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Ben Rosenfeld

Photograph of Ben Rosenfeld

 

Ben Rosenfeld was born circa 1904 in Starokonstantinov, Volynia Gubernia, in the Russian Empire. Ben, born Boruch Rosenfeld, arrived at Ellis Island in July of 1913. He traveled with his older half-sister and brother immigrating separately from his father and other half-sister who had already landed in Philadelphia in 1912. Ben’s mother, Rivka, never did immigrate, and it is assumed she died during the interim between the two sailings of her family.

From his arrival in the United States until 1943, Ben lived and worked in Cleveland, Ohio. There, he managed a grocery store called Pick-N-Pay. Disliking the weather in Cleveland and desiring new opportunities, he relocated to Las Vegas, Nevada in 1943. In 1945, Ben and his business partner, Paul Thompson, started one of the first carpeting stores in Las Vegas. Nevada Blind & Floor Co., Inc. was located at 1300 South Main Street. In addition to retail flooring, draperies, and patio furniture, Ben and Paul worked as subcontractors and submitted competitive bids on various commercial and residential projects. Paul eventually moved to California, and Ben purchased Paul’s interest in the corporation. In 1977, at the age of 73, Ben sold the company. While semiretired, he worked part-time for a carpet wholesaler and fully retired at age 84.

Being a confirmed bachelor during his early life in Las Vegas, he dedicated his time to growing his business. About ten years after his arrival, he was introduced by mutual friends to his future wife, Betty. In 1953, he tied the knot for the first time at the approximate age of 50, and a year later, Betty gave birth to their daughter Carole.

Ben and Betty were socially active in the Jewish community and contributed to the building of the first temple, Beth Sholom. Ben was a member of Beth Sholom’s Men’s Club and served as a Vice President of the Las Vegas Lodge of B’nai B’rith in the 1950s. His other interests included playing Gin Rummy, golfing, bowling, traveling, and horseback riding. In fact, he owned horses in Cleveland and Las Vegas, and he frequently rode his horse in the Las Vegas Helldorado parade.

Ben and Betty were together until his death in 1996. Betty followed him ten years later.

-Contributed by Carole Rosenfeld

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