Esther & Sam Levy

Esther & Sam Levy

The Esther and Sam Levy Memorial Scholarship Fund News Article

To honor the memory of his mother, Esther Levy, and his step-father, Sam Levy, James H. Lewis has set up a scholarship fund for undergraduates in the College of Science and Allied Health at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.

Lewis, a graduate of Central High School, ( class of January 1944), attended La Crosse State Teachers College (as it was called then) from January 1944 to June 1944. He enlisted in the US Navy in World War II in August 1944 and was honorably discharged in August 1946. He was a storekeeper 2nd class aboard LST 1104 in the Pacific areas. After the war, he attended the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Wisconsin, from 1946-1949 and graduated with a BA degree in Journalism and Advertising.

In 1953 Lewis moved to Houston, Texas, where his brother, Roy, and his family lived. He worked for the Houston Post in the retail advertising department from 1953-1959. In 1960 he worked for the Houston Chronicle in the national advertising department. In his last ten years with the Houston Chronicle, he was an advertising supervisor in the national advertising department. He retired in 1989.

Sam and Esther Levy were long time residents of La Crosse. Levy bought the Ewald News Agency in 1916 and renamed it Levy’s News Agency. The business was a wholesale distributorship for magazines, paperback novels and books, comic books, and out of town newspapers. It serviced newsstands, drugstores, grocery stores, etc. within a 100 mile radius of La Crosse. In 1939 the agency moved into its newly built headquarters at 129 Vine Street, La Crosse.

World War II meant a terrific surge in business. With Camp McCoy in the area (out of Sparta and Tomah), Levy told his son that he distributed approximately 12,000 newspapers each day. Eleven trucks and 70 newsboys were employed and the agency served 27 newsstands in the area and 13 PXs. In 1952 Levy retired when he sold the business.

Esther Levy, a native of Chicago, helped her husband in the office at the business. James helped after school and summers.

Sam was a member of the Masonic Temple, the American Legion and the Midwest Independent Distributors Association. Both he and Mrs. Levy were instrumental in the building of the Congregation Sons of Abraham Synagogue, 1820 Main Street, La Crosse. Both were on the building committee and major donors.

Esther Levy was a member of the Eastern Star and Zonta Women’s Business Organization.

Sam passed away in July 1956 and Esther passed away in December 1977.

Esther Levy photo taken in December 1975.