The Five Jacoby Brothers: Pioneer Jewish Merchants of Los Angeles

The Five Jacoby Brothers

Jacoby Bros. Clothing Store, Spring St., Los Angeles, 1894

Value Codes: I-E-L-P


The Jacoby family came from Loebau, Prussia, a territory of Poland then controlled by Prussia.

They arrived in the United States at different times during the 1870’s

Isaac N. Jacoby

Nathan, Jacoby

Charles Jacoby

Jacoby Bros Store and Crew, 1890, Los Angeles

Abraham Jacoby

Lessor Jacoby

Another brother, Herman, also came to California but settled in Wilmington as Postmaster.



The five Jacoby brothers started business in Los Angeles in 1878 by joining with Leopold Harris and buying out Herman W. Hellman’s store.

Hellman left after 5 years and the firm became The Jacoby Brothers and flourished well into the first third of the 20th Century.


Jacoby Bros. sold a full line of clothing, furnishing goods, boots, shoes, hats, etc. Their business was operated at both wholesale and retail levels.

They had up to three traveling salesmen and thirty in the store.

They soon had to expand to larger and larger locations, both for wholesale and retail locations.

Isaac N. Jacoby, #WS0556

Isaac N. Jacoby,

Courtesy and accommodation were their trademark.

Jacoby Bros. kept growing until is was one of the largest retail and wholesale companies in Los Angeles.

In the early-1930’s it sold out to David May of the May Company of St. Louis.

This occured a few years after Hamburgers Department Store was also sold to the May Co. in the mid-1920s.



Abraham Jacoby was involved with the Los Angeles Merchant’s Association in 1885 and 1886.

He played a major part in the creation of La Festa de Los Angeles [Click Here] at the turn of the century.


In 1870 Charles Jacoby was Director of the Los Angeles Social Club.


One of their clerks, Henry K. Sienkiewicz, in later years, was the author of the novel, Quo Vadis.


Curator’s Note:

We are short material on the individual Jacoby Brothers. Any information would be helpful.


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

  • Jacoby Brothers; Jacoby Brothers of Los Angeles; Los Angeles; 7/4
  • Jacoby Brothers; Jacoby Brothers of Los Angeles, A Self-portrait, 1888.; 38/3&4.
  • Jacoby Brothers Clothiers, by William Kramer, Vol. 42, #2/3, p.74.


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