Bernard Ulmer Steinman, Jewish Pioneer Businessman, Civil Servant and Mayor of Sacramento, California

Bernard Ulmer Steinman

Mayor Bernard U. Steinman, Sacramento,CA [1894], #WS1703

Mayor Bernard U. Steinman, Sacramento,CA [1894], #WS1703

Values Codes: I-E-L-P


Bernard Ulmer Steinman was born in Cologne, Germany, in 1848.


Along the way

In 1848, Steinman’s parents brought their 9 month old son to America.

They first settled in New York.

Bernard’s 20 years older brother, John Steinman, moved to California in 1850. [See “The Steinmans, John & Adelaide”]

In 1858, Bernard Steinman left home and headed West to join John, who owned and operated hotels in San Francisco.

One hotel was called the Steinman HotelBernard worked for John’s hotels.

During the 1860s, Bernard Steinman moved to Sacramento.

There he worked as a Page in the California State Legislature.

State Capital in Sacramento late 1890s, Vintage Postcard

State Capital in Sacramento late 1890s,
Vintage Postcard

His work ethic impressed Governor Leland Stanford, which led to Steinman becoming the proprietor of the hotel and restaurant in the Southern Pacific Railroad depot.

Bernard Steinman's Business Card for the Silver Palace in the Sacramento Railroad Station.

Bernard Steinman’s Business Card for the Silver Palace in the Sacramento Railroad Station.

In 1891, Bernard Steinman was elected President of the Sacramento Gas and Electric Company.

In 1892, Bernard Steinman organized the Farmer’s and Mechanics’ Bank, of which he was elected President.



Bernard Ulmer Steinman served two terms as Sacramento County Supervisor, from 1883-1891.

In 1892, Bernard U. Steinman was elected Mayor of Sacramento.  He served until 1896.



Bernard Steinman was a member of Congregation B’nai Israel of Sacramento and Congregation Emanu-El of San Francisco.



Bernard Steinman was a Royal Arch Mason in the Sacramento Chapter, No.3 and the Union League Club and  a charter member of the Sutter Club of Sacramento.

Politically, he was a member of the Republican party.



Bernard U. Steinman married Fanny Sachs (b.1877).

Together they had four children: Irving I., Henrietta, Lillian and Ulmer.


Bernard Ulmer Steinman died in 1914.


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

  • Stern, Norton B. Bernard Ulmer Steinman: Mayor of Sacramento, 1848-1914. Western States Jewish History. v.41, no.4.


Samantha Silver is the Curator of this Bernard Ulmer Steinman exhibit

Bob Staples, of the State of Maine, sent us the photo of Bernard Steinman’s Business Card

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