In 1891 Adam and Sara Liebenstein Wald built this stone home.
Adam Wald was born in Krojanke, Germany on December 6, 1853. He was the son of Abraham and Hannah, and the brother of Louis, David, and Bertha. The family came to Quincy, Illinois in 1866. When Adam was nineteen, he went into the dry goods business with his brothers in Louisiana, MO. Adam and Sarah Liebenstein were married on April 17, 1888. Sarah was eighteen and Adam was thirty-four years old. They had one daughter, Hilda, who was born on January 21, 1889. The Walds were a Jewish family and they, along with several other families in town, rented out the Masonic Temple hall on Friday nights for worship.
In 1891, the Walds planned to build three identical houses next to each other on Third Street at a cost of approximately $2,000 each per the Louisiana Press Journal dated May 8, 1891. The final cost of the homes was over double at $4,250 each per the April 1892 Louisiana Press Journal article listing all of the building and improvements made in Louisiana in 1891.
The Wald family owned a large general store where they sold groceries as well as clothing. They had a large business that occupied three storefronts on the corner of Third and Main Street. Their chief competition was the store owned by the Michael family. This story, told by Sarah Wald, demonstrates this rivalry between the Michael family and the Wald family:
” … The fathers were keener competitors than their children. This was especially evident on Friday mornings, when the elder Mr. Michael and the elder Mr. Wald raced to market to buy fish. My father-in-law had the advantage because he lived a block closer. Mr. Michael limped. Each made his way rapidly down the street intent upon getting there first. They had always been vying with each other and they continued to even in such small matters.” 1
Adam Wald was part owner of the Wald Bros. business, but he also dealt in grain, wool, hides, and anything else he could get from local farmers wanted to sell to him. William Jennings Bryan once visited Louisiana and had a dinner meeting with Louisiana democrats in the Wald’s home. In the December of 1900, Adam came down with pneumonia. He died on January 1, 1901 and was buried in the Jewish cemetery outside of town. 2
Interior photos of 215 North Third Street
1 Hart, Sara L. 1947. The Pleasure Is Mine: An Autobiography. Chicago, IL: Valentine-Newman. p. 47-65
2 Ibid. p. 69
3Ibid. p. 96