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This is the story of the Samuelson Family in Toms River, as told by a son, Herman J. (Jerry) Samuelson (from 1912 though 1973).

In January 1912, my father Samuel Samuelson, a fifty year old carpenter from Brooklyn, bought a farm in the Pleasant Plains section of Toms River, and started a new life as a farmer.

It was a 72 acre farm located on the south east corner of the Church and Old Freehold Roads. For a total price of $4,600, he also got three cows, three horses, about 100 chickens, wagons, machinery, etc. The house was small but satisfactory. There was no electric power so we used kerosene lamps and lanterns. To get water, we used a hand pump located in the kitchen.  Outhouses were used for toilets.

There was another Jewish farmer living two miles away. His name was Sam Kaufman, and he was very cooperative.

Samuelson raised many vegetables which he sold to produce dealers in Toms River, Lakewood and Point Pleasant. One year he raised and shipped two carloads of watermelon for the Philadelphia market. He also increased his flock of Leghorns to 800 birds. There was only one commercial poultry farm in the neighborhood, the  Raynor farm with 4000 layers.

One son, Jerry, was interested in farming. He attended the college of Agricu lture at Cornell for four years, graduated, taught in Minnesota for two years and in New York for one year.

In February 1919, Mr. Samuelson sold his farm because of severe bodily injuries and illness so that he was unable to do any more physical work. He moved to Lakewood and lived in retirement until his death in 1946.  The new owner was Jacob Wexler.

Jerry in the meantime married Henrietta, the oldest daughter of Sam Kaufman. A few months later (May 1919), Mr. Kaufman and Jerry bought the Murphy Feed Store, a small place located on Water Sreet. Mr. Kaufman was the silent partner, Jerry and Henrietta were the active partners and operators. They  named the  business,  United Feed Co. The business grew and was successful almost from the start. Feed prices were low compared to the selling price of eggs. The war in Europe was over and many people left war torn Europe to come to a prosperous America to start a new life. To many, a farm was just the right thing to buy to start this new life, especially in Ocean County where farm land was low in price. Over the years, the newcomers were often White Russians and Hungarians, or Russian and Polish Jews fleeing from Communistic  countries. During Hitler's time, many were German Jews and others fleeing from Hitler. Many left the cities to become poultry farmers because they wanted to start a new life in the country. Naturally, as the poultry business grew and expanded, the United Feed Co. grew and expanded, trying to keep up with the increasing demands for feed. We built a new modern feed plant in South Toms River and opened, branch stores in Lakewood, Point Pleasant, Freehold and Jamesburg. Other feed companies moved into Ocean County, but we did very well in spite of the new competition.

In 1940 my wife Henrietta died. She had been a wonderful helpmate to me and mother of our only child Leslye.  Publicly she had been very active in health matters, especially in the battle against tuberculosis.

In 1940, Mr. Kaufman retired from the business and I became the sole owner. For the record I should like. to mention the  names of some of my co-workers who helped me operate this large business. There were  my brothers Max and Harry Samuelson,  and my close friend Jack Baer, all dead now. Also during those years there were Jack Rosenkranz, Max Spieler, Rubin Haberman and Alton Estomin.  I thank you all.

In 1946 I married Mrs. Helen Vincent of Washington State.  With  her extensive  office and business training, she was of great help in operating our large business. The years rolled by, years of tension , years of responsibility, years of pleasure, years of worry . . . In 1960, after 40 and 1 years as owner of the United Feed Co., the business was sold to a young feed dealer from South Jersey and Jerry Samuelson retired from active life, at the age of 67.

All during those years, in spite of great responsibilities, I made the time to be active and take part in our Community affairs.  With pride, but also with humility, I am listing some of them:

  1. President - Toms River Community of Jewish Farmers
  2. President - Toms River Kiwanis Club
  3. President - NJ Feed Dealers
  4. Vice-president - Lakewood B'nai Brith
  5. Elected delegate - Republican National Convention
  6. Elected representative - Republican State Committee

During those 60 years, I met and worked with a wonderful lot of men and women who helped the Jewish Community get better and better. I can't list them all, but I certainly thank them for their friendship and cooperation.

Here are a few:

My father-in-law Sam Kaufman, His daughters Henrietta and Lillian, Albert Kushinsky, Hyman Novoselsky-the father of those fine Novins boys. Harry  Dinnerstein-father  of Martin and Lionel Dinnerstein. Sam Luria, Max Leet, Aaron Pincus, Jack Baer, Nathan Friedman family , the Wexler - Estomin families, Joe Haberman, Old Man Rosenkranz, the Polsky's and Pyenson's, the Haft's, the Dardick's, the Robinson's, the Plaut's, the Ehrmann's and many many more . . .

In August I will have finished my 83rd year. Thanks to you all, they were happy years. May God bless you all, and may God bless America, where such wonderful things are possible.

H. Jerry Samuelson