Joseph Schwartz: Jewish Owner of the City of Paris in Napa California

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Joseph Schwartz

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Joseph Schwartz was born in Bohemia, Austria ca. 1852.



In 1874, Joseph Schwartz and his brother, Henry Schwartz, opened J&H Schwartz on the ground floor of the Napa Opera House.

Henry Schwartz would eventually leave Napa.

In the late 1800s, Joseph Schwartz and his wife, Austria born, Adelheid Vogel Schwartz, opened a dry goods store called City of Paris on Napa’s Main Street.


Interior of City of Paris store owned by Joseph and Adelheid Schwartz

Interior of City of Paris store owned by Joseph and Adelheid Schwartz

With the Shwarz Hardware Store nearby, Napans began calling the entire area near the Opera House the “Schwartz Block” despite the difference in the spellings of the last names.



Descendants say that the two families were related.

The Joseph Schwartz family was quite prominent in Napa

The local Napa newspapers seemed very interested in their comings and goings and doings.


In 1890, the Schwartz family hired local Napa architect Luther Turton to design their home on the corner of Oak and Franklin Streets.

It boasted an attached conservatory, four upstairs bedrooms and indoor plumbing – a rarity at the time.


Joseph and Adelheid Schwartz’s son, David Schwartz, was born in Napa in 1879.

David Schwartz became involved in the family business and active in many fraternal organizations.

David Schwartz’s son, Irving Schwatz, became a prominent Napa physician.


Joseph Schwartz died in 1932.

Adelhide Schwartz died in 1934.

For more information, see:

Under the Vine and the Fig Tree: The Jews of Napa Valley, by Lin Weber, ISBN 0-9667014-4-5, 2003

Napa Valley’s Jewish Heritage, by Henry Michalski and Donna Mendelsohn, ISBN 978-0-7385-8898-8 Arcadia Publishers

Both books are available thru the Jewish Historical Society of Napa Valley,



Interior of City of Paris store owned by Joseph and Adelheid Schwartz


Click on photos to enlarge them.

Lauren Chevlen is curator of this Joseph Schwartz Family Exhibit.



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