Lionel and Barron, the Jacobs Brothers of Tucson, Arizona: Jewish Merchants & Bankers

Lionel and Barron, the Jacobs Brothers of Tucson

Values Codes I – E – L – P


Lionel Mark Jacobs and Barron Jacobs were sons of Mark Israel Jacobs.

Lionel Jacobs was born in 1841 or 1843 in Stockport, England.

His brother, Barron Jacobs, was born there in 1846.

They arrived in Baltimore, Maryland in the mid-1840’s with their parents, Mark Israel Jacobs and Hannah Soloman Jacobs, and 5 of their 10 siblings.


Along the Way . . . . 

The Mark Jacobs family settled in San Diego in 1851, and later in San Bernardino, California.

Mark Jacobs supported his family with general merchandising and, eventually, banking.



Sent by their father in 1867, Lionel and Barron Jacobs “arrived in Tucson with a wagon load of canned goods and commodities after a trip of nearly two months —  from San Bernardino.

Lionel Jacobs of Tucson, Arizona. #ws1251

Lionel Jacobs of Tucson, Arizona.

They rented an empty store and set up shop under their father’s name: Mark I. Jacobs Co.


In 1868, father Mark Jacobs moved from San Bernardino to San Francisco in order to better supply the Tucson store.

Merchandise was shipped by ocean and river steamers to Yuma via the Colorado River and then overland by mule train freight wagon to Tucson — a trip that took four months.


The Tucson store also became a money exchange and a loan company.

In 1871, Mark Jacobs retired and the firm became L.M. Jacobs & Co.

In 1879, Lionel and Barron Jacobs established the Pima County Bank: the first banking institution in Tucson.

It was the ancestor of the First National Bank, the Bank of Tucson, the Consolidated Bank of Tucson and the present Valley National Bank.



Lionel Barron:

— Served as Chairman of the Pima County Board of Supervisors

— Served in the Seventh Territorial Legislature

— Served on the Tucson City Council

— Served as Territorial Treasurer

— Involved with the Tucson Literary Society, 1873

Charter Member of the Arizona Social Club

President of the Owls Club


Barron Jacobs:

Barron Jacobs of Tucson, Arizona. #WS49

Barron Jacobs of Tucson, Arizona.

— Served as Territorial Treasurer

— Member of the Tucson Literary Society, 1873

Charter Member of the Arizona Social Club

President of the Owls Club

Both brothers were socially involved in Tucson and hosted many functions at the Barron’s “Jacobs’ Mansion.”



Lionel Jacobs married Bertha Frank circa 1911. He was 69 at the time.

Barron Jacobs married Henrietta “Yetta” Katz in the early 1870s.

Barron’s daughter, Hilda, married Brigadier General Charles B. Drake, USA Chief, Motor Transport Corps, War Dept., WWI.


Lionel Jacobs passed away in 1922 and was buried in the Hills of Eternity Memorial Park in Colma, California.

Barron Jacobs passed away in 1936, in Washington DC,  where his daughter lived.

The Jacobs' Mansion in Tucson, Arizona. #WS1248

The Jacobs’ Mansion in Tucson, Arizona, #WS1248


  • “Jacobs Brothers: Arizona Bankers, 1890,” Western States Jewish History 19/1.
  • Richard L. and Arlene A. Golden, “Mark I. Jacobs Family: A Discursive Overview,” Western States Jewish Historical Quarterly 13/2.
  • Norton B. Stern, “Mark Israel and his Successful Family: California and Arizona, 1816-1894,” Western States Jewish History 41/4.

Regina Merwin is curator of this Jacobs Brothers exhibit.