Samuel Louis Horowitz

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Samuel Louis Horowitz

Also Known As: "Shmuel Leyzer Gurvich", "Samuel Hurwitz", "Samuel Horwitz"
Birthplace: Lithuania, (Russian Empire)
Death: September 26, 1928 (76)
Baltimore, Maryland, United States (stroke)
Place of Burial: 6700 Bowleys Lane, Baltimore, Maryland
Immediate Family:

Son of Isaac (Itsyk, Yitzchak) Horowitz (Gurvich, Hurvitz) and Rachael Horowitz [Gurvich, Hurvitz]
Husband of Rebecca Miriam Balisok Horowitz
Father of Chaya Sora Horowitz [Gurvich]; Abraham Saul "Sol" Horowitz and Annie Horowitz Friedel
Brother of Leyb Horowitz [Gurvich]; Govsey (Shevel) Horowitz [Gurvich] and Chaya Rivka Horowitz [Gurvich]

Occupation: Rabbi
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Samuel Louis Horowitz

Rabbi Samuel Horowitz was one of the founders of the Mikro Kodesh Congregation (Orthodox) in East Baltimore and served as their spiritual leader for more than forty years before his death in 1928.

Also, according to his obituary in the Baltimore Sun, "He was well known in the Eastern section of the city and did considerable work in the interests of charitable institutions. The first Talmudic schools (Hebrew schools) in Baltimore were formed chiefly through his efforts. He was one of the organizers of the Hebrew Friendly Inn and Aged Home, now located at Levindale."

Mayor Charles Latrobe assisted in the dedication of Mikro Kodesh's new, ornate synagogue in March 1893 and performed the ceremony of opening its doors. It was located at 19 South High St. between Baltimore and Lombard Sts. According to the Baltimore American article that provided a lengthy description of this event, the congregation had been founded six years earlier "by about a dozen Russian Hebrews who sought asylum in this country" and had begun worshipping at an address on East Pratt St. It was also known as the Pokroyer Synagogue. (Mikro Kodesh later merged with Beth Israel Congregation on Liberty Road.)

On his tombstone, he is SHMUEL ELIEZER, the son of (RABBI) YITZCHAK. His native language was Yiddish, and according to the Jewish Museum of Maryland, all the early ledger records of his synagogue were in Yiddish. His daughter Annie's 1961 death certificate gave his full name as Samuel Louis Horowitz. His name on his own death certificate was Samuel Horwitz, and his parents were named as Isaac Horwitz and Rachael Horwitz.

SHMUEL LEYZER GURVICH was born around 1852 according to at least 3 Lithuanian census/revision records. These were in Russian, and Gurvich was the Russian version of the name. Many thanks to Laine Horowitz, Samuel's great-great-granddaughter, who discovered this -- and opened the door to our finding Lithuanian census/revision records for the entire extended family. These records all indicate that Shmuel, his wife Rivka, his parents, and his siblings lived in the town of Joniskelis in Kovno Gubernia (province).

In 1876 and 1883, Shmuel and Rivka are in the household of his father Itsyk, along with their daughter Chaya Sora. Chaya Sora was age 3 in 1876 and age 10 in 1883.

In 1887, they are listed in the household of his brother Leyb. There's no sign of Chaya Sora. Their two children are Shoul Abram (age 5, this would be Sol) and Isla (age 1, presumably Annie).

According to US census information, he married Rivke (Rebecca) around 1871 and they apparently had six children, of whom two survived: Abraham Saul, born in 1882, and Hannah Leah (Annie), my grandmother, born in 1886. Abraham was known as Sol.

It looks like Samuel emigrated to Baltimore on his own at around age 37, and was followed by Rebecca and the two children. We have the passenger manifest that shows Rivke, Abraham, and "Lei" (Leah) HURVITZ on the SS Rhein that sailed from Bremen to Baltimore in December 1889, posted here. Samuel HORWITZ was naturalized in Baltimore City (Criminal Court!) in September, 1896.

Samuel is listed as a "shocket "in the 1900 Census (ritual butcher—but maybe he was the rabbi who certified). He must have been reasonably successful early on because at that time, his home was owned and mortgage-free. His daughter Annie's September 1905 marriage to Samuel Friedel sounded like an elaborate affair, judging from the description of it in the Baltimore Sun.

I found listings for him in the Baltimore City Directory from 1906 to 1928 under the name "Rev" Samuel Hurwitz. He lived at 407 Forrest St. in East Baltimore for most of this period. Starting in 1924, the listings for Rev. Hurwitz (and Rebecca) show them at 136 N. Broadway.

In a July 1908 Sun article, he's referred to as one of the first directors of a new union of Orthodox Jewish congregations of Baltimore

Samuel died on September 26, 1928, at age 76, and Rebecca on January 4, 1930 at age 75. They are buried in Mikro Kodesh Beth Israel Cemetery in Baltimore. His obituary indicated that he was survived by a sister still living in "Russia" (unnamed--but it must have been Chaya Rivka Horowitz/Gurvich, who was indicated as his only sister on three Lithuanian Revision Family Lists in Joniskelas in 1876, 1883, and 1887).

Multiple spellings of last name: In the 1920 Census, on their tombstones, and in his obituary, the name is spelled Horowitz. But it was Hurwitz in the city directories for many decades, right up to 1928. However, when his name appeared in the Baltimore Sun, it was usually spelled Horwitz (including at his daughter's 1905 wedding). It was also Horwitz on his 1896 naturalization.

There was another Rabbi Samuel Hurwitz, who was about thirty years younger, who also emigrated to Baltimore—this must have caused confusion, and maybe that's why our Samuel changed his spelling. The 1920's directory listings for the two Rev. Hurwitzes included the names of their wives, maybe to distinguish them.

Memorial on

Ed Friedel, great-grandson, Oct 2018

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Samuel Louis Horowitz's Timeline

May 1852
Lithuania, (Russian Empire)
Lithuania, Russian Empire
August 1882
probably Joniskelis, Lithuania, (Russian Empire)
February 15, 1885
probably Joniskelis, Lithuania, (Russian Empire)
September 26, 1928
Age 76
Baltimore, Maryland, United States
September 27, 1928
Age 76
Baltimore, Maryland