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David Herstein

Pages 677-678
David Herstein, by his own exertions, has come to be one of the most enterprising and wide awake merchants of Perryville. He was born in Krakau, Austria, July 22, 1850, and received his education in the schools of his birthplace and Hungaria. He graduated in literature and theology, and at the time of departure from college had committed to memory thirty-two volumes of the Talmud. In 1870 he left his native land with the intention of emigrating to America, but stopped over in London and while there learned the trade of seal skin cutting. He next went into partnership with a Mr Gerschmer under the firm name of Gerschmer & Herstein and continued in business for eighteen months, in which time he accumulated $10,000 and then closed out his business. In August 1878 he landed in New York and immediately engaged in his business of seal skin cutting which proved to be a failure from a financial point on account of the heavy competition that was being indulged in at that time in New York. In January 1875, he went to Boston Mass. and was engaged by Bennett, Bush & Co. as foreman in their seal skin department at a salary of $150 per month. On the occasion of the Centennial Exhibition at Philadelphia in 1876 he was commissioned by the firm to design a seal skin sacque which would take the premium over all competitors. He did so, cutting out and making up a seal skin sacque trimmed with Russian sable, that was the cynosure of all eyes at the exposition, and which captured the prize. In the latter part of 1876 he came to Little Rock Ark. and commenced retailing dry goods and notions over the State making Little Rock his headquarters. He then moved to Perryville to 1878 and established the firm of Herstein & Mondschein, dealers in drygoods, clothing, boots and shoes, groceries and general supplies. The firm carried a select stock and have established a large trade by their square and honest methods of doing business. On July 27, 1879 he was united in marriage to Miss Lena Lasker of Cincinatti Ohio by whom he has had five children: Benjamin (born July 26, 1880), being the first Jewish child born in Perry County, Bessie (born August 27, 1882), Milton (born January 6, 1884), Frankie Cleveland (born February 26, 1886), Samuel (born June 10, 1889). Mr Herstein was made was made a Master Mason in Perryville Lodge No. 238, A.F. & A.M. in 1885 and the following year was appointed Senior Warden serving one term. In the annual meeting in 1888 he was again elected Senior Warden, and served one term, then re-elected, and at present holds the office. He was one of the charter members of Lodge No. 3207, Knights of Honor, organized October 9, 1885 on which occasion he was elected treasurer until January of the following year, and then elected Dictator, in 1887 Past Dictator, and in 1888 Senior Past Dictator. He represented his lodge at Hot Springs, in 1888, when the Grand Lodge of the State convened at that point. Mr Herstein is a progressive and liberal minded man, and one of the leading spirits in the affairs of his county. He is always ready to tender his assistance in any enterprise for the public affair, and is held in high esteem by his fellow citizens.