Select Ullman Miscellany

Here are some Ullman stories and accounts over the years:

Ullmanns in Hungary

Shalom Charif Ullmann, born in Furth in Germany in 1755, flourished in Hungary in the early 19th century as a Talmudist.  Of his three sons: 
  • his oldest son, known as Shalom arif because of his sharp mind, served as rabbi of Ansbach and later established an important yeshiva in the Burgenland community of Lakenbach. 
  • his next son Avraham served as rabbi of Tapolcsány and Szabadka before succeeding his father as yeshiva head and founding a dynasty of rabbis in Lakenbach. 
  • the third son, Shelomoh Zalman, served as rabbi of Makó at a time of turbulent religious struggles in the community. His son Isidor was a wealthy merchant and lay leader of Hungarian Orthodoxy who settled in Oradea where he and his sons collected an important library (today housed at the Widener Library of Harvard University). 
Many later descendants made their mark as business leaders in the Hungarian economy.  The most prominent line ran through Karoly Ullmann, who appeared in Gyula Benczur’s well-known late 19th century portrait of Hungarian business leaders; to his son Sandor, a lawyer and journalist in Budapest; and to his son Adolf, one of the outstanding figures in Hungary’s economy in the early 1900's.

Ulmens from the Rhineland

One family line began with Peter and Johanna Ulmen who were married in the Rhineland in the late 1680’s.  It was two brothers, Peter and John, born there in the early 1800’s not far from the town of Ulmen, who brought their families to Minnesota in America.  They apparently left Germany at different times in the 1850’s, but they all settled there, together with their widowed sister Christina, in a place called Mankado.

Samuel Ullman and Youth

"Youth is not a time of life; it is a state of mind; it is not a matter of rosy cheeks, red lips and supple knees; it is a matter of the will, a quality of the imagination, a vigor of the emotions; it is the freshness of the deep springs of life." 

These words, written by Samuel Ullman of Birmingham, Alabama in the 1910's at the age of 70-plus, have been credited with inspiring a generation of Japanese citizens, businessmen, and government leaders who were faced with rebuilding their country after World War II. 

Charles Ullman and Douglas Fairbanks

Charles Ullman was the fourth child in a relatively well-to-do Jewish family of six sons and four daughters.  Charles' parents, Lazarus and Lydia, had immigrated to the US in 1830 from Baden in Germany. Charles studied law and was admitted to the Pennsylvania bar in 1856.  Subsequently he founded the U.S. Law Association, a forerunner of the American Bar Association. 

Charles met Ella Marsh after she had married his friend and client John Fairbanks, a wealthy New Orleans sugar mill and plantation owner.  Shortly afterwards John died of tuberculosis.  Ella, born into a wealthy southern Catholic family, was overprotected and knew little of her husband's business.  Consequently, she was swindled out of her fortune by her husband's partners.  Even the efforts of Charles Ullman, acting on her behalf, failed to regain any of the family fortune for her.  Distraught and lonely, she met and married a courtly Georgian, Edward Wilcox, who turned out to be an alcoholic.  After they had a son, Norris, she divorced Wilcox and Charles acted as her lawyer in the suit. 

The pretty southern belle soon became romantically involved with Charles and she agreed to move to Denver with him to pursue mining investments. They married in Denver in 1881 had a child, Robert, in 1882 and then a second son, Douglas, a year later.  But Charles succumbed to drink himself and abandoned the family when Douglas was five years old.  He and his older brother Robert were brought up by their mother.  She gave them the family name Fairbanks, after her first husband. 

Douglas Fairbanks was born into the Jewish faith, but was taught at an early age to conceal this fact because his family considered it embarrassing.   By the time he was just eleven years old, he was acting in and around the Denver area.  At the age of seventeen he departed for New York and made his Broadway debut in 1902.

The Death of John Ullmann

The following article, entitled Tragedy at Ullmann Farm, appeared in the March 24, 1924 edition of Winsted Citizen: 

“Tossed into the air by an enraged bull on this farm in Pleasant Valley late yesterday afternoon, John W. Ullmann, 78, a well-known and prosperous farmer and a resident of the town of Berkhamsted for 38 years, suffered a broken neck when he landed, resulting in his almost instant death.  His granddaughter Bertha had suffered a painful laceration of one leg when attacked by the same bull.  The two-year old Guernsey bull has been butchered at the Ullman farm. 

The animal had been tied and chained in a stall in the barn and Mr. Ullmann's grandson, John Schofield, 18, was preparing to let it out.  He had unfastened the rope and was attempting to take off the chain when the grandfather who had been standing at a safe distance in the barn, became impatient and started to aid him.  He had just reached the animal when the chain became unfastened and the animal dashed for Mr. Ullmann and threw him in the air as it made a mad rush for the door.  Schofield retained his presence of mind and closed the door preventing the animal from coming back and goring the prone body of his grandfather."

Liv Ullmann, Actress

Liv Ullmann began her acting career on the Norwegian stage in the mid 1950’s.  She continued to act in the theatre for most of her career, and became noted for her portrayal of Nora in Ibsen’s A Doll’s House. 

She became wider known once she started to work with the eminent Swedish film director Ingrid Bergman. She went on to act to significant acclaim in ten of his most admired films, including Persona in 1966, The Passion of Anna in 1969, Cries and Whispers in 1972 and Autumn Sonata in

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