Bernard Sinsheimer, Early Jewish Pioneer Merchant of San Luis Obispo, California

Bernhard Sinsheimer

Values Codes: I-H-E-L-P


Bernhard Sinsheimer was born in 1848, at Burstadt, province of Daerstadt, Germany, son of Simon and Claire Sinsheimer, Simon’s second wife.

Two of his brothers, Aaron (1838) and Henry (1854, were also born in Burstad.


Along the Way . . . .

Bernhard Sinsheimer came to the United States and was naturalized in Vicksburg, Mississippi, in 1874.


San Luis Obispo

Bernhard Sinsheimer came to San Luis Obispo in late 1874.

He was employed as a clerk in the general merchandise firm of Pollard & Beebee for two years.

Bernhard Sinsheimer and his brother, Henry, purchased the business in 1876.

Bernhard Sinsheimer ran the business, Sinsheimer Brothers, while Henry acted as its purchasing agent in San Francisco.

Sinsheimer Bros. Adv. in The Daily Republic, San Luis Obispo, 1889

Sinsheimer Bros. Adv. in The Daily Republic, San Luis Obispo, 1889

In 1884, Sinsheimer Brothers purchased a lot on the east side of Monterey Street at Rose Alley, building a brick store 40 feet wide and 100 feet in depth with an iron front.

Today, the Sinsheimer Building is regarded as one of the best preserved structures of the iron front style in the nation.

Sinsheimer ^Sinsheimer's Bros. Store-San Louis Obispo,CA [1920's] #WS1656-^

Sinsheimer’s Bros. Store-San Louis Obispo,CA [1920’s] #WS1656

In 1898, Bernhard and Henry desolved their partnership.

Bernhard Sinsheimer left San Luis Obispo to make his home in San Francisco where he became a grain broker.

With his son, Silas, Berhard Sinshimer established the firm of Sinsheimer and Company, San Francisco, brokers of grain and beans during the pre-World War I period.


His older brother Aaron (A.Z.) Simsheimer [Click Here] reorganized and incorporated the San Luis Obisbo business as full owner, but retained the name, Sinsheimer Brothers.



Bernhard Sinsheimer was vice-President of the First National Bank of San Luis Obispo.

He also served as a Town Trustee.



In San Francisco, Bernhard Sinshimer was a member of Temple Emanu-El.

He was known as a generous contributor to Jewish causes, including the Federation of Jewish Charities of San Francisco.



Bernhard Sinsheimer was an officer in the San Francisco Knights of Pythias.

He was a member of the Concordia Club in San Francisco.



Bernhard Simsheimer married Miss Fannie Stone in San Francisco, in 1881.

Mrs. Bernhard Sinsheimer (Nee)Fannie Stone ^San Francisco,CA [1881's, WS1966

Mrs. Bernhard Sinsheimer (Nee)Fannie Stone, San Francisco,CA 1881’s,

Together they had two children; Silas and Helen.


Berhard Sinsheimer died in 1928.


For more information see the following Issue of Western States Jewish History:

  • The Sinsheimers of San Luis Obispo, by Norton B. Stern and William M. Kramer, WSJH, Vol. 6, Issue 1, 1973.


David Epstein is Curator for this Bernhard Sinsheimer Exhibit.

Family Pictures and addition and corrections are graciously accepted.

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