Sigmund Aron Heilner
Value Codes: I – E – L – P
Sigmund Aron Heilner was born 1834 in Urspringen, Bavaria, Germany.
Sigmund Heilner came to United States in 1853.
On the way . . . .
After two years in New York and Washington, D.C. he joined his brother, Seligmann Heilner, (by then known as Ed. D. Cohen) in Crescent City, California.
Sigmund Heilner operated his own dry goods store until the early 1860s when he became a small banker and then a freight forwarder.
He was commander of an expedition which carried arms and ammunition to volunteers who fought in the 1856 Indian uprising in Oregon.
For a time Sigmund Heilner worked for an Alaskan fur company in Portland, Orgegon
In 1872, Sigmund Heilner with his brother set up and operated a general mercantile store and banking business under the name ‘E. D. Cohn & Co.’ in Sparta, Union County. Oregon.
They erected a fireproof stone warehouse on First Street to accommodate the business in wool, grain, hides etc.
Constructing a stone or brick store meant that one planned to stay in the area – since most pioneer building in mining towns were made of wood and had a tendency to burn down
Although Sparta is today a ghost town, the stone store building still stands.
Business in Baker
Sigmund Heilner finally settled in Baker City, Oregon.
There Sigmund Heilner installed the first telephone system in the city.
He established the first bank in Baker City
Sigmund Heilner created the Heilner Commercial and Commission Company which eventually became the Heilner’s Department Store.
Sigmund Heilner also had a hide and wool business, an insurance company and the Mammoth Mine in Sumpter, Oregon where he engaged in Quartz mining: Enterprise Quartz Company and Heilner Quartz Mill.
Heilner also excelled as a landscape and portrait painter.
Sigmund Heilner was a member of Oregon’s Sanitary Commission.
Sigmund Heilner was a charter member of Baker City Masonic Lodge No. 47 A.F. and A.M.
Sigmund Heilner was a member of Congregation Beth Israel in Portland.
When Sigmund Heilner came to Portland, Oregon in 1874, he married Miss Clara Neuberger.
They had four children.
Two of their sons Jesse and Sanford associated with Sigmund in business; Joseph entered law. They also had a daughter Millie.
After Sigmund’s death, the businesses were continued by their youngest son Sanford and brothers Gerson and Berthold Neuberger, nephews of Clara Neuberger Heilner.
Sigmund Aron Heilner died in 1917.
Sigmund and Clara are both buried in Congregation Beth Israel’s cemetery in Portland.
Information about Sigmund Aron Heilnercan be found in the following issue of Western States Jewish History:
- Sigmund Heilner; Oregon Pioneer; Oregon; 12/1
Curator for this Sigmund Aron Heilner Exhibit is Gladys Sturman.