Mildred Doris Minster Oppenheimer

All of the materials in this post came from a box containing dozens of photographs and a lovingly curated album. I purchased the materials from an antique store in Baltimore in late August 2023.

The creator of the album and the subject of most of the identified photographs in the collection is Mildred Doris Minster (1898-1983) who is pictured below with each of her parents, Abraham Lincoln Minster (1865-1950) and Ella Hess (1873-1953). All four of her grandparents were born in Germany.

“Mother and Mildred”
“Mildred and Dad”
“Ella and Abe Minster”

Mildred married Myron M. Oppenheimer in August 1920 and they had two children. First born was Morton Samuels Oppenheimer (1898-1983), the subject of the photo album, a professional photographer (Photographs by Morton) and historian who served as president of the Jewish Museum of Maryland. Second born was Beryl Oppenheimer Frank (1928-2019), a poet and prolific author of books.

Mildred’s maternal grandfather was Nathan Hess (1824-1881). Nathan was born in Bavaria and came to Baltimore in the 1850s. In 1872 he started manufacturing footwear in Baltimore that was retailed as Hess Shoes until 1999.

“Nathan Hess”
“Born 1790-1800, Mrs. Hess, Mother of Nathan Hess”

Mildred, the baby of the family, named her son after Morton B. Samuels (1870-1941), husband of her next oldest sibling, Belle Hess (1872-1970). Belle and Morton, pictured below, were living at the Hotel Belvedere when Morton died, and Belle resided there until her death. Belle’s obituary informed that she was known as “Ma” and “Aunt Belle” while serving as “one of the USO‘s most tireless workers” during World War II. Morton founded M. Samuels & Co. of which Newark Shoe Store Company was a part. Belle and Morton were huge benefactors of Sinai Hospital.

“Aunt Belle & Uncle Mortie Samuels

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