Arnold Friedberger Family: Early Jewish Pioneer Merchants in Stockton and the Gold Country of California

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Arnold Friedberger

Values Codes: I-E- L-P

 

Arnold Friedberger was born in Laupheim, Germany, in 1830.

 

Along the way . . .

In 1848, Arnold Friedberger went to Paris to learn the millinery trade.

In 1852, he headed to the United States after hearing about the Gold Rush in California.

 

California Gold Country

Around 1857, Arnold Friedberger headed West, where he settled in California.

First, he opened a general merchandise store in Sheep Ranch.

Then, he opened another store in San Andreas.

In 1882, Arnold Friedberger and his family moved to Stockton.

In 1889, Arnold Friedberger  sold his stores in Sheep Ranch and San Andreas.

 

He opened a new, larger store at Sacramento and Elm Streets in Lodi with his brother-in-law, M.L. Kaiser.

They called it Friedberger & Kaiser General Store The store remained at this location until 1935.

 

Arnold Friedberger spoke English and German, which was helpful for talking with the German farmers who had moved to the area from North Dakota.

Friedberger also worked as a Wells Fargo agent in Sheep Ranch, San Andreas and Lodi, even riding shotgun on the stage.

He invested in several mining operations with other businessmen, including William Randolph Hearst’s father.

 

Community

Lotta Kaiser Friedberger helped found the Women’s Benevolent Society in Stockton, California.

 

Fraternal

Arnold Friedberger was a member of the San Andreas Lodge of the Masons, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Stockton Royal Arch Masons and the Mokelumne Hill Encampment of the Odd Fellows.

 

Family

In 1867, Arnold Friedberger married Lotta Kaiser.

Together they had six children: Leo (1869-1950), Alexander (1870-1953), Maurice (1871-1959), Joseph (1873-1896), Raphy “Ray” (1877-1936) and William (1886-1978).

 

Dr. William Friedberger ran the San Joaquin County General Hospital from 1912-1942.

Alexander Friedberger and George Kaiser (M.L.’s son) took over the management of the family’s general store in 1901.

In 1935, Alex relocated the store to 6 N. School Street.  His daughter, Irma, helped turn the general merchandise store into a women’s clothing store.

 

Leo Friedberger ran a general store in Clements.

Maurice and Ray Friedberger owned a jewelry store in Stockton.

Joe Friedberger owned a stationery store in Lodi.

 

Arnold Friedberger died in 1908.

Lotta Kaiser Friedberger died in 1909.

They are interred in Stockton Woodland Mausoleum in Stockton, California.

 

Legacy

The Friedberger Memorial Fountain and park across from the Calavaras County Building in San Andreas is located where Friedberger’s store used to be.

The Arnold & Lotta Friedberger Fountain in San Andreas, California, #WS2518 #WS2518

The Arnold & Lotta Friedberger Fountain in San Andreas, California,
#WS2518
#WS2518

The Friedberger Education Fund helps local students with scholarships.

 

More information can be found in the following issue of Western States Jewish History:

  • Stern, Norton B.  Report on an interview with Dr. William Friedberger: 153 E. Blain Ave., Stockton, California, November 24th and 25th, 1966.  Western States Jewish History v.41 no.4, Spring 2009, pp.799-800.

Other Sources

  • Friedberger Education Fund. http://www.lincolnhigh.org/UserFiles/Servers/Server_5796227/File/LincolnHigh/2014-15%20Ed%20Planning/FRIEDBERGER%20EDUCATION%20FUND.pdf
  • Lea, Ralph and Kennedy, Christi.  Lasting Impression: Friedberger family left their mark on Lodi. Lodi News Sentinel. October 9, 2002.  https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=2245&dat=20021019&id=Udk_AAAAIBAJ&sjid=9yAGAAAAIBAJ&pg=7299,5820437&hl=en

Samantha Silver is Curator of this Friedberger Exhibit.

We need family pictures if any are available.

 

 

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