D. H. Ramsey Library Special Collections and University Archives

Joseph Dave Family Papers

Summary Information

UNC Asheville Special Collections and University Archives
Joseph Dave Family Papers
0.1 Linear feet
Located in Special Collections, Row 6, Section 1.

Joseph Dave was the founder of Dave Steel Company, Inc., Asheville, North Carolina. The Joseph Dave Family Papers are related to the creation of Dave Steel Company, Inc. and to the personal life of Joseph Dave and his immediate family. Documents, letters, ephemera, newspaper clippings, biographies, and architectural details related to Dave's long career as a civil engineer are included in the papers. The small body of work represented in this donation is the foundation for a proposed later donation that will represent the scope and scale of Joseph Dave and his family's many contributions to the built environment and to the social and economic well-being of Asheville, NC through the years.

Dave Steel Company, Inc. is an Asheville manufacturing and construction business has has been a family business since 1929. Founded in January of 1929 by Joseph Dave at the Roberts Street and Clingman Avenue location, the company expanded and later moved to Meadow Road in 1987. Dave Steel currently employees approximately 90 workers and is managed by Joseph Dave's grandson Jeffrey Dave who succeeded his father, Jerry Dave, who now maintains a presence in the company as the Chairman of the Board.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item]; Joseph Dave Family Papers, D.H. Ramsey Library Special Collections, University of North Carolina at Asheville 28804

Biographical Note

Joseph Dave was born in Kovno, Lithuania [Poland] on August 15, 1897. His parents immigrated to the United States in 1907 and settled in Durham, North Carolina. There were five children. His brother, Hyman and three sisters. Joseph Dave's original name was Yosel Teivo but due to a miscommunication during the immigration process, his records were changed to "Joseph Dave."

He was a graduate of Durham High School (1916) and following graduation he entered Trinity College, now known as Duke University. In the fall of 1917 he entered the University of Cincinnati Engineering co-op program and following a brief illness and several temporary employments, he re-enrolled in the Cincinnati program and graduated with a degree in civil engineering in 1923. His employment during the years of his formal training included work with the American Tobacco Company, the Bull Durham Tobacco Company and the B&O Railroad and New York Central Railroad, the City of Cincinnati Park Commission, a powerhouse construction project in Louisville, Kentucky and as an engineer for the Corp of Engineers in the US Army.

Following graduation in 1923, Joseph Dave was hired by Don S. Elias, president of Southern Steel & Cement Company in Asheville. Both had attended Trinity College and found much in common. In 1923 he was also approached by S. Sternberg with an offer to work for Sternberg's small steel company, Sternberg & Company. After negotiation with Mr. Elias, Dave committed to work for Sternberg and to become his manager of sales and production. Not long after the amicable transfer, Mr. Sternberg purchased the steel part of the Elias business. The negotiations and transfer benefited all parties.

In Asheville Joseph Dave was active in civic affairs. His activities included work with the Asheville Lions Club, serving as its President in 1932 and work with the Asheville Chamber of Commerce, also serving as the Director and Officer of the Chamber. He served as President of the Asheville Orthopedic Association and a member of the Board of Trustees for Asheville-Biltmore College. He was a member and a director of the Temple Beth-Ha-Tephila and supported the Salvation Army and the YMCA. Locally he also established the Joseph Dave Foundation, which originally promoted grants to children of employees for furthering their education and later was broadened to support religious and educational institutions.

In Cincinnati, Dave was on the Board of Directors of the Rockdale Temple and the Glen Manor Home for the Aged and served on the Board of Directors for the Jewish Hospital and the Jewish Community Center of Cincinnati. He was also on the Board of Governors of the Hebrew Union College Jewish Institute of Religion and served as an honorary member until his death in 1983.

In regard to his profession, he was active in the Engineers Society in Cincinnati and in North Carolina and was a registered engineer in North Carolina and a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers. He won the distinguished award from the College of Engineering at the University of Cincinnati and was a member of the McMicken Society of the University of Cincinnati. He served as the Director of the American Institute of Steel Construction and also was co-founder of the Virginia-Carolinas Structural Steel Fabricators Association and co-founder of the Ohio Steel Fabricators Association.

He married Eva Rosenstein and they had two sons, Bernard and Jerome.

Administrative Information

Publication Information

UNC Asheville Special Collections and University Archives

Ramsey Library, CPO # 1500
One University Heights
Asheville, North Carolina, 28804-8504


No restrictions. Any display, publication, or public use must credit the D.H. Ramsey Library Special Collections, University of North Carolina at Asheville. Copyright retained by the creators of certain items in the collection, or their descendents, as stipulated by United States copyright law.


At this time, no accruals are anticipated.


Jerome Dave


Jan Schochet ; Sharon Fahrer ; History@Hand

Processing Information

Originally processed by Special Collections staff, 2005, 2012. Reprocessed with new finding aid by Jess Furst, December 2013.

Physical Description

Includes documents, correspondence, ephemera, and clippings.

Subject Keywords

Dave Steel Company, Inc. ; Joseph Dave ; Hyman Dave ; Jerry Dave ; Jeffrey Dave ; Jerome Dave ; small business ; steel industry

Collection Inventory

Folder 1

Dave Steel Company 75th Anniversary Celebration program

Biographical outline of Joseph Dave

Newspaper clipping, obituary notice [photocopy]: Asheville-Citizen Times, n.d. "Joseph Dave Dies; Steel Firm Founder."

"Life and Career of Joseph Dave." Prepared by Jerome Dave, June 19, 1997.

Letter to Jacob R. Marcus, Director of Archives, American Jewish Archives, Clifton Avenue, Cincinnati, Ohio, from Joseph Dave. May 14, 1975. Refers to the interview taken by the Jewish Archives and contains corrections and additions.

"Report to Richard Slosman [Hyman Dave's grandson] Great-Grandfather and Great-Grandmother on Your Grandpa Hyman Dave and Uncle Joe's Side of the Family," by Joseph Dave. [1975]

Newsletter: WCI Leadership for Employers, "Values are at the Heart of the Organization, October 2004, No 738. [Article about Dave Steel Company's celebration of 75th anniversary.]

[Loose advertisement. Pictorial record not included.] "We are pleased to send you this pictorial record in celebration of the 25th and 80th anniversaries of our companies. We hope that you will find it of interest." Dave Steel Company, Asheville, N.C. The Oregonia Bridge Company, Lebanon, Ohio.

Newspaper clipping [photocopy]: "Retirees Show Company Loyalty," Paul Johnson for the Asheville Citizen Times, Sunday November 18, 1990.

Newspaper clipping [photocopy]: "Dave Steel completes modernization," Paul Johnson for the Asheville Citizen Times, Sunday June 27, 1993.

Newspaper clipping [photocopy]: "Dave Steel completes modernization," Debbie Tansimore for the Blue Ridge Business Journal, August 1993, issue 9, p. 4, 6.

Newspaper clipping [photocopy]: "Still in the business after three retirements," Nancy Marlowe for the Asheville Citizen Times, Tuesday, Dec. 7, 1993. [Article about Hyman Dave and his work with the Asheville Downtown City Club.]

Newspaper clipping: "The "E" ticket, Local factory did its very best for war effort," Paul Johnson for the Asheville Citizen Times, June 1994.

Newspaper clipping: "Factory jobs at the hub, Manufacturing jobs have positive ripple effect on the economy," Tim Reid for the Asheville Citizen Times, Sunday, February 16, 1997.

Newspaper clipping: "Ten Great Things About A-B Tech," Asheville Citizen Times, Sunday, August 22, 1999. [Endorsement of A-B Tech by Jerry Dave and others.]

Newspaper clipping: "My family owes a lot to the generosity of Joseph Dave," Bill Fishburne for the Asheville Citizen-Times, Monday, January 5, 2004.

[Article]: "Family Business Profile, Dave Steel Company: Building the Region for 73 Years." [2002] Source unknown.

"High Honor Bestowed On Joseph Dave" ; bio (speech?) from when Dave was awarded the certificate for civic and charitable contributions by the National Fraternity Sigma Alpha Mu

Conditions Governing Use note

This item is not to be reproduced digitally but may be incorporated into a biography.

Newspaper clipping: "New rules to work by, Employers struggle to meet ergonomic standards," Paul Clark for the Asheville Citizen-Times, January 14, 2001.

"Dave Steel Company, Inc., a family business for 73 years [76 years], founded January, 1929 Asheville, N.C. by Joseph Dave." [two-page history of Dave Steel Company, dated January 9, 2005]