Joseph Schwartz: Owner of the City of Paris in Napa California

Joseph Schwartz

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Joseph Schwartz was born in Bohemia, Austria, around 1852.



In 1874, Joseph Schwartz and his brother, Henry Schwartz, opened J&H Schwartz on the ground floor of the Napa Opera House.

Henry Schwartz would eventually leave Napa.

In the late 1800’s, Joseph Schwartz and his wife, Austria-born Adelheid Vogel Schwartz, opened a dry goods store called City of Paris on Napa’s Main Street.

With the Shwarz Hardware Store nearby, Napans began calling the entire area near the Opera House the “Schwartz Block,” despite the difference in the spellings of the names.

Descendants say that the two families were related.

Interior of City of Paris store owned by Joseph and Adelheid Schwartz

Interior of City of Paris store owned by Joseph and Adelheid Schwartz


The Joseph Schwartz family was quite prominent in Napa

Napa newspapers seemed very interested in their comings and goings.

In 1890, the Schwartz family hired a local architect, Luther Turton, to design their home on the corner of Oak and Franklin Streets.

The structure boasted an attached conservatory, four upstairs bedrooms and indoor plumbing – a rarity at the time.



Joseph and Adelheid Schwartz’s son, David Schwartz, was born in Napa in 1879.

David Schwartz was involved in the family business and active in many fraternal organizations.

David’s son, Irving Schwartz, became a prominent Napa physician.


Joseph Schwartz died in 1932.

Adelhide Schwartz died in 1934.


  • Lin Weber, Under the Vine and the Fig Tree: The Jews of Napa Valley (Jewish Historical Society of Napa Valley, 2003).
  • Henry Michalski and Donna Mendelsohn, Napa Valley’s Jewish Heritage (Charleston, SC: Arcadia, 2012).
  • Jewish Historical Society of Napa Valley,

Lauren Chevlen is curator of this Joseph Schwartz exhibit.