My parents told us that the local U.S. Post Office known as Ben Zion was named for our uncle, Benjamin Greenberg whose Hebrew name was Benyomen. He served as Postmaster until he decided to quit farming and return to New York to live. My father then was appointed Postmaster by President Grover Cleveland. Our home became the local post
In 1905, when I was 5 years old, we moved to Devils Lake, North Dakota. The reason for leaving the farm was that my older brothers and sisters were becoming of marriageable age & as there were very few Jewish families with eligible young people of marriageable age, my parents worried that they might marry non-Jews. Two years later, we moved to St. Paul, Minn., where my husband Dr. lrwin A. Epstein, a practicing dentist, & I still live.
My father’s tombstone bears the following inscription: “Pinchus Ben Avroham”. Thus, we can assume that my grandfather’s name was Abraham.
Neither my sister Bessie nor I can tell you anything about our parents stay in Traverse City, Mich. We are inclined to think that the family’s original name was Greenberg, and that the name Himmler was used by one of the Greenberg young men when they left Russia to avoid
1 sent a copy of your letter to my only living brother, Jacob of Houston, Texas, and suggested that if he has any information about our parents that he should send it to you.
Very truly yours,
Nettie G. Epstein 1395 Sargent Ave.,
St. Paul, Minn. 55105
(I cannot rightly share this letter without clarifying a few discrepancies which are c ntained therein. When this letter was written, on Jan. 10, 1979, Mother Bessie was in her 92nd year she was not 92 years old until July 19th. The family could not have left Petoskey in 1887.Thus, they had not been on the farm for 21 years when, in 1905, they moved to Devil’s Lake.
The following is a response to a letter written to Nettie Greenberg Epstein from Devera Stocker of the Jewish Historical Society of Michigan on Dec. 14, I978. Mrs. Stocker was doing research for an article on the Early History of the Jewish Community in Traverse City for the Jewish Historical Society of Michigan. Nettie’s cousins, Sara Goldberg and Bessie Simon suggested that Devera write Nettie for more information on her family history.