Benedict Feigenbaum: Early Pioneer Jewish Merchant of Northern California & San Francisco

Benedict Feigenbaum

Benedict Feigenbaum of San Francisco

Benedict Feigenbaum of San Francisco

Values Codes I – H – E – L – P


Benedict Feigenbaum was born in Binswangen, Bavaria, Germany in 1834.

He was educated, in his home town, then for high school, in Augsberg

Benedict Feigenbaum arrived in the United States in New York City at the age of 19.


Along the way  

In New York City, Benedict Feigenbaum became a bookkeeper for a wholesale shoe firm, and afterwards for the wholesale clothing firm of D. H. Goodman & Co.



In 1855, Benedict Feigenbaum came to San Francisco.

He was immediately hired by Frank Wolzer, a merchant of Eureka, California.

One year later, Benedict Feigenbaum formed a partnership with Henry Rohner in a town called Eel River.

They also operated stores in Fortuna and Eureka until 1865.

Eel River Vintage Postcard

Eel River Vintage Postcard

San Francisco

In 1868, Benedict Feigenbaum moved permanently to San Francisco.

There he formed a partnership with his brother, Joseph Feigenbaum and Louis Schwartzchild.

Their firm was known as the California Notion & Toy Company.



Benedict Feigenbaum served as Treasurer of the Republican Party in California.



Benedict Feigenbaum was a member of Temple Emanu-El.



Benedict Feigenbaum was a Mason.



In 1866, the first wedding was held in Temple Emanu-El on Sutter Street in San Francisco.

At that time, Benedict Feigenbaum married Hannah Lowenthal of Frankfort am Main.

Rev. Dr. Elkan Cohn performed the ceremony.

Their two sons were Lionel B. Feigenbaum who married Gertrude Napthaly, and Julius Feigenbaum who married Rose Stettheimer of New York.

Both sons continued running the California Notion & Toy Company in later years.


Benedict Feigenbaum died in 1896



  • The Jews of San Francisco, by Martin A. Meyer, Ph.D., Emanu-El, San Francisco, June 1916.
  • Visions of Reform, Congregation Emanu-El and the Jews of San Francisco, 1849- – 1999, Fred Rosenbaum, Judah L. Magnus Museum, Berkeley, CA, 2000.

David Epstein is the Curator for this Benedict Feigenbaum Exhibit

Other family information and pictures would be greatly appreciated.