Charly "Rube" Rubenstein

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Charles Rubenstein

Also Known As: "CC", "Charley"
Birthdate:
Birthplace: Bilohorodka, Zaslav, Volhynia, Russia
Death: Died in Kearny, NJ, USA
Place of Burial: Little Rock, AR, USA
Immediate Family:

Son of Max Reib Rubenstein and Fannie Rubenstein
Husband of Hettie Rubinstein
Brother of Sarah Gould; Moses Rubenstein; Abraham Lincoln Rubenstein; Doris Marie Brodkey; Ida Besser and 1 other

Managed by: Hatte Blejer on partial hiatus
Last Updated:

About Charly "Rube" Rubenstein

From Sharon Grundfest Broniatowski

"Charlie Rubenstein was a wonderful man. He was owner of the Rube and Scott department store in Little Rock, a baseball scout, an avid member of the National Conference of Christians and Jews, a Mason, and was well connected politically. I have a photo of him with the Vice President of the USA (Albin Barkley). He reputedly broke up a lynching by talking down the KKK. He was also a big supporter of the Boys Club, providing housing for orphans." {Charly and Hettie Rubenstein raised Sharon's mother after her mother died, Charly was effectively Sharon's grandfather. Thanks to Sharon and her family for the photograph of Charly.)

From A corner of the tapestry: a history of the Jewish experience in Arkansas By Carolyn Gray LeMaster, page 244

"Charles C. "Rube" Rubenstein (1882 - 1958) [also known as CC] became a well-known figure in the political life of Little Rock. He was state chairman of the Privilege Tax Commission and was considered a "vice mayor" under several Little Rock mayors, including Mayor Sam M. Wassell, who served in the period 1947 - 1952. Rube was born at Muscatine, Iowa, of immigrant parents [he was actually born in the Russian Empire], and grew up an ardent sports fan. Rather small of stature, he managed a semi-pro baseball team by age eighteen. He moved to Rushton, Louisiana, where he managed a men's clothing store and developed the innovative idea of advertising on the sports page in the local paper. He joined the army in World War I and was stationed at Camp Pike near Little Rock. Pfeiffer's Department Store had a camp store there, which Rube managed. He had been a scout for the Louisiana State University sports program before the war and resumed those activities at Texas Christian University after the war. In 1922 he accepted an offer by Harry Pfeifer to become buyer and manager of Pfeifer's Men's Department. In 1932 Rube and his brother-in-law Walter L. Scott (1888 - 1943) opened a men's clothing store, Rube and Scott, which became one of the city's most popular such stores. Rube introduced the installation payment plan for clothing, which helped customers during the Depression. He was active in various civic organizations. Although he and his wife had no children, they helped raise several and assisted a number in attending college. (Leonard Scott [1914 - ], son of Walter L. Scott, whose family hailed from Poland, was a graduate of Vanderbilt University and Harvard Law School. He began a law practice in Little Rock in 1937 and has continued more than fifty years.)

Hatte Blejer Musings

Walter Lewy Scott was married to Frieda Hartmann, who was the sister of Charley's wife, Hettie (Hedwig) Hartmann. Frieda died in 1923 at age 30, leaving two young children (Leonard Lewy Scott, then age 9; and Karolyn Rachel Scott, then age 1). Karolyn was raised by her aunt, Hettie Rubenstein and her husband, Charley Rubenstein according to Karolyn's daughter. Walter Scott and Charley ("Rube" or CC) Rubenstein were in business together in the Rube Scott department store (photo attached in Media Tab).

Hettie and Charley Rubenstein also helped raise his deceased sister, Sara Gould's, child, Nelson Jerome Gould, according to Jerry Gould's daughter, Sara Jane. He is recorded as living with them in the 1930 U.S. Census. It's sad and coincidental that both Hettie and Charley had sisters who died very young, leaving small children.

From my Uncle Jerry (Jerome Rubenstein): Ida (nee Rubenstein) Besser's husband was Herbert Besser, a St. Louisan. They moved to Little Rock in the forties, where Herb went to work for Ida Besser's brother, Charles, in his clothing store, Rube and Scott.

So we have three branches of the Reib Rubenstein family in Little Rock: the Bessers (Ida Rubenstein, sister to Sara and Charley), Charley and Hettie Rubenstein, and Nelson Jerome Gould (Sara's son).

And Charley and Hettie lived with Nelson Gould, Karolyn Scott (daughter of Hettie's sister, Frieda), and with Mose and Jennie Hartmann, the parents of Hettie and Frieda. And Charley was in business with Walter Lewy Scott, his brother-in-law, Frieda Hartmann's widower, and for a time employed Herb Besser, his sister Ida (nee Rubenstein) Besser's husband.

Also listed in the U.S. Census, from 1940, is another relative, a cousin, Deitel Greven, whose identity I have yet to unravel.

U.S. Census 1930 Little Rock

  • Name: Charles C Rubenstein
  • [Charles C Rubanstein]
  • Birth Year: abt 1886
  • Gender: Male
  • Race: White
  • Birthplace: Illinois
  • Marital Status: Married
  • Relation to Head of House: Head
  • Home in 1930: Little Rock, Pulaski, Arkansas
  • Map of Home: View Map
  • Street address: I Street
  • Ward of City: 9 Pt. of
  • House Number in Cities or Towns: 4522
  • Dwelling Number: 372
  • Family Number: 428
  • Home Owned or Rented: Owned
  • Home Value: 7000
  • Radio Set: Yes
  • Lives on Farm: No
  • Age at First Marriage: 26
  • Attended School: No
  • Able to Read and Write: Yes
  • Father's Birthplace: Germany
  • Mother's Birthplace: Germany
  • Able to Speak English: Yes
  • Occupation: Buyer
  • Industry: dept Store
  • Class of Worker: Wage or salary worker
  • Employment: Yes

Household Members:

  • Charles C Rubenstein 44
  • Hettie Rubenstein 43
  • Coraline Scott 8 Niece
  • Mose Hartman 71 Father-in-law
  • Jennie Hartman 69 Mother-in-law
  • Nelson Goned 22 Nephew (sic - Nelson Jerome Gould, son of Charley's deceased sister, Sara Rubenstein Gould)
  • Rosa Johnson 31 Servant

U.S. Census 1940 Little Rock

  • Name: C C Rubenstein
  • Age: 57
  • Estimated birth year: abt 1883
  • Gender: Male
  • Race: White
  • Birthplace: Iowa
  • Marital Status: Married
  • Relation to Head of House: Head
  • Home in 1940: Little Rock, Pulaski, Arkansas
  • Map of Home in 1940: View Map
  • Street: Hillcrest
  • House Number: 4701
  • Farm: No
  • Inferred Residence in 1935: Little Rock, Pulaski, Arkansas
  • Residence in 1935: Same House
  • Sheet Number: 2B
  • Number of Household in Order of Visitation: 36
  • Occupation: Owner Nurse Clothing Store
  • House Owned or Rented: Owned
  • Value of Home or Monthly Rental if Rented: 17000
  • Attended School or College: No
  • Highest Grade Completed: College, 4th year
  • Hours Worked Week Prior to Census: 45
  • Class of Worker: Working on own account
  • Weeks Worked in 1939: 52
  • Income: 5000+
  • Income Other Sources: No
  • Neighbors: View others on page

Household Members:

  • C C Rubenstein 57
  • Hattie Rubenstein 53
  • Karolyn Scott 17 Niece
  • Deitel Greven 17 Cousin
  • Mose Hartmon 81 Father-in-law
  • Jennie Hartmon 79 Mother-in-law

On the Internet:

The photgraph is downtown Little Rock in 1950. Charly's store "Rube and Scott" was gone by 1955.

The text reads: "Main Street looking north from between Capitol and Sixth Streets about 1950. The black car under the Pfeifer's clock is a 1948 Buick, and the yellow cab turning onto Capitol is a 1950 Plymouth and the light green car on the right is a 1950 Oldsmobile. Look carefully in the street and you can see the shadow of the overhead wires for the trolleybus, one of which is coming at you in the distance. It's the second, most distant, one. The first bus, the nearest one to you, is not a trolley, it's a diesel. You can tell the difference because the trolleys are short and squat, while the diesels are taller, to make room for the fuel tanks under the passenger seating area. By 1950, Capitol Transit Company was acquiring non-electric busses to replace trolleybusses. Little Rock was expanding, and diesel busses could go anywhere immediately, without the time and expense of installing overhead lines.

Scroll to the bottom to see this same view in 2006.

Some of the businesses I can make out with a magnified version of this picture are:

From south to north, west side of the street (left side, going away)

The Pfeifer's clock. Pfeifer's Department Store is out of the picture south of the clock at Sixth and Main

M. M. Cohn, 510 Main

Baker's Shoes 504 Main

National Shirt Shops, across Capitol at 424 Main

Kempners, 418 Main

Blass, 4th and Main

New Theater, 112 Main

Hotel Grady Manning (The two-tone white-topped red-brick building at Markham and Main)

From south to north, east side of the street (right side, going away)

Stifft's Jewelers, 511 Main

Butler's Shoes

J. C. Penney, 505 Main

Walgreen Drugs, 501 Main

Planter's Peanuts (Across Capitol at the far end of the awning)

Rube And Scott Men's Wear, 417 Main

Moore's Cafeteria, 415 Main

Haverty's Furniture, 413 Main

The edge of the Center Theater marquee, 407 Main

Note: I don't have addresses for Butler's Shoes or Planter's Peanuts, which were gone by the time my 1954 telephone book was printed."

view all

Charly "Rube" Rubenstein's Timeline

1882
May 11, 1882
Bilohorodka, Zaslav, Volhynia, Russia
1958
June 17, 1958
Age 76
Kearny, NJ, USA
????
Little Rock, AR, USA