Dora Kraus Gunzburger

Dora Kraus Gunzburger

     On December 18, 1869, Dora Kraus was born in Howard County, Indiana.  She was the daughter of Bohemian immigrants and her father was in the clothing business.  By 1880 the Kraus family was living in Peru, Indiana.  The Kraus Home was on Main Street. Dora’s maternal grandfather was the owner of Peru flax mill.  The Kraus family was Jewish. Jewish people first settled in Miami County in the 1830’s and 1840’s.  By 1870 the Peru, Indiana Jewish community was large enough to form Or Zion Congregation and by 1890 Or Zion Congregation had grown big enough to support its own synagogue. It was located on the second floor of 65 North Broadway above a barber shop owned by an African American woman.  They had visiting Rabbis. Between 1880 and1910 many first and second generation successful Jewish businessmen were living in Peru. The Jewish Ladies Aide Society raised enough money to furnish a room in the new Peru Hospital in 1910 and by 1912 the Jewish Synagogue was serving a population of about 40.  By 1900 Dora’s father was managing his own bagging mill and her brother Milton was a lawyer.  Her brother Max would go on to become a congressman from the Miami County area.   Her brother Sydney would achieve the status of a rear admiral.  Dora married a jeweler named Max Gunzburger in 1908.   On January 30, 1917, Dora was elected as a member of the Executive Committee Board of Directors of the Miami County Red Cross.  She also served as president of the Peru Hospital board at one time and was very active in civic and social affairs in the community of Peru.  But most of the Peru Jewish population had moved on by 1930 and the synagogue no longer was operational so at some point Dora and Max moved to New York.  In 1935 Max was killed in an auto accident in New York.  In 1944, having spent her life achieving abundant goals and accomplishments, Dora died in Manhasset, New York.  Her body was returned to Indiana to be buried in Peru at Mount Hope Cemetery.

Researched, written and submitted by Mary Rohrer Dexter

Works Cited

“ ‘Indiana Marriages, 1811-2007," Database with Images, FamilySearch (Https:// : 21 January 2016), Miami > 1905-1909 Volume 12 > Image 30 of 146; County Clerk Offices, Indiana.”

“Max Gunsburger Killed in Auto Accident.” Peru Republican, 8 Nov. 1935.

“Miami County Indiana Jewish Population.” Historic Files, doi:

“Mrs. Max Gunzburger.” Peru Daily Tribune, 4 Oct. 1944.

“ ‘United States Census, 1870," Database with Images, FamilySearch (Https:// : 22 May 2014), Indiana > Howard > Centre Township, Kokomo > Image 7 of 56; Citing NARA Microfilm Publication M593 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, N.d.).”

“ ‘United States Census, 1880," Database with Images, FamilySearch (Https:// : 24 December 2015), Indiana > Miami > Peru > ED 120 > Image 41 of 67; Citing NARA Microfilm Publication T9 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, N.d.).”

“ ‘United States Census, 1900," Database with Images, FamilySearch (Https:// : 5 August 2014), Indiana > Miami > ED 103 Peru Township Peru City Ward 1 > Image 36 of 38; Citing NARA Microfilm Publication T623 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, N.d.).”

WWI Veterans | Women of WWII | American Red Cross | Influenza and the World War | Annals of Miami County

home page
Find us on FaceBook Veterans
Natural History Townships of Miami County IN