Here is an email received from the great granddaughter of Abe Levis
to my question, who ran the business after Abe died:
Please say that Abe and Anna Levis started the business. She worked
hard and I believe did all the cooking. Today she would be given the
credit that was due her. She was the quiet one behind the scenes.
His 4 children inherited the business when Abe died. David (my
grandfather) Jules (had no children) Joe and Jenny (Scott’s
grandmother_. Jenny’s husband, Harry Asher was part of the business
on her behalf. Jules died around 1952. Joe opened a branch in
Atlantic City in the 50’s it was very successful – it ran for about 2
years maybe 3 – and I don’t know why he closed it but I do remember
visiting it. Joe, (his grandson is Jessie Levis, the professional
catcher FOR A BASEBALL TEAM- which one he played for – I don’t know)
Joe, the youngest was a gambler and the others did not feel
comfortable with him in the business (it could have been a little more
dramatic than this – but I was just a child). He was probably bought
out – but he left the business. A family feud pursued when he open
another Levis a block away at 6th and Pine and since his name was
Levis he also called the store Levis – this led to Levis being called
Old Original Levis. This left my grandfather Dave and uncle Harry
running the business. Their wives (my grandmother Bess and Aunt Jenny
Asher) worked in the store (as the family called it) a lot.
My grandfather in the 50’s started the 50 year club. It was very
popular idea and quickly caught on. There were many 50th birthday
parties at Levis’ and some of them were formal dress. If you were ever
at Levis’ you know this was quiet funny.
That is when the neon sign was also bought – around that time at
least. My grandfather died in 1953 at the age of 57. Leaving my
Grandmother and Harry to run the business. My Mother and Aunt Gladys
(the twins) helped in the store after my grandfather died. Harry died
and in about 1966 my Aunt and Grandmother sold the business to my Mother. The other
grandchildren my Aunt Gladys, cousin Stanley (a dentist) and his sister
Adele did not want ownership.
for the rest of her life my Aunt Gladys Litwin (she died in 1975) ran
the store with my mother.
I live in Ann Arbor and my brother Levis Abraham Kochin is a professor
of Economics at the University of Washington. FYI – he was named
Levis in memory of Abe as everyone or maybe just his wife called him
Levis – hence my brother’s first name is Levis.
Sallie Kochin Abelson