09 May 2013

Treasure Chest Thursday: Louis Myers' Obituary

New York Times, 9 November 1938

Was a Fouder and Official
of Anti-Nazi League

   Louis Myers, a founder and acting treasurer of the Non-Sectarian Anti-Nazi League and former operator of motion-picture theatres, died yesterday at his home at 1,605 Walton Avenue, the Bronx, after  long illness. His age was 82.
   Mr. Myers was a vice president of the Order Sons of Zion and a treasurer of the Independent Theatre Owners Association. Until recently he had been the operator of the Five Boroughs Theatre Circuit.
   A native of Russia, he came to the United States as a child. During the World War period he entered the moving-picture industry, developed his own chain of houses throughout the Bronx, and ten years ago established his own glass manufacturing and importing business.
   Surviving are his widow; a daughter, Miss Renee Myers, and a son, Dr. Bernard Myers.
   Funeral services will be held today at the Park West Memorial Chapel, 115 West Seventy-ninth Street. Burial will be in Montefiore Cemetery, Springfield, L.I.

This New York Times  obituary is notable for several reasons. First, its existence is an indication that immigrant Louis Myers, unlike any other member of his family, had been a successful and acknowledged leader in his adopted country. 

The obituary is also notable for more than one mistake in covering Louis' life story. Louis was not a child when he arrived in the United States. His manifest indicates that he was 20 years old when he arrived in 1904.[1]

Louis Myers started, like the rest his family, as a glazier in New York City. I have located city directories, including one as early as 1910, where Louis is identified as a glazier. Even in the 1930 Census, he is listed as in the glass business. It was only much later that he began investing in movie theaters.

1."New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957," digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com: accessed 11 January 2012), manifest, Main, Bremen to New York, arriving 25 November 1904, p. 1, Leiser Malzmann; citing National Archives Microfilm Serial T715.

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