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Exact Center of California
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Madera Biographies: ROSENTHAL


The mercantile interests of Madera have an able representative in Mr. Rosenthal, resident member of the firm of Rosenthal & Kutner. Although a native of Germany, born February 8, 1853, lie is a patriotic American, and especially loyal to the state of California, where he has made his home since 1876, and where he has gained a host of warm personal friends. The foundation of his present knowledge of the dry goods business was gained through an apprenticeship of three years to the trade, and at the expiration of his time he worked in different parts of his native land. During the year 1876 He arrived in California and coming to Fresno, entered the employ of Kutner, Goldstein & Co., with whom he remained about twelve months. At the expiration of that period he went into business for himself in the same town, opening a cigar and tobacco store. In 1879 he established himself in business in Phoenix, Ariz., where he conducted a general mercantile store. However, while engaged in business there, he still considered California his home state, and in 1886 disposed of his  Arizona interests, since which time he has resided in Madera.

Shortly after the fire of 1886 Mr. Rosenthal built a small frame storeroom and in it he inaugurated a mercantile business. At first his stock of goods was small, but as his sales increased he enlarged the stock to meet the demanded of the trade. On the corner of Yosemite and D streets he erected a two-story structure, 30x80 feet in dimensions, which was one of the first brick stores in the city. This has since been enlarged, so that it gives an area of 30x100 feet for the accommodation of the stock of general merchandise. However, after a time even the increased space proved insufficient, and he then bought out the dry goods store of Sweet & Co., a few doors below the old stand, and moved his merchandise to the new quarters, where he carries a full line of dry goods and clothing. In the older building he has a full equipment of groceries hardware and furniture. Since 1885 the business has been conducted under the firm title of Rosenthal & Kutner, his partner being J. Kutner, who has charge of the San Francisco office and resides in that city.

On the organization of the Commercial Bank of Madera Mr. Rosenthal became one of its charter stockholders and has since served upon its board of directors. Included in his other interests is the ownership of thirty-eight acres in the heart of Madera, consisting of three hundred lots, and all the buildings formerly owned by the old Madera Flume and Trading Company, among these buildings being a sash and door factory, 170x300 feet, operated by Watkins & Thurman. Since the organization of the board of fire commissioners of Madera he has held the office of clerk and been very active in its workings. He is a member of the Madera Chamber of Commerce and an enthusiastic supporter of all enterprises for the benefit of the city. In politics he votes with the Republican Party. While in Phoenix he was made a Mason and is now connected with Madera Lodge No. 280, F. & A. M., Fresno Chapter No. 69, R. A. M., and the Order of the Eastern Star. His marriage united him with Hattie Price, who was born and reared in San Francisco and is the daughter of a pioneer family of that city. Their only child, Thekla Rosenthal, is a graduate of Miss Hamlin’s Seminary in San Francisco

Guinn, J. M., History of the State of California and Biographical Record of the San Joaquin Valley, California, (Chicago: Chapman Publishing, 1905), page 1289.

Transcribed by Harriet Sturk.

Last update: October 17, 2012
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