Louis Fleischner: Early Jewish Pioneer Merchant and Community Leader of Portland, Oregon

Louis Fleischner

Value Codes  I – E – L – P


Louis Fleisehner of Portland Oregon

Louis Fleischner was born in 1827 in Vogelgesang, Bohemia, now Czechoslovakia.

Fleischner arrived in New York  at 15 years of age.


Along the way . . .

Louis Fleischner first went to Philadelphia, where he was employed for five years by a dealer in horses and cattle.

In 1849, he went to Drakeville, Iowa and engaged in merchandising.

In 1852, he started across the Great Plains by ox team to Albany, Oregon.

He paused for a while in Northern Idaho at the Oro Fino mines, where he was successful in the mercantile business.


Portland, Oregon

In 1863, Louis Fleischner came to Portland, Oregon, where he entered into partnership with Solomon Hirsch and Alexander Schlussel and owned the merchandise house of Haas Brothersunder the new firm name of L. Fleischner & Co.

The company eventually became  Fleischner, Mayer & Co. when he entered into a new partnership with Jacob Mayer.



In 1870, at a time of great distrust for public office, Louis Fleischner was elected, by a large majority, for Oregon State Treasurer.

In that capacity, he reorganized he entire state financial system.

He was called “Colonel Fleischner,” although it is not clear how he acquired the title.



In 1888, Louis Fleischner visited his old home in Bohemia, Czechoslovakia, and endowed four beds in a nearby hospital to be forever maintained for the people of Vogelgesang.

Fleischner was president of the First Hebrew Benevolent Society of Portland.

He contributed to Congregation Beth Israel, donating enough to build its new  sanctuary.

He also ensured permanent and abundant water supplies for the Jewish Cemetery.


Louis Fleischner died in 1896 and was buried  in Beth Israel Cemetery.

” . . . a most excellent man, esteemed and respected  . . . his own people . . . devoted to his faith.  By no means narrow or exclusive, he was frequently seen with his Christian friends and was ever ready to aid in all commendable charities . . .” 

— The Oregonian



  • “Louis Fleischner: Oregon Pioneer,” Western States Jewish History 22/4.

Gladys Sturman is curator of this Louis Fleishner exhibit.