Kaplans: From Schedrin to Sioux City

Compiled by Marilyn Elaine Dvorkin Warren


David Kaplan (the family name was originally Kapilian) died in Shchedrin, eleven months before Yom Kippur in 1913. The following information is about David and his children.


David (1837-1913) had been a very wealthy lumber merchant; he was called a first buyer. He lost his money when he was sued by a non-Jew in court. David had been married two or three times prior to his marriage to Elkie Elkins (1860-1927). He divorced his first wife because she gave him no children. His second or third wife bore two sons and two daughters; she later died.


David's oldest child by his previous wife was 18 years old when David married Elke, but none of the children lived with David and Elkie. Elkie's father, a rabbi, was greatly in favor of Elkie's marriage to David because David was an extremely wealthy man.

David and Elkie had five sons (four surviving childhood) and three daughters: Ida (Chaya), Paul, Benymin (Ben), Abraham (Abe), Nathan (Nate), Zella, and Sophie.


Paul married Rose Raskin in 1903; they came to America and settled in Sioux City, Iowa. In 1905, Paul sent for Ben; the two brothers sent for Abe in 1907; the three sent for Nate in 1909; and the four sent for Ida's husband, Louis Dvorkin, in 1912.


There is very little known about Louis Dvorkin or of his family in Russia. He originally came from Ragichef and he had been a lumberjack. The marriage of Ida to Louis had been opposed by David because Louis was a Yisroel, not a Kohen.


David Kapilian (Kaplan) died in 1913 in Schedrin, shortly after performing the circumcision of his grandson Matthew (Paul and Esther Rose's son); it was eleven months after [one source says before] Yom Kippur.


The boys had no service records, therefore they could not leave Russia legally. However, Louis was the equivalent of "4-F"; this fact enabled Ida to obtain a passport for herself and for her children to go to Poland. After the death of David in 1913, Ida and her six children (Charles [Charlie], Dora, Max, Sam [Larry], Sue, and Matt), her mother Elkie, her sisters Zella and Sophie, and a cousin, Nate Elkins, prepared to join the rest of the family in Sioux City. Nate Elkins came over using the name and passport of Nate Kaplan.


Ida and her children went by train to Hamburg. However, the rest of the family had to sneak across the border. A guard was hired to smuggle them across the border; however, they had to stay hidden in Poland overnight because the guard who had been "bought" was not on duty. From Poland, they went to Hamburg where the family was reunited and sailed to Baltimore on a ship named Rhein.