The International & Great Northern Railroad
reached the new town of Rockdale in January
1874. Among the early residents were brothers
Benjamin and Joseph Loewenstein, who opened a
mercantile from a tent before the railroad
arrived. The and their families were part of a
larger contingent of Jewish settlers in the
area. By 1879, a reported 100 Jewish
residents lived in Rockdale, which boasted an
active B'nai B'rith Lodge.
In August, 1877, Benjamin and Carrie
Loewenstein's son Arthur died and was buried at
this site. The following November, the Hebrew
Benevolent Association bought the land for use
as a dedicated Jewish Burial Ground. Among
those interrred here are Henry Goldsticker, a
Confederate veteran and Isaac Crown, who died
in a disastrous fire in 1888 at Rockdale's
Mundine Hotel. One grave, that of Isaac
Ensheimer. Was placed in a separate part of the
cemetery; Ensheimer committed suicide in 1884.
The final burial occurred in 1939 and is that of
The site is a reminder of Rockdale's diverse history.
Jewish Cemetery will get medallion, plaque
by Mike Brown, Reporter Editor
Rockdale Reporter - October 5, 2006
Rockdale's Jewish Cemetery will receive a Texas Cemetery Association marker and interpretive plaque in a brief
ceremony at 1 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 15 hosted by the Milam County Genealogical Society and historian Lynna Kay
Didn't know Rockdale had a Jewish Cemetery? It does, although there hasn't been a burial recorded there for
75 years. There at 19 marked graves and two unmarked graves.
It's in the far northeast corner of the hilltop which contains Rockdale's Old City Cemetery, south of the
railroad tracks off Main. (the Jewish Cemetery is actually at the corner of White and Mulberry.)
Shuffield said Rockdale's hebrew Benevolent Association, referred to simply as "The Association" by 19th-
Century Rockdale's Jewish communithy, purchased land for the cemetery on Nov. 11, 1878.
Earliest documented burial was that of 10-month-old Arthur Loewenstein, second son of Rockdale pioneers
Benjamin and Carrie (MInlsch) Loewenstein.
In 1879 Charles Wessolowsky documented visits to Jewish communities in Austin-area towns. Wessolowsky
reported "100 Jews and a B'Nai B'rith lodge in Rockdale".
Wessolowsky said Rockdale's Jewish community disagreed over rituals, noting "some of them still cling and hold
fast to the doctrines and dead forms of the so-called chasid (pietist), while others require
and ask for 'progress'."
Bar Mitzvah, Suicide
In 1884 a Jewish school was established. It was in existence until formation of Rockdale's public school
The Galveston Daily News reported on the Bar Mitzvah (traditional "becoming a man" ceremony for 13-year old
Jewish boys) of Henry Kaiser in Rockdale in March, 1884.
Shuffield said there is one known suicide in the cemetery.
"Isaac Ensheimer, 36, took chloroform and morphine and in the note he left said, 'a disappointment in man has
brought me to this long sleep. Please bury me decently', Shuffield said. "Ensheimer was buried in a separate
part of the cemetery, along the fence line."
Isaac Crown, one of 11 victims of the era-defining Mundine Hotel fire, is also buried in the cemetery.
The June 8, 1888 blaze was Rockdale's worst fire ever, in terms of life lost.
The bottom story did not burn and survives to this day as McVoy Seed and Fertilizer.
Final burial in the cemetery was that of Morris Cohn on April 30, 1939.
Info Request rec'd 2014-03-14
7802 Ginkgo Cove, Austin, TX 78750-7817
I spoke with Joy Graham and she suggested I contact you to see if you had any information on the Philipsons
that once resided in Rockdale. Can you assist in some way. My wife and I will come for a visit as soon as we
can free up some time. Thanks in advance for any help you can offer.
Gregg, I don't have any info but what I will do is post your request on the MCHC website and I will send an
email to each member of the MCHC and one lady with the Milam County Genealogical Society.
Do you have any additional info? Such as first names, wife's maiden names, Date of birth and/or death, years
they lived in Rockdale (even if approximate) whatever info you have would be great. The more info the better
the results you might get.
I might also suggest that you post your request on these sites:
They both are monitored by the Genealogical Society.
If you can let me know this info also, I'll get it posted online. Good luck with your search.
Jerry Caywood - MCHC website Administrator
Hi Jerry, Thank you very much!! I appreciate your quick response and willingness to assist.
Please see the info below and attached. Kind regards, Gregg
ROCKDALE's JEWISH CEMETERY (1878)
The Jewish Cemetery is at the back/southeast corner behind the Old City Cemetery at Mulberry Street surrounded
by a wrought iron fence, with headstones carved in Hebrew. This portion of the cemetery was established by the
Hebrew Benevolent Society in 1878 and contains such names as Block, Cohen, Cohn, Collins, Crown, Emsheimer,
Goldsticker, Kestenbaum, Loewenstein, Malsch, Philipson, Rosenfield, and Steinburg.
For more information, see Rockdale Jewish Cemetery History and Listing
Goldsticker George 20 Sep 1882 22 Aug 1883 son of Henry & Gabrella (Philipson) Goldsticker
Goldsticker Henry 04 Jul 1843 09 Aug 1888 Confederate Veteran - Private - Lavaca Guards, Light Infantry
Company, 24th Brigade,Texas State Troops
Philipson Hattie 07 May 1881 04 Jun 1881 niece of Henry Goldsticker - daughter of Ludwig & Sarah (Levy)
Philipson Rosenfield Rosa 26 Jun 1877 26 May 18 - 6 daughter of Joseph S. & Therese Rosenfield
This info found on: http://www.forttumbleweed.net/rockdale.html
Reply: Info Request emailed to MCHC Members & Linda Whorton - MCGS