GRUNFELD-GREENFIELD-GREENFELD-SIMOWITZ – MY FAMILY HISTORY

SIMOWITZ FAMILY – My Maternal Relatives

FAMILY OF HENRY SIMOWITZ, 1700s-2000s
Compiled by Allen Henry Greenfield, 2010 revision

I was given my middle name in memory of my maternal grandfather, Henry Simowitz.
We have succeeded in tracing some family lineage back to what is now Slovakia,
as far as the late 1700s. This is a working text. A separate page is being
developed for my paternal family, the Greenfields. There is a salute to some of
my relatives on both sides of my family who fought in World War II for those who
are interested.

Joseph Weber (circa b. 1790), Wife Leah Weber. Origin unknown; name means
“weaver” in German. Note that German-speaking areas existed all over Europe,
from France to Russia. of the area in which the family, even extended family,
seems to have moved is in the present Ukraine (Munkacevo) and Slovakia
(Muckacevo, Velke Kaposney and later Homonna). German-speaking people were
settled for political reasons as far East as the then Tsarist Empire of Russia.
In the 1800s until the First World War, most of this area was under control of
the Austro-Hungarian Empire, in the Hungarian region.

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Their daughter, Reisel Weber married Rabbi Eleazer HA KOHEN Samunovics (b. circa
1820) (variant of Simowitz or Simonowitz). Reisel was a native of Kapusany
(Kapos, Velke Kaposy, other variants), now  in Solvakia. Rabbi Eleazer seems to have
been associate with the Kapuscher Rebbe, and the great center of Chassidic learning founded by
the latter in Velke Kaposy.

Henry Simowitz was born in 1856, probably also in Kapusany. His Hebrew name was
Chaim HA KOHEN Yechiel, and he went by the Hungarian name Mihaly Samunovics
(derived loosely from the Hebrew name “Yechiel” which rhymes with Michiel). He
was drafted into the Hungarian army in 1882. He appears to have married during
or shortly after this period. Three children were born between 1887 and 1889,
two in 1889 alone (10 1/2 months apart).

From November 3, 1889 to at least August of 1894 Henry Simowitz lived in
Homonna, on the Hungarian-Slovakian frontier, in the Carpathian Mountain
foothills. On November 7, 1889 he was granted a Shoemaker’s (Cobbler’s) trade
license under the local Hungarian authorities, a copy of said license still being in my
possession, under the name “Mihaly Samunovics”. He was said also to be
a blacksmith,  and darkly rumored to have traded in stolen horses. Internal
evidence of family tales and existing documents suggests that he was considered
something of a scholar in the Jewish community. Mrs. Samunovics was also granted a trade
license, as a grocers in Homonna on October 20, 1892.

At that point, something happened. It may be that Mrs. Samunovics died suddenly,
leaving Henry with three small children. Before the end of 1892 he was married
to the daughter of Rabbi Akiva Dov (Moreinu Harav; Our teacher, the Rabbi),
Chana (Hannah) Friedman.

There is some evidence that she may have been a relative of the Kapuscher
Rebbe’s extended family. The Fried or Friedman family of Velke Kaposney were the
wellspring of a distinguished lineage of Chassadic Rebbes  known as the “Kapusher Rebbes”
(see below). According to our cousin Eli Pollack of Baltimore, the tombstone of
Rabbi Joshua Fried was turned into a picture postcard, presumably by
his followers. In 1885 the long-lived Kapusher Rebbe, Herman Fried, had
performed the marriage of Henry Simowitz’s sister Sari to an Ignatz Gottesman of Munkacevo
in Kapusany. As late as 1937 a Rabbi Alex Friedman was signing official
Hungarian government records in this area. These may be the family of Hannah Friedman
Simowitz.

An official document indicates they declared  intention to leave Homonna August
2, 1894. On October 15 1894 a daughter was born to them. Another child, a son, was born
in 1895. Somewhere during this period, as “Henry and Hannah Simowitz”, they relocated to
Cincinnati, Ohio in the United States where they had relatives. They probably arrived at
Boston in 1895. On June 15, 1897 Henry Simowitz declared his intention to become a U.S. Citizen.
This was granted 12 October, 1899. Shortly thereafter, the family relocated to
Augusta and Waynesboro, Georgia USA. They had a total of eleven children,
including the three from Henry’s first wife. Note that the eldest daughter,
Bertha, came to America after the turn of the 20th Century aboard the SS Rotterdam, with a
friend. Her future husband also a shoemaker from Northern Europe named Agos (variation Ogus, Ogas) departed
upon the same ship for America about two weeks apart.


Their children were:
Regina “Bertha” Simowitz 1887-1970 b. Homonna, Hungary
Rose Simowitz 1889-1977 b. Homonna, Hungary
Israel Simowitz (later Simon) 1889-1967 b. Homonna, Hungary
{Unless the marriage contract is incorrectly dated, these were Henry
Simowitz’s children by a previous marriage).
Esther Simowitz 1894-1979 probably born in Hungary
Louis Simowitz 1895-1970 probably born in Cincinnati
Harry Simowitz 1897-1991 probably born in Cincinnati
Joseph Simowitz 1899-1979 probably born in Cincinnati
Samuel Simowitz 1902-1984 probably born in Georgia
Louise Simowitz 1905-1986 born in Georgia
Bernard Simowitz 1907-1994 born in Georgia
Mary Margaret Simowitz 1913-1996 born in Waynesboro, Georgia

Many have seen military service in World War I &World War II.

Below right, Lt. Bernard Simowitz, New Britain WWII.

L Leon Pomerance

All had children; and they in turn have had children (see ged.com file), some of
whom have become quite distinguished, including Lee Simowitz, an attorney of
note in Washington, D.C., Dr. Fred Simowitz, M.D. (neurologist) of St. Louis,
and  the late Sam Simowitz of Savanna, Georgia.

Above, back l-r  Lee Simowitz, Larry Agos, Jon Simowitz. Front Allen Henry Greenfield.

DOCUMENTS

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The GRUNFELD/GREENFELD/GREENFIELD Family
text by Allen Henry Greenfield, Revised 2011

Our family came to America from Vienna, Austria in 1897. This was the legendary fin de siecle Vienna of “The Blue Danube”- of Strauss and Freud. There is documentary evidence the family lived for generations in Vienna, then the center of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and the family may have had earlier origins in Bohemia and in Hungary. My grandmother’s death certificate lists both her parents as also Viennese, a Joseph Sommers and Irene Wortimer. As she was born in the 1860s herself, the family seems to go back to the beginnings of the great successor (the “East Mark” – Austria) to the old Holy Roman Empire, dissolved finally by Napoleon Bonaparte. Family investigators report that the original surname was Von Greenfeld, later Grunfeld, still later Greenfeld.

It was not too uncommon in the later centuries of the Holy Roman Empire and the short-lived later Austro-Hungarian Empire to ennoble distinguished citizens-there were even Jewish knights and barons (as the “Von” seems to indicate). Alfred (Isac) Greenfield was born in 1854, according to records we have discovered, apparently in Vienna, and presently became a brew master, from family accounts. He owned a famous saloon (immortalized in jazz great  Eubie Blake’s “Chester & Low”; Blake was house pianist in 1902-03 at Alfred Greenfeld’s ) in Baltimore after coming to America, and the family enjoyed considerable prosperity.

NOTES ON EUBIE BLAKE AND MY GRANDFATHER’S SHADY SALOON

NOTES ON EUBIE BLAKE AND MY GRANDFATHER’S SHADY SALOON

My father and his brothers and sisters probably lived right upstairs, in the fashion of the times, from this wild and rollicking saloon, which my grandfather, Alfred Greenfeld, established in the 1890s. The saloon continued at the “Corner of Chestnut & Low” until the last years before Prohibition, when it (and the family) moved into the home of my Uncle’s William’s (Dr. William Greenfeld, M.D.) more uptown digs, until Prohibition had its way with the bar.  My father never spoke to me about any of this, except that his dad owned a bar in Baltimore.  I first heard that the famed Jazz Composer Eubie Blake had immortalized my grandfather’s saloon from my late cousin Alfred Greenfeld, himself a colorful character, retired Marine and CIA spook.  How *colorful* the Saloon was I only recently discovered, courtesy of “The Storm is Passing Over – From the Church to Baltimore’s Best Bordellos” https://jshare.johnshopkins.edu/pdennis5/public_html/storm/story/story3.htm.  ( Interestingly, my Dad, Albert Greenfield, who came South during the Great Depression, was a non-drinker and both my parents avoided bars like the plague.

The saloon continued at the “Corner of Chestnut & Low” until the last years before Prohibition, when it (and the family) moved into the home of my Uncle’s William’s (Dr. William Greenfeld, M.D.) more uptown digs, until Prohibition had its way with the bar.  My father never spoke to me about any of this, except that his dad owned a bar in Baltimore.  I first heard that the famed Jazz Composer Eubie Blake had immortalized my grandfather’s saloon from my late cousin Alfred Greenfeld, himself a colorful character, retired Marine and CIA spook.  How *colorful* the Saloon was I only recently discovered, courtesy of “The Storm is Passing Over – From the Church to Baltimore’s Best Bordellos”.  (https://jshare.johnshopkins.edu/pdennis5/public_html/storm/story/story3.html) Interestingly, my Dad, Albert Greenfield, who came South during the Great Depression, was a non-drinker and both my parents avoided bars like the plague.

“In 1902 Eubie Blake was with the traveling show “In Old Kentucky”. Later that same year, Blake made his return to nightclub playing in Alfred Greenfeld’s Saloon in Baltimore MD, where he composed his next rag, Corner of Chestnut and Low, the address of Greenfeld’s club.”

“Baltimore’s Eubie Blake was one of the most prominent ragtime musicians on the East Coast in the early 20th century, and was known for a unique style of piano-playing that eventually became the basis for stride, a style perfected during World War I in Harlem. Blake was the most well-known figure in the local scene, and helped make Baltimore one of the ragtime centers of the East Coast, along with Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.[27] He then joined a medicine show, performing throughout Maryland and Pennsylvania before moving to New York in 1902 to play at the Academy of Music there. Returning to Baltimore, Blake played at The Saloon, a venue owned by Alfred Greenfield patronized by “colorful characters and ‘working’ girls”; The Saloon was the basis for his well-known “Corner of Chestnut and Low”. He then played at Annie Gilly’s sporting house, another rough establishment, before becoming well-known enough to play throughout the city and win a number of national piano concerts.”

“After playing melodian and buck dancing in a medicine show through the Maryland and Pennsylvania countryside, Blake did a stint in a plantation-style review at New York’s Academy of Music in 1902. He returned to Baltimore to play piano at Alfred Greenfield’s Saloon, an establishment haunted by colorful characters and “working” girls. He immortalized the place in his “Corner of Chestnut and Low.”

“After Greenfields, he played for Annie Gilly’s sporting house at 317 East Street where the patrons carried knives and brass knuckles. Blake became a star attraction at cafes and clubs and a perennial winner in national piano playing contests. For a while he teamed up with Preston Jackson and his group. “

This entry was posted on November 7, 2009 at 8:43 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site. Edit this entry.

The saloon continued at the “Corner of Chestnut & Low” until the last years before Prohibition, when it (and the family) moved into the home of my Uncle’s William’s (Dr. William Greenfeld, M.D.) more uptown digs, until Prohibition had its way with the bar.  My father never spoke to me about any of this, except that his dad owned a bar in Baltimore.  I first heard that the famed Jazz Composer Eubie Blake had immortalized my grandfather’s saloon from my late cousin Alfred Greenfeld, himself a colorful character, retired Marine and CIA spook.  How *colorful* the Saloon was I only recently discovered, courtesy of “The Storm is Passing Over – From the Church to Baltimore’s Best Bordellos”.  (https://jshare.johnshopkins.edu/pdennis5/public_html/storm/story/story3.html) Interestingly, my Dad, Albert Greenfield, who came South during the Great Depression, was a non-drinker and both my parents avoided bars like the plague.


“In 1902 Eubie Blake was with the traveling show “In Old Kentucky”. Later that same year, Blake made his return to nightclub playing in Alfred Greenfeld’s Saloon in Baltimore MD, where he composed his next rag, Corner of Chestnut and Low, the address of Greenfeld’s club.”

“Baltimore’s Eubie Blake was one of the most prominent ragtime musicians on the East Coast in the early 20th century, and was known for a unique style of piano-playing that eventually became the basis for stride, a style perfected during World War I in Harlem. Blake was the most well-known figure in the local scene, and helped make Baltimore one of the ragtime centers of the East Coast, along with Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.[27] He then joined a medicine show, performing throughout Maryland and Pennsylvania before moving to New York in 1902 to play at the Academy of Music there. Returning to Baltimore, Blake played at The Saloon, a venue owned by Alfred Greenfield patronized by “colorful characters and ‘working’ girls”; The Saloon was the basis for his well-known “Corner of Chestnut and Low”. He then played at Annie Gilly’s sporting house, another rough establishment, before becoming well-known enough to play throughout the city and win a number of national piano concerts.”

“After playing melodian and buck dancing in a medicine show through the Maryland and Pennsylvania countryside, Blake did a stint in a plantation-style review at New York’s Academy of Music in 1902. He returned to Baltimore to play piano at Alfred Greenfield’s Saloon, an establishment haunted by colorful characters and “working” girls. He immortalized the place in his “Corner of Chestnut and Low.”

“After Greenfields, he played for Annie Gilly’s sporting house at 317 East Street where the patrons carried knives and brass knuckles. Blake became a star attraction at cafes and clubs and a perennial winner in national piano playing contests. For a while he teamed up with Preston Jackson and his group. “

At the Jewish History Museum on Lloyd Street in Baltimore I discovered that my grandfather’s establishment, long located at 1008 Low Street (alas, now a parking lot) moved to 2012 Madison Avenue, then the home of my Uncle, Dr. William Greenfeld. The famous photo of the Alfred Greenfeld Saloon was almost certainly photographed at the 1008 Low Street location.

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Alfred Greenfeld’s Saloon (at right, pictured with his son Dewey; Matilda Greenfeld
is seen at far right in background) was located at Chester & Low in Baltimore, and was graced by the music of the great jazz and ragtime musician Eubie Blake (1883-1983) in the early 20th Century. About
1912 Alfred Greenfeld had a stroke and lived until September 17, 1921.
(Note unusual position of his arm in photograph).

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From original sheet music “(Down Corner of Chester & Low (in Baltimo)”

The saloon was said to have “gone bankrupt”, and his family fell on relatively hard times. However, this coincides with Prohibition becoming law in the USA, so there may be a bit more to the story. In the 1920 U.S. census, the family was living in the home of of Alfred’s distinguished son, Dr. William (“Will”) Greenfeld, M.D. of Johns Hopkins Medical Center. After Alfred’s death, his wife Matilda continued to live under Dr. Greenfeld’s roof off and on until her death a quarter century later. The home was located at 1206 E 33rd Street in Baltimore. The house is now a duplex.

In 1900 two cousins from the Kermisch family were living with the Grunfelds in Baltimore Ward 1, Baltimore City. The immediate Greenfeld Family of the period by 1910 consisted of Alfred and Matilda (nee Sommers) and their children, who became quite a distinguished lot; Will (Dr. William Greenfeld, M.D.), Dewey (David), Albert, Eugene (Professor Eugene Greenfield, a Manhattan Project Scientist), Dorothy (wife of Dr. Sidney Marks, a pharmacist), Ida (wife of Dr. Martin Roos, O.D. and a 33rd Degree Scottish Rite Mason) Fay (Mrs. H.D. Gross) and Rose (Mrs. Charles Greenblatt). Matilda was born in 1865, and died on March 20, 1947 at the age of 82, having lived most of her life in Baltimore. She is my only grandparent who lived to see me born (November 4, 1946). Both are buried in the Ahavas Shalom Cemetary in Baltimore. As mentioned above, both Alfred and Matilda were natives of Vienna, according to U.S. government documents. Matilda’s father was Joseph Sommers, her mother [Irena] Wortimer Sommers, also of Vienna. They were Yiddish-speaking, Orthodox Jews, and continued to speak Yiddish as a first language in America. Matilda also spoke fluent Viennese German all her life, as well as English.

My father, ALBERT Sommers Greenfield, was a “natural athlete” all his life. He played professional basketball for the Baltimore City Crescents in his youth,and was a catcher scouted by major league baseball. He had a talent for business as well.

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Albert Greenfeld, center (he played Center), first row, from Baltimore Sun circa 1924 Baltimore City Crescents

Jewish basketball players were very common in this period – see, for example http://books.google.com/books?id=OFwEUugroQMC&pg=PA116&lpg=PA116&dq=YMHA+Basketball+1920s&source=bl&ots=2BnMIuzBAq&sig=XADmoRPqylmF0SRmTdc_F1-Ryy4&hl=en&ei=McHnToaEM4uctweu6429Cg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=5&ved=0CEAQ6AEwBA#v=onepage&q=YMHA%20Basketball%201920s&f=false

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Albert Greenfield (at right), General Manager

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Albert S. Greenfield, mid career

His younger brother Eugene was destined to become a rather key nuclear scientist during WWII and thereafter, living well into the 1990s. He also played a key role in development of electrical-powered rail transportation.

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Professor Eugene Greenfield and family, 1947

Albert went to work for S. Haley & Son in the shoe business after his father took ill. He spent the 1920s in relatively unremarkable jobs but remarkable athletic accomplishments. When the Great Depression hit Baltimore, he was one of many it hit hard, profoundly effecting his world view for the remainder of his life (a life-long Roosevelt Democrat). Yet, in a sense, the Depression was his major opportunity. Like many men thrown out of work, he eventually moved South during the early 1930s, and became associated with the S&J Simowitz Shoe Company and successor firms for the remainder of his life, nearly 40 years.
He married Mary Margaret SIMOWITZ in 1934 in South Carolina. They lived for many years in Augusta, GA, except for a brief period in Winston-Salem, NC during WWII. Al & Margie were active members of both The Walton Way Temple (Congregation Children of Israel-Reform) and Adas Yeshurun Synogogue (Orthodox in old building, Conservative in new). I received my first education at the “new” Adas Yeshurun circa 1950. As S&J grew, ALBERT (1904-1971) rose with the company, becoming General Manager of the successor Marilyn Shoes by the 1950s. Marilyn merged with Butlers Shoe Company of Atlanta in 1955, and the immediate family relocated to Atlanta the following year. Albert and Mary Margaret (“Margie”) had one child, a son, Allen Henry Greenfield, the present writer.

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Allen Greenfield, May 2006

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L-R are Matilda Sommers, daughter Dorothy, son Albert, & Alfred (Isac)
Greenfield, circa 1910

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Albert and his son Allen Greenfield, circa 1947

The immediate family moved from Augusta to Atlanta, as noted, in 1956, and for many
years resided at 2875 Sequoyah Drive, in the Cherokee Forest section of Northwest Atlanta.
The family having moved to Atlanta with the corporate merger of Marilyn and Butlers Shoe Companies,
Albert becoming Vice President in charge of personnel and member of the board of directors.
Butlers became an NYSE listed corporation in the 1960s. Albert served as Lt. Col. Aide de Camp
on the staff of two Georgia Governors, Vandever and Sanders, in the late 50s-early 60s, and a
Deputy Sheriff of Fulton County GA during this same period. The shoe corporation merged with
the large jewelry company, the Zale Corporation of Dallas, TX,in the early 1970s, at my father’s
instigation. During the integration turbulence that manifested in the latter years of his life,
Albert Greenfield became friendly with Rev. Martin Luther King Sr., working together to resolve
local business-related civil rights issues.

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At the end of his life Albert Greenfield (seated at his desk) was a leading businessman;
Executive Vice President of Butler Shoe Company (Atlanta) and a Senior Vice President and
Member of the Board of Zale Corp (Dallas). He died April 10, 1971. His wife Margie
lived on until July 3, 1996.

ALLEN Henry Greenfield was born in 1946, became an intrepid world traveler by age 16,
having lived for some time in Israel and traveling extensively in the Mediterranean region, and,
later in life, in many parts of the world. His first book was published in 1975, and he became
a moderately well-known author of esoteric works by the 1990s. His
publishers included IllumiNet Press, Looking Glass Press, Luxor Press and, currently, Manutius Press.

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ALLEN Greenfield has three children: Alexander David Greenfield, born 1973 in Atlanta;
graduated from Marlboro College in Vermont in 1997, he was for years a story editor and
script writer in Hollywood CA, before moving into a major creative role with
The World Wrestling Entertainment of Stamford, CT, Screenwriting in Hollywood and NYC, writing and film making in VT, notably for Amazon Studios 2011.

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Karl Theodor Greenfield, born 1990, on active duty (2011) U.S. Navy

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Randall Gnosis Greenfield, born 1992. Student at Fullsail University 2011

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Maternal Family Roots – A Simowitz family reunion, 1947. Albert Greenfield is in the rear row, with many of his in laws. See our Simowitz family page for my maternal relatives.

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Mary Margaret Simowitz Greenfield (second from right),
Allen, Alex, Karl & Randall Greenfield, May 1996

NOTES ON EUBIE BLAKE AND MY GRANDFATHER’S SHADY SALOON

NOTES ON EUBIE BLAKE AND MY GRANDFATHER’S SHADY SALOON

By allengreenfield

NOTES ON EUBIE BLAKE AND MY GRANDFATHER’S SHADY SALOON

My father and his brothers and sisters probably lived right upstairs, in the fashion of the times, from this wild and rollicking saloon, which my grandfather, Alfred Greenfeld, established in the 1890s. The saloon continued at the “Corner of Chestnut & Low” until the last years before Prohibition, when it (and the family) moved into the home of my Uncle’s William’s (Dr. William Greenfeld, M.D.) more uptown digs, until Prohibition had its way with the bar.  My father never spoke to me about any of this, except that his dad owned a bar in Baltimore.  I first heard that the famed Jazz Composer Eubie Blake had immortalized my grandfather’s saloon from my late cousin Alfred Greenfeld, himself a colorful character, retired Marine and CIA spook.  How *colorful* the Saloon was I only recently discovered, courtesy of “The Storm is Passing Over – From the Church to Baltimore’s Best Bordellos” https://jshare.johnshopkins.edu/pdennis5/public_html/storm/story/story3.htm.  ( Interestingly, my Dad, Albert Greenfield, who came South during the Great Depression, was a non-drinker and both my parents avoided bars like the plague.

The saloon continued at the “Corner of Chestnut & Low” until the last years before Prohibition, when it (and the family) moved into the home of my Uncle’s William’s (Dr. William Greenfeld, M.D.) more uptown digs, until Prohibition had its way with the bar.  My father never spoke to me about any of this, except that his dad owned a bar in Baltimore.  I first heard that the famed Jazz Composer Eubie Blake had immortalized my grandfather’s saloon from my late cousin Alfred Greenfeld, himself a colorful character, retired Marine and CIA spook.  How *colorful* the Saloon was I only recently discovered, courtesy of “The Storm is Passing Over – From the Church to Baltimore’s Best Bordellos”.  (https://jshare.johnshopkins.edu/pdennis5/public_html/storm/story/story3.html) Interestingly, my Dad, Albert Greenfield, who came South during the Great Depression, was a non-drinker and both my parents avoided bars like the plague.

“In 1902 Eubie Blake was with the traveling show “In Old Kentucky”. Later that same year, Blake made his return to nightclub playing in Alfred Greenfeld’s Saloon in Baltimore MD, where he composed his next rag, Corner of Chestnut and Low, the address of Greenfeld’s club.”

“Baltimore’s Eubie Blake was one of the most prominent ragtime musicians on the East Coast in the early 20th century, and was known for a unique style of piano-playing that eventually became the basis for stride, a style perfected during World War I in Harlem. Blake was the most well-known figure in the local scene, and helped make Baltimore one of the ragtime centers of the East Coast, along with Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.[27] He then joined a medicine show, performing throughout Maryland and Pennsylvania before moving to New York in 1902 to play at the Academy of Music there. Returning to Baltimore, Blake played at The Saloon, a venue owned by Alfred Greenfield patronized by “colorful characters and ‘working’ girls”; The Saloon was the basis for his well-known “Corner of Chestnut and Low”. He then played at Annie Gilly’s sporting house, another rough establishment, before becoming well-known enough to play throughout the city and win a number of national piano concerts.”

“After playing melodian and buck dancing in a medicine show through the Maryland and Pennsylvania countryside, Blake did a stint in a plantation-style review at New York’s Academy of Music in 1902. He returned to Baltimore to play piano at Alfred Greenfield’s Saloon, an establishment haunted by colorful characters and “working” girls. He immortalized the place in his “Corner of Chestnut and Low.”

“After Greenfields, he played for Annie Gilly’s sporting house at 317 East Street where the patrons carried knives and brass knuckles. Blake became a star attraction at cafes and clubs and a perennial winner in national piano playing contests. For a while he teamed up with Preston Jackson and his group. “

This entry was posted on November 7, 2009 at 8:43 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site. Edit this entry.

The saloon continued at the “Corner of Chestnut & Low” until the last years before Prohibition, when it (and the family) moved into the home of my Uncle’s William’s (Dr. William Greenfeld, M.D.) more uptown digs, until Prohibition had its way with the bar.  My father never spoke to me about any of this, except that his dad owned a bar in Baltimore.  I first heard that the famed Jazz Composer Eubie Blake had immortalized my grandfather’s saloon from my late cousin Alfred Greenfeld, himself a colorful character, retired Marine and CIA spook.  How *colorful* the Saloon was I only recently discovered, courtesy of “The Storm is Passing Over – From the Church to Baltimore’s Best Bordellos”.  (https://jshare.johnshopkins.edu/pdennis5/public_html/storm/story/story3.html) Interestingly, my Dad, Albert Greenfield, who came South during the Great Depression, was a non-drinker and both my parents avoided bars like the plague.


“In 1902 Eubie Blake was with the traveling show “In Old Kentucky”. Later that same year, Blake made his return to nightclub playing in Alfred Greenfeld’s Saloon in Baltimore MD, where he composed his next rag, Corner of Chestnut and Low, the address of Greenfeld’s club.”

“Baltimore’s Eubie Blake was one of the most prominent ragtime musicians on the East Coast in the early 20th century, and was known for a unique style of piano-playing that eventually became the basis for stride, a style perfected during World War I in Harlem. Blake was the most well-known figure in the local scene, and helped make Baltimore one of the ragtime centers of the East Coast, along with Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.[27] He then joined a medicine show, performing throughout Maryland and Pennsylvania before moving to New York in 1902 to play at the Academy of Music there. Returning to Baltimore, Blake played at The Saloon, a venue owned by Alfred Greenfield patronized by “colorful characters and ‘working’ girls”; The Saloon was the basis for his well-known “Corner of Chestnut and Low”. He then played at Annie Gilly’s sporting house, another rough establishment, before becoming well-known enough to play throughout the city and win a number of national piano concerts.”

“After playing melodian and buck dancing in a medicine show through the Maryland and Pennsylvania countryside, Blake did a stint in a plantation-style review at New York’s Academy of Music in 1902. He returned to Baltimore to play piano at Alfred Greenfield’s Saloon, an establishment haunted by colorful characters and “working” girls. He immortalized the place in his “Corner of Chestnut and Low.”

“After Greenfields, he played for Annie Gilly’s sporting house at 317 East Street where the patrons carried knives and brass knuckles. Blake became a star attraction at cafes and clubs and a perennial winner in national piano playing contests. For a while he teamed up with Preston Jackson and his group. “

ALEX GREENFIELD

Date of Birth

12 January 1973, Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Mini Biography

Alex Greenfield is an American film and television writer and producer. The son of UFOlogist and occult researcher T Allen Greenfield, Alex accompanied his father on an investigation of the Great UFO Wave of 1973 before he was a year old. He quickly developed an interest in the paranormal and throughout his childhood was an active participant in field studies of everything from the haunting of Christ Church on St. Simon’s Island to the poltergeist activity of Atlanta’s Brookwood Hotel.

After three semesters, Alex dropped out of high school as soon as he was legally able. He spent four years playing in rock bands and working in bars on a fake ID. In 1993, Alex was accepted to Vermont’s Marlboro College. He majored in history and media studies and graduated with highest honors in 1997, paying his way through school by working at a psychiatric hospital.

Alex moved to Los Angeles and did a variety of Hollywood jobs. He was a script reader, extra, assistant, on-air promotions writer and literary manager. He continued to write screenplays and was hired for his first feature writing assignment in 2004. Alex completed two more low-budget movies before he was hired by World Wrestling Entertainment and quickly promoted to become the head writer of “WWF SmackDown!” (1999).

In 2006 Alex’s supernatural thriller, “Childish Things” (based on a story co-written with Mike Eitelman) won the Screamfest Horror Film Festival prize for Best Screenplay. He has gone on to write a number of television movies and mini-series in addition to acting as a writer/producer for a variety of projects in everything from the fashion industry to business news.

Filmography

Writer:

  1. The Wilderness Family (2009) (TV) (writer)
    … aka “Vickery’s Wild Ride” – USA (alternative title)
  2. “Meteor” (2 episodes, 2009)
    Episode #1.2 (2009) TV episode (written by)
    Episode #1.1 (2009) TV episode (written by)
  3. Street Warrior (2008) (TV) (written by)
  4. “WWF SmackDown!” (36 episodes, 2005-2007)
    … aka “Friday Night Smackdown!” – USA (new title)
    … aka “Smackdown!” – USA (new title)
    … aka “Smackdown! Xtreme” – USA
    … aka “WWE Smackdown!” – USA (new title)
    … aka “World Wrestling Federation Smackdown!” – USA
    Episode #9.1 (2007) TV episode (head writer)
    Episode #8.19 (2007) TV episode (head writer)
    Episode #8.15 (2006) TV episode (head writer)
    Episode #8.14 (2006) TV episode (head writer)
    Episode #8.6 (2006) TV episode (head writer)
    (31 more)
  5. WWE New Year’s Revolution (2007) (TV) (writer)
    … aka “NY Revolution” – USA (promotional title)
  6. Survivor Series (2006) (TV) (writer)
  7. “WWF Raw Is War” (43 episodes, 2005-2006)
    … aka “Raw Is War” – USA (short title)
    … aka “WWE Monday Night RAW” – USA (new title)
    … aka “WWE Raw” – USA (new title)
    … aka “WWF Raw” – USA (new title)
    Episode dated 16 October 2006 (2006) TV episode (writer)
    Episode dated 14 August 2006 (2006) TV episode (writer)
    Episode dated 7 August 2006 (2006) TV episode (writer)
    Episode dated 31 July 2006 (2006) TV episode (writer)
    Episode dated 24 July 2006 (2006) TV episode (writer)
    (38 more)
  8. “Extreme Championship Wrestling” (15 episodes, 2006)
    … aka “ECW on Sci-Fi” – USA (alternative title)
    … aka “ECW on Syfy” – USA (new title)
    … aka “EcW” – USA (promotional abbreviation)
    Episode dated 3 October 2006 (2006) TV episode (writer)
    Episode dated 26 September 2006 (2006) TV episode (writer)
    Episode dated 19 September 2006 (2006) TV episode (writer)
    Episode #1.12 (2006) TV episode (writer)
    Episode #1.11 (2006) TV episode (writer)
    (10 more)
  9. Summerslam (2006) (TV) (writer)
  10. WWE Great American Bash (2006) (TV) (writer)
  11. WWE Judgment Day (2006) (TV) (writer)
  12. WrestleMania 22 (2006) (TV) (writer)
  13. “WWE Saturday Night’s Main Event” (2006) TV series (unknown episodes)
  14. WWE No Way Out (2006) (TV) (writer)
  15. WWE Royal Rumble (2006) (TV) (writer)
  16. WWE Armageddon (2005) (TV) (writer)
  17. Survivor Series (2005) (TV) (writer)
    … aka “WWE Survivor Series” – USA (promotional title)
  18. WWE Taboo Tuesday (2005) (TV) (writer)
  19. WWE No Mercy (2005) (TV) (writer)
  20. WWE Homecoming (2005) (TV) (writer)
  21. WWE Unforgiven (2005) (TV) (writer)
  22. Summerslam (2005) (TV) (writer)
    … aka “WWE Summerslam” – USA (promotional title)
  23. WWE Great American Bash (2005) (TV) (writer)


A list of Alex Greenfield’s award-winning works.

Cover art

(Horror, Action and Adventure) A U.S. Special Operations unit in hostile territory face an incomprehensible horror when track their quarry to an ancient templ…

Cover art

(Thriller and Suspense, Horror) An architect shattered by the tragedy that took his wife and son is hired to remodel a mysterious house that straddles the line…

Cover art

Alex Greenfield lives with his wife Penny Larson in Vermont. He is represented by manager, Dannie Festa.IMDb Mini Biography By: Pollination Pictures

Spouse
Penny Larson (17 September 2005 – present)
Trivia

Alex Greenfield and wife, Penny Larson met in college and dated for twelve years before getting married.

ALLEN GREENFIELD

Bibliography

Books

  • Silver Bridge, by Gray Barker, introduction by Allen Greenfield. Saucerian Books, 1970. Library of Congress Catalogue Number 70-119512.
  • Saucers and Saucerers. PANP Press, 1975.
  • Secret Cipher of the UFOnauts. Illuminet Press, 1994; Revised Edition Manutius Press, 2005. ISBN 1-4116-6759-X
  • The Story of the Hermetic Brotherhood of Light. Looking Glass Press, 1997. ISBN 9188708039
  • The Compleat Rite of Memphis. Luxor Press, 1998. ISBN 1891948016
  • Liber Thirty-One (The Authorized Edition by C.S. Jones (Frater Achad); edited and annotated by T Allen Greenfield. Luxor Press, 1998. ISBN 1891948008
  • The Book of Lies: The Disinformation Guide to Magick and the Occult. Edited by Richard Metzger; Allen Greenfield, contributor. Disinformation Books, 2003. ISBN 097139427X
  • Secret Rituals of the Men in Black. Manutius Press, 2005. ISBN 1-4116-6764-6
  • The Roots of Modern Magick: Glimpses of the Authentic Tradition from 1700-2000, An Anthology. Revised edition, Manutius Press, 2006. ISBN 978-1-4116-8978-7

Articles

Other notable contributors to our research include Alfred Greenfeld, son of David “Dewey” Greenfield, John McWilliam Smith Jr., Grand Master of the Grand Lodge, AF&AM of Maryland, and the State of Maryland via various public and private records departments. Sheila Lee Greenfield, be it noted with gratitude, has done much of our family geneological research work. This is an ongoing project.

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15 Responses to “GRUNFELD-GREENFIELD-GREENFELD-SIMOWITZ – MY FAMILY HISTORY”

  1. Fredric Simowitz Says:

    Allen: Just ran across the revision of your family history posting. You’ve done a great job! Keep up the good work. Freddie Simowitz

  2. eli pollock Says:

    allen
    email me ! lets get this family tree organized !!
    elipollock1@yahoo.com
    eli

  3. allengreenfield Says:

    Hi Cousin Eli –

    I have read all of your letters (AFAIK) to my cousin Fred Simowitz
    written back in the 1980s and am very impressed by your work which has
    been invaluable to me. The curiosity is that you are (or were then)
    in Baltimore, which I associate with my father’s family
    (Greenfeld-Greenfield) more than my mother’s Mary Margaret (Simowitz)
    Greenfield (1913-1996).

    In any case, I recently made a trip to Eastern Europe and Velke Kapos
    was an overnight train trip from Prague. Found some familiar sounding
    names on the Samovics-Simowitz side, but nothing remarkable or readily
    linked.

    You did what I should have done in the 1980s — traced the Simowitz’s
    and cousins while there were still a lot of living people with living
    memories–I took it up ten years later, and, while the Simowitz’s live
    long lives, those you were able to interview are, alas all gone, so
    your offer:

    “A new comment on the post “GREENFIELD-GREENFELD-SIMOWITZ – MY FAMILY
    HISTORY” is waiting for your approval
    http://allengreenfield.wordpress.com/2010/04/09/greenfield-greenfeld-simowitz-my-family-history/
    is most welcome. Plus, I do know you are a Kohen, and I do have
    pictures of my paternal grandparent’s gravestones, but I have much
    family buried in that same cemetary and no living contacts with the
    Greenfelds of Baltimore, so any clues would be appreciated.

    I have picked up a number of things in these twenty years, as I’m sure
    you have….my eldest aunt, Bertha Simowitz Agoos (I learned from a
    cousin named Roy Ogos) didn’t come to America until the early 1900s. I
    have her sailing record and am a bit mystified by this. Plus there
    is,of course, the “mystery first Mrs. Samovics” who I would like to
    put a name to. Relatives who are descended from her seem to be very
    resistant to the notion–I have talked to Henry Simon (son of Izzy)
    who provided tons of info but this subject was off-putting. I
    recently had some interaction with second cousin Beth Damon (daughter
    of Rita Simowitz Damon- first cousin; daughter of Rose Simowitz
    Pomerance, my G-d mother), and Rita, still living, was insistent that
    Honi was the mother of all the Simowitz brothers and sisters.

    My mother often mentioned two anomalies, one being that one of her
    grandfather’s had married twice (which I found evidence of-not unusual
    in the 19th Century) and the other that there had been an additional
    child, Ignatz, who had died in infancy.

    Now, my mother being the youngest child, she barely knew her father
    (died when she was 5) but she and Louise (who I know you spoke with
    and Bernie (likewise) whose sons were close friends when I was a child
    were probably the closest to Honi in her latter, widowed years. I
    learned a lot more about my father from my mother long after he had
    passed on than from him during his lifetime. My best guess is that
    Mrs. Henry Simowitz #1 died in childbirth, the child also dying, in
    the Autumn of the year he married Honi Friedman. In a small Jewish
    community of that period, a man left with three small children would
    likely have been quickly matched up and remarried, I should think, and
    the small children, who would shortly change languages, country and
    lifestyle might well have no memory of any other mother other than
    Honi, who might have wished to spare the children a loss so early in
    life. I is a guess, but an educated guess.

    BTW, I am also interested that it appears your Samovics Mishpacha are
    generated from a marriage performed by The Kapucher Rebbe. Were any
    of them Chassids? By the time they got to Augusta, Honi and Henry had
    chosen to speak only English to their children, and, I suspect, as
    with many families, much family history was deliberately lost or
    conflated or “softened” in the name of “Americanization”. So, I take
    family anecdotes with a grain of salt. What I do have are my own
    memories – by the time I can along not only were they all English
    speaking but with a southern drawl, and my mother’s notes,
    occasionally wrong but often corresponding to other testimony, that
    she made as “family photo archivist” of which I have hundreds and have
    been scanning for years.

    I have settled on my youngest son, Randall, now 18 and in college, to
    pass this Work along to; my goal being that no one who asks will ever
    again have to start from scratch.

    Write me here.

    Cordially,

    Allen Henry Greenfield

  4. eli pollock Says:

    allen
    what is your phone number? or email me at elipollock1@yahoo.com
    thanks
    eli

  5. Allen Greenfield Says:

    I have sent you my phone number off list.

  6. frank almour Says:

    Allen I had the pleasure of knowing your entire family. I worked for
    Sam, Joe, Bernie and your father was my boss, one of the the pictures
    above of your father at the Marilyn shoe store the man standing next to your father was named Johnnie Hodges. I remember you when you were a child and visited the store that I managed in Florence South Carolina. I new you Aunt Louise, Your uncle Ruben, your cousin Arnold. I attended your Father’s funeral in Atlanta I also was promoted to A regional Vice President
    Your father was a man who was an avid golfer. I remember you were a young man who really was into ufos There was no one whom I respected more than your father. I was just a young man when I started working
    for Marilyn,pollock, Butler I raised a family and enjoyed working and knowing all your family. I am 83 and started when I was 22 worked for 34 years and enjoyed every day. I will tell you I think about your father every day.

    • allengreenfield Says:

      Why Hi Frank!
      Yes,I remember your name, and I certainly recall Johnnie Hodges. I was a kid, but I was a smart kid and I was, in fact, 24 when my father passed on, and I do indeed miss him. Were you one of the people from the old Marilyn Shoe group from Augusta, or were you with Butlers. I literally grew up in the shoe business, not only was my mother and my uncles involved, but their dad had been a cobbler in Eastern Europe before coming to America in the early 1890s. My father offered to bring me into the business about 1969 or so, but in those days I just didn’t think about material things. (Today I barely get by!) I always had the impression that my father was good at what he did – working with people as the personnel guy. If you’re the “boss’s” son you never know of course, what people really think, so I am grateful to you after all these years to hear it from someone who worked with him. My dad was indeed a golfer and a good one, and in his youth had played semi-pro basketball and was scouted by professional baseball before moving South during the Depression. I think it was I.D. Shapiro who said there was a job for him in Augusta — he had been roaming like many men of that day looking for work, came to Augusta and married the bosses’ little sister.

      I’m taxing my memory here, but I know Aunt Louise and Uncle Rubin and Arnold lived in Florence, and the only time I ever *recall* coming to the store there was for the opening, complete with ribbon-cutting and radio ads. Were you manager then?

      I did run into Joe Shapiro about 15 years ago when I was myself managing an art supply store….I mistook him for his dad, which I’m sure did not sit well with him.

      No one has really told me the story of how Butlers disappeared. My father had as you doubtless know a lot to do with the Zale Merger, but he took sick and about a year later passed on (no one really could believe it), and George Heald Sr., his executor, advised my mother to diversify her holdings so we were really out of the Butlers loop after that, and no one has ever really told me what became of the once-huge company.

      Thank you so much for writing….my private email is bishop171@gmail.com

      Blessings and good health.

  7. Larry Greenfeld Says:

    I came across your family history and there is the possibility we are related. My name is Larry Greenfeld and I live in Columbia, MD. My father and grandparents emigrated from Muncaks (now the Ukraine) in 1920. My grandfather’s name was Adolphe Greenfeld and my grandmother was Fanny (I believe her maiden name was Mensch). My grandparents spoke Hungarian (they spoke Yiddish to me)—other relatives who also left Muncaks settled in Netanya, Israel. When my grandparents came to the U.S., they were joined shortly therafter by cousins named Feld.

    Let me know if any of this sounds relevant to your family history.

    All the best,
    Larry Greenfeld
    lgreenfeld@comcast.net

    • allengreenfield Says:

      Very possibly. Velke Kapos is not far from Munkacs. My paternal ancestors were from Vienna, but, of course, much of this was then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. I’ll contact you privately.

  8. bill gossin Says:

    Hi Allen my name is Bill Gossin Jr. My dad, Bill Sr worked for Butlers for many years, and I sort of grew up in the company and I also worked for the company almost to the “bitter end” My dad was a region manager and contemporary of your dad. I have fond memories of your dad from when I was 12 years old or so. I used to accompany your dad and mine to Braves games or to play golf. I remember sometimes when your dad would say a “cuss” word he would give me a dollar “for hearing him cuss”.

    I started working part time at Butlers in 1970 when I was 15. I worked there until 1990 and worked my way up to regional manager. My job was eliminated during drastic cutbacks as the company was failing, it went under for good a yea rd or two later. The company failed for several reasons, primarily due to a leveraged buyout plan engineered by the senior management which created an unsustainable corpora t e debt, when combined with declining sales in mall stores in the late 80’s_early 90’s caused by the shift to big box and discount stores. I have looked for info on Butler online and there is very little it’s almost as though it never existed.

    • allengreenfield Says:

      Hi Bill,

      Good to hear from you. My father worked his way up from a stock boy at S. Haley & Sons Shoe Company in the 1920s to Executive Vice President of Butler’s in charge of personnel. He was also quite an athlete; semi-pro basketball as a kid and was scouted by the baseball majors. I do recall your dad; my father was very big on knowing and working and playing with his Butler’s ‘family’. I really think after his rather early death the company went downhill, with the change of ownership (Zale Corp first) and other non-shoe dogs. My mother was the sister of the founders of Marilyn Shoes and the daughter of a shoemaker so it goes way back. Seems like the “main street” companies all got eaten by conglomerates eventually.

      There *should be* a “Butler’s Alumni” page on the internet – I wish someone would put one up. As you say, there are very few entries. The closest thing is a site you should tell your story on that started out as just a picture of a local Butlers Store but has had lots of letters from old Butlers hands on it:

      http://digital.lib.ecu.edu/8824

      Anyway, thanks for writing; if you need me I’m at bishop171@gmail.com

      Cordially

      Allen Greenfield
      son of Albert
      grandson of Alfred
      father of Alex

  9. Betty Sinowitz Says:

    Do you know what a wimpel is?

  10. allengreenfield Says:

    feel free.

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