The Schwabacher Family

Part 3: Schwabacher Family Biographies

Bailey Gatzert | Nathan Eckstein

The Bloch/Schwabacher Connection
Confusing?? These Blochs were siblings:

*Isaac Bloch, who married Henriette Cahen.
Their son was Henry Bloch, who married Matilda Villard.
Their daughter was Emilie Bloch, who married Morton Schwabacher.

*Mina Bloch, who married Loeb Schwabacher.
Their children were Babette, Louis, Abe, and Sig.

*Henrietta (Jetta) Bloch was born 5 Jan 1817. She married Samuel Lehrberger (first marriage).

*Sophie Bloch was born 30 Nov 1814, married Samuel Lehrberger (second marriage).
Their daughter was Sarah who married Abe Schwabacher.

Bailey Gatzert, the first Jewish mayor of Seattle (1829-1893), in 1875. Courtesy Seattle Municipal ArchivesBailey Gatzert was born in Hesse-Darmstadt, Germany and received a good education. He came to America by 1853, joining his sister in Natches, Mississippi. He learned English—and American customs—there while a clerk, then went to California, where he worked first in the Sierra gold rush towns of Auburn and Nevada City. His naturalization application was made in California 18 Jan 1858, stating he had resided in this country for at least five years and in California a least one year. His final citizenship papers were issued 15 Mar 1872 in Nevada City, indicating he had been a subject of Ludwig, third duke of Hesse-Darmstadt. In 1861, Gatzert went to San Francisco and after marrying Babette, the couple moved to Portland, Multnomah Co., Oregon, where they lived until his grocery business there was dissolved in 1865. He then operated a general-merchandise store until he and the Schwabacher brothers decided to pool their interests, forming a partnership that was to last through three generations.

Bailey and Babette Gatzert came to Seattle in 1869 to open the Schwabacher branch. About 1870. they built a home on the northwest corner of Third Avenue and James Street, where in 1880 they entertained President Rutherford B. Hayes.

Gatzert became a leading Seattle figure, serving as president of the Seattle Chamber of Commerce 1884-1890 and as Mayor in 1893. He founded the city’s first kindergarten and established the children's fund at the University of Washington. The Gatzerts also built a summer home on the east side of Lake Washington, calling it "Lucerne" after the Swiss lake, and owned the area's first St. Bernard dog. One of the early Columbia River steamers was named the Bailey Gatzert in his honor. Built by the Seattle Stem Navigation and Transportation Company in 1890, it later became a ferry on Puget Sound. The Bailey Gatzert Elementary School also was named for this Seattle Pioneer.

Bailey Gatzert was known as a generous man. After every big fire in the city, the old volunteer fire department would receive a $100 check from him. He and his good friends, Henry Yesler and M.R. Maddocks, sent out joint New Years card photos every year. They also loved to play pranks on each other and their friends. Babette was active in charity work and founded the Ladies’ Benevolent Society. One of her last gifts was a $10,000 pipe organ donated to the then new Temple De Hirsch [Sinai]. Bailey Gatzert d. 19 Apr 1893 at their suite in the Rainier Hotel. His funeral was a civic event and many of his friends, a virtual catalog of Seattle pioneers and prominent businessmen, were named honorary pallbearers: Arthur A. Denny, David T. Denny, M.H. Maddocks, Thomas Burke, David Kellogg, G. O. Haller, Dexter Horton, E.P. Ferry, John Leary, Jacob Furth, W.P. Boyd, R Hayden, W.H. Graham and Alexander McDonald. He was buried in San Francisco. Besides his widow, his survivors included a brother, J.L. Gatzert, who was engaged in the mercantile business in Chicago, the sister in Mississippi, and numerous nieces and nephews in the U.S. and Germany.

Nathan Eckstein (1873-1945), depicted in an Argus cartoon ca. 1906Nathan Eckstein was educated at the School of Commerce in Munich. Coming to America, he began in the wholesale grocery business in New York City in 1888, remaining there for 10 years before heading west to seek opportunities in the grocery field. In 1898, he joined Schwabacher Bros. & Co., becoming its president in 1916 and later, chairman of the board. In 1913, he joined the Seattle School Board, serving for a number of years including a period as its president. Nathan Eckstein Junior High (now middle school) bears his name.








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