Last week we talked about the Honigsbaum family and the stores operated by their family. Today’s column will continue with the Honigsbaum family, with a few little family tidbits.
First, I’d like to mention that Goldie Slutzky, a highly respected lady, was born into the Honigsbaum family. Goldie Honigsbaum Slutzky was a classy lady whose golf game excelled most mountaintop golfers.
The Honigsbaum family also owned stores in Albany named Denby Stores. A cute story is attached to the name. Mr. Issac Honigsbaum went to NYC on a buying trip for his new, unnamed store. He soon realized the store needed a name, or the big city garment merchants might not talk to him. So, as the story goes, Issac went to a Manhattan telephone directory (no cell phones back then), opened it, and dropped a bit of water on the page. The drop landed on the name John Denby; therefore, Honigsbaum’s store now had a name, Denby’s!
In 1951 Albany shoppers were encouraged to open a Honigsbaum credit card. Tidbit — Back then, each store had its charge cards, Honigsbaum’s, J.C. Penny’s, Sears & Roebuck, etc. It was many years before a Visa or Master Card was available to use in multiple businesses.
Now we’ll regress to 1913 with a story of Frank Honigsbaum’s leather tannery in Tannersville. (Thanks again to Gary Lelonek, the author of The Jewish History of Tannersville, New York, for allowing me the use of this material).
A NEW INDUSTRY FOR TANNERSVILLE – NOVEMBER 1913 - The Tannersville Times.
“That Tannersville is to have a new industry is a fact.” Frank Honigsbaum, one of our clothiers, conducts a shoe store and has made shoes manufactured in the rear of this store. It said he opened a small scale tannery in the basement of his barn and conducted it for his trade and the local market.
He will use the old method of tanning the leather with the old bark process, thus lengthening the leather’s life.
“Mr. Honigsbaum informs us that after he gets thoroughly started and established, he expects to build a tannery two miles from this village and be able to do wholesale business, requiring the employment of a large force of men. He’ll place a truck on the road for the collection of hides and delivery of the leather.
Mr. Honigsbaum had previously worked in the trade and understood the tanning business from A to Z. The enterprise will be watched with much interest.”
- The Tannersville Times.
Unfortunately, I was unable to fin any follow-up information on the Honigsbaum Tannery.