A Tribute to Marks Raphael

Marks Raphael was my great great grandfather. He is on my fathers father's line, like the Marks, Solomanns, and Beermanns. He was the very first of my ancestors to immigrate to America. He was also the very first to become involved in Jewish societies and lodges in California. Below is his story:

Marks Raphael was born in Kolmar, Prussia (now Chodziez, Poland) on July 2, 1825. He immigrated to America in 1851. He arrived from Panama via Acapulco on March 6, 1851 on the steamer ship New Orleans. He most likely arrived from Europe in New York and then sailed from there to Panama, but no record as yet has been found to substantiate that conjecture. He appears in the San Francisco City Directory in 1856. He first census appearance is in the 1870 census in Marysville. No record as yet has been found in the 1860 census, although his brother Aaron was in Marysville in the 1860 census. He appears to have moved sometime between 1860 and 1862 to Marysville to participate in the many burgeoning businesses that were providing goods and supplies to gold rush pioneers. His vocation in Marysville was as a tailor. His wife Pauline Soloman immigrated to America with Marks’ brother Aaron’s wife and their two daughters in 1862. Marks and Pauline were married on January 4, 1863 in Marysville.

His wedding details are transcribed below:

State of California, County of Yuba. The People of the State of California. To any Judge, Justice of the Peace,Clergyman or Preacher of the Gospel, Greetings. You are hereby authorized to celebrate and certify a marriage between Mark Raphael and Pauline Solomon upon their request made to you therefore. Given under my hand and the seal of the County Court of said County, hereunto affixed, this the 30th day of December in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty two. E.M. Reagan (Seal) County Clerk and Ex-Officio Clerk of the County Court Yuba County, Cal. By D.R. Sample Deputy - I hereby certify that on Sunday January 4th AD 1863Mr. Mark Raphael and Miss Pauline Solomon the parties named in the within license were by me joined in the binds of matrimony. Simon R. Rosenthal Minister. Received for record January 6th 1863. Recorded January10th 1863. s/L.T. Crane Recorder

The following are lodges which Marks Raphael belonged to and held office in Marysville, generally as the shomer (guardian):


This is a mutual benevolent society similar to the B’nai B’rith and Odd Fellows, and is of long standing among Jewish people.


June 20, 1874, this lodge was established in Marysville with the following officers:--L. Falk, W. Av.; Simon Hochstadter, Nassi; S. Elkeles, Alitzer; E. Marks, Achi; H Chims, Sofer; N. Scheider, Assistant Sofer; B. Rosenberg, Gisber; C. Ansorg, Cohen; J. Schlessinger, Segan; Mark Raphael, Schomer Hapesach: Samuel Wagner, H. Wagner, and Chas. Ehrlich, Trustees. It soon became evident that there were not enough Jewish people here to sustain the order in addition to the B’nai B’rith, and in 1877 the lodge disbanded, surrendered its charter and turned over its effect, books, etc., to the Grand Lodge.


This is a degree the same order into which ladies are admitted. It was instituted here October 15, 1874 with the following officers:--C. Ansorg, W. Av.; Mrs. H. Wagner, Nassi; N. Schneider, Sofer; Mrs. B. Rosenberg, Gisber: Mrs Chas. Ehrlich, Conductress; Jacob Elkeles, Cohen; Mark Raphael, Shomer. This society disbanded and surrendered its charter at the same time the parent society did.

He also was a member of the Independent Order of BNai Brith; The following are excerpts from the Marysville associations minutes referring to actions regarding Marks Raphael:


Page in the Minutes



Page 313

Marks Raphael applies for membership; he is a resident tailor


Page 318

Marks Raphael given 1st degree


Page 327

Marks Raphael given 2nd Degree


Page 328

Marks Raphael given 1st part of 3rd degree

Page 329

Marks Raphael given 2nd part of 3rd degree


Page 334

Marks Raphael named Warden


Page 315

Marks Raphael accepted


Page 434

Marks Raphael elected Guardian to replace Krahauer


Page 458

Marks Raphael named Guardian (again)


Page 459

Marks Raphael being paid $5.00 per quarter for keeping the hall

In Oakland, where he and his family later resided, Marks was a member of the IOBB Lodge #252.

On May 13, 1874, M Raphael moved his business, formerly known as the Grand Saloon on 3rd Street, between D and High.

On August 18, 1876, Marks Raphael was granted a reduction by the City Council on the assessment on his property, which was destroyed by fire a week earlier.

It is believed that when the fire destroyed his business, he shortly thereafter moved his family to Oakland, California. He appears in the Yuba County Great Register of Voters in 1876 but not in 1877 or later.

He owned furniture stores on Broadway in downtown Oakland until his death in 1893. The furniture store was located at 7th and Broadway from 1889 to 1882, and at 8th and Broadway from 1883 until 1893.

He and Pauline had many children. Family stories state that there were seven daughters and five sons, however records of seven daughters and only two sons have been found. The only children who survived and grew to adulthood were Jennie, Sarah, Mollie, Rose, and Ella.

Marks died in Oakland, California on September 25, 1893 from apoplexy. Pauline died a year later in Oakland on March 9, 1894 from La Grippe. She was 54 years old. Marks and Pauline’s estate was handled by eldest daughter Jennie’s husband Bernhard Aronson. Due to Ben’s mishandling of the estate, borrowing from it to pay his own Chinese lottery and other gambling debts, Ben committed suicide in 1895 in his barbershop.

Unfortunately I have no photos of Marks and Pauline. Maybe some day!

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