Herman M. Jacobs, Early Jewish Pioneer Merchant of Tehachapi & Mojave

Herman M. Jacobs

Values Codes: I-E-L


“Herman Jacobs had a reputation for fair dealing and trustworthiness.

“Early freighters from mines in neighboring Goler and Randsburg would deliver their gold (as much as $2,000) to Jacobs, who would then ship the metal to the San Francisco Mint.”    –His Obituary


Herman M. Jacobs was born circa 1835 in either Germany or Poland, probably in an area like Puson that had recently been taken over by Prussia.


Herman Jacobs arrived in the United States in 1858.


Herman Jacobs was naturalized in 1868 in Storey County, Nevada District; its county seat being Virginia City.


Along the Way . . .

Herman Jacobs was a general merchandise store owner in Virginia City, Nevada; Bodie, Sacramento, San Francisco and Fresno California.


The Antelope Valley

Herman Jacobs arrived in Tehachapi in the Antelope Valley in Southern California.

There he opened his dry goods store: H. M. Jacobs General Merchandise.

By opening his second store, Herman Jacobs was probably the first merchant to own a chain of stores in the greater Antelope Valley.


Herman Jacob's Store

Herman Jacob’s Store in Mojave



Herman Jacobs also served as a Notary Public and worked with people throughout the Valley, especially helping people with their wills.


Later H. M. Jacobs Building and Store (Drawing)

Later H. M. Jacobs Building and Store in Tahachapi (Old Newspaper Drawing)



Since there were no synagogues in the Tehachapi or the greater Antelope Valley at this time, he would travel north to Bakersfield (very close) or by train (2-3 hours) south to Los Angeles.



In 1873, Herman Jacobs married Minna Kirschbraun (or Kirschbaum) in Carson City, Nevada.

Together they had two children: Esther and Lizzie.


Herman Jacobs passed away in 1912 and was buried in the Hills of Eternity Memorial Park in Colma, just South of San Francisco.

Minna Jacobs is probably buried in Omaha, Nebraska, where she moved after Jacob’s death.



Old newspapers, family diaries and earlier publications.

Norma Gurba-Kleit is our curator for this Herman M. Jacob Exhibit