Lionel and Barron, the Jacobs Brothers of Tucson, Arizona: Jewish Merchants & Bankers

Lionel and Barron, the Jacobs Brothers of Tucson

Values Codes I-E-L-P


Lionel Mark Jacob and, Barron Jacobs were sons of Mark Israel Jacobs.

Lionel Jacobs was born in 1841 or 1843 in Stockport, England.

His brother, Barron Jacobs, was born there in 1846.

They arrived in Baltimore, Maryland in the mid-1840s with their parents, Mark Israel Jacobs and Hannah Soloman Jacobs, with 5 of their 10 siblings.


Along the Way . . . . 

The Mark Jacobs family settled in San Diego 1851, and later in San Bernardino, California.

Mark Jacobs supported his family with general merchandising and, eventually, banking.



In 1867, sent by father, Lionel and Barron Jacobs “arrived in Tucson, with a wagon load of canned goods and commodities after a trip of nearly two months –  from San Bernardino.

Lionel Jacobs of Tucson, Arizona. #ws1251

Lionel Jacobs of Tucson, Arizona.

They rented an empty store and set up shop under their father’s name: Mark I. Jacobs Co


In 1868, father Mark Jacobs moved from San Bernardino to San Francisco in order to better supply the Tucson store.

Merchandise was shipped by ocean and river steamers to Yuma via the Colorado River and then overland by mule train freight wagon to Tucson – a trip that took four months.


The Tucson store also became a money exchange and a loan company.

In 1871,  Mark I. Jacobs retired and the firm became L.M. Jacobs & Co.

In 1879 Lionel and Barron Jacobs established the Pima County Bank: the first banking institution in Tucson.

It was the ancestor of the 1st National Bank, the Bank of Tucson, the Consolidated Bank of Tucson and the present Valley National Bank.



Lionel Barron:

— Served as Chairman of the Pima County Board of Supervisors.

— Served in the Seventh Territorial Legislature

— Served on the Tucson City Council

— Served as Territorial Treasurer

— Involved with the Tucson Literary Society, 1873

Charter Member of the Arizona Social Club

President of the Owls Club


Barron Jacobs:

Barron Jacobs of Tucson, Arizona. #WS49

Barron Jacobs of Tucson, Arizona.

— Served as Territorial Treasurer.

— Member of the Tucson Literary Society, 1873

Charter Member of the Arizona Social Club

President of the Owls Club

Both brothers were socially involved in Tucson and hosted many functions at the Barron’s “Jacobs’ Mansion.”



Lionel Jacobs married Bertha Frank circa 1911.

He was 69 at the time.

Lionel’s daughter, Hilda, married Brigadier General Charles B. Drake USA Chief, Motor Transport Corps, War Dept. WWI.


Barron Jacobs married Henrietta “Yetta” Katz in the early 1870s, and divorced shortly.

Barron Jacobs married Hilda Ellen Jacobs in 1876.


Lionel Jacobs passed away in 1922 and was buried in the Hills of Eternity Memorial Park in Colma, California

Barron Jacobs passed away in 1936, in Washington DC,  where his daughter lived.

The Jacobs' Mansion in Tucson, Arizona. #WS1248

The Jacobs’ Mansion in Tucson, Arizona.



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

  • Jacobs Brother; Jacobs Brothers; Arizona Bankers; 1890; Arizona; 19/1
  • Jacobs Family; Mark I. Jacobs Family: A Discursive Overview; San Diego; Golden, Richard L. & Arlene A.; 13/2
  • Jacobs, Mark Israel and his Successful Family; California and Arizona; 1816-1894; Norton Stern; 41/4


Photo Gallery  [More photos always welcomed]


To enlarge pictures, simply click on them.

Regina Merwin is Curator of this Jacobs Brothers Exhibit.