The Handbook of Texas is free-to-use thanks to the support of readers like you. Support the Handbook today.

Font size: A / A reset

Support Texas History Now

Join TSHA to support quality Texas history programs and receive exclusive benefits.

Become a TSHA Member Today »

Levy, Abraham M. (1859–1924)

Diana J. Kleiner Biography Entry

Abraham M. Levy, businessman, the son of M. H. and Adelena J. Levy, who immigrated from Prussia, was born in Houston, Texas, on September 23, 1859. He attended private schools in Houston and worked as a clerk for William Foley before founding his own business in 1887 with his brother Leo. Five years later the brothers moved to larger quarters and in 1897 began construction on yet another store, at a cost of $1,000 a foot. At one time the company employed 400 people and was considered the largest mercantile establishment in the South. Two other brothers later joined the firm, which was noted for its fair employment practices and policy of taking in employees on a cooperative basis. In addition to being president of Levy Brothers Dry Goods Company, Levy was a director of the Union National Bank, Bankers' Trust Company, and Houston Land Corporation and membership chairman of the Houston chapter of the American Red Cross. He was president of United Jewish Charities. After his death funds in his memory were donated to build a new temple for Congregation Beth Israel, Houston. He died on November 10, 1924, in Harris County.

Anne Nathan Cohen, The Centenary History of Congregation Beth Israel of Houston (Houston, 1954). Houston Press Club, Men of Affairs of Houston and Environs (Houston: Coyle, 1913). The Industrial Advantages of Houston, Texas, and Environs (Houston: Akehurst; facsimile rpt., Bryan, Texas: Fuller Printing, 1977). Marie Phelps McAshan, A Houston Legacy: On the Corner of Main and Texas (Houston: Gulf, 1985). Natalie Ornish, Pioneer Jewish Texans (Dallas: Texas Heritage, 1989).


  • Business
  • Founders and Pioneers
  • Company Founders
  • Peoples
  • Jews

Time Periods:

  • Late Nineteenth-Century Texas
  • Progressive Era


  • Houston
  • Upper Gulf Coast
  • East Texas

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Diana J. Kleiner, “Levy, Abraham M.,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 11, 2021,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to:

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

March 1, 1995
February 19, 2017

This entry belongs to the following Handbook Special Projects: