In my previous posts, I looked at the surnames that appeared more than once on the above snippet of an image from the 1933-1934 property assessment for Square 551. The first post was for the Bundys, particularly James Bundy, a notable African American attorney. Next were the Russian immigrant Levitovs. I was pretty excited to find photographs of Max and Rose. But the next family, the Rosenthals were a little bit more of a challenge.
Normally, I assume the owners are local. I know that it isn’t a given, and in the case of the line Wilhelm & Gunther Rosenthal, owners of SSL:551-0843, they were not in DC. Thankfully, the records from the Recorder of Deeds points us to Berks County, Pennsylvania.
There were 3 documents for the Rosenthals, Document #1937000812, #1941037098, and #1942003233. They state that Minna L. Rosenthal was acting on behalf Sarah J. Rosenthal. I wasn’t sure what was Minna’s relationship to Gunther, Wilhelm or Sarah. Other Rosenthals mentioned in the documents were Elise, and Elise L.D. (sometimes D.L. in other docs). No mention of Wilhelm.
Those documents relate to lots 66,67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72 and 75, parts of old Lot 17. These probably were 208 to 214 R St NW. In 1900 a widowed landlady Amanda Rosenthal owned and lived at 214 R St NW. Amanda was born in Pennsylvania, but I wouldn’t have assumed to look for family there.
Sarah Rosenthal is a common name when you have no idea about anything else. I managed to focus in on a Sarah Jane Rosenthal (1839-1916) married to a William Rosenthal (11/20/1823-1/1/1914), an editor. As far as I can tell, especially after reading her will (filed in Washington DC), she and William/Wilhelm had no children. She did have sisters Hanna and Eliza Nunnemacher and grandnephews, Paul and William Rosenthal Keech. There is no mention of the DC property mentioned in the will.
Nor was Minna Rosenthal mentioned in Sarah’s will. The executor seems to go unnamed. So I decided this was a dead end.
Then I started looking for Gunther Rosenthal. Not knowing Gunther’s relationship to Sarah or Wilhelm or Minna, I had trouble pinning down a Pennsylvania related man of that name.
I then moved on to Minna, which I discovered is short for Wilhelmina. I could tie school teacher Minna Louise Rosenthal (1870-1952) to her widowed mother Elise (nee Weishahn?) and sister, also a teacher, Elise Louise Dorthea Rosenthal. I found baby Minna in the 1870 census where Gunter was listed as her father.
With more information about the Rosenthal women I could double back to Gunther (Gunter). Gunther F.C. Rosenthal was a jeweler from Germany. He was previously married to a Wilhelmina and had a daughter named Ernestine. He later married Elise and had other children, including Minna.
This was a challenging and exhausting but not exhaustive search. I found nothing linking Amanda to Wilhelm and Gunther. The few things they have in common (besides a name) is Amanda’s husband Charles Rosenthal was born in Germany as was Wilhelm and Gunther and there was the Pennsylvania connection.