Home June 2012 Celebrating Orange County’s Jewish History

Celebrating Orange County’s Jewish History

According to the Anaheim city website, Lemuel Goldwater (Barry Goldwater’s second cousin) was a “visionary” and “prominent citizen” of Anaheim who played an integral role in bringing electricity to the growing town.  Born in San Francisco in 1867, Lemuel was the oldest child of Polish Jewish immigrants.  The family moved to Arizona for business reasons when Lemuel was a boy, and in 1893, he sold out his interest in the family store and moved to Anaheim.  There he bought into the Citizens Bank, becoming the cashier; fellow Jewish pioneer Hippolyte Cahen was the president.  At a Board of Trustees meeting on May 22, 1894, Lemuel proposed that an electric light plant be established in Anaheim and put together an offer to construct and operate it.  The board later decided to embark on a municipally-backed project instead but credited Lemuel with helping to build “a better place in which to live, work and play.”

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