Monday, July 25, 2011

Jews of Jackson County: Part VI - Julius Solomon and the Jacoby Family

      In addition to the Fleishman, Brash and Edrehi families, two more Jewish families settled in Jackson County during the 19th century. Julius Solomon, German born, first appears in the 1880Census  listed as a 23 year old retailer living with a brother G. Solomon, about five years younger, next door to James P. Coker, of all people. Five years later, Julius is living alone. At the same time, at least two more Solomon families appear in Jackson County, both headed by men claiming German born fathers, although with American born mothers and spouses. There is no indication that these Solomon families are Jewish. In fact, C. Davis Turner does not mention any Solomons, including Julius, in his chronology of the panhandle Jewish presence. [“JG Solomon,” a farmer, also lived with a German-born sister, Molly. Molly and JG’s American-born widow, Eva, still lived in Jackson County in the same household twenty year later with Eva’s four children.] Shofner mentions Julius Solomon as operating a dry goods store in Marianna in the 1880s. Evidence of Solomon’s connection with Marianna’s Jews, admittedly scanty, includes a newspaper item that finds him traveling with Henry Brash to Columbus, Georgia [Columbus Daily Enquirer, Jan. 28, 1880]. Julius left Marianna around the turn of the century after about twenty years in the community. He was a well-known and affable traveling salesman, familiar throughout the Panhandle and gained a reputation as a political pundit.

       The last of Jackson County’s 19th century Jewish families, were the Jacoby’s. Mitch Jacoby (b. 1855), his wife Bertha (b. 1862), both born in America of German born fathers, and daughter Liliian (b. 1892) arrived in Jackson County in the mid-1890s. Jacoby operated a tavern, sold liquor in various places in the county, and advertised widely in the newspapers with good-humored ads. His congeniality is hinted at in the following passage: “Mr Mitch Jacoby of Marianna was a pleasant caller at our office last Friday, he was full of politics and good natured as always ” [Chipley Banner April 15, 1900]. About 1902, Jacoby was elected as a Jackson County representative to the state legislature where he served one term. The Jacoby family, however, did not stay long in Jackson County, moving to Pensacola around 1905, where he was described as a “well known and popular citizen.” Mitch died in 1913 and Bertha in 1927. Upon Mitch Jacoby’s death a Pensacola newspaper recalled that “his jovial and kindly nature caused him to be liked by everyone with whom he was acquainted. He was popular with the masses and took a great interest in politics, working in every campaign for the election of his friends and never giving up hope until the last ballot was counted.” [Pensacola Journal , Aug. 13, 1913 from ].

      The departure of Mitch, Bertha and Lillian Jacoby ended the continuous presence of Jewish families in Jackson County that began nearly fifty years earlier when Samuel Fleishman brought his bride, Sophia, to Marianna. The only long-time Jewish residents remaining in Jackson County after 1905 were widower Solomon Brash and Estelle (Edrehi) Alderman, who had embraced Christianity by this time. According to C. Davis Turner, no more Jewish families took root into Jackson County until the 1920s.

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