Total Pageviews

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Portland Jewish Princess Dies

Edith Miller nee Ottenheimer, born 12 April 1904 in San Francisco, CA, former Rose Festival princess from Lincoln High from 1922, died August 5, 2008 in Portland, Oregon. Services will be at the Beth Israel Cemetery. She was 104 years old. Her ancestry as we know started with William Ottenheimer, born in Germany.

In 1880 (1 June census) William, born in Germany, was 56 and living in San Francisco and married to Carolina Hirachman, also from Germany. She was a younger 38, and they had 5 children. They were all born in California. Milton, born Sept 1862 was 18, Arthur, born Oct 1864 was 16, Martin, born July 1866 was 16, Henry J., born Nov 1869 was 11 and was the future father of Edith, Sigmund b: Dec 1875 was 5. William worked as a custom house inspector. Milton and Arthur were working as salesmen.

By 1900 (5 June census) the family was still in San Francisco. William was 77 and retired and Carolina was 58. Their five children were still living at home. Henry was now 30 years old and working as a Hop Buyer. On June 18, 1902 Henry married Alice F. Frank, of San Francisco . Henry bought a ranch near Salem and raised hops, but sold it in 1906 and moved to Portland.

In 1910 ((15 April census) Henry was 41 and living on N. 21st Street near Flanders. He had married Alice , who was then 33. Edith F was 6 years old and had a 2 year old sister, Dorothy, born in Portland. He was a merchant doing well as they had two servants. Henry owned Jones Cash Store, a mail-order business and was president of Temple Beth Israel. Dorothy then died on 4 January 1917 and was #20 on the death certificate.

1920 ( 5 Jan census) found the family in the same home, and Henry was now 51 years old while his wife, Alice was 43 and Edith was 15. Edith graduated Lincoln High School in 1921 so would have been 16 years old. In 1922 she was a princess in the Rose Festival. Princesses were then chosen from Portland debutantes. It's amazing to me that a Jewish girl was chosen due to anti-semitism of the day. She then went to Mills College and graduated in 1925. This was in the day when not many girls went to college, let alone graduate from them. They still had two servants. Henry was president of the mail order store. Henry died on 11 December 1929.

Edith married in 1934 to Harold J. Miller, a family that owned the Millers for Men clothing store in downtown Portland for three generations for 101 years. When her husband became ill, they lived in both their Vista St. Clair apartment in Portland and in Palm Springs, CA.

She had a son, Alan E Miller, one grandchild and one great-grandchild. She was able to live in her apartment until March 2008.

Reference: Oregonian Newspaper
Multnomah-Marion County OR Archives Biographies..Ottenheimer
my genealogy search on

No comments: