Hurwitz, Willy (William) 1812 – 1989, BOSTON, MASS – BIO
This information has been compiled July 2018 from conventional genealogic documents, like census data, town directories, vital records, findagrave.com and personal knowledge of Willy’s lives and those of his family. Any information I derived from these documents I tried to cross check with my own prior knowledge and other documents I have. However, I could have misread some of the data and if anyone would like to add or correct anything, please contact me at Bsieger@cfl.rr.com
I wrote a Tribute to Willy, which is the last paragraph on the page.
Thanks, Barry Sieger
Willy and Lena Sieger with Marcie
Willy and Lena Sieger with Marcie
8/4/1912 – WILLIE was born in Chelsea Mass, Suffolk, 8/4/1912
4/26/1943 – Willie married Etta Shalcofsky, Frank’s daughter, 4/26/1943
4/5/1989 – Willie died in Boston, at the Beth Israel Hospital, 4/5/1989
Willy’s mother’s maiden name was Bessie BULANSKI.
Bessie BULANSKI married Joseph HURWITZ – 1895 in Russia. Joseph HURWITZ died 5/26/1914.
Bessie HURWITZ married Morris COOPER IN 11/19/1917, in Millis, Mass. Morris COOPER died 2/4/1921.
Morris’ wife Mary COOPER had died 7/27/1917, 4 months before Morris married Bessie HURWITZ.
Willy was born 8/4/1912 in Chelsea & died 4/5/89 in Boston. Willy is buried in Sharon Memorial Park, Sharon Mass next to Lena Sieger. Photo of gravestone: https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/128497054/william-hurwitz#view-photo=156356422
Willie married Etta Shalcofsky, the daughter of Frank Shalcofsky, 4/26/1943.
A daughter Rona was born 7/25/1942 in Boston. Rona died 9/23/2002 Redlands, San Bernardino County, California, buried in Hillside Memorial Park. See Findagrave for burial info – https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/61747706– Rona’s grave plaque. A son Jerry HURWITZ was born after Rona.
1910 US Census for Joseph and Bessie HURWITZ.
Residence 1910 164 Williams St, Chelsea.
Joseph Hurwitz age 52, born 1858, Willie’s father, had odd jobs
His name is on Willie’s death and marriage certificates.
Birth 1858 Russia, alien in 1910
Married 15 years in 1910, so they married 1895
Immigration year for Joseph 1902
Spouse Bessie Hurwitz, age 32, b. 1878, Immigrated with children 1909
Children Sarah Hurwitz 12 – born 1898, Louis Hurwitz 10 – born 1900, both in Russia.
1920 Census for Morris COOPER lists a William (no last name given – most likely Willy HURWITZ), born about 1913 (Willy born 1912 – so that checks), living on 43 QuincySt, Boston (not far from Blue Hill Ave in Roxbury), a son, Willy’s father is Morris Cooper, Mother Bessie Cooper born in Russia. Bessie was 43 in 1920, so she was born in 1877.
Morris Cooper, age 75, b 1845 in Russia, living on 43 Quincy St. immigrated 1882, head, married, to Bessie HURWITZ, father and mother born in Russia, Yiddish language, carpenter, naturalized
Bessie Cooper, age 43, born abt 1877 (this is Willy’s mother Bessie HURWITZ , who married Morris COOPER in 1917), father and mother born in Russia, naturalized. (Bessie ‘Herwitz” in Mass, town and vital records, 1620-1988, marriage record, birth date about 1878, marriage to Morris 11/19/1917)
Bessie Cooper, age 20, born 1900 (just before Willie), single, bookkeeper, in hospital,
attended school. Born in Mass. This Bessie was Morris’ daughter.
Ellis Cooper, age 18, b abt 1902, in Mass, son, single, operator in telephone industry, did not attend schoolz
William Cooper, age 7, born about 1913, this is most certainly our Willy HURWITZ, mother Bessie Cooper (prob real mother), census ledger lists William’s name as just William, no last name, suggesting that he was not a blood relative but a boarder. William attended school.
1930 US Census shows William ‘Horwits’ (this is William HURWITZ), b. about 1913, in Mass, single, 7 Dunkeld Street rear, Roxbury, not far from Blue Hill Ave and Grove Hall. He did not attend school, can read and write, father and mother born in Russia, salesman, industry fruit, employed.
His mother Bessie Horwitz 53, b 1877, ‘widowed’, was head of household, 18 when 1stmarried to Joseph HURWITZ, did not attend school, imm 1909, alien, cannot speak English. Her 1st husband Joseph died 5/26/1914 at the age of 56, & is buried Montefiore Cemetery, Woburn, Middlesex County, Mass. This is likely but not confirmed as yet. Will have to get death certificate. As Bessie was widowed in 1930, Morris must have died after the 1920 census and before the 1930 census. Bessie’s 2nd husband Morris died 2/4/1921.
Family Search Records
1917 – Bessie HURWITZ – Morris COOPER marriage. Bessie (Bulanski) HURWITZ brought up with search of Joseph HURWITZ. It says she was born Between Jan-Dec 1878. Bessie’s father was Sam Bulanski. Lived in 1920 on 43 Quincy St Roxbury, where she lived with Morris and Willy in 1920. Marriage to Morris Cooper 11/19/1917 in town of Millis, Mass. Morris 72, Bessie HURWITZ 39 (HURWITZ name listed). Morris Cooper’s father was Abraham J COOPER, mother Alice Gold. Morris Cooper 1844-1921. Bessie’s Father Sam Bulanski, Mother Rebecca Tabachnick. Children William Hurwitz
Morris COOPER born May 1844 Russia, died 2/4/1921, at age of 77 in Millis, Mass. Gravestone says he was 70, which would make his birth 1851. The stone says he was Mosheh son of Abraham Yaacov. Morris’ wife Mary COOPER died 7/27/1917, age 58, 1869-1917, born 1859, as marked on her stone. They were buried in Montefiore Cemetery, Woburn, Middlesex County, Mass. The web site says Morris was 70.
A Michael Cooper also is buried there. Born 3/13/1894 in Boston – died 10/17/1967, in Miami, Fl. Burial Plymouth Rock Cemetery, Brockton, Mass. Michael married Sarah Cooper in 1919. After her death, he married Dora Cooper in 1932. Web site mentions Morris and Mary’s children Milton Julius Cooper 1920-1982, and spouses Sarah Lipson Cooper and Dora Greenspoon Cooper. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/146755985/michael-cooper
WILLY BIO MORE IN NARRATIVE FORM
Willy HURWITZ was born August 4, 1912 in Chelsea, Mass.
His father was Joseph HURWITZ born 1858 was born or brought up in Brest Litovsk, Belarus and mother BESSIE BULANSKI, born 1878, also in Russia. Bessie was 20 years younger than her husband. They married about 1895. Joseph immigrated to the US through Ellis Island in 12/15/1902 and Bessie immigrated in 1909 with her 2 children Sarah Hurwitz, born 1898, and Louis Hurwitz, born 1900. In 1910 Joseph had odd jobs and lived on 164 Williams St., Chelsea.
Joseph died on 5/26/1914 at the age of 56 and is buried in Montefiore Cemetery, Woburn, Middlesex County, Mass. Bessie re-married a Morris Cooper, age 72, on 11/19/1917 in Millis, Mass, which is Norfolk County, Mass, 19 miles southeast of Boston. They probably lived there for a few years.
1917 – Bessie HURWITZ – Morris COOPER marriage. Bessie (nee Bulanski) HURWITZ had been married to Joseph HURWITZ, who died on 5/26/1914. Bessie was born between Jan-Dec 1878. Bessie’s father was Sam Bulanski. She married Morris Cooper 11/19/1917 in town of Millis, Mass. She lived with Morris and Willy in 1920 on 43 Quincy St Roxbury. The 1920 census indicated that Morris was 72, Bessie HURWITZ 39 (HURWITZ name listed). Morris Cooper’s father was Abraham J COOPER, mother Alice Gold. Morris Cooper 1844-1921. Bessie’s Father Sam Bulanski, Mother Rebecca Tabachnick. Children William Hurwitz.
Morris Cooper born May 1844 Russia, died 2/4/1921, at age of 77 in Millis, Mass.
1917 – 1920 – Willie grew up in part in Millis, Mass, living in his new home with his stepfather Morris Cooper, whom his mother married on 11/19/1917. Morris was in his 70’s at that time and his children were at least 10 years older than Willy, so they had little time for Willy. After school, Willy would come home, no one was there, and the next door family, named Pantos, befriended Willy, would feed him. Willie always said he had little to eat as a youngster, ate onion sandwiches. The Pantos family had a fruit business, and after they died, they left it to Willy. Willie then went into partnership with his wife’s brother-in-law Eddy.
In 1920 Willy was living with his new step father, Morris Cooper, age 75 and his mother Bessie, who changed her last name to Cooper on her marriage. They lived on 43 Quincy St, Roxbury, not far from Blue Hill Ave and Grove Hall. Morris was a carpenter & had naturalized. Bessie was 43. Morris’ 2 children were Bessie, age 20, single and a bookkeeper, and Ellis Cooper, age 18, working as a telephone operator.
1930 US Census lists Willy living with his mother Bessie.
William Horwits, b. about 1913, in Mass, single, 7 Dunkeld Street rear, did not attend school, can read and write, father and mother born in Russia, salesman, industry fruit, employed. So Willy at the age of 18 is already working in the fruit industry.
In partnership with Eddy, Willie owned Willie’s and Eddy’s fruit market on Blue Hill Ave near the G & G, an old delicatessen, and watering hole, well known to the Jewish Community of Dorchester. Eddy Mattisoff was married to Irma Schalcofsky, Frank Shalcofsky’s daughter. Eddy was Willie’s wife’s brother in law, or Irma’s husband Eddy. Willie had a residence near the store on 43 Jones Ave, Dorchester.
Bessie Horwitz 53, b 1877, ‘widowed’, head of household, 18 when 1stmarried to Joseph HURWITZ, did not attend school, imm 1909, alien, cannot speak English. Her 1st husband Joseph died 5/26/1914 at the age of 56, & is buried Montefiore Cemetery, Woburn, Middlesex County, Mass. This is likely but not confirmed as yet. Will have to get death certificate. As Bessie was widowed in 1930, as Morris died 2/4/1921, at age of 77 in Millis, Mass.
TRIBUTE TO WILLY
Willy never actually had a father. His real father died when he was two and his step father died when he was 11. His double widowed mother Bessie had 2 other children – to care for Sarah and Louis so did not have a lot of time for Willy. Willy was out on his own working in the fruit business when he was 18 in 1930. Willy used to say he had to eat onion sandwiches in his youth and get fed from this next door neighbors. He started this business taking over from a Mr. Pantos, a neighbor, who befriended Willy when he lived in Millis. Despite a difficult childhood Willy grew up to be a responsible person, independent, tough and rugged, but with a heart of gold. He would give you the literal shirt off his back if you needed the help. He certainly was a mainstay for my mother Lena who lost her husband in 1948 and for her 3 children, Marilyn, Paul and Barry. We greatly appreciate Willy’s love and kindness and miss him. May he rest in peace. Yivrorecha zichronah. May his name be for a blessing.