Corinne L McCann
798 Zuleme St
Burnet, Texas 78611
I recently purchased a very old, hand-stitched silk necktie with the words "B. Lowenstein & Bro. Rockdale,
Texas" printed on the back. I was wondering if this was a rare item and if it has any value. It looks like it
could be a hundred years old or older, but it's in superb condition for its antiquity. It may be a piece of
Texas history, so I thought I'd bring it's existence to your attention, for whatever it's worth. Thanks.
Standard reply to Ms McCann - email forwarded to MCHC members and others
Benjamin & Joseph Loewenstein were immigrants from Germany, setting in Colorado & Austin Counties.
In 1873 as the railroad was selling properties along the new route, B. Loewenstein & Bro. was born Dec. 24,
1873 in Rockdale on Main & Cameron Streets. (source, Mrs. Loewenstein obit, Rockdale paper 16 June 1932)
Mr. Ben Loewenstein was a member of the first public school board and was instrumental in erecting the German-
American Academy. He was vice president and director of First National Bank and postmaster in Rockdale. He
was also “Hebrew order of B’nair B’rith’. Joseph moved to Houston and opened store of same name (B.
Mrs. Loewenstein passed away in 1932.
His son Ben Lowenstein Jr was born in Texas in 1881 and was also a dry good store owner according to the 1920
census in Rockdale Texas. He died in 1934 and is buried in Rockdale Oak Hill (?).
A 1976 Story in Rockdale paper says the Ben Loewenstein home was built where the post office is now located.
His brother Joe built a duplicate house which became the home of Dr. T. S. Barkley and later Mr. Don Selden.
Mr. Loewenstein also helped organize Rockdale Cotton Oil Mills, Rockdale Cotton Platform Co, Rockdale Brick
Works and erected 7 brick business buildings in Rockdale. He helped teach English to the German immigrants in
The October 24, 1946 issue of the Rockdale Reporter announced on the front page “Rockdale’s Oldest Dry Goods
Store is Sold to New Firm”. It now becomes Rockdale Dry Goods Co after Lena Loewentein (wife of Ben Jr) sold
the business to John H. (Brit) Hensley and E. R. Sublett of Palestine.
So now you know who the Lowenstein (Loewenstein) is but not sure it if makes the necktie worth any more or
Holly Bonorden Jentsch
Gause, Milam County, Texas
(I forwarded to Ms McCann - JC)
Thanks, Holly, for the research. Lena Loewenstein must have operated the Rockdale Dry Goods Company for the
new buyers because I remember purchasing from her at least until the mid 50s. She was one of the very few
female merchants after her husband died. Her daughter, Carrie Loewenstein Thorp, and husband eventually moved
back to Rockdale to live with her.
Their merchandise was of the best quality. Their home was a large two-story house that I vaguely remember
reading was won in a poker game.
(I forwarded to Ms McCann - JC
Thanks to everyone who replied to my email. This information is very interesting and enlightening. I'm always
fascinated to learn about Texas history.
I enjoyed reading the emails and the historic information they contained. Thanks for taking the time to
respond. I appreciate all your efforts. Have a wonderful day!
Cori McCann <email@example.com>
I thought you might like to see the tie for yourselves.