Israel Hynek Stein (1840-1925) and Aloisa Ehrlich (1840-1912) lived in Trebon, Czechoslovakia, now in South Bohemia in the Czech Republic. Hynek was a peddler and for many years his family lived in different places throughout the area between Trebon and Tabor, 50 kilometers north of Trebon.
Hynek and Aloisa lived in the small village of Cepp near Trebon in House 64. Later they moved into Trebon. They had nine children, nearly all of whom immigrated to the United States and lived in Chicago:
- Julia (b. 1858?) immigrated in 1880.
- Albert (1867-1907) married Katie Weiss and lived in Chicago. He died in a train wreck involving the Lake Shore Limited. The Chicago Sunday Tribune describes him as a laborer.
- Joseph (1869-1932) immigrated in 1891. He worked as real estate agent and later as a banker after founding the State Commercial and Savings Bank in Chicago. He married Mathila Pokorny of Trebon and they had two children. Joseph and Mathilda divorced and Joseph’s second marriage to a woman named Annette also ended in divorce.
- Hermine (b. 1871) married Leonhard Horky in Vienna and had three children. After the death of her husband, Hermine moved to Chicago.
- Anna (b. 1874) immigrated in 1890.
- Karel (1875-1938 or 1942) stayed in Trebon and married Josephina Steiner. They operated her family’s inn and had three children. Karel died before WWII, but his wife Josephina and son Jaroslav were arrested and sent to Theresienstadt. Josephina was killed at Treblinka and Jaroslav at Auschwitz. It is not known what happend to Helene and Elsa, the daughters of Josephina and Karel.
- Ludwig (b. 1876-1945) immigrated in 1890 or 1891 and married Anna Trenk in 1902. They had two children and lived in Chicago.
- Rose (b. 1878) immigrated in 1892.
- Alois (1885-1960) immigrated in 1904 and married Jeannette Kay Klein in 1912. They had two children, but were later divorced.
The descendants of Albert, Joseph, and Hermine have shared the information and the pictures featured in this post.
Israel and Aloisa Stein are buried in the Jewish cemetery in Trebon. They died in 1925 and 1912, respectively.
Passenger list records show that the youngest son, Alois Louis Stein, left Trebon at age 19. On March 24, 1904, he departed from Hamburg, Germany on a steamboat (Dampfschiff) named “Deutschland”, which stopped in Southampton and Cherbourg before arriving in New York. Alois’ accommodations are listed as “zwischendeck” or steerage and his occupation is recorded as “commis” or a clerk.
He came with two recommendations from grocery stores (Colonialwarenhandlungen) in Budwies and Pilsen.
On September 10, 1910, he became a naturalized citizen at the Cook County Circuit Court in Chicago. Alois was 25 years old, 5 feet and 9 1/2 inches tall, and described as having brown eyes, black hair, and a dark complexion. He lived at 8940 Commercial Avenue, where his sister-in-law Katie Weiss ran a boarding house. She was the widow of Albert Stein.
On November 25, 1912, Alois Stein married Jeannette Kay Klein (1889- 1970), the daughter of Aaron Klein (1844-1923) and Rosa Scheyer (1858-1941). Alois and Jeannette Kay lived at 6912 S. Rockwell Avenue with their daughters Lois Ruth (1913-1996) and Marion Selma (1916-2000).
Around 1918, Alois and Jeannette Kay divorced. Jeannette and her daughters went to live with her parents, Aaron and Rosa. In a 1987 journal entry, Lois recalls:
When I was five – my sister Marion was two – we went to live with my grandparents as our parents were divorced. I have no remembrance of a father and did not see him until I was about 12 – and then never again. My mother never spoke of him – good or bad.
The 1920 census shows Alois Stein, age 35, living with his sister Rose Stein, age 42. Rose is listed as unmarried and the head of a household with a number of boarders. She lived at 828 48th Street off Drexel Boulevard in Chicago. The census also says that Rose arrived in the United States in 1892 (twelve years before Alois) and that she became a naturalized citizen in 1914. The census also notes Alois’ occupation as a salesman and his industry as “electrical.”
By 1926, Alois married Caroline Smetana (born in Bohemia) and they had a son named Alois in 1927. According to the 1930 census, they owned their home at 1458 West 17th Street. However, by the late 1930s, they were divorced.
Later in life, Alois Stein moved to Los Angeles, where he died in 1960. His daughter Lois recalls in a 1987 journal entry:
In May 1960 a telephone call from Los Angeles. My father[‘s] attorney with the message that my father was in the hospital and dying. Yes I could come. It was the first in our married life (since 1933) that we had a savings account and the total sum of 300 dollars. So much later that nite I arrived in Los Angeles. The lawyer met me and took me to a hotel. The lawyer was very impersonal – did nothing helpful for me but took advantage in many ways for the funeral and execution of the will. In the morning an unknown cousin arrived. Her mother was my father’s sister. Ann Blackburn. After breakfast she had the seals removed from my father’s apartment and we moved in. She was older than I – very friendly and had more know how in such a situation than I. She had friends maybe distant relatives in L.A. that gave us transportation, entertainment, and tourist tours. Arrangements were made for the funeral, cemetery lot, and such. We went to the hospital for valuables. We received a wallet containing only a ticket from a Chinese laundry. No money or any IDs. The landlady said he always wore a diamond ring or a ruby one and a wrist watch. We could find neither. It was a furnished apartment – a young couple came and said that they were promised the TV. We packed clothes, playing cards, many pipes, a few books and called the Veteran Hospital and they took all away.
 Staatsarchiv Hamburg. Hamburg Passenger Lists, 1850-1934 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2008.