Rudolph Anker: Early Pioneer Jewish Merchant of San Bernardino

Rudolph Anker

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Rodolph Anker

Rudolph Anker

Rudolph Anker was born in 1856 in Migehnen, near Wormditt, in Prussian-occupied Poland.


San Bernardino

Rudolf Anker arrived in San Bernardino in 1882, at the age of 26, and went to work for his cousin, Louis Ancker.

Louis Ancker had a general merchandise store in San Bernardino, Louis Anckor & Co., which he had established in 1870.

Rudolph Anker established his own clothing store in San Bernardino in 1884.

By 1892, his store was “among the prominent business houses of San Bernardino.”

Rudolph Anker in His Clothing Store, San Bernardino, CA

Rudolph Anker in his clothing store, San Bernardino, CA


In 1890, when Congregation Emanu El of San Bernardino was founded, Rudolph Anker was a founding member and treasurer.

In 1892, the congregation elected him president, an office he held until 1915.



Anker was an active member of Paradise B’nai B’rith Lodge #237. He served as president , trustee, and treasurer over the years.

He was also a member of the Masons and a Shriner.

Rose Harris Anker

Rose Harris Anker



Rudolph Anker married Rose Harris in 1884.

They had five children: Joseph, Therese, Herbert, Selmar, and Maurice.


Rudolph Anker passed away in 1925.

“Practically every business house in San Bernardino was closed Friday between 1:45 and 3 o’clock this afternoon as a final tribute to Rudolph Anker, pioneer merchant who died early Sunday.  Closing of the downtown stores out of respect to the late merchant was one of the most impressive tributes ever given to a man in similar position in San Bernardino.” 

— San Bernardino Daily Sun


  • George J. Fogelson, “Rudolph Anker: San Bernardino Pioneer,” Western States Jewish History 17/2.