Gertrude Asher, “one of the most popular young women” of Santa Ana, was selected to be queen of the 1909 Santa Ana Carnival of Products, an early version of the Orange County Fair. Born in 1889 in Orange County, where she grew up, she was the daughter of Jewish German immigrants Isadore and Ida Asher. Her father co-owned Asher & Falkenstein Mercantile, located at 105 W. Center Street (now Lincoln Ave.), and her mother was one of 11 children from the Harris family, a prominent Southern Californian Jewish family. Gertrude attended the Los Angeles State Normal School (which later became UCLA) where she received her teaching degree. She taught at Garvanza Elementary School in LA before getting married to Joseph Spitzer in 1919, and she continued her career once the family, including sons Irwin and Carlton, moved to San Bernardino.
Dalia Taft, archivist of the Orange County Jewish Historical Society – a program of Jewish Federation & Family Services – highlights images from the archives every month. For more information, please visit www.jewishorangecounty.org. You can also contact Dalia at email@example.com or at
(949) 435-3484, ext. 167.