Julius, Susan and Isaac Levy: Pioneer Jewish Merchants of Virginia City and San Francisco

Julius and Susan Levy, and Brother Isaac Levy

Susan Levy, San Francisco, #WS2136

Susan Levy, San Francisco, #WS2136

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In the 1860’s, Julius and Isaac Levy operated a dry goods and ladies clothing store, Julius Levy & Bro., at 1106 Stockton in San Francisco.

In the early days, the brothers lived in the back of the store.

After Julius married, he and his wife, Susan, and their fast growing family lived at 1509 Powell. By the mid-1870’s, they lived at 921 Jackson.

With Virginia City, Nevada rapidly becoming an important silver mining boomtown, the Levy brothers decided to open a branch store there. 

Isaac Levy went to Nevada to operate the Virginia City store of Julius Levy & Bro.

By the mid-1870’s, the San Francisco store of Julius Levy & Bro. had relocated to 1004 Stockton.

Around 1882, Isaac Levy returned to San Francisco from Virginia City, as the price of silver fell and the mines were playing out.



Isaac Levy became a member of Nevada B’nai B’rith Lodge #52 – one of the largest and most prosperous lodges in the B’nai B’rith Grand Lodge District #4.

Isaac was also elected as Trustee of the Hebrew Self-Protecting Association, a charitable group devoted to benevolent, religious, and cultural activities.

In 1864, the Hebrew Self-Protecting Association of Virginia Cityrented quarters and conducted High Holy Day services. The hall was filled with earnest and attentive people.


Julius Levy married Susan, and together they had twelve children. 



  • Norton B. Stern, “Julius & Susan Levy: Virginia City, Nevada & San Francisco, California,” Western States Jewish History 41/2.