George Adolph Reich: Pioneer Jewish Pharmacist of San Bernardino

George Adolph Reich

Values Codes I – E – L


George Adolph Reich was born in 1846 in Wroclaw, Poland, then known as Prussian-occupied Breslau.

He graduated from the medical department of the University of Breslau in 1869.


Along the way . . . 

George Reich arrived in the United States in 1870, and headed to San Francisco via the Panama route.


San Bernardino

Later in 1870, George Reich made his way to San Bernardino, where he worked in the drugstore of Maurice A. Franklin, an English-Jewish immigrant.

By the end of the year, he was a partner in the pharmacy that was known as the San Bernardino Drug Store, Franklin & Reich, Proprietors.

Reich became a United States citizen in 1871, at the district court of San Bernardino.

Due to illness, his partnership with Franklin dissolved in 1871. George Reich continued the pharmacy until 1875.

Reich’s new advertisements in the San Bernardino Guardian told of his: “drugs, medicines, chemicals, patent medicines, perfumery, toilet articles and gifts of all kinds – warranted to be of the best quality and available at very low figures.”

In addition, Reich carried the best French brandy, whiskey, London Club, port, and other beverages.

San Bernardino, vintage postcard


In 1870, George Reich was elected Secretary of the local Turnverin, the German-American sports club.

The club’s president was Siegmund Bergel and vice-president was Marcus Katz, both Jews prominent local Jews.



George Reich married Elizabeth Chissman in 1882.

Reich left for San Francisco in 1875, where he received his M.D. from the University of California.

He practiced medicine in San Francisco until 1882, when he relocated to Tacoma, and then to Seattle, Washington.

“The numerous friends of our genial friend Mr. George A. Reich will deeply regret that he leaves us today for San Francisco, in which city he will settle permanently, if he does not return to Europe.  Mr. Reich both in business and society has achieved a high reputation here as an honorable business­man and an accomplished and clever gentleman.   We regret his loss personally, and we know that everyone whom he has met does so too.” 

— San Bernardino Guardian


Dr. George A. Reich died in 1896, in Seattle, Washington.

Curator’s Note: When Dr. Reich gave material in 1893 for his biographical material in An Illustrated History of the State of Washington by H. K. Hines, he omitted any mention of his five years in San Bernardino. The period between his arrival in America and time in San Francisco was simply left out.


  • Norton B. Stern, “George Albert Reich: From a Pharmacist in San Bernardino to a Physician in Seattle,” Western States Jewish History 18/2.