Milam County Historical Commission - Milam County, TX
Statue of Ben Milam at Milam County, TX Courthouse
Old Junior High School Building, Rockdale, TX
Milam County Courthouse - Cameron, TX
Preserve America
Milam County Historical Commission
Milam County, Texas
Requests for Info
Received via Website


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.

He died in Rockdale in 1923 and is buried in the Rockdale Jewish Cemetery.
Also see Jewish Cemetery Historical Marker.

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

All sources from Rockdale and Cameron paper archives through

Holly Bonorden Jentsch
Gause, Milam County, Texas

(I forwarded to Ms McCann - JC)



Peggy Wright

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.

Peggy Wright

(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



Cori McCann <>

I thought you might like to see the tie for yourselves.

Lowenstein Bros Tie - Rockdale, TX
Lowenstein Bros Tie - Rockdale, TX
Lowenstein Bros Tie - Rockdale, TX
Lowenstein Bros Tie - Rockdale, TX
Photos courtesy of Cori McCann
John Brooks

Ms. McCann,

It's sure going to be difficult to follow such excellent and educational replies from Holly and Peggy.

This post won't help you put a value on your tie, but it might add to the richness of its ownership. Also, you might get a little different perspective on Ben Loewenstein Jr. and his home.

(Holly and Peggy, thank you so much for your wonderful contributions to the MCHC website and your courtesy exhibited toward its guests.) 


Jack Brooks


John Brooks

Ms. McCann, I have been in recent correspondence with Mr. Ed Loewenstein regarding the Rockdale Girl Scout Troops 9603 and 9605 improvements to the Jewish Cemetery during Rockdale's observed Earth Day. His relatives are the ones related to this inquiry. After forwarding the link to him, this is his response.

"The MCHC inquiries are especially interesting - all kinds of things I didn't know. Particularly interesting is that both the necktie and the deed are spelled "Lowenstein". As far as I know, our branch of the family has always spelled it "Loewenstein" (although "Löwenstein" would be technically correct as long as the "o" had an umlaut). And indeed, the tombstones have the "e"".

"In any case, many thanks for the interesting artifacts!".

Again, the above quoted from Mr. Ed Loewenstein.

Jack Brooks