Anthony Zellerbach, Jewish Paper King of the American Wild West

Anthony Zellerbach

Values Codes: I-E-L-P


Anthony Zellerbach #WS1913

Anthony Zellerbach #WS1913

Anthony Zellerbach was born in 1832 in Bavaria.


Along the way . . .

In 1846, at the age of fourteen, Anthony Zellerbach came to America.

He lived in Philadelphia for a while.

Then, in 1856, he headed west to San Francisco for a short while, then he moved to Moor’s Flat, Nevada County.

There, Anthony Zellerbach opened a bank.


San Francisco

A while later, Anthony Zellerbach moved to San Francisco, where he began working in the paper wholesale and retail business.

In 1882, Anthony Zellerbach and his son, Jacob Zellerbach, founded the Zellerbach Paper Company.

Later, Isador Zellerbach, another son, joined them in the firm and they changed the name to A. Zellerbach & Sons.

Early Zellerbach Delivery Wagon

Early Zellerbach Delivery Wagon

By 1886, the business had grown so large as to require even larger quarters.

Another son, Henry Zellerbach, joined the firm in 1896.

In 1907, the firm’s name changed once more – back to Zellerbach Paper Company.

Zellerbach Folding Paper Towels

Zellerbach Folding Paper Towels


The unique products created by the Zellerback Company included Folded Paper Towels that which exposed a clean paper towel once one was withdrawn, the Window Envelope, and the Cardboard Egg Carton.


Isadore Zellerbach took over leadership of the company upon the death of Anthony Zellerbach.

By the early 1920’s, there were Zellerbach warehouses all over the country, as-well-as Zellerbach paper mills and factories.


In 1928, Isadore Zelklerbach merged the family company with Crown Willamette Paper Company.

The new name of the firm was Crown Zellerbach Corporation.

The Crown-Zellerbach Building is a San Francisco landmark located at 1 Bush St. and 523 Market St.

Crown Zellerbach Buildin in San Francisco

Crown Zellerbach Buildin in San Francisco

In 2000, Crown-Zellerbach Corporation became a part of Georgia-Pacific.


“Out of his well-earned possessions Anthony Zellerbach gave freely and generously to the Jewish organizations of charity, and was well beloved for his goodness and mercy.” –Rabbi Martin Meyer, 1916.


Anthony Zellerbach married Theresa Mohr in 1863.

They had 9 children: Jacob (b.1865), Isadore (1866-1941), Henry Haight (b.1869), Edward (b.1870), Eugene (b.1875), Lily (b.1882), Bella (Mrs. Charles Cross), Hazel (Mrs. Platt) and Arthur (b.1888).


Anthony Zellerbach died in 1911.


In 1956, Jennie B. Zellerbach, wife of Isidore Zellerbach, founded the Zellerbach Family Fund. She regularly contributed to the fund until her 1965 death.

Around this time the fund changed its name to Zellerbach Family Foundation. that supports constructive social change and community building projects in San Francisco.

Today, Crown-Zellerbach Corporation/Georgia-Pacific and is part of Koch Industries.


For more information see the following issue of Western States Jewish History:

  • The Beginnings of the Zellerbach Paper Company, by Charles A. Murdock, Volume XIX, Issue #3, 1987

Additional Sources:

Samantha Silver is the Curator for this Anthony Zellerbach Exhibit

Other family information and pictures would be greatly appreciated.


Jews in the News

   About this Time

A Lady Inventor, San Francisco — 1895

Among California women inventors who have received favorable mention of late is Mrs. M. J. Sablein who has invented a box cover so fastened to the box that it cannot go astray when in the hands of nervous clerks. Mrs. Sahlein is a clever little lady who deserves much credit for her exhibition of ingenuity.

—The Jewish Progress, San Francisco, March 1, 1895, Vol. 19, #4. The inventor and her husband, Moses J. Sahlein, operated the Bon Ton Millinery shop at 133 Kearny, San Francisco, and they lived at 415 Divisadero.