Nathan Weisbaum: Pioneer Businessman and Wells Fargo Agent of Hanford, California

Nathan Weisbaum

Nathan Weisbaum of Hanford, CA, WSJH V.2/#3, 1970

Nathan Weisbaum of Hanford, CA, WSJHQ 2/3

Values Codes I – E – L


Nathan Weisbaum was born in New York City in 1859, the son of Jacob Weisbaum, a cobbler.

Nathan’s family came to California and settled in Snelling, in Merced County, before 1860.

Nathan went to school in Snelling, and worked in that area until 1877.



Nathan Weisbaum then went south to Hanford to start a business with his brother-in-law, Jacob Manassein their “Pioneer Store.”

Hanford had recently been created by the Southern Pacific Railroad and rapidly became a busy trading center.

However, after a fire in 1888, the partners dissolved their business and went their separate ways.

Nathan Weisbaum’s first solo enterprise was a grocery store. He later had a furniture business in Hanford.

He also served as Hanford’s Wells Fargo Agent for 30 years.

His Wells Fargo books show that in 1888, 73,000 pounds of fish were shipped from Hanford via Wells Fargo.

Also, large quantities of ducks, geese, and swan were shipped out to the elegant restaurants in San Francisco.

California Agriculture Tax Stamp

California agriculture tax stamp


After another large fire in 1891, a meeting was held to finally consider the organization of a city government.

Nathan Weisbaum was elected the first City Treasurer of Hanford.



In 1884, Nathan Weisbaum married Bertha Levy of Visalia, a niece of Elias Jacob.

Bertha was a talented musician. She donated her time and talents to community and fraternal events.

Bertha and Nathan had four children: Sidney, Emma, Irene, and Hal.


Nathan Weisbaum died in 1933.

Berth Levy Weisbaum died in 1953 at the age of 91. 

Cabinet photo of Nathan Weisbaum of Hanford, CA


  • Annie R. Mitchell, “Pioneer Merchants of Tulare County, California,” Western States Jewish Historical Quarterly 2/3.