The bulk of this information comes from (1)two personal photo albums. One belonging to Berenice Thompson and the other belonging to Barnard Steinfeld, Those albums contain pictures from 1911-1913. (2)Two notebooks full of personal letters, and various newspaper clippings and documents. (3) Various loose pictures and papers all of which were property of the Steinfeld family and was given to the East Liverpool Historical Society by Janie S. Jenkins, the youngest daughter of Barnard and Berenice Steinfeld. (4) From ELHS Keramos publications of 1909 -1912.(5) Research Timothy Brookes has done.
This is about some of the life and times of primarily one Thompson Family along with some information of the Steinfeld Family. It centers on two teenagers, Berenice Thompson and Barnard Steinfeld who went to and graduated from East Liverpool High School together in the Spring of 1912, just a hundred years before the current 2012 graduating Class of East Liverpool High School graduated in the spring of 2012.
It will be a chance to learn a bit about them, the high School they attended and the East Liverpool they knew.
How this began
Letter written to Timothy Brookes, August 8, 1996. from Janie S. Jenkins.
Letter from Timothy Brookes to Janie S. Jenkins, August 28, 1996.
Letter from Janie S. Brookes to Timothy Brookes, September 3, 1996.
Letter from Janie S. Brookes to Timothy Brookes, September 16, 1996.
Letter from Timothy Brookes to Janie S. Jenkins, October 7, 1996.
This is a portion of a letter sent from Janie S. Jenkins (Barnard and Berenice's youngest daughter)to Attorney Timothy Brookes, President of the EL Historical Society, on June 12, 2007. It provides background for What Tim Brookes says might be "the best historical material we've ever received on one family."
Dear Atty. Brookes:
In the late summer and early fall of 1996, we corresponded about early photographs, etc. I had sent you following the death of my parents, my mother., Berenice Thompson Steinfeld, in 1965, and Barnard H. Steinfeld in 1984. You were pleased to have them for the historical society and now I am expecting to send you more if you would accept. the material.
(You may remember that my mother's brother, Kenneth Thompson, was the first. East Liverpool casualty of World War I and you were hoping to find a picture of him. The material I am about to receive may have a picture, although I won't know for sure until it arrives.
On Thanksgiving Day of 2006, my sister, Barbara Steinfeld Nick, 87., had a massive stroke and is in a long-term care nursing home in Natick, Mass., with only 20 percent comprehension, unable to speak, move, swallow, etc Her son and his wife, etc, had the dreadful task of emptying her house in Newton Center, Mass., where she had lived for more than 50 years.
Because our mother favored' her (don't laugh - it was only too true!) the majority of the family items were given to her son and his wife, and since Joe and Marilyn have no children, nor do I, there is no other family to receive them.
They have kept what items they could, but they have their own home and certainly at my age, 85, I do not really need any more "stuff." Among the items they are bringing me when they come the weekend after the Fourth of July is a set- of dishes Kenneth made especially for Mother before he went off to war.
As I remember, they are white with gold trim. He was employed in one of the potteries there as was Harry Thompson, his father, and my grandfather. (Joseph Thompson who lived at Elysian Way was his and my mother's brother. His wife was Margaret Simmers). I will keep the set for sentimental reasons, but I will leave instructions that after my death they should go to the society, if the society would like to have them.
While Joe and Marilyn are here, they would like to come to East. Liverpool and see both the pottery museum and the Thompson museum. Would it be possible for you to send me a map and information about these two places, as I will be accompanying them.
I am still writing, having been feature writer at The Youngstown Vindicator for 43 years before retiring in 1987, and for 20 years have been a columnist. with Farm & Dairy. Hopefully, my brains will not get a chance to rust out as long as I keep them working!
Some General Background on Both families.
A Small World: For those whose experiences of going to school, in East Liverpool, included going to the High School Building and Central Building note the refernce to the little store beside the High School Building in the above. Over the years that store was known by a couple names, Chadwicks being one of them.
One of the hardest things has been trying to pinpoint where the two families lived at various points in time.
Harry R. Thompson, (decorator) 128 Grant Street. 1898-99 City Directory.
The 1915-1916 East Liverpool City Directory lists the Thompson family as living at 2230 St Clair Ave. the location of the present day Birch Real Estate office.
We don't know who the folks in the front are but that is Barnard and Berenice in the back. This is the St Clair Ave, House. It is not known if this picture was taken while they were still in high school or afterwards and if afterwards before or after they married.
Harry R. Thompson, 1870-1951. Bernice's father. His Cause of death, hardening of the arteries at age 81.
Eva Thompson, 1871-1901, Berenice's mother.
Married on the Ninth of October, 1893 Harry R. Thompson and Eva L. Walter. There were born to them three children. Berenice Hamblin, Joseph Russell, Kenneth Henry.
Berenice Thompson was born in East Liverpool in 1894.
Not all was idyllic for the Thompson family. Berenice's mother died in 1901 when Bernice was 7 years old.
In this picture taken about 1898 is Berenice's dad, Harry Richard Thompson, her oldest brother, Joseph Russell Thompson, her mother Eva Walter Thompson and Berenice Hamblin Thompson.
She died at 9PM. Her cause of death, kidney and gall bladder complications.
A young Berneice.
The picture says Mother (Berenice)pouring. Berenice, Joseph and not sure who the third is.
A young Joseph Thompson
A young Kenneth Thompson
As was mentioned earlier in the Letter to Timothy Brookes from Janie S. Jenkins, Kenneth Thompson, Bernice's youngest brother died of wounds received in August, 1918 in France. It was originally reported in the East Liverpool Evening Review (Aug. 22, 1918) that Sergeant Kenneth H. Thompson is the first of East Liverpool's Representatives on the battle fields of France to lay down his life for the cause of world democracy. It was later discovered that another from East Liverpool had been killed a day or so earlier in fighting in France.
More on Kenneth when we get to that time period chronologically.
Harry Thompson's father was Henry Thompson and some research done by Timothy Brookes provides the following. This appears in a letter written to Janie S. Jenkins from Timothy R. Brookes, dated September 24, 2007:
I was checking on Henry Thompson's Civil War service. He enlisted in Pittsburgh in August 1861, and received a medical discharge in October, 1862. During that year he should have seen considerable action/excitement on the Virginia Peninsula and the long march to Antietam - where is Regiment was in reserve. Maybe you'll find some of his letters among the material coming from Massachusetts.
On plaques in the chapel of the Riverview cemetery, East Liverpool, Ohio Thomas G Thompson was in Co. E3, PA, H. A. His brother Henry Thompson was in Co. L62, PA, V.I. a copy of an article from the Evening Review, East Liverpool, dated July 4, 1988 shows that Henry fought at Gettysburg.
We work at being as accurate as possible. That above about Gettysburg is incorrect. Timothy Brookes sets the record straight in the following:
Henry was not at Gettysburg but would have been, had he not gotten the medical discharge. Thomas Thompson served in the 3rd Pennsylvania Heavy Artillery who were not at Gettysburg. After the surrender, several members of the 3rd were guards of Jefferson Davis when he was held prisoner at Fortress Monroe, Va..
The Thompson family tree, at least as far back as 1800 or so, shows a very rich history of interesting people but that is a story for another time.
We don't have as much information on the Steinfeld family as we do the Thompson Family.
Louis Steinfeld, 1855-1927 and Jennie Viney Steinfeld, 1862-1942 were Barnard's Mother and Father.
They lived at 241 Walnut St. according to 1898-99 City Directory.
Barnard Steinfeld was born in East Liverpool in 1894, the same year as Berenice. His family owned a clothing store in the downtown.
The 1898-99 City Directory lists the Clothing Store as Steinfeld & Viney (Clothing), Louis Steinfeld - George Viney, 230 Market Street, ELO.
Source; 1910-11 Keramos. Here the Store is listed only as Steinfeld and on the Corner of 6th and Market. The 1911-12 Keramos no longer carries a Steinfeld Advertisement.
The store was located on the ground floor of the Thompson Building.
Barnard Steinfeld was valedictorian of his 1912 ELHS class. After graduation from ELHS Barnard went on to college at Kenyon College. He graduated in 1916 cum Laude where he was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa national Honor Society. He was a member of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity.
Source; 1911-12 Keramos.
The 1915-16 East Liverpool City Directory listed the Steinfeld Residence as being at 249 West 7th Street.
Jennie Viney Steinfeld Barnard's mother at their W 7th Street home.
Louis Steinfeld, Barnard's father along with the family dog.
Berenice on the right with Barnard's two sisters, Leta and Rose.
As a result of a email we have a correction to make:
Hi there! I am Ann Todd, granddaughter of Leta Steinfeld and great niece of Barnard Steinfeld who was featured in your article about two 1912 high school grads. To correct a few things in Janie Jenkins article: Leta Steinfeld was Barnard's sister-in-law, not sister. Barnard's father was from Ohio and married in Baltimore (he was not from Baltimore).