The University of Southern Mississippi -- McCain Library and Archives
Historical Manuscripts Home
Alphabetical List of All Collections | Collections Listed By Subject


Collection Title: Kerstine Family Business Records

Press Release:

RECORDS OF JEWISH FAMILY OF MERCHANTS IN THE DELTA DONATED TO USM
August 2, 1996

Ms. Margery Kerstine of Ridgeland, Mississippi has donated to the department of Manuscripts and Archives in the McCain Library and Archives of the USM University Libraries seven cubic feet of business ledgers from mercantile stores owned by two generations of the Kerstine family in Clarksdale in the Delta.

The first member of the family to arrive in Clarksdale was Ms. Kerstine's grandfather Adolph Kerstine, who travelled from his home in Prussia in 1873 as a stowaway aboard ship when he was about thirteen years old.

Mr. Adolph Kerstine was a prominent businessman in the Clarksdale area until his death in 1936. He owned several stores, a saloon, and extensive real estate holdings. Two older brothers were the postmasters in Friars Point and Jonestown.

His eldest son Max is, according to Ms. Kerstine, who is researching a book on the history of the Jews in the Delta, the first Jewish boy to be born in the Delta. Mr. Max Kerstine and his brothers Isidor, who was Ms. Kerstine's father, and Caesar, also owned and operated several businesses in Clarksdale, including several that were located on Issaquena Street, now a center of blues music and historic restoration.

Ledgers in the collection are from stores operated by Adolph Kerstine, Max Kerstine, and Isidor Kerstine. The majority of the ledgers relate to Isidor Kerstine's business, which existed between 1927 and 1969. They are an important source of information about the way of life and cost of living of the Clarksdale area of the Delta during that period. There are also photographs of Mr. Adolph Kerstine, his three sons, and two of their stores.


Accession Number: AM 96-40

Inclusive Dates: ca. 1927-1969

Volume: 7 cu.ft.

Given By: Donated by Ms. Margery Kerstine.

Copyright: This collection may be protected from unauthorized copying by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code).

Form of Material:

Business ledgers from mercantile stores owned by two generations of the Kerstine Family in Clarksdale, Mississippi. Included are ledgers from stores operated by Adolph Kerstine, Max Kerstine and Isidore Kerstine, with the majority relating to Isidor Kerstine's business. Also in the collection are photographs of members of the Kerstine Family and two of their stores.


Accession Number: AM 96-70

Inclusive Dates: ca. 1930s-1940s

Volume: 1 cu.ft.

Given By: Donated by Ms. Margery Kerstine.

Copyright: This collection may be protected from unauthorized copying by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code).

Form of Material:

Records documenting the business activities of Mr. Isidor Kerstine in Clarksdale, Mississippi during the 1930s and 1940s.


Accession Number: AM 97-16

Inclusive Dates: ca. 1927-1969

Volume: .10 cu.ft.

Given By: Donated by Ms. Margery Kerstine.

Copyright: This collection may be protected from unauthorized copying by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code).

Form of Material:

Fourteen photographs of the interior (primarily the shoe department) and exterior of Kerstine's clothing store in Clarksdale, Mississippi. Also included are bank records and correspondence of the 1960s.


Created by: Yvonne Arnold
Prepared and maintained by
The University of Southern Mississippi Libraries Special Collections
http://www.lib.usm.edu/spcol/index.php
118 College Drive #5148   Hattiesburg, MS 39406-5148

Please send comments or questions to Ask-a-Librarian
Revised: June 4, 2004