Values Codes I-E-L
Frank Berman was born in the 1870s in Russia.
Along the way . . . .
Frank Berman came to America in 1908, settling for a while in the Boston area.
He came to California in 1910, seeking a chance to open his own tailor shop.
Rents being too high in San Francisco, Frank Berman boarded a train heading south and got off in a town named Coalinga, 70 miles southwest of Fresno.
A cloudburst washed out the railroad tracks in the area, forcing Frank Berman to wait around Coalinga.
He rented a large room at the Kettleman Apartments in downtown Coaliga, at a far lower price than San Francisco, and opened his tailor shop.
By the early 1920s, Frank Berman, Tailor had grown to Frank Berman, Dry Goods & Notions, and still later, Berman’s Department Store.
Frank Berman had purchased the Webb Building at the corner of 5th and Elm Avenue for his dry goods store.
Frank Berman was a member of Congregation Beth Israel of Fresno.
Frank Berman married Tillie Zwang in 1913.
Tiiie Zwang was the sister of another early Coalinga Jewish settler, Jacob Zwang, who was a Jewish rancher and meat purveyor.
Together they had two children, the one son named Alfred, born in 1914.
Values Codes: I-E-L-P
Alfred Berman eventually became the owner-operator of Berman’s Department Store purchasing it from his father in 1959 – and continuing to operate it until 1974.
Alfred Berman was an active member of the Coaliga Chamber of Commerce.
Alfred Berman was a member of Congregation Beth Israel in Fresno
Alfred Berman was a member of the Elks Lodge and the Rotary Club in Coalinga.
He was also a member of the Horned Toad Derby Association.
Alfred Berman married Evelyn.
Together they had two sons; Mark and Jerold.
Alfred Berman died in 2015.
For more information check the following issue of Western States Jewish History:
- Frank Berman: Leading Merchant of Coalinga, California, by Dr. Norton Stern, WSJH, Vol. 41, Issue #4.
David Epstein is the Curator for this Berman Family Exhibit
Other family information and pictures would be greatly appreciated.
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