Isaac Stone: Early Pioneer Jewish Dairyman of Early San Francisco

Isaac Stone

Isaac Stone WS 14/1970

Isaac Stone
WS 14/1970

Values Codes   I-E-L-P

Isaac Stone, born in 1825, had come to America, probably from Bratislava in what is now Czechoslovakia, in the early 1850s.

He married the Bavarian-born Hannah Koshland in 1854, and they lived in Sacramento until the disastrous floods there in the winter of 1861-1862.

Then the Stones moved to San Francisco.



The Jewish-owned dairy of early San Fran­cisco was that of Isaac Stone and his fam­ily.

It was established in the early 1860s, and San Francisco Directry listings referred to it as a “milk dairy,” “milk ranch,” or simply as a “dairy.”

The dairy of Isaac Stone operated for years with San Francisco Milk Permit No. 1.

A famed visitor of the dairy from Cincinnati, Rabbi Max Lilienthal, wrote that 175 cows were housed in a beau­tifully clean barn, and four Swiss men were employed to milk the cows and care for them.

At the time of Lilienthal’s 1879 visit, Isaac Stone’s sons were the principal milk deliverymen.

The Stone Dairy off San Bruno Road was described as being “about two miles from the city.”

The milk delivery equipment was contained in a second barn which housed eighteen horses, the delivery wagons, hay, etc.

A blacksmith shop and a small gasworks, which produced gas for lighting, were a part of the plant.

Rabbi Lilienthal pointed out that Isaac Stone had amassed “a nice little fortune” from his dairy business by means of hard work and industriousness.




Hannah Koshland Stone WS 17/2419

Hannah Koshland Stone
WS 17/2419

One of the Isaac Stone sons,  Abraham Lincoln Stone, born in 1865, became one of the top dairy experts in the West. He married Helen Eppinger in 1894. He owned a large ranch on the Bethel tract in the San Joaquin Delta, where members of the family used to spend their vacations.

Fanny Stone, one of Hannah and Isaac’s daughters, was born in 1863, and married Bernard Sinsheimer in 1881. For a time she and her husband lived in San Luis Obispo where he was in business.

In the 1890s they moved to San Francisco where she became a lead­ing social figure of the city.

Marcus Stone, the second of the Isaac Stone children, born in 1860, worked for a time as a bookkeeper for his uncle, the wool commission merchant Simon Koshland.

For some years Marcus also operated the Baldwin Hotel, located at Market and Powell.

Leon Daniel Stone, the youngest of the family, was born in 1871. He operated his own meat business in the 1890s, then became the owner of the Golden Pheasant Restaurant at 32 Geary after the 1906 Earthquake-Fire.

He married Sophie Eppinger, sister of Helen Eppinger Stone in 1895. Sophie and Helen’s father, Herman Eppinger, had been a merchant in Dixon, California before retiring and moving to San Francisco.

Rabbi Lilienthalalso observed that the Stone family: “is an honor to themselves and the Jewish community of San Francisco.”


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

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

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