Loeb & Jacob Sabel
In May 1890, The Montgomery (AL) Advertiser reported the “Sad Case” of immigrant shoemaker Eli Sabel, his wife Hannah Schultz, and their five children. After Eli deserted the family, Hannah was committed to Alabama’s Bryce Insane Hospital, as it was then known, and the children temporarily were being cared for by Rev. E.K. Fischer and members of his Congregation Kahl Montgomery.
Two of the older children, David (9) and Fannie (7), were soon sent to the Cleveland Jewish Orphans’ Asylum, prompting the newspaper to note that the asylum would accept neither fourteen-year-old Archie, because he had a physical disability, nor Loeb and Jacob because at ages 3 and 5 were too young to be admitted there. By July 1890, Loeb and Jacob entered the Home in New Orleans. Although the Home also followed prevailing myopic norms of rejecting children with significant physical or mental disabilities, it was one of few orphanages that imposed no minimum age for admission, despite high infant mortality rates across the nation. What remains unclear is why David and Fannie were not also sent to the Home, which had admitted children from Montgomery as early as 1874, and whose first vice-president, the Rev. James K. Gutheim, had served Congregation Kahl Montgomery from 1863 to 1864.
Jacob and Loeb remained in the Home until 1900 and 1901, respectively, when they were discharged to their siblings in Cleveland, Ohio.
Loeb Sabel, undated. Photo courtesy of David C. Sabel, great-grandnephew of Loeb and Jacob Sabel.