Veronika Dora Berwin (Block) (1837 - 1913)

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Veronika Dora Berwin's Geni Profile

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Nicknames: "Dora"
Birthplace: Švihov, Klatovy District, Plzeň Region, Czech Republic
Death: Died in St Louis, MO, USA
Occupation: Saloon Keeper
Managed by: Dan Brockman
Last Updated:

About Veronika Dora Berwin (Block)

Dora was called Ferronica when she arrived in New Orleans harbor on May 29, 1848 on the ship Louisiana. She came with her mother Sarie Wedelles, her brothers Jacob and Abraham. She was 12 years old. Dora was married twice. First husband Louis Schwarzkopf came from Bohemia. The second was Samuel Berwin who came from Babimost Bomst Poland.

Veronica (Dora) Block (August 14, 1837 Svihov, Bohemia-December 14, 1913 St. Louis, Missouri)

Dora Block was born into the family of Daniel Block and Sara Wedeles of Sivhov Bohemia, now the Czech Republic. Her parents were not married at that time. Dora was born as Veronika on August 14, 1836 in Svihov, Bohemia in house Number 44 Her mother Sara Wedeles was the daughter of Naphtaly Wedeles and Rebeka Wedeles of Osek. Daniel Block came from Bohemia but at this time I don't have any information on his parents or location of his birth. Dora had three brothers. Heinrich was born as Herz or Heart, in Svihov, Bohemia on August 7, 1832 in house Number XV. Jacob was born June 25, 1834 in House Number VX in Svihov. Abraham was born in House Number 42 in Svihov, Bohemia on July 19, 1838. It seems that these children of Daniel were all born two years apart, in the summer time. Castle Garden immigrant records state that Ferronica arrived on the ship Louisiana on May 29, 1848 at age 12 at New Orleans, Louisiana. She arrived with her mother Sarie, age 45, brother Abraham age 10 and brother Jacob age 14. They all used the name Wedelles on this record. Their father Daniel Block and brother Heinrich were not on this ship. When she was 13 years old at the time of the 1850 Census the family lived in Ward 1 of the City of St. Louis, close to the Mississippi River and south of the Eads Bridge. Her father Daniel Block died on September 3, 1853 and was buried in Mt. Sinai Cemetery (old section), St. Louis. He was the first person to be buried within this newly purchased cemetery. Dora was married twice. The first was with Louis Schwarzkopf of St. Louis in 1854. Louis Schwartzkopf was a part of the founding group at B'nai-B'rith. Louis is mentioned in Zion in the Valley by Ehrlich as the chazzan from 1852 to 1857. Her children with Schwarzkopf were Rosa, born April 26, 1856, Frank born June 20, 1859, Zizilie (Celia), born May 9, 1861 and Leopold, born November 25, 1863. These dates are from Louis's probate records. Later research from the actual cemetery stones and records indicate a birth date of April 6, 1861 for Celia, based on the Fort Scott Hebrew Cemetery in Kansas put up on JewishGen. Researcher Penny Short on Ancestry.com has possession of Cecilia's record book where the date is given at April 6, 1861 also. Louis Schwarzkopf was listed as a butcher at 56 Franklin Avenue in the 1860 Census. Louis died at age 38 on December 18, 1863 leaving Daniel's daughter Dora a 26 year old widow with four small children. In the 1865 St. Louis City directory Dora Schwartzkopf is listed at 80 Green Street. She both lived there and operated a saloon there. She inherited this location and the furnishings to run a large eating and drinking establishment from her husband. Lewis's probated will and inventory of the business describes large quantities of vinegar, cigars and tables and chairs for the customers. Vinegar was used as a preservative for cabbage, cucumbers and other vegetables. During this time period the United States was engaged in a civil war between the North and the South, basically to eliminate slavery of the African American population in the South. The Northern army had control of the Mississippi River at St. Louis and many vessels traveled the river ferrying troops and wounded men. This traffic provided the customer base for the business. After the end of the war in 1865 military men returned home. After having served honorably in the Army of the North, Samuel Berwin arrived in St. Louis, probably with some friends of his, or having heard of the opportunities there in a developing city. He had been wounded in the leg at the battle of Second Bull Run in 1863 and spent several years in military hospitals recovering. I have a mental picture of Sam Berwin hobbling into the tavern and seeing Dora behind the counter serving beer, pickles and sauerkraut and cigars. The second marriage was with Samuel Berwin of St. Louis on May 22, 1866. Dora and Samuel were married in Congregation B’Nai-El in St. Louis with witness’s Alexander Schultz and Herman Borns. The Rabbi was Henry Kuttner, a well known Jewish leader. Her children with Samuel Berwin were Carrie, born in 1869, Sarah who was born in 1870, Agnes who was born in 1865 and who died in 1935, and my grandfather who was Max Michael Berwin, born in St. Louis on March 6, 1873 and who lived at 1728 Franklin in 1880. Another son was Harry who was born in 1876 and died in 1965. Dora's mother Sarah, born in 1803 in Osek, died in St. Louis on August 26, 1870. In the St. Louis City Directory for the year 1868 appears a record of Samuel Berwin and his Brother-in-Law Henry Block (brother of Dora) operating a Company called "Berwin A Company" at the rear of 314 Green Street. In the front of 314 Green Street are Samuel Berwin and Henry Block operating a Saloon. In 1913 the Berwins lived at 4357 B Evans St. where they died. Samuel died February 13, 1913 and Dora died on December 14 of the same year. They are buried in Mt. Olive Hebrew Cemetery in St. Louis.

Dan Brockman Barrington IL November 26, 2009, update February 9, 2011 from JOHBR. Copyright 2011 personal use excepted. Update from Castle Garden April 14, 2011. Updated November 8, 2013 with excerpt from online St. Louis city directory found at digital.wustl.edu an online portal of Washington University. danbrockman@comcast.net

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Veronika Dora Berwin's Timeline

1837
August 14, 1837
Švihov, Klatovy District, Plzeň Region, Czech Republic
1856
April 26, 1856
Age 18
St Louis, Missouri, United States
1856
- present
Age 18
St. Louis, Missouri, United States
1859
June 20, 1859
Age 21
St Louis, Missouri, United States
1861
April 6, 1861
Age 23
St Louis, MO, USA
1863
1863
Age 25
St Louis, MO, USA

Louis died shortly after his last child was born.

November 25, 1863
Age 26
St Louis, Missouri, United States
1866
1866
Age 28
St Louis, MO, USA
1867
July 13, 1867
Age 29
St Louis, MO, USA
1869
March 8, 1869
Age 31
St Louis, MO, USA