The Hochheimer Family
Values Codes I-E-L
The Hochheimers boys were born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania of German descent.
Moses Hochheimer was born in 1836.
Amiel Hochheimer was born in 1849
Their sisters were Mattie (later, Mrs. Julian Brock) and Bertha (later, Mrs. Sam Blum)
Along the way . . .
In 1852, the Hochheimer family set out for California, crossing the Isthmus of Panama, settling in the San Juaquin Valley.
Moses and Amiel Hochheimer went to school in Stockton, CA.
In the 1870s, the brothers worked for Eppinger & Co., General Merchandise and Wheat, in Dixon.
The Business . . .
In 1876, Moses Hochheimer, with William Johnson, opened a store in Willows – even before the town was surveyed.
Amiel Hochheimer bought out Johnson’s share of the store, which then became Hochheimer’s & Co., in 1879.
In 1890, the Hochheimers bought their former employer, grain merchant, Eppinger & Co.
Malcolm Brock, the Hochheimers’ nephew, joined the business in 1894.
In 1900, they bought another store from Otto Belau and Dave Hirshfeld in Bakersfield for $20,000.
Fire struck their Willows store, as well as other businesses in 1919. Six weeks later, Hochheimers & Co. was up and running again in a temporary location.
By 1920, the new Bakersfield location at 20th and Chester was open for business.
In 1922, the rice crop failure affected many of their credit customers, causing their Willows store to close.
Malcolm Brock, who had been in Alaska, returned to help reorganize the troubled family business.
He bought Hochheimers & Co. with the approval of its creditors, and renamed the store, Brock’s.
Brock’s eventually became part of the Gottschalk’s Department Store chain.
In 1877, Moses Hochheimer was named first Postmaster of Germantown, now Artois.
In later years he was a member of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce.
Between 1896 & 1916, Amiel Hochheimer was a delegate to Republican National Convention from California.
In 1897, Amiel Hochheimer chaired a creamery association.
Moses Hochheimer married Hattie Crawford
Moses Hochheimer died in 1911
Amiel Hochheimer married Bertha Blum
They had 4 children, three boys and a daughter: Ira, Monroe, and Jacob (Jack). Daughter Elsie became Mrs. Brownstein, of Los Angeles.
The boys entered the family business.
Amiel Hochhmeimer died in 1928.
He is interned at the Home of Peace Cemetery, Temple Emanu-El Mausoleum, in Colma, California
Sam Blum of San Francisco, married Bertha Hochheimer
He was in the merchantile business and a banker in Cordova, Alaska.
Julian Brock married Mattie Hochheimer
He was a partner in Cohn & Brock, retail clothing store in San Francisco.
Malcom Brock was born in 1878.
His first full-time job was working for his uncles Moses and Amiel Hochheimer in Willows in 1894.
1906, Malcom Brock went to San Francisco to look into construction possibilities.
1909, he went to Cordova, Alaska to manage uncle Sam Blum’s Blum, O’Neill – General Merchandise Company and the First Bank of Cordova.
Malcom Brock became partner and President.
In 1922, Malcom Brock returned to Bakersfield to help rescue Hochheimer & Co.
He re-named the store – Brocks.
For more information on the Hochheimers, see the following:
- We Brought Sinai to San Joaquin, The Story of the Jews of Kern County, by Shirley Ann Newman, Temple Beth El, Bakersfield, CA 1998.
- Pioneer Merchants of Tulare County, California, by Annie R. Mitchell, WSJH, Vol. 2, Issue #3, 1970.
- “Jewish Businessmen of the Counties of Fresno, Tulare & Kern Counties,” from Memorial and Biographical History of the Counties of Fresno, Tulare & Kern, California, 1891, WSJH, V34, #4, 2002
Regina Merwin is Curator of this Hochheimer Exhibit.
Any additional information or pictures would be appreciated.
The plaque below is in Bakersfield, California, in Kern County. Marker is at the intersection of 1918 Chester Avenue and 20th Street,
“This site was deeded by Col Thomas Baker to Agnes Stine in 1871. Dave Hirshfeld ran the Pioneer Store here in 1899. Succeeded by Otto Belau in the same year. In 1904 the business was sold to Hochheimer and Co. After the 1919 fire the structure was rebuilt in 1920. In 1924 the property became Brock’s Department Store, the present building was modernized following the earthquakes of 1952.” –Erected 1970 by Kern County Historical Society.