Joseph Spiegel

Joseph Spiegel
Born 1840
Died 1914 (aged 7374)
United States
Known for Spiegel catalog
Relatives Marcus M. Spiegel (brother)

Joseph Spiegel (born 1840)[1] is the founder of the Spiegel catalog,[2][3][4][5] Civil War veteran,[6] and the younger brother of Union Army Colonel Marcus M. Spiegel.[1]


Spiegel was born in Abenheim, near the city of Worms in the Grand Duchy of Hesse, to a Jewish family, the son of Regina (née Greenebaum) and Moses Spiegel, a Rabbi.[1] In 1848, his family (himself, three sisters, and his parents) immigrated to the United States via France in September 1848, fleeing growing anti-Jewish sentiment, revolutionary turmoil, and the fear that the government would punish them for the revolutionary activities of their firstborn son Marcus Spiegel who had participated in an unsuccessful uprising against government troops in the state of Baden with Franz Sigel's liberal-democratic Landsturm regiment.[1] They settled in the Jewish community on the Lower East Side of Manhattan where his Moses sold needles, thread, and cloth.[1] His mother died in 1849 and his father reverted to being a Rabbi and teacher.[1] His brother - whom the family thought was dead - immigrated to the United States in 1849 but soon moved to Chicago as did two of his sisters: Sarah Spiegel married Michael Greenebaum, the owner of a hardware store in Chicago; and Theresa Spiegel married Henry Liebenstein in 1865, a successful Chicago furniture merchant.[1] Joseph Spiegel worked as an apprentice in several retail stores in New York until 1862 and in 1863, enlisted in the 120th Ohio Volunteers where he served in General Ulysses S. Grant’s army in Louisiana where he witnessed his brother’s death in battle and was later captured and sent to the prisoner of war camp at Fort Camp, Texas, where he remained until May 1865.[1]


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