Samuel Hart, Jewish Pioneer Businessman of San Francisco and the Gold Country

Samuel Hart

Samuel Hart, San Francisco

Samuel Hart, San Francisco

Value Codes:  I – E – L – P

Samuel Hart was born in Austria in 1837.

At the age of 18, Samuel Hart traveled to California by sailing around the Horn.


Along the way . . . .

He first settled in Sacramento, California where he was engaged in the merchantile business.

At the outbreak of the American Civil War, Samuel Hart went to Mexico where, for several years, he was a mine superintendent.


San Francisco

Upon returning to San Francisco, Samuel Hart established a wholesale and retail produce business.

At the same time he retained his mining interests in Nevada and Arizona.

Samuel Hart served as a Director of the Eureka Consolidated Mine of Eureka, Nevada.

For many years he had large land holdings in Ione, California, in Amador County in the Gold Country.

Main Street Ione, CA, 1890, Vintage Postcard

Main Street Ione, CA, 1890, Vintage Postcard

His prosperity in business allowed him to retire at the age of 44, in 1881


Samuel Hart was a faithful member of Temple Emanu-El in San Francisco.

“Charitable to a great degree, a kindly disposition, always jolly and full of good cheer to all he came in contact with.”  –Rabbi Martin Meyer, 1916


Samuel Hart married Johanna Kanitz in 1865.

Together they had three children, Benno, Mrs. Charles Heymann, and Julian.


Samuel Hart died in 1899.



  • The Jews of San Francisco, by Martin A. Meyer, Ph.D., Emanu-El, San Francisco, June 1916.

David Epstein is the Curator for this Samuel Hart Exhibit

Other family information and pictures would be greatly appreciated. 


Jews in the News

–About this time–

Conscience Money

  In Nevada City, California — 1870

Nevada City — Three of our Jewish merchants, received each an envelope from Carson, Nevada, containing a dollar greenback, but no letter or information whatever. The conjecture is that the sender formerly lived in Nevada City and took advantage of the simplicity of these three merchants, and, when suffering from an attack of kleptomania, carried away more than was strictly honest. The greenbacks were conscience money, probably. The currency is pronounced good.

—The Hebrew, San Francisco, May 13, 1870, WSJH Vol. 10, #1.