Today is April 12, 2024 ()

Jacob Morris Stein

– Buried in Buena Vista Cemetery, Brownsville, Texas


J. Morris Stein (1/14/1889-12/7/1946), served in the Army in World War I and was owner of the Brownsville Herald from 1924 to 1929, when he sold the newspaper. In 1930 he purchased a
newspaper in Georgia but sold it to return to his beloved Brownsville. He wrote articles for the
Brownsville Herald until his death. J. Morris Stein’s memorial service was held in Temple Beth- El synagogue on St. Francis St. which was filled to capacity.


J. Morris Stein died of a heart attack because of his grief since his only child, Lewis Albert Stein, was killed in action in WWII on December 8, 1945. Mr. Stein died one year after the death of
his son. J. Morris Stein’s wife, Mae Rose Weil Stein (2/6/1896-6/26/1983) is buried near her husband and son. She left a bequest to Temple Beth-El in her will for a new Sunday school in honor of her son, Lewis A Stein. With these funds, money collected in the building fund and a campaign for
donations, the present Temple Beth-El building was constructed in 1989.
Above the door to the school wing is a plaque that reads, “A legacy of Mae Rose and J. Morris Stein, in Remembrance of their son, Lewis Albert Stein – The Lewis Albert Stein Memorial Religious School. “Thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children” – Deuteronomy VI, 7.”

Obituary

Morris Stein: Article /Obituary regarding his Life, Death, and Burial Brownsville Herald Newspaper Archives, Dec 30, 1946, p. 4


IN OUR VALLEY ® column pays tribute today to its founder, Jacob Morris Stein, for whom the final rites were held yesterday at Temple Beth-El synagogue, with interment at Buena Vista cemetery. The burial was in a plot beneath a canopy formed by the evergreen foliage, of a cluster of ebony trees. Religious services at
the grave were followed by the military’ ceremony of Taps, performed by a detail of the American Legion of
which Mr. Stein was a member.


It was twenty-two years ago, back in 1924, when Mr. Stein acquired The Herald from Mrs. Jesse O. Wheeler, widow of the paper’s founder, that he established the In Our Valley column as a dally feature of the paper. It carried Mr. Stein’s by-line and occupied a front-page position until 1937 when he sold the paper to Hubert R. Hudson. Mr. Stein remained as editor of the paper, but the column was shifted with the change in ownership to its present position on the editorial page. It was in this column that Mr. Stein wrote extensively of all the various things he urged for Brownsville and the Valley—first when The Herald was published in its old home in the three-story building that still stands at the corner of Twelfth and Washington streets, later after the paper moved in 1927 to the building it now occupies at Thirteenth and Adams.


Mr. Stein had a keen and abiding interest in Brownsville and Valley affairs, and it was in this column that he found his initial outlet for expressing that interest. He was a careful analyst and once he had weighed the evidence and reached a conclusion, he passed on to his readers the suggestions that his best judgment dictated.


He studied and wrote about virtually every subject seriously related to Valley progress. He plugged for scientific development of the citrus groves that today spread like a green blanket over the Valley. He plugged for extension and improvement of transportation — rail, water and air. He fought for more equitable freight rates for Valley shippers. He foresaw and worked for air transport. He worked for irrigation. He wrote thousands of words urging improvement of deep water and harbor facilities. He plugged for paved highways, not only in the valley but southward in Mexico as well He stood for and worked for the Good Neighbor policy, and for the stimulation of commerce and understanding between Texas and Mexico. While this is a formidable list, it does not include all the things he worked for. It is, however, sufficiently indicative of the course his interest took • • • TEMPLE BETH-EL yesterday was filled to capacity for the final ceremonies for Mr. Stein. Jew, Protestant and Catholic attended, representatives of virtually all racial strains that live and work in, Brownsville and the Valley. The religious service was conducted by Rabbi David Jacobson of San Antonio, a longtime friend, with participation by the Rev. R. O Mackintosh, rector of the Episcopal Church of the Advent here, another friend of many years. The burial site in Buena Vista cemetery is close by that of the late Dr. James B Rentfro, another with whom the bonds of friendship were strong and of long standing. • • • IT
was in 1942, when Mr. Stein retired, as he thought at the time, from active newspaper work, he relinquished the destinies of the: In Our Valley column to others. Hart Stilwell, who succeeded him as editor, became the conductor of the column. Stilwell, who left The Herald in 1943, now lives at Austin where he is devoting his time to writing. He is liable to pop up almost any time in Brownsville and the Valley, however. The past two years Mr. Stein frequently contributed to the column during absences of the regular columnists. His active contributions have now come to an end, but the spirit he gave to In Our Valley’s daily paragraphs is destined to
live on.