Ratshesky, Abraham C., 1864-1943

Hide Profile

Abraham Captain Ratshesky (“Cap”) was born in Boston, Massachusetts on November 6, 1864 to Asher and Bertha. On February 19, 1894 he married Edith Shuman; they had no children. A banker by profession, Ratshesky started the U.S. Trust Company with his brother Israel in 1895. Ratshesky was also involved in politics, serving as a member of the Massachusetts State Senate from 1892-1895 and as a delegate to the Republican National Conventions in 1892, 1904, 1908, 1916, and 1924. During World War I, he was the Assistant Food Administrator for Massachusetts. His political background helped secure his nomination to the post of United States Minister to Czechoslovakia from 1930-1932 by President Herbert Hoover. In 1933, Ratshesky was honored with the Order of the White Lion First Class, Czechoslovakia’s highest honor.

An active civic leader and philanthropist, Ratshesky was also involved in the relief efforts following the December 6, 1917 Halifax explosion, when two ships, one carrying munitions, collided in the Halifax, Nova Scotia harbor. Much of Halifax was destroyed, and thousands of citizens were killed or injured. Ratshesky financed a team of doctors and nurses with medical supplies as part of the relief effort. Due to this effort, the city of Halifax annually donates an evergreen to Boston for the holiday season.

Ratshesky was one of the original founders of Beth Israel Hospital, donated a building on Gloucester Street for the American Red Cross's Boston headquarters, and, in 1916, founded the A.C. Ratshesky Charity Foundation, still in operation. He also founded and acted as treasurer of the "Pennies Campaign" in 1925, where school children throughout the country raised money to restore the U.S.S. Constitution.

In addition to his home in Boston on Commonwealth Avenue, Rathesky owned "The Birches" in Beverly, Massachusetts, where he and his wife summered and entertained their friends and family.

He died in 1943.

1 Biographical Note based on information from the following: Materials from the Abraham C. Rathesky Collection, the A.C. Ratshesky Foundation website at http://ratheskyfoundation.org, retrieved on 1/26/2009, Who Was Who in America, volume II (1950), and Biographical Encyclopedia of American Jews (1935).

  • 1864: ACR born in Boston, MA
  • 1892 - 1895 : Member of Massachusetts State Senate
  • 1894: Marries Edith Shuman
  • 1895 - 1939 : Founds the U.S Trust Company with brother Israel and continues to serve as President and later Chairman of the Board
  • WWI: Assistant Food Administrator for Massachusetts
  • 1916: Donates building to American Red Cross
  • 1917: Organizes and finances relief efforts for Halifax Explosion
  • 1925: Organizes "Pennies Campaign" to restore the U.S.S. Constitution
  • 1930 - 1932 : Serves as U.S. Minister to Czechoslovakia
  • 1933: Receives the Order of the White Lion First Class from Czechoslovakia
  • 1943: Ratshesky dies

From the guide to the Abraham C. Ratshesky (1864-1943), papers, undated, 1895-1974 (bulk 1930-1948), (American Jewish Historical Society)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Abraham C. Ratshesky Papers Wyner Family Jewish Heritage Center at New England Historic Genealogical Society
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Benes, Edvard, 1884-1948 person
associatedWith Brandt, Robert person
associatedWith Coolidge, Calvin, 1872-1933 person
associatedWith Hecht, Lina Frank person
associatedWith Masaryk, Jan, 1886-1948 person
associatedWith Morse, Rebecca person
associatedWith Ratshesky, Edith person
associatedWith Veverka, Ferdinand person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Beverly (Mass.)
Prague (Czech Republic)
Czech Republic
Boston (Mass.)
American Red Cross. Boston Metropolitan Chapter


Birth 1864

Death 1943

Related Descriptions

Permalink: http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6gk4t0g

Ark ID: w6gk4t0g

SNAC ID: 62867650