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Marcus, Minnie Lichtenstein (1882–1979)

Natalie Ornish Biography Entry

Minnie Lichtenstein Marcus, horticulturist and a vice president of Neiman Marcus, was born in Dallas on October 4, 1882, to Meyer Lichtenstein, who was from Königsberg in eastern Germany, and Hattie (Mittenthal), from Russia and Peoria, Illinois. On February 25, 1902, Minnie married Herbert Marcus, one of the founders of Neiman Marcus. They had four children. Minnie Marcus's interest in plants encouraged her husband to bring exotic tropical specimens into Neiman Marcus for decorative uses. She used the greenhouse on her estate to revive the plants from the store. Her husband died in 1950, and in 1951 Minnie was elected to the board of directors of Neiman Marcus and named vice president in charge of horticulture. She supervised the activities of gardeners, and at one time there were 1,800 plants in sixty locations in the first two Neiman Marcus stores in Dallas. She played a prominent role in founding the Dallas Garden Center and, in recognition of her work, was made honorary life president of the center. She stimulated city officials into beautifying Dallas with planned planting programs and an emphasis on flowering plants. On her eightieth birthday her sons and their wives made a gift to the city in her name of a mile of flowering crabapple trees to line a highway leading to Parkland Hospital. She served for many years on the boards of Temple Emanu-El, the Dallas Jewish Welfare Federation, and the Dallas Home for Jewish Aged. She donated the land for a building for Dallas Taping for the Blind. In 1959 she received the Dallas Nurseryman's Award and in 1966 a Brotherhood Citation from the National Conference of Christians and Jews. Minnie Marcus died on December 5, 1979.

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Stanley Marcus, Minding the Store: A Memoir (Boston: Little, Brown, 1974). Natalie Ornish, Pioneer Jewish Texans (Dallas: Texas Heritage, 1989). Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.


  • Peoples
  • Jews
  • Business
  • Activism and Social Reform
  • Civic Leaders
  • Patrons, Collectors, and Philanthropists
  • Women

Time Periods:

  • Late Nineteenth-Century Texas
  • Progressive Era
  • Great Depression
  • Texas in the 1920s
  • World War II
  • Texas Post World War II


  • Dallas/Fort Worth Region
  • Dallas
  • North Texas

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

Natalie Ornish, “Marcus, Minnie Lichtenstein,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed August 06, 2021,

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November 1, 1995
November 30, 2019

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