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California Genealogy and History Archives

Sacramento County



The distinctive mental endowments that peculiarly adapt the people of his race for successful identification with mercantile pursuits appear among the most prominent attributes in the character of Mr. Kaufman and lie at the foundation of his present prosperity. It was his good fortune, when he left his native land of Germany and came to the United States at the age of fifteen, to secure employment with one of the leading firms of Sacramento; and, while his position was at first the very humble and illy-paid work of bundle boy, he was so eager to learn, so quick to perceive and so energetic in action that he soon learned the details of the business and won his way to deserved promotion, ultimately through the frugal saving of his wages and the complete mastery of mercantile principles, becoming interested financially in the business that gave him his first start toward wealth. Although now in a financial position that would justify retirement and a life of ease, his love of business is so keen that he continues at the head of an establishment of note in Sacramento, said indeed to be one of the finest stores of its kind in all of Northern California.

The family represented by Mr. Kaufman has long been identified with Hohenzollern, Germany, where he was born in October, 1861, and where his parents in 1897 celebrated their golden wedding. On that memorable occasion they were honored by receiving a private communication from Emperor William, through his minister, conveying compliments and appreciation and also bestowing upon them a- gold medal in commemoration of the event. One of the sons of the family. Max, came to America at an early age, and by perseverance and wise management established a profitable ladies' tailoring business in Portland, Ore. Greatly prospered in the undertaking, he finally sold out in 1911, and since then has been traveling in Europe.

The dry-goods house of Lipman & Co., with headquarters in Sacramento and a branch store at Virginia City, was the place where Carl Kaufman learned the mercantile business, working his way up from bundle boy to bookkeeper. For a time the firm stationed him at Virginia City, but when that store was closed and another establishment opened at Portland, Ore., he was brought back to Sacramento. During 1892 the business was sold to S. Wasserman, who took into partnership E. D. Davis and Carl Kaufman, under the firm title of Wasserman, Davis & Co. The co-partnership continued for six years. Upon the retirement of Mr. Davis at the expiration of that time the title was changed to Wasserman, Kaufman & Co., and continued as such until 1898, when Mr. Kaufman disposed of his holdings to the senior member. The relinquishment of business interests gave him an opportunity to travel with his family through the east and in Europe, where he spent two years, renewing the associations of early life and visiting relatives in the old country. The business of which he is now the head was started in October of 1908 at its present location on Seventh and K streets, opposite the postoffice, and is devoted to ladies' furnishings, a specialty being made of cloaks and suits, in the selection of which the owner displays a thorough knowledge of materials and changing styles. The trade has increased to such an extent that employment is furnished to about thirty-five persons, the more experienced of whom relieve the proprietor of the heaviest responsibilities incident to the management of so large an establishment.

The marriage of Mr. Kaufman was solemnized in 1886 and united Mm with Miss Sallie Kosmisky, of Sacramento, daughter of a pioneer family who came to California via the Isthmus prior to the completion of the first trans-continental railroad. Her father conducted a wholesale and retail cigar business in Sacramento, where for years he was prominently identified with the Democratic party and with various fraternal organizations. Mr. and Mrs. Kaufman have two sons, Carl, Jr., and Bernard. The elder, born in 1894, has received high school advantages in Sacramento, while the younger, preferring business pursuits, entered his father's establishment as a clerk at an early age. The family adhere to the accepted religion of the Hebrew race and have been generous contributors to the work of the Synagogue as well as to many of the great charities maintained by their people in the new world. 

History of Sacramento County, California
Biographical Sketches of The Leading Men and Women of the County Who Have Been Identified With Its Growth and Development from the Early Days to the Present
History By: William L. Willis
Historic Record Company, Los Angeles, California (1913)

Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011