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Below is a family biography included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Perry County, Arkansas published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1889.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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David Herstein, by his own exertions, has come to be one of the most enterprising and wide-awake merchants of Perryville. He was born in Krakau, Austria, July 22, 1850, and received his education in the schools of his birthplace and Hungaria. He graduated in literature and theology, and at the time of departure from college had committed to memory thirty-two volumes of the Talmud. In 1870 he left his native land with the intention of emigrating to America, but stopped over in London and while there learned the trade of seal-skin cutting. He next went into partnership with a Mr. Gerschmer, under the firm name of Gerschmer & Herstein, and continued in business for eighteen months, in which time he accumulated $10,000, and then closed out his business. In August, 1873, he landed in New York, and immediately engaged in his business of seal-skin cutting, which proved to be a failure from a financial point, on account of the heavy competition that was being indulged in at that time in New York. In January, 1875, he went to Boston, Mass., and was engaged by Bennett, Bush & Co., as foreman in their seal-skin department, at a salary of $150 per month. On the occasion of the Centennial Exhibition at Philadelphia, in 1876, he was commissioned by the firm to design a seal-skin sacque which would take the premium over all competitors. He did so, cutting out and making up a seal-skin sacque trimmed with Russian sable, that was the cynosure of all eyes at the exposition, and which captured the prize. In the latter part of 1876 he came to Little Rock, Ark., and commenced retailing dry-goods and notions over the State, making Little Rock his headquarters. He then moved to Perryville, in 1878, and established the firm of Herstein & Mondschein, dealers in dry-goods, clothing, boots and shoes, groceries and general supplies. The firm carry a select stock and have established a large trade by their square and honest methods of doing business. On July 27, 1879, he was united in marriage to Miss Lena Lasker, of Cincinnati, Ohio, by whom he has had five children: Benjamin (born July 26, 1880, being the first Jewish child born in Perry County), Bessie (born August 27, 1882), Milton (born January 6, 1884), Frankie Cleveland (born February 26, 1886), Samuel (born June 10, 1889). Mr. Herstein was made a Master Mason in Perryville Lodge No. 238, A. F. & A. M., in 1885, and the following year was appointed Senior Warden, serving one term. At the annual meeting in 1888 he was again elected Senior Warden, and served one term, then re-elected, and at present holds the office. He was one of the charter members of Lodge No. 3207, Knights of Honor, organized October 9, 1885, on which occasion he was elected treasurer until January of the following year, and then elected Dictator, in 1887 Past Dictator, and in 1888 Senior Past Dictator. He represented his lodge at Hot Springs, in 1888, when the Grand Lodge of the State convened at that point. Mr. Herstein is a progressive and liberal minded man, and one of the leading spirits in the affairs of his county. He is always ready to tender his assistance in any enterprise for the public welfare, and is held in high esteem by his fellow-citizens.

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This family biography is one of 53 biographies included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Perry County, Arkansas published in 1889.  For the complete description, click here: Perry County, Arkansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

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