Luisa Acompara

By John R. Vollaro   September 1994

Luisa Acompara Vollaro was born March 14, 1873 to Juliano Acompara and Theresa Criscuolo Acompara. Her family lived in the town of Agerola Italy, near Naples. When she was 20 years old she married Andrea Vollaro from the nearby town of Gragnano. In August of 1893, shortly after their marriage, they emigrated to the United States and settled in Brooklyn NY. Her first two children died at birth or shortly after. She went on to raise 6 healthy children through the years.

The family was poor initially but the children all went to work at an early age and brought home their pay. Luisa was frugal and she kept tight control of the family finances. She pooled the incomes to make ends meet and managed to make a number of shrewd investments in the stock market. By the time the market crashed in 1929, she had amassed a sizable fortune of more than $250,000 only to see it suddenly disappear. She held on to the better investments through the depression years and they recovered about 20 percent of their peak value.

Luisa exemplified the strong will and resolve of many of the emigrants who persevered through hard times to survive and prosper in a new world of their own making. She died October 27, 1935 in Brooklyn at the age of 62. She was survived by her husband Andrea and their 6 children, Charles, Joseph, John, Nina, Elizabeth and Andrew.

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