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Lazarus Straus's Geni Profile

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Lazarus Straus

Birthdate: (88)
Birthplace: Otterberg, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany
Death: January 14, 1898 (88)
New York, New York County, New York, United States
Place of Burial: Flushing, Queens County, New York, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Isaac / Isaak Straus and Johanette Straus
Husband of Davora "Fannie" Straus and Sara Straus
Father of NN Straus(s); Karoline Straus; Isador Straus; Hermine Kohns; Nathan Straus and 2 others
Brother of Babette Weil; Philippine Straus; Johannette Straus; Nathan Straus; Markus Straus and 8 others

Managed by: Private User
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About Lazarus Straus

The Straus Historical Society, Inc. (Society) has as its principal purpose, the fostering of educational activities with respect to the settlement of Jews in the United States and, in particular, the family of Lazarus and Sara Straus, their ancestors and their descendants.


Lazarus and Fannie Straus Family

Lazarus Straus, son of Isaac and Johanette Straus, was born in Otterberg Germany in 1809. He was the oldest of fourteen. The custom of marrying cousins was common at the time and, in 1838 he married a cousin, Davora (Fannie) Levi. The couple had one daughter, Karoline. Fanny died in 1843. Lazarus then married his first cousin Sara, daughter of his father's brother.

In 1852 Lazarus immigrated to the US. He sent for his family in 1854. By then Karoline was a teenager and had established a life for herself in Germany. She decided to remain there. An uncle, Abraham was granted custody. Karoline married Moritz Weiss. Ferdinand Weiss was born in January 1862 in Mannheim. Ferdinand married Amalie Kunstler. They had three children; Frieda Luise, Friedrich Wilhelm Siegfried and Ernst.

Until recently we knew only that Lazarus remained in contact with his family in Germany. He left money to his grandson Ferdinand when he died in 1898. A newly discovered condolence note from Ferdinand, written in 1912 after the "Titanic" disaster led to renewed research and the discovery of his descendants. Frieda Luise, known as Luise, married Dr. Nathan Roos. They had daughter Ellen. The family lived in Pforzheim Germany. During a visit by Isidor and Ida, the Roos' were invited to send Luise back to the USA with the Strauses. It was a good thing Ellen was not permitted to go because she would have been on the "Titanic".

Dr. Nathan Roos was a prominent physician in Germany. Realizing the war was imminent, he sent Ellen to live with Luise's brother Ernst who immigrated to the US in 1927. Dr. Roos was sent to Dachau but was released after a few months. He and Luise emigrated in 1940 where they were reunited with their daughter Ellen. They settled in upper Manhattan were Dr. Roos reestablished his medical practice.

Ellen Roos married Fred Tager. They had three daughters, Jessie and twins Colette and Lorette.

Information about this part of the family has only just been uncovered. Much work needs to be done to learn who sponsored the family when they immigrated, how much contact there was with the Straus family when they were in Europe and why the contact was broken.


Lazarus and Sara Straus Family

Lazarus Straus, son of Isaac and Johanette Straus, was born in Otterberg Germany in 1809. He was the oldest of fourteen. In 1838 he married a cousin, Davora (Fannie) Levi. The couple had one daughter, Karoline. Fanny died in 1843 and Lazarus married his first cousin Sara the following year. They had five children, Isidor, Hermine, Nathan, Jakob Otto and Oscar. Jakob died when he was a year and a half.

Following the Revolution of 1848 and the economic difficulties that ensued, Lazarus immigrated to the United States in 1852. He arrived in Philadelphia but was persuaded that rural Georgia would provide better opportunities. The Kaufman brothers who were in Oglethorpe GA, set him up as a pushcart peddler. Peddlers not only brought necessary goods to the plantation owners and their families, they also brought news from one widely distributed plantation to the others. On Court Day in the county seat of Talbotton, Lazarus found the place he wanted to settle. He opened a dry goods store and by 1854 he felt sufficiently successful to send for his family. When Lazarus and Sara immigrated to the United States, Lazarus' teenage daughter Karoline decided to stay in Germany with relatives.

Isidor's privately published autobiography gives us a glimpse into their lives in Talbotton and later in Columbus GA where they moved in 1863. The Strauses became successful merchants. At the close of the Civil War, Columbus was burned and Lazarus decided to move his family north. They settled in New York, opening L. Straus & Sons, importers of china, porcelain, glassware and crockery. In 1873 Nathan convinced Rowland H. Macy to allow them to open a concession in the basement of Macy's store on 14th Street. By 1884 the Strauses were part owners and by 1896 they were sole owners of R. H. Macy's & Co. Isidor continued to run Macy's until his death, along with that of his wife Ida, on the "Titanic" in 1912. He served in the House of Representatives in 1894-5 and was a founder of The Educational Alliance in New York City. He belonged to many philanthropic organizations and was active in city politics. Hermine married Lazarus Kohns of Coblenz Germany. Lazarus became a vice president of L. Straus & Sons where he was highly respected by all. As was the custom of the day, Hermine did not participate in the family business. Instead, she cared for her chldren and her widowed father Lazarus. She hosted Sunday dinners at her home for all family members who were in town. Hermine cared for Lazarus during his final days and was lauded by all for her nurturing and compassion.

Nathan used his boundless energies to develop outside sources for the family business. He traveled to Europe on buying trips where he met and married Lina Gutherz. He became interested in the pasteurization of milk after a cow on his farm died of TB. He built and paid for pasteurization laboratories first in New York, then all over the US and finally around the world. He built a TB "Preventorium" and became a Zionist during the early part of the 20th century. He built the Jerusalem Health Center and labored for the Hebrew University. He was Commissioner of Parks in NYC and head of the Department of Health.

Oscar had little interest in merchandising and, with the support of his brothers, became a lawyer. He served as Minister to Constantinople, Ambassador to Turkey, Secretary of Commerce and Labor, a founder and president of the American Jewish Historical Society and was a member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague. He was the author for several books including Roger Williams, The Pioneer of Religious Liberty and Under Four Administrations.

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Lazarus Straus's Timeline

April 25, 1809
Otterberg, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany
May 25, 1838
Age 29
Otterberg, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany
Age 30
February 6, 1845
Age 35
Otterberg, Rhenish Bavaria, Germany
June 16, 1846
Age 37
Otterberg, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany
January 31, 1848
Age 38
Otterberg, Kaiserlauten, Rhineland-Pfalz, Germany
Age 39
December 23, 1850
Age 41
Otterberg, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany