Mr. And Mrs. Straus Likely Not Among the Rescued
This article was published in the Yiddish-language Forward on April 16, 1912.
Among first-class passengers who have likely perished are also Mr. and Mrs. Isidor Straus. It appears that Mrs. Straus didn’t want to leave her husband and rejected the opportunity to be rescued herself by boarding a lifeboat.
Isidor Straus was a prominent millionaire and an elected official who was born on February 6, 1945, in Bavaria. In 1852, the family immigrated to America and settled in Talbotton, Ga. Mr. Straus studied in both public and Hebrew schools. He had a strong desire to enroll in a military academy, but the Civil War broke out at that time. At the age of 16, Mr. Straus organized a company of young men who wished to enlist with the Confederate Army (the Southern states that wished to secede from the United States were known as the Confederacy). But the Confederacy wouldn’t accept such young boys as enlistees, and Mr. Straus instead became a clerk in his father’s store.
After the Civil War, Mr. Straus opened a china store in New York along with his father, Lazarus Straus,. The business grew rapidly, and when Mr. Straus’s brothers, Nathan and Oscar, came of age, they also joined the firm.
Mr. Straus was a member of the Abraham and Straus Co. of Brooklyn. The brothers Straus have additional department stores as well as glass factories in Germany, Switzerland and France.
Mr. Straus was a strong supporter of former President Grover Cleveland, and he helped him to get elected for a second term in 1892. Cleveland wanted to appoint Mr. Straus as U.S. Postmaster General, but he refused the offer. Later on, Mr. Straus was elected as a U.S. Congressman and as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives’ Ways and Means Committee.