“Go West, young man”— a quote falsely credited to newsman Horace Greeley— captures the popular understanding of migration trends during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, that of successive waves of immigration to North America’s port cities followed by gradual but relentless occupation of the Nation’s seemingly limitless interior. Whatever truth to the understanding, by the middle nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the winds and tides had changed as the rise of industry in and around those same port cities recalled those same travelers.
One such émigré was Aaron S. Cades (1870-1927). Born in the Baltic Region of the Russian Empire—today the Republic of Lithuania—Cades voyaged to the United States at the age of eighteen where he married his Hungarian wife Sadie (née Greenstein) (b. 1882) in 1898. They bought a home in Bunch Creek, Oklahoma where he worked as a merchant and she as a furniture seller. In Oklahoma, Sadie bore him three sons: Joseph (b. 1900), David (b. 1902), and Edwin (b. 1907). By 1910, Aaron, Sadie, and their boys moved to Auburn, Arkansas where they lived with Sadie’s mother Pearl Greenstein (b. 1844). Owning their own home in Arkansas, Aaron must have achieved some success as a merchant in Auburn.
However by 1920 Camden, New Jersey had lured Aaron from his dusty prairie home. The siren call of the growing city’s business opportunities and its thriving Jewish community likely drew him. In the first decade of the twentieth century Camden’s Jewish residents numbered over 800 and the city supported two congregations, Adath Israel (est. 1904) and Bnei Abraham (est. 1905). In Camden Aaron Cades boarded at The Penn apartment building at 301 North 3rd Street and worked as a merchandise jobber.
By 1921, Aaron’s wife and sons, David and Edwin, joined him in Camden. First they resided at 404 Federal Street where his grown sons established Cades Brothers jewelry store. By 1924, David and Edwin’s thriving jewelry business permitted them to buy their mother and father their own residence at 300 Cooper Street. Aaron lived with his wife at 300 Cooper Street for the next three years before passing away unexpectedly on December 14, 1927.
Camden County Historical Society
Szold, Henrietta (editor). The Jewish American Year Book, 5668. Philadelphia: The Jewish Publication Society of America. 1907.