Samuel Prager: Early Los Angeles Pioneer Jewish Merchant

Samuel Prager  

Values Code: I-E-L-P

Samuel Prager, Early Jewish Pioneer Merchant


Samuel Prager was born in Prussia in 1831 and became a citizen of the United States in 1858


Samuel Prager came to Los Angeles in 1854 after being in business with his brother Charles in the California Gold Rush town of Grass Valley.

In Los Angeles he operated a dry goods and furniture store, also selling clothing, boots, and shoes.

He was one of the first purveyers of oil in Los Angeles in 1867.




Samuel Prager was an active Masonic Lodge #42, and served as chairman of the Masonic Board of Relief for over 40 years.

He was a member of and served as President of the Hebrew Bevevolent Society of Los Angeles.

Mrs. Samuel Prager, nee Rosalie Lowenstein

Prager was a member and officer of Kesher Shel Barzel [Band of Iron], a national Jewish fraternity.

The Los Angeles chapter was organized in 1870.

SamPrager was known to many around Los Angeles as “Uncle Sam”



Samuel Prager married Rosalia Loewenstein,

Together they had eight children, five boys and three girls.

The Pragers were friends of composer George M. Cohan who was a frequent dinner guest at the Prager home at the turn of the century – 1900.

Cohen was the composer of “Yankee Doodle Dandy.”


Samuel Prager passed away in 1907.


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

  • Western States Jewish History, Vol. 38 #3/4. pages 178, 225, 239; 413, 555, & 605.
  • Samuel Prager & Family, by Mrs. Vera Rapf, Vol. 41 #3 page 605
  • Samuel Prager: Host of “Yankee Doodle Dandy,” by William M. Kramer, Vol.42, #2/3, page 69



Samuel Prager Tombstone at Home of Peace in Los Angeles











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