Lewis Jacobs & Lewis Meyerstein: The Jewish Pioneer Bankers of San Bernardino

Lewis Jacobs & Lewis Meyerstein

Values Codes I-E-L-P


Lewis Jacobs was born in Prussia, in 1832.


Lewis Jacobs arrived in America in 1847, at the age of 15.

Lewis Jacobs San Bernardino Store WS#1589

Lewis Jacobs San Bernardino Store


San Bernardino

He arrived  in San Bernardino in 1852 – without money.

In a few short years he had his own store and was recognized as a leading merchant of the city.

He later partnered with Isaac Brunn in the 1850s, who had been a wholesale dealer in foreign and domestic wines, liquors and cigars since 1856.

Lewis Jacobs is also recognized as one of the founders of the city of Redlands


Lewis Jacobs passed away in 1900.


Founder Plaque in Redland, Lewish Jacobs, Banker, WS#1590

Founder Plaque in Redland, Lewis Jacobs, Banker,


Lewis Meyerstein

Values Codes: I-E-L-P


Lewis Meyerstein was born in Germany in 1829.

Lewis Meyerstein, San Bernardino & San Francisco

Lewis Meyerstein, San Bernardino & San Francisco

Along the way

Coming to America as a young lad, Lewis Meyerstein’s first business was a small store in San Francisco.

He returned to New York City for a while, but the lure of the West brought him back to San Francisco where he established himself in the retail clothing business.

After a number of years, he entered the wholesale and manufacturing business of men’s wearing apparel and was very successful.


San Bernardino

Lewis Meyerstein was a member of a large family that had lived in San Bernardino from the 1860s.

Lewis Meyerstein established a merchantile store in San Bernardino which kept him traveling between San Bernardino and San Francisco, where he also had real estate interests.


Lewis Jacobs & Lewis Meyerstein partnered in 1875 to create the Bank of San Bernardino.

The Bank of San Bernardino ma­terially aided in building up the city in her infant days; as it provided funds for the people and was a safe repository for the surplus funds in the city.

The Bank of San Bernardino stood as solid as any bank in the city and rapidly became recognized as the leading financial institution of the city.



Lewis Meyerstein was a member of Temple Emanu-El of San Francisco.



Lewis Meyerstein married Miss Jane I. Lilienfeld in 1861.

Together they had 2 children; Alfred L. and Mrs. E. L. Rothchild.


Lewis Meyerstein died in 1906.

“He was a many of many friends, out-spoken and frank.

“He was a highly intelligent man, an idealist and full of loving kindness and charity to all deserving it.” –Rabbi Martin Meyer, 1916.


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

  • A Few Jewish Businessmen in San Bernardino in 1892; from Descriptive Review of San Bernardino County, WSJH, Vol. 15/#2

Other Source:

  • The Jews of California, by Rabbi Martin Meyer, Emanu-El, San Francisco, 1916

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Jews in the News

    About this Time

And the Governor was at the Wedding Reception in San Bernardino, California — 1888

Few, if any, of the social events of San Bernardino have ever been as brilliant as that which took place on Sunday evening, the 22nd. [January 22, 1888], at the palatial residence of Mr. and Mrs. Louis Ancker on the corner of C and Fourth Street. The occasion of the event was the reception tendered their nephew, Mr. Albert Ancker. and his young bride, who were married in Los Angeles the Wednesday previous.

The family being one of our leading young men and a rising young merchant of the firm of Ancker & Marx, the spacious parlors were filled and overflowing with guests from San Bernardino, Los Angeles and Riverside.

From 8 to 9 the time was passed in pleasant discourse and congratulations of the many friends of the young groom and his bride.

Noticeable among the guests was the Governor of the State, Governor Robert W. Waterman, whose home was in San Bernardino.

At 9 o’clock it was announced that a musical and literary programme had been prepared and was now ready to be carried out. Each member of the programme, which was arranged by William Marx, was well rendered and warmly received.

—The Jewish Progress, San Francisco, Feb. 11, 1888, WSJH, Vol. 9, #4.