sr. (b1883)
Grandfather of:Lawrence B. Goldsmith, Jr. (b1909)
Great Grandfather of:Margaret Anne Goldsmith


•  "Oscar Goldsmith was born in October of 1849 in New York to German-born parents. In 1896, he was the manager of M. M. Newman, a dry goods store, married to Bettie, and lived at 112 Gates Avenue. Their children were Therissa, a daughter, born June, 1880; and Lawrence born in April, 1883. Also in the home was his brother, Henry, born in February, 1840, and a sister-in-law, Sophia Bernstein born in September, 1859. Oscar remained owner/manager of the Goldsmith Grocery Company and lived on Gates Avenue for the rest of his life. Oscar was buried in Maple Hill Cemetery. His tombstone information reads, '1849-1937.' Bettie's tombstone reads '1859-1928,' Annie S. Goldsmith's reads '1886-1959;' and Lawrence B.'s reads '1883-1972.' Another daughter, Irma Shiffman's stone reads "1889-1956." These graves are in the old Hebrew Section of the Cemetery." - Simpson

•  Oscar Goldsmith emerged as a leading citizen and entrepreneur who invested heavily in real estate and textile mills. Along with other projects. Goldsmith built a housing development around the Dallas Mill village to provide textile workers housing. A newspaper article from the July 1887 Democrat announced that 'our enterprising citizen, Mr. Oscar Goldsmith is building a handsome 2-story cottage on Franklin Street.' Goldsmith's cottage was one of the first houses built on Franklin Street after the Civil War." - Castellano

•  Oscar Goldsmith and Betty Bernstein Goldsmith married. Betty was the daughter of Morris and Henrietta Bernstein. Their son was Lawrence G. Goldsmith and he married Annie Schiffman (daughter of Isaac Schiffman, first generation immigrant from Germany.) Grandfather of Lawrence G. Goldsmith II Great grandfather of Margaret Anne Goldsmith

•  Married Betty Bernstein on March 19, 1879 in Madison County, Alabama - MCRC

•  Father of Therese B. Goldsmith (1880 - 1976) and Lawrence Bernstein Goldsmith Sir (1883 - 1972) - Ancestry.com

•  204 Gates Avenue: "In 1883, Morris and Henrietta Bernstein built this 'High-Victorian' Italianate house for their daughter Betty and her husband Oscar Goldsmith. The Goldsmiths lived in the home for 54 years." - About.com

•  As a jewelry salesman, he came through Huntsville - met and married Betty Bernstein. - Dex

•  President of Huntsville Land Company - developed the land near Dallas Mills for residential use (East Huntsville) - Dex

•  Dry good and clothing store in Huntsville, also Goldsmith Grocery Company. - Dex

•  Helped bring Dallas Mill to Huntsville and was a major stockholder and - Dex

•  "The Merchants Retail Commercial Agency was formed in Huntsville with R. E. Pettus as President, Oscar Goldsmith as Vice-President, H. J. Certain as Secretary and J. Coons as Treasurer. Directors were A. J. Jones, E. B. Carter, W. L. Halsey, H. Wind and F. L. Eberhard. This organization was forerunner of the local Chamber of Commerce." - Record

•  Huntsville Board of Education 1907-1920 - Record

•  Served on the Grand Jury for the Horace Maples Trial in 1904 - Simpson

•  "Oscar Goldsmith, treasurer of the Dallas Mills until his death, was a major stockholder in the mill. He was president of the Huntsville Land Company which was instrumental in the development of East Huntsville. His wife was prominent in the Huntsville Infirmary and was a major figure in the development of the United Charities in the city." - Maple Hill

•  "The first Elks Lodge in Huntsville, Alabama, Number 698, was instituted May 17, 1901, although as far back as February 3, 1901 a local editor stated 'There is talk of organizing a lodge of Elks'. First officers for the lodge consisted of J. Robert Jones, Exalted Ruler; W. I. Wellman, First Chair; Charles E. Shaver, Second Chair; Jere Murphy, Jr., Third Chair; W. W. Newman, Secretary; G. T. Marsh, Treasurer; M. H. May, Tiler; John Burke, Inside Guard; J. W. Matthews, Chaplain; and R. C. Brickell Esquire. A. L. Rison, W. L. Halsey, and Oscar Goldsmith served as the first Trustees. There were thirty-five charter members. In May 1902 they secured their first meeting place, being rooms in the Milligan building on the Northeast corner of the square. On May 9 William Jennings Bryan gave a lecture there. Meetings were held on Friday nights at 8:00 P.M., and the initiation fee was at first $15, later being raised to $25." - Elks

•  Elks Trustee 1901-1911 - Elks

•  "Progressive Huntsvillians of the Eighties had begun a systematic advertisement of Huntsville and Madison County. They had pictured the fertility of the beautiful Tennessee Valley in such terms as to attract many summer visitors to Monte Sano, winter visitors to Huntsville, and permanent settlers to the county. The organization that did most of this advertising was The North Alabama Improvement Company with Mr. Charles H. Halsey manager. To him Huntsville is indebted for the Alabama Nursery, Dallas Mills, the improvements in farm products which were influenced by the Madison County fairs , and the influx of Northern capital in the Nineties. His co-workers and abettors were Messrs . W. R. Rison, R. B. Rhett, Milton Humes, Oscarr Goldsmith and W. W. Newman." - Chapman

•  Stockholder in Dallas Mill - Chapman

•  "At a mass meeting of business men on January 26, 1892, the Board of Trade was formed to care for such civic needs. At this meeting an executive committee consisting of Milton Humes, W. R. Rison, W. I. Wellman, Charles H. Halsey, W. R. Van Valkenburg, W. P . Newman, A. S. Fletcher, J . Coons, Oscar Goldsmith, J . M. Hutchens, and A. W. McCullough was chosen. The committee elec ted Milton Humes, chairman , Oscar Goldsmith, secretary and treasurer , and called a mass meeting of citizens for February 4th." - Chapman

•  Appointed by the City Council to the first public school's board of education in 1907. - Sesquicentennial

•  February 20, 1889: "A Board of Trade, whose object was to promote trade, increase population, encourage new business enterprises, and solicit new manufacturers was formed with the following members: C. H. Halsey, Robert L. O'Neal, Oscar Goldsmith, J. R. Stevens and J. D. Humphrey." - Eden

•  July 8, 1896: "The mass meeting which was called for the purpose of discussing a new charter for the City of Huntsville took place at the county courthouse. Mr. J. H. Lyle was named Chairman and Mr. O. Goldsmith, Secretary." - Eden

•  1921: "Local women convinced the city council that something had to be done about the appearance of Maple Hill Cemetery. The city responded by turning over the cemetery to a Cemetery Commission composed of Mrs. L. D. Mays, Mrs. A.W. White, Mrs. W. F. Garth, Joe J. Bradley and R. E. Spragins. Trustees Oscar Goldsmith, J. P. Cooney and Robert Murphy were appointed." - Eden

•  "In civic affairs, Oscar was on the executive committee of the Huntsville Board of Trade formed in 1892 and later served as Secretary. He was an Elk and a Shriner; served on the original board of trustees of the Huntsville Infirmary; and was active in Temple B'nai Sholom, serving as treasurer of the Congregation in 1907. Oscar Goldsmith died in 1937, nine years after his wife, Betty." - 5 Generations

•  The 1908 City Directory lists his occupation as "Real Estate", his office as 113 North Side of Square, Secretary-Treasurer of Dallas Mnfg Co., home 104 Gates. - Ancestry.com

•  The following article describes the agreement between the citizens of Huntsville and Merrimac Mills whereby the citizens agreed to provide the land for the location of the mill as a prerequisite to the mill locating in Huntsville.
     "THE MERRIMAC MILLS - The Actual Paid Up Subscriptions By the Citizens - Leaves only a few dollars to be raised to close the deal - The actual paid up subscriptions by the citizens to raise the deed to the Brahan Spring site on which the Merrimac Mill is to be erected, from the Farmer's and Merchants National Bank, where it was deposited by Capt. Humes leaves only a few dollars to be raised and the deal will be closed. As is known when the Merrimac Mill is located here it will operate 200,000 spindles and will employ about 5,000 people. In addition to this the Mill will have bleachery and print works attached, which will be the only ones in the south and to acquire the necessary work. Expert laborers will be employed for these departments. The subscription committee composed of Messrs. T. W. Pratt, W. L. Halsey and Oscar Goldsmith have worked faithfully and succeeded in securing enough subscriptions to pay out the deed to the Merrimac Mill site which calls for $8,000, provided all the subscribers respond promptly and pay their share. Mr. Pratt, who is Chairman of the Finance Committee receipts for all subscriptions paid into this fund. The location of the Merrimac Mill here is a guarantee that Huntsville will have an electric street car line, a $75,000 to $100,000 Brewery, another Cotton Mill, and a large number of other paying enterprises that will make Huntsville prominent for the leading manufacturing center of the south in a very short time. All of the latter enterprises coming to this city depends entirely upon the certainty of the Merrimac Mills being located here.
     Messrs T. W. Pratt, W. S. Wells and all of the remaining members of the committee on bringing the Merrimac Mill here are entitled to praise and highest commendation from both the press and people. The site on which the Merrimac Mill is to be erected is ninety-four acres, and the Merrimac Mill people have an option on about five hundred acres, for which they will pay. The five hundred acres to be purchased by the Mill Managers will be the site on which the buildings for the employees of the Merrimac Mill will be erected. Mr. Stockton the Attorney for the Merrimac Milling Company, while in this city was highly pleased with the surroundings. He is at present in Washington to await the outcome of the work on the part of the committee and citizens, on whom the matter entirely rests of closing a final deal with the Merrimac. It is almost safe to say that the location of this Mammoth enterprise in Huntsville is a certainty, as at this hour it is believed that the remainder of the $8,000 will be raised tonight. We publish below a correct list of names of the subscribers, who have actually paid in their subscriptions to Mr. Pratt at the Farmers & Merchants National Bank for the purchase of the Merrimac Mill site at Brahan Spring." - Merrimac Mill

•  "On January 25, 1934, Oscar Goldsmith, Lawrence B. Goldsmith, Annie Schiffman Goldsmith, Robert L. Schiffman, and Elsie Strauss Schiffman gave this property to the City of Huntsville for an athletic field. The gift was in memory of Betty Bernstein Goldsmith (wife of Oscar and mother of Lawrence) and Betty Herstein Schiffman (wife of Isaac and mother of other donors). The Civil Works Administration provided $6500 in materials and labor to construct the field, the first in Huntsville to accommodate night athletic games. The Acme Club raised funds for lighting through season ticket sales. Dedication exercises were held during the first night game on October 4, 1934, when 1000 fans saw Coach Milton Frank's Huntsville High team defeat Gadsden High. [1999: Ward Ave., Huntsville]" - Huntsville Historic Markers Index

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.

•  About.com - 204 Gates Avenue "In 1883, Morris and Henrietta Bernstein built this 'High-Victorian' Italianate house for their daughter Betty and her husband Oscar Goldsmith. The Goldsmiths lived in the home for 54 years." (Originally found at http://huntsville.about.com/library/weekly/aa040102a.htm.)

•  Ancestry.com - Page owned by Jen White and can be viewed only with an Ancestry.com paid subscription. (Originally found at http://trees.ancestry.com/tree/2216997/person/6931604525.)

•  Castellano - Article titled "History of the 1887 Goldsmith-Donovan House" by Donna Castellano for Historic Huntsville Quarterly, Vol. XXVIII, #1, Spring, 2002, Historic Huntsville Foundation, pages 4 - 10.

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

•  Chapman - Changing Huntsville 1890-1899, by Elizabeth Humes Chapman, 1989 (originally written in 1932, pages 2, 5, 7, 8, 13, 19.)

•  Dex - Why Is It Named That? By Nilsson Dex, Twinbrook Communications, 2003, pages 50 & 109.

•  Eden - Eden of the South: A Chronology of Huntsville, Alabama, 1805-2005, by Raneé G. Pruitt, Editor, 2005, pages 81, 89, 139.

•  Elks - Great Elks in Madison County?? You Better Believe It!! A History of Madison County, Alabama, Elkdom, by James Record, 1972, pages 5, 54-56, 72, 104 (photo)

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

•  Hotel - Entire Quarterly dedicated to The Russell 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". Especially interesting is an account of Margaret Anne Goldsmith as she shares her childhood memories of her time living there (pages 45 - 54).

•  Huntsville Historic Markers Index - Historical marker for Goldsmith-Schiffman Field (Originally found at http://www.huntsvilleal.gov/gis/HistoricMarkers/site/marker_007/page.htm.)

•  Kaylor - Article titled "Tevanion Barlow Dallas: His Huntsville connections" by Mike Kaylor for Huntsville Historical Review, Volume 14, #1 & #2, 1984, Huntsville-Madison County Historical Society, pages 21, 22, 23.

•  Maple Hill - Maple Hill Cemetery, Phase One, by Diane Robey, Dorothy Scott Johnson, John Rison Jones, Jr., & Frances C. Roberts (Huntsville-Madison County Historical Society), 1995, pages 69 & 80.

•  MCRC - Madison County Records Center

•  Merrimac Mill - The Weekly Tribune, May 15, 1899.A Mighty Fortress of Faith found in A History of St. Mary of the Visitation Church, 1861-2011, Edited by Pat Tumminello, 2012, page 96.

•  Record - A Dream Come True: The Story of Madison County and Incidentially of Alabama and the United States, Volume II, by James Record, 1978, pages 79 & 378.

•  Sesquicentennial - Commemorative Album, Celebrating our City's Sesquicentennial of Progress, Huntsville, Alabama, by James E. Taylor, General Chairman, 1955, pages 60 & 96.

•  Simpson - The Sins of Madison County, by Fred B. Simpson with Mary N. Daniel & Gay C. Campbell, 2000, pages 221 & 308.

•  The Goldsmith Family Album

The Following Pages Link to this Page:
•  204 Gates Avenue SE
•  5 Generations
•  506 Franklin Street SE
•  Castellano
•  Catalogue
•  Chapman
•  David Goldsmith
•  Dex
•  Eden
•  Henrietta Henline Goldsmith
•  Hotel
•  Kaylor
•  Maple Hill
•  Maurice Grosser
•  Oscar Goldsmith Grosser
•  Record
•  Sesquicentennial
•  The Goldsmith Family Album
•  The I. Schiffman Building
•  Betty Bernstein Goldsmith
•  Lawrence B. Goldsmith, Sr. (b1883)
•  Lawrence B. Goldsmith, Jr. (b1909)
•  Margaret Anne Goldsmith