Simon Greenwald: Early Jewish Pioneer & Founder of the Alaska Commercial Co.

Simon Greenwald

Simon Greenwald of the Alaska Commercial Co

Simon Greenwald of the Alaska Commercial Co

Value Codes:  I – E – L – P

Simon Greenwald was born in Rheinpfalz, Germany, in 1827.

Along the way . . . .

Simon Greenwald received his education in Germany before coming to the United States.

Brownsville, Tennessee was his first home in America.

In 1850, he, together with Dr. Ziele, cjournied together to California by sailing around The Horn and then settling in Sacramento, California.

There he entered into a merchandising partnership with Louis Sloss and M. Wasserman under the name of M. Wasserman & Co.


San Francisco

In 1860, the firm moved to San Francisco.

Upon the death of Mr. Wasserman, the firm’s name was changed to Louis Sloss & Co.

In 1865, the firm disolved and the Alaska Commercial Company with business, hunting and development rights in the newly acquired Territory of Alaska – and it rapidly developed to “vast proportions.”

Alaska Commercial Co Advertisement

Alaska Commercial Co Advertisement

Because of Simon Greenwald’s keen sense of values and integrity, he prospered, and soon became one of the great financiers of the West.

“In all his dealings, he stood out for the principle of live and let live, and as he was blessed with material success, he gave freely to all who were less fortunate and who had less of the world’s goods than he.” –Rabbi Martin Mayer, 1916


The Greenwalds were members of Temple Emanu-El of San Francisco.

Simon and Louisa Greenwald were active members in the Jewish Charitable Society.


Simon Greenwald was a member of the California Pioneer Society.


Simon Greenwald married Miss Louisa Levi of Cleveland, Ohio, in 1855.

Four children were born to them: Mrs. A. Heilbroner, Mrs. Leon Sloss, Mrs. Louis Greenbaum, and O. H. Greenwald.


Simon Greenwald died in 1880



  • 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 Simon Greenwald Exhibit

Other family information and pictures would be greatly appreciated.