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  • Presentation Model 1850 Foot Officer's Sword

    $3,350.00
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    Presentation Model 1850 Foot Officer's Sword - Inventory Number: SWO 132 

    Inscribed: Presented to / Capt. J.S. Menken / By the / National Light Guard / Cincinnati, May 28th 1861.

    Jewish Officer in the Civil War, Jacob Stanwood Menken. 


    J.S. Menken, Captain Commanding, Company “D”, 2nd Regiment, Ohio Reserve Militia, Camp Gossage, Big Run, Ohio. To Post Adjutant Gwinne, Camp Summit. Jewish Officer in the Civil War.  

    Jacob Stanwood Menken was born in Cincinnati in 1838.  After his education at St. Xavier's College, he became a clerk in his father's store.  By 1858 he became a partner in the firm of S. Menken & Sons, composed of his father, himself, and his brothers Jules A. and Nathan D. Menken.  Their business increased until they were well known over a large section of the area.  But by 1861, with unsettled conditions before the Civil War, the firm failed.  In 1865 the firm of Menken Brothers became established in Memphis.  One of their first acts was to begin paying in full, with interest, all liabilities of the old business that had failed. 

    This generous act, which was not legally required, shows the integrity which characterized the Menken Brothers all through life.  Their creditors appreciated it so much that they presented each brother with a handsome solid silver service.  After the war, Jacob had settled in Memphis and established a small dry-goods store, and had gradually enlarged it until his two brothers joined him in 1865.  Sadly Nathan D. Menken became a victim of yellow fever and died during the 1878 epidemic.   In 1886 Jules Menken retired and the firm was reorganized as the J. S. Menken Co.

     

    The success of the Menken business is attributed to the leadership of J. S. Menken.  It seems that his resources were unlimited without any of the petty brusqueness often characterized by men in business.  He was considerate with all employees with a sincere interest in each one.   In 1886 he organized the first free kindergarten in Memphis, and in 1894 the first one in the South exclusively for colored children.  He also founded the Commercial Club, whose aim was the promotion of the city's business interests.  And he donated $165,000 for the completion of the Grand Opera House.  But his noblest example of generosity was the Christmas Club - meant to spread happiness and good cheer among the poor at holiday time.  He and his wife Ray (Hart), daughter of a well known NYC merchant had no children of their own, but at the death of Nate Menken, they legally adopted his five children.  J. S. Menken died in Memphis in 1925.


    Inventory Number: SWO 131
















































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































    Presentation Model 1850 Foot Officer's Sword - Inventory Number: SWO 131 


    Inscribed: Presented to / Capt. J.S. Menken / By the / National Light Guard / Cincinnati, May 28th 1861.

     

    Jewish Officer in the Civil War 


    Jacob Stanwood Menken

    J.S. Menken, Captain Commanding, Company “D”, 2nd Regiment, Ohio Reserve Militia, Camp Gossage, Big Run, Ohio. To Post Adjutant Gwinne, Camp Summit. 

    Jacob Stanwood Menken was born in Cincinnati in 1838.  After his education at St. Xavier's College, he became a clerk in his father's store.  By 1858 he became a partner in the firm of S. Menken & Sons, composed of his father, himself, and his brothers Jules A. and Nathan D. Menken.  Their business increased until they were well known over a large section of the area.  But by 1861, with unsettled conditions before the Civil War, the firm failed.  In 1865 the firm of Menken Brothers became established in Memphis.  One of their first acts was to begin paying in full, with interest, all liabilities of the old business that had failed. 

     

    This generous act, which was not legally required, shows the integrity which characterized the Menken Brothers all through life.  Their creditors appreciated it so much that they presented each brother with a handsome solid silver service.  After the war, Jacob had settled in Memphis and established a small dry-goods store, and had gradually enlarged it until his two brothers joined him in 1865.  Sadly Nathan D. Menken became a victim of yellow fever and died during the 1878 epidemic.   In 1886 Jules Menken retired and the firm was reorganized as the J. S. Menken Co.

     

    The success of the Menken business is attributed to the leadership of J. S. Menken.  It seems that his resources were unlimited without any of the petty brusqueness often characterized by men in business.  He was considerate with all employees with a sincere interest in each one.   In 1886 he organized the first free kindergarten in Memphis, and in 1894 the first one in the South exclusively for colored children.  He also founded the Commercial Club, whose aim was the promotion of the city's business interests.  And he donated $165,000 for the completion of the Grand Opera House.  But his noblest example of generosity was the Christmas Club - meant to spread happiness and good cheer among the poor at holiday time.  He and his wife Ray (Hart), daughter of a well known NYC merchant had no children of their own, but at the death of Nate Menken, they legally adopted his five children.  J. S. Menken died in Memphis in 1925.