The Schwabacher Family

Part 2: The Schwabacher Family Tree

[Note: Research here is concentrated on the family’s Seattle branch. Other records should be searched for more detail on those residing elsewhere.]

The Schwabacher familyThe Schwabacher name is unusual in that no listings of it are found in the German section of the LDS International Genealogical Index—though not surprising since the family was Jewish and IGI listings concentrate on Christian and governmental records.

The LDS Ancestral File has one Schwabacher listing, which may be significant since the names and time period are appropriate:

Leopold Schwabacher, b. 18 Dec 1789 Regensburg, and his wife, Babette Adler, b. 7 Apr 1789 Schwabach, Bavarian together with a son Bernhard, b. 18th Nov 1820.

Although a large city named Regensburg is northeast of Munich, there might a small village by that name in the area from which the Seattle Schwabacher family came. This Babette is from the same area as our subjects, though she and her husband are a bit too young to be their grandparents; however, they could be related.

The Schwabacher Parents

Loeb Schwabacher b. ca 1800, Bavaria, m. Mina Bloch , b. 10 Oct 1805, Germany, (daughter of Feischel Bloch and Sarah Floss ) d. 11 May 1843, Furth, Bavaria. Loeb died 23 May 1846, Zirndorf, Bavaria.

Loeb and Mina (Bloch) Schwabacher, the parents of the three Schwabacher brothers and their sister, did not come to America and died in Germany. The surname indicates an ancestor was a Schwabacher—or a person form the town of Schwabach, south of Nurnberg. This is consistent with the known origins of the Schwabacher family that came to the Pacific Northwest. Loeb Schwabacher (whose name may have actually been Leopold) was from Zirndorf, Bavaria. Zirndorf, in the Kreis of Furth, is a large suburb on the western outskirts of Nurnberg. (See Block family.)

Their children were:
Barbetta (Babette) Schwabacher
Louis Schwabacher
Abraham Schwabacher
Sigmund (Sig) Schwabacher

>>Barbetta (Babette) Schwabacher b. 3 Jan 1836, Bavaria, m. 1861, in San Francisco, CA, Bailey Gatzert (see bio), b. 29 Dec 1829, Hesse-Darmstadt, Germany, d. 19 Apr 1893, Seattle, WA, buried: San Francisco. Babette died 7 Jan 1908, San Francisco, CA.

The Gatzerts never had children.

>>Louis Schwabacher b. 1837, Bavaria, m. (1) 1877, Belle Blum, m. (2) Norma ? Louis died 3 Jun 1900, Paris, France while attending the Paris Exposition; buried in San Francisco in the family vault. After arriving in the U.S. He too went to Mississippi before heading to the West Coast, to San Francisco and Walla Walla, returning to San Francisco to oversee the family's business interests and investments on the coast. In 1886, he moved his office to New York, then came back to San Francisco for his remaining years.

Their children:

Mina Louise Schwabacher m. Albert Ehrman.
——Frederich Ehrman

Jacie Schwabacher m. Karl Saiss.
——Louis Saiss
——John Saiss

>>Abraham Schwabacher b. ca 1838, Bavaria, m. 23 Feb 1869, in Portland, Multnomah Co, OR, Sarah Lehrberger, b. 24 Mar 1847, New York, NY (daughter of Samuel Lehrberger and Sophie Bloch). Abraham died 7 Sep 1909, San Francisco, CA.
Samuel Lehrberger's second wife was Henrietta "Jetta" Bloch, sister of his first wife, Sophie, and of his sister-in-law, Mina Schwabacher (see Bloch family). Abraham spent most of his life in Portland and San Francisco, but making frequent trips to Seattle.

A. Louis A Schwabacher b. ca 1870, m. Norma Bachman Loewe. Louis died 1 Aug 1909, San Francisco, CA.
    1. Margery Loewe Schwabacher m. Robert Wiel.
B. Jennie Schwabacher b. 12 Oct 1872, m. Charles W. Rosenbaum.
    1. Charles W. Rosenbaum Jr. m. Leta Herzog.
        a. Leta Jane Rosenbaum
        b. Carla Rosenbaum
C. Frederick Schwabacher b. before 1909.
D. Sophie Schwabacher d. bef 1909.
E. Mina Alice Schwabacher b. 21 Oct 1877, San Francisco, CA, m. 3 Oct 1902, in San Francisco, CA ?, Nathan Eckstein (see bio), b. 10 Jan 1873, Bavaria (son of Lazarus Eckstein and Johanna Haas), d. 21 Oct 1945, Seattle, WA.
Mina died 26 Jun 1942, Seattle, WA, buried: Hills of Eternity. Mina was active in many civic organizations--Seattle Community Fund (United Way predecessor), the Visiting Nurse Service, the Council of Jewish Women and numerous health-related societies. The family lived at 100 4th Ave N.

    • Johanna Eckstein b. ca 1903, Seattle, WA, d. 1 Oct 1983, Seattle, WA.
Johanna Eckstein never married; graduate of Goucher College, Baltimore, Maryland. She was a noted patron of the arts and supported numerous philanthropic causes, among them the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, Seattle Visiting Nurses Service, Cornish Foundation, Pro Musica and the Seattle Repertory Theatre. She also forwarded the careers of the now-noted artists Mark Tobey and Kenneth Callahan.
    • Babette Eckstein m. (1) Edwin Joseph , m. (2) in Los Angeles, CA, Curtis Levinson
       a. Stephen Joseph m. Laura Lee Karp
       b. Judith Joseph
       c. Anthony Charles Joseph m. in Los Angeles, CA, Joyce Berlin
          (1) Jennifer Joseph
          (2) John Joseph
       d. Katherine Levinson 3. daughter Eckstein d. 17 Nov 1912

>>Sigmund (Sig) Schwabacher b. 14 May 1841, Zirndorf, Bavaria, m. 15 Mar 1871, Rosa Schwabacher, b. 3 Jul 1849, Albany, NY, d. 26 Jun 1939, San Francisco, CA. Sigmund died 20 Mar 1917, San Francisco, CA.
Before coming to Washington Territory in 1861, Sigmund was first employed at The Dalles, Oregon, by the trading firm of Black and Miller--Black (probably originally Bloch) was his uncle. He became a partner in the company which he then left to go into business with his brothers and brother-in-law. Rosa Schwabacher came west 10 years later. In 1873, Sigmund Schwabacher was named a director of the 280-mile-long Seattle-Walla Walla Railroad. He went to San Francisco in 1882, building the family home there at 1900 Jackson Street in 1893. He became president of Schwabacher Bros. Company about 1914. He retained the presidency of both firms until his death.Sigmund And Rosa had seven children, though their eldest son, Leo, was the only one involved with the Pacific Northwest:

A. Leopold (Leo) S. Schwabacher b. 26 Dec 1871, Seattle, WA, m. 1 Jan 1902, in San Francisco, CA, Edna Blum, b. 4 Jan 1878, (daughter of Moses Blum and Bertha Koshland ) d. Apr 1981, Seattle, WA. Leopold died 6 Apr 1930, Seattle, WA, buried: Hills of Eternity.
Leo attended Lawrenceville Prep School in New Jersey. When he was 21, the call went out from Schwabacher headquarters for a family member to come to Seattle and work for Schwabacher Bros. Leo volunteered and it would become his life's work. When they came to Seattle as a couple, Leo and Edna lived at 15th Avenue and East Pike Street, now the site of Temple De Hirsch Sinai, later buying a house at Three Tree Point, south of town. Leo served as vice president of the Gatzert-Schwabacher Land Company, and was a trustee of Schwabacher Bros. & Company. He was well known for his enlightened treatment of his employees. They had two children:

1. Morton L. Schwabacher b. 12 Dec 1902, m. Mar 1931, in San Francisco, CA, Emilie Bloch (see Bloch family), b. 1903, San Francisco, CA (daughter of Henry Bloch and Matilda Villard). Morton died 26 Mar 1977, Seattle, WA. He was Emilie's second cousin once removed. She was the daughter of Henry Bloch and Matilda Villard. (see bios)
Morton knew that he would join the family business so he attended Yale University because Connecticut was a major center for hardware manufacturing. Morton and Emilie moved to Seattle. The male line of the Schwabachers in Seattle came to an end. Emilie taught after receiving her master of arts degree in education from Mills College. She was a noted feminist and tired of socializing, preferring important volunteer work. Her special interest was the Settlement (later Neighborhood) House, sponsored by the Council of Jewish Women for the underprivileged in the then largely Jewish central area of Seattle. In 1948, she joined the board of Children's Orthopedic Hospital, where she remained for 25 years. Their child:

    • Eleanor Schwabacher m. Philip Boren, b. Bellevue, WA.
        (1) Debra Boren
        (2) James Boren
        (3) Karen Boren
2. Bertha Schwabacher b. ca 1904, m. Joseph Heyman, b. Atlanta, GA.
    a. Leslie Heyman
    b. Barbara Jo Heyman
    c. Margaret Heyman

B. Max Schwabacher b. 4 May 1873, Walla Walla, Washington Territory, d. 18 Jul 1933, San Francisco, CA.
C. Mina Schwabacher b. 22 Mar 1875, Walla Walla, Washington Territory, d.
D. Lester Schwabacher b. 11 Aug 1876, Walla Walla, Washington Territory, d. 16 Jul 1877, Seattle, WA, buried: Jewish Cemetery, Portland, OR.
E. Stella Schwabacher b. 6 Oct 1877, Walla Walla, Washington Territory, m. 22 Mar 1900, Alfred Bornstein, d. 13 Jun 1939, San Francisco, CA. Stella died 6 Aug 1965, San Francisco, CA.
    1. Rosalind Bornstein
    2. Bernice Bornstein m. ? Baruch.

F. Franklin (Frank) Schwabacher b. 2 Sep 1882, San Francisco, CA, m. 15 Apr 1915, Hanna Meertichץ
    1. Frank Schwabacher Jr. b. 20 Oct 1916, San Francisco, CA, d. 7 Feb 1979, Palo Alto, CA.
    2. Sigmund Donald Schwabacher b. 28 Jan 1920, San Mateo, CA, m. Bernice Emily Dunn. Sigmund died 24 Nov 1993, Los Angeles, CA.
    3. Ruth Schwabacher b. 24 Feb 1925, San Mateo, CA, m. Thomas Ohm Whittacker

G. Helen Rita Schwabacher b. 16 Dec 1885, San Francisco, CA, m. 16 Apr 1907, Samuel B. Haber. Helen died Feb 1925, San Francisco, CA.
    1. Joseph Haber
    2. Richard Haber

Note: Schwabacher family records show a Moses Schwabacher d. Albany, NY, on 15th day of Shabat. Although it is not known who he is, he is on the family death register after the entries for Loeb and Mina Schwabacher. Sigmund's wife, Rosa was born in Albany; Moses may be her father and perhaps Leob Schwabacher's brother. Clearly, the New York and Seattle Schwabachers are related.

Also, the family records show another Babette Schwabacher, who died at age 91 on 25 Oct 1904 in San Francisco. She is listed on the same page as the deaths of Loeb and Mina, the parents of the Schwabacher brothers and sister. She is not the previously mentioned Babette Adler Schwabacher who was born in 1789, if these dates are accurate, and her relationship to the family examined her is not known, though there obviously is one.


The Seattle Times, magazine section, 13 Jan 1980: "The Schwabachers: 110-year legacy to the city," by Rabbi Raphael Levine

Seattle in the 1880s by David Buerge (for the Historical Society of Seattle and King County)

History of Seattle by Clarence B. Bagley
Four Wagons West by Robert Frye Watt

The Walla Walla Story by Vance Orchard
Walla Walla: Portrait of a Western Town 1804-1899 by Robert A. Bennett

Bailey Gatzert by Margaret Pitcairn Stachan
Genealogical records compiled in 1977 by Myron Freyd, Bremerton, WA
Recollections of Emilie Schwabacher

Family Obituaries

Social Security Death Index

The LDS International Genealogical Index and Ancestral File

Schwabacher papers and family records, Seattle Jewish Historical Society collection, University of Washington Library Manuscripts and University Archives Division

< Go back to Part 1: Schwabacher Family | Go to Part 3: Schwabacher Biographies >