Skip to main content

Hiram Z. Mendow papers

Identifier: umja0142

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of a small number of materials, including original writings, correspondence, newpaper clippings, programs, and certificates and diplomas.


  • 1884-1998


Conditions Governing Access

Open for use in the Elmer L. Andersen Library reading room.


This collection may be protected by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code). It is the user's responsibility to verify copyright ownership and to obtain all necessary permissions prior to the reproduction, publication, or other use of any portion of these materials. Researchers may quote from the collection under the fair use provision of the copyright law.

Biographical / Historical

Hiram Zaph Mendow (also known as Hyman Mendow and H.Z. Mendow) was born on August 6, 1893 in Minneapolis. He graduated from South High School, and went on to the University of Minnesota, finishing his Bacherlor of Laws and Arts in 1916, his Masters of Laws and Arts in 1917, and his Juris Doctor in 1915. His doctorate work was interrupted by his service in the Army during World War I.

Mendow worked as a Judge for the Municiple Court in Columbia Heights before turning to private law, but the nickname Judge stuck with him the rest of his career. He was perhaps most well known for his defense of Al Capone in 1929, after Capone was arrested for carrying a concealed .38 revolver. Mendow was not successful in his case and Capone went to prison for a year. He worked with other criminals during the Prohibition years, including Isador "Kid Cann" Blumenfeld. During his legal career he was a charter member of the Minnesota Trial Lawyers Association and the Criminal Courts Bar Association.

His wife, Josephine, to whom he was married for 75 years, passed away in 1995. Hiram himself passed away in 2001, at the age of 107. They had one daughter, Abbie.


0.25 Cubic Feet (1 half Legal Hollinger)

Language of Materials



This collection consists of materials from Hiram Z. Mendow, a Jewish lawyer in Minneapolis.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated to the Jewish Historical Society of the Upper Midwest by Hiram Mendow.

Hiram Z. Mendow papers, 1884-1998
Kate Dietrick
April 2018
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Collecting Area Details

Contact The Upper Midwest Jewish Archives Collecting Area