HENRY SCHOENTHAL, who, by a life of plodding industry and judicious economy, coupled with keen foresight and characteristic prudence, has risen to no small degree of prominence as one of the well-to-do and progressive citizens of Washington borough, is a native of Germany. He was born May 20, 1843, in the village of Sielen, then in the Electorate Hessen-Cassel, now in the Prussian Province of Hessen-Nassau.
Levi and Henriette (Hamberg) Schoenthal, his parents, were also natives of Germany, the former, a shoemaker by trade, born in 1813. They had a family of twelve children, nine sons and three daughters, two sons dying in infancy. The rest are living, two still in Germany, viz.: Jacob, living in Cologne, and Rosalie, married to Willie Heymann, residing in Geldern-on-the-Rhine. Those who came to America are Mrs. Hannah Stern (widow), and Amalie, married to Elias Wolf, both living in Allegheny, Penn.; Felix is in Pittsburgh; Julius, in Washington, D. C.; Nathan, in Philadelphia; Simon, in Atlantic City; and Isidore and Henry, in Washington, Penn. The father died in Germany in 1875, aged sixty-two years, the mother in Washington, Penn., in 1882, aged sixty-five years.
Henry Schoenthal attended the school of his native village up to his fourteenth year, at the same time learning his father's trade, beginning when only ten and one-half years old, and working at the same until he was fifteen years old. For two years after this he took private literary instruction, and in the year 1859 was admitted into the Jewish Seminary in Cassel, Germany, an institution where young men were educated to become teachers in Jewish schools, and leaders of the service in the synagogue. At the end of the third year he passed an examination, and then taught school for three years in one place. In 1866 he came to the United States; the rest came later, at intervals of several years. The two youngest, Isidore and Rosalie, together with the mother, came with Henry in 1881, when he returned from a visit to Germany, accompanied by wife and two children. Rosalie, after a sojourn of a few years, returned to Germany and was married there. Henry returned to Washington after his marriage, as he was in business at that time. He is an Independent in politics, with a very warm feeling for the party that was good enough for Lincoln, Grant, Garfield, Blaine and Harrison. Selecting as his abiding place in the land of his adoption the thriving town of Washington, this county, he clerked for three years in the clothing store of Jacob Goldsmith, at the sign of the "Golden Eagle," in the room now occupied by C. A. House as a music store. Then in 1869, Mr. Schoenthal bought out the stationery business of Rev. James McFarland, at the "Green Tree Corner," and has ever since conducted a prosperous and lucrative trade in books, stationery, notions, etc., at the same stand. In 1872 our subject revisited his native land, and on May 8 of that year was there married to Helen, daughter of Meyer Lilienfeld, of Gudensberg, in Hessen-Nassau. Four children blessed this union, viz.: Madaline, born March 16, 1873, died in infancy; Hilda, born June 25, 1874; Lionel, born April 14, 1877; and Meyer, born August 12, 1883. He is a member of the following secret societies: A. F. & A. M., Heptasophs, Royal Arcanum, and Protected Home Circle.
Text taken from page 1057 of:
Beers, J. H. and Co., Commemorative Biographical Record of Washington County, Pennsylvania (Chicago: J. H. Beers & Co., 1893).
Transcribed March 1997 by Neil and Marilyn Morton of Oswego, IL as part of the Beers Project.
Published March 1997 on the Washington County, PA USGenWeb pages at http://www.chartiers.com/.
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