Sol & Ephraim Shirpser: El Monte Area Jewish Merchants & Public Servants

Sol Shirpser

Values Codes I – E – L – P


Sol Shirpser was born in Warsaw, Poland, in 1850.

During the late 1850’s, Sol’s mother, Rebecca Jetta, married David Shirpser.

Sol took his step-father’s name when the latter adopted him.


California and Alaska

In 1882, Sol Shirpser worked in Samuel Norton’s store in Los Angeles, California.

Around 1868, Sol Shirpser moved to Sitka, Alaska to join his father, David Shirpser, in business.

Returning to San Francisco, Sol Shirpser attended Heald’s Business College.

In 1888, Sol Shirpser moved to Savannah, California (now Rosemead), where he opened a general merchandise store.

A while later, he opened a store in El Monte, California.

Sol Shirpser's Store, El Monte, CA

Sol Shirpser’s Store, El Monte, CA

In 1897, Shirpser heard about the Klondike Gold Rush and moved again to Alaska, where he ran a newspaper distribution firm.

In 1906, after the Earthquake-Fire of San Francisco destroyed his distribution firm in Alaska, Shirpser returned to El Monte, California to work for Ike Kaufman’s mercantile store.

In 1909, he opened his own general merchandise store with his son, Ephraim.

In 1919, Sol Shirpser moved to Oakland, California. 

He bought an apartment building and managed it until his retirement in 1929.



Sol Shirpser was the Savannah (Rosemeade) Postmaster during the late 1800’s.



In 1876, Sol Shirpser married Henrietta.

They had one son, Ephraim J. Shirpser (1879-1960).

Henrietta Shirpser died in 1895.

She is interred in the Home of Peace Cemetery in Los Angeles.

In 1886, Sol Shirpser married Lucy.

Lucy Shirpser died in 1892 and is interred in the Home of Peace Cemetery in Los Angeles.

Sol Shirpser died in 1941.

He is interred at Rosemead Cemetery in Oakland, California.

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Ephraim J. Shirpser

Values Codes I – E – L – P


Ephraim J. Shirpser, son of Sol and Henrieta Shirpser, was born in 1879, in Mendocino County, California.

At the age of three, Ephriam Shirpser was brought to Los Angeles, where he was educated.

His family then moved to Savannah (Rosemeade) and El Monte.

Ephraim first worked in the local co-operative Store and, about 1900, worked for M. I. F. Baker, and then Kauffman Mercantile Co.

I. KauffmanMercantile Co., El Monte, #WS1142

I. Kauffman Mercantile Co., El Monte, #WS1142

Ephraim next traveled for a year as a stove salesman.

In 1906, he formed a partnership with Lester Burdick in the plumbing business.

In 1908, he joined his father, Solomon Shirpser, in a general store – a business that lasted until 1922, when he sold out and became a real estate and insurance broker.



Ephraim Shirpser was elected to the City Council of El Monte and served as Mayor.

He was a Trustee of the El Monte School District for 16 years.

Shirpser was also a member of the Board of Directors of the Chamber of Commerce.


Ephaim Shirpser was active in the Republican Party.

He was a Charter Member of the El Monte I.O.O.F. Lodge, and a 50-year member of the Mason’s Lexington Lodge #104, F. & A.M.



Ephraim Shirpser married Fluvia Dobyn in 1903.

Ephraim died in 1958.

Shirpser Elementary School in El Monte is named for Ephraim Shirpser.


  • Sol Shirpser, “Alaskan Memoir,” Western States Jewish Historical Quarterly 10/1.
  • “Ephraim J. Shirpser,” Los Angeles County,

Samantha Silver is curator of this Sol & Ephriam Shirpser exhibit.