Henry Greenberg: Jewish Pioneer Manufacturer, Banker and Real Estate Broker & Benefactor of San Francisco

Henry Greenberg

Henry Greenberg of San Francisco

Henry Greenberg of San Francisco

Value Codes:  I – E – L – P

Henry Greenberg was born in Huttenbach, Bavaria in 1819.

His early education was in his home town.

As a young lad he came alone to the United States, landing in New York City.


Along the way 

For a while Henry Greenberg was a peddler in the Southern United States.

In 1854, he headed West by way of the Isthmus, landing in California and first settling in Placerville in the Gold Country.

Henry Greenberg opened his first place of business in what was known as the “Round Tent Store.”


San Francisco

Later, in partnership with Jonas Adler, he engaged in the wholesale clothing business in San Francisco.

Eventually he tired of the long hours of his store,  he undertook buying and selling in the real estate business instead.

He was also a partner in the banking firm of Greenberg, Erlenbach & Goldsmith with their bank and assay office on Sacramento and Leidesdorff streets.

Henry Greenberg was an original Director of the Pioneer and Mission Woolen Mills.



Henry Greenberg was an early member of Temple Emanu-El of San Francisco and served as a Trustee.

He resigned and joined the Ohabai Shalome Congregation where he was soon elected President.

As a supporters of the Hebrew Orphans’ Asylum, the Greenbergs originated a tradition of inviting all the orphans to their home for festivities, once being one of their wedding anniversaries.

Henry Greenberg was also a Director of the Eureka Benevolent Society.

Eureka Benevolent Society, Constitution in German, 1870

Eureka Benevolent Society, Constitution in German, 1870


Henry Greenberg married Miss Marie Bergtheil of New York in 1850.

Mrs Henry Greenberg, San Francisco

Mrs Henry Greenberg, San Francisco

Together they had five children: Samuel, Abraham, Max, Mrs. William Kaiser, and Mrs. Emma Hilp.


Henry Greenberg died in 1883.

“He was generous to a degree and an idealist. Among his fellow men he was honored because of his fine character, his keen mind, and was loved because of his boyish heart.

“In all the virtues – charitableness, kindness, and fairness – he was a Jew.” –Rabbi Martin Meyer, 1916



  • 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 Henry Greenberg Exhibit

Other family information and pictures would be greatly appreciated.