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Karon family papers

Identifier: U6253

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of seven albums containing family photographs, correspondence, and other documents related to the Robert Joseph and Ruth Helen Edelstein Karon family. The albums were compiled in winter 2000 by their daughter, Janet Karon. Each album is numbered, dated, and includes a cover page which reads: "Here you can see the generations surrounding the lives of our parents, Robert Joseph Karon 1905-1999 Ruth Helen Edelstein Karon 1904-1992 Put together by Jan, Winter, 2000" The collection also includes a photograph album dated 1924-1935, miscellaneous loose photographs, and an oral history recording with Robert Karon.


  • 1890 - 2000


Conditions Governing Access

Open for use in the Kathryn A. Martin Library, Archives and Special Collections.

Conditions Governing Use

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

Samuel Karon immigrated from Lithuania in 1887 to escape being drafted into the Russian army. He settled in Duluth, where an uncle and brother had already preceded him. In 1890 he married Sarah Shapiro, also from Lithuania, and they had nine children. He was active in Duluth’s Jewish community, and was one of the organizers of Adas Israel Synagogue, where he served for 47 years as its congregational president. He also founded Northwestern Scrap Iron and Metal Company and its affiliate, Northwester Wiping Cloth Company. Four of his sons continued this family business.

Robert Joseph Karon was born in 1905 to Samuel and Sarah Karon. He would eventually marry Ruth Helen Edelstein, daughter of Roy Edelstein and Ida (Zalk) Edelstein. He attended Superior Normal School and the University of Minnesota Law School, graduating with a law degree in 1927. He worked in Duluth as a real estate attorney. The Karon family remained active in the Jewish community, with Robert serving as President of the Duluth Jewish Federation and Community Council and helping to establish the Baeumler-Kaplan Holocaust Memorial Lecture Series at the University of Minnesota Duluth. He was a member of both Temple Israel and Adas Israel synagogues. Robert also held leadership positions in the 11th Judicial Bar Association, Covenant Club, Scottish Rite, and Workmen's Circle. In the 1950s and 1960s he led the boards of the Duluth Chamber of Commerce, Miller Dwan Memorial Hospital, and the Duluth Round Table on Christians and Jews.


7 Volumes

1.67 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



The collection consists of seven albums containing family photographs, correspondence, and other documents related to the Robert Joseph and Ruth Helen Edelstein Karon family.

Physical Location

This collection is located at the University of Minnesota Duluth Archives. For more information about this collection or to make an appointment, contact us at or 218-726-8526.

Related Materials

umja0101 Karon Family papers - This related collection is located at the Upper Midwest Jewish Archives in Minneapolis, MN

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Collecting Area Details

Contact The University of Minnesota Duluth Archives and Special Collections Collecting Area

Kathryn A. Martin Library
University of Minnesota Duluth
416 Library Drive
Duluth MN 55812-3001
(218) 726-8526