Lippman Sachs: Pioneer Jewish Merchant Prince and Civic Leader of San Francisco

Lippman Sachs

Lippman Sachs, WS 13/1875

Lippman Sachs,
WS 13/1875

Values Codes  I-E-P


Lippman Sachs was born in Germany in 1837.


Along the way

In 1861′ he came to America with his brothers and settled in Jacksonville, Oregon.

That town was en­joying a mining boom, gold having been dis­covered there in the 1850s.







Sachs Bros. Invoice, Oregon, 1866, WS 1/0134

Sachs Bros. Invoice, Oregon, 1866,
WS 1/0134



The Sachs store in Jacksonville featured ladies’ wear and dry goods and was called the Temple of Fash­ion. 


California Business

After four highly successful years in Southern Oregon, Lippman Sachs came to California.

He settled in San Francisco in 1865 and became a member of the firm of Schweitzer, Sachs & Co., which included Bernard Schweitzer, Samuel Sachs and Louis Stiefel.

Samuel Sachs #WS3009

Soon Lippman and his brother Martin Sachs established L.&M. Sachs & Co., which became, “one of the most extensive wholesale houses on the Coast.”

The firm handled domestic and imported dry goods and cloth­ing.

Lippman’s brother Samuel became the firm’sbuyer in New York City.


By the turn of the Century the wholesale house of Sachs Brothers & Co. was headed by Lippman and Samuel Sachs and their sister, Mrs. Louis (Matilda) Stiefel.


Lippman Sachs retired from business in 1906, and devoted himself to chari­table, religious and public work.



Lippman Sachs was very much an organizational man.

He was a member of the Eureka Benevolent Society and served as its Presi­dent.


Lippman Sachs was elected to the Board of Directors of Congregation Emanu-El in 1891

In 1892 he became the Treasurer of the Congregation for over a decade.

He was soon elected to the Presidency of Congregation Emanu-El.



He was a 33rd degree Mason.

He was a member of the Concordia Club.



In 1907, while he was Vice President of Congregation Emanu-El, Sachs ran for Supervisor of San Francisco.

Lippman Sachs was elected Supervisor with the next to the highest vote of all the candidates.


Known familiarly as “Lipp” Sachs, he had endeared himself to people of all classes of society by his generosity and his “exceed­ingly tolerant attitude to others.”

It was said that an appeal for any deserving cause was never made in vain to him.

Sachs readily condoned the faults and failing of those with whom he came into contact, which considering his activities as an employer and orga­nizational figure, must have amounted to hundreds of people.

Sachs’ achievements in business and in organizational life “never turned his head.”



Lippman Sachs married Mary Libermuth, and three children survived them.

Lippman Sachs died in 1912, and his passing was a featured item in the San Francisco press of the next day.

He was referred to as “one of the best-known and most popular public-spirited men on the Pacific Slope.”


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

  • Sachs, Lippman, Pioneer Jews of San Francisco, Part Two, M-Z, Norton Stern, 41/2

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