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David Shwartz - biographical note

by Alan Levenson, his son

In Portland there two men named David Schwartz. As a result there was confusion as who was who.

The two men met and agreed to modify their names so that my grandfather dropped the ‘c’ from his name becoming ‘Shwartz’ and the other man dropped the ‘t’ from his name becoming ‘Schwarz’. My grandfather was Jewish. The other man was not.

All 3 of David Shwartz’s sons – Abe, Harry, and Sidney – went to Bowdoin. Only Harry first went to the US Naval Academy at Annapolis. After the first year he had to drop out because of arthritis he got the summer after the first year shoveling coal on the ships. He suffered from arthritis his whole life

Neither Harry nor Sidney ever married. They lived together in Portland and worked together in real estate their whole adult lives.

When Abe graduated from Bowdoin he secured a job in Manila, the Philippines where he sold cars. After Abe left for Manila, David wrote a letter of advice to his son that was in effect a living will.

Abe married and had a daughter there in Manila. When World War II came, he and his whole family were interned in Santo Thomas prison camp during the whole war. He returned to the US in 1945 and got a job as a stock brokers in Boston.

David Shwartz’s 3 daughters were Esther, Jeannette and Carlotta. Esther, the oldest, married Julius Tofias, a hat manufacturer and lived in Newton, Mass. The factory was in Medfield, Mass. They had two children Arnold and Annabelle.

Jeannette married Mayo S Levenson from Lawrence, Mass who practiced law in Portland. They had two children, Alan and Donna.

Carlotta married Harold Ralens, who worked for Stop & Shop grocery. They lived in Newton, Mass and had one daughter Amy.

David Shwartz’s wife was named Anna. She was the daughter of Herman (Chaim) Beryl Wolf who ran a small dry goods store on Middle St. She came to Portland because her father arrived first. She got a job as a maid for the Waterman family. She had a sister, Lottie, who married a man who was a grocer in Boston (Economy Grocery Stores). His name was Rabinovitz. Later they changed it to Rabb and the stores became Stop and Shop.

Anna was a strong personality who not only raised 6 children but took in every stranger that landed in Portland. First, the family lived on Munjoy Hill (Wilson St) and then they moved to State St. Unfortunately she died young.

It was David Shwartz that purchased the land in his own name to create the cemetery that became Mt Sinai. His grave is the only one with a huge obelisk sticking up.

Hiram Wolf is buried in Smith St, South Portland

Thank you to Alan Levenson for the information

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