Bernard Weidenthal

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Bernard Weidenthal

Also Known As: "Ben"
Birthdate: (87)
Birthplace: Hostice, Bohemia
Death: July 2, 1902 (87)
Cleveland, OH, United States
Place of Burial: Cleveland, Cuyahoga, OH, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Moses (Moises) Weidenthal and Rebecca Rosalia Weidenthal
Husband of Dorothea (Deborah) Weidenthal
Father of Nathan Weidenthal and Isaac Weidenthal
Brother of Abraham Weidenthal; Lottie Lederer; Emanuel Weidenthal; Leopold Weidenthal and Frances (Fanny) Marcuson

Occupation: Storekeeper / cigar maker/ Fabric store owner?
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Bernard Weidenthal

1849 A little group of Czechs arrived in Cleveland, including Willi Hesky and his sister. Bernard Weidenthal came from Bohemia with his widowed mother, Mrs. Rebecca Neumann Weidenthal, and her children, Charlotte, Fannie, and Leopold; and Joseph Loewy and his daughter, Dorothea. Weidenthal purchased a residence on Woodland Avenue to which he took his bride, Dorothea Loewy. Hesky went west in early manhood, and his sister married a farmer near Sandusky.

According to the advertisements, the fireplace was on the way out, and the cooking stove was featured as a great new blessing to the meal-maker. A gas-manufacturing plant had been built and pipes were laid to provide street lighting for Cleveland. One by one the smoky lamps were removed and the first street lights were installed, brightening Superior Street from the river to Erie, the Public Square, and Water, Merwin, and Bank streets. On December 8, the lights were turned on, and citizens gathered under the lamp posts to enjoy the novelty.

The glory of the stars and moon And comets, too, may pass; Then let 'em go — however soon. For Cleveland's burning gas! -------------------------------- His body was interred in Willet St. Cemetary.

According to David Attride

Bernard moved to Cleveland, OH in 1849

The second part of the history of Czechs in Ohio is here :

‘So Gustav Adam, the first Czech immigrant to Ohio, was dead and what happened then? The Czech immigrant torch overtook Jindrich Hladik from Prague and a few Czech Jewish men such as Leopold Levy from Smetanova Lhota u Pisku, Bernard Weidenthal from Vestice u Tabora and Zikmund Stein from Prague. Levy had a fabric store and Stein opened up a little pub on Seneca Street, while Hladik owned a food market. In 1849 inhabited Cleveland also a 22-year-old Abraham Weidenthal whose offspring became excellent journalists.

In 1852 arrived to Cleveland 16 new Czech families and their beginnings were not pretty. Since the women were accustomed going to the town bare-foot and with scarfs tied around their heads, the locals thought of them as Gypsies. The local kids would through stones at them, swear at them and adults would not let them stay in any of the houses. That is why ALL of those 16 families (??? members???) ended up living at the above mentioned, generous Leopold Levi’s small backyard (his house was very small already) for quite some time. They had no money and Mr. Levi was helping to feed them. These Czech men and women would also go to the local slaughter-house where they were given free organs such as lungs, liver, kidneys, tails and legs - parts that were otherwise thrown away into the river - to make additional meals in order to feed their families.

Book of Jewish Families Births (1805-1839) for Hostice: Moises Weidenthal +1.3.1847 (does this mean his death?); Eltern: Aron und Mutter Sara; Rebeka Neumann (Ehekonsenz 1813): 1814 Bernard. (MM-178) 1811 Familiant Records: HOSTITZ; No. 6991; District No. 2 (MM-238 Image MM-289) Weidenthal Moises (Hostitz); Parents: Aron and mother Sara. Wife: Rebeka Neumann. Marriage license issued in June 11, 1813 Sons: 1814 Bernard 1818 Abraham 1820 Leopold 1827 Emanuel (MM-238) Aron Weidenthal died in December 24, 1791 Moises inherited the marriage license. Moises died in March 1, 1847. According to (MM-15), Bernards family originated in Bavaria in a town or region by the name Weidenthal then migrated to Bohemia. His widowed mother transferred their home to him in March 1847. (MM-101A) He graduated from the Univ. of Prague then worked in Prague as an Accountant. (MM-15) He left for America bringing his mother, Rebecca, and a friend Joseph Loewe (Levi) who brought his son and daughter (Dorothea or Deborah). They went to Liverpool and head for Boston but landed in Baltimore. He intended to go to Milwaukee but settled in Cleveland. (MP-15) Oct. 1849 he arrived in the U.S. (MM-42) National Archives searched passenger lists for Bernard 1820-1897 and did not find him. (MM-46) According to (MM-45) he also emigrated with siblings, Charlotte, Fannie and Leopold. When Bernard left Hostitz in 1849, the family home went to I. Weil who had married a niece of Moses Weidenthal. (MM-101A) He lived in Prague for about 8 years working as a bookkeeper. (MM-67) Early history of Anshe Chesed Congregation in MM-123. “Abraham Weidenthal left Hostitz, Bohemia in 1847 and went first to Ann Arbor, Mich. After two years thee he came to Cleveland, just in time to meet his mother, Mrs. Rebecca (Neumann) Weidenthal, widow of Moses Weidenthal. She came direct from Hostitz. Mrs. Weidenthal brought with her two other sons, Bernard and Leopold, and her two daughters, Charlotte and Fanny. Another son, Emanuel, came to Cleveland in 1865.” from Early Cleveland family story in newspaper article. (MM-216) 1850 Ohio Census ( Barnhart Widenthiel (20 b. Germany), peddler, living in Cleveland, Ward 1 with Leopold Levi (24 b. Germany) and Lottie Weidenthal (24 b. Germany). June 1854 Naturalization declaration filed. (MM-42) He first appears in the Cleveland City directory in 1856 as Dry Goods. (MM-76) He was naturalized by 1859 (MM-25) 1860 Cleveland, OH census: Aged 48, living with in-laws and wife, Deborah (28) and 2 children. It lists Bernard as a merchant with Levi & Weidenthal. (MM-21 & MM-37) He was a merchant for Levi & Weidenthal from at least 1859 to 1873. (MM-36, 39, 76) 1893 He retired and was living with his son Nathan (MM-76) Bernard was fluent in German, English, Bohemian, Hebrew, Italian and French (MM-88) Obituary appears in Jewish Review & Observer Vol. 26, No. 2, pg 2 cols 4-5 (MM-66) Details from obit: He was living at Sir Moses Montefiore Home for the Aged; Interred at Willet St. Cemetery; born Hostitz, Bohemia Nov. 1814; living 8 yrs in Prague working as a bookkepper; Married Dorothea Loevy in 1851 and survived by son, Dr. N. Weidenthal. Obituary: Jewish Review & Observer: Vol. 26 No. 2 Pg 2 Col. 4-5. (MM-130) Last Modified 17 Apr 2009Created 6 Mar 2010 using Reunion for Macintosh

Bernard Weidenthal married Leopold Levy’s 19-year-old sister Dorothea (Deborah) and he had a fabric store.

David Attride


Written by Hugo Chotek The struggles of the first settlers to the Cleveland area were clearly many, but the eyes of whoever speaks of them always light up in full enthusiasm and with blissful expression they describe: "You know, we suffered a lot back then, and were often hungry, but the times were good and we kept each other company around a warmer fire and with greater sincerity than is the norm now. So sad those golden years are now gone." I took it upon myself to determine who were the first Czechs to settle in Cleveland and, in 1894 (last year), I personally visited all of the oldest settlers of Czech origin, such as Mrs. Žáková, Mrs. Havlíčková, Mr. Jos. Novák, Martin Kerjčí, J. Kříže, J. Štědronský, Leo. Levý, B. Wiedenthal, M. Stein and others.

Unfortunately, few of those who I had visited, with the exception of Krejčí, Levý, Stein, Weidenthal and Mrs. Machová and Mrs. Žáková, remembered their past with clear certainty.

Most have stated that the first Czech immigrant to the area was Jos. Hladík, but that is not the case. This I learned from Leo. Levý, who knew Hladík personally and met almost every day for an entire year. I wrote about my entire meeting with Levý in my book American, from which I will extract the following excerpt:

"You ask how our voyage went? Like a thousand others back then: long and full of suffering, hunger, danger and bitter disappointment. We were all sandwiched in there like sardines and it was no wonder that contagious diseases abounded. There were many Czechs on the boat and about 25 of them died on the way. By the time we hit the American shore there were many orphans who parents didn't survive the journey. My goodness, just thinking of what must have happened to those poor orphans and what kind of fate awaited them in this new land. Did they survive the hardships of life or die somewhere a meaningless death? Our and the goals of most of us Czechs was the city of Milwaukee, in Wisconsin, because it is from there that most of the appealing letters were sent and which so excited our famous Smetanova Lhota, or the neighboring region of Práchyňský. Once we arrived to Cleveland we were so exhausted that, with the greatest pleasure, we let ourselves break our little tent. My friend Weidenthal and I stayed there while our other compatriots (can't remember their names now) continued westwards. Only five of us had remained: Professor Adam (an excellent musician and music teacher), Hladík, Stein, myself, and Bernard Weidenthal." Not able to communicate well with the locals and not knowing the local customs, it was quite harsh in the beginning, not to mention that our financial resources were extremely meagre. Under such conditions you can imagine what saving grace good advice can be, or help in general, and of those I remember J. Hladík, and then the Israelis Leder and Levý. Leder did for us without profit. He was the type of Jew you’d rarely come across.

Levý and Weidenthal ran a shearing shop on Woodland Avenue. All of the older residents have only praise for Levý, as he helped many with his advice or aid. Even though he lived modestly in a small home, he managed to offer a roof over the head of the first 16 Czech immigrant families, providing them with everything they needed without asking for anything in return.

See also overview for Leopold Loewy who was Bernard's brother in-law and close friend.

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Bernard Weidenthal's Timeline

November 1814
Hostice, Bohemia
July 17, 1855
Age 40
Cleveland, OH, United States
Age 42
July 2, 1902
Age 87
Cleveland, OH, United States
Levi & Weidenthal
Cleveland, Cuyahoga, OH, United States