Wolf Kalisher: Early Pioneer Jewish Merchant & Indian Advocate of Los Angeles

Wolf Kalisher

Values Code: I – E – L


Wolf Kalisher was born in Russian occupied Poland in 1826.

Wolf Kalisher

He received his United States Citizenship papers in Los Angeles in 1855.



Wolf Kalisher was one of the earlier merchants occupying Bell’s Row.

After the Civil War ended, Kalisher purchased a quarter section of Ranch Santa Gertrude consisting of 800 acres and an adobe house. Today this area includes the cities of Downey and Santa Fe Springs.

A few years later he offered it for sale, not wanting to remain in the “horse” business.

He later partnered with Henry Wartenberg in one of Los Angeles’ first manufacturing enterprises, a tannery, in 1871.

As a merchant, Kalisher was noted for his hiring of local indians as workers as well as household help. For many years he helped indians with their desputes between indians and the local citizens.

Community Involvement

Wolf Kalisher was listed amoung the early minyn that eventually developed into Congregation B’nai B’rith, (today’s Wilshire Boulevard Temple).

Once the synagouge was formally established, he was listed as Vice-President in 1862.


Kalisher’s wife was Louise and together they had four children: Simon W., Mannie, Fannie, and Rose.

Local Street Sign Honoring Wolf Kalisher in Granada Hills.

Louise was the founding President of the Ladies’ Hebrew Benevolent Society.


Wolf Kalisher died in 1899.





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

  • Kalisher, Wolf; Wolf Kalisher: Immigrant; Pioneer Merchant and Indian Advocate; Los Angeles; Carrico, Richard L.; 15/2, 38 3&4.


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