He was a religious and orthodox man, a Founder of this Place of Worship, honoured and highly respected. Unfortunately he died in the prime of life and was interred in the Old Hartlepool Cemetery, there being no Jewish Cemetery here at the time. Had he lived there is no doubt he would have been a prominent figure in the town, and of great importance to the Congregation both financially and morally.
Many of these names are adoptions for convenience in England . His home-surname was Auber-Schmidt which translated is Higher-Smith or Superior-Smith.
In business he was a traveller, and dealt in watches which were in great demand by the miners in those days among whom he traded in the Cleveland district principally. Until quite recently some were in existence with his name "Louis Smith" inscribed on them and were highly praised. He had great business ability, was straight forward, keen and enterprising . At his demise he was then in a fair good position and had he survived there's no doubt he would have been one of the wealthiest among his compatriots.
He lived at 58 Marton Road in which residence he died leaving a widow and seven children. His only son Sam at adolescence emigrated to America where he married and settled for good. Few of his family are left to day. Lily wife of the late Lipman Hush the philatelist and Julia still reside in the town. Rachel the eldest daughter who married the late George Praag of London died many years ago.
Jacob Wilks (1847-1916)
He was a devout and orthodox Jew. A well set up man with a good appearance intelligent and progressive. One who was highly respected and took a keen interest in communal affairs, filling the office of President more than once. He had pride and dignity - so had his wife, a refined ladylike type and they both made an ideal couple.
He reared a moderately large family and gave them a good education. His eldest son Maurice was put to the medical profession, an unusual and rare thing for our fraternity in those days although now quite a common practice or was until the National Health Insurance supplanted the Family Doctor. Two of his daughters still reside in the town one Mrs Richardson, wife of the late Jonas Richardson and a Miss Wilks. Phil Simon married the second eldest daughter who died many years ago.
Jacob Wilks was a money-lender with an office in Zetland Road and if my memory doesn't deceive me he was also in the furniture trade. In later years he speculated successfully in business property. He was forceful, hasty and tempestuous. In his displeasure he was quick tempered. He had the courage of his convictions and said what he thought without fear or favor. Though quickly roused to anger he soon regained his composure and forgot differences.
His residence was at the end of the Crescent, in a large villa that stood in its own grounds. After his demise this was taken over by Dr Wynn Williams. It is now the Linthorpe Hotel. But for slight alterations to meet the requirements of the trade it remains much as it was. The grounds are unaltered. He too twice married.
Hyman Benjamin (1852-1929)
The most popular and endearing member of the Congregation was Hyman Benjamin. He was an outstanding personality. A most likeable man. Kind, considerate and approachable; religious and strictly orthodox with the interest of the Synagogue and Congregation always at heart. To charity he never turned a deaf ear.
He was many times President and so highly esteemed and respected was on two occasions presented with an Illuminated Address for his work and interest in the Community.
He was twice married. By his first wife Rachel (nee Tuchman) he had two children. One died in infancy. The other was the late Ike Benjamin, and by his second had several children, one the late Horace Benjamin.
He was all an ideal Jew should be; fair, just, sympathetic and conscientious and this he was in business and all transactions.
In business he was a moneylender with offices in Albert Road, and invested largely in cottage property, in which respect he was one of the biggest owners in the town and not one of his many tenants could reprove him for inconsiderateness, unfairness, or harshness. He lent a willing and compassionate ear to all complaints which he never failed to rectify and is remembered and esteemed to this day, leaving an untarnished name, a synonym for probity and a credit to Jewry. He relished a joke, or humorous story as no other and extracted every drop of vintage from them which often threw him into paroxysms of laughter.
He had charm of manner, was pleasant and amiable, indeed one of Nature's gentlemen. He was always well groomed and carefully dressed, for he took a great pride in his personal appearance, which was that of a prosperous city magnate.
He resided at 5 The Avenue Linthorpe with his second wife Jane, and after her death, which left him almost prostrate, he lived with his son Horace at “Westoe” in Eastbourne Rd where he died, greatly mourned and beloved by both Jew and Gentile.
Isaac Hush (d. 1919)
Isaac Hush was a quiet, mild, modest person, engrossed in business. He too was twice married. By his first wife he had a 1arge family - all daughters except one son, Lipman. One daughter, wife of the late Ernest Myers lives in Cornfield Road. By his second wife he had one child, Ernest, who still continues the businesses.
He took an interest in communal affairs and if I'm not mistaken filled the offices of Honorary President and Honorary Treasurer. One has to beg of one to fill that office, which carries no bouquets, so has it fallen from its high pedestal. He resided in Park Road North in one of those 1arge houses facing the back of Albert Park, but at one time he lived in a villa in Cambridge Road - a large house contiguous to "Willerby", the present home of Dr Levick, but he returned to the town finding it too far out in the country, which it was at that time.
His business was pawnbroking. He had two shops, one in Corporation Road in the block now occupied by the Tees Valley Water Board, the other at 194 & 196 Cannon Street, a prosperous business in the early days, and still exists. All the others have died out or faded away, for like money-lending they are dying organizations since the curtailment of hours in the Licensing Trade, but principally with the introduction of the Welfare State which sounded their death-knell. Good too! In later years he was principally in attendance at the Corporation Road shop and left the management of the Cannon Street one to others. But apart from his pawnshops he too as Hyman Benjamin invested largely in cottage property and it is difficult to say who was the greater in this respect. However they both died wealthy.