Early Jewish Citizens
Joseph Sondheimer, was born in Bavaria in 1840.
He came through Oklahoma around 1872 by way of Baltimore, Pennsylvania and St. Louis.
Joseph Sondheimer headquartered his stores, depots and commissaries in Muskogee around 1881.
He also brokered pecans, furs, hides and wool sales.
The town of Muskogee grew up around his warehouses.
Joseph Sondheimer raised five children as Jews.
Harry Kirschner arrived in Muskogee in 1905 and had a clothing store.
1916, Phil Kirschner (son of Harry) inherited the business.
In the 1920’s Harry and Phil Kirschner got into oil and real estate.
Ed Hirsh was an attorney. He moved to Oklahoma City in 1920.
Max Davidson arrived in 1912. He opened a clothing store and dealt in cotton batting.
He moved back to St. Louis in 1928, but his sons stayed in town as jewelers.
Samuel Stolper ran the New York Store, (clothing). Later he owned the Boston Store (dry goods).
Roswell Susman sold nice Ladies clothing.
In 1922, Sol and Maurice Klar had a jewelry store.
Samuel Futterman – Department store
Frank Kahn – Department store
Leo Epstein – Department store
William Ginsberg – Department store
Alex Unger – Scrap metal
Nathan Ginsberg – Scrap metal
Joe Yaffe and son Robert – Scrap metal
Ben Brasch – Oil and Cotton.
J. W. Schuster – clerk
Joe Schieberl – tailor
C. O. Schwartz – traveling salesman
Nathan Kaufman – traveling salesman
The first Jewish services were held in 1905.
Temple Beth Ahaba was founded in 1905 as a Reform synagogue.
It was endowed and supported by the Sondheimers.
The Jewish cemetery was dedicated in 1917.
A B’nai B’rith Lodge was founded in 1907.
Samuel Sondheimer was among those who donated land for Greenhill Cemetery, 1890 for Muskogee.
The Jewish section, Beth Ahaba, was purchased in 1907.
- Tobias, Henry J. The Jews of Oklahoma. University of Oklahoma Press, 1980.
- Jewish Virtual Library
- Encyclopedia Judaica
- Institute of Southern Jewish Life
Regina Merwin is the Curator for this Muskogee, Oklahoma Exhibit
Pictures and more information would be very helpful for this exhibit.