Benjamin Bane

Name: Bane, Benjamin d. 9/29/1953

Family: Wife Sarah Rause, sons Henry and William

Benjamin Bane and his family came to this country in 1914 from the Lithuanian town of Shaavel (Siuliaui in Lithuanian). His wife, Sura Sheva, or Sarah, and two sons, William and Henry, joined him. The family name may have been Americanized from Bene to Bane.

In Durham, Benjamin had a brother, Solomon Bane, who sold cattle. Solomon, and his wife, Chava Esther, lived at 406 Holloway Street near the corner of Queen. Benjamin moved into a home on Roxboro Street. He owned a junkyard across the street. Benjamin Bane was not the only junk, or scrap collector, in town. In 1902, there were four Jewish scrap collectors living in the region, according to "Homelands: Southern Jewish Identity in Durham and Chapel Hill," by Leonard Rogoff. "Russian Jews with little capital tended to live on the economic margins," Rogoff wrote.

David Schuman, the grandson of Solomon Bane, remembers visiting Benjamin Bane in his Roxboro Street home. He provided most of the information for this account. Schuman said his great uncle's junkyard extended to his house. There were car radiators, batteries and fenders on the front porch.

The family spoke Yiddish and was relatively observant. William Bane, Benjamin and Sarah's eldest son, went on to study architecture at Carnegie Mellon University. He married Terry Shifreen, settled in Allentown, Pa., and died suddenly at age 52. Henry, the younger son, attended Trinity College in Durham and later earned a law degree from UNC Chapel Hill. He served as a Durham lawyer and onetime judge. He never married, and died in his mid 90s.

Schuman remembers that his great uncle Benjamin was hard of hearing. One September evening in 1953, he went out for a walk. His bruised body was found the next day. It was never determined how he died - whether he was mugged, fell, or was struck by a vehicle.