Posted by Jim Fitzgerald
Few aspects of the research into the history of the Rotary Club of Marshall Texas, have been as interesting and inspiring as the story of its founder’s life, which David Weaver captured brilliantly in the first paragraph of his tribute in the Marshall News Messenger, March 7, 1999, page 42.
Isaac “Ike” Hochwald came to Marshall as an orphan boy in 1877.  He left, upon his death in 1956, as one of the most respected and revered businessman and entrepreneurs ever to come through this East Texas town.
A great deal of the credit for the growth and maturity of Hochwald has been given to his benefactor Marshall businessman Lionel Kahn.  Kahn, who with his brother began a thriving railroad supply business on the downtown square during late 1800’s, took in the 12-year-old boy from an orphanage in New Orleans in 1877.
From that moment Kahn, who never married and who fathered no children of his own, envisioned handing down his business located at 107 West Houston St., to young Ike.
For that purpose, Hochwald was sent to Cincinnati to complete his business education and returned to Marshall in 1891, where he married the former Amelia Raphel.  The couple would later live in one of the most recognized homes in the Marshall area the Hochwald House at 211 West Grand Ave.
Until his retirement in 1927, Hochwald spent every waking minute in an attempt to give back to the community that had taken him in and allowed him to be successful in business.
He was the first president of the Moses Montefiore Congregation, and served two decades as a trustee on the Marshall school board.
He was also a member of the Knights of Pythias, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, Woodsmen of the World, and the Masonic Lodge.
He was also a charter member of the East Texas Chamber of Commerce.  But retirement I did nothing to slow Hochwald.
Instead, some of his most recognizable achievements occurred near, or after, 1927.
In 1926 [1919] while he was in his 60’s Hochwald organized and became the first president of the Rotary Club in Marshall.
Through this organization Hochwald was able to push his love for education as a member of the Rotary Scholarship [Loan] Committee, which gave out interest-free loans to deserving students in the Marshall area.
Along with his creation of Rotary, Hochwald is also best known for his efforts to bring professional baseball to Marshall.  Hochwald got together with surrounding cities in East Texas, eight in all, to form the East Texas Baseball League.
 He served as president of the league and owner of the Marshall franchise, constantly pushing the national pastime locally until he became known as “Father of Organized Baseball in East Texas”.
Because of his efforts with the sport, Hochwald was given a lifetime pass to any major-league ballpark in America.
Hochwald died on October 15th, 1956 at the age of 91.
His story will join many, many others that encourage and inspire us all to celebrate the legacy of Marshall Rotary, and those who have had such a vital part in its journey of a hundred years, when we “Celebrate A Century of Changing Lives in Marshall – and Beyond” at the celebration banquet August 24, 2019, in the Marshall Convention Center!