HOME - GOEHLE INTRODUCTION - PETER GOEHLE - FRANK GOEHLE

88 - 90 Sheriff Street, Lower East Side, Manhattan as a Microcosm of Little Germany (Kleindeutschland)

88 Sheriff Street

My maternal grandfather, Frank Goehle, was born to German/American parents at 88 Sheriff street in 1894. The family lived at 88 Sheriff from at least 1890 to at least 1894.

Kleindeutschland and the Lower East Side

In the mid to late 1800s the population of much of what is now called The Lower East Side was predominately German immigrant (including Catholics, Protestants and Jews). Over time the population of the Lower East Side shifted from German immigrants to Eastern European Jewish immigrants. The Lower East Side was made famous by the scores of Jewish immigrants who arrived there from Eastern Europe in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Many books, movies, plays, etc. have been devoted to that cultural experience. Much has been done to preserve and celebrate the Jewishness of the Lower East Side. Less is remembered of the neighborhood when it was predominately German American.

Germans had been immigrating to America since 1608 when a small group of Germans joined the Jamestown colony in Virginia. Large numbers immigrated between 1680 and 1760; many settling in Pennsylvania and upstate New York. Between 1848 and 1918 nearly 6 million Germany immigrated to the US. While many of this immigrant group of Germans settled in farming communities, about half of them settled in cities such as Milwaukee and Chicago. New York City was one of the most popular destinations for this wave of German immigrants. There were German communities in lower Manhattan and Brooklyn. Neighboring Hoboken, New Jersey was over 40% German in the mid to late 1800s. Hoboken was the "port" for several German shipping lines in "New York Harbor".

In 2006 17% of Americans could claim a German ancestor.

Initially, the German community had strong cultural ties to "the old country". There were German newspapers, German clubs, and German festivals. The German beer halls and theater were popular. Church services were held in German; as were instructions in religious run schools.

Until 1871 Germany was not a united country but a series of city states, dukedoms, and principalities. German immigrants before the late 1880s associated with others from the same regions of Germany. Bavarian interacted with Bavarians, Prussians with Prussians, etc.

Assimilation occurred, as it does with most immigrant groups, when the younger generation showed a preference for English. When the US entered WWI against Germany many German Americans were obliged to show their loyalty to AMERICA. Many Americanized their names to avoid anti German hostilities. German instruction in schools and German language church services ended.

The situation in WWI may have contributed to the fact that little has been preserved, written or celebrated about the German immigrant population that inhabited the Lower East Side before the arrival of the Eastern European Jews. Both the German Christians and the German Jews who lived there seem to have drifted off to other places without leaving the imprint that their successors made. On the other hand, much has been written about the German American communities in other areas of the United States — So there has to be more to it.

On this page I want to take a look at an address where my family lived, in an attempt to build a bit of an image of the time.

In 1894 Frank Goehle, the son of Peter Goehle and his second wife, Wilhelmina Lindemann, was born at 88 Sheriff Street. The family lived at that address from at least 1890 to at least Frank's birth in March 1894. Peter Goehle, a butcher, was born in Germany in 1852 and immigrated to New York in 1873. Wilhelmina Lindemann, born circa 1861, was the daughter of Germany immigrants who arrived in New York in the mid 1800s.

I have focused on the east side of Sheriff street in the block between Stanton and Rivington - numbers 84 through 92 - with special emphasis on 88 and 90.

Sheriff Street was located between Columbia and Pitt streets. It once extended from Grand Street to Houston. Sheriff street is gone except for one block which still remains just south of Houston along the side of Hamilton Fish Park.

At the site of what was one 88 Sheriff Street are the Masaryk Towers built in the 1960s. See Masaryk Towers


90-92 Sheriff Street 1937


Sheriff Street nos 90-94 Beatrice Abbott (1898-1991) Museum of the City of New York

The building at the extreme right is 88 Sheriff Street. In 1891 the Edwin Mayer "For Realton Cross" listed 90-92 Sheriff street as "6 story apt. & strs" and 88 sheriff as "5 story apt. & strs."

The building at the extreme right of this image is 88 Sheriff. Frank Goehle was born at 88 Sheriff in 1894.


Sheriff Street, 1832

There was an outbreak of cholera in August 1831. 60 Cases with 18 deaths were reported in the 24 hour period of August 10, 1831. Two cases were reported on that date at 88 Sheriff Street. One death due to cholera was reported at 88 Sheriff street on August 3, 1832.

As described in 1832:

"Back buildings in courtyards were very subject to cholera: in one in Sheriff street, out of forty inmates, of all colors and countries, said to be filthy and vicious, 23 had diarrhoea, which went on to collapse in 9, and to death, in 7; of which 6 were young children who could not have been intemperate or very vicious."

Reports of Hospital Physicians: And Other Documents in Relation to the ... edited by Dudley Atkins


Sheriff street 1842 to 1847

In 1842 Andrew Maffitt, age 40, member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, died and his funeral was held at 90 Sheriff street.

James Boyle was listed at 90 Sheriff street in 1844 (Manual of the Corporation of the City of New York ... By New York (N.Y.). Common Council)

The sudden death of Samuel Douglass (age 70 born in Ireland) at 90 Sheriff street was the subject of a Coroner's inquest.

By 1847 the neighborhood was recognized as having a heavy German population:

"Too Let - The Old Established grocery with a large cellar, No 90 Sheriff street, a first rate opportunity for a German Grocer, in a thickly settled German neighborhood, with a large cellar, Enquire James Boyle, 94 Sheriff street.

The Sun, March 15, 1847

In August 1847 Mrs. Baggas, age 70, of 88 sheriff street, who suffered from pleurisy and consumption, used Sherman's All Healing Balsom to relieve her suffering.


Descriptions of 88-90 Sheriff Street from 1853 to 1944

88-90 Sheriff Street was described in the censuses, newspaper, maps and various articles between 1853 and 1941. These articles are presented in greater detail below.

1853:

"a large building containing about 50 families"

"There were twelve small houses in a row, within a back court, entered by galleries running up on the outside - cheap brick and wood houses. All of the piazzas, banisters, railings, every possible rope line, were hung with rags drying."


1853 Map (New York Public Library digital collection) showing 88 - 90 Sheriff street.

The Tenement House Problem published in 1901 claimed that contrary to popular belief rear tenements were not added on a lot that already had a building in front. But rather the other way around. The rear building was on the lot first and the front building was added later. It offered as proof:

  • The 1852 insurance maps showed a great number of houses located at the back of lots while the front is entirely vacant indicating that it was not unusual to build at the back of lots leaving a garden space in front.

  • The "first" tenement law enacted in 1867 prohibited the erection of a building in front of any lot that already had a building in the back. "Had it been the custom at that time to erect the rear building after the front one, the law would have been expressed in exactly the opposite way".

1856:

"three stories"

"two-story house, built twenty-five years since" Note: circa 1831 if this information is correct.

1857:

"dilapidated cottage buildings with narrow balconies"

1860:

According to the 1860 census there were 7 families with a total of 28 people living at 88 Sheriff and 4 families with a total of 19 people at 90 Sheriff. However, articles of the times claim that "hundreds" of people and "scores" of dogs inhabited these two buildings.

1865:

"wood, 2 stories, with attic and basement"

1870:

The 1870 census listed 27 families at 88 Sheriff Street with a total of 174 people.

This census listed 20 families at 90 Sheriff with a total of 58 people.

Notes:

  • There was an increase between 1860 and 1870 from 7 families and 28 people to 27 families and 174 people at 88 Sheriff and from 4 families and 19 people to 20 families and 58 people at 90 Sheriff.

    Were the buildings enlarged between 1860 and 1870?

  • At some point the buildings at 90 Sheriff St. changed from two stories to five stories. It seems likely that this change occurred after 1879. In 1879 a law was passed that all inhabitable rooms have a window that opened to the air. As a consequence "dumbbell" tenements came into being. In the middle of the building on both sides was (is) an a three feet deep air shaft. The dumbbell is the shape indicated for 90 Sheriff on the 1899 and 1916 maps of the ares. Between 1879 and 1901 a standard tenement house on a 25 feet wide by 100 feet deep lot was five to six stories and contained 4 families per floor and was build in the dumbbell shape.

1880:

There were 16 families at 88 Sheriff street in 1880 with a total of 76 people. The number of families would indicate the typical tenement of four families per floor indicating a four story building in 1880.

I could not find a listing for 90 Sheriff "front". The only listing for 90 Sheriff was for 7 families living at 90 Sheriff street "rear". This may indicate that 90 Sheriff was under construction in 1880 and therefor had no one living at that address.

1890:

The 1890 New York City Police Census listed 17 families and a total of 70 people at 88 Sheriff.

1896:

New York Times 9 December 1893 New buildings by Michael Fay and William Stacum for three five story brick flats at 90, 92, and 94 Sheriff street $66,000

1896:

No 88 sheriff Street alterations go a four story brick tenement, by William H. Schneider, owner, cost $500. (Alterations amounting to $500 were also done at 86 Sheriff a four story birck owner, Bernat Springer 741 Tenth street.) New York Times October 17, 1896

1899:

Map shows both 88 & 90 Sheriff were 5 story buildings. #90 was 100 feet deep. #88 was less but had a bigger yard and had a 4 story building in back. Both buildings were 25 feet wide. 90 had narrow air shafts on the north and south. 88 did not have air shafts of its own but shared the shaft of #90 to the north. Compared to the other building on the block 88 appears to be about 75 feet deep.

1902, 90 Sheriff:

90 Sheriff, 5 story Brick, name of occupants, Max Slonger, candies, segars, and dwellings, fire in basement (Annual Report of the Committee on Fire Patrol, to the New York Board of Fire ... By New York Board of Fire Underwriters. Committee on Fire Patrol)

1902, 88 Sheriff:

88 Sheriff December 8, 1902 fire of 5th floor of a 5 story brick, W. Weiss dewlling (Annual Report of Fire Commission, 1903)

1916:

Map shows both buildings were 5 stories and essentially the same as shown in 1899.

1931 :

A Realtor's Guide of 1891 listed 88 Sheriff as a 5 story apt & strs and 90-92 Sheriff as 6 story & Strs. Strs=Stores.

1931:

MANHATTAN FLATS AT AUCTION

The five-story tenement at 90 Sheriff Street, on a plot 25.8 by 100 feet, will be sold at auction tomorrow...

New York Times August 2, 1931

1936:

The New York Times reported an assault at a restaurant at 88 Sheriff

1937:

TO SELL TENEMENT HOUSES

A five-story tenement house at 88 Sheriff Street, between Rivington and Stanton Streets.......will be sold at foreclosure this week....."

New York Times October 24, 1937

March 1941:

Spear-O Associates bought from the 128 East 129th Corporation the five story apartment house at 88 Sheriff Street, subject of a first mortgage of $8,500 held by Wesleyan University. There were eighteen apartments each of two or three rooms in the building.


The Sheriff Street Rag Pickers, 1853 to 1878 as reported in the press

88-90 Sheriff street was a notorious place in the 1850s. It was the reputed home to a large group of German "rag pickers" and was repeatedly used by reform minded groups as a prime example of the worst examples of tenement dwelling.

The rag pickers were noted in New York City as early as 1842, although I have not found specific reference to Sheriff street. It was assumed that they were:

"county-bred Germans who had taken to this occupation through their frugal habit of saving and making use of every available bit of material, and had found their opportunity in the general prodigality of refuse dumped in great heaps and piles throughout the city."

Record of the industrial Commission by USIC, James Henderson Kyle and Albert Clarke, 1901

At the time that the following articles were written, New York City did NOT have a system of garbage collection. So, in fact, the "rag pickers" were performing a service. Otherwise, much of what they collected would have been left on the streets to rot. In addition, it will be seen that many rag pickers made a "good living" - some supposedly became quite "wealthy".

The "rag pickers" where not limited to foraging for rags. They also collected paper, bones, pieces of metal, leather, glass - anything that could be recycled, reused and/or sold.

Sheriff Street Rag Pickers, January 1853

WALKS AMONG THE NEW-YORK POOR, 1853

According to an article in the New York Times in January 1853 German rag pickers numbering in the thousands lived mostly in the eleventh and seventeenth Wards. They were reported to live in large lodging-houses "sometimes three hundred in a house".

The reporter, a certain "C. L. B." visited the "colony" of rag pickers on Sheriff street of which he says:

"There were twelve small houses in a row, within a back court, entered by galleries running up on the outside - cheap brick and wood houses. All of the piazzas, banisters, railings, every possible rope line, were hung with rags drying."
The Germans who lived in this colony "men women and children" were up at five o'clock in the morning to set out on their search for rags.

C. L. B. interviewed one woman who "did not speak English". Her husband was a day laborer but he had broken his leg and was in the hospital. She was the sole support of her children and an old grandfather. She could make "two shillings" a day picking rags. Her children helped her. She paid $4 a month for "one room with a closed bed-room behind".

In another house were a father and children (number not stated) in the front room and a sick mother in the bed-room. The father and children made $3 a week picking rags. The rent was again $4 per month for the two rooms.

"In the next house" was another rag picker family. This family appeared to do somewhat better and could average 50 cents a day. "An active boy outside, who spoke very good English, said he could make $4 to $5 a week, picking bones."

Rents were cheaper in the basement - $3.50. The families in the basements generally made less, "two to four shillings a day" and yet again the business was picking rags.

The rooms smelled horribly. C. L. B. was told that in the summer the "houses are intolerable from the stench" and during the cholera season that "pestilence" was especially fatal in "these localities".

A point was made that the rent from these 12 houses amounted to $360 a month or $4,320 a year.

The reporter then went to a different rag picker location in Third street.

"Rags are flaunting on every side, and little girls are sorting and washing them. Heaps of bones, carefully sorted, lie in different parts of the court."

"These German rag and bone-pickers, though they live in such filth, are frequently much better off than might be supposed. They all look to going West, eventually. The German emigrant has a hankering for land. Nearly all of these lay up money. A colony, last year, of about 300 persons, occupied a basement, near East River; lived promiscuously together, with their great bone-heap in the midst of the floor, from which they could scrape or boil enough for an occasional meal. They seemed in the utmost destitution, and were living in a squalor, to which a poor American could seldom, by any circumstances, be driver. In the Spring when travel was cheap again, they all, with the little earnings they had brought from Germany, started for the West, to settle down on farms."

New York Times, January 22, 1853

Note: Several articles on the rag pickers make reference to colonies of rag pickers moving to a town in the West or to the Western Prairies - no specific location named.

Sheriff Street Rag Pickers, April 1853

"THE RAG PICKERS AND BONE GATHERERS IN NEW YORK

The deeper one descends in the gradations of social positions in this city, the more apparent does it become that 'one-half of the world don't know how the other half lives.' The bone and rag gathers, — answering to the 'Chiffoniercs' of Paris, — are almost exclusively Germans, and are mostly congregated on the eastern side of the city, and from their clannish disposition, peculiarity of language, and habits, form communities or 'colonies' as distinct as though no others surrounded them. Withdrawn from intercourse with their fellow men, they only emerge with their hooks and poles, to add to their filthy accumulations. Under the escort of Capt. Squires, of the 11th police district, we were favored with a glimpse of the 'real life' among these degraded creatures.

For dwelling, they generally select such as are constructed for the accommodation of numerous families under a single roof. These are put up very slightly, at a comparatively small expense, and the revenues accruing to the owners, from rents, form a large percentage on the capital invested........

...... On Sheriff street, is a large building containing about fifty families. The habitants of the rag-pickers may generally be recognized by the long rows of rags swinging from lines, to dry, and looking like the brown wetted leaves in a tobacco shed.

The inhabitants of 88-90 Sheriff street earned their keep by scavenging for rags and bones. They set off each morning about dawn armed with pokers and baskets to collect rags. Others using dog carts collected the refuse of kitchens and butcher shops. At the end of the day everything collected was sorted. The cotton and linen rags were sold to make paper. The woolen rag were sold to make rugs. The bones are boiled and any meat clinging to the bones eaten by the rag-pickers. The cleaned bones were sold (The article does not say for what purpose, but bone was used to make many things that are now made of plastic: tooth brushes, combs, umbrella handles and the like.).
" Notwithstanding the extreme degradation of the German rag pickers, they appear happy, and exhibit no signs of discontent. With many the Western States is the promised land, and every effort is made to accumulate sufficient funds to enable them to emigrate. A colony of three hundred persons is mentioned, which occupied a single basement last year, living promiscuously together, with a common bone heap, to which all contributed, and from which was derived a portion of their sustenance. Though seeming to be in utter destitution, they all stated for the West last spring to settle on farms."

Inclement weather like snow were "among the worse calamities" to befall the rag picker.

Information in this section from "The N. Y. Journal of Commerce, as copied by the National of April 13th, 1853" APPENDIX TO NOTES Notes on Uncle Tom's Cabin by the Rev. E. J. Stearns, A. M.

Notes:

  • This Article was repeated verbatim in the WESLEYAN Thursday April 21, 1853.
  • Other articles make reference to "the Western prairies"

Sheriff Street Rag Pickers, April 1856

As reported in Friends' Review; a Religious, Literary and Miscellaneous Journal April 5, 1856

LIFE IN NEW YORK; OR, THE PLAGUE SPOTS OF A GREAT CITY

A Committee of the State Legislature visited New York City in order to examine the houses of the poor.

The Committee also visited "Rag-pickers of Paradise," in Sheriff street, which is thus described: —

This building is what may be called the settlement of the Hook and Basket Company. It is a two-story house, built twenty-five years since, and occupied by Germans, who obtain a livelihood by picking up rags and bones in the gutters. Extending from this to the front building were about fifty lines covered with little pieces of rags, which had been washed and hung to dry. We counted over sixty dogs in the yards, which the Germans kept to draw their carts. The people were all at work, even the little children, washing and hanging up the old rags. The rents here are higher than in any other house in the city, on account of the business privileges the occupants enjoy. In front of this building is a large rag depot, where they sell their rags and bones,"

Sheriff Street Rag Pickers, July, 1856

As reported in the New York Sun on July 4, 1856

No 88 Sheriff st.- Rag Pickers Paradise - is one of the most disgusting places that can be found in a year's travel, being filled with men, women, children dogs, rags, bones etc., and the stench is intolerable.

No 90 Sheriff street is of the same description, only, if possible, worse."

Sheriff Street Rag Pickers, July, 1856

As reported in the New York Times on July 7, 1856 the tenement committee was out and about the lower east side checking out conditions in the 11 the and 13th wards.

"After calling at No 316 Rivington street, the Committee proceeded to a lovely retreat in the rear of Nos. 88 and 90 Sheriff street, called "Rag Picker's Paradise." About a block off the stench was clearly perceptible, and at the very entrance of the alley-way leading to the premises were found lying several bags of bones just brought from the slaughter-house, preparatory to being boiled. The "Rag Picker's Paradise" consists of a row of dilapidated wooden structures, three stories high, the stairs being nearly perpendicular, and the whole occupied by rag pickers. In the yard, and on the stoops and in the entries, were bags and baskets of bones and calves heads, with the flesh still clinging to them and emitting a stench bad enough in itself, but absolutely refreshing compared to the other prevailing smells of the place. Scurvy curs, fierce and numerous, barked from every hole and corner, but were quickly silenced by their owners on our approach.

The committee almost with one voice exclaimed that such a place as this should not be suffered to exist a day longer, as imperiling the health h of the neighborhood and the City. Part of the "Paradise" is owned by James Boyle of No. 24 Mangin street1 and the remainder by Christian Snyder2 residing on the premise. Hans Snyder3 is a retired rag picker. On one side of the alley-way leading to the "Paradise" is a rag depot, containing a large number of immense bags already filled and destined for the paper makers."

The New York Tenant Houses

"Rag Pickers Paradise: embracing No 88 and 90 Sheriff Street, was proceeded to next. The --- of the premises to be visited was perceptible when the committed had reached within a block of the place. The surrounding air breathed of dogs and decayed rags and putrefied flesh. At the entrance the first thing --- upon was a number of bags of one with flesh clinging to them, just brought hither from the slaughter house, preliminary to being boiled. The rooms in the building are limited in space, but every inch of space is appropriated with beds, dog kennels and rags. In the yard and on the stoops and in the entries were --ible bags and baskets of bones and calves' heads with portions of flesh remaining and emitting a most offensive odor. The dogs set up occasional howls, adding to the delight of the visit. It was the unanimous voice of the committee that this place should not be allowed to be tenanted, and by the class of tenants it was, a day longer, as being dangerous to the public health. On one side of the alley way leading to the "Paradise" was a rag depot, in which was --- a large number of bags filled with rags for paper makers. Mr. Downing ordered the proprietor to vacate directly."

The New York Herald Jul 6, 1856

1James Bolye:
  • James Boyle, an Irishman, of 90 Sheriff was listed as a junk shop owner in The New York Irish by Ronald H Bayor, and Timothy J Meagher.
  • James Boyle listed at 90 sheriff Street "iron" 1851 NYC Directory
  • "James Boyle dealer in iron at No 22 Mangin-street" filed for bankruptcy"debts amounting to $36,000." (July 14, 1878, New York Times.)
  • I did not find him in the 1850, 1860 or 1870 censuses

2Although Snyder was a relatively common name in NYC, it is possible that Christian Snyder and Hans Snyder are related. See more on the Snyder/Scneiders below.

3Hans Snyder was most likely "John Schneider" who lived for many years at 88 Sheriff Street. See below.

Sheriff Street Rag Pickers, August 1856

In August 1856 an attempt was made to clear out the "Rag Pickers Paradise" at 88 and 90 Sheriff:

CLEANING COTTAGE-ROW AND RAG PICKERS PARADISE"

The work of clearing out Cottage-row, comprising the three tenement houses Nos. 102, 104, and 106 Third Street, occupied principally by rag-pickers, and also Nos. 88 and 90 Sheriff-street, know as Rag Pickers Paradise, was commenced on Saturday last by the City Inspector. It will be remembered that these places were visited by the Legislative Tenement Committee, and declared by them nuisances. The City Inspector recently called the attention of the Commissioners of Health to there condition, announcing that in their present condition, they were endangering the public health, upon which he was empowered to take such action as he deemed necessary to --ate the nuisances. The occupants have been turned out, and the entire premises of both localities are being subjected to through cleaning, fumigation and white washing.

New York Times August 11, 1856

The New York Herald also carried this story:

The Health Commissioners yesterday gave the City Inspector power to compel the tenants of Rag Picker' Row and Rag Picker's Paradise, in Sheriff and Third streets, to vacate forthwith the premises. Extracts from a communication from the City Inspector describing these premises, and submitted to the Commissioners, are give in the report of the proceedings of the Board, to be found elsewhere. It is understood that a number of the lower class tenant house of the city will be directed to be similarly vacated, so as not to jeopardize the health of those living adjacent to such tenements."

The News, The New York Herald, Aug 7, 1856, pg 4

Sheriff Street Rag Pickers, 1857

In 1857, 88 Sheriff street was described as:

"a rambling row of wooden tenements which was known as "Ragpickers Paradise," and was inhabited by Germans, who dwell in small rooms, in almost fabulous gregariousness, surrounded by scores of dogs, and canopied by myriads of rags fluttering from lines crossing their filthy yards, where bones of dead animals and noisome collection of every kind were reeking with pestiferous smells. One establishment .... contains more than fifty families."

The investigating committee of the New York State Assembly reporting in 1857 as quoted in Foreign Immigration and the Tenement House Problem 1900, by Robert Weeks De Forest, Lawrence Veiller (Google Books)

88 & 90 SHERIFF IN 1857

Condition of the City

Conditions of the city were recorded for each Ward. Listed among the "most filthy buildings" of the city that needed the most immediate attention.

No. 88 Sheriff-street requires immediate attention; it is another hole tenanted by German rag-pickers, about forty in number; old bones and rags are allowed to be left lying in and about the yards and hall, the odor arising from which is beyond description.

No. 90 Sheriff street, adjoining the above, is a like establishment, occupied by the same class of people, about fifty. A regular washing establishment is kept here for cleaning rags.

July 2, 1857, New York Times

Note: The 1860 census enumerates 28 people at 88 Sheriff and 19 people at 90 Sheriff.

Sheriff Street Rag Pickers, 1858

Friends Intelligencer volume XIV 1858

"In the rear of Nos. 88 and 90 Sheriff street, in the Eleventh Ward is located "Rag-pickers Paradise". It is so named from the fact that hundreds of rag and bone-pickers reside, assort and sell their stock in trade at this point. Formerly this place, and numerous others in this ward, were greater nuisances than they are at the present time. Parties doing business at these places have, during the past year, been under the supervision of Health Warden Green. By dint of public effort, he has partially succeeded in educating them in the matter of cleanliness. Much yet remains to be done. The entrance to "Rag-pickers Paradise" is from Sheriff street, when you at once approach a block of dilapidated cottage buildings with narrow balconies in which are hung large quantities of cut-off garments, rags, etc., in the process of drying.

The block is occupied by pickers both male and female. As you pass you are saluted at once on entering by a regiment of dogs, and you may regard yourself fortunate if you escape a bite. At least fifty or sixty dogs are kenneled within the yard and houses. Some of them have evidently in their day done service, harnessed to the rag cart in the transportation of the sickening nuisance in the shape of decayed vegetables, damaged meat, bones, bread, cheese, and numerous other obnoxious sundries, which are scattered promiscuously in the yard and emit a stench almost unendurable by mortal man, who has never educated his nasal organs to relish such vile stinks for the sake of hoarding up a few hundred dollars.

It is mid day. You enter the rooms occupied by the pickers. Their rags and bones are mainly sorted there. In barrels, boxes, baskets and pans, on the table, under the table, in chairs and every corner of the room, may be seen the most disgusting collection of matter gathered and garnered, awaiting the arrival of the wholesale merchants withe their two hour wagons to whom they are about to sell the sickening trash. You hasten to the street. The wagons are in waiting. The accumulated nastiness is moving from the yards. Progress is being made in transferrin barrels, boxes, and tubs from the yard. Municipal corruption corrupted! Whew! what a smell! At least a a dozen carts are being loaded in the street, and this, too at the business hour of the day, 1 o'clock p.m. Well would it be if this was but once in a lifetime. It is a regular daily transaction, yet, strange to say, respectable families reside and do business in that neighborhood and vicinity. These carts frequently remain in the streets for three or four hours, waiting for their daily customers who may have strolled too far away from Paradise with their heavy burdens to return in time."

Note: Does not sound to me like much of an improvement under Health Warden Green. MLB

Sheriff Street Rag Pickers, 1860

"Next in order comes 'Rag Picker's Row' and bone repository. This nuisance should be destroyed. It is situated in the rear of Nos. 84, 86, 88, 90, 92, 94 and 96 Sheriff street. The houses are of wood, two stories with attic and basement. The attic rooms are used to deposit the filthy rags and bones as they are taken from the gutters and slaughter houses. The yards are filled with dirty rags hung up to dry, sending forth their stench to all the neighborhood, and is exceedingly nauseous, operating upon me as an emetic. The tenants are all Germans of the lowest order, having no national or personal pride; they are exceedingly filthy in person, and their bed clothes are as dirty as the floors they walk on: their food is of the poorest quality, and their feet and heads, and doubtless their whole bodies, are anasarcous, suffering from what they call rheumatism, but which is in reality a prostrate nervous system, the result of foul air, and inadequate supply of nutritious food. They have a peculiar taste for the association of dogs and cats, there being about 50 of the former and 30 of the latter. The whole number of apartments is 32, occupied by 28 families, number 120 in all, 60 adults and 60 children. The yards are all small and the sinks running over with filth. The owner of one-half of this row is named Henry Greffelman, and of the other Christopher Sneider. The latter gentleman is a wealthy man and lives with his tenants in the rear, although he owns the front house; he prefers the filth because' he thus saves some money. He buys and sells rags, a perfect chiffonier. Not one decent sleeping apartment can be found on the entire premises, and not one stove properly arranged. The carbonic acid gas, in conjunction with the other emanations from the bones, rags and human filth, defies description. Average rent of apartments $3,50 a month. The rooms are 6X10 feet, bedrooms 5x6 feet. It will be noticed that there are very few children in all these tenement houses, the reason being that the offspring of such parents have only a small amount of vitality; with but a vegetable existence, they either wither under the scorching sun of summer, or chill to death in the winter."

Documents of the Assembly of the State of New York, Volume 4 By New York (State). Legislature. Assembly, 1860

Sheriff Street Rag Pickers, 1865

In the Report of the Council of hygiene and public health of the Citizens' Association of New York upon the sanitary condition of the city By Citizens' Association of New York. Council of Hygiene and Public Health, Citizens' Association of New York Edition: 2 Published by D. Appleton and Co., 1865, 360 pages.

"The place and its inhabitants have been aptly described in the following language by Dr. Guernsey in a special report made to the New York Sanitation Association by that Physician:

"This nuisance should be destroyed. It is situated in the rear of Nos. __ and _ Sheriff street. The houses are of wood, 2 stories with attic and basement. The attic rooms are used to deposit filthy rags and bones as they are taken from the gutter and slaughterhouses. The yards are filled with dirty rage hung up to dry, sending forth a stench to all the neighborhood and is exceedingly nauseous, operating upon me as a emetic. The tenants are all Germans of the lowest order, having no national or personal pride. They are exceedingly filthy in person and their bedclothes are as dirty as the floors they walk on. There food is of the poorest quality, and their feet and heads, and doubtless there whole bodies, are anasarcous4, suffering from what they call rheumatism, but which is in reality a prostrate nervous system, the result of foul air and inadequate supply of nutritious food. They have a peculiar tastes for association of dogs and cats, there being about 50 of the former and 30 of the latter. The whole number of apartments is 32, occupied by 28 families, numbering 120 in all, 60 adults and 60 children. The yards are small and the sinks running with filth. The owner of this row is _____ and of the other __. The latter gentleman is a wealthy man and lives with his tenants in the rear, although he owns the front house; he prefers the filth because he thus saves money. He buys and sells rags - a perfect "chiffonier." Not one decent sleeping apartment can be found on the entire premises and not one stove properly arranged. The carbonic-arid gas, in conjunction with the other emanations from bones, rags, and human filth, defies description. The rooms are 6 by 10; bedrooms 5 by 6 feet. The inhabitants lead a miserable existence and their children wilt and die in their infancy."

4 A general accumulation of serous fluid in various tissues and body cavities. (Online free dictionary)

5 I believe that "Dr. Guernsey" was Dr. Egbert Guernsey, who according to a New York Times article in 1890 was a person whose "name had long been associated with works of a public nature".

For more information on Dr Guernsey go to Dr. Guernsey now or at the bottom of the page.

Sheriff Street Rag Pickers, 1868

The Third Annual Report of the Metropolitan Broad of Health, State of New York published in 1868 does not specifically target 88-90 Sheriff Street.

However, the following comments were made regarding Sheriff Street.

"For instance, one house in Sheriff Street, having a population of ninety-six persons, had four deaths in nine months. This house, although one of the most modern in that street, is also one of the most dismal. The bed-rooms are dark and unventilated; the halls closed and fetid, and the entire building arranged wholly with regard to the numbers of families the space may be made to contain, without any provision for their heath and comfort. Two other houses on one lot which faces the same street, with an open privy in the little yard between them, having an aggregated population of fifty-eight persons yielded a similar mortality."
And "the four blocks in the rag-pickers district on Sheriff and Willett streets" the so called "fever nests" were described as having:
"an utter neglect of ventilation and adequate means for daily scavenging and purification of the tenement-blocks, that they invite and perpetuate the most pernicious infections, and thus become sources of peril not only to their own inhabitants, but to the wealthier classes in their vicinity."

An English Perspective on the New York Rag Pickers, 1878

LONDON SOCIETY AND ILLUSTRATED MAGAZINE LISGHT AND AMUSING LITERATURE THE HOURS OF RELAXATION VOLUMEN XXX LONDON 1876

Article by George Makepeace Towle

Quite a different prospective of the German rag pickers is provided in this English article published in 1876. It does not specifically mention Sheriff street but clearly refers to the GERMAN rag pickers versus others of a "lower class" of rag picker found in New York City.

"As to the greater variety in the phases of New York poverty, this is clearly due to the fact that the New York poor are, in the main, the refuse of the older nations - the scum of the tares of immigration."
Despite statements like the one above this article almost makes the rag picker seem a hero: he required little capital, was free to work when he wanted, the "wistfulness of humanity" was his opportunity. It was deemed preferable to mining, dreary factory work, or working the boiler in the bowls of a ship.

"This is an age, particularly in England and America, of a very vivid interest on the part of the well-to-do in the condition of and alleviation of the very poor."
The writer goes on to say.
"The rag pickers of New York have been objects of especial interest and study to ladies devoted to the cause of ameliorating human suffering."
Rag picker collected anything that could possible be reused or sold for reuse. Once the days gathering was done the rag picker returned to his home to sort his findings. An active an skilled rag picker could make a decent wage.

This writer states that there was a social order among the rag pickers and that for many immigrants it was but a stepping stone to a better life. Many unemployed newly arrived immigrants turned to rag picking because it required "nothing but hands and feet and moderate energy".

"There is, in a obscure, but by no means squalid, by-street of New York a colony of these German rag-pickers, who have collected together on the principle that poverty loves, company, and after the social manner of Teutons everywhere. Here are about a hundred families, comprising between four and five hundred persons. They are in no sense paupers. Not more than two families live in the same house; and the houses are neat, not gloomy, two-story buildings. Several bear-gardens near at hand attest the fact that they are neither too poor not too disheartened to patronize amusements the taste for which they have brought hither from the Faderland. Enter their houses: you will see nothing to revolt you; everything is neat and tidy, though scant, perhaps, and homely; and there is a look about the housed which is really home-like. In the morning you will see the groups of clean neatly dressed children coming out of the houses, and if you follow them you will see them enter the great brick public school several squares off, where they are taught in common with the children of the well-to-do citizens."
This could certainly be describing Sheriff Street as it appears in the censures, versus the depiction in the press.


Some Thoughts

Rag pickers were (and in some places in the world still are) a symbol of the bottom of the barrel, comparable with beggars, paupers and vagrants.

At the same time, Jacob Riis portrayed the New York City German rag pickers as hard working and industrious people who later became "thrifty tradesmen and farmers".


The Rag Pickers Myth?

The press reported large numbers of rag picking families and people living together on Sheriff Street - numbers 88 and 90 are specifically mentioned. Some of these rag pickers were supposed to have made enough money at their trade to buy land in the "West" and become successful farmers.

Questions:

  1. How many people actually lived at 88-90 Sheriff st.?

  2. Did the move west, and if so where?

The press reported:

  1. January 1853 - 300 rag picker to a house - a colony of 300 moved to the West "last year" = 1852

  2. April 1853 - 50 families in one large building - a colony of 300 moved to the West in "last year"

  3. 1857 - 50 families to a building

  4. 1857 July - 88 Sheriff, 40 rag pickers, 90 Sheriff street, 50 rag pickers

  5. 1858 - "hundreds" at 88 - 90 Sheriff Street

  6. 1865 - 32 apartments, 128 families, 60 adults and 60 children

  7. 1878 - Hundred families comprising 400 to 500 people - migration to the West, not necessarily as a group
The censuses show:
  1. 1850

    • At 88 Sheriff - 3 families - baker, grocer, tailor- total 14 people
    • At 90 Sheriff 12 families - all laborers and one shoemaker - total 39 people
  2. 1855

    • 88 Sheriff 4 families - 2 laborers and 2 rag pickers - total 19 people

  3. 1860

    • 88 Sheriff 7 families total 28 people - bier saloon, shoe maker, house framer, 3 laborer, and a washerwoman.
    • 90 Sheriff 4 families total 19 people - grocer, laborer, carpenter, tailor

  4. 1865

    Not available for Manhattan.

  5. 1870
    • 88 Sheriff 27 families - 174 people - 2 rag pickers grocer, clerk, pedlar, 2 blacksmiths, musician, 8 laborers, 2 shoemaker, feed store, 2 washerwomen, carman & goldsmith,
    • 90 Sherriff 20 families - 58 people - 8 laborers, locksmith, washerwoman sigar maker & dealer in bottles. In a duplicate count of the rear of 90 Sheriff there were 5 rag pickers and a scavenger

Where are the 40 or 50 families and hundreds of people who were supposed to live at these addresses?

A Federal census was taken in 1890. The city of New York felt that the census did not correctly reflect the population of the city and as a consequence took a census of their own in the fall of 1890. Known as the Police Census (because it was taken by members of the Police department) it recorded 13% more people than the Federal census.

If we apply the same difference of count to 88- 90 Sheriff in the 1850 census we get a 60 people instead of 53. Hardly hundreds! To get a mere 106 the census would have to be off by 200 percent. Is that possible? A principle purposes of the census was to make a count of all the people. Could the count be so skewed? It is very hard to know where the writers of the articles got there statistics. Were they making them up for dramatic impact? Did someone start with a figure and the rest just follow suit? What was happening here?

The July 1857 is closest to the number of actual people reported in the building, but you can hardly count infants as rag pickers. The 1865 is suspect not only for the total number but the split of the number into 60 adults and 60 children. The families in these building were heavy on small children.

There were rag pickers and bone dealers at Sheriff street as indicated by the 1855 census and the 1856 City Directory connected with the Schneider family. However, even if it is assumed that all of the laborers were actually rag and bone men it still would not reflect how 88 and 90 Sheriff street were written about in the press.

1860 census takers were paid two cents per person reported. Jason Gauthier of the History Staff at the U.S. Census Bureau in reply to my question: "Were the 1860 census takers paid a certain sum for each name they put in the official return? If so, how could this have effected an accurate census count?" replied:

"Census enumerators in 1860 were U.S. marshals and their assistance. At the time, they were paid per person/household enumerated. As you can imagine, this could lead to dishonesty given that the more people enumerated meant an increased paycheck. This was an ongoing problem that by the early 20th century was given the name "curbstoning." The term refers to enumerators sitting "on the curb" and filling out census schedules with assumed or fictitious information without actually visiting the households. It saved the enumerator time, meant a shorter workday, and an increased paycheck."
In light of this, I would expect a higher number of people reported, rather than a lower number of people reported at 88 - 90 Sheriff Street.

Did The Rag Pickers Go West? And, if so, where did they go?

The 1853 it was stated that a colony of 300 German rag pickers had moved to the west to settle on farms. This was supposed to have occurred in the spring of 1852. There were several references over a period of time to the rag pickers moving west.

The rag pickers were reported to be at 88 and 90 Sheriff street in July and August, 1856. They were still reported to be there in 1857, 1858 and 1865.

Jacob Riis, the social reformer, states:

"The Sheriff Street Colony of rag-pickers, long since gone, is an instance in point. The thrifty Germans saved up money during years of hard work in squalor and apparently wretched poverty to buy a township in a Western State, and the whole colony moved out there in a body. There need be no doubt of their thriving there."

Footnote in How the other Half Lives, by Jacob Riis

I have not found anything concrete about this western migration of the rag pickers. In fact, the most "accused" of the Sheriff Street "rag pickers", the Schneider (Snyder) family, stayed exactly where they were and were still there when the Goehle family arrived at 88 Sheriff Street circa 1890.

Social reformers of the time were horrified by the conditions of many of the immigrant families in New York City. All sorts of efforts were made to improve living conditions. The reformers ideal was to move people from the dirty, crowed, disease ridden, inner city to the clean fresh air of the American West. In fact, in the post Civil War period there was a reverse trend occurring, whereby people from the farms were moving into the industrialized cities.

I am still trying to determine if any of the people who lived at this address ended up in the "West". Hopefully more research with reveal something concrete on this subject.

Rag Pickers in Ward 11 in 1860, 1870, 1880 and 1890

The censuses for 1850, 1860, 1880, and 1890 do not show any bone or rag pickers at 88 - 90 Sheriff street. The 1855 New York State Census and the 1870 Federal Census do show rag pickers on Sheriff Street. See below.

A True Life Rag Picker's Success

Louis B Mayer, Hollywood studio mogul and the executive of MGM, was born in Russian circa 1885. The family immigrated to Canada were his father, Jacob Meir, had a scrap metal business. Later Louis B Mayer had his own metal juck business in Boston. The scrap metal business (or junk business) in the early 1900s was not too different from the rag picking business. It was a little more up scale in that the scrap metal man had a horse and cart instead of a dog and cart.

In fact, James Boyle of 90 Sheriff street was listed as a junk store owner in 1851. Several other residences of 88 - 90 Sheriff street were listed in the directories as "junk" dealers.


90 TO 82 SHERIFF STREET IN THE 1850 CENSUS

Addresses were not listed in this census. The addresses as listed here were determined by comparisons to other records.

Note: The first of the articles that I found refers to the rag pickers on Sheriff Street in 1853.

  1. #511 = 90 Sheriff (by default)

    1. Family # 2014, (hard to read Ancestry says Jon Miller: Fits name looks like "Jnals". The ending is definitely alf or als) Miller, 27, laborer, born Germany, Cath, 33, born Germany, Chas 6 months, born NY.

    2. #2015, Fredk Florence 29 laborer, Germany, Fredrica 37, Germany, Christinia 7 months, New York

    3. #2016, Charles _ Dietz 35 laborer, born Germany, Cath 27 born Germany

    4. #2017, Jno Sturr (?) 35, laborer, born Germany, Margt 35, born Germany, Jon 3 born NY, Margt 7 months born NY

    5. John Stun 40 Germany, Mary 34, Jno 13, Cath 10 Eliz 8, _utrick 6, Lucinda 4 all born Germany and Joseph age 1 born NY

    6. Joseph Snider* 35 (or 56) laborer born Germany, Margaret 48, Christian 17, clerk Fredrica 16, Barbara 7, all born Germany, Jacob 6 born NY

    7. #2020 John Shnap 46 laborer, Germany, Mary 43, Joseph 6 Mary 3 all born Germany

    8. #2021 Fredk Comer 30 laborer, Dorothy 25 both born Germany

    9. #2022 Christopher Beck 31 laborer, born Germany

    10. #2023 John Han (Hau) 30 shoemaker, Magdelena 27, Cath Beck 31 all born Germany

    11. #2024 Philip Smith, 30 laborer, Elizt 30, Mary Anne 10, born Germany, Mary 2 born NY

    12. #2025 Philip Radder 46 laborer Germany and Dorothy 54

    *This is the Schneider family who resided at 88 Sheriff Street for many years.

  2. #512 = 88 Sheriff

    1. #2026, Margaret Weaver, 31, Germany, Jno 13, Germany, Wm 9 Germany, Ann 6, NY, Jno 33, baker, Germany.

    2. #2027 Martin Grofman**, 38 grocer, Sophia 27, Harry Tompkins 21 clerk, Ann Grofman 24, Harry Grofman18 all born Germany

    3. #2028 Wm Wise, 23 tailor, Magdelena 22 Miller, _As-ler 34 Miller, Laura 35 all born Germany

    **Listed as Martin Graffleman, grocer in the 1851 city directory at 88 Sheriff Street.
  3. #513 = 86 Sheriff St

    1. #2029 Phillip Schwartz, 47 porter house, Elizth 29, Cathre 6 Jno 2 born NY, rest born Germany

    2. #2030 Joseph Thompson*** 43 trunk maker, Scotland, Sarah 34 Virginia, Louisa 12 NN, Adalaide Thompson 8 NY Josephine 2 NY, James Joyce 25 boatman, Sarah Joyce 24 both born NY

    3. #2030 Mich Fa--mey 30 machinist, Ireland, Cathrn 25, Ireland

    4. #2032 Ferdnand Ryan 71, painter Germany, Sodona Ryan 42 Germany

    5. #2033 Jno Howell 24, Por B --wen born Germany, Margaret 23 born Germany

    6. #2034 Jno Wright cooper, age 30 Mary 18, both born Germany

    7. #2035 Mich Ryan 26 "none" NY, Susan 23, NY

    ***Joseph Thompson boxes listed at 86 Sheriff in the 1851 City Directory
  4. #514 = 84 Sheriff Street

    1. #2036, Chas Cuchen****, 38, cabinet maker, Germany, Emma 33 Chas 10 both born Germany, Lewis 8 and Bertha 3 born New York

    2. #2037 Denis Donover***** 43, carpenter, Ireland, Mary 37, Ireland, Denis 14, born Ireland, Mary 8 born NY, Jno 5 born NY, Danile (/) 1 born NY

    3. #2038 Jno Manger 48 cabman, born Ireland, Mary 46, Mich 25, ____ 23m '--anna 13 all born Ireland

  5. ****Charles Kuchne cabinet maker 84 Sheriff in the 1851 city directory.

    *****Denis Conovan, carman 84 Sheriff Street in the 1851 City Directory.

  6. #515 = 82 Sheriff Street

    1. #2039 Chas Fitzpatrick******, 50, MD $2,300, born Ireland Margt 33 born Ireland

    2. James Concklyn,******* 45 shoemaker, Margt 36, both born Ireland, Wm 17, pencil caser, Jane 15, Margt 13, Ellen 8, James 5 Mary 3 all born NY

  7. ******Charles Fitzpatrick physician listed in the 1851 city directory at 82 Sheriff Street

    *******James Cochlan no occupation listed at 84 Sheriff Street in the 1851 directory.


SHERIFF STREET IN 1851

An 1851 City Directory includes the following listings for the east side of Sheriff Street between Rivington and Stanton:

  1. 72
    Klous Brant, grocer (Claus Brunt in the 1850 census) (Not listed 1857 Directory)
  2. 74
    John Smith
    M Head
  3. 76
    Thomas Hughes, painter
    Henry Hanly (1857 Not under Hanly or Hanley)
  4. 78
    G A Marks, bootmaker
  5. 80
    John Nantz, shoemaker
    A C Thompson
    Phineas Menard, hatter
  6. 82
    Charles Fitzpatrick, physician (at 82 Sherriff in 1850 census)
    James Cochlan (as Concklyn in the 1850 Census, 82 Sheriff St) (1857 not under Chochlan)
  7. 84
    Charles Kuehne, cabinet maker (as Cuchen in the 1850 census 84 Sheriff)
    Denis Donovan, carman (as Donover in the 1850 census at 84 Sheriff)
    John Murray carman
  8. 86
    Joseph Thompson, boxes (at 86 Sheriff in the 1850 Census)
    Fredrick Beyer, painter (not listed at 86 Sheriff in 1850)
  9. 88
    Martin Graffleman, grocer* (as Grofman in the 1850 census)
  10. 90
    James Boyle, iron** (1857 at 24 Mangin street home 53 Broome)
  11. 92
    Daniel Ahrensburgh, beer (1857 not under Arnesburgh)
  12. 94
    Conrad Raush, barber
  13. 96
    Anthony Trastman, locksmith
    Jacob Burmer (1857 not under Burmer)
  14. 98
    John Snider, bootmaker
    John Purtz, tinman
    John Young****
  15. 100
    Nicholas Hahn, grocer***

*Grafelman at this address: 1851, 1859, 1860, 1862, 1863 and 1865. See Grafelman below.

**James Boyle at this address: 1856. He lived on Mangin Street.

***Nicholas Hahn was listed in the 1860 census: Ward 11, #-58 family #2157, Nicholas Hahn 23, grocer, born Germany, and Henry Otter 20 "clerke". He was listed in the 1860 census in the 4th district of ward 7 with a family, grocer, $1,000 born Hanover.

****John Young was listed in the 1860 Census at 98 Sheriff. Listed as John Jung in the 1859 City directory.

Note: "Christopher Schneider NOT listed.


SHERIFF STREET IN THE 1855 NEW YORK STATE CENSUS

The 1855 New York State census microfilm for Ward 11 Ed #3 which contains 88 - 90 Sheriff street is almost impossible to read.

The census was taken June 4, 1855. It lists a population in ED #3 Ward 11 of 3,433 which includes 764 families in 189 dwellings. The occupations that I could make out were the usual carmen, tailors, laborers, seamen, carpenters, and shoemakers. At the end of each ED a list was made of the deaths in the ED for the year. I cannot make out any of the ages or causes of deaths for ED#3 but the number of deaths was 76.

I could not make a complete search for the rag pickers because of the difficulty reading the pages. However I did find the following group of rag pickers on what is surely Sheriff Street:

  1. Dwelling #89 a wooden building 3 families including: Jacob ____ age either 54 or 34 and his wife either 50 or 30 who were ragpickers.

  2. Dwelling #90, a wooden building, 1 family: Jacob Mars, age 28 born Germany, rag picker. John Mars, brother, age 26 born German and William Bour-- age 45, no occupation and no ditto mark, his wife Catherine, age 4-, Catherine 26, Conrad, 24, Charlotte (?) 17, Margaret 12, and Jacob (?) age 8 and Charlotte _______, age 56 cousin

  3. Dwelling #91, a wooden building, contained 4 families, 2 rag pickers and 2 laborers:
    1. Joseph Raymone age 39, rag picker, ---line 28 wife, John child and --- child
    2. John _ Worrter age 41 labourer and his family
    3. Christopher Snider* age 55 laborer, Margaret wife age 52, Frederica daughter age 10, Barbara 12, Jacob age 10
    4. Michael ___ rag picker, and his family wife Barbara, child Margaret, Margaret --- boarder and ---- same last name age 1

Notes:
  • "Christian Schneider" was listed in the 1855-56 NYC Directory as "bones", 88 Sheriff. Christopher Snider and Christain Schneider are one and the same. Snider is an accepted spelling variation for Schneider. The names, Christopher, Christian and Cris were all used for this individual. See the Schnieder family below.

  • 5 rag pickers who labeled themselves as such.

  • In 1850 there were 12 families in the same building with the Schneider family, which could indicate that this census was underreported. However, there were only 4 families listed at this address in 1860.


88 SHERIFF STREET 1859/1860

The 1856 article decrying the state of 88 Sheriff Street listed "Christian Snyder" as a a part owner and made an oblique reference to " Hans Snyder". Clean up was attempted in 1858, but the address was still being vilified in 1865.

The 1859 New York City directory shows "Christian Schenider" grocer at 88 Sheriff Street. There is no appropriate listing for Hans (or John) Schneider and/or Snyder.

John Schneider is listed on page 102 in the 2nd Division of the 11th Ward in the 1860 census. No addresses are given. I checked a few of the neighbors in the 1860 census and found:

  • George Eisenhauer, "house painter", in the 1860 census on page 100 of the 2nd Division of Ward 11. George Eisenhauer, "plasterer", was listed at 82 Sheriff street in the 1859 NYC Directory.
  • John Andress age 66 "laborer" born Bavaria, in the 1860 census on page 101 of the 2nd Division of the 11th Ward. John Andres, "rags" 88 Sheriff Street in the 1859 directory
  • Jacob Wolf, 'bier saloon", in the 1860 census on page 104 of the 2nd division of Ward 11. Jacob Wolf, "liquors" was listed at 96 Sheriff street in the 1859 NYC Directory
I believe, despite the lack of address in the in the 1860 census, that John Schneider, grocer, was the "notorious" owner/landlord at 88-90 Sheriff Street. George Eisenhauer at 82 and Jacob Wolf at 96 Sheriff nicely bracket what was clearly includes 88-90 Sheriff Street. The dwellings are numbered 169 through 176 (8 dwellings) in the order of the house visited (not necessarily corresponding to street address). That would cover nos. 82, 84, 86, 88, 90, 92, 94, and 96 (8 dwellings). I am not entirely certain which # corresponds to which address other than to say that dwelling # 169 appears to be 82 Sheriff and # 176 appears to be no 96 based on the corresponding listings in the 1859 City directory.

What unfolds in the 1860 census is a slightly more benign image than the one portrayed in the press.

Starting with the 169th dwelling surveyed in the 2nd Division of the 11th Ward (which I believe represents 82 Sheriff Street) and ending with the 176th dwelling counted (which I believe represents 94 Sheriff street) we have:

  1. #169 = 82 Sheriff Street *George Eisenhauer was listed at 82 in the 1859 City directory.

    1. Jacob Heise, age 28, vender, $300, born Hesse Darmstadt, Catherine age 24, born Hesse Darmstadt, Catherine age 2 born New York

    2. George Eisenhauer* age 58, house painter, $400, born Hesse Darmsstadt, Elizabeth age 41 born Bavaria, Nicholas, age 25, guilder, $500, born Hesse Darmstadt, John age 16 guilder $50, born Hesse Darmstadt, Elizabeth age 11 born Hesse Darmstadt

      Passport Application: Nicholas Eisenhauer born Furth in Hesse Darmstadt, Germany, 16 October 1834, naturalized citizen of the US, June 18, 1857 court of Common pleas City of New York, 11 March 1887, age 52, years, 5 ft 11 inches, blond hair, blue eyes
      1RS Tax record: Nichaols Eisenhauer, 134 6th street, income under $5,000, value $519, tax $25.95

    3. Philipp Stelz age 47 tailor $300, Elizabeth age 49, Anna E age 21, Charles age 20, "segar maker" $20, Madeline, 18 soap maker, George age 16, guilder, Philip age 12, apprentice segar maker Peter 11, Mary 7 and John 5, all born Hesse Darmstadt

    4. John Keich age 39 saw filer $200, Bavaria, Matilda age 40, Bavaria, Barbara 15, tasel maker New York Rosa, 14, Mary 5, Eliza 3, John 7 months

      Children born New York

    5. Lena Rohma age 34 midwife $200 born Hesse Darmstadt, Catherine age 13, William age 12, Lena age 8, Mathew 3 Elizabeth age 8 months Eva Schellensher, nurse, age 68 born Hesse Darmstadt. Children all born New York.

    6. Philip Bouast age 27 laborer, $200 Bavaria, Elizabeth age 32, Louise age 3, Caroline age 6 months. Wife and children born New York

    7. Jacob Miller, age 33, shoe maker $200 Wurtenberg, Catherine age 29 Wurtemburg, Henry age 6, Catherine age 4 Mary age 2 John age 3 months all born NYC

    8. John Trumell age 50 laborer $100, Ireland, Eliza age 46 Eliza age 20, Thomas age 18, carman, Jane 15, "tailoress", Mary A 13 Robert P 6 all born Ireland

    Number of dwellings at 82 Sheriff Street in 1860: 8

    Occupation at 82 Sheriff in 1860: vender, house painter, 2 guilders, tailor, cigar maker, soap maker, saw filer, tasel maker, midwife, nurse, shoemaker, carman, tailoress, and 2 laborers.

    Number of people at 82 Sheriff in 1860: 50

    Nationalities: German (Hesse Darmstadt, Bavaria & Wurtenberg), Irish (1), born New York

  2. #170 = 84 Sheriff Street **John Andress was listed at 88 Sheriff street in the 1859 Directory, but people moved around and the numbering make more sence this way.

    1. Nicholas Ireack (?) age 56, tailor, $70 Bavaria, John Andress** age 66, laborer, $70 Bavaria, Elizabeth Andres age 40, Mary age 3 all born Bavaria

    2. Elizabeth Echardt age 50 $400 born Hesse Darmstadt, Ludwig age 20 tailor, Henry age 14 carver, Charles age 12 all born Hesse Drmnstadt

    3. Peter Heickenbien age 28 shoemaker $100 born Hesse Darmstadt. Eva 30 born Bavaria, Barbara age 3 born NY

    4. Adam Wright age 23, carman $50, born France, Anna age 26, born Prussia, John age 3 born NY

    5. Michael Strencher age 23 carman $200 Bavaria, Margaret age 20 born Hesse Darmstadt

    6. Adam Reikmbier age 37 carpenter $100 Bavaria, Anna age 36 Bavaria, Margaret 3 NY, Anna 2 NY

    Number of dwellings at 84 Sheriff Street in 1860: 6

    Occupation at 84 Sheriff in 1860: 2 tailor, laborer, carver,shoemaker, 2 carmen and a carpenter.

    Number of people at 84 Sheriff in 1860: 20

  3. #171 = 86 Sheriff

    1. Slavin Byrne age 30 laborer $100 Ireland. Mary age 28, Ireland, John age 7, Elizabeth age 4, Thomas age 2

    2. Michael Sullivan age 35 carman$600, Ireland Catherine 33 Ireland, Ellen 8, John 5, Daniel 2 Patrick H 4 months all born New York

    3. William Logan 24 carman Ireland, Margaret 23 Ireland, George 1 NY

    4. John McCullen 35 carman $200 Ireland, Ellen 31 Ireland Robert 11 NY

    Number of dwellings at 86 Sheriff Street in 1860: 4

    Occupation at 86 Sheriff in 1860: laborer, 3 carman

    Number of people at 86 Sheriff in 1860: 17

    Nationality: Irish

  4. #172 = 88 Sheriff Street

    1. George Gernand age 42 bier saloon $50, Hesse Darmsdadt, Elizabeth age 40, Jacob age 17, clerk, Adam age 14 guilder all born Hesse Darmstadt

    2. George Wolft age 50 shoe maker $300 Bavaria, Christine age 48, born Bavaria John carman age 19, born Bavaria, Elizabeth, 16, straw hats, born Bavaria, Caroline age 13 born NY, Faldeen 8 born NY

    3. Andrew Teacker (?) house framer$100, Bavaria, Barbara 47, Bavaria, Barbara 6, New York

    4. Michael Kroupp 46 laborer $200 Bavaria, Mary age 36 Bavaria, Mary 9, Lena 7 George 4, Louis 2 all born NY

    5. Christine Brower 25 washerwoman Hesse Darmstadt, Anna 1 New York, Rosa 1 Louisa 4 months all born New York

    6. William Moss 46, laborer $200 Bavaria, Susan 36 Bavaria, Henry age 10 NY

    7. Bastian Edingger 30, laborer $15 Bavaria, Christopher 20 Bavaria

    Number of dwellings at 88 Sheriff Street in 1860: 7

    Occupation at 88 Sheriff in 1860: beer salon, shoe maker, carman, straw hats, house framer, washerwomen and 3 laborers.

    Number of people at 88 Sheriff in 1860: 28

    Nationality:

    Note: NONE of the people who were at 88 Sheriff in 1860 were still there in 1870.

    George Gernand was listed "beer, 82 Sheriff. George Wolf (Wolft), Andrew Teacker, Michael Kroupp, Christine Brower, William Moss, and Bastian Edinger were not listed in the 1869 City Directory.

  5. #173 = 90 Sheriff Street

    ***This is the infamous landlord/owner of 88-90 Sheriff Street.

    1. John Schneider*** age 27, grocer $75. Wurtenberg, Caroline age 26 New York John E 5, William H 2, Charles 1, Jacob 15 months

    2. George Erold 40 laborer $100, Bavaria, Elizabeth 50, Bavaria.

    3. Charles Noure age 38 carpenter $50 Bavaria, Barbara 27, Bavaria, Dorada 7 NY Frederick 3 NY

    4. Frederick Geoble 30 tailor $50 Bavaria, Madeline 34, Bavaria, Madeline 10 Bavaria, Frederick 4 NY, Margaret 3 NY, John 11 months NY Catherine 11 months NY.

    Number of dwellings at 90 Sheriff Street in 1860: 4

    Occupations at 90 Sheriff Street in 1860: grocer, laborer, carpenter, tailor

    Number of people at 90 Sheriff in 1860: 19

    Nationality:

    Note: NONE of the people who were at 90 Sheriff in 1860 were still there in 1870.

    John Schneider had moved to 88 Sheriff. George Erold, Charles Noure, and Frederick Geoble were not listed in the 1869 City Directory.

  6. #174 = 92 Sheriff ??

    1. Henry Grafelmann 28 grocer, $300, Hanover, John Vonerleath 26 clerk Hanover,

      Note: Martin "Graffleman" grocer was listed at 88 Sheriff Street in the 1851 NYC Directory.

    2. Jacob Teack (?) 64 laborer $50 Wurtenburg. Rosa, 60, Wurtenbery,

    3. Joseph Foin 26 waiter, $100 Bavaria, Barbara 23, Bavaria

    4. Joseph Freighman, 45 laborer $75 Bavaria, Barbara 33 Bavaria, John 8, Joseph 6 Mary 3 Eva 7 months, children born NY.

    5. John Seighef, 46 shoe maker $100 Bavaria Catherine 44 Bavaria, Rosa 17, hoop skirt maker Bavaria, Michael 12, NY

    6. John Glauss, 26 butcher, $200, Wertemberg Christine 24 Wurtemberg

    7. Francis Sell 41 exchange office $100 Bavaria, Feresa 38 Eliza 10 Henry Gaueman 24 tailor all born Bavaria

    Number of dwellings at 92 Sheriff Street in 1860: 7

    Occupations at 92 Sheriff Street in 1860: grocer, clerk, waiter, laborer, shoe maker, hoop skirt maker, butcher, exchange officer and tailor.

    Number of people at 92 Sheriff in 1860: 22

    Nationality:

  7. #175 = 94 Sheriff

    1. Philip Reicker 50 house carpenter, $300 Wurtemberg, Margaret 46, Wurtemberg, Jacob 14 segar maker, Wurtemberg, Bena 12, Wurtemberg, Christine 7, NY, Henry 6 NY, Catherine 4 NY, Jacob Yearck 69, laborer, Wurtemberg

    2. Charles Hoeats, 52, exchange officer $1,000, Wurtemberg, Frances 49, Wurtemberg, William 14, Wurtemberg, Christopher Schmidt 22, Wurtemberg, segar maker, Margaret Beinerbach age 32, servant, Bavaria

    3. Francis Kainey, 55, $25, Physician, Bavaria

    4. John Seabach 51, $25, carpenter Bavaria, Catherine 53, Bavaria, John, 32, segar maker, Bavaria

    5. Frederick Vurfer 40 baker $500 Bavaria, Sarah 37 Bavaria, Charles 22 baker, Hanover

    Number of dwellings at 92 Sheriff Street in 1860: 5

    Occupations at 92 Sheriff Street in 1860: house carpenter, loborer, exchange officer, servant, physician, carpenter, 2 "segar" makers and 2 bakers

    Number of people at 92 Sheriff in 1860: 20

    Nationality: Wurtemberg, Bavaria, Hanover

  8. #176 = 96 Sheriff Street

    1. Jacob Wolf* age 44 bier saloon, $1,500 Bavaria, Agnes, 45, Barbara 17, dress maker Bavaria, Margaret 14, Bavaria, Jacob 12, NY, Agnes 7, NY, Frederick 1 NY, Jacob Yearck 69 laborer Wurtemberg

      Note: Jacob and his wife immigrated in 1855: Jacob Wolf, age 39, Agnes age 40, Elisah 18, Marie 17, Barbara 12, Margaret 9, Jacob 7, Johann 6 Agnes 3, -nath 3 male, Elizabeth age 4 form Baden, May 21 1855 from Le Harve to New York.

    2. Jacob Sprange labourer $100, Wurtenberg, Barbara 23 Bavaria, Henry 2 NY, Charles 3 months NY

    3. Matthew Leoud 30 bone dealer $1,200, Bavaria, Matilda 28 Bavaria, Peter 4 NY, Mary 3 months NY

    4. George Fredmel 30 laborer $100 Hesse Darmstadt, Barbara 30, Bavaria, John 6 NY, George 4, John Kloust 45, laborer $200, Wurtneberg, Margaret 40 Wurtneberg, Henry 16, George 14, Frederic 7, Frederick 5, Adam 1 all born NY

    5. John Cormann 53 laborer Bavaria, Bernard Cormann 50 Bavaria.

    * Listed in the 1859 NYC Directory at 96 Sheriff street, liquors

  9. #177 = 98

    1. John, Young*, 50 grocer, $2,000, $800, Hesse Darmnstadt, Christine 50, Hesse Darmstadt, Catherine 8 New York, Christine Schafer 18 hoop skirt maker, Hesse Darmnstadt

    2. Henry Bosser age 45, $100 Bavaria no occupation listed, Margaret, 45, Bavaria, Peter 14, Bavaria, Margaret 10, New York

    3. Adam Leoud, 49 laborer, Bavaria, Catherine 62, Bavaria

    4. Christine Mensing 32, scavanger, $200, Wurtemberg, Margaret 28 Hesse Darmstadt, Louisa 1 New York, Margaret 1 month New York

    5. Michael Heild 52, laborer, $100, Wurtemberg, Mary 51, Wurtemberg, Peter, 12, New York

    6. Adam Overmill 45 laborer Wurtemberg, Catherine 40 Wurtemberg, Adam 10 New York

    7. John Haun 38, segar maker $200 Hesse Darmstadt, Eliza 34 Hesse Darmstadt
    * John "Jung" listed at 98 Sheriff in 1865 IRS Tax. John Young Vegetables was listed in the 1851 City Directory.
Listed in the 1859 Directory on Sheriff street:
  1. Elizabeth Wolf, wid of William h 90 Sheriff
  2. George J Wolf, carman 98 Sherriff
  3. Jacob Wolf see above

1859 City Directory from Distant Cousins

Notes:

  • There were no rag or bone pickers listed in the censuses at 82, 84, 86, 88, 90, 92, or 94 Sheriff.
  • There was a bone dealer at # 96 - Matthew Leoud. It is interesting to note how much more money personal wealth he had than his neighbors. The only other person of wealth was Jacob Wolf the bier saloon owner.
  • At 98 there was the family of Christine Mensing "scavenger"
  • John Andress listed at 84 Sheriff in the 1860 census as a "labourer" was listed in the 1859 city directory as "rags"

Where are the 28 families with 120 inhabitants running the rag business at 88 & 90 Sheriff street as described in 1865?

While unnumbered, it can be inferred from comparisons to other articles that Dr. Guernsey was referring to 88 -90 Sheriff street when he wrote in 1865: "The whole number of apartments is 32, occupied by 28 families, numbering 120 in all, 60 adults and 60 children." While unnamed, he basically accused John Schneider of being the wealthy owner of the building and running the rag business.

John Schneider does appear to be the owner of 88 - 90 Sheriff.

The census shows 7 families with 28 people at 88 Sheriff and 4 families with 19 people at 90 Sheriff. A total of 13 families and 48 people. Even if we assume that the 3 "laborers" at 88 Sheriff and the 1 "laborer" at 90 Sheriff were rag pickers we have to consider that the others in the building had more mundane occupations like shoemaker, house farmer, carpenter and tailor. Censuses can be misleading and not every one was always counted. There was also a reported clean up at these addresses in 1856. However, Robert Ernst in Immigrant Life in New York City, in Appendix 1 says:

"The National census [of 1860], on the other hand, incurred the greatest possible liability to false and excessive returns, by paying the canvassers or takers a certain sum for each name they put upon their official returns."

This could consequently reflected inflated numbers on Sheriff street in 1860, meaning that there were possible less people than counted.

What is the true picture here? Had all the rag pickers moved on by 1860? Were all of the rag pickers hidden from the census taker? Was Dr. Guernsey harkening back to an earlier instance? Was he perpetuating an "urban myth"?


THE EAST SIDE OF SHERIFF STREET BETWEEN RIVINGTON AND STANTON IN 1865

The IRS Tax Records give a brief image of the east side of Sheriff Street in 1865. The following paid taxes:

  1. Grob (?), George, 80 Sheriff Street, retail dealer $10

  2. *Germand, George, 82 Sheriff, dealer liquor, $25 ("Gernand" Geo at 88 Sheriff in 1860)

  3. *Grafelmann, Henry, 90 sheriff, dealer liquor, $25 (Henry "Grafelmann" at 92 Sheriff in the 1860 census)

  4. Hoehnlein, Thomas, 86 Sheriff listed twice, income exceeding $600 and retail dealer liquor, $22.25 and$25

  5. *Jung, John 98 Sheriff, retail dealer $10 (John "Young" (8 Sheriff in 1860)

  6. Mearx, Louis 84 Sheriff Street class peddler $15

  7. Ruhman, Ernst, 94 Sheriff retail dealer $10

  8. *Schneider, Christopher 88 Sheriff income exceeding $600 and retail liquor $70 and $5 (At 88 Sheriff for years)

  9. Stor-, John 92 Sheriff cannot read $10
1865 IRS Taxes Division 7, District 7 May 1865

There were buildings at numbers 76, 78, 80, 82, 84, 84, 88, 90, 92, 94, and 96. The tax records indicate taxable incomes at numbers: 80 retail store, 82 liquor, 84 peddler, 86 liquor, 88 liquor, 90 liquor, 92 cannot read, 94 retail, 98 retail. Four out of the nine businesses were selling liquor.

*On sheriff street in the 1860 census.


88-90 SHERIFF STREET IN THE 1870 CENSUS

  1. 88 Sheriff, page 48 Ward 11, District #4, #55,

    1. John Schneider**, age 38, grocer, $1,600 (value of real estate) $500 (value of person property) Bavaria, Carole 26, NY, John 15, school, NY, Wm 12 school, NY, Edw 6, Carl ? 3, Fred 2, ______ 3

    2. Henry Dreitfred age 20, clerk Bremen

    3. Chas Forster, 65, pedlar, Bavaria

    4. Christ Miller 42, blacksmith, $150 (vpp) Bavaria, Anne 33, Saxony, Fred 5, NY, Elsie 3, NY, Kate 1 NY, John 3 months NY

    5. Chas Koper 45 musician NY, Mary 42 NY, Chas 19 NY

    6. Jos Zelhan laborer, $150 (vpp) Bavaria, Belle 33 Bavaria, Lena 9, Ann 7, Phillip 3, Kate 1 all born NY

    7. Francis Miller**, 30, blacksmith $150, Baden, May 22, Baden, Aug 2 and Kate 6 mos. born NY

    8. Philip Otz 26 labourer $200, Baden, Elise 43, Baden, Louise 12, school, Carolyn 12 school Geo 7, Bette 4 children born NY

    9. Schanhard Fred 31, goldsmith, $250 vpp), Wurtenberg, Anne 30, Wurtenberg, Ida 9 and Lina 7 both borh NY

    10. Sch-venger, John 43, labourer, $100 Bavaria, Kate 32, Bavaria, Kate 10, Bette 8, John 5 all born NY

    11. Mann, Paul 40, shoemaker, $200, Saxony, Wma (female) 42 Saxony

    12. Von ash ---- 53 "feet" [feed?] store Amise, Elise 39 Curhessen

    13. Sabben Christ 41 shoemaker $200, Wurtenburg, Elisi 30 Prussia, Fretz 12 school Mary 10 school John 8 children all born NY

    14. Serfert, Mary laborer $600 ??, Bavaria, Johann 62, Wurtenburg

    15. Heidemach Car 37, Washwoman, Wurtenburg, Fred 11 school NY

    16. Schneiner, Jos, 80 France, Elise 76 France, Mary 40 washwoman France

    17. Munk, Caspar 58 labourer, Wurtenburg, Pauline 12 school, born Wurtenburg, Wma "F" [female] born NY, 8 Mary 7 born NY

    18. Paul, Frank 40 Carman, Bavaria, Lena 30 France, Mary 13 school, Mich 1 children born NY

    19. Sanday, Mary 60 labourer Bavaria, John 22 segar maker NY

    20. Moris, Peter 43 labourer, Bavaria, Ann 50, Wurtenburg

    21. L-tt, John, 53 labourer, Baden, Lisi 50 Baden, Mary 19, servant, Baden, Amelia, 16 chair maker, NY, Franca 15 servant, NY, Bette 12 school, Bev ?? 9 Mag 5

    An Addition: In August 2011 Tom Sullivan wrote that he had found his ancestor Pauline Munk at 88 Sheriff Street. She is listed at "rear 88 Sheriff Street, but bordering on Stanton" 22nd District, 11 Ward, page 55:

    This was recorded in the "2nd enumeration" of the 1870 census. Some cities claimed to have been undercounted and the census bureau did a recount between December 1870 and January 1871. At the Rear of 88 Sheriff Street were 13 families, several of them were already listed in the original count. I have marked them with *. Despite some strange differences in spelling and the names and ages of several of the children, it is clear that the same families are represented. It is actually a perfect example of the casualness with which much of the census was taken.

    1. *Snyder, John age 40, grocer, born Germany, Carrie age 40 keeping house, born Baltimore, John age 15, Wm age 13, Edward, age 11 Emelia age 9 Geo age 7, children all born NY

      John Schneider, age 38, grocer, $1,600 (value of real estate) $500 (value of person property) Bavaria, Carole 26, NY, John 15, school, NY, Wm 12 school, NY, Edw 6, Carl ? 3, Fred 2, ______ 3

    2. *Miller, Christopher age 40 blacksmith, Ann age 30, keeping house, Fredrich age 5, Eliza age 3 Kate age 2 and John age 1, parents born Germany kids born NY.

      Christ Miller 42, blacksmith, $150 (vpp) Bavaria, Anne 33, Saxony, Fred 5, NY, Elsie 3, NY, Kate 1 NY, John 3 months NY

    3. Zimmerman, Gottlieb age 50 tassil maker Mary age 40, keeping house, John age 14, parents born Germany John born NY

    4. Zellhan, Joseph, 40, Brick yard, born Germany, Barbara, 30, Kate 9, Eliza, 8, Ann, 3

      Note: I did not count them in my original tally of people living in the building..

    5. *Miller Frank age 30 iron worker Margh age 20 keeping house Marta age 2, Kate age 1 parents born Germany children born NY

      Francis Miller, 30, blacksmith $150, Baden, May 22, Baden, Aug 2 and Kate 6 mos. born NY

    6. Rear 88, *Steinhart Fred age 40 iron worker, Ann age 30 keeping house, Ida age 8 Lena age 9 parents born Germany children born NY

      Schanhard Fred 31, goldsmith, $250, Wurtenberg, Anne 30, Wurtenberg, Ida 9 and Lina 7 both borh NY

    7. Rear 88, *Hood Philip age 40 sugar house Eliza age 40 keeping house Louisa age 13, Caroline age 12 Geo age 8 Barbara age 4, parents born German children born NY

      Philip Otz 26 labourer $200, Baden, Elise 43, Baden, Louise 12, school, Carolyn 12 school Geo 7, Bette 4 children born NY

    8. Rear 88, *Mann Wm age 40 shoemaker Pauline age 40 keeping house both born Germany

      Rear 88, Mann, Paul 40, shoemaker, $200, Saxony, Wma (female) 42 Saxony

    9. Rear #88 - Sevetser John age 40 salt factory Kate age 30 keeping house, Barbara age 9 John age 4 Kate age 10 parents born Germany kids born NY

    This indicates an additional 7 families (not an additional 13 families) and brings the total at 88 Sheriff in 1870 to 28 families.

  2. The 1869 Directory New York City Directory listed 4 people who lived at 88 Sheriff Street.

    1. Boos, John, waiter
    2. Finhenauer, Adam, skewermkr
    3. Mueller, Francis, smith**
    4. Schneider, John C, grocer**

    Francis Mueller and John Schneider were listed at this address in the 1870 census. I did not find John Boos or Adam Finhenauer in the 1870 census in NYC.

    I did not find Henry Dreitfred, Chas Forster, Christ Miller (Mueller), Chas Koper, Jos Zelhan, Philip Otz, Fred Schanhard, John Sch-venger, Paul Mann, Von ash, Christ Sabben, Mary Serfert, Car Heidermach, in the 1869. Other names were too common or incomplete.

  3. 90 Sheriff

    1. Eirich, Nic**, 66, labourer, Bavarian, Louise 54, Curhesse, Phillip 6, NY

      Note: Listed as a tailor in the 1869 Directory

    2. Lang, Jac** 58, labourer, Bavaria

      Note: Listed as Lange, junk, in the 1869 Directory

    3. Bertral, Jos**, 67, labourer, France, Carolin 40, France, Jos 11, Kate 3, Bette 3 months, all born NY.

      Note: Listed as Bertrand, laborer, in the 1869 Directory

    4. Miller, Hen**, 50, labourer, Hessedarm, Mina 40, Hessedarm, Louise 7, NY

    5. Elhaver, Fred, 45, locksmith, Wurtenburg, Elise 32, Saxony

    6. Phillips, Martin 24, labourer, Mary 22, Kate 9 months, Mart 2 all born NY

    7. Spitzfaden, Jac** age 70, labourer, Bavaria

      Note: Listed as junk in the 1869 Directory

    8. Roth, Antony 70 Bavaria

    9. Miller, "Ferd"**, 43 labourer, Saxony, Elisa 34, Saxony, Chas 10, school, Saxony, Carolin 8, Geo 3 Mary 1 all born NY.

      Note: Listed as Mueller, carpenter, in the 1869 Directory

    10. Greimer, Elise 46, washwoman Bavaria, Francis 11 school, Fred 17 office boy, Mich 15 careboy, Mag-- 13, school, Rosia 9 all born NY
    11. Fellings, Bette, 45, Labourer, Wurtenburg

    12. Wohlfarth, Gu- 41 sigarmaker Prussia

    13. Schaffenberg, John 53 labourer, Prussia

    14. Punlch (?) Thora 45 female, labourer, Prussia

    15. Boly, Henry 38, dealer in bottels $200, Hessen Darm., Carolin, 40, Bavaria, Halle (female), 12 school NY, Ben 10, Fanny 8, Wm 3 Bette 9 months all born NY

      Note: Henry "Boley" was at 92 Sheriff street in 1880: Boley, Henry, 47, bottle dealer, Carrie 50, Benjamin, 20, bottles, Fannie 13, vest maker, Pauline 9 at school.

    Like 88 Sheriff Street, the rear of 90 Sheriff street was counted twice. Listed in Ward 11, District 22 ""90 Sheriff Street but bordering on Stanton" in the "2nd enumeration" were 14 families. 9 of them were duplicate listings. I have marked them with*. Despite some strange differences in spelling and the names and ages of several of the children, it is clear that the same families are represented. It is actually a perfect example of the casualness with which much of the census was taken.

    1. *"Frich", Nicholas age 70 tailor, Louisa age 40 keeping house, Philip age 7 Adults born Germany child born NY

      Eirich, Nic, 66, labourer, Bavarian, Louise 54, Curhesse, Phillip 6, NY

      Note: Listed as a tailor in the 1869 Directory

    2. *L-ng Jacob age 50 rag picker Eliza age 50 keeping house Theodore age 24 brewer Lebald age 20 brewer, all born Germany

      Lang, Jac 58, labourer, Bavaria Note: Listed as Lange, junk, in the 1869 Directory

    3. *Barthon Joseph age 70 laborer Caroline age 40 keeping house Joseph age 12 Kate age 5 Babett age 2 Adults born France, children born NY

      Bertral, Jos, 67, labourer, France, Carolin 40, France, Jos 11, Kate 3, Bette 3 months, all born NY. Note: Listed as Bertrand, laborer, in the 1869 Directory

    4. *Miller, Adam age 60 Scavanger Louisa age 60 keeping house Louise 9, adults born Germany, child born NY

      Miller, Hen, 50, labourer, Hessedarm, Mina 40, Hessedarm, Louise 7, NY

    5. *Miller Fred age 50 laborer Eliza age 40 keeping house, Chas age 11 Caroline age 8, Geo age 4 Mary age 2 adults and Chas born Germany rest born NY

      Miller, "Ferd", 43 labourer, Saxony, Elisa 34, Saxony, Chas 10, school, Saxony, Carolin 8, Geo 3 Mary 1 all born NY

    6. *Spitsgogan, Jacop age 70 rag picker

      Spitzfaden, Jac age 70, labourer, Bavaria Note: Listed as junk in the 1869 Directory

    7. *Rhode, Anton age 70 rag Picker

      Roth, Antony 70 Bavaria

    8. *Cramer Eliza age 50, born Germany, Frits age 17, Micha age 16, Lena age 13 Frank age 11 Rosa age 9, children born NY

      Greimer, Elise 46, washwoman Bavaria, Francis 11 school, Fred 17 office boy, Mich 15 careboy, Mag-- 13, school, Rosia 9 all born NY

    9. *Sharpenburg John age 50 rag picker born Germany

      Schaffenberg, John 53 labourer, Prussia

    10. English, John age 60 Rag picker born Germany

    11. Filingen Dorotha age 50 rag picker born Germany

    12. Van -ish, Joseph feed store Eliza age 40, both born Germany

    13. Sappler Christian age 40 stove maker Eliza age 30 Fred age 12 Mary age 11 John age 9, adults born Germany children born NY

    14. Fredrick Jacob age 80 retired born Germany

    To add to the confusion in July 1024 I came upon yet another enumeration of 90 Sheriff street rear which included the following families:

    1. Rear 90, Shriner Joseph age 70, Eliza age 70 Mary age 40 all born France

    2. Rear #90, Dolle Frank age 30 cartman, born Germany, Lena age 30 keeping house born France Mary age 14 Michael age 2, children born NY

    3. Rear #90, *Munk, "Kasper" [listed under Kooper by Ancestry], age 60 rag picker, born Germany, Mary age 14, born Germany, Pauline age 9, born New York, Wm age 8 "M" [male] born New York

      Munk, Caspar 58 labourer, Wurtenburg, Pauline 12 school, born Wurtenburg, Wma "F" [female] born NY, 8 Mary 7 born NY

    4. Rear #90, Sontage Sophia age 60 keeping house born Germany

    5. Rear #90, *Mauer Peter age 60 sugar house Ann age 50 keeping house, both born Germany

      Morris, Peter 43 labourer, Bavaria, Ann 50, Wurtenburg

    6. Rear #90, Wiest John age 50 rag picker born Germany, Eliza, age 50, keeping house, born Germany

    This indicates 5 additional "families" with 10 additional people for a total of 52 in 1870.

    The 1869 Directory New York City Directory listed 21 people who either lived or worked at 90 Sheriff Street.

    1. Alhaeven Frederick*, machinist, h r 90 Sheriff
    2. Bertrand Joseph**, laborer, h r 90 Sheriff
    3. Eirich Nicholas**, tailor, h r 90 Sheriff
    4. Gruenig Jacob*, junk, h r 90 Sheriff
    5. Heidenwag Caroline*, wid. Daniel, h r 90 Sheriff
    6. Lange Jacob**, junk, h r 90 Sheriff
    7. Meyer Joseph***, laborer, h 90 Sheriff
    8. Michel Simon***, butcher, 90 Sheriff
    9. Mueller Frederick**, carpenter, b r 90 Sheriff
    10. Mueller Henry**, laborer, h r 90 Sheriff
    11. Sapper Christian*, shoemkr. h r 90 Sheriff
    12. Schmidt Bongratz*, laborer, h r 90 Sheriff
    13. Schmidt Charles***, pedlar, h r 90 Sheriff
    14. Schreiner Joseph***, h r 90 Sheriff
    15. Schultz John***, cabinetmkr. h 90 Sheriff
    16. Seiffert John*, shoemkr. h 90 Sheriff
    17. Sondet Sophia*, wid. Joseph, h r 90 Sheriff
    18. Spitzfaden Jacob**, junk, h r 90 Sheriff
    19. Stoeren George*, laborer, h 90 Sheriff
    20. Sypher Michael*, ornamenter, h 90 Sheriff
    21. Heyneman Joseph, feed, 90 Sheriff, h 250 Seventh****

    *I did not find Frederick Alhaeven, Jacob Gruenig, Caroline Heidenwag, Christian Sapper, Bongratz, John Seiffert, Sophia Sondet, George Stoeren, or Michael Sypher in the 1870 census in Ward 11.

    ** Joseph Bertrand, Nicholas Eirich, Jacob Lange, Frederick Mueller, Henry Mueller, and Jacob Spitzfaden were listed at 90 Sheriff in the 1870 Census. That is 6 out of the 20 who listed 90 Sheriff as their address in 1869.

    ***Joseph Meyer, Michael Simon, Charles Schmidt, Joseph Schreiner, John Schultz, were common names. I did not find them in the 1870 censuses because the information I currently have is too vague.

    **** His residence was at 250 Seventh Street.

    I did not find, Fred Elhaver, Martin Philips, Antony Roth, Elise Greimer, Bette Fellings, Gu Wohlfarth, John Schaffenberg, Thora Punlch or Henry Boly in the 1869 city directory.

Notes:
  • 88 Sheriff Street — 1870, 27 families, 174 people - grocer, clerk, pedlar, 2 blacksmiths, musician, 8 laborers, 2 shoemaker, feed store, 2 washerwomen, tassil maker, salt factory worker, 2 Rag pickers [as indicated by the duplicate count in District 22], carman & goldsmith. In 1860 there were 7 families and 28 people. In 1880 there were 16 families (8 front and 8 rear) with a total of 76 people.
  • 90 Sherriff — 1870, 30 families 58 people - 8 laborers, locksmith, washerwoman "sigar" maker & dealer in bottles. The duplicate counting of the rear of 90 Sheriff streets does reveal 6 rag pickers and a scavenger. In fact, everyone living back there with the exception of the tailor, Nicholas Eireich, the stove maker, Christian Sappler and feed store worker or owner, Joseph Van -ish, could have been a rag picker. In 1860 there were 4 families and 19 people. I could not find 90 Sheriff street in the 1880 census.


88 Sheriff in the 1877 Directory

The 1877 Directory listed the following people at 88 Sheriff:

  1. Alexander, Herman, laborer home rear 88 Sheriff

  2. Faber, John, laborer, home rear, 88 Sheriff (In the 1880 census at 88 Sheriff.)

  3. Fiskel, Joseph cabmkr home rear 88 Sheriff

  4. Gebhardt, Godfried, smith, home rear 88 Sheriff

  5. Heck, Joseph shoemaker, home rear 88 Sheriff

  6. Horch, Casper varnishes 88 Sheriff

  7. Juda, John tailor, 88 Sheriff

  8. Krutz, Bernhard, laborer 88 Sheriff

  9. Miller, Julius, carpenter 88 Sheriff - (In the 1880 census at 88 Sheriff.)

  10. Rigger, Henry, upholstery, home 88 Sheriff

  11. Schneider, Jon C, grocer, 88 Sheriff - (In the 1880 census at 88 Sheriff.)

  12. Schreiber, Conrad, carpenter, home 88 Sheriff

  13. Sherman, John driver, home 88 Sheriff


90 Sheriff in the 1877 Directory

  1. Benker, John, junk, home rear 90 Sheriff

  2. Krueger, William, junk home rear 90 Sheriff

  3. Napp, John railingmakr home rear 90 Sheriff

  4. Paothner, Fredrick lab home rear 90 Sheriff

  5. Seifer, John laborer, home 90 Sheriff

  6. Severin, Todi, feed, 90 Sheriff


88 - 90 - 92 SHERIFF STREET IN THE 1880 CENSUS

  1. 88 Sheriff street front: Page 48 Ward 11, ED 154,

    1. Schneider, John, 46, grocer, born Germany, Carrie 46, John 24, grocer clerk, William 23, Eddie 14, Fred, 11, George 10, Cornelius 13, Julia, 7, Lissie 4, Carrie and children born NY, German parentage.

    2. Schwid, John 32 plumber, Germany, Christina 29, Mary 7, Madeline 6 John 3 Maggie 3 months, Christina and children born NY, German parentage.

    3. Reuman, John 28, painter, Anna 31, Eva 9, Joe 7 Barbara 5 and Pauline 8 months. All born NY. German parentage.

    4. Hamelich, Jacob 33 bricklayer, Kate 33, Kate 7 George 2 Ludi--nia 5 months, parents born Germany children born NY.

      Cath. "Hammerle", wid Jacob dressmaker 529 E 13th Street, h 513 E 13th st.reet 1891 city directory

    5. Aubach, Casper, 33 cigar boxes, Lizzie 25, Kate 5, August 2 Anna 4 months, parents born Germany children born NY

    6. Miller, Leopold, 33, shoemaker, Anna 35, Minnie 7, Josephine 5, John 1 parents born Germany children born NY

    7. Gunbreidh (?) Mary 45, washing, John 17, John 13, Mary 15, Christian 10, Fred 8 mother born Germany children born NY

      Two Johns were listed.

    8. Miller, Julius 56, carpenter, Wilhelmina 57, Julius 24, wire work, Rose, 22 "no occupation", Emma 20 fringe, Minnie 17 artificial flowers, Anna 11 school parents born Germany children born NY

  2. 88 Sheriff rear, page 49 Ward 11, ED 154

    1. Faber, John 48, home, Germany Maggie 59, Switzerland

      1870 Census: page 44, Ward 11, #51, Family #426, John Faber, 40, clerk, Bavaria, and his wife "Mary" 50, Swizz, Bavier, Julie 53, Swiss

    2. Telly, Adolph 31 watchmaker, Germany, Kate 49, Germany, Seigfritz, John 50 boarder nails, Prussia

    3. Kaiser, Jacob 30 blacksmith, Lizzie 28, Chas 4 Anna 2 Lizzie 4 months, parents born Germany children born NY

      Jacob "Keiser", age 37, a German blacksmith of No. 88 Sheriff street, was overcome by heat during a heat wave in 1881.

    4. Shut-mann (?), Fred 39 whitewasher, Mary, 32 Fred 8, Anna 5 parents born Germany children born NY

    5. Gebert, Godfrey 42, nickel plating, Ursula 39, John 9, parents born Germany children born NY

    6. Schwearen(?), Rosa 36, widowed, pantaloons, Frances daughter 11, school, mother born Germany child born NY

    7. Kaiser, Daniel 40, soap Mary 38, Fredieu (daughter),1, Carrie 7, school, parents born Germany children born NY

    8. Kaiser, Chas, 27, shoemaker, Emma, Carrie 1 month, parents born Germany children born NY

  3. This number of families front and back would indicate that 88 was a four story building in 1880.

    8 families with a total of 50 people in the front of 88 Sheriff and 8 families with a total of 26 people in the rear.

  4. 90 Sheriff front: I cannot find the front of 90 Sheriff.

  5. 90 Sheriff rear: page 47, Ward 11, ED 154

    1. Eudich, John 74, tailor Germany, Beck, Christopher, 66 no occupation cripple, Germany

    2. Housner(?), George 65, labourer, Kate 44, Mary 14, tailoress, Helen 13, tailoress, Kate 7 home, parents born Germany children born NY

    3. Weisnt (?) Lizzie 53, widow, picks rags born Germany. Amelia 26, George 19, peddler, Knapp, John age 25, son in law, steel roller, Barbara Knapp, 23 daughter, John 4, Maggie 2, born New Jersey, all other born NY.

  6. 92 Sheriff Street Rear:

    1. Jacob, Jack, age 68, "no occupation", born Germany

    2. King, Lottie age 49 mother, Infant wear" born New Hampshire, Benj King age 16 son, sect Amer dist telegraph, born NY

    3. Green, Lizzie, age 54 mother, keep house born Germany, Fred, age 26, son bartender, Mike age 24 son, peddler, Frank, son age 21, peddler, Rose daughter age 19, "no occupation", Kate Bathern age 12 boarder, school, children all born New York

      Note: They were at 90 Sheriff in 1878 and 1890. This is the Mike and Rose Green involved in the stabbing incident in 1878, see below.

      In June 1872 it was reported in the Evening post that the reamains of a female infant were found in an ash barrel in front of 2 Watts street by rag picker, Elizabeth Green of 90 Sheriff street.

      In 1875 Fritz Green of 88 Sheriff street went to a bar at 26 Canal for a drink about 11 o'clock on a Monday night. After he fell asleep in his chair his watch and chain were pickpocketed. The thief was caught and arrested.

      In 1879 Fredrick Green of 90 Sheriff street was accused and arrested for pickpocketing a gold watch at a picnic at Landman's park.

    4. Meyer, Gottleib age 35, chair caner, born Switzerland, Lena age 40, keep house, born Switzerland, Sophia 14, daughter chair caner, born NY

    5. Grenado-, John age 50, rag picker born Germany, Sophia age 34, sister, keep house, born Germany, Sander, John 35 boarder, chair maker, born Germany


88-90 SHERIFF STREET IN THE 1880 VOTER REGISTRATION

88 Sheriff

  1. Jacob Walters**
  2. Jacob A Hammerle* (listed as Hamelich in 1880 Census)
  3. John E. Schneider* (son of John Schneider in 1880 census)
  4. Wm H Schneider* (son of John in 1880 census)
  5. John Faber*
  6. John Schneider*
  7. John Smith, jr.**
  8. John Reman* (listed as Reuman in 1880 census)
  9. Julius Muller*
  10. Charles Kaiser*
  11. Charles I Miller**
  12. George Reif**
  13. Henry Zimmerman**
  14. John Frech**
  15. Leopold Muller* (listed as Miller in the 1880 census)
90 Sheriff

  1. Andrew Bauer**
  2. Frank Green**

* listed at same address in the 1880 census.

** Not listed at same address in 1880 census.


88 -90 SHERIFF STREET IN THE 1890 POLICE CENSUS IN NEW YORK CITY

A US census was taken in the summer of 1890, but unfortunately it burned before it could be microfilmed. New York city officials felt that the city had been underreported in the federal census so they took another census in the fall of 1890. This census was taken by the NYC Police Department.

The family of Peter Goehle was listed at 88 Sheriff Street in the 1890 NYC Police Census. At least two children of Peter and Wilhelmina Goehle were born at this address, Francesca in May 1891 and Frank in March 1894.

The 1890 NYC Police Census lists everyone in the building but does not separate them into family groups and does not list familial relationships.

88 Sheriff Street 1890 NYC Census

  1. John Schneider, grocer, born circa 1834, Germany, and his wife, Carrie _

    1890 census: John age 56, John age 34, William age 31, Edward age 25, Cornelis age 21, Fred age 20, George age 19, Julia age 16, and Lizzie age 13

    Notes:

    • Listed as a grocer at 88 Sheriff Street in the 1890 City Directory

    The Schneiders owned 88 and 90 Sheriff streets. See more on the Schneider family below.

  2. Carl (Charles) Fenske (Fensky), shoemaker, born circa 1845, unknown, wife? Rachel

    1890 census: Charles Fenske and wife (?): Charles age 45, Rachael age 31

    Note:

    • Listed as "Carl" Fenske, shoemaker, home 104 Pitt Street in the 1890 City Directory
    • Did not find him in other censuses under "Fenske" or Fensky
    • Other possible spellings, Fenska, Fenski, Finske, and Finsky

  3. Charles Beyerkohler (Beyer)*, cigar maker and cigar box maker, born 1865, Germany, immigrated circa 1873, wife, Catherine Lindemann born New York of Germany ancestry

    1890 census: Charles "Beyer" and family: Charles age 28, Kate age 25, Minni age 2 and George age 3 months

    Note: This family also listed themselves as Beyerkohler. Kate "Beyer" was the sister of my ancestor Minnie Goehle. See Beyerkohler now or at the bottom of the page.

  4. Joseph Leimer, plasterer, born Germany circa 1865, died New York 1928, and his wife, Eva born Germany circa 1869.

    1890 census: Joseph "Limer" and family: Joseph age 25, Eva age 21, Emil age 3, and Rosie age 1

    Notes:

    • Birth: Born Germany circa 1865
    • Immigration: 1881 per census: Josef Leimer Arrival Date: 28 Mar 1881 Birth Year: abt 1865 Age: 16 Gender: Male Ethnicity/Race: Prussian (German) Place of Origin: Prussia Port of Departure: Hamburg, Germany and Le Havre, France Destination: United States of America Port of Arrival: New York Port Arrival State: New York Port Arrival Country: United States Ship Name: Suevia
    • Marriage: Eva
    • Children: From Censuses
      1. Marcus 1882 (1900 census not in 1890 census)
      2. Emil (Emile) c. 1887 (1890 and 1910)
      3. Rosie c 1889 (1890) ✟
        Death: Leimer Rosie 1 y Sept 10 1891 31530 Manhattan
      4. Frank 1892 (not in 1900 in 1910)
      5. Elizabeth 1897 (1900, 1910)
      6. Anne
      7. Frances
    • New York City Births:
      1. *Frank C. Leimer 28 Nov 1892 45735 Dec., 1892
      2. Raymond Leimer 19 Oct 1895 44934 Nov. 1895.
      3. *Elizabeth Leimer 20 Nov 1897 48302 Births Reported in November, 1897.
      4. Joseph Leimer 27 Sep 1900 38112 Births Reported in 1900. Borough of Manhattan.
      5. David Leimer 18 Jun 1901 26070 Births Reported in 1901. Borough of Manhattan.
    • Listed as Leimer Joseph, plasterer, h 88 Sheriff, (listed 2 times and also as Lymer Joseph, plasterer, h 88 Sheriff) in the 1890 City Directory.
    • 1890: Sheriff Street
    • 1900 Census: 145 Sullivan Street: Joseph Feb 1865, age 35, M 14 years, born Germany, plasterer, immigrated 1881, Eva April 1869, 4 children 3 living, born Germany, Emile May 1887, Marcus No 1882, Lizie Nov 1897 all born NY
      1910: Same address, Children, Elizabeth age 12, Frank age 17, Annie age 6, Frances age 1
      1920 Census: 145 Sullivan Street: Leimer, Joseph, age 53, immigrated 1880, naturalized 1889, janitor on premises, Eva, age 50, immigrated 1883, Elizabeth, age 22, -rancher teacher, Anna. age 15, Frances, age 11,
    • Census records indicate he was born in Germany c. 1865 and immigrated circa 1881
    • Death: Leimer Joseph J 63 y Dec 9 1928 30338 Manhattan

  5. George Hageolm or Hagadorn, laborer, born circa 1856, unknown and his wife, Annie, born circa 1862, unknown

    1890 census: George "Hageolm" and family: George age 34, Annie age 28, Olivia age 1, Fredia age -

    Notes:

    • The name was listed in the 1890 City Directory at 88 Sheriff Street as George "Hagadorn" laborer.
    • Did not find him in other censuses

  6. Peter Goehle*, butcher, born 1852, Herrnshiem, Germany, immigrated 1873, and his second wife, Minnie Lindemann born circa 1861, NYC of German ancestry.

    1890 census: Peter Goehle and family: Peter age 39, Minnie age 29, Peter Jr age 5, Clara age 3, Katie age 9, Luisa age 10, Lizzie age 14, Winnie age 1, Katherine Lindemann age 60. Note: Daughter Mary, twin to brother, Peter Jr., was not listed but she does show up in the 1900 census.

    Note: Peter Goehle was my ancestor. See Peter Goehle now or at the bottom of the page

  7. Kate Shilling and daughters, Annie and Carrie

    1890 census: Katie Schilling and children: Katie age 54, Annie age 24, and Carrie age 21

    Notes:

    • Other possible spelling — Shelling
    • Pretty common name at the time and place
    • Did not find them in other censuses
  8. David Smith

    1890 census: David Smith, age 26

    Note: The name is too common and there are no other clues to hang onto.

  9. Frederick Schill (Schull), blacksmith, born Germany circa 1842, wife Martha, born circa 1848 Germany

    1890 census: Fredrick "Schull" and family: Fredrick age 45 and "Mary" age 42, Fredrick Jr age 25, John age 22, Annie age 14, Willa (male) age 8, Emma age 6

    Notes:

    • Listed as Fredrick "Schill" 88 Sheriff Street, smith, in the 1890 City Directory.

    • 1900 Census: 10 East 9th Street, Shill, Frederick, October 1840, age 59 married 35 years, born Germany, immigrated 1862, naturalized, blacksmith, "Martha", wife, Feb 1849, age 51, married 35, children 7, 5 living, born Germany, Fred V, son born Apr 1864, age 34, New York, coppersmith, William son, born Mar 1882, age 18, frame maker, Annie daughter, born May 1876 age 24, paper box, Emily daughter, born Mar 1884, age 16, Children all born NYC

  10. John Zahn born circa 1844, Germany and Annie born circa 1839

    1890 census: John Zahn and family: John age 46, Anne age 51, K-mie (?) age 13, Maggie age 11 (?)

    Emma "Corn", age 9 months

    Notes:

    • I am assuming based on the position of this entry that Emma Corn was living with the Zahn family
    • 1890 City Directory, John Zahn, driver, 88 Sheriff Street

  11. Philip Granit born c 1852 and wife, Theresa,

    1890 census: Philip Granit and family: Philip age 38, Th-essia age 37, Mary age 2, Annie age 7 months

    Notes:

    • Not listed under that spelling in the 1890 NYC Direcroty

  12. Jacob Kradebuk born circa 1850 and his wife Anne

    1890 census: Jacob Kradebuk and family: Jacob age 40, Mary age 32, Annie age 15, Freddie age 4 Kate age (?),

    Notes:

    • Not listed under that spelling in the 1890 NYC Directory

  13. Rachael Biar and Fredrica Aufmkolk (AKA Aufenkolk)

    1890 census: Rachael Biar, age 60, Fredrica "Aufenkolk", age 60

    Fredica Aufmkolk was the widow of Charles Aufmkolk

    Notes:

    • Rachael Biar not listed under that spelling in the 1890 NYC Directory

    Charles Aufmkolk (AKA Aufenkolk) and Fredrica Baer

    Birth: Circa 1925 Germany

    Immigration: 1858

    Marriage: Fredrick Baer

  14. Children:

    1. Pauline

    2. Rosa

    In January 2014 Dr. Michael Auf'mkolk wrote:

    Nr. 13, the second persons correct name is: Frederica Aufmkolk, sometimes misspelled "Aufenkolk", maiden name Baer, born about 1827 in Bavaria, Germany.

    She married about 1865 in NYC.

    Carl August Christian Friedrich (Charles A.) Aufmkolk, born 1825 in Hildesheim, lower saxony, Germany who immigrated as "printer" Aug, 26th, 1858 on the ship Ariel from Bremen to NYC. He followed his brother Ferdinand Aufmkolk who immigrated already in 1853 to NYC. Charles Aufmkolk died after the 1880 and before 1890 census. They had two daughters born in NYC Pauline 1866 and Rosa 1868, both mentioned in the 1880 census. I don't know what happened to the daughters of this Aufmkolk family.

    1868: Charles Aufmkolk 818 Eighth Segarmkr Publication Title: New York, New York, City Directory, 1868

    1872 and 1874: Aufmkolk, Charles, segar maker h 364 Third Av.

    1876: Charles Aufmkolk pedlar h 364 Third

    1878: Charles "Aufemkolk" pedlar h 364 Third

    1879: Charles Aufmkolk pedlar h 364 Third

    1880: 364 East Third Street Charles Aufkolk M 55 Germany, pedlar, Prussia, Wife, Fredericka Aufkolk F 53 Germany, Bavaria, Daughter, Pauline Aufkolk F 14 New York, United States Daughter, Rosa Aufkolk F 12 New York, United States Sister, Regina Baer F 50 Germany, washing, Bavaria

    1880: Directory: Aufenkolk, Charles, pedlar, h 364 Third

    1889: City Directory: Frederica Aufenkolk h r [home rear] 88 Sheriff widow, Charles Aufenkolk Publication Title: New York, New York, City Directory, 1889

    Also listed in 1889 under Aufmkolk, Ferdinand, jeweler, h 226 E 33rd and Henry varnisher same address

    Ferdinand Aufmkolk (1823-1893)

    Heinrich Julius Ferdinand (known as Ferdinand) was the brother of Charles Aufmkolk whose widow lived on Sheriff street. Information from Michael Amf'mkolk, January 2014

    Heinrich Julius Ferdinand Aufmkolk (1823-1893)

    1. Heinrich Julius Ferdinand Aufmkolk Geburt 10. Jan. 1823 Hildesheim, NDS, D Taufe 07. Feb. 1823 Hildesheim, NDS, D Tod 16. Sep. 1893 New York City, New York, USA Marriage: Agnes Schulte Geburt Muunster, NRW, D

      Ferdinand immigrated June 09th 1853 in NYC on the Jeverland from Bremen, asked for an American Passport Aug 07 th 1862, profession goldsmith, jewler, watch maker, goldsmith.

      Children:

      1. Ferdinand D. Aufmkolk Geburt SEP 1858 New York City, New York, USA Tod: May 01 1923 NYC

        Marriage: Ida C. Scharff Geburt JUN 1859 Germany, D Heirat 25. Juni 1896 New York City, New York, USA Tod 02. Dez. 1930 New York City, New York, USA

      2. Charles H. Aufmkolk Geburt Nov 1859 New York City, New York, USA Tod 07. Juli 1936 Queens, NYC / USA, NY, USA

        Marriage: Annie Scharff Geburt OCT 1866 New York City, New York, USA Heirat 16. Aug. 1884 New York City, New York, USA Tod 06. Dez. 1921 New York City, New York, USA

        Children:

        1. Ferdinand Aufmkolk Geburt 03.Jan 1885 NYC

          Marriage: Jennie M. N.N. Geburt 1897 New York City, New York, USA Heirat 1921 New York City, New York, USA

          Child: Barbara Oct 1927 NYC

        2. Gustave Aufmkolk Geburt 10. Okt. 1887 New York City, New York, USA Tod 10. Okt. 1918 Meuse-Argonne / F

        3. Charles Aufmkolk Geburt 21. Aug. 1888 New York City, New York, USA

          Marriage: A. Natalie Ronalds Heirat 20. Nov. 1916 New York City, New York, USA

        4. Arthur Aufmkolk Geburt ABT 1890 New York City, New York, USA

        5. Otto Aufmkolk Geburt Brooklyn, NY, USA 08.Feb. 1891

          Marriage: Nellie Darling born 1894 10 Apor. 1917 died aft 1925

          Children:

          1. Betty born aft 1921, Queens ?? died aft 1925

          2. Otto born 1921 Queens?

        6. Ida Aufmkolk born 04 Sept 1896 NYC, Tod DEC 1980 Queens, NYC / USA, NY, USA

          Marriage: Gustav Adolph Havemeyer Geburt 19. Jan. 1896 New York City, New York, USA Heirat 11. Nov. 1926 New York City, New York, USA Tod JAN 1977 Queens, NYC / USA, NY, USA

        7. Annie Aufmkolk Geburt 14. Okt. 1898 New York City, New York, USA Tod 05.1933 New York City, New York, US

          Marriage: Charles Henry John Baumann Geburt 23. Juli 1899 New York City, New York, USA Heirat 10. Maar. 1924 New York City, New York, USA Tod 09. Jan. 1994 Moravian Manor Lititz, PA

          Children:

          1. Eleanor Baumann

          2. William born USA

          3. Mildred born 28 april 1928 Brooklyn

        8. Agnes Aufmkolk 23. Mai 1906 NUC Tod 16. Apr. 1969 Queens, NYC / USA

          Marriage: Martin F Smith Geburt 22. Aug. 1888 Heirat 25. Okt. 1952 New York City, New York, USA Tod 27. Jan. 1966

        1900: 133 Third: Charles Aufmkolk 40, watchmaker, Annie Aufmkolk 33, Ferdinand Aufmkolk 15, tailoring trimming, Gustave Aufmkolk 13, Charles Aufmkolk 11, Otto Aufmkolk 9, Ida Aufmkolk 3,
      3. Annie Aufmkolk 1

      4. Henry Aufmkolk Geburt New York City, New Tod New York City, New 1862 York, USA 05. Jan. 1943 York, USA

      5. George Aufmkolk Geburt 1864 New York City, New York, USA Tod 26. Dez. 1922 New York City, New York, USA

      6. Gertrud (Get.) Aufmkolk Geburt 1865 New York City, New York, USA Tod AFT 1870 New York City, New York, USA

      7. John Edward Aufmkolk Geburt 08. Juni 1869 New York City, New York, USA Tod 12. Okt. 1870 New York City, New York, USA

      8. Joseph Aufmkolk 25. Apr. 1871 New York City, New York, USA Tod 12. Sep. 1904 New York City, New York, USA

      9. Tochter Aufmkolk Geburt 19. Aug. 1874 Sunderland, Durham, GB, UK

      10. Leontine Aufmkolk Geburt 1875 New York City, New York, USA Tod 05. Juli 1900 New York City, New York, USA

        Marriage: Friedrich Troebner Geburt 1868 Hannover, NDS, D Heirat 22. Dez. 1895 New York City, New York, USA Tod 20. Mai 1948 New York City, New York, USA

      1916: November Miss Natalie Ronalds daughter of William B. T. Rolands of Earle avenue, was married yesterday to Charles Aufmkolk Jr., son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Aufmkolk of Bank street, Manhattan, in Christ Episcopal Church, ... The bridegroom was attended by his brother, Ferdinand Aufmkolk. The ushers were Hugh and James Ronalds and Gustavo and Otto Aufmkolk.

      WWI: Gustave Aufmkolk New York Death Date: 10 Oct 1918 Cemetery: Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery Cemetery Burial Plot: Plot B Row 5 Grave 40 Cemetery City: Romagne Cemetery Country: France War: World War I Title: Private, U.S. Army Rank: Private Service: U.S. Army Division: 28th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division Data Source: World War I Honor Roll

    1877 Directory: Aufmkolk Charles, pedlar, h 364 Third Aufmkolk Ferdinand, jeweler, h 403 Fifth

    New York city Death Index:
    Aufenkolk, Joseph age 33 Sept 12, 1904 #31493 Manhattan
    Aufinkolk Ferdinand 65 May 1, 1923 #13153 Manhattan
    Aufmkolk Edward H 1 y Oct 12 1870 72036 Manhattan
    Aufmkolk Karl 60 y Sep 3 1885 539965 Manhattan
    Aufmkolk Ferdinand 66 y Sep 16 1893 33781 Manhattan
    Aufmkolk Annie 55 y Dec 6 1921 27629 Manhattan
    Aufmkolk Ida C 71 y Dec 2 1930 27351 Manhattan
    Aufmkolk Henry 80 y Jan 5 1943 522 Manhattan

  15. Stefan Kaldrovitz

    1890 census: Stefan Kaldrovitz and family: Stefan age 32, Lena age 22, Vilmar age 1, Freddie age -, Tillie age 1

  16. Notes:

    • Not listed under that spelling in the 1890 NYC Directory

  17. Margaret Eakins

    1890 census: Margaret Eakins, age 50

    Notes:

    • Not listed under that spelling in the 1890 NYC Directory

  18. Michael Karckain

    1890 census: Michael Karckain, age 37

    Notes:

    • Not listed under that spelling in the 1890 NYC Directory

  19. Simon Kratz

    1890 census: Simon Kratz age 40 and Amelia age 38

    Notes:

    • Not listed under that spelling in the 1890 NYC Directory

*Goehle and related families.

1890 Directory Listings for 88 Sheriff Street

  1. Arnault Herman*, carpenter, h r 88 Sheriff (NOT in police census at this address)
  2. Autenkolk Frederica*, wid. Charles, h r 88 Sheriff. See #13 in 1890 above.
    Dr. Michael Auf'mkolk wrote "the correct name is Aufmkolk, here misspelled Autenkolk" (January 2014)
  3. Behringer Charles*, upholsterer, h r 88 Sheriff (NOT in police census at this address)
  4. Hagadorn George, laborer, h 88 Sheriff (different spelling)
  5. Heymach Frederick*, carpenter, h r 88 Sheriff (NOT in police census at this address)
  6. Jaeger Jacob*, mason, h r 88 Sheriff (NOT in police census at this address)
  7. Leimer Joseph, plasterer, h 88 Sheriff, listed 2 times and also as Lymer Joseph, plasterer, h 88 Sheriff (listed in the 1890 Police census at this address)
  8. Marz, Herman*, carpenter, h 88 Sheriff (NOT in police census at this address)
  9. Miller, Charles, J wire, 260 Second, h 88 Sheriff (NOT in police census at this address)
    1900 Census: 295 East 4th Street, Charles J Miller, Mar 1858, age 42, married 8 years, born New York, German ancestors, wire worker, Catherine wife Jan 1861, age 38, no children, born New York
  10. Miller, Julius* carpenter h 88 Sheriff (NOT in police census at this address)
  11. Schill, Frederick smith h 88 Sheriff (in 1890 Police Census at this address)
  12. Schneider, John C grocer, h 88 Sheriff (in 1890 Police Census at this address)
  13. Snyder James* driver, h 88 Sheriff (NOT in police census at this address)
  14. Zahn John driver h 88 Sheriff (in 1890 Police Census at this address)

Note: * Nine out of the fourteen people listed at this address in the 1890 directory were NOT listed at this address in the 1890 Police census. Those who were listed in both were:

  1. George Hagedorn
  2. Joseph Leimer
  3. Frederick Shill
  4. John Schnieder
  5. John Zahn
90 Sheriff Street 1890 NYC Census

  1. Julius Bernstein

    1890 census: Julius Bernstein 50, Sara age 50, Sam 20 and Jacob age 18

    1880: Suffolk Street: Bernstein, Julius age 42, clerk in store, Sarah age 42, Jennie 20, tailoress, Joseph 18, tailor, Barney, 16, Nathan 14, Samuel 9, Jacob 7 all born in "Prussia" except Jacob born in NY

  2. September 1890 The Evening Post: Jacob Bernstien age 17 of No (0 Sheriff was arrested by an office of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals for "beating a horse about the head with a board in the Bowery."

  3. Jane Klein

    1890 census: Jane Klein age 54, female

  4. Elizabeth Green and family

    1890 census: Elizabeth Green, age 66, Rosie Green age 30, Frank Green age 29, Michael Green, age 33

    See 1878 Stabbing article below. See Green Family below.

  5. Barbara and John Knapp

    1890 census: Barbara Knapp age 32, John age 25, Lilly age 7

    1880 Census: Sheriff Street, #90 Rear, Wenst [Weinst?], Lizzie 53, mother, picks rags born Germany, Amelia age 26, daughter keep home, George son age 19, peddler, Knapp, John son in law steel roller, Barbara 23 daughter keep home, John age 4, Maggie age 2

  6. Joseph Sampson Blk

    1890 census: Joseph Sampson Blk age 50, Gussie Sampson Blk 1- age

  7. George White

    1890 census: George White age 30, Mary White age 29, George White Jr age ?, Mary White, age 2

  8. Frank Frese

    1890 census: Frank Frese age 36, --- Frese age 34

  9. Gustave Keichardt

    1890 census: Gustave Keichardt age 43

  10. Sebastian Ob--lz

    1890 census: Sebastian Ob--lz age 64 ?

  11. Hugh Haus

    1890 census: Hugh Haus

  12. Jacob Schnidt

    1890 census: Jacob Schnidt age 54


From Newspaper Articles About 88 - 90 Sheriff Street


88 Sheriff Street in 1874

BURGLARY OF CIGARS

On December 7, 1874 the cigar store of Charles Salomon, No 403 East Houston street was broken into and 18,500 cigars worth $900 were stolen. 11,000 of the cigars were found at the home of Betty Schwartz on the second floor at N0. 88 Sheriff Street where 11,000 of the stolen cigars were found. The investigating officer followed and express wagon to the restaurant of Francis Bressing at 127 Bleeker and found 2,000 additional cigars. Betty Schwartz, August Doerge and Frances Bressing were arrested in connection with the crime. New York Times, and New York Herald, December 11, 1874


90 Sheriff Street in 1876

"John Baker, of No. 90 Sheriff St. who on 11 August stabbed John George Wese, a rag dealer*, living in the same house in a domestic quarrel was found guilty yesterday in the Court of General sessiosn"

New York Times Sept 12, 1876

He was sent to the state prison for 2 years.

*Italics mine.

Note: Neither Baker nor Wese were listed at 90 Sheriff in 1870. As can be seen from these records the residence of the building seem to have moved in and out quite frequently. I cannot find anything else on Wese.


90 Sheriff Street in 1878

STABBING ON SHERIFF STREET 1878

The New York Times reported on August 5, 1878 that John Sewall, a wood turner age 24 of 252 Eldridge Street met a young woman and offered to walk her home. Upon their arrival near her appartment John Sewell was set upon by the young lady's brother, Michael Green, "a bone cart driver" who lived at 90 Sheriff street. A fight ensued in the alley of 94 Sheriff street, which also involved two other young men, David Walsh age 23, a tobacco worker, who lived at 15 Clinton street and Martin Mueller age 25, a wood carver who lived at 9 Pitt street. John Sewell, David Walsh and Martin Mueller suffered stab wounds. New York Times August 5, 1878

The follow up on August 6, 1878 titled "The Affray in Sheriff street" clarified the situation somewhat.

Mrs. Reeb, a widow and sister of Michael Green was at the "residence of Mrs. Louth, who lives in a little wooden house run up in the center of the filthiest of courts, at the back of No. 91 Pitt street. Soon after 11 o'clock Mrs. Reeb started for her home, and Martin Mueller, a wood-carver, aged 25, who lives a little further down the street asked permission to see her home."

When they arrived at 94 Sherriff they stood talking. Michael Green arrived and threw a box at Martin Mueller. Mueller initially treated the matter as a joke but Green approached him and hit him in the mouth. Mueller left but returned with his brother and "a man named Wagner". Feeling that Mueller and the others had returned to "thrash him". Mueller "rushed forward" and Green drew his knife "a large instrument which he used in his trade as a sash-maker." Mrs. Reeb fled to the police station. Another sister, Rose Green, got involved in the altercation and received some blows that resulted in bruises and a knife wound on her right arm. A free for all ensued and Meuller was stabbed in the face, another man named John Seewalt was also stabbed and David Walsh an innocent bystander who stupidly ran into the alley to see what all the fuss was about was stabbed in the abdomen. Walsh a married man with one child was not expected to live.

Michael Green was arraigned at the Essex Market Police court on August 7, 1878. Two of the stabbing victims, Martin Muller and John "Seewalt" and a witness named, Preganzer, were present. David Walsh was still at Bellevue Hospital and was not expected to live. Muller was stabbed in the arm. Seewalt was stabbed near his right eye. Rose Green also suffered an "incised wound on the arm". New York Times August 8, 1878

Notes: See the Green family below. Michael Green does not have appeared to have gotten in serious trouble as a result of this incident as he was listed with his mother and siblings on Sheriff street in the 1880 and 1890 censuses.


90 Sheriff Street in 1894

"JEWISH DAY NURSERY

.....

Under the guidance of Miss Ida Clemons, a Jewish day nursery will be established at 90 Sheriff Street."

Opened from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. it consisted of two sections:
  1. children between the age of 10 days and three years
  2. children 3 to 6, sho were instructed in "kindergarden work" in the morning with the afternoons "devoted to recreation"
The rate was 5 cents a day per child.

(Information from the New York Times October 21, 1894.)

Miss Ida Clemons was listed of Brightside Day Nursery in an article about a Jewish fund raiser in December 1895. (New York Times)

The school was listed in the New York Charities Directory of 1895.

Brightside Day Nursery and Kindergarden (org. and opened in 1804), 90 Sheriff St. Receives the babies and children, from ten days to six years, of working mothers during the day from 7 A. M. to & P. M., and feeds instructs, and clothes them. A charge of five cents a day for each child is made to those able to pay. Supported by private and voluntary contributions. Miss Ida Clemons, Supt., to whom apply fro further information.

New York Charities Directory By Charity Organization Society of the City of New York, 1895 (Google Book)

For more information on the Brightside Nursery go to IRENE ROTHSCHILD GUGGENHEIM 1868 -1954.


88 Sheriff Street 1895

In June 1895 a heat wave prostrated Bernard Glucksberg of 90 Sheriff street.


88 Sheriff Street 1896

BOARD OF HEALTH, 1896

Health Department of the City of New York Annual Report, Year ending December 1896

"The rear houses at the following properties were ordered vacated, preparatory to condemnation, by the Board of Health, but were not condemned, as plans and specifications were submitted to and approved by the Board of Health, subject to approval of the Department of Buildings, and the owners of same have declared their intention to altering and repairing the houses in conformation with the plans and specifications submitted. When said alterations are completed, the resolution ordering vacation of premises will be rescinded.

86 Sheriff street (rear)
88 Sheriff street (rear)
85 Columbia street (rear)
87 Columbia street (rear)"

The summery indicates that 87 rear houses were ordered preparatory for condemnation and that 80 were actually condemned.

REAR TENEMENTS, 1896

Half of the rear tenements in New York city in 1896 were reportedly owned by landlords who lived on the premises. The rear tenement were considered particularly unhealthy because they were dark and poorly ventilated. The majority were also considered filthy an "regular slaughter house for children". Building new rear tenements was prohibited in the 1880s. However, existing rear tenements continued to exist and health reformers preached against them. Over 50,00 people supposedly lived in 2,500 rear tenements.

The article provided a partial list of the rear tenements in the city which included:

  • 80 Sheriff, landlord, Catherine Schmid, number of occupants 28
  • 82 Sheriff street, landlord Elizabeth Gurnand, no. of occupants, 28
  • 86 Sheriff street, landlord, Herman Kline, no. of occupants 36
  • 88 Sheriff street, landlord, William Schneider, number of occupants 33

New York Times February 24, 1896.

Note: 90 Sheriff street NOT listed. A map from 1899 shows that the rear tenement was gone from 90 Sheriff by at least that time. See below. ARRESTED AT THEATRE: 1896 the New York Herald - Morris Greenberg age 24 of 88 sheriff street was accused of robbing a store on Attorney street, taking several hundred dollars worth of property. Among the items stolen were two tickets to the Thalia Theatre on the Bowery. Greenberg was apprehended by police in the seat designated by the stolen ticket.


88 Sheriff Street 1897

86 and 88 Sheriff street rear were listed by the 1897 Board of Health Report as "remodeled" and "again occupied for human habitation".

The 1897 report indicated that 55 buildings wer demolished, 17 remodeled and occupied 5, remodeled but not occupied and 17 had no action was taken.


90 Sheriff Street in 1927 and 1929

Sheriff Street continued to be an address that made the news in connection with vice.

In 1927, as part of a larger article about liquor raids during prohibition, was the following comment about 90 Sheriff street.

"Detectives also arrested four men and the wives of two of them on charges of possession of drugs after a raid on an apartment at 90 Sheriff Street where officers said they found two opium layouts, a small quantity of opium and a coffee can of yen shee"
January 7, 1929 New York Times.

Yen shee: the residue formed in the bowl of an opium pipe by smoking.


Some Sheriff Street Families


Green Family on Sheriff Street

Jacob Green, circa 1813, Bavaria and Elizabeth ________

Birth: Bavaria circa 1813 based on 1860 census

Marriage: Elizabeth _ in Germany based on births of children - born circa 1824 based on censuses

Children: Based on censuses unless otherwise noted

  1. Jacob circa 1840 Bavaria

  2. Barbara c 1844 Bavaria

  3. Catherine c 1849 Bavaria

  4. Frederick (Fred) c 1853 Bavaria

  5. Michael (Mike) circa 1855, New York

  6. Lena, circa 1857 New York

  7. Francis (Frank) c 1859 New York

  8. Rose circa 1861, New York

1860 Census: Dwelling #179 family #984, apge 107 2nd Division 11th Ward, Jacob Green 47, laborer $100, Bavaria, Elizabeth age 26, Bavaria, Jacob 20, carman, Bavaria, Barbara 16, Bavaria, Catherine 11 Bavaria, Frederick 7 Bavaria, Michael 5, New York, Lena, 3 New York Francis 1 New York

Note: #169 = 82 Sheriff Street up to #177 = 98 Sheriff Street.

1870 Census

1878: See stabbing story above.

1880 Census: #92 Rear Sheriff: Lizzie mother 54, born Germany, Fred 25, Mike 24, Frank 21 Rose 19 all born New york

1890 NYC Police Census: 90 Sheriff, Elizabeth Green age 66, Rosie Green 30, Frank Green 29, Michael Green 33.

1900 Census: 80 Rear Sheriff street, Elizabeth Green head born June 1828, age 78, widow, married 50 years, born Germany, immigrated 1860, Michael son March 1858, age 42 born New York, driver


Grafelmann (and a variety of spellings) on Sheriff Street

Martin Graffelmann

Liquor and Grocer at 88 90 Sheriff Street.

Birth: Germany circa 1812

Marriage: Sophia most likely in Germany. She was born circa 1823. Second marriage?

Children:

  1. Ann circa 1825

  2. Henry

    Birth: Harry circa 1832, Germany

Immigration:

Naturalization: Grafelman, Martin Common Pleas Court, NY County, April 2, 1847 vol 71 Record No 94 no occupation former nationality German, witness William Wilson 86 Sherrif St NYC

1850 Census: 88 Sheriff street, "Gorfman", Martin age 38, Sophia age 27, Harry Tompkins 21, clerk, Ann Grofman 24, Harry Grofman 18 all born Germany.

IRS Taxes 1862, 1863, 1865: Henry Grafelman, 90 Sheriff street liquor dealer 1862, 1863 and 1865 IRS tax

1851 Directory: Martin Graffleman grocer 88 Sheriff Street

1860 Census: Henry Grafelmann age 28, grocer, $300 born Hanover, see 1860 census above.

1865 taxes: Grafelmann, Henry, 90 sheriff, dealer liquor, $25


Heimach (and variety of spellings) on Sheriff Street

In December 2009, several months after I first put this page up, Debra Hyman wrote to say that her family had lived at 88 Sheriff Street at the birth of her grandmother in 1888. Debra has generously shared some Heymach documents and a photo of her great grandmother.

Frederick Heymach carpenter was listed at 88 Sheriff street in the 1890 city directory. He was not listed at that address in the 1890 police census.

Frederick Heymach

Birth: Germany

Occupation: Carpenter

Immigration:

Marriage: Margrethe Neubert born circa 1859 Germany

NOT listed NYC grooms index

Children:

  1. George Heymach

    Birth: 1885

    Marriage: Greener, Katie C, Apr 11 1909, Bronx, #413

    Children:

    1. George
    2. Margaret
    3. Fredrick

    1900 Census: With mother

    1910 Census:

    1918 WWDR: George Heymach 699 can't read Yonkers age 33, birth date Sept 12, 1885, teacher Mechanical Eng Katy Heymach wife, tall, medium build grey eyes brown hair, physically fit.

    1920 Census: Yonkers George age 34, teacher, Kate age 31, George age 9, Margaret age 8 Fredrick age 7 and a half

    1930 Census: Bronx, George own $10000, age 44, teacher public school Katherine wife age 41 George age 19, draftsman construction Margaret age 18, telegraph Frederick age 17, draftsman gas All born New York

    WWIIDR: George Heymach, 1624 Robertson Place Bronx, age 56, Katie Haymach wife same address, Board of Education 191 Livingston Street Brooklyn

    Death of Kate Haymach: Katie age 55 years February 25, 1944 #2306 Bronx

    Death: 1968, 22 February Dutchess county (Heymach Family Tree Ancestry)

    SSDI: Wappingers Falls Dutchess Feb 1968

  2. Marie Margarethe Heymach

    Birth:

    Civil Record: Maria Margretha Heymach, date of birth October 23, 1888, place of birth, 88 Sheriff St father Frederick Heymach mother Magrethe Heymach maiden name of mother Neubert, birth place of mother, Germany, age 33, birth place of father Germany age 33, occupation carpenter, 3 of 2 living children #30981 Manhattan (copy shared by Debra Hyman, January 2010)

    Baptism: Father, Friedrich Heimach, mother Margarethe Neubert, born New York 23 October 1888, baptized 14 April 1889, Maria Margarethe, Theo Leonhard, ??? De Witt Memorial ??? 280 Rivington St, N. Y.

Death of Frederick Heymach: Before 1896. I cannot find in with a variety of spellings attempts in the NYC death index.

1896 City Directory: Heimach Margaret wid, Fred, h 251 2d

1900 Census: West End Ave, Manhattan, Heymach, Margaret, head born Sept 1859 age 40 widow, 2 children 2 living, born Germany, immigrated 1885 in US 15 years, domestic, George son Sept 1885 age 14, born New York, office boy, Margaret daughter October 1888 age 11, born New York at school

Death of Margrethe Neubert Heymach:

1929, Stockton California.

Notes:

  • De Witt Memorial Church 280 Rivington Street, was an Evangelical missionary church making "special efforts to reach the large foreign population in its neighborhood"* It was built by Mr. & Mrs. Morris K. Jesup in honor of Mrs. Jesup's father, the Rev Thomas De Witt who had been a pastor of the Marble Collegiate Church (Dutch Reform). It was dedicated on May 8, 1881. Theodore Leonhard was the "German pastor". * New York Times, May 13, 1901
    "It has Bible classes and special services for Chinese, Hebrews, Italians, Germans, and Armenians. There are three pastors, the Rev. William T Elsing, the Rev Theodore Leonhard, and the Rev. Bernard Angel, who minister respectively to the English, German and Jewish speaking congregations"

    New York Times, May 13, 1901

Margrethe Neubert Heymach, courtesy of Debra Hyman, January 2010
Grave of Margaret Heymach courtesy of Debra Hyman, January 2010"Here's a photograph of my great-grandmother's grave. She moved to California with her daughter Margaret and is buried here in Stockton.

Her husband, Friedrich, died at sea. The family story is he was unable to find work in NYC as a carpenter and took a job as a stoker on a ship, where he died (of heat exhaustion or a heart attack) in the engine room. I was able to verify this when I had a packet of family letters translated from the Old German into English. Among them was a receipt from the steamship company that forwarded his possessions (a couple of items of clothing and not much else) to his widow.

Debra Hyman, January 2010


Louth (and a variety of spellings) on Sheriff Street

Francis Louth (Loud) and Adaline

Birth: Circa 1828 Bavaria

Marriage: Adaline born circa 1829

Children:

  1. Peter, circa 1856, New York

  2. Matthew circa 1858, New York

1860 Census: Dwelling 180, page 107, 2nd Div Ward 11, Francis Loud, age 32, laborer, $100, Bavaria, Adaline age 31 Bavaria, Peter age 4, born New York, Matthew age 2, born New York

1890 NYC Police Census: 96 Sheriff St, "Matthew" Louth age 62, Tillie, age 60, Peter age 33, and John age 25 (?faint)


The Schneider Family on Sheriff Street

Christopher Schneider

Birth:

Marriage: Margaret

Children

  1. John Schneider, c 1832-?, Wurttemberg, Germany

    Birth:

    Circa 1832/34 in Wurttemberg - Bavaria (based on censuses) most likely the son of Christopher Schneider

    John Schneider was the landlord at 88 - 90 Sheriff street for many years. Christopher (or Christian) Schneider was listed at 88 Sheriff in the 1855-56, and 1856-57 City Directories and in the 1862 and 1864 IRS tax records. The close association of both Christopher and John with 88 Sheriff Street suggests a relationship between the two of them. In addition, Jacob Schneider born circa 1845 was listed with Christopher Schneider in the 1855 NY State census and with John Schneider in the 1860 Federal census.

    Immigration of Johann Schneider: The name was quite common so I have not been able to pin point an immigration for him.

    Marriage: Caroline (last name not known sometime before 1855 when their first son was born). She was born circa 1835.

    Children:

    1. John E c 1855 (In the 1860, 1870, 1880 and 1890 censuses with his father)

      Death: ??? 16 Apr 1893 ???

    2. William H circa 1858 (In the 1860, 1870, 1880 and 1890 censuses with his father)

    3. Charles circa 1859 (in the 1860 Census with his father)
    4. Jacob circa 1860 (in the 1860 Census with his father)
    5. Edward circa 1864 (In the 1870, 1880 and 1890 censuses with his father)

    6. Carl circa 1867 (In the 1870 census as "Carl, in 1880 and 1890 censuses with his father as Cornelious)

    7. Fred c 1868 (In the 1870, 1880 and 1890 censuses with his father)

    8. George c 1870 (In the 1870, 1880 and 1890 censuses with his father)

    9. Julia c 1873 (in the 1880 and 1890 censuses with her father)

    10. Lise c 1876 (in the 1880 and 1890 censuses with her father)

    1860 Census: dwelling #173, family #941, Ward 11, district 2, page 102, Schneider, John, age 27, grocer, $75, born Wurtemberg, Caroline age 26 born NY, John E age 5, William H age 2, Charles 1 and Jacob 15 months. There were 3 other families in the building. The occupations were laborer, carpenter and tailor. There was a count of 19 people.

    Note: They were the only Schneiders listed in Ward 11, district 2 in the 1860 census.

    1870 Census: page 48, Ward 11, dwelling #55, family 467, John Schneider, 38, grocer, born Bavaria, Caroline 36, born NY, John 15, Wm 12, Edw 6, Carl 3 Fred 3 and --- 3 months.

    1880 Census: Page 48, SD1, ED 154, Front 88 Sheriff street, Schneider, John 46 grocer, Carrie age 46, John 24 grocer clerk,'William 23 grocer clerk, Eddie 14 school, Fred 11, School, George 10 school, Cornelious 13 school, Julia 7, Lizzie 4.

    1881 Directory: John C Schneider, 88 Sheriff, grocery retail

    Death: Caroline after 1880 before 1890

    1890 NYC Police Census: John age 56, John age 34, William age 31, Edward age 25, Cornelis age 21, Fred age 20, George age 19, Julia age 16, and Lizzie age 13

    Death of John Schneider:

  2. Christopher Schneider

    Birth:

    Naturalization: Schneider, Christopher, Jr., June 15, 1850, 101 102 3 Carlisle St. NYC, born Germany, address of witness Christopher Schneider Sr. 88 Sheriff Street

    Note: Carlisle Street in near Battery Park City.

  3. Barbara 1843 (1855 census)

    Death: Schneider, Barbara, age 16 years and ? months, 88 Sheriff Street, August 9, 1859, bon NY cause of death, St Vitus Dance, buried Lutheran Cemetery

  4. Frederica c 1845 (1855 census)

  5. Jacob circa 1845 (1855 census)

1850 Census: Ward 11, pages 211 and 212, dwelling 511 family 2919, "Joseph Snider age 56, laborer born Germany, Margt Snider age 48 born Germany, Christian age 17 clerk, born Germany, Frederica 16, born Germany, Barbara age 7 born New York, Jacob 6 born New York.

Notes:

  • While "Joseph" is not what would be expected, Margaret and the children "Christian", Frederica, Barbara, and Jacob match the other census records for this family. This is all within a normal range for variations in the census.

  • On the same page (next residence) is Joseph Thompson 43, born Scotland, trunk maker. Joseph Thompson "boxes" was listed in the 1851 City directory at #86 Sheriff Street.

1855 New York State Census:

  1. Dwelling #91, a wooden building, contained four families, 2 rag pickers and 2 laborers:
    1. Joseph Raymone age 39, rag picker, ---line 28 wife, John child and --- child
    2. John _ Worrter age 41 labourer and his family
    3. Christopher Snider* age 55 laborer, Margaret wife age 52, Frederica daughter age 10, Barbara 12, Jacob age 10**
    4. *Snider, Snyder, and Schnieder are acceptable variation of the spelling of the name. ** Jacob was listed with John Schneider in the 1860 Census.
    5. Michael ___ rag picker, and his family wife Barbara, child Margaret, Margaret --- boarder and ---- same last name age 1

1848/48, 1849/50, 1851, 1852/53, 1853/54, City Directories: No Schneider, Snider etc. listed at 88 or 90 Sheriff.

1850/51 City directory: Christopher Schneider rags, 88 sheriff Street.

1855-56 City Directory: "Christian" Schneider was listed in the 1855-56 NYC Directory as "bones", 88 Sheriff.

1856-57 Directory:

"Christopher" Schneider lab 88 Sheriff, 1856-57 NYC Directory

1857 NYC Directory: Schneider, Christopher, laborer, h r 88 Sheriff Street

1859-60 City Directory: "Chris" Schneider grocer 100 Sheriff, h 88 Sheriff

1860/61: Christopher Schneider grocer 88 Sheriff Street

1860 Census: Not listed at 88 or 90 Sheriff street

1861/62: Christopher Schneider grocer 88 Sheriff Street

IRS Tax Records, District 7 New York: Listed "Christopher" Schneider

  • 1862, 88 Sheriff Street, liquor $20, groceries $10
  • October 1864, 88 Sheriff Street value $600, tax $30, page 543

1876, 1877, 1879, 1880, 1882-1883 Directories NYC: John C. Schneider, grocer, 88 Sheriff Street

1880 voters Registration: John E Schneider, Wm. H Schneider, and John Schneider were registered at 88 Sheriff Street

1896: William Schneider was the owner of 88 Sheriff Street

1900 census: Didn't find any of them on Sheriff street.


84 Sheriff Street in 1890

The Schiff Family who (according to the family web site) owned a butcher shop at 84 Sheriff Street

Mored on the Schiff family:

1900 Census

79 Sheriff Street; Schiff, Haskel Sept 1871, age 29, married 5 years, born Austria, immigrated 1890, butcher, Mollie, age 25 Freda, age 3 Isidore age 1, Sam brother-in-law age 15

They were on Myrtle Ave Brooklyn in 1910. Haskel was listed as a butcher with his own shop.


88 - 90 Sheriff Street, Lower East Side, New York City in the City Maps

88 - 90 Sheriff Street was located in the Lower East Side between Stanton and Rivington, Willet (east of Pitt Street) and Columbia Streets. The address does no exist today. High rise housing developments were build in this area in the 1960s. Willett Street no longer exists and there is only a tiny portion of Sheriff Street remaining. This area now encompasses the Masaryk Towers.

In the following maps:

Yellow represents wood. Red represents brick. Uncolored area are open space. Green could be a building of any material, but indicates some sort of hazardous condition - perhaps a forge, bakery, oil or resin works. Grey represents stone or metal. The dotted lines indicate an open framework - such as a balcony or a passage way on a lower floor[s].

Small numbers in the buildings (underlined in the later maps) indicate the number of floors.

Numbers on the street indicate the address.

Some maps indicated the function of the building as shown in the 1903 map where 90 Sheriff is designated "Chinese Laundry".


1853 Map (New York Public Library digital collection) showing 88 - 90 Sheriff street.


1856-7 Map (New York Public Library digital collection) showing 88 - 90 Sheriff street.

This map indicates that 88 has some out buildings between the rear and front tenements.

Area map and enlargement of 86/88 and 90 Sheriff St.

The date of the map is not known. (Map courtesy of the New York City Library). This map shows the block of Sheriff street that included 88 - 90 Sheriff - there are dumbbell shaped buildings in the area. 90 is shown as an old style building. 88 is not shown. There is an alley between the building marked 86 and the building marked 90. Behind 90, 92 and 94 are a series of 2 story brick buildings with what I assume are balconies. There is also a fairly large yard, by comparison with other buildings in the area.

Changes of note between the earlier and later maps are: the size of the yards and the fact that in the earlier maps the rear tenement abuts the building in the lot behind.

Map 1899 - (Map courtesy of the New York City Library)

This map is dated 1899. It shows Nos. 88 and 90 Sheriff street. 88 is not numbered but is represented by building #8. The underlined 5 on each building represents the number of floors. 90 Sheriff went from a 2 story building in the older map to a 5 story building in the 1899 map. It is now shown with the dumbbell shape and extends quite a bit deeper into the lot. This clearly indicates a new construction from the previous map.

The earlier map shows rear tenements at 94, 92, 90, 88, 86, and 84. The rear tenements are gone at 90, 92 and 94 by 1899. However, the rear tenements remained at 88, 86, and 84. They have also increase it height by two stories.

This change to dumbbell shape represents the new thinking in tenement buildings which included air shafts between the buildings. See New York City Tenement Life
now or at the bottom of the page.

1903 map 88 and 90 sheriff street.

No 88 in 1909:

Plans have been filed for remodeling the two four story front and rear tenement houses, No. 88 Sheriff street, to conform with regulations of the Tenement House Department, the improvements being made by the India Wharf Brewing Company as owner, from designs by Harry Klein as architect.

NY Tribune 1909

If the 1916 map is a true indication, it appears that the planned renovations were not carried out.

Map 1916

1916 map showing 88 and 90 Sheriff Street. There were no changes at 88 and 90 Sheriff between 1899 and 1916. However, 82 - 84 Sheriff changed during this time period.


(Tenement House Problem, 1901)

Many back to back buildings left a small space between the buildings. Some times the space was as little as an inch. Other times it was as much as 25 inches. The space was unfortunately often used as a rubbish dump.

Map 4, 2009 Google

Red "X" indicates approximate location of 88 -90 Sherrif Street


Other Happenings on East side of Sheriff Street between Rivington and Stanton

96 Sheriff Street, 1844

Dr. Stephen Wood wrote a letter to John H Griscom, M. D. in August 1844 in reference to cases of infectious disease. Dr Griscom included the letter in his report on the Sanitary Conditions of the Laboring Population of New York in 1845.

In the letter Dr. Wood talked of an unnamed patient age about 45 "of intemperate habits" who had pneumonia and Typhus symptoms. Treatment included: bleeding, stimulants, expectorants, and a "blister to the chest". These measures provided only temporary relief. The patieint died a few days after the visit.

The patient lived in a basement room at 96 Sheriff Street "some six feet below the street, dark and damp, with very scanty ventilation, and ceilings, or rather beams so low" that the good doctor could not "stand erect between them". The apartments in this building were "filthy and offensive in the extreme".

Dr. Wood concluded that the death was the result of the "manner of living, and habits" of the patient.

The widow of the patient "died last spring, with fever of a low form in the same miserable house". "Subsequently a quantity of waster was found under the flooring." "Lodgers were taken in" at this building which was owned by a "colored woman" who was know to have been intoxicated on occasion.

Subsequently Dr. Wood treated another man with similar symptoms in an upper room of the same house. His quarters were also small dirty cramped and poorly ventilated. His case too ended in death.

He treated other cases in the same house which were "slow in convalescing".

The building was:

"only occupied by person of this class; and most of them appear to be intemperate, and of the lowest grade - the off scouring of all things."

On the premises, and in the vicinity, are a number of vile grog-shops, at which these poor creatures obtain the means of their physical suffering, and intellectual, moral, and religious degradation, and too often, it is to be feared, their final and lasting ruin."

Fortunately, from the Dr. Wood's point of view, the Health Warden and Street Inspector of the eleventh ward stepped in and shut up some of the "grogeries", closed up some of the "worst rooms", and sent many of the "inmates" to Blackwell's Island.

Notes:

  • Typhus, which caused fever and delirium, was epidemic at times. It was spread by lice and fleas.
  • Bloodletting and "blistering" were common cures for pneumonia in the past.
  • Blackwell's Island is now Roosevelt Island. At one point it was called Wellfare Island (1921-1973). While Dr. Wood does not specify where on Blackwell's Island they were sent the possibilities in 1844 were, a penitentiary opened in 1832, and the New York Lunatic Asylum opened in 1839.
  • Dr. Stephen Wood was born circa 1811. He graduated from Columbia in Medicine in 1833. He was head of the Vaccine Department of the Eastern dispensary at 420 Grand street in 1834. He was listed in the 1860 census in New York city, age 49, Physician, born New York, wife, Catherine, age 46 born Virginia, Francis age 20, accountant, Robert age 17, clerk, Stephen, age 15, John 13, Benj 10, Howard age 4, and two servants. By 1870 they had another child, Caroline who was listed as age 8. The value of their real estate in 1870 was $18,000. Personal estate $3,000. There were two servants in 1870. (Not the same ones as in 1860.) In the 1880 Census Dr. Wood was listed as "paralyzed". Robert Wood died in 1866. Francis Wood died in 1910. Catherine King Wood died in 1898. The Woods were Quakers and members of the Friends Meeting on 20th Street. Dr Wood died in Flushing New York March 7, 1884 at age 73.

96 Sheriff Street, 1909

In July 1903 J. Laughlin a defendant in a law suit either owned or "was in possession of" 96 Sheriff street. Court testimony indicated:

"upon which then stood a tenement house consisting of a basement or a cellar, store on the ground floor, and four stories above, with four apartments on each floor. Each tenant heated his own apartment, and the cellar was so subdivided that each tenant had a separate bin for coal."

The New York Supplement

98 Sheriff Street, December 1865

STABBING OF CIGAR STORE OWNER 98 SHERIFF, 1865

William Kurz a cigar store owner at 98 Sheriff street was stabbed in an altercation with a drunken 18 year old Irishman named William Amos. Another person, George Hohlan, who came to the aid of Kurz was also stabbed. December 1, 1865, New York Times

Note: No William Kurz on Sheriff street in the 1869 directory but there is a listing for Kurz, William, segars, 498 E. Houston in 1869.

86 Sheriff Street, December 1867

BOARD OF EXCISE, 1867

Included as one of fourteen violations of the "Excise Law" - Jacob Schneider, No. 86 Sheriff street, December 25, 1867, New York Times

Notes:

  • The Excise tax was passed in 1866 to try and control the number of saloons and establishments selling liquor.
  • I did not find a listing for Jacob Schneider on Sheriff street in the 1869 directory.
  • Several Jacob Schneiders listed in the 1870 census, none of whom obviously fit the bill

94 Sheriff Street, 1875

FRAUD, 1875

Mrs. Catherine Klengenberg, of 94 Sheriff street was charged of defrauding the US government by drawing a pension as a widow of a Union soldier after she had remarried. Bail was set at $1,000 and she was sent to Ludlow Street Jail. April 1, 1875, New York Times

Note: No Civil War Pension listing for Klengenberg

92 Sheriff Street, 1883

LITTLE MARY ANN WILLIS DEATH

DR. WASHBURN DISCOVERY OF AN ALLEDGED BABY FARM

Mary Ann Willis a 3 month and 5 day old infant in the care of Mrs. Franz Krick died in July 1883. Mrs. Krick had brought the child into the Eastern Dispensary twice for treatment of a diarrheal disease "commonly known as the Summer complaint". Mrs Krick told the doctor that "the child was illegitimate and she had received it from the mother about five weeks previous to nurse. The child had been weak and sickly from birth." The child subsequently died. When she reported the death to Dr. Wickes Washburn, Mr. Krick commented that she would have to get another child to replace it. This aroused the suspicion of Dr. Washburn who "appended to the death certificate" with a memorandum in which he said "he had reason to believe that the house in which the child died was a "baby farm"."

The Kricks lived at 92 Sheriff street. They had previously lived in Dutch Kills, Long Island. Franz Krick was a tailor. They had no children of their own but over the years had taken in "a great many children" including:

  • A girl they had brought up from infancy who was 29 and married
  • A boy who had been "adopted" by them as an infant who was 25 and married
  • A girl of 12 years who lived with them
  • A girl of 17 months who lived with them.

Of the last two the reporter stated "Their appearance indicated that they had received good care."

By the time the reporter arrived the Kricks had aquired another infant who also did not appear to be thriving. Mrs Krick was apparently paid $10 a month for the care of these infants. The mothers of both of the infants who had recently been in the care of Mrs. Krick had been obliged to put their children out to nurse so that they could find jobs.

Notes: BABY FARMS -

Tending or caring for children under 12 years of age who were not relatives, apprentices, pupils, or wards was unlawful unless one obtained a license.

Social reformers preached against the practice. Certainly there were terrible abuses where women actually murdered the young children or did not nourish them enough so they would live. On the other hand, there were probably many kind hearted women who took in children. Many of the mothers who placed the children out for care had little choice. They may have felt relatively comfortable with the practice which was quite common in Europe where even women of the upper classes had wet nurses* for their children. Upper class children were frequently placed outside of their home with some local village woman.

I cannot fid anything else on the Kricks. They are not in the censuses under that spelling.

Wickes Washburn was born in LaGrange New York in 1853, He graduated from the Medical Department of the University of the City of New York in 1877. He died in Elizabeth New Jersey on June 19, 1922.

* Breast feeding by a woman not the mother.

8- Sheriff Street, 1887

HARDLY A SUICIDE, 1887

Jacob Kopelski a tailor lived at 8- Sheriff (either 86 or 88 it is blurred) with his daughter, Wiadislawa age 17. Wiadislawa worked at a feather store on Broadway and apparently hated her job. She ran away from home an sent a note from New Jerrsey saying she was going to drwon herself in the East River. May 13, 1887, New York Times

Note: Nothing for Jacob and/or Wlasdislawa Kopelski (and several variations of spelling) on Castle Gardens, or Ancestry.

86 Sheriff Street, 1891

Marie Czirbusch, 1891

Seven year old Marie Czirbusch arrived unattended on the steamship Aller from Austria to join her mother at 86 Sheriff street. April 1, 1891, New York Times

Note:

  • No listing at Castle Garden.
  • No listing on Ancestry.
  • Only listing on Google search for this spelling is this NYT article.
  • No one with that name listed as a registered voter at 86 Sheriff in 1880.

90 Sheriff Street, 1892

"Benjamin Boley, dealer in bottles at 90 Sheriff Street had two judgements entered against him one for $570 in favor of Isaac Berma--, and the other for $7,462 in favor of Abraham Rosenberg, on two promissory notes" (New York Times, 12, January 1892.)

Mr Boley had been in business about 12 years.

1882: Benjamin Boley, 92 Sheriff Street, bottles, NYC directory.

1870: Ward 11, Boley, Henry age 40 bottle dealer, born Germany, Caroline, 4-, born Germany, Elle 13, Benjamin 11, Barbara 9, Wm 1 children born New York, at 92 Sheriff between Rivington and Scranton.

Others in building in 1870: Seifert, John 60 fireman, born Germany. There were only these two listings at 92. The neighboring buildings at 90 and 88 were crowded by comparison. See 88 and (0 Sheriff in the 1870 Census above.

1889 Boley, Benjamin, bottles, 96 S 5th ave & 90 sheriff h B'klyn and Boley, Henry, bottles h 90 Sheriff

1898: Boley, Benj. bottles 52 Cannon h 11 Weirfield, B'klyn

Benjamin Boley made beer and soda bottles and had several patents for his bottles and bottle stoppers. He was involved in several law suits. 1880: Henry Boley was at 92 Sheriff street, there were three families in the building: Ludwig Walters, shoemaker, the Boleys , bottle makers, and Heny Grob, baker. 1898: A man named Shapiro who was a beer bottler at 90 Sheriff Street in 1898 obtained a divorce from his wife who at the time was living in Russia with their two small children. Mr. Shapiro was about to remarry when his wife arrived from Russian she claimed to know nothing of the divorce. Mrs. Shapiro claimed the husband left her 7 years before in Wilnar, Russia. Mr. Shapiro and his finance tried to gain custody of the two children.

84 Sheriff Street, 1903

82 and and 84 Sheriff street, five story front and rear tenements on plot 45 by 100 were sold in March 1903.

84 Sheriff Street, 1932 - Supreme Court Case - Kate Jones against Hattie M Funke

82 and 84 Sheriff Street is a plot of land on the easterly side of Sheriff Street, commencing 130 feet 149 north of Rivington Street, 45 feet by 100 feet. The improvements, a six-story and cellar brick semifireproof new law tenement house with stores. The basement has three rentable spaces. The first floor has three apartments, two apartments of four rooms and one apartment of three rooms. Each of the five upper floors has six apartments, three or four rooms, one of four rooms and baths and two of three rooms. There are toilets in each apartment. Maurice 8. Cass - For Plaintiff - Direct. 1495 hot water supply, combination bath and wash tubs in the kitchens; electric lights with good fixtures; the living rooms have paneled walls. There are a total of three basement and three stores, 121 rooms and five baths.
Further testimony:
Three basements at $6 each, $18; three stores at $20 each, $60. First floor: Two four-room apartments at $20, $40; one three-room apartment at $15, $15. Second floor: One four-room and bath apartment, $22; three four-room apartments at $20 each, 1497 $60; two three-room apartments at $15 each, $30. Third floor: One four-room and bath apartment, $22; three four-room apartments at $20 each, $60; two three-room apartments at $15 each, $30. Fourth floor: One four-room and bath apartment, $22; three four-room apartments at $20 each, $60; two Ihree-room apartments at $15 each, $30. Fifth tloor: One four-room and bath apartment, 821: three four-room apartments at $19 each, $57; two three-room apartments at $14 each, $28. Sixth floor: One four-room and hath apartment, $20; three four-room apartments at $18 each, $54; two three-room" apartments at .113 each, $26; total per month, $675, or $8,10(1 a year.

Q. What, in your opinion are the present estimated operating expenses, including taxes, per annum?

A. Taxes, $850; water, $120; lights, $60; help, $420 : insurance, $331; painting, $600 ; general repairs, $500; coal, $400; miscellaneous and supplies, $100; total, $3,381.


West Side of Sheriff Street

71 Sheriff

1892 - there was reportedly a bar at 71 Sheriff in 1892.

January 1896 The tailors lock-out had some "success" when four contractors broke away from the Clothing Contractors Mutual Protection Association and opened the shops under the old agreement with the union. These contractors were Goldfarb, 49 Sheriff, Abrahamson 6 Chrystie st, Sternberg 50 Willett, st., and Posner 31 Ridge st. Tailors who were locked out from the Contractor Marks Isaac's shop started a co-operative at 71 Sheriff st. They were given cloth for "making up directly from several manufacturers". The tailors chipped in $5 or $10 each to get equipment for the shop. Some of these men had formerly worked in the Posner shop. (NY Times)

August 1896 - A quarrel in the shop of Louis Silverstein at 71 Sheriff was caused by a group of striking tailors who entered the shop and demanded that the men who were at work quit. apparently there was a high level of animosity between those on strike and those at work. (NY Times 13 August 1896)

In 1899 Jacob Rabinowitz was listed at 72 Sheriff both under "Fruit Stand" and "Newspapers Stands" (Ordinances Resolutions etc. Vol 2)

97 Sheriff

Ignatz "Dansiger" was a butcher at 97 Sheriff in 1893

Ignatz "Danciger" of 97 Sheriff street born Austria became a citizen October 15, 1891.

He was listed in the directory at 97 Sheriff "meat" in 1892 and 1894.


New York Rag Pickers

The New York Department of Sanitation DSNY was founded in 1881 as the Department of Cleaning. Sanitation was not really effective until the 1890s. Before that the city did not really have a garbage collection system. In the old days pigs roamed the streets to eat the garbage. The rag pickers were in fact doing the city a service. Otherwise, the stuff they collected would have been left to rot or cost money to haul away.


Rag Pickers 1853

The New York Herald October 5, 1853

The Rag Pickers of New York. — We published to-day an account of the chiffoniers of New York and of the rag trade, which will be found interesting to our readers. A Perusal of the article will lead those who have formed an erroneous impression of the business from the repulsive character of some of its features to change their by the immense consumption of paper in our establishment alone. We have shown that, to supple the paper used in the printing of the HERALD, over three million pounds of rags are required every year, the cost of which at an average of five cents a pound, is about one hundred and fifty thousand dollars. When we consider the importance of the rag trade in relation to the interests of all department of business, we will be less likely to think meanly of even the poorest of those employed in it."
The article itself is hard to read because of the quality of the copy available on line.

THE RAG PICKERS OF NEW YORK

The rag trade was very important for the making of paper used in business and newspapers. Rag pickers are the basis of the trade.

"About twelve to fifteen years ago the rag trade was confined to a few Germans and Irish, many of whom have acquired large fortunes and are still in the business."
There were purportedly as many as 5,000 rag pickers in New York in 1853 - many were recently arrived immigrants - mostly German but some Irish.

In addition to the rag pickers who collected rags to make paper there were others who specialized in wool rags and tailors clippings to make shoddy.

"The number of wholesale rag dealers and merchants in New York is estimate at one hundred. Besides these there are seven hundred licensed and unlicensed junk shops, which buy rags from housekeepers and rag pickers, and sell them to rag dealers."
Rags were big business.

The eleventh ward was "par excellence the rag ward of the city." It was supposed to contain "no less than from two to three thousand chiffoniers". The lived (according to this article) at "Pitt, Third, Clinton, Fifth, Ridge, Stanton, Rivington and Goerck (?)". NO mention of Sheriff.

"As a general thing, however, they live in communities of from three to four hundred"

"Whole families of eight, ten, twelve, are employed on the streets of New York picking rags"

Everyone in the family helped from the "grandmother or great grandmother" to "a child not yet more than five or six years of age".

The rag picker dressed in tattered dirty clothes, off casts of other, patched and shabby. The children were "very poorly clad at all seasons of the year". None the less, they appeared fat and healthy.

The dwellings of the rag picker were described as "miserable hovels"

"Imagine a room about eight by ten, without any light except what it receives through the door, and occupied by five or six persons every night, and you can have something like an idea of the sleeping apartment of a rag picker. The sitting room is made to answer all the purposes of a sleeping apartment also and a kitchen. The furniture is, as a general thing, of the worst description, but we have seen in one or two rooms mahogany bedsteads that would grace the sleeping apartment of any of those who belong to what is termed the upper classes. How such furniture found its way into these dwellings it would be hard to determine.
The dwelling was inevitably dirty due to the nature of the work but many rag pickers prided "themselves on the style in which their rooms are furnished, and the neatness with which they are kept"

"Each days collection is brought home, is washed and hung up to dry" The the rags sold for a better price when cleaned.

Some of adult male pickers started their day at 3 o'clock in the morning returning around 5 or 6. At that point other family members went out. The youngest members of the family went out around 9 or 10 some not returning until "nightfall".

The rags were separated - the woolen from the cotton and linen. The bones were boiled. The fat was sold to soap and candle makers and the bones themselves to bone manufacturers.

"It is only in very rare cases that the children of rag pickers follow the business of their parents when they arrive at the age of manhood or womanhood. The boys invariably enter some other occupation, and the girls go into the service of families as nurses, servants, etc. The parents themselves, when they have acquired sufficient money for the purpose, emigrate to the West, where they purchase farms. They are enabled to do this after fur or five years; but we very seldom find them engaging in the grocery business, like others of their countrymen."
They "seldom or never" put their money in banks, preferring to lock it in a strong box kept under the bed. They always traded bills for coins.

Sunday was their day for amusement. They congregated in the beer halls and although "their occupation may be regarded by some as degrading and demeaning" they were the same as every other person on Sundays. The large beer halls were crowed every Sunday from "six or seven till eleven or twelve". They held one or two hundred people. The hall was lined with long tables with benches on the side leaving narrow passages ways for the customers and waiters. The walls were decorated with "drinking scenes, desperate conflicts with brigands, lover's courtships, shipwrecks". Music was an indispensable part of the evening. There were bands, singers and comic routines, beer drinking and a lot of smoking.

The rag pickers occasionally held "balls":

The patched garments were thrown aside for the occasion, and their place supplied by clothes which a Broadway beau or belle would not have been ashamed to wear. The display of jewelry was surprising. Men, who might be seen wandering about the street every day delving into dirt heaps, sported massive gold watch chains, with the fingers of the women were ornamented with rings."
The waltz was the most popular dance at the balls.

The rag pickers also like to go on Sunday to Hoboken where they enjoyed themselves "with little pic-nic parties under the trees".

The rag pickers also had a benevolent societies to assist the sick among them. These societies also took excursions up the East River to Long Island in the summer time.

There were "classes: of rag pickers: Men with horses and carts who went out into the countryside. Men with horses in the city Men who pulled their own cards in the city.

Dogs were used to pull some rag pickers carts. It was hard work for the dog but the dogs themeless appeared "plump" fed on the "refuse meat and offal of slaughter houses". They are specially reared by there owners and trained to pull the carts. Most were "Mastiff, Newfoundland and some other breeds".

Italics mine.

Notes:

  • Shoddy was invented by my ancestor Benjamin Law in Yorkshire England circa 1813. See Benjamin Law and the Development of Shoddy

  • It is interesting that Sheriff Street was not mentioned in this article.

  • "How such furniture found its way into these dwellings it would be hard to determine." Why is it assume that people without funds are also without taste?

  • The Western emigration again! I wish I could find something on this.

  • "in very rare cases that the children of rag pickers follow the business of their parents". Is this a variation of the betterment in the west - anything but a rag picker?

  • Hoboken, New Jersey contained another large community of Germans and was famous for its beer gardens. See Hoboken

  • Rag pickers balls - I would be interested in knowing more about this.

Rag Pickers of New York, 1857

Rag pickers of New York American Phrenological Journal Oct 1857;26,4

"It is very interesting to him who studies character to look at t he heads, faces, and bodies of his peculiar class, for it is as distinct in looks and demeanor from all other as it is in pursuit. Their heads are wide and low, their faces long, sallow, and imbrowned; their features fixed and rigid as if frozen, the expression of their eyes hard and cold, and a look of obstinate yet independent sorrow seems to pervade every feature. Their bodies, too, sympathize with their faces and their vocation. Their back are bent, their step is stern yet hopeless, and the entire makeup is groveling, careless of everybody, indifferent to frowns or smiles, to broadcloth or silk, looking only for rags and garbage, bones old shoes and coal."

And "Dirty, ill-paid, and debased as the rag-pickers and garbage gathers really are, they are, nevertheless, useful to the public, and unlike beggars, they are self-sustaining, and live on the avails of that which would otherwise be wasted.............. Such a mass of matter as they thus collect form the streets, if left to rot in the gutters would prejudice the public health; and the amount of paper which can be made from the rags and papers which they collect in this city is really surprising. It would be reckoned by thousands of tons annually. Of how much more value, however, are human beings than paper rags! How much more ennobling would it be for these people to cultivate the idle land in the West, and procure a good living, and add ten times as much to the common stock than they now do!

The italics are mine. Here is that old rag picker and the "West" association presented not as an event that has occurred but one that might.


Every Saturday, November 4, 1871

THE RAG PICKER

This looks more like hunting in the dumps than picking stuff up off the street. The woman in the foreground is smoking a pipe. This could insinuate she was Irish, as Irish women were known to smoke pipes and they were also noted as rag pickers.

In addition to the sack on her back she is carrying a stick to poke the refuse piles.


The man has a hook for grabbing the rags. If the rag is wet, he might ring it out against a curbstone with his foot and put it in his basket to dry a bit. Later it would be transferred to his sack.


Every Saturday July 16, 1870

THE RAG PICKER

This image epitomizes the description of the German rag picker with his cart and dogs as described in numerous articles in the New York press.

Owning a cart and dogs indicate that he was of a "better class" of rag pickers.

Note the bell:

How the Other Half Lives, 1890.

The Bend WHERE Mulberry Street crooks like an elbow within hail of the old depravity of the Five Points, is "the Bend," foul core of New York’s slums. Long years ago the cows coming home from the pasture trod a path over this hill. Echoes of tinkling bells linger there still, but they do not call up memories of green meadows and summer fields; they proclaim the home-coming of the rag-picker's cart.

Jacob A. Riis (1849–1914)


Large dog were used to pull carts. The dogs also protected the cart while the rag picker might be up an alley or in a basement to retrieve rags. This woman is also of a "better class" of rag pickers.


"The Rag Gatherers", Wistler, James McNeil (1834-1903) Etcher, published 1858, Samuel Putnam Avery Collection, New York Public Library


"In the Rag Trade", Houghton, Arthur Boyd (1836-1875 artist, Thomas, W. L. - Engraver, 1870, Graphic Illustrated Newspaper, New York Public Library

Harper's Weekly, Novermber 14, 1868

SKETCHES OF CITY LIFE- THE RAG PICKERS DISPOSING OF THEIR GATHERINGS

"Dumpster Diving", a modern version of scavenging [rag picking], is popular among the environmentally conscious with alternative life styles and artists who hunt for material for their art. In June 2009 the Brooklyn artist, Swoon, and friends are headed to the Venice Biennale on boats made from "garbage". Art in America and Swimming Cities.org


Harper's Weekly July 6, 1867, collection Maggie Land Blanck, April 2012

ARRESTED RAG-PICKERS IN CITY HALL PARK, NEW YORK

THE CHIFFONNIERS IN CONVENTION

There are constantly to be seen in the metropolis numbers of rag-pickers and garbage gatherers, who roam about the streets with small carts drawn by dogs harnessed to them. On June 20th last the citizens of new York had an opportunity of beholding a convention of these characters in City Hall Park. The opportunity was not lost on our artist, who has faithfully reproduced on this page the curious scene of the convocation of Chiffonniers. The assemblage was forced upon the rag-pickers through the instrumentality of the police, who arrested and detained them in City Hall Park in default of the payment of license fees. The police arrested over fifty of these characters.

I cannot find any reference in the news papers to this event.

Harper's Weekly November 4, 1871, reproduction, collection Maggie Land Blanck, April 2012

SCENE OF THE DUMPING DOCK FOOT OF GOUVERNEUR'S STREET, EAST RIVER


CUTTING RAGS FOR RAG CARPETS

Postcard collection Maggie Land Blanck, April 2012


Rag picking was/is popular all over the world. This images is of "LONDON LIFE - An East End Rag-and-Bone Man"

Rag picking of a sort is practiced in my neighborhood in Brooklyn where people gather recyclable cans and bottles and other objects with potential value that are left on the street for collection.


HARPERS WEEKLY MARCH 12, 1874

SKETCHES OF RAG-PICKERS ROW

THE RAG PICKERS AT HOME


Harpers Weekly March 12, 1874, collection Maggie Land Blanck, April 2012

EXTERIOR VIEW


Harpers Weekly March 12, 1874, collection Maggie Land Blanck, April 2012

CHILDREN IN THE COURT


Harpers Weekly March 12, 1874, collection Maggie Land Blanck, April 2012

ASSORTING RAGS IN THE CELLAR


Harpers Weekly March 12, 1874, collection Maggie Land Blanck, April 2012

CUTTING RAGS FOR RAG CARPETS


Rag Pickers Row 1868

The Third Annual Report of the Metropolitan Broad of Health, State of New York published in 1868 described "Rag-Picker's Row" between Houston, Stanton, Pitt and Willett as a group of three front and seven rear houses containing 106 families and 452 people.

"Their rooms are cleanly, and have an agreeable odor when compared with the same class of dwellings elsewhere. While an air of comfort and domesticity everywhere prevails among the people, notwithstanding the offensiveness of their avocation and the filth in which they traffic. The sent their children to school; put a part of their earnings into the Savings Bank; refer all their quarrels and complaints to the local superintendent on the premises, and some of them migrate to the west, where they take their place among the producers of wealth, after having been savers from waste"

The Eleventh Ward

The 11th ward was bounded by Rivington Street on the south, the East River on the East, 14th street on the north and Avenue B and Clinton street on the west.

In 1900 it contained 213 acres, 2,031 tenement houses, (with 182 rear tenements), 20,303 families, 89,361 people including 14,058 children under 5. There were: 28 seven story tenements, 251 six story tenements, 694 five story tenements, 801 four story tenements, 237 three story tenements and 5 two story tenements, and several whose height was not recorded. The population of the ward had increased by 39 percent between 1864 and 1900 (The Tenement Problem, 1901).

Population:

  • 1880 Census: 68,778
  • 1890 Census: 75,708


Rag Pickers in Ward 11 in 1850

The 1850 census does not contain addresses. I looked through Ward 11 for possible rag pickers, bone pickers, junk dealers. I did find 6 junk dealers and 10 scavenger families. However none of them were on Sheriff Street.

I also found 88- 90 Sherrif in the 1850 census. There were "laboreres" but NO scavangers or rag pickers listed at #90 which contained 12 families. At #88 there were three families: one with no occupation, a grocer and a tailor. See Sheriff Street in 1850 above.

There were the following "junk" dealers or shops (6 Irish, 1 German):

  1. Owen Clark age 56, value of Real estate $10,000, born Ireland and his family, page 74 dwelling in order of visitation #188
  2. Wm Brady age 30, born Ireland, and his family page 104, dwelling #273
  3. Patrick Carll, age 45, born Ireland and family page 166, dwelling #471
  4. Thos Barrows, age 32, born Ireland, and family page 207, dwelling #500
  5. Michael Callighan age 50 born Ireland, page 317, dwelling #591
  6. Francis Blufuhy (?), 58, Junk shop $3,700 Germany, Esther 37, Mary 15, Charlotte 9 Jno age 7 house # 675, family 2816, page, 576

There were the following "scavengers" (all Germans):

  1. Peter Clark, age 50, scavenger, Margaret age 45, Mary age 14, Fritz age 16, news boy, Catherine age 3 months, born New York, rest born Germany, Page 241, dwelling #1, family 10. 13 Families 52 people. Another scavenger in the same building. Cannot find him in later censuses.

  2. Edw Muller, age 50, scavenger, born Germany, Catherine age 54, born Germany, dwelling #1, family 11 page 242.

    Other occupations in the building: Butcher, porter, grocer, 3 tailors, cabinet maker, machinist, furrier, black smith, umbrella maker, baker. Mostly Germans, Other nationalities,: Dutch, Welsh, English

  3. John Regon (?)* age 38, scavenger, Germany "Francis" 37, (female) age 37, Eliza 17, John 14, Andrew 12, Jacob 10, Frank 8, Anna 6, Sophia 3 born NY, rest born Germany. Page 245, dwelling #5, 9 families. Occupations: 2 bakers, shoemaker, 2 stone cutters, musician, painter, cabinet maker, dress maker. Nationalities: England, Ireland, mostly German.

    * Not listed by Ancestry with that spelling.

  4. Joseph Schifley*, age 40 scavenger, Catherine 36, Herman 7, Hannah 9, Jacob 5, Eve born New York, rest born Germany, page 251, dwelling #13, family 90. There were seven families in the building with a total of 42 people. Other occupations included: cabinet maker, another scavenger, furrier, butcher, goldsmith, 2 carpenters, machinist, and a ships carpenter. Nationalities included: German, Canadian, French and Ireland.

    * Ancestry has "Schibley"

  5. John _uck, age 40, Eliza, age 39, John age 12, Jacob age 10, Catherine age 11, Eliza age 9, Margret age 6 all born Germany, Caroline age 1, born NY, page 251, dwelling 13, see above.

  6. Geo Sunchan (?)* age 45, scavenger, born Germany, Elizab age 12, born Germany, Cath age 9 born New York, Louise age 7 born New York, Geo age 5 born New York, page 273 dwelling # (can't read, maybe 53), family 261. Four families in the building, 17 people. Other occupations in building: none, sigar maker, founder. Nationalities: Irish German Swiss.

    *I cannot make this name out and cannot get anything to come up on Ancestry with a variety of possible spellings.

  7. Louis Hou--ez, age 29, scavenger, Germany, Cath 25, Jacob 8, Elizet 6, Cath 8 Sarah 1 6 months, Elizabeth 72, adults born Germany, children born New York, dwelling 250, family # 893, page 95. 10 families, 37 people. Occupations: cabinet maker, 2 carman, peddler, tailor, market, basket maker, blind maker, glazier. Nationalities: all German.

  8. Peter Woolf age 33 scavanger born Germany, Mary 28, born New York Catherine 6 Peter 2 and 1 month, Jno 7 months (?), page 575, Dwelling 673, family No 2805.

    There are no ditto marks but listed just below Peter and without occupation are

    1. Philipp Shaffer 58, Avon age 55, Frank 12, Catherine 20, and Francis, 14, all born Germany, family 1805
    2. Micl Snopp- age 47, Mary 46, Lewis 14, Joseph 12, Mary 6, all born Germany, family #2806
    3. Henry Scaffer age 29, Osheler age 33 both born Germany, family #2807

    4. Ten families, 40 people. Occupations: Butcher, tailor, 2 laborers

  9. John Ardle (?) age 42, scavenger, Germany, Barbara 48, Lewis 10, Margaret 5, Harry 3, Family # 1855, dwelling 537 page 975. Six families in the house. 20 People. Occupations: baker, butcher, blacksmith, peddler, tailor. All German.

  10. Martin Simon, age 39, Mary, age 26, Angeline 14, Mathias, age 5 Barbara age 3, all born Germany, family 2669

    In the same hose next in order no ditto mark no occupation: Jacob Roler, age 33, Elvlyn 31, Mary 9 months, family # 2670

    Dwelling 652, page 561, 14 families, 64 people. Occupations: nothing, carpenter, 3 labourers, shoemaker, ships carpenter, tailor, mason.

Notes:
  • The page numbers are from Ancestry.com
  • Peter Clark, Edw Muller, John Regon, Joseph Schifley and John _uck were all living in close proximity to one another. Taking these 5 families of scavengers who were in close proximity gives a count of 30 persons including the infants. The rest of the occupations in these 3 buildings (and in the neighborhood in general) are very traditional occupations for the times. The blend of nationalities are also typical. It is interesting that the only rag pickers were Germans and the Junk men were mostly Irish. Regardless of the address, there were hardly the overwhelming hordes of "rag pickers" that were portrayed in the press.
  • Peter Woolf, Philip Schaffer, Michael Snoppe, and Henry Schaffer may all have been scavengers. These four families comprise 17 people including infants.
  • There were 747 dwellings, 3,300 famlies, 12,523 people in Ward 11 - an average of 3.79 persons per family and 4.4 families per dwelling.
These listings lead me to believe that in 1850 there does not appear to have been shame in labeling oneself as a "scavenger" - no need to cover up with euphemisms.


Children of the Rag Pickers, 1853 & 1854

The social reformers and newspaper commentators were concerned with the fact that most of the children of the rag pickers did not attend school and, it fact, worked as rag pickers. As one mother commented "We must make our living, and we cannot afford to send children to school, if they do not earn a living" (WALKS AMONG THE NEW YORK POOR, New York Times Mar 4, 1853.

There was also concern that the "children" drank, smoked and gambled.

There was few laws protecting children from abusive labor practices.

From and article entitled City Reform The Police and The Children Feb 1, 1854

F. C., a girl 12 years of age; a beautiful, yet pale and sickly child — My mother is a rag-picker and lives in Rag-Pickers row, by father is dead; my mother has a great heap of money in a bag; she will not send us to school, but makes me and my little brother go our without shoes and stockings to beg, sweep the street, and get her 75 cents; and if we get so much she will give us some cents to spend; if not she licks us; I cannot read' I do not know my letters

New York Daily Times


Description of the 11th Ward 1853

88 Sheriff Street was in the 11th Ward, which was described, in part, in the New York Times on March 4, 1853 as follows:

It is a wretched population — that of the eleventh — for the most part. You would think yourself in an old German city. The lower part of Houston-street, Sheriff-street, and Willet-street is always damp and foul with stagnant water and refuse, like a back street in Nürnberg or Prague. There are the same old German signs, and long bread-loves in the windows, the lager-bier shops, pipes, the women carrying heavy burdens and doing men's work, and the multitude of children playing and working about, without any care or restraint.

There are pleasanter signs, too, of foreign stock — pure white curtains even in the beer saloon, and occasionally a graceful and pretty plant in the window of the most poverty-stricken dwelling. the people look very poor — but there seems more intelligence and more eagerness to learn than you would find among the low Irish, for instance."


Description of the 11th Ward 1868

The population of the District is mainly foreign-born, the Germans being largest in the majority. It is composed in a very large part of those industrial classes who depend upon the various trades for a livelihood, including a large colony of rag-pickers, to whom special reference will be made on a subsequent page. As a whole, the people of this District are industrious workers at their various avocations, and are superior to the poorer classes of the First District in that they are self-supporting and less vicious. They need hospitals rather than prisons; and tax the public charities more through their misfortunes than their crimes.

Third Annual Report of the Metropolitan Broad of Health, State of New York published in 1868

According to the same report, Sheriff and Columbia Streets between Houston and Rivington had been "newly sewered" and the tenement houses on these streets were connected to the sewers for the first time.

Samuel Gompers

Samuel Gompers, founder of the AFL (American Federation of Labor) was born in England of Dutch Jewish parents. He immigrated to New York at the age of 13 in 1863.

"Our apartment in Sheriff Street was a typical three room home. The largest, the front room, was a combination kitchen, dining room and sitting room, with two front windows. There were two small bed rooms back, which had windows opening into the hall. We got water from a common hydrant in the yard and carried it upstairs. The toilet was in the yard also."

AMERICAN JEWISH HISTORY 1840-1880, page 266

In 1880 census the Gompers were 85 Columbia street front. The List of Registered Voters for the year 1880 listed
  • Lewis Gompers and Samuel Gompers at 85 Columbia Street
  • Henry Gompers at 87 Columbia Street


Ethel Rosenberg

Ester Ethel Greengkass was born in 1915 in a tenement at 64 Sheriff street the first daughter of Bernet Greenglass and Tessie Feit. The building was the typical dumbbell shaped four story on a 25 by 100 feet lot. There were four apartments on each floor and two "water closets" on each floor which were shared by the tenants. The apartments only had cold water.

Ethel and her husband, Julius Rosenberg, were convicted of conspiracy to comment espionage during a war and were executed in June 1953. The were accused of basing information about the atomic bomb to the Soviet Union.


The Houses on Sheriff Street

Harpers Weekly, July 28, 1883

Although this illustration is not specifically related to rag pickers it seems to portray the kind of conditions described in the news articles about Sheriff Street.

Library of Congress, Library of congress

I have not been able to find any older pictures of houses on Sheriff Street. Some of the following examples are tenements in the 11th ward that match (more or less) descriptions of Sheriff Street.
SCENE IN RIVINGTON PLACE

Report of the council of hygiene and public health of the Citizens' Association of New York, 1865, page 178

These houses on Rivington Place appear to match the descriptions of Sherrif place with the front an rear dwellings - the front ones of brick and the back of wood.

The Report of the council of hygiene and public health of the Citizens' Association of New York, 1865, page 177:

" Five small houses two and a half stories in height including the basements, each containing apartments for six families, front on an alley called 'Rivington Place,' located in the rear of Nos. 316 and 318 Rivington Street. This alley is always in a filthy condition. ..... the 30 families that reside in these five houses have no other water supply than that which two hydrants furnish in the exterior courtyard;" while for this population of nearly 200 persons of all ages there are but two privy vaults..."
I find it interesting that the report talks of the inconvenience of the water supply and the image show women hanging up laundry.

Dr. Guernsey reported that 42 peopel died here in "three weeks of cholera" in 1849. Cholera deaths in 1849 reached a toll of 5,071. Dr. Guernsey is the person who wrote about Sheriff Street in 1863.

Bone Alley

Hambidge, Jay (1867-1924) artist, print, "To be removed to make way for a new East Side small park, under the Tenement House Laws of 1895". Written on border: "Dec. 1896" Century magazine. (New York : The Century Co., 1870-) Mid-Manhattan Library/Picture Collection New York Public Library

Bone Alley was the home of rag and bone pickers and hence its name.

"This block contains the notorious Bone Alley. Which is the only entrance to five rear tenement houses in the block. These tenements are filled with rag pickers, and the place has given the health Board much tourble for al long time" March 25, 1896 New York Times

Bone Alley was one of the pet projects of the social reformer, Jacob Riis.

While the people in this image look rather solemn, the ally seems a bee hive of activity, with industrious people. The women are knitting, laundry is hung out, feather beds are being aired, children are playing.

"Bone Alley"Nooks & Corners of of Old New York by Charles Hemstreet,

Doesn't quite look like the same place.

This is now the site of Hamilton Fish Park

In Nooks and Corners of Old New York 1899 Charles Hemstreet says:

Work on Hamilton Fish Park began in 1896 in the space bounded by Stanton, Houston, Pitt, and Sheriff then divided into blocks by Willet Street. This was a congested, tenement-house vicinity, where misery and poverty pervaded most of the dingy dwellings. In wiping out the two solidly built up blocks, Bone Alley, well known in police history for a generation was effaced. On the west side of Willett Street, midway of the block, Bone Alley had its start and extended sixty feet into the block - a twenty five foot space between tall tenement, running plump into a row of houses extending horizontal with it. When these houses were erected they each had long gardens, which were built upon when the land became too valuable to be spared for flower -beds or breathing spots. In time they became the homes of rag- and bone-pickers, and thus the alley which led to them got its name, which it kept even after the rag-pickers and law-breakers who succeeded them had been driven away by the police.

With permission of the New York City Library — Manhattan: Sheriff Street - Rivington Street, 1923, Sperr, Percy Loomis, 1890-1964 -- Photographer, Photographic views of New York City, 1870's-1970's Irma and Paul Milstein Division of United States History Digital ID: 723196F

Sheriff Street - Nos 86-88 - 1923 Rear - Notice the outhouses on the left

See Peter Goehle

See Kleindeutschland


Grammar School No 4, 203 Rivington Street (near Ludlow)

An article in Work dated 1909 shows the boundaries for Grammar School No. 4. —
  • Delancy Street from Clinton to Columbia
  • Columbia Street from Delancy to Stanton
  • Stanton Street from Columbia to Pitt
  • Pitt from Stanton (continuing on to Ave C) to Third Street
  • Third street from Ave C to Ave B
  • Ave B. (continuing on to Clinton) to Delancy

This area encompasses 88 Sheriff (the home of the Goehle family from 1890 to 1894 — and perhaps as late as 1896). According to the 1909 article there were 250 boys and 2,000 girls between the ages of 6 and 15 attending the school.

Question: Why so many more girls than boys?

Between 1890 and 1894 the following Goehle children most likely attended PS4.

  1. Elizabeth born in 1876 would have been 14 in 1890.
  2. Louise born in 1880 would have been 10 in 1890
  3. Katherine born in 1881 would have been 9 in 1890
  4. Marie Helena, twin to Peter
  5. Peter, twin to Maria Helena, born in 1885 would have been 6 in 1891
  6. Clara born in 1887 would have been 6 in 1893
The school was erected in 1853.

In 1880 "blinds of a more modern pattern" replace the old window blinds and the inside of the school was given a new coat of paint. [New York Times, August 14, 1880]

During the summer of 1892 "the old system of plumbing was torn out and an entire new and approved system introduced" at Grammar School No. 4, 203 Rivington Street, Ward 13. [New York Times]

In 1893 the Board of Education purposed a new building for Grammar School NO. 4. "to include the lots between the present building and Ridge Street". [New York Times. May 10, 1894]

In 1895 ex-commissioner Mr Wehrum of the Board of Education:

declared that Grammar School No. 4, at 203 Rivington Street, was so poorly lighted that the children had to study by gaslight all day. He recommended the purchase of the adjoining lot, the demolition of the present building and the erection of a new one, or the purchase of an entirely new site for a larger school"

[New York Times, January 3, 1895]

In 1901 Grammar School No. 4 (and many other Lower East Side schools) were grossly overcrowded.

By the time of the 1909 article of the fathers of the children "only fifteen born in this country; one in England; all the rest in Poland."

Articles in the New York Times identify a few students at Grammar School No 4.

  • Wolf Solotaroff was the salutatorian in 1896. He went to the City College of New York
  • Max Polowe was the valedictorian in 1896. He became a physician.
  • Becky Saltzman age 10 in 1896 lived at 227 Rivington Street in 1896
New York City Library, Image ID 1659347, Public Schools. School-House No 4, Rivington St. near Ridge. (1853)
Century September 1894, Collection of Maggie Land Blanck

The plan of Rivington Street between Ridge and Pitt Streets showing the Grammar School no 4.


Photo courtesy of Debra Hyman, April 2010

Heymach Family frying pan "brought with them from Germany and which they would have used at 88 Sheriff Street."


The Sullivans

In July 2010 Tom Sullivan contacted me about his family who lived at 86 Sheriff Street. Tom's great great grandfather came from Ireland and lived in the Lower East Side

"from 1851 to 1881 on streets like Columbia, Cannon, Stanton and of course Sheriff Street (#59). Later, in 1880, his oldest son would reside at 67 Sheriff. My ggGrandparents had seven children and fortunately only one died young."

One of the curiosities I noted while reading your web page was this listing for the 1860 Census:

#171 = 86 Sheriff

2. Michael Sullivan age 35 carman, $600, Ireland Catherine 33 Ireland, Ellen 8, John 5, Daniel 2, Patrick H 4 months all born New York

I knew that name Michael Sullivan, and also his son's name, Patrick H. because I ran across them in the 1880 census. My ggGrandfather's name was Patrick H Sullivan, he was 31 years old in 1860 and I believe he may have immigrated with an older brother named Michael. Twenty years later, in the 1880 census, Michael has moved his family just a round the corner to 243(?) Delancey Street, his son Patrick H., is listed as the census taker and Michael is listed as a barrel dealer. My ggGrandfather, a couple of blocks away, was a barrel maker (cooper) and if Michael was his brother, they might have worked together, and Michael might have named his son after his brother.
Photo courtesy of Tom Sullivan

Owen and Ellen Sullivan circa 1915

Owen Sullivan was the oldest son of Patrick Sullivan and his wife, Julia.

Pat Sullivan (circa 1830-0) and Julia Reilly (O'Reilly)

Birth: circa 1830 Ireland

Immigration:

Marriage: Julia Reilly (O'Reilly)

Children:

  1. Owen August circa 1855

  2. Thomas circa 1856

  3. James Sullivan and Pauline Munk

    Birth: c 1858 James

    Marriage: Pauline Munk

    More on Pauline Munk: 1870 Census Ward 11, District 4, Munk, Casper, age 58, laborer, born Wurtenburg, Pauline age 12, born Wurtenburg, Anna age 8, born New York Mary age 7, born New York
  4. Sarah, circa 1860

  5. Mary, circa 1852

  6. Barney/Bernard, circa 1866

1860 Census: Ward 11, District 2, Sullivan, Patrick, age 30, cooper, $100, Ireland, Julia, age 30, August age 5, Thomas age 4, James age 2, Sarah age 4 months.

1870 Census Ward : 11 District 3 Manhattan: Sullivan, Pat, age 45 cooper, $300, Ireland, Owen, 15 app painter, New York, Thomas, age 12, James 11, Sarah 10, Mary, 8 Barney 4

1880 Census: Columbia Street 85, rear, Sullivan Patrick age 40, cooper, born Irleand Bernard son age 14, born New York.

The family of Samuel Gomper was also listed at 85 Columbia (front) in 1880. Tom Sullivan likes the idea that his GGGrandfather "knew Samuel Gompers as a neighbor and a friend - and perhaps smoked a cigar and talked politics with him."


The Willet Street Rag Pickers

Another notorious group of rag pickers were located one block north and one block west of the Sheriff Street rag pickers at the back of 119 Willet Street. Willett street was in Ward 11 Ed 16 and the rag pickers are listed in the "Second Enumeration" of 1870. Some cities claimed to have been undercounted in the 1870 census so the census bureau recounted certain areas including Manhattan. The first census enumeration was done in the summer of 1870. The second enumeration was done between the following December and January. The comparison between the two enumerations is interesting.

Harper's Weekly of March 21, 1874 ran an article, with pictures, of the Willet Street Rag pickers. Some salient points:

  1. The greatest number of rag pickers in the city were scattered on the lower east side between Grand and Rivington.

  2. The Willett street rag pickers had been in possession of "a block of tenements, approached by an alley-way from No. 119½ Willet Street, between Stanton and East Houston" for "Nearly fifty years". This location was known as "Rag-pickers Row".

  3. The rag pickers were described as organized, industrious, "passably honest", independent, and thrifty.

  4. Martin Schreiber was described as the leading spirit of the "community" for over 30 years. He was said to have been Washington Irving's servant in 1833-34. Martin and his unnamed wife conducted the reporter and a health official though their apartment which was "crammed with cheap finery".

  5. "In each house there were twelve or fifteen families who paid a rent of from six to ten dollars a month for thee or four rooms."

  6. The place had a "file stench" but the floors were scrubbed daily and all refuse was placed in a proper place.

  7. Another occupant was identified as Marie Geiss age sixty seven who had supported her invalid husband (not named) for three years as a rag picker.

  8. In another room was a young woman (unnamed) who supported herself and "her four young children".

  9. The community was composed of French and Germans, mostly Roman Catholic or Lutheran.

  10. The tenements of Willet Alley are said to not differ from "the ordinary run of tenements".
  11. The ragpickers left their abodes between 4 and 6 in the morning and returned in time for "breakfast at eight".

  12. "The yield" was sorted in the basement by a group of old people, separating fat, iron, rags, glass, etc.

  13. The rag picker makes several forays a day and could earn as much as $3 for his efforts.

  14. "In his old age he may remove to a colony of old-time associates at Limaville, Stark County, Ohio. Five families formerly residence in Rag-picker's Row have already done this, and have purchased several hundred acres of land, which are said to be in a high state of cultivation."

A Look at the points made in the 1874 article.
  1. A New York Times article of 1853 says most of the rag pickers were in the 11 and 13th Wards.

  2. In 1870 Nicholas Ross (Rose) lived at 120 Willett street. Nicholas Ross was born in Bavaria circa 1818. He and his wife, Mary had at least the following children who were listed with them in Ward 11 in the 1860 census: Charles Ross 13, Matilda Ross 11, Mary Ross 9, Eliza Ross 7, Catharine Ross 6, Margaret Ross 4, Agnes Ross 2, John Ross 1/12

    Nicholas was listed as a scavenger with a personal value of $200. In 1870 Nicholas was listed in both the 1st and 2nd enumerations. By that time son John had died and three more children were born - Theresa, another John and Annie. In the first enumeration Nicholas was listed as a scavenger with real estate valued at $4,000 and a personal value of $2,000. His son Charles who was married with one child was listed separately but in the same building. In the 2nd enumeration Nicholas was listed as "laborer". In July 7 children were listed but in December only 5 children were listed. Missing were Agnes age 12 and John age 6. They were not listed in the NYC Death index. Nicholas Ross was listed at 120 Willet "scavenger" in the 1876 City Directory. John did not die as he turns up in the 1880 census with his parents. Nicholas, laborer, Mary, Charles and Matilda were listed in the 1850 census in Ward 17. So it would appear that they moved to 120 Willet street sometime before 1870. By 1880 they were living in Newtown, Queens. Nicholas age 62 was "unemployed". Their children, John age 16 and Annie 14 were living with them.

    Nicholas Ross lived across the street from 119½ Willett street. He also appears to have owned the building at 120 Willett and to have lived there for at least 10 years (1860 - 1870).

  3. Martin Schreiber - Schreiner
    Between Rivington and Houston streets, in Willett street, on the east side, is a colony of rag-pickers, among whom the writer once found an old man who had been a servant of Washington Irving, and was full of reminiscences of that author.

    The Century illustrated monthly magazine, Volume 12 edited by Josiah Gilbert Holland, Richard Watson Gilder, 1876

    1912

    One day I visited a row of tenement houses in Willett Street, monopolized by ragpickers, who are a much cleaner and more prosperous class than inference makes them. The head man was Martin Schreiner, who told me that when he first came to America from Germany he had been employed as a domestic servant by Washington Irving at No. 3 Bridge Street, round the corner from Bowling Green, the neighbourhood of fashion and substance in those days, as it ought to be now; for where else, from the Battery to Yonkers, is there so beautiful a prospect as the queen of bays and its crescent of distant, softly moulded hills, changing in colour every hour and mixing the sweetness of country air with the breath of the sea? If I were a millionaire I'd build there now.

    We sat and smoked together, Martin and I, watching the ragpickers coming home and sifting their bundles in the yard, while he held the ghost of Diedrich Knickerbocker by the coat tails. ...................

    If his ghost could have heard all that Martin said of his generosity to him and the other servants, all of whom had been in the family for long periods; of his affection for his nephews and nieces, and of his courtesy to all whom he met, I have no doubt its modesty would have compelled it to vanish sooner than it did.

    Many celebrities and a few others: a bundle of reminiscences By William Henry Rideing

  4. Limaville, Ohio

    The population of Limaville, Ohio in 2000 was 193.

    In the 1870 census there were 6 pages for Limaville with a population o 204 people. A lot of people were born in Germany but their children were mostly born in Ohio. So it would appear that they came from Germany directly to Limaville (or at least Ohio).

    In the 1880 Census there were 164 people in the village of Limaville, a few born in German most born in Ohio.

    Of course, they could have settled outside of the village of Limaville.

119½ Willett Street Rag Pickers

1869

The four squares bounded by Pitt, Sheriff, Rivington and Houston streets, present some peculiarities that are worthy of attention. They are of equal size and have an area of 80,000 square feet each, exclusive of streets. The houses are generally small and old. Out of 225 dwellings, only seventy-two are more than three stories in height, and of this latter number, fourteen have five stories, while only two have six stories each. Some of these three-story houses, which were originally intended for a single family, now accommodate - if the term may be allowed - eight families, and one, a small rear house, has a population of thirty-three persons, while two others, facing Willett street, have fourteen families and fifty-six persons each. In the rear of these two houses are two more, each four stories high, containing sixteen families and seventy persons, and fifteen families and seventy-two persons respectively. The following statistics show rate of crowding:

...

Square No. 3, bounded by Pitt, Houston, Willett and Stanton streets, has twelve private houses, containing fourteen families and 110 persons; forty-four tenement houses containing 341 families and 1,378 persons, making a total of fifty-six dwellings, 355 families and 1,488 persons. The rear houses, fourteen in number, have a population of 105 families and 497 persons. The square has five stables. The deaths in tenement houses were thirty-one.

...........

On the other hand, the square bounded by Houston, Stanton, Pitt and Willett street, offers an admirable illustration of the value of local superintendence over a crowded tenement house population. There is a group of three front and seven rear houses that are under the charge of an agent, who not only thoroughly understands his business, but has a remarkable faculty for doing his duty skillfully and conscientiously. The group bears the euphonious title of " Rag-picker Row." The ten houses contain 108 families, comprising 452 persons. Those people nearly all belong to the class called rag-pickers, although they also gather bones, broken glass and scraps of iron, which they carry to their homes and assort, and await the coming of the junk dealer. Their rooms are cleanly and have an agreeable odor when compared with the same classes of dwellings elsewhere, while an air of comfort and domesticity everywhere prevails among the people, notwithstanding the offensiveness of their avocations and the filth in which they traffic They send their children to school, put a part of their earnings into the savings bank, refer all their quarrels and complaints to the local superintendent of the premises; some of them migrate to the west, where they take their place among the producers of wealth, after having been savers from waste. In our statistics this population is charged with 11 deaths, or 1.1 to each house, which is only about one-third of the mortality of some other houses in the same district, or indeed in the same street, while the rate of mortality is not greater than the average annual death-rate of the thirteenth ward.

Documents of the Assembly of the State of New York, Volume 4 By New York (State). Legislature. Assembly

This article lists 10 houses containing 108 families with a population of 452 people.

1870

In investigating closely the different parts of the city, with reference to future movements for their benefit, we soon came to know certain centres of crime and misery, until every lane and alley, with its filth, and wretchedness, and vice, became familiar as the lane of a country homestead to its owner. There was the famed German "Ragpicker's Den," in Pitt and Willett Streets - double rows of houses, flaunting with dirty banners, and the yards heaped up with bones and refuse, where cholera raged unchecked in its previous invasion. Hlere the wild life of the children soon made them outcasts and thieves.

Appletons' journal, Volume 3

1872

There is a square on the East side bounded by Houston, Stanton, Pitt, and Willett streets. It contains a group of three front and seven rear houses, and is known as "Ragpickers' Row." These ten houses contain a total of 106 families, or 452 persops. All these persons are rag-pickers, or more properly chiffonniers, for their business is to pick up every thing saleable they can find in the streets. Formerly they brought their gatherings to this place and assorted them here before taking them to the junk stores to sell them. Now, however, they assort them elsewhere, and their wretched dwellings are as clean as it is possible to keep them. They are generally peaceable and quiet, and their quarrels are commonly referred to the agent in charge of the row, who decides them to their satisfaction. They are very industrious in their callings, and some of them have money in the Savings banks. Nearly all who have children send them to the Mission Schools.

Lights and shadows of New York life: or, The sights and sensations of the ... By James Dabney McCabe

1896

Here is the notorious Bone Alley building, a rear tenement in Willett street, with its eighty or more families, which received its distinctive name because for years members of every family in the house were rag-pickers or bonepickers.

The Church at home and abroad, Volume 19 By Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. Board of Publication and Sabbath-School Work, Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. General Assembly

1899

In the space bounded by Stanton, Houston, Pitt and Sheriff Streets, then divided into two blocks by Willett Street. This was a congested, tenement-house vicinity, where misery and poverty pervaded most of the dingy dwellings. In wiping out the two solidly built-up blocks, Bone Alley, well known in police history for a generation, was effaced. On the west side of Willett Street, midway of the block, Bone Alley had its start and extended sixty feet into the block—a twenty-fivefoot space between tall tenements, running plump into a row of houses extending horizontal with it. When these houses were erected they each had long gardens, which were built upon when the land became too valuable to be spared for flower-beds or breathingspots. In time they became the homes of rag- and bone-pickers, and thus the alley which led to them got its name, which it kept even after the ragpickers and the law-breakers who succeeded them had been driven away by the police.

Nooks & corners of old New York By Charles Hemstreet

1893

In investigating closely the different parts of the city, with reference to future movements for their benefit, Mr. Brace soon came to know certain centres of crime and misery, until every lane and alley, with its filth and wretchedness and vice, became familiar to him as the lanes of a country homestead to its owner. There was the infamous German "Ragpickers' Den," in Pitt and Willett Streets, double rows of houses flaunting with dirty banners and the yards heaped up with bones and refuse, where cholera raged unchecked in its previous invasion. Here the wild life of the children soon made them outcasts and thieves.

History of child saving in the United States: at the twentieth National ... By National Conference on Social Welfare. Committee on the History of Child-Saving Work

1895

May; in 119 1-2 Willett street there is a rear house that contains 80 families; that was one of the buildings that we renovated; there were five entrances to the house, which is in a rear court.

By Chairman Gilder:

Q. What is the frontage of it? A. There is a little alleyway in front; I can not give the frontage of the house; I tried to hire a room in that house a few years ago to start a little mission, but I could not, because I was told all the rooms were taken by ragpickers or bonepickers.

Q. Have you any statistics of the number of people sleeping in a single room? A. I have not; the figures were not taken for that purpose; No. 119 1-2 Willett street is better known as Bone alley; most of the halls and rooms were dirty; no attention seemed to be paid toward cleanliness; these cellars were thoroughly cleaned, the refuse removed, and the cellars, halls and rooms whitewashed.

Report of the Tenement house committee as authorized by chapter 479 of the ... By New York (State). Legislature. Assembly. Tenement House Committee 1920

About 1895 the notorious " Bone Alley," a ragpickers' paradise, in which bones collected from ash cans were stored in the cellars of tenement houses, was also destroyed. This was located in Willett Street on the lower east side of New York, and in its place Hamilton Fish Park was created.

Engineers and engineering, Volume 37 By Engineers Club of Philadelphia

The "block" on the left is the block bounded by Houston, Willett, Stanton and Pitt. The alley at 119½ Willett is the white rectangle that leads to the black "houses" that take up the middle of the block. According to this image this includes 7 dwellings. Documents of the Assembly of the State of New York, Volume 4 By New York (State). Legislature. Assembly

The Other Side of Sheriff Street

I have focused on 88-90 sheriff street and the even numbered houses on the block between Stanton and Rivington because that was the side of the street that my ancestors lived on. As the 1853 map shows there were similar residential structures on both sides of the street and indeed in the neighborhood in general.

Nathan Brand[t]

Nathan Brand (Brandt) lived at 87 Sheriff from the early 1850s until 1870. He was a German Jew from the Bavarian Rhenish who was born circa 1815 and immigrated to New York in 1840. According to the 1857 directory and the 1860 and 1870 censuses he was a butcher. His sons ended up as jewelers, "segar" makers and a fish seller. The family had a servant. Nathan's descendant, M T, wrote to me about his family in January 2014.

1857 & 1859: Brand, Nathan, butcher 87 Sheriff

1860: 87 Sheriff Street, Nathan Brand,45, butcher, $6,000, $200, Bavaria, Caroline, 46 born Bavaria, Sarah, 12, Henry 12, Abraham 11, Charles, 9, Betsey 7, Samuel 7, Sarah Rebell, 21, servant born Ireland

1870: 1st election district ward 21, Brand, Nathan, 54, butcher $10,000, Germany, Caroline age 5-, Henry 22 butcher, Abraham 20 segar maker

1870 Census: 12th dist, 21 ward, Brand, Nathan age 55, butcher, born Germany, Caroline age 56, Samuel age 16, District 12 21st ward.

I do not know why they were listed twice in the 1870 census.

1880 East 27th street, Brandt, Nathan, age 65, butcher, born Bavaria, Caroline, age 67, Bella age 11 granddaughter, Etta age 7 grand daughter


Interesting Bits About People Who Lived at 88 - 90 Sheriff Street (and Others on Sheriff street)

Christiana Brown

In 1856 Christiana Brown of 90 Sheriff street was knocked down and run over by a horse and cart driven "at a furious" rate by a partially intoxicated cartman. The incident occurred on Allen street.

John Scherfenberger

John Scherfenberger, a German, age 54, living at 90 Sheriff street attempted suicide by cutting his throat with a razor. He was taken to Bellevue.

Charles Lehr

In September 22, 1881 Charles Lehr, a barber living at No 88 Sheriff street died in Bellevue Hospital having taken Paris green with the intent to commit suicide. He was an out of work dwarf with a sick wife and five young children.

His death was not listed in the city indexes under Charles Lehr in 1881. There is a death for Geo Lehr age 37, Sept 21 1881 #397199.

Paris green is an extremely toxic copper and arsenic green pigment. Ingesting Paris green was a relatively common way to commet suicide at the time.

August Renstel

In 1887 it was reported that two "dirty faced, ragged" sons of August Renstel of No. 88 Sheriff were found sleeping in a truck on Attorney street. August told the court that he could not keep the boys at home, they were always running away. Renstel stated that he not longer cared what happened to them and with his consent they were "given into the care of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.

I cannot find anything else on August Renstel and his sons.

Mary Dixon

In 1891 Mary Dolan of 88 Sheriff, age sixteen and a friend were brought from Union Market station to Bellevue Hospital "both sick and destitute".

Marie Czirbusch

The New York Times reported in April 1891 that "little" Marie Czirbusch, age seven, traveled unattended on the steamship Aller from Austria to her mother at 86 Sheriff street. "She bore a tag on her dress" which gave her age and destination. The Aller arrived March 31, 1891. This was before Ellis Island opened. Nothing comes up at Castle Gardens for this spelling.

Clara Maerz

In August of 1892 a fire occurred in a five story brick building on Wooster street at the junction of Prince. The building housed the R. H. Wagner paper box factory which employed over fifty "girls" and fifteen men. Mary Ellen Hanley, age 23 of 26 Henry street an employee the box company died from her burns. Three firemen and two other employees of the box company were injured. Clara Marez, age 17, of 88 sheriff street, an employee of the box company was initially missing.

The first floor was occupied by a picture frame manufacturer who used flammable varnishes and other materials and it was believed that is were the fire started. The second floor housed a felt hat maker and a book binder. R. H. Wagner's box company occupied the 3rd, 4th and 5th floors. The stairways were in flame and the "girls" escaped over the roof and down a fire escape on the Wooster street side. Other nearby buildings caught fire.

Clara's body was found several days after the fire. It was said that Clara was the support of her widowed mother. Another article stated that some of the girls from the box factory visited her "parents" and that she had four sisters including a baby sister named Florence. It was also stated that Clare had only worked in the box factory for three weeks before the fire. It was said she taught a class at the DeWitt Clinton Memorial Sunday School. Clara name was spelled with quite a wide variation in the new paper accounts: Maerz, Morey, Maez, More, Marez, Marcy.

Clara Marez, Birth Year: abt 1876, Age: 16, Death Date: 27 Aug 1892, Death Place: Manhattan, New York, USA, Certificate Number: 32034

Her death is the only death record under that spelling.

January 1892: Florence Emelia Maerz Birth Date: 02 Jan 1892 Birthplace: Manhattan, New York, New York, USA Father's Name: Hermann Maerz Mother's Name: Berthe Profka Maerz Indexing Project (Batch) Number: C00791-9 System Origin: New_York-ODM GS Film number: 1322256

Note: The birth of another child, Johanna Marie Berthe, in 1896 listed the mother's names as Berthe "Propke".

Hermann Maerz, cabinetmaker of 88 Sheriff st became a US citizen in the Superior Court of the City of New York on October 17, 1892.

1894: Herman Maerz, 88 Sheriff, Cabinetmkr, Publication Title: New York, New York, City Directory, 1894

1900: East 12th street, Herman Maerz 47, cabinet maker, born Germany, immigrated 1880, Bertha Maerz 44, married 25 years 8 children 6 living, born Germany, immigrated 1878, Maggie Maerz 20, sewing, John Maerz 18, butcher Gabriel Maerz 12 Florence Maerz 8 Cecelia Maerz 6 Johanna Maerz 3 Albert Reitz 33, boarder, butcher, William Becker 48, boarder, laborer

Berthe, age 42, died in 1902.

Herman Maerz, widow, cabinet maker and three of his daughters were living in Queens by 1910.

Ros[i]e Brown

In early August 1895 Rose Brown, of 88 Sheriff street died in Gouverneur Hospital from carbolic acid poisoning.

She and her husband had been involved with a tailor's strike that ended just before she apparently took her life.

Rosie Brown, age 20 August 5, 1894 Manhattan #27619 - Burial: Mount Zion Cemetery Maspeth Queens County New York, USA

Morris Greenberg

Morris Greenberg age 24 of No. 88 Sheriff street attended the Thalia Theatre in October 1896. The ticket he used was one that had been stolen during a burglary when several hundreds of dollars worth of property had been stolen from a store on Delancy st. Two of New Yorks City's finest collared Greeenberg as he watched the performance at the Thalia. Greenberg claimed he was innocent and had bought the ticket from "a man".

Sam Bellar

Sam Bellar, age 36, a tailor living at 90 Sheriff street received a badly wrenched ankle and was taken to St. Vincent's hospital when a northbound Lexington Ave electric trolly and a an Avenue C horsecar collided in April 1903. There were eight passengers on the electric trolly and nearly 40 on the horsecar. These 40 were reportedly men and women returning home from the west side sweatshops, 1903.

Samuel N. Tanenbaum

Samuel N Tanenbaum 88 Sheriff st, Annual Register City College of New York.

1898, sub freshmen Mechanical course. 1903: New York Times, Samuel Tanenbaum received Bachelor of Science from City College of New York.

1900: West 76th street, Moses Tanenbaum 40, merchant paper, Clara Tanenbaum 35, 4 children 4 living, Clara Tanenbaum 17, Samuell Tanenbaum 16, college, Hortense Tanenbaum 14, Edwin Tanenbaum 8, Mary Cullen 26, servant, Cadie Murphy 40, servant, Agnes Ruasse 22, servant

Rebecca Sherman

1909 Rebecca Sherman a pretty 17 year old daughter of a Russian tailor living at 86 Sheriff street met a young man named Fred on Sheriff street. Fred told her of a place in Brooklyn where she could get work at $15 per week. He also proposed marriage. A newly arrive immigrant she believed everything that Fred said. Fred took her to a house on 38th street in Brooklyn occupied by an old man named Mike and two other young girls. Mike made love to her and when she repulsed him She was "treated cruelly and made to suffer all sorts of indignities". She tried to escape but was locked in the house. After two weeks she persuaded the old man to take her out for a walk. While the old man was occupied she managed to drop a letter to her father just before she was detected and taken back to the house and locked up again. Her father went to the house but could not get in so he went to the police. When the police arrived the old man and one of the girls escaped out the back. Rebecca was taken to the police station and charged with vagrancy. Rebecca was committed to the Wayside Home until such a time as she could testify against the two men envolved.

Carl Weiss

1892 Carl Weiss, 21, compositor for a German news paper office, born Buda Pesch, Hungary, 97 sheriff street shot himself in the temple with a revolver. His parents were still in Hungary but he had a brother and sister in New York.

Weiss, Carl age 21 Nov 17, 1892 Cert # 39927 Manhattan

Ida Markoff

1894: Attempted suicide Ida Markoff, age 22, married of 119 Sheriff born in Russia was afraid she was dying of consumption so she took paris green. She was taken to the hospital where she was expected to live. she claimed to have taken the powder in error.

No NYC death certificate in 1894.


Herb Deutsch's ancestor Esther Berger (who married Ignatz Deutsch) had a sister, Fany who married William Greenfield (Grunfield). Another sister, Frieda, married Emil Greenfield. At the time of her marriage in 1888 Fany Berger was living at 107 Sheriff street. At the time of his marriage in 1894 Emil Greenfield was living at 86 Sheriff street "rear".

Herb's family story is interesting and he has some different perspectives about live on the Lower East Side at the end of the 1800s and into the early 1900s.

The Family of Herb Deutsch


The Secret Life of a Society Maven - Alan Feuer's grandfather was a saloon keeper who lived at 88 Sheriff in 1910.

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ephemeralnewyork Defunct Sheriff Street's infamous resident By wildnewyork

Thanks to Tom Sullivan for for alerting me to this page, April 2011


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