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1. Shopse “Sam” d. 11-8-1920

2. Hyman “Molewitz” b. 1856 d.1934

3. Solum Shale “Salum” b. 1858 d. 1917

4. Francis “Bruena Freda Fanny” b. 1861 d. 1931

5. Anna “Chana Baila” b. 1861 d. 1951

6. Rachel Layah “Lena” b. 1873 d.1933


Below is a census list from 1858 in Kavarskas, Ukmerge, Kaunas, Lithuania.  Indicates that when this was done, Baruch, his wife Reyza, his brother, Yankel and his wife, Sora are listed as missing.   







Borukh Shmuyla


Head of Household















Revision List














Yankel Girsha













Brother's Wife







Yankel Girsh' wife



Memories of Edna Engelson and Elaine Aronson


On May 1, 2009, Edna Engleson, Elaine and David Aronson, Kay Ruth Weber, Miriam Weber (came later), Lanny Berke, Leighton and Dianne Siegel and Sharon Winer, daughter of Julius Weiner gathered for conversation.  The following are some of the stories and memories that were gathered at that time by note takers Sharon Winer and Dianne Siegel.  Elaine Aronson brought old family photos and Sharon Winer brought memories of her family, all of which can be seen by clicking here.


from the left:    Leighton Siegel, Kay Ruth Weber, Miriam Weber, Elaine Aronson, Edna Engelson, Sharon Winer, Dianne Siegel.


  Shopse Milavitz came to the United States before his wife Mary came. He came on a boat from Lithuania with one daughter, Sara who was about 12 years old and maybe with another daughter as well. No one is quite sure when Sopse came to the United States or when he was born.  He did come into the country through Montreal and down the St. Lawrence Seaway. 


While in Russia, Mary saved a young Kaner boy.  She sewed uniforms for the Cossacks.  One day she overheard two Cossacks discussing that they were going to the next town to in script a young Kaner boy. She sent two of her daughters running to the family to warn them and to arrange to send the boy to the United States.  It worked as he made it to Superior.  Unfortunately, he scuffled with a Cossack as he was getting on the train and lost an eye.  In later years Elaine Aronson coincidentally met the granddaughter of that very man.


Shopse settled in Superior, Wisconsin because relatives named Zalk and Joseph were already living there.  Shopse was remembered as a very handsome man with a red beard.  His nickname was Shopse the redhead, but said in Yiddish.  He kept sending money to Mary and encouraging her to join him.  She was apparently using the money to find husbands for her daughters.  Finally, a letter was sent saying that Shopse was very ill and needed her.  Mary then came and brought the rest of her children.  Mary was described as quiet and smart.  The story about Shopse being ill, was just a ruse.  Shopse worked on the wharfs as a longshoreman while learning English.  He eventually was in charge of the city dump and later in life he and Mary had a rooming house.  One of his boarders was Morris Berger who later married Esther Milavitz, Elaine Aronson’s grandparents.   Edna remembers that he would bring her trinkets that he found at the dump.   Edna said that they had a cow named Bessie.  She provided them with milk and the cream was eaten with bread. 


Edna recalled that John Siegel also milked a cow in Eveleth for fresh milk.   In Eveleth, John’s mother, Pia, made cheese and a Catholic priest would come by for her cheese, which reminded him of what he had in Europe.  He wouldn’t enter a Jewish house, but would stand outside the fence to wait and talk. 


There was a whorehouse in Superior.  Both Elaine and Edna remembered a cousin Izzy who was a colorful bootlegger and had a wife, Molly, who might have been the madam.  She was very beautiful with a “painted face” and furs.  She sat in the women’s section of the synagogue, but was ignored by the rest of the women. 


In those days, Eveleth and Superior were far enough apart so that there wasn’t a great deal of visiting back and forth.  But it seems there was some, since Shopse and Mary were in Superior while part of the family was in Eveleth. 


 Shopse died of a heart attack in 1920.  He was buried in the Superior cemetery.  


The reason that the family settled in Superior, instead of Duluth, was that the rents were cheaper.  Duluth was booming because of the Iron Range.  In Superior there were three synagogues – Russian, Lithuanian and one other.  There was also a mikvah and the families kept kosher.  They were Orthodox, but not rigidly so and the parents all spoke Yiddish.   The Hebrew school was in a red shed next to the synagogue. 


Elaine remembered that it was a treat to visit Tanta Hona Bela, Shopse’s sister, who lived three or four blocks from the shul on John Avenue near Hammond Avenue.  The children were always on their best behavior.  Perhaps John was named after the Avenue? 


After Shopse’s death, Mary went to live with her youngest daughter Mamie Milavitz Soloski.   Mary died in 1934.    


Julius Winer’s father, Israel, was well educated in the Talmud and very religious.  He was a mohel and koshered meat.  He would ride out on horseback to perform his duties in small towns around Eveleth. 


Ben Milavitz made beer during prohibition.  One night the family heard what they thought was gunshots in the house.  Ben had a gun, but probably didn’t know how to use it.  Nonetheless, he and the rest of the family crept downstairs and --- found that the beer bottles were exploding.  It happened again when the family made root beer.


Once a peddler came along and sold Ben a barrel of what he thought was whisky.  They had given him a taste and he agreed it was whisky.  However, the thieves had a barrel inside a barrel.  The small barrel out of which they gave tastes was whisky, but the big barrel sold to Ben was water, as he soon discovered after taking it to the speakeasy.   He was out a fair amount of money.



Buried there are the following Milavetz family members: 

Albin,  Anna P., Arnold B., Benjamin, Deborah (Bubley),  Hymen,Mary, Sabsa, Sarah, Sheridan A., and Sigmund.


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