Harry Schwam and his first wife, Anna, circa 1919 Harry Schwam's Store at 8th and St. Clair Ave. in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. The family lived upstairs and this is where Harold Schwam was born.
Harry (Yehoshuah) Schwam
(August 28, 1888 - March 26, 1972)
Harry Schwam and his sister Anna were orphaned as infants and were each raised by two different sets of relatives in different shtetls in the area where the Lubavich Jews lived near Minsk, in Russia. Neither knew they had a sibling until they were adolescents.
Harry, was born August 28, 1888 and named Chaim. He came to the United States (Sheboygan, WI) in 1904. He lived with an uncle named "Saffro." This uncle later moved to Milwaukee. Harry's sister came to Sheboygan later. He started out as an apprentice cabinet maker - then began calling house to house selling dry goods. This led to the opening of his first store on the Southwest corner of 12th and Michigan Avenue in Sheboygan, across from the store where Hoffman's Flowerland store is now.
He later bought the building at 1130 N. 8th Street, where he opened a much larger store. Today that building houses the Hoffbrau Restaurant. The family lived above the store. The name of the store was SCHWAM'S STORE. Harry's first six children were born above the store on 8th Street.
Harry married Anna Hoffman of Wausau, WI. She was born in Turov,Minsk-Russia on 11/07/1898. They were married on 6/02/1918 in Wausau, WI. Harry fathered 6 children with Anna, who died at the early age of 32 in 1930. Leaving Harry to raise the 6 young children.
During the "depression" Harry lost the store he owned on 8th Street. He opened a much smaller store on the corner of 13th and Carl Ave. It too, was called SCHWAM'S STORE. In 1947 he married for the fourth time. He and Sally (nee Gindlin) of Milwaukee ran the store together. He would pick out the merchandise and she would write up the order. They were a good team.
He was a devoted member of Ahavas Shalom Temple. He served as president of Adas Israel Temple and was also president of the Talmud Torah of Adas Israel Temple. The Zionist Organization of America knew him as an ardent member. In later years he became a vice -- president of The Sheboygan Hebrew Cemetery Organization.
When the "Brick Schul" no longer existed he became a member of Beth El Synagogue. Harry was a very observant Jew. His place of business was always closed by sundown on Friday and reopened after Shabbat was over on Saturday. Living his religion was his life. He never wavered. He retired from business after 52 years as a grocer in April of 1970 . He died peacefully after attending a Sunday morning get together at Beth El. He came home, just sat down in his chair and died.
There is a room in memory of Anna Schwam at Beth El Synagogue. The money was donated by Harry's children in memory of their mother. Rabbi Barach used it as his office for a while.
Vicki Schwam supplied the photographss. Bobbie Schwam supplied the historical information. Brian Schwam also supplied additional material regarding information about the cemetery
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