Philip Leopold HERSCH, founder of the Model Clothing House at Portland and for many years one of the leading merchants of that city, who died at his home there a little more than six years ago, was long recognized as one of the important factors in the business life of this community and at his passing left a good memory. It therefore is but fitting that in the definite history of the county in which he had so long resided and in whose various interests he ever took a proper pride there should be set out some modest tribute to that memory . . . . Philip L. HERSCH was of European birth but had been a resident of this country since he was seventeen years of age. Thus he had become thoroughly imbued with the lessons of the best American traditions and took a patriotic interest in all that pertained to the best welfare of this country. He was born in the dual kingdom of Austria-Hungary on July 1, 1858, and was a son of Emmanuel and Freeda HERSCH, both natives of that same country. He received his youthful schooling in his native country and when seventeen years of age, in the year 1876, came to America. He proceeded on out into Ohio, presently locating at Defiance County, where he became employed in a clothing store and in time became engaged in the clothing business on his own account and was there married. Almost immediately after his marriage Mr. HERSCH, who had for some time been considering a change of location, disposed of his interests in Defiance and came over into Indiana. He established his home at Portland, opening there on December 5, 1885, a store to which he gave the name of the Model Clothing House and to which he devoted his attention the remainder of his life, soon coming to be recognized as one of the most enterprising and energetic merchants of his day in that city. Mr. HERSCH opened his store in what then was known as the Marsh building in North Meridian street, the building in which Elias J. MARSH was then engaged in the publication of the old Commercial, the HERSCH store being next door to the newspaper office. Mr. HERSCH soon found his business expanding and, compelled by the need of more space, several years later moved into the room adjoining on the south in the Reed & Mackenbach building. Here he was able to better display a full line of all goods in the way of men's and boys' wear and his business grew rapidly. In that room Mr. HERSCH carried on his business until in the spring of 1897, when the necessity for further expansion caused him to seek a new location. He moved his store into the corner room of what then was known as the Miller building, now known as the Adair block, at the southwest corner of Main and Meridian streets. Here, under the able direction of the proprietor, who by his friendly manner and by his fair and honest business methods won a host of pleased customers, Mr. HERSCH continued in business until his death. He also had established branch stores at Dunkirk and at Pennville, in this county, to supply the patrons living in those vicinities, and thus the fame of the Model Clothing House was carried widely throughout this section of the state. Philip L. HERSCH died at his home, 303 West High street, Portland, on the morning of December 24, 1915, and was survived by his widow, who was Charlotte BLOOMBERG, and two children, a daughter, Miss Jennie Rae HERSCH, and a son, F. Levine HERSCH, besides two brothers, Will HERSCH, of Parkersburg, W. Va., and Charles HERSCH, of Dunkirk, and two sisters, Mrs. Marcus BREIER, of New York City, and Mrs. Benjamin EICHLER, who was still living in the old country. Mr. HERSCH was one of the active members of the local Chamber of Commerce and was affiliated with the Muncie branch of the Jewish organization, B'nai B'rith. He was an Encampment Odd Fellow and one of the charter members of the local lodge of the Daughters of Rebekah and was also a member of the local lodge of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks and the local aerie of the Fraternal Order of Eagles. Since the death of Mr. HERSCH the business of the Model Clothing House has been carried on by his daughter, Jennie Rae HERSCH, and his son, F. Levine HERSCH, who had been associated with their father in the organization and who are continuing to conduct the business in up-to-date fashion, with the newest equipment and with complete stocks representing all the standard lines of wearing apparel for men and boys.
BLOOMBERG, BREIER, EICHLER, HERSCH, MARSH
IN, Jay Co.
OH, Defiance Co.
SOURCE: Milton T. Jay, M.D., History of Jay County Indiana, Historical Publishing Co., Indpls. 1922, Vol. II, pp.512-514. Transcribed by Eloine Chesnut.