Hyman Goldberg: Arizona Territory’s Indefatigable Early Jewish Pioneer

Hyman Goldberg

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Hyman Goldberg was born in 1815 in Piotrkow (Petrikov) Russian Poland

He also lived in Germany and England


Along the way . . .

Hyman Goldberg arrived in the United States around 1843, probably in New York.

There, he apprenticed to a merchant tailor.

Goldberg later sailed to New Orleans, traveled by foot across Mexico and up to San Francisco where his arrived in 1849.

He then spent a number of years prospecting in the Gold Country east of San Francisco, making and losing fortunes when his store(s) burned — a common problem in wooden towns.

In time Hyman Goldberg came to Los Angeles and then San Bernardino, where he worked in the dry goods business for many years.


Arizona Territory

In 1863 Hyman joined his brother, Isaac Goldberg, who had a store in La Paz.

He worked in various boom towns in Arizona as a merchandiser.

During 1868, Hyman worked as a drover leading cattle to Tucson.

He then spent time as a placer miner, swinging a pickaxe.

He also rode burro, stood behind a counter, had a store in Phoenix, speculated in mining — anything to “make a living.”

His fortunes rose and fell with boom towns and busts.



Hyman Goldberg served on the Yuma Town Council, 1873-1874.

In 1874, he was elected to the lower house of the Eighth Arizona Territorial Legislature representing Yuma.



Goldberg was a member of the Odd Fellows, the Masons, and the Legion of Honor.

He was an active member in B’nai B’rith, Paradise Lodge #237, San Bernardino.



In 1852, Hyman Goldberg married Augusta Drachman, the sister of Phillip and Samuel Drachman.



Hyman and Augusta Golberg had four children: Aren, David (who married Rosa A. Solomon, of Solomonwille, AZ), Amelie (Mrs. Louis Migel), and Beckie (Mrs. Hugo Zeckendorf).


Hyman Goldberg passed away in 1889. He was buried in the Home of Eternity Cemetery in San Bernardino, California.

The Goldberg Tombstone in San Bernardino, CA #WS7881

The Goldberg Tombstone in San Bernardino, CA, #WS7881

“Few men survive the ups and downs of life in new, wild countries, to Hyman Goldman’s age.  Not many leave a character so spotless, beloved and respected wherever known.”

– Obituary, Phoenix Weekly Herald, 1889


Regina Merwin is the curator for this Hyman Goldberg exhibit.