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Historic Information About Family:
From Jewish Review, Sept 1, 2008, Travel p. 18 by Paulina Olsen – “Exploring historic Albany yields Jewish treasures”
In April 1878 the First Hebrew Congregation of Albany and Vicinity started here (at First Ave and Lyon), then approximately the site of Senders & Sternberg’s Drygoods at 102 W First. They drew up a charter and elected Leon Senders president. Mainly, they organized to establish a burial ground. The Senders recently had buried their infant daughter Clara on the family property they now deeded to the Albany Hebrew Cemetery. According to the congregation minutes book, they met once a year at the store and mostly discussed cemetery matters.
Related Article, same page. “Senders recalls his family’s local roots.” Jeff Senders never expected to end up in Albany although his family’s history there goes back generations. But after growing up in Portland and serving in the military, a counselor job brought him back to town.
“There were people who knew my father and grandfather, and I got to hear great stories,” he said during an interview at his downtown stained-glass shop. His great-grandfather, Leon Senders, came to Albany around 1861, he explained as he laid out a collection of family treasures. Originally from Prussia, Leon Senders and Moses Sternberg opened a shop in Brownsville before moving to Albany. The First Hebrew Congregation formed and met at Senders & Sternber’s Drygoods.
Leon Senders married Lena May in 1864. Julius Eckman, Temple Beth Israel’s rabbi from 1864 to 1866, signed their Hebrew wedding certificate now lying on his table. (Eckman later served Congregation Ahavai Shalom.)
“I remember my great-grandmother,” Jeff Senders said. “She was a frail little lady who came across on a covered wagon.”
Senders picked up an obituary about his grandfather, Albert, Leon and Lena Sender’s son. “He was master of the lodge in 1904…also past exalted ruler of the Elks Lodge,” it said. An active mason like many early Albany Jews, A.G. Senders also served as Albany mayor and owned a large grain mill. “They just tore down the warehouse where they’re doing urban renewal, ” Jeff Senders said. “It was the last historic artifact on the river front.” “Isn’t it odd that I ended up in Albany?” Senders remarked, as he glanced around the shop. “Stained glass once a self-taught hobby, developed into my livelihood. My goal was to make it three months in the stained glass business,” he said. Now, 30 years later, Senders performs restoration work around the country and often creates designs for churches.
At the rededication ceremony for the cemetery on June 4, 1989, George Bikman’s speech recalls that Leon Senders came from Oldenburg in Prussia and that he was an incorporator, along with Julius Joseph (his cousin?), of the First Hebrew Congregation and the First Hebrew Cemetery Association. Leon arrived in Albany in 1861. He became a horse trader, importing stock by boat through Yaquina Bay, then overland to Albany where he sold horses from a large barn owned by the family. Leon and his wife, Lena May who came from Bavaria, had four children. The youngest, Albert – a lifelong dear and respected friend of many of us – served as mayor of Albany from 1940 to 1944. The son of Albert, Bruce, who attended Albany public schools, manages a number of business interests in this area for the Senders family. His son Jeff is an Albany businessman and artisan, working in stained and leaded glass.
Leon Senders 1833-1904
Inscription: Leon Senders, Born Bosen, Germany, May 14, 1833. Died Feb. 4, 1904
Iconography: Mason symbol with G in center
Lena May Senders 1837-1901
Inscription: In memory of my beloved wife and (a dear mother?) Lena May Senders, born in (which city?) Bavaria, 1837, died Albany Oregon 1901
Albert G. Senders 1
Stone and Base Material:
Aaron and Lottie Senders marker
Aaron Senders 1825 – 1896
Relationship: Brother? to Leon Senders
Inscription: Aaron Senders, born in Bosen Germany, Sept. 5, 1825. Died in Albany, Oregon, June 2, 1896
Lottie Senders 1850-1888?
Relationship: Wife to A. Senders (Aaron senders)
Inscription: Our Mother, Lottie, wife to A. Senders, born July 6, 1850. Died Jan. 19, (1888?), Hebrew inscription
Fred Senders 1874-1921
Relationship: Son? to Lottie and Aaron Senders