Mark Strouse: Jewish Meat Supplier to the Comstock Lode and Virginia City Chief of Police

Mark Strouse

Mark Strous of Virginia City, Nevada, #WS0206

Mark Strouse of Virginia City, Nevada,

Values Codes  I – E – L


Mark Strouse was born in 1845 in Lauderbach, Germany.

He was the youngest child of Moses and Bertha Strouse.


Along the way . . . 

In 1860, Mark Strouse, his parents, and brother came to America.

The family settled in Mokelumne Hill, California, in the heart of the Gold Country.

In Mokelumne Hill, Strouse worked in the mining industry, as well as the mercantile and butcher trades.


Virginia City, Nevada

In 1863, Mark Strouse moved to Virginia City, Nevada, where he opened meat markets and developed a hog ranch.

He also built a stock ranch in Honey Lake, California.

In 1866, with his business growing, Mark Strouse created a partnership with his brother Abraham Strouse.

Soon, theirs was the largest meat business in Nevada.

Later, as the Comstock Mine‘s production started to falter, Mark Strouse moved to San Francisco.

There, he opened the Bay City Market, owned the Bay City Packing Houseand operated a couple of other meat markets.



In 1868, Mark Strouse was elected Chief of Police of Virginia City, Nevada.

Strouse also served as City Treasurer of Virginia City, and was foreman of Company No.1 of the Virginia City Volunteer Fire Department.



In 1874, Mark Strouse married Lillie B. Edgington.

They divorced in 1878.

Tomestone of Bertha Strous in Mokelumne Hiil Cemetary, #WS1404

Tombstone of Bertha Strouse in Mokelumne Hill Cemetery, #WS1404

Mark and Lillie Strouse had three children: two daughters born in 1874 and 1876, respectively, and a son who died shortly after his birth in 1877.


Mark Strouse died in 1898. He is interred at the Independent Order of Odd Fellows Cemetery in San Francisco.



  • Norton B. Stern, “Notes on a Virginia City Police Chief,” Western States Jewish Historical Quarterly 12/1.
  • Norton B. Stern, “Mark Strouse: Meat Merchant of Mokelumne Hill, CA and Police Chief of Virginia City,” Western States Jewish History 41/4.

Samantha Silver is curator of this Mark Strouse exhibit.