Died: April 15, 1912
Married: Ida Blun
Isidor Straus was co-owner of Macy's department store with his brother Nathan Straus. He served briefly as a member of the United States House of Representatives. He died with his wife, Ida, in the sinking of the passenger ship RMS Titanic.
He was a signer of the petition written by Louis Marshall to the Board of Regents of the University of the State of New York asking for the dismissal of Melvil Dewey as State Librarian on grounds of the anti-semitism practiced by Dewey's Lake Placid Club.
New York Times, June 7, 1887
Mr. Isador Straus drove over from Saranac Lake this afternoon to present the compliments of his brother, Mr. Nathan Straus, to the President [Grover Cleveland] and to extend to him an invitation to visit the Straus cottage and fish in the preserve of its owner, a pond of 33 acres in extent, 1 fully stocked, and never fished in. Owing to the short time remaining to him and to engagements already made for Tuesday and Wednesday the President was compelled to decline the tempting Invitation.
New York Times, October 19, 1890
ADIRONDACKS IN WINTER
INVALIDS WHO CLING TO THE LOWER SARANAC LAKE.
OUTDOOR AIR AS A CURE FOR CONSUMPTION — A BIG HOTEL PLANNED WHERE JEWS WILL BE WELCOMED
All these points are being considered anew in view of the report that a new hotel, much finer than any now in the mountains, is about to he built here. This report, which seems to be authentic, though the chief mover in the enterprise is not now in the mountains, will doubtless interest many New-Yorkers. It is to the effect that Mr. Nathan Straus, of the firm of R. H. Macy & Co., New-York, who owns a handsome cottage and grounds here, has bought of the Mutual Life Insurance Company 10,000 acres of land in this vicinity, and, in company with Isidor Straus, Max Nathan, Mayor Hugh J. Grant, and others, will spend $1,000,000 in building a hotel and cottages. The price paid for the land is said to be about $40,000. A sawmill on the lake has already been leased for five years, in which the lumber will be a awn for the buildings.
The insurance company which sells this land came into possession of a vast tract of country up here a few years ago through the foreclosure of a mortgage. At the time of the foreclosure it is said that the company would have been very glad to have taken the face of the mortgage ($80,000) for the land, but the rise in values since that time has enabled it to a good deal more than double its money. The people interested in making the Adirondacks a State park should be interested in this fact.
Although the hotels on the lower Saranac have been very prosperous this year and have been unable to accommodate all the people who came, it is not the demand for hotel room wholly that has influenced Mr. Straus in his enterprise. It is understood that he has been a good deal incensed because the present hotels have practically refused to receive Jews as guests. This refusal has been a matter of more or less public talk for some time. The excuse given by the landlords is the usual one—that Jewish guests monopolize the piazzas and tennis courts, and other guests do not like to associate with them. Of course, the question touches the landlord's pocket or ho would not consider it seriously. He finds it to his advantage not to have Jewish guests and so turns them away.
In this condition of affairs Mr. Straus is said to have declared that he would build a finer hotel than any of these, where Jews should be welcomed. It is not expected that the new hotel will be exclusively for Jews, though all the persons interested in it except Mayor Grant are understood to be Hebrews. The management is to be somewhat more generous and cosmopolitan than that of the Christian hotel keepers...
[For the complete article of which this is an excerpt, see Anti-semitism.]
1. Lily Pad Pond is the only likely candidate for this pond, but it is presently about nine acres; possibly in 1887 it was enlarged by a dam.