Jews and Jewish Cowboys in the Early West

            September 2013    
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Photo © 2013 by Jerry Klinger


Glimpses of the "Old" American Jewish West
Vignettes from the Western States Jewish Historical Quarterly
Published by the Southern California Jewish Historical Society

Collated by Jerry Klinger

They sleep in the past, gentle forgetfulness, resting under stones gray.

Names recognized no more. Even gone are those who loved them once.

Yet, from distant yesterday, they shaped our today.

J. Rice


You have never heard of a Jewish dogcatcher, have you? We have a Jew here whose name is Jake Lindo - no matter about his father being known as Leibush Labershinsky - who has the contract of taking in everything in sight, in the shape of canine corporosity, and he, the same Jake Lindo, is at the lead of the dispatching wagons, and his Spanish-Americans snake every dog they see, tag or no tag, and take it to the pound. Jake makes $500 a month by the operation. What his boss, blind Buckley, gets out of the racket is none of your business - certainly none of mine.

"The American Israelite, Cincinnati, Sept. 30, 1887. Jacob Lindo had been an auctioneer prior to his dog catching activities, his warehouse being at 609-611 California St., San Francisco. His brother Joseph, a horse-drawn hack operator lived at 636 Sacramento St. WSJH Jan 1985


Unique among Hollywood's film folk is Mala, handsome screen star who has the leading role in MGM's "Last of the Pagans," which opened last night at the Filmarte Theatre. Mala is an Eskimo-Jew, son of a Jewish fur trader whose business earned him to the far north, where he fell in love with and married a beautiful Eskimo girl.

In "Last of the Pagans" he plays the role of a young Polynesian, who is betrayed by a white man and torn from his loved ones and his peaceful existence on an idyllic island in the South Pacific, to work in the phosphate mines in Pallia. Philip. Goldstone produced the picture, which was suggested by Herman Melville's novel Typee.

B'nai B'rith Messenger, Los Angeles, March 6, 1936. The Filmarte Theatre was at 1228 Vine Street, Hollywood.

WSJH April 1985


Benson, Arizona Territory - M. Goldbaum, a merchant of this city, who left here two weeks ago to prospect in Whetstone Mountain, was found murdered by Apaches sixteen miles south of here yesterday.

The American Israelite, Cincinnati, June 11, 1886, Marcus Goldbaum had settled in Arizona in the mid-1850s. He 'had a son, Abraham, his nephew, David Goldbaum, was a longtime resident of Ensenada in Baja California, and from 1927-1930 served as Mayor of that city.


San Francisco, August 24 1888. Dr. [Aaron J.] Messing has had two Bar Mitzvahs last week, but he put his sanctifying hands on the head of that boy only who paid coin, while the other, though brighter but poorer, had to step down without a blessing. This is true and I defy anyone to tell me to the contrary. Some day, when this boy takes an honorable seat among the money-men, Dr. Messing will be eager to invent an excuse, but there were too many people present, who saw that poor boy's shamed face and said "shame." He may regret this un-kind action.

The Jewish Voice, St. Louis, September 6, 1888, The San Francisco columnist for this St. Louis paper was obviously very unhappy with the favoritism displayed by the Congregation Beth Israel rabbi.


A host of friends will mourn the loss of Wolf Moms, one of the early settlers in Northern California, who died Friday night [May 31, 1918] at his home, 1388 E. 17th Street [Los I Angeles]. The funeral was held last Sunday afternoon. Rabbi Isidore Myers officiated. Burial was at the Home of Peace Cemetery.

Mr. Morris was born in Russian Poland eighty-five years ago, came to America by sailing vessel, went by boat to Panama, crossed the Isthmus on horseback and came to California by boat, settling in Crescent City, Del Norte County. He sold merchandise by horseback through Montana and Idaho forty years ago, and was several times attacked by Indians. For the past ten years he had lived in Los Angeles.

He leaves a Widow and eight sons and daughters - Samuel, and Abraham, of the Morris Hardware Company; Isidore, a lawyer; Jesse, in the army; Mrs. Rachel Livingston and Mrs. Jennie Livingston and Fannie and Frances Morris.

B'nai B'rith Messenger, Los Angeles, June 7, 1918.

WSJH Jan 1983


Editor, Hebrew: These two solemn holidays were celebrated here in a...


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Western States Jewish History is in its 46th year of publication.

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Jerry Klinger is president of the Jewish American Society for Historic Preservation


from the September 2013 Edition of the Jewish Magazine

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