J. A. Bernholz & Sons, 355 Greenwich St., New York, 2017
This faded sign facing Greenwich St. at the corner of Harrison St. is duplicated by another even more faded version on the Harrison St. side.
J. A. Bernholz & Sons began as Bernholz John A. grocer at 295 Washington St., New York City, in 1868. The founder was John Anton Bernholz (1826-1908), an immigrant from Prussia in the 1840s. He appears in the 1900 U. S. Census, age 73, a commission merchant, living at 225 West 128th Street, Manhattan. A death notice appeared in the New York Times, 20 Feb. 1908, pg. 7, reading, "Bernholz - On the 18th inst., at his residence, 225 West 128th St., John A. Bernholz, aged 82. Funeral Friday, the 21st, 9:30 A. M.; thence to St. Joseph's Church, 125th St. and 9th Av., where solemn mass of requiem will be offered for the repose of his soul. Interment in Calgary." A short obituary appeared in the New York Herald, 22 Feb. 1908, pg. 7, reading, "John Anton Bernholz, one of the oldest citizens of German birth in this city, died in his residence, No. 225 West 128th street, a few days ago. He came to New York in 1842, from Westphalia, Germany, and established the firm of J. A. Bernholz & Sons. He was a member of the Produce Exchange and of the Mercantile Exchange."
In 1874 John A. Bernholz became John A. Bernholz & Son, grocers at 295 Washington St. This first son in the business was Louis F. Bernholz (1852?-1929). His birth date is uncertain. The 1900 U. S. Census says he was born May 1852, but his death notice, New York Times, 21 Dec. 1929, pg. 17, says that he died in his 80th year (i.e., born 1849).
In 1890 John A. Bernholz & Son became John A. Bernholz & Sons at 295 Washington St. The second son was John F. Bernholz (1866-1946), born 119 W. 29th St., New York City, 16 October 1866. His death notice, New York Times, 19 May 1946, pg. 41, read, "Bernholz - John F., on May 17, 1946, devoted husband of the late Anna Greff, beloved father of Paula B. Smyth and Emily B. Gluck. Funeral from Walter B. Cooke, Inc., Funeral Home, 117 West 72d St., Monday, 9:30 A. M. Requiem Mass St. Catherine of Genoa Church, 10 o'clock. Interment Gate of Heaven Cemetery."
John A. Bernholz & Sons moved from 295 Washington St. to 30 Harrison (aka 355 Greenwich) in 1892. This continued to be their location until the business closed ca. 1930. Following the death of John A. Bernholz in 1908 the business was continued mostly by his son, John F. Bernholz. From around this time Louis F. Bernholz was involved in real estate and may have had little connection with the butter and eggs business of J. A. Bernholz & Sons. His entry in the 1910 U. S. Census gives real estate as his occupation. He lived at that time at 232 W. 132nd St., Manhattan. In the same census John F. Bernholz was "merchant, butter & eggs," living at 477 W. 142nd St. He was still "merchant, butter & eggs," in 1930 when he lived at 540 W. 150th St., Manhattan.
Copyright © 2017 Walter Grutchfield