Harry Abraham Nurkin

Name: Harry Abraham Nurkin 7/10/1875-1/22/1944

Family: Harry was married to Rebecca. They had five children: Jacob, Elizabeth, Leo, Michael and Susie

According to some reports, Harry was a shoemaker who established his business between 1911-1916, but Harvey Krasnay believed that it was a haberdashery. Apparently "old man Duke" used to come in to get his shoes fixed.

Harry's grandson, Sid, has written a history of the Nurkin family:

My father was Leo Nurkin, the youngest son of Harry Abraham Nurkin and Rebecca Glazer Nurkin. The few bits of family history that I heard as a youngster told the story of how my grandfather accompanied his older brother, Dr. Jack (Joseph Jacob) Nurkin, to Durham, North Carolina shortly after the turn-of-the-century. I understand that Dr. Jack Nurkin had been induced to come to Durham to be the "town doctor." He set up a practice on Main Street in the town, and my grandfather, a shoemaker by trade, opened a shoe repair shop down the street. My grandfather and Dr. Jack Nurkin were, as I understand, two of five Nurkin brothers and one sister who had immigrated to this country from Lithuania in the 1880s. The best information I have is that they came from a small village northwest of Vilnius. The brothers first settled in the Newark, New Jersey area. Two of the brothers -- Ira and Louis -- opened a successful printing business based in Newark. I believe it was known as The Nurkin Press. There was a fifth brother whose name was Thomas. I know very little about him, other than the fact that his descendants live on the West Coast. I know nothing about the sister, other than her name was Cassie. A sixth brother immigrated to South Africa where he was in the diamond business. His descendants still live there under the name Nurek. Dr. Jack Nurkin eventually left Durham and moved to Baltimore, Maryland where, as I understand it, he joined the medical faculty of Johns Hopkins University. Harry Nurkin remained in Durham and had a shoe repair shop at the corner of Mangum and Parrish Streets. Harry and Rebecca Nurkin had five children. In order, they were: Jake (who married Eva, a Catholic woman he met in France while serving in World War I, and had no children), Susie (who married Mose Levy and had four children-Ed, Helen, Sidney and Sally), Elizabeth (who's married name was Krasney and who had children Esther and Harvey), Michael (who did not marry) and my father Leo. My father married Nell Margaret Webster, a Christian woman who had come to Durham from Chesterfield, South Carolina to work. Leo worked for the ABC Board at its store on Ninth Street. Nell was the manager of the Style Shop, a women's dress shop on Main Street. He died in 1948 at the age of 35 from a bacterial infection of the heart. Several years after that, my mother married Jake Nurkin, whose wife Eva had passed away from complications of diabetes. Nell had a very successful career as a business woman and in the 1970s was named both the Mother of the Year and the Business Woman of the Year in Durham. Jake ran a hat cleaning and pressing business on Mangum Street for many years. None of the descendants of Harry and Rebecca Nurkin still reside in Durham.