DHPA Jewish Historical Resources
Anderson is the county seat of Madison County was platted in 1823. Trader William Conner came into the area now known as Anderson before the 1820s. Introduction of internal improvements caused a growth in the population in 1837. The Central Canal, a branch of the Wabash and Erie Canal was to come through Anderson. The completion of the railroad in 1852 caused another population growth. In 1865, Anderson was incorporated as a city, with a population of nearly 1300 people. Moses Marks, an early Jewish businessman, came to Anderson sometime in the late 1840s or early 1850s.
Prior to the 1865 there were but a very few Jewish families residing in Anderson. These families included Louis Loeb, Joseph Stein, Louis Warner (a partner in Gates & Warner, clothing store), J. Obendofer, Jacob Warner, and Philip Obendofer. However, in 1870 several more families moved to Anderson.1
In 1887 natural gas was discovered in Anderson; by 1912 the natural gas ran out. Several factories moved out. The whole city slowed down. With its proximity to Muncie, Indiana a Muncie-Anderson Hadassah Chapter was formed.2 Several Jewish business owners operated in Anderson. Morthon Roth opened a ready to wear store, Ray Weiler operated Weiler’s Department Store, which was stated in Portland, Indiana by his father. In addition, a Mr. Ziegler operated a scrap business.
1 John Forkner and Byron Dyson, Historical Sketchers and Reminiscences of Madison County, IN (Logansport, Indiana: Wilson, Humphreys and Co, 1897), 437.
2 John Forkner, History of Madison County, Indiana (Chicago: John Forkner Lewis Publishing Co Chicago, 1914).