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About 1850 every family kept cows, chickens and geese and had a small farm. 

The streets from the river to Havemeyer Street were under water all the time. 
Rodney and Ainslie Streets were veritable marshes.

Mike ROHNER, the letter carrier, used to collect the, 
postage on receiving or delivering a letter. The post office sold the new article, 
envelopes, stamps were printed on these but the people did not keep any in their homes 
and the post office was near the ferry. They had no letter boxes on the door, these 
were unknown then, an old shoe was nailed against the house and into this the newspaper 
was stuck by the papermnan. They were thus protected against rain and snow, although 
the shoe was not to be called water proof.

Tinney Row was occupied by a number of Indians, full and half breeds. They lived there 
for several years, then they suddenly left for the West. The row then became the abode 
of some negroes.

The Fifteenth Ward people were often called Yank towners.

Until the middle of the 19th Century the Jewish families living in the Eastern District 
used to attend services in the Synagogues in New York City. In doing so they often experienced 
a good deal of inconvenience on occasions such as their New Year and the Day of Atonement. 

After the Revolution of 1848 a little Colony of Jews from Germany and Alsace was started in 
Williamsburgh, on Grand Street near the river. 

In 1850 fifteen persons formed the congregation Temple Both Elohim, having a small gathering 
place for which they paid an annual rent of 150 dollars.

In 1874 the reformed service was inaugurated and the Temple on Keap Street was finished in 1876. 
The Rev. Leopold WINTNER was put in charge in 1878. By this time about
2000 Jews were living along Grand, Scholes, Ewen and Keap Streets. The early Jewish Colony which 
had settled around Grand Street Ferry consisted of honest and industrious people which became 
good American citizens and many a large business house in distant parts of the country can trace 
its career back to a humble little store in Williamsburgh.

On June 24, 1868 the Hebrew Benevolent Society of Brooklyn, E. D. (Eastern District), was org. 
with 36 members with the object in view of assisting poor and needy Jews. 

M. KESSEL President, 
Moses MAY, Vice President,
Isaac STRAUSS, secretary, 
Philip STRAUSS, Cashier, 
M. BENJAMIN,directors 
N. BERNSTEIN,directors 
A. KAUFMAN,directors
S. MOOG,directors 
A. NOVA, directors  
A. H. SONN, directors

Among later officers were:

In 1869 four members of Beth Elohim org. the congregation Ahawis Achim. First services held 
in a hall at the corner of Meserole and Ewen Streets on August 31, 1869. 

The Hebrew Orphan Asylum of Bklyn was incorporated, August 1878. A rented house at the 
corner of Stuyvesant Avenue and McDonough Street, opened on January 7, 1879 and after two years
grounds on McDonough Street near Stuyvesant Avenue were purchased and a brick building 
was erected in 1883, the cornerstone, having been laid on June 26, 1883. 

The children received their instruction in the nearest public school. 
Ernst NATHAN was the first president, 

Other officers were: 

In the early 60's the influx, of Jews of Eastern Europe began and became remarkable in the early 
80's when the people came here to escape from Russian Massacres. They settled along Ewen, Moore, 
Siegel and Cook Streets

In the early 90's increasing numbers of Polish and Russian Jews came to the  16th Ward settling 
among their country men and taking hold  addition streets like Varet and McKibbin Streets The 
former inhabitants. Germans, moved to the Bushwick section, at first to the 27th Ward, then up 
the hill around Myrtle and Bushwick Avenues. 

The 28th Ward was largely built by these people, in 1915 there were some 60.000 people living in 
that ward and thereafter the German families kept on settling in the Ridgewood and Evergreen 
sections and many went to the former town of Flatbush and to Richmond Hill.

As early as 1859 Charles S. BROWN, a  New York banker, had put two rows of 
houses in the fields near Manhattan Crossing. This settlement was not a success, it became known, 
however, as Browne's Village or Brownsville. 

In 1884 a New York Clothing Contractor, named KAPLAN, came to Brownsville and 
opened a shop at Watkins Street near Sutter Avenue, this was the pioneer establishment at that place. 

Ground was broken for the Eastern District 14th Street Subway on April 8, 1916. The line was finished
and running to Montrose Avenue for several years and finally was fully opened to Rockaway Parkway in 
July, 1928.

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