About Enoch Rauh
ENOCH RAUH—As his associates and those who knew and loved him have never tired of recounting the worth and influence of Enoch Rauh in the months that have elapsed since his passing from his accustomed places, so with his biographer, for in his busy, useful life history, there are many chapters on which one might long dwell with profit and pride in the achievements of a fellow-citizen. Needing the example of a career of devoted, unselfish public service, it is found in his long term in the Pittsburgh Council; of a public benefactor, in his constant striving for the best good of all classes as a private citizen and a city official; of a business man of merited position, in his rise to fortune and prominence, and of a man faithful to the highest realization of home and family ties, in his tender love and solicitude for his immediate family and the grateful memory that prompted him to wear at all times a white carnation in honor of his revered mother. This is the type of man with whom this record is concerned, Enoch Rauh, the Pittsburgh citizen, whose life and work, enduring in the hearts of thousands of men and women, is further perpetuated in these paragraphs.
Enoch Rauh was born in Dubuque, Iowa, June 12, 1857, son of Solomon and Rosalie (Lippman) Rauh, his father a merchant of Pittsburgh, for many years a supporter, with his wife, of numerous local philanthropies, and a well known man of affairs. Cincinnati, Ohio, became the family home in 1863, and here Enoch Rauh attended public schools. His studies were completed in the night schools of Pittsburgh, whither his family moved in 1872. He also completed a course in the Cutty Business College. His first business experience was as errand boy and wrapper in the employ of his uncles, Abraham Lippman and Louis I. Aaron, retail dry goods dealers on Market street, Pittsburgh. He established in independent business operations on Feb. 1, 1882, when the firm of Rauh Brothers & Company was organized, and for two years this company engaged in wholesale men's furnishings, on Wood street. The rapid growth of this enterprise caused its location to be changed to the Arbuckle building on Liberty near Wood street, and a sustained policy of development caused another change in 1903, when the present location, No. 951 Penn avenue, was occupied. Mr. Rauh remained in the presidency of this strongly prosperous concern until his death, and directed its extensive transactions in business channels that were above question in integrity and fair dealing.
In addition to his presidency of Rauh Brothers & Company, Mr. Rauh was identified with the Homer Laughlin China Company, of East Liverpool, Ohio. The example of a large and representative house such as his, transacting business on the plane that was consistently followed, always makes for a better business atmosphere in a city. Mr. Rauh brought the prestige thus gained into the organization of the Pittsburgh Association of Credit Men, served the association as president for six terms, and was generally credited with having made that organization one of the foremost of its kind in the United States. He was at one time vicepresident of the National Association of Credit Men, and labored with tireless-zeal to promote the welfare of these associations, stabilizers of business conditions and preventatives against loss.
While the story of his private business operations, successful and richly rewarded as they were, can be told in few words, that service in which he closely touched the lives and interests of every resident of his city would require large space for its full narration. When the Council of Nine was appointed in 1911 by Gov. John K. Tener, in response to a pressing need of the city for the reorganization of its legislative machinery, Mr. Rauh was made a member of that most representative and able body, and at his death was the sole member of the original Council of Nine remaining in office. The constructive achievements of the Council in the promotion of the public welfare will be felt for many years, regardless of the changes in the personnel of the body. A Pittsburgh periodical wrote as follows of his service in the Council: "Mr. Rauh contributed very greatly to the improvement which ensued. He brought to the public office dignity joined with good nature and affability; conscientiousness combined with liberality; business judgment whose soundness was the more conspicuous for the revelation of his adaptability to the necessities of legal restraints incident to his application of it to public problems. Through his continuance in the City Council by the will of the electorate, Mr. Rauh had opportunity which has fallen to no other to keep the municipal law-making body in concord with the fundamental principles that called forth the small council system. His career in city service is impressive of the great benefit which the public-spirited business man in office may be." During his long councilmanic term Mr. - Rauh was characterized by his willingness to take up the banner of reform when he felt that there was a wrong to be righted or an unworthy institution to be altered or abolished. He was the sponsor of the Rauh act that provided for the compensation of employees of the city for time lost through sickness or injury, and was a strong supporter of the movement that caused the abolition of the city's delinquent tax office and the collection of this money through another medium. The eight-hour day law, anti-child labor legislation, and a large number of other subjects of equal importance, were furthered through his steadfast loyalty to his convictions. Mr. Rauh fostered the movement for the establishment of regular concerts in Pittsburgh parks, and advocated every possible advantage for the children of the city, recreation centers, bathing pools, and playgrounds.
His sympathy and friendliness extended to all classes, and his aim was to make Pittsburgh a better, finer, happier place to live. Mayor Babcock, of Pittsburgh, in directing that the flags of the city buildings be placed at half-mast in Mr. Rauh's honor, issued this statement: "It was with the greatest regret that I heard the report of the death of my esteemed and valued friend, Councilman Enoch Rauh. He was kindly by nature and sympathetic to a degree. I had a close acquaintance with him, both before and during my official service with the city. I always found him keenly sagacious and one of the best counselors and advisors it ever was my privilege to meet. He always was thinking first of the interests of the city of Pittsburgh, and every measure that was introduced he viewed in the light of whether or not it was for the advancement of the city he loved so well. He will be greatly missed, not only by myself, but by the Council, the business men, the churches, the hospitals, and the many thousands whom he helped in his quiet, sincere way. It will be an exceedingly difficult task to fill his place."
One of Mr. Rauh's last councilmanic acts was to move approval of an ordinance permitting hospitals and charitable institutions to receive free two hundred and fifty gallons of water for each patient and employee, an increase in the allowance of approximately forty per cent .
No one knew Enoch Rauh for any considerable length of time without realizing how entirely he lived up to his motto, "Do good always wherever possible." He found and made countless opportunities for such beneficent work, and more than thirty educational and philanthropic institutions, local and national, with which he was affiliated, profited by his generous interest and gifts. He was a trustee of the Carnegie Library, the Carnegie Institute of Technology, the Carnegie Music Hall, a director of the Gusky Orphanage, and a member of the advisory board of the Young Men's Hebrew Association. Institutions and individuals were helped by his lofty conception of duty. Often, in Council chamber and in public, he championed the police and fire departments, and his fair, far-sighted attitude toward the problems affecting capital and labor held the friendship of both parties. He exerted every effort to foster understanding between negroes and whites, and was active in all movements promising the improvement of the condition of negroes. Color, race, nor creed— none deterred him in his broad-minded, sympathetic endeavors to "do good" to his fellowmen.
In fraternal and social organizations his companionship was especially valued, his cheery smile, hearty voice, and kindly word the accompaniments of a most happy disposition and pleasing personality. He fraternized with the Masonic order, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, and the Loyal Order of Moose. He was president of the Concordia Club when that organization built its former club house on Stockton avenue, North Side, and he was also a member of the Westmoreland Country Club. He was a life member of the Pittsburgh Press Club, and numbered some of his closest friends among his journalistic acquaintances. Apparent as was the richness of his character to the men he met in everyday life, it was in his home that the deepest appreciation of his fidelity to the best aims of manhood was felt. Friend as well as father to his children, thoughtful, loving companion of life's journey to his wife, his splendid attributes of mind and heart reached their fullest fruition in the home. And to the day of his death he honored the memory of a mother's care and teaching in the white carnation he always wore in his coat lapel.
Enoch Rauh married, in Pittsburgh, Pa., Dec. 5, 1888, Bertha Floersheim, born in Pittsburgh, daughter of Samuel and Pauline (Wertheimer) Floersheim. Her father was associated with the firm of A. Guckenheimer & Brothers, and was a gentleman of culture and artistic tastes, one of the most accomplished amateur violinists of the city. A more complete sketch of the life of Mrs. Rauh follows. Mr. and Mrs. Rauh were the parents of two children: Helen Blanche, at home; and Richard S., at home, head of the Richard S. Rauh Company, advertising counsellors. Mr. Rauh was a prominent member of the Rodeph Sahlom Congregation, of Pittsburgh, as are the members of his family.
Enoch Rauh died Nov. 27, 1919. The foregoing pages have outlined his widely varied associations in Pittsburgh's life, connections touching all extremes. One of his close friends gave him the name by which many will long remember him, "lovable and smiling, 100 per cent, man and citizen."
-- "History of Pittsburgh and Environs" by Special Contributors and Members of the Editorial Staff of the American Historical Society, 1922. Digitized by Google Books.