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Morris Pearson (Persohn)

Birthplace: Kaunas, Kaunas governorate, Lithuania, Russian Empire
Death: June 30, 1939 (76)
North Carolina, United States
Place of Burial: Kinston, Lenoir County, NC, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Yechezkel "Haskel" Yitzhak Pierson and Freidie Solomon
Husband of Annie Pearson and Sarah Pearson
Father of Larry Pearson; Private; Harry Pearson; Louis Pearson; Samuel Pearson and 1 other
Brother of Sarah Rebeccah Bernstein; Lewis Pearson (Persohn); Annie Pedlosky and Solomon Wolf Gross

Occupation: Merchant
Managed by: Jeffrey Robert Dawson
Last Updated:

About Morris Pearson

The Pearson Family
One of these Russian Jewish families who had a significant impact on the Kinston Jewish community was the Pearsons. Morris Persohn, who was born in 1863 in Lithuania, immigrated to the United States in 1882 and changed his name to Pearson. He initially settled in New York, where he married Annie Wolfe. After the birth of their third child, Morris and Annie decided to move to North Carolina. They originally settled in Richlands, where Morris was a peddler, walking throughout the countryside selling his wares. A year after their fourth son, Lazarus, was born in 1895, Morris gave up his itinerant profession and opened Pearson’s Dry Goods Store in Richlands. Soon after, he opened another store in Kinston, moving his family to the larger town. During this time, Morris also acquired a large tract of farmland nearby, where he grew tobacco in addition to cotton, corn, and grapes.

When his wife died in 1906 after being thrown from a carriage, Pearson returned to New York with his two youngest children, leaving his oldest son Louis to look after the rest of the family in Kinston. While in New York, Pearson met and married his second wife, Sarah, and returned to Kinston. In 1911, Louis founded a retail store, the New York Clothing Company, with his brother Sam and cousin Alex Gross. Sam and Alex eventually left the firm, but Louis would continue to run it until his death in 1965. Louis’s son Henry grew up to become an internationally renowned abstract artist and art teacher at the New School for Social Research in New York. Many of his geometric abstractions have been displayed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, among others.

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Morris Pearson's Timeline

April 18, 1863
Kaunas, Kaunas governorate, Lithuania, Russian Empire
April 17, 1889
New York City, New York, United States
May 15, 1891
September 17, 1894
Brooklyn, Kings County, NY, United States
November 10, 1898
North Carolina
November 8, 1901
Kinston, Lenoir County, NC, United States
June 30, 1939
Age 76
North Carolina, United States