George Adolph Reich, Pioneer Pharmacist of San Bernardino

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George Adolph Reich

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George Adolph Reich was born in 1846 in Wroclaw, Poland, occupied by Prussia and then known as Breslau.

He graduated from the medical department of the University of Breslau in 1869.


George Reich arrived in America in 1870 and headed to San Francisco via the Panama route.



That same year, 1870, we find George Reich in San Bernardino working at the drugstore of Maurice A. Franklin, an English Jewish immigrant.

By the end of the year he was a partner in the pharmacy which was known as the  “San Bernadino Drug Store, Franklin & Reich, Proprietors.”

Due to illness, the partnership with Franklin disolved in 1871, with George Reich carrying on until 1875.

His new advertisements in the San Bernardino Guardian told of his “drugs, medicines, chemicals, patent medicines, perfumery, toilet articles and gifts of all kinds – warranted to be of the best quality and available at very low figures.”

In addition Reich carried the best French brandy, whiskey, London Club, port, etc


George Reich became a citizen in 1871 at the district court of San Bernardino.



In 1870 George Reich was elected Secretary of the local turnverin, the German sports club. The President was Siegmund Bergel and Vice President was Marcus Katz, both Jews prominent local Jews.



George Reich married Elizabeth Chissman in 1882


George Reich left for San Francisco in 1875 where he received his M.D. from the University of California. He practiced medicine in San Francisco until 1882 to Tacoma and then Seattle Washington


“The numerous friends of our genial friend Mr. George A. Reich will deeply regret that he leaves us today for San Francisco, in which city he will settle permanently, if he does not return to Europe. Mr. Reich both in business and society has achieved a high reputation here as an honorable business­man and an accomplished and clever gentleman. We regret his loss personally, and we know that everyone whom he has met does so too.,’  –San Bernardino Guardian


Dr. George A. Reich died in 1896 in Seattle Washington.

Curator’s Note: When Dr. Reich gave material in 1893 for his biographical material in An Illustrated History of the State of Washington by H.K. Hines, he omitted any mention of his five years in San Bernardino. The time between his arrival in American and arrival in San Francisco was simply left out.

A mystery!


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

  • Reich, George Albert; From a Pharmacist in San Bernardino to a Physician in Seattle; Seattle; Stern, Norton B.; 18/2

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