Weaving Women's Words Baltimore Stories
Elsie Miller Legum

We were taught togetherness, family unity, and love. In my parents' will, they said, "We're not leaving any money to our children or grandchildren. Instead, it's going to be in trust for all the family." We have 68 at our seders—brothers, sisters, children, grandchildren. Before the seder starts, my brother makes a tribute to my parents, who made this possible. And when I'm no longer here, I know and feel very strongly that my children absolutely will continue that.

Elsie Miller Legum

Infused with the centrality of family unity from an early age, Elsie Miller Legum was born the fifth of eleven children in 1915 in West Baltimore. At age 17, shortly after graduating from Western High School, Elsie eloped with Sidney Miller. She continued to live at home and date other boys until her "legitimate wedding" was openly celebrated over two years later. For many years, Elsie was kept busy by their four daughters, Phyllis, Carole, Joan and Margie, a large social circle, and volunteer work for many Jewish organizations. After the devastating loss of her husband, Elsie created a new life for herself, becoming the chief buyer for Miller Brothers, her family's women's clothing business. A unique family trust established by her parents ensures extended family presence at Passover seders, Hanukkah celebrations and an annual vacation/reunion. Elsie enjoyed a wonderful marriage to Aubrey Legum for over 20 years and, in the face of recent health challenges, continues to relish time with her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.


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© 2004 Jewish Women's Archive. Photograph by Joan Roth