The Davis Brothers: Early Pioneers of Anaheim

The Davis Brothers

Values Codes I – E – L


The Davis Brothers originally had the name “Chorinsky.”

They had been born in the town of Storchnest, in Posen Province, Poland.



In 1864 Philip Davis and Gustave Davis came to Anaheim and opened a general merchandise store called P. Davis & Bro.

In 1878, they built a new store on Lincoln Avenue that featured the first elevator in what is now Orange County. The elevator was operated by a rope and pulley system.

In 1878, the Davis Brothers established a private bank in their Anaheim store.

The cashier of the bank was Alphonse W. Steinhart, who was married to Henrietta, a sister of the Davis Brothers.


Philip Davis

Philip Davis was born in 1827.

He served as a member of the Anaheim City Council.

Philip was also a master of the Anaheim Masonic Lodge.

He married Rachel Mendelson in 1864.


Gustave Davis

Gustave Davis was born in 1838.

Helena Mendelson Davis c.1870 WSJH

Helena Mendelson Davis, c. 1870

He was active in the Odd Fellows Lodge.

Gustave married Helena Mendelson in 1873.

Helena Street in Anaheim is named in her honor.

Through the Mendelson sisters, the Anaheim families of Davis and Mendelson had strong social and business contacts in Los Angeles and San Francisco.

The Davis families were major players in both the business and civic interests of Anaheim.


  • “Two Orange County Pioneer Families: Mendelson and Davis,” Western States Jewish History 44/3&4.