Heilner, Seligmann, 1823-1886
- Existence: 1823 - 1886
Seligmann Heilner (1823-1886) was a German immigrant to the United States and an entrepreneur.
Seligmann Heilner was born on January 3, 1823. He was a German immigrant and American entrepreneur. Seligmann was born to parents Aron and Magdalene Heilner in Germany. Since Aron and Magdalene were not married through the German government, the birth of Seligmann was not recognized by law. No civil record has ever been found of this birth. Seligmann moved to America in 1845 to fulfill his father's wishes. Seligmann made his way over land to California in 1849 in the midst of the gold rush. Upon crossing over the country, Seligmann stopped in Cincinnati where he acquired a large amount of debt. The situation became so dangerous that Seligmann changed his identity to E.D. Cohen so he would not be followed. That name stuck with Seligmann through all his business ventures. After Seligmann fled from Cincinnati, he moved to Crescent City, California where he worked in partnership with a man named Julius Simonsfeld. Together they ran a small clothier business.
Seligmann was able to assist in the immigration of his younger brother, Sigmund, to California. With Sigmund, Seligmann travelled around the western United States in search of a profitable business. Seligmann found luck but also loss in the gold mining business. In 1872, the brothers built a stone store in Sparta, Oregon. The two brothers sold goods and supplies to miners. The Sparta store was left to Seligmann as Sigmund moved to Baker, Oregon to open another store. On October 31, 1886 two lawyers from Baker got into a fight with Seligmann (E.D. Cohn) over a case that the lawyers were arguing in court. G.C. Israel, the lawyer, became so angry with Seligmann that he shot and killed him, assisted by another lawyer, O.M. Thorndyke. Seligmann's murderers were never charged as the lawyers bribed the judge who was charged with the responsibility to condemn the two lawyers. Sigmund tried for a long time to have the judgment overturned, but could not combat the corrupt system.
Citation:Sanford Joseph Heilner and Claire Heilner Freedman collection on the Aron Heilner family, approximately 1813-2013, bulk 1850-1920 (Seligmann Heilner; born January 3, 1823; immigrant to US; entrepreneur; emigrated to America in 1845; joined gold rush in California in 1849; became indebted in Ohio and changed identity to E.D. Cohen; moved to Crescent City, California; helped brother Sigmund come to America; Sigmund and Seligmann sold goods and supplies to miners in Baker City, Or.; Seligmann was murdered on October 31, 1886)
San Francisco chronicle, November 2, 1886 (Ed Cohen shot by George C. Israel in Baker City, California after argument over a court case)
Jewish Museum of the American West, via WWW, May 1, 2021 (Sigmund Aron Heilner & Family; Seligmann Heilner, known as Ed. D. Cohen, and brother Sigmund Aron Heiner were pioneer Jewish merchants in Oregon) http://www.jmaw.org/heilner-jewish-oregon/
Found in 6 Collections and/or Records:
Letter from F. Strauss, a friend desires to come to California and asks for Seligmann's advice. Dated March 22, 1855. Includes a transcription of the letter.
Sanford Joseph Heilner and Claire Heilner Freedman historical background on Heilner family, approximately 1813-2010
Materials include photographs, maps, genealogy, and other collected documents and publications, including written historical narrative on Germany and the family of Aron Heilner. Dated from approximately 1813 to 2009.