Paul I. Pearl, the founder of Pearl’s Department Stores was one of nine siblings. All siblings shared the same father. Sam and Ethel’s mother died in Ethel’s childbirth. Their father remarried and had seven more children. No distinction was ever made about being half-siblings. Of the nine siblings, six siblings were directly involved with the Pearl’s chain.
Below, a family portrait, with spouses, of the Pearl (Osovitz) siblings. Ethel and Sam used Ossovitz name, other siblings changed name to Pearl.
First row (left to right): Ethel (Osovitz) Cohen, Paul I. Pearl, Bertha “Birdie” (Liebesman) Pearl (wife of Paul Pearl), Sam Osovitz, Ruth (Pearl) Kropsky, Isidore Kropsky
Second Row (left to right): Joseph Cohen, Ruby Helfand, Rose (Pearl) Helfand, Dot (Harris) Pearl (wife of Morris Pearl, deceased ), Bea (Pearl) Silverstein, Sol Silverstein, Joseph Pearl, Leona Pearl (wife of Joseph Pearl), Lillian (Pearl) Waldman, Sam Waldman
Summary of Pearl /Osovitz siblings and their involvement with Pearl’s. See also first cousins involvement with Pearl’s.
- Sam Osovitz No direct involvement, had New York Pants Manufacturing Company in Baltimore with his son-in-law Nate Mendelson.
- Ethel Osovitz (Cohen) No direct involvement/ her husband Joseph Cohen had coat factory in Brooklyn.
- Paul I. Pearl Founder of Pearl’s Department Stores.
- Joseph Pearl Founder of first Pearl’s store with Paul, then managed Swanton (VT) store until his retirement.
- Lillian Pearl (Waldman) Lillian was responsible for Paul Pearl going to work for their uncle Aaron Perelman, thus Paul becoming a peddler. Latter Lillian and her husband ran the St. Regis Falls (NY) Pearl’s. Then they moved to Syracuse (NY) to start their own store Waldman’s.
- Bea Pearl (Silverstein) Her husband, Sol, indirectly was involved since he did some accounting work for Paul Pearl’s business.
- Rose Pearl (Helfand) Her husband, Ruby, worked for Paul in Winthrop and later long term manager/owner of Pearl’s in Brushton (NY) until his retirement.
- Morris Pearl Started/managed Pearl’s in Chateaugay, latter taking ownership of Chateaugay store and starting own Pearl’s chain; died prematurely; wife Dot (Harris) Pearl took over business after his death.
- Ruth Pearl (Kropsky) Her husband, Isidore, worked for Paul, met Ruth through Paul; Isidore later started Hill’s chain in Vermont with brother-in-law Charlie Hill and then with his brother Harry Kropsky.