Morris Eisenberg

Name: Morris Eisenberg 12/15/1882-7/30/1959

Family: Wife, Gertrude, children Ezra, Sam, Manny, Florence, Sophie and a twin who died as a baby and is buried unmarked in the cemetery.

Eisenberg came from Rowna, Russia and met his wife Gertrude in Baltimore. After a brief stint as a pants maker, he became a peddler, walking on foot from Hillsborough to Burlington to Chapel Hill and then back to Hillsborough. He later started a dress shop in Burlington, then moved to Carrboro. Finally in 1925, he opened the dress shop on Main Street in Durham.

Morris was a quiet observant man who kept a kosher home and also served as the shochet, or butcher, for the community. He was always hard working. In his later years, after he slipped a disc, he had great trouble moving around and was stooped over. However, he never sat still for long. He would very frequently walk down his flight of stairs on crutches, cross the street, take the bus and go to the store to see his customers.

Like elsewhere, the Durham Jewish community would send money back to Eastern Europe to bring family and friends over. Jewish Historian Leonard Rogoff relates a story told in the Durham paper, The Daily Sun, about the adventures of Isra Eisenberg, Morris' younger brother.

Eisenberg "had sent money to his home in Russia, to pay for his brother's voyage. In 1904, Russian officers had come to brother Isra's school pulling out 'recruits' to fight the Japanese. Isra Eisenberg joined a band of 40 Russian Army deserters who headed for the German front. They confronted robbers and evaded czarist police, who shot them upon capture. The group bribed the border guards, but Eisenberg was grabbed by the police. He was questioned but managed to escape and rejoin his party. They crossed Germany to Rotterdam where they embarked to Liverpool. Some shipped out to South America, but Eisenberg headed to New York. At the Castle Garden immigration center he was detained for four days until his brother sent him money for a train ticket to Durham." At the time Isra was 13 years old.