The Remarkable Pioneer Jewish Harris Family of the California Inland Empire and Los Angeles

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The Harris Family of the Inland Empire and More.

The Herschkowitzs, parents of the Harris Family, WS#2772

Morris & Johanna Herschkowitz, parents of the Remarkable Harris Family,
WS#2772

Values Codes I-H-E-L-P

The eleven children of Morris and Johanna Hirschkowitz were born in a small Polish town in the Province of Posen – then under control of Prussia.

 

Along the way

The first to arrive in the United States was Lewin Hirschkowitz who arrived in Los Angeles in 1853.

He changed his name to Leopold Harris, as did each of his siblings as soon as they arrived with the exception of his oldest brother, Lesser.

Leopold Harris became a clothing merchant, eventually developing Harris & Frank, one of the leading stores in Los Angeles.

[Click Here for Leopold Harris’ Los Angeles Story]

 

San Bernardino Area

Stella Harris married Rudolph Anker of San Bernardino, who operated a dry goods and clothing store.

Zara Harris married Maurice Diego Katz of San Bernardino.

Emma Harris married Simon Goldsmith who ran a country store in San Bernardino and later a shoe store in Santa Ana.

 

Herman Harris and Philip Harris worked for Simon Goldsmith in Santa Ana for a time and then opened their own clothing store in the same city.

Leo Harris established a country store in Lancaster in the Antalope Valley, along with a ranch and a freight business.

 

The Harris Department Stores

Harris Store, San Bernardino, 1997, #WS0102

Harris Store, San Bernardino, 1897,
#WS0102

In 1905, Herman, Philip and Arthur, with the help of Leopold opened the Harris Department Store of San Bernardino.

It quickly became the principal emporium of that city and remained under family ownership and management well into the 1970s.

Although Philip served as President of The Harris Company in the early years, he spent most of his time at the Redlands Harris Department Store.

The Redlands store was destroyed by fire in 1925.

The Harris family gathered.

Merchandise was transferred from their other stores into a building and the Redlands Harris Company was back in operation the very next day.

 

 

Herman Harris went on a buying trip to Europe where he met a charming woman who represented a button company.

Harris family legend says he was so “charmed” that he purchased enough buttons to keep The Harris Company stores supplied for most of the 20th Century.

 

The Harris Bros.: Philip, Leo, Arthur, Dr. Lessor Hirschkowitz, & Herman Harris, #ws1586

The Harris Bros.: Philip, Leo, Arthur, Dr. Lessor Hirschkowitz, & Herman Harris,
#ws1586

More Hirschkowitzs-now Harris’ arrived in the 1890s – cousins, uncles and aunts.

 

Lesser had received his medical degree in Germany under the name of Hirschkowitz, so he determined it was best not to change his name.

Dr. Lesser Hirschkowitz moved to San Francisco where he became a prominent medical practitioner.

He served three years as a member of the California State Board of Medical Examiners.

 

It is said that San Bernardino Country would have been better named Harris County – each Harris adding so much to the growth of the surrounding communities.

The Harris Family of the Inland Empire, 1909, #WS0989

The Harris Family of the Inland Empire, 1909,
#WS0989

 

 

Harris Department Store, San Bernardino, circa 1970, #WSPostcard Collection

Harris Department Store, San Bernardino, circa 1940,
#WSPostcard Collection

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

  • Harris Family; Issac and Rebecca Harris Family of San Francisco; San Francisco; Lipman, Rowena; 23/1
  • Harris Family; Remarkable Harris Family of Southern California; Part 1; Southern California; Gray, Hope Anker; 26/1
  • Harris Family; Remarkable Harris Family of Southern California; Parts 2 & 3; Southern California; Gray, Hope Anker; 26/2
  • Harris Family, Isaac Harris Family of Independence; Inyo County; California; Southern California; 19/1
  • Harris Family; Interview with Mr. Leslie Harris; San Bernadino; 1967; Norton Stern; 41/3
  • Harris Family and Dr. Lesser Hisrchkowitz; Norton Stern; 41/4
  • Harris, Dr. Henry, Pioneer Jews of San Francisco, Part One, A-L, Norton Stern, 41/1
  • Harris, Leslie; Interview with Harris Family; San Bernadino; 1967; Norton Stern; 41/3
  • Harris, Leopold. Leopold Harris: Men’s Clothier of Los Angeles.; 38/3&4.
  • Harris; Leopold & Herman Frank; Interview with Lawrence P. Frank; Beverly Hills; 1968; Norton Stern; 41/3
  • Harris; Leopold; Meeting with Mrs. Jospeph Kustiner, Nee Irma Katz, San Bernadino, 1967; Norton Stern; 41/3
  • Harris, Leopold; 183601910; Rabbi William M. Kramer; 42/2-3
  • Harris, Mrs. Leslie; Interview with Armand Lehman; San Bernadino; 1967; Norton Stern; 41/4
  • David Epstein is the curator for this Harris Family Exhibit.
  • Be sure to “Share” this on Facebook so more people know about our Virtual Museum.

(Please send us pictures of the individual and family pictures of any of the Harris family.)

 

 

 

 

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