History of Texas, together with a biographical history of Milam, Williamson, Bastrop, Travis, Lee and Burleson counties : containing a concise history of the state, with portraits and biographies of prominent citizens of the above named counties, and personal histories of many of the early settlers and leading families Page: 346
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Rockdale was as yet only a small opening
among the post-oaks. During the time that
Rockdale remained the terminus of the railroad
every thing about the place was in that
unsettled condition characteristic of new
western towns, the business of the Messrs.
Loewenstein being no exception; but, with
the departure of the terminal, things rapidly
settled down to a solid basis. Then it was
that the Messrs. Loewenstein began to lay
their plans to establish themselves in a staple
business and grow with what promised to lbe
a legitimate growth of the community. With
the influx of immigration they extended their
acquaintance, and let it be known that they
had come to stay. They increased their stock
as their trade demanded, and raised lhe grade
of goods as the buying public became educated
to better qualities and prices. The
swiftly passing years have wrought a wonderful
change in their fortunes. From a few
handfuls of goods, representing only $200
or $300 investment, their stock has increased
to one varying from $40,000 to
$50,000, and they do a cash business of
$75,000 a year. They handle dry goods,
clothing, boots, shoes and groceries the same
as when they began twenty years ago, but
they have classified and arranged their stock,
systemized their business and conduct it in
an entirely different manner from that observed
in former years. One of the most important
changes which they have made has
b en from the credit to the cash basis. This
change was made in 1889, and their business
instead of suffering from it has increased and
is better now than it ever was. They occupy
commodious quarters; a double-front, twostory
brick house, fronting on two streets,
built by themselves at a cost of $6,000, and
admirably arranged for the safe, convenient
and expeditious handling of their trade.
They employ a corps of ten clerks, and during
the fall season especially their place is a
hive of industry.
The firm is composed of Benjamin and
Joseph Loewenstein, brothers, both of whom
are natives of Prussia, both were reared in
their native country and came to America,
Benjamin in 1866 and Joseph in 1867.
Benjamin came to Texas in 1868 and Joseph
in 1869, and from that date until they settled
in Rockdale they lived in Colorado and Austin
counties. In the twenty-five years that
they have lived in this country they have become
thoroughly Americanized, and are as
much attached to all of the interests and institutions
of their adopted home as they
could be had they been born on the soil.
They are public-spirited to a degree seldom
witnessed in those of foreign birth, standing
ready at all times to put their money in any
legitimate enterprise and subscribing liberally
for the promotion of local industries.
Benjamin is vice-president and member of
the board of directors of the First National
Bank of Rockdale, which he helped to
organize. He is a stockholder in the Rockdale
Cotton Oil Mills, which he also assisted
in setting on foot. He is a stockholder in the
Rockdale Cotton Platform Company; and the
firm established the Rockdale Brick Works,
representing.an investment of $12,000, with
a capacity of 2,000,000 bricks ann ually, which
they conducted successfully until recently
disposed of by sale. During the time that
they ran these works they erected seven brick
business buildings in Rockdale, besides a
number of dwellings, and were constantly
buying and improving property in the place
as well as contracting and building for others.
Joseph has been a member of the Board
of Aldermen for seven years, and Benjamin
has served half as long on the School Board.
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Lewis Publishing Company, publisher. History of Texas, together with a biographical history of Milam, Williamson, Bastrop, Travis, Lee and Burleson counties : containing a concise history of the state, with portraits and biographies of prominent citizens of the above named counties, and personal histories of many of the early settlers and leading families, book, 1893; Chicago. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth29785/m1/367/?rotate=270: accessed January 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .