Biography by Victoria Proctor, © 2014
BERNANKE, Jonas (1891-1970)
Born January 23, 1891 in Boryslaw, Austria. [* See note below.] Jonas was the son of Moses Bernanke,
who, by 1921, was a resident of Przemysl, Poland as were Jonas and his wife, Pauline Heiden
Bernanke. Pauline was born November 15, 1895 in Przemysl, Austria, the daughter of Bernard and
Yetta Last Heiden.
Jonas and Pauline were married in Europe sometime prior to immigrating to the United States
in June 1921.
The young couple sailed on the ship Mount Clinton from the port of Hamburg, Germany
on June 16, 1921. Their stated destination was New York, NY, where an uncle, David Hyden, lived at
704 Caldwell Avenue. The ship's passenger list shows Jonas Bernanke to be aged 30, 5'10" tall, with dark hair and brown eyes,
occupation: "clerk." His wife Pauline, aged 25, is described as 5'3", blonde hair, grey eyes,
occupation: "doctor med.". Both could read and write the Polish language; both were listed as Hebrew under
"Race or people", and their nationality was listed (necessarily) as Polish. No children are listed as
traveling with them.
They arrived at Ellis Island on June 30, 1921.
In 1940 the Bernankes were living in New York City, Bronx Borough - the same place they lived in 1935.
They had three sons by then, all born in New York and living with them: Frederick, Philip and Mortimer.
as a pharmacist in a drugstore and Pauline had a private practice as a medical doctor.
In 1941, Jonas purchased a drugstore on Main Street in Dillon, South Carolina,
and moved his family from New York to Dillon. Jonas called the store "Jay Bee" Drugs, after his own initials, and
the drugstore was a long-time fixture on Main Street.
Jonas Bernanke is the grandfather of former Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Ben Shalom Bernanke.
Dr. Jonas passed away January 29, 1970 at McLeod’s Infirmary in Florence, South Carolina.
He was 79 years old. His wife Pauline passed away at home, aged 80, on August 15, 1976.
Both Dr. Jonas and Dr. Pauline "Line" Heiden Bernanke are interred in
Greenlawn Cemetery's Hebrew Garden,
Dillon County, South Carolina.
[* NOTE: The World War I peace treaty divided up the defeated Austria-Hungary Empire,
greatly diminishing the size of Austria. Many people born "Austrian" became "Polish" with the stroke of