Asaph & Ezra Ehrlich
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Asaph and Ezra

Two young brothers were discussing their futures on their father's Saskatchewan farm...the year was about 1923.   The oldest, Asaph had just returned from Texas.  A trip in which he had married his bride Otilla Malusha Laubhan, in a very short courtship, and his future was heavy on his mind.  His previous employment off the farm was as a part-time brakeman for a Canadian Railroad, plus a short time job, helping his new brother-in-law Alex Laubhan in his butcher shop in Texas.  Ezra, on the other hand had no off the farm experience, and was newly married to his childhood sweetheart Linda Dregger of Canora Saskatchewan.  The next year's conversations would be all about the future.....British Columbia offered the newcomer many opportunities, and that seemed to be "first choice".
That was not the first choice however for Tillie.....who now was the mother of a baby boy, born George Reginald in March 1924.....her choice was Texas, to be with her family, and that was the persuader for Asaph....After all, times were good on the farm in Texas, a new town was growing....there would be opportunity..(the sign on the outskirts called it The City of Opportunity) peace in the family was possible, and a decision was made.....Texas.   There was already talk of a grocery store, and the possibility that the German trade in the area would welcome a German merchant.  Ezra would be needed and welcome in that event.   Ezra had one advantage that was not so evident, but was of consequence later....he had been born a U.S. citizen, in Kansas in 1901...
So, it came to be: Ehrlich Brothers groceries....Follett, Texas....1925
1925 not only began the business, but the second baby, a girl Joanna Faye.....born on Main Street in uptown Follett Texas to her 26 year old father and 21 year old mother, in her Grandmothers shoe-shop living quarters.
The attending doctor was 46 year old Dr. W. F. Markley, who later would become a best friend and benefactor to the brothers.....Joanna was born in the USA, but I suspect she was bred in Canada......things were happening....good things
But a little heartache is 1926, and the first-born to Ezra and Linda, Laura Blanche dies at age 6 months from respiratory problems....the first of what would be many bumps in the road for the Ehrlich Brothers in their new Texas lives....
The short period of time that followed was filled with inside and outside events.....Most would agree, there was lots of turmoil in the world, but few places had any more than what would be called the "Dust Bowl", enveloped in a world crisis of depression.  What a place to start a business, and start families....but that is to be the fate of these two unsettled born in Russia/born in Kansas brothers.......with Biblical names.....Asaph and Ezra.  The next few years are a roller coaster, with more early downs than ups, but eventually back to normal air. 
Asaph and Otilla's third child arrived.....Bernice Evangeline.....(perhaps a literary influence), and two years later 1930, a third sister Joyce arrived, and the family was growing as was the grocery business, and the addition of machinery to the mix.  DeLaval Cream separators and Oliver farm equipment were adding to the growing business success, as well as a new house on Bruce Street, paid for in cash in 24 months (two payments of $550).  1932 was the year of the famous Charles Lindberg's baby kidnapping trial....also the birth of Maurice CHARLES Ehrlich...1934 was not so glorious as four year old Joycie succumbs to complications of scarlet fever....the dangerous years young children faced before anti-biotics....1935, The winds are blowing dust, the depression is now raging, and another child is born...Laubhan J.......but hope is for the next year.......surely next year will bring a change and relief.  
Meanwhile, Ezra and Linda have also built on Bruce street, and have added a girl and boy to their family....Florine and Lyman, born short years apart in the late 20's and early 30's....and Linda's sister, Hertha has arrived from Canada to assist the new family and business....All of this enthusiasm and all of this hard work and planning would end up on the floor of the little grocery store on Main Street in Follett in 1937....end up as credit slips for groceries and farm equipment from families long since gone from the scene in search of a new life elsewhere.  The legal judgements against the Ehrlich Brothers from the likes of Boss Gloves, Rainey Davis Mercantile, Golden Light coffee etc....would last until 1943, when Asaph paid them, and the long road back was just beginning.
I mentioned Dr. Markley early in the story.....he and Ezra were to become particularly good social friends early on....The doctor had a small private pool room, and Bobbie Ann Searcy Ehrlich's father Robert Searcy recalled stories of the two playing pool.....Ezra was to bring part of the refreshments...limburger cheese.  Bobbie Ann was a part of the story also, having been born in 1933 in the small building that had been the Doctor's office in Ivanhoe Oklahoma until 1917.  I discovered a notation made in Dr. Markleys' late 1938 to Ezra Ehrlich....$5.00.....I mention it because it exemplifies how drastic the times had become.....the depth of a national tragedy......Money was almost extinct, and now what?
The Asaph and Ezra story continues today in the lives of their immediate families.....who all would seem through the use of higher education have achieved quite a lot.  The purpose of this story is just to convey a little more of the story....I hope you enjoy....
P.S. The information herein is part heresay, and part from information of abstracts, old records..etc....but the gist of the story is what is intended....
Sincerely,  Maurice Ehrlich





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