Saturday Evening Supper Table –Washington, PA June 27, 1896
To-day The Supper
Table presents a portrait of one of Washington’s best known business
men. Mr. Katzenstein has
been identified with this community for a quarter century and has an
extensive acquaintanceship not only in the town but throughout the
county of Washington.
He came here
previous to the completion of the Chartier Valley Railway and rode into
Washington from Ewing’s Station on back.
His only acquaintance here was Mr. Henry Schownthal, whose
portrait appeared recently in these columns.
passed a somewhat eventful career before he came to Washington.
He tried his fortunes in various cities and towns of this country
after coming from Germany. His birthplace is Jesberg in what is now the
Prussian Province of Hessen-Nassau and his birthday the twenty—third
of August 1848. His parents were Gerson and Eva Katzenstein who came to
America with their family in 1856, when the subject of this sketch was
eight years of age. They
settled in Philadelphia where they resided until they died some years
later. It was in
Philadelphia that Mr. Katzenstein received his early education. However, at the age of fourteen he went to Leavenworth,
Kansas, for a six months trip and returning to Philadelphia learned the
trade of cigar making. He
remained in the Quaker City at this time for about four years but was
compelled to give up his trade, felling that it was detrimental to his
health. He went to
Winchester, VA., and took a clerkship, remaining for five years.
Thence he went to Uhrichsville, Ohio, thence to New Castle and on
the nineteenth of April 1871, he came to Washington.
Immediately after he
arrived here he took possession of the clothing establishment, which he
had previously purchased from Jacob Goldsmith.
This old store will be recalled by many people.
It was located next door to Mr. Katzenstein’s present clothing
house and was known by the Sign of the Golden Eagle.
Katzenstein has pushed his business forward steadily from year to year
and to-day has one of the largest stores in the county, devoted to
clothing and gentlemen’s furnishings.
Mr. Katzenstein is
regarded as one of the substantial and enterprising men of the town.
He has always displayed a great interest in the growth of the
community and has interested himself in movements looking toward its
advancement. He is a thoroughly experienced business man and has been
Katzenstein was born 20 Feb 1851 in Jesberg, Hesse
Nassau, Germany. He first married Ellen Bohm. She died in 1889 in the famous Johnstown
(PA) Flood with an infant
son. He then married Bertha Miller, the daughter of Samuel
and Eliza Leopold. The Leopold family was a pioneer
Jewish family in Johnstown. Jacob died 4 Oct 1916 in
Johnstown and is buried in the Grandview Cemetery. According to
Leonard Winograd, author of The Horse Died at Winber*:
Philadelphia Jacob started work for a clothing firm. He came
to Johnstown in 1882, as a clerk for Louis Cohen. He
returned to Philadelphia for a few years but then came back to
take charge of the Economy clothing Store which belonged to Amos
Sulka and himself. After the flood, he occupied one of the
temporary structures in Central Park. Later he removed to the
Beilstein property. In 1895, or 1897 he became a member of
the M. Miller and Company clothing firm. Maurice (or Morris)
Miller was his brother-in-law, having married Bertha in 1891,
after the loss of his first wife and son. Jacob was one of the
organizers of the Progress Club and an officer of the Beth Zion
Temple. In 1916, a year of his death, Mrs. Katzenstein was a
member of the board of Memorial Hospital."
*The Horse Died at
Winber: A History of Johnstown's Jews of Pennsylvania
by Leonard Winograd.