Nathan Weisbaum, Pioneer Businessman and Wells Fargo Agent of Hanford, California

Nathan Weisbaum

Nathan Weisbaum of Hanford, CA, WSJH V.2/#3, 1970

Nathan Weisbaum of Hanford, CA,
WSJH V.2/#3, 1970

Values Codes: I-E-L


Nathan Weisbaum was born in New York City, in 1859, son of Jacob Weisbaum, a cobbler.

His family had come to California, and settled in Snelling, in Merced County, California, before 1860.

Nathan Weisbaum went to school in Snelling and worked in that area until 1877.



Nathan Weisbaum then went south to Hanford to start a business with his brother-in-law, Jacob Manasse – in their “Pioneer Store.”

Hanford had been created that same year by the Southern Pacific Railroad and rapidly became a busy trading center.

However, after a fire, in 1888, the partners desolved their business and went their separate ways.


Nathan Weisbaum first solo enterprise was a grocery store, and later a furniture business in Hanford.


Nathan Weisbaum also served as Hanford’s Wells Fargo Agent for 30 years

Working for Wells Fargo, his books show that in 1888, 73,000 pounds of fish were shipped from Hanford via Wells Fargo.

Also, large quantities of ducks, geese and swan were shipped out to the elegant restaurants in San Francisco.

California Agriculture Tax Stamp

California Agriculture Tax Stamp


In 1891, after another large fire, a meeting was held to finally consider the organization of a city government.

Nathan Weisbaum was elected the first City Treasurer of Hanford.



In 1884, Nathan Weisbaum married Bertha Levy of Visalia, a niece of Elias Jacob.

She was a talented musician and donated her time and talents to community and fraternal events.


Together they had four children: Sidney, Emma, Irene, and Hal.


Nathan Weisbaum died in 1933.

Berth Levy Weisbaum passed away in 1953 at the age of 91


For more information on Nathan Weisbaum, see the following issue of Western States Jewish History:

  • Pioneer Merchants of Tulare County, California, by Annie R. Mitchell, WSJH, Vol. 2, Issue #3, 1970.

Any additional information or pictures would be appreciated.