Sunday, February 3, 2013

What happened to Arnold?

The Levy Brothers, c. 1889
Leon, Sigmund, Herbert
These three adorable boys are my paternal grandfather, Sigmund Levy (1888-1968), and his brothers Leon (1886-1962) and Herbert (1884-1952). 

But I’ve learned that there was a fourth brother, Arnold, who was born in 1890.

Arnold Birth

Herman Levy, the clothier, was very happy yesterday.  The cause was the arrival of another Levy heir --- a fine boy.  “For three years past” said Mr. Levy in explaining the situation, “Mrs. Levy has presented me with a fine boy.  We concluded that we couldn’t skip this year, and for the fourth time Mrs. Levy has shown her devotion to me.”  ---Fresno Evening Expositor, 4 January 1890.

So based on this account, Arnold Levy was born 3 January, 1890, and the Levy family had expanded once again.  But sometime between that joyous event and April 28, little Arnold was gone.

Arnold Death
There is no Death! what seems so is transition;
This life of mortal breath
Is but a suburb of the life elysian,
Whose portal we call Death.
In Loving Remembrance of
Arnold Levy.
Died April 28, 1890
A precious one from us has gone,
A voice we loved is stilled;
A place is vacant in our our home,
Which never can be filled.
God in His wisdom has recalled,
The goon His love had given;
And though the body moulders here,
The soul is safe in Heaven.

After less than 4 months, little Arnold was gone.  What happened?  How did he die?  So many questions that will never be answered.

The family did grow again two years later when the youngest son, Benjamin (1892-1965) was born and once again there were four sons in the family.  I don’t remember hearing anything about little Arnold as we were growing up – maybe my grandfather never knew about him or maybe it was just too painful for him to share. 

While the sons grew apart over the years, there were some happy times when they were all together.

Levy Brothers Herb_Leon_Sig_Ben
The Levy Brothers
Herb, Leon, Sig, Ben


  1. So sad to read about Baby Arnold's death. I do wonder if the pain of loss was too great to talk about. My ggrandmother died when she was 36, her oldest daughter, my grandmother was only 16. I've asked my mom many times what stories she heard about her grandmother. My mom always gave me the same answer. "We never talked about her, ever."
    So I have to think the pain was too great to mention a lost family member.
    Glad to see the pictures of happier times! It has to make you smile.

  2. It is always so sad to read about the death of a baby.