Orange County’s Jewish History

0916historyMarcus Reinhaus and his wife Julia (Herzsohn) raised eight children, four boys and four girls, in Dusseldorf, Germany, but after Julia passed away at the young age of 40, the remaining family emigrated to the U.S. While one son settled in Idaho and another in Los Angeles, the rest of the family chose to reside in Santa Ana, most likely because eldest daughter Hulda had married local merchant Levi Gildmacher. Hulda’s brothers Max and Julius helped run Levi’s store, and the whole Reinhaus family lived in the Gildmacher home for many years, with Levi adding several rooms to accommodate them all. The family played a prominent role in the growing community of Santa Ana: in 1886 Max and Julius opened their own dry goods store at the corner of 4th and Bush; sisters Theresa and Emilia owned and operated a millinery (women’s hat) shop; and their father, veterinanian Dr. Marcus Reinhaus, had his practice on 4th Street. Julius, who was known as a “man about town,” had one of the first horseless carriages in the area and could be seen taking his family and friends out for Sunday drives. Known for his fairness and intelligence, Julius learned to speak Spanish and developed good business relations with the many Basque sheepmen in the area. The Reinhaus family, along with the Gildmachers, Ashers, Hershkowitzs, Goldsmiths and Falkensteins, were an important part of the fairly significant Jewish presence in early Orange County.

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