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California Genealogy and History Archives

Sacramento County



The imposing three-story store of Charles P. Nathan, corner of J and Sixth streets, Sacramento, tells the story of the coming of the proprietor of that establishment to the state capital. He landed in this country from his native Germany at the age of seventeen, inexperienced, hut with a good common school education, and he had what every boy of his race inherits, an inclination to work. Young Nathan was variously employed in the eastern and southern states for three years, and the year 1869 found him in California. The $3 he had in his pocket when he lauded on American soil had grown a little, so he started in a little store, in a small way, the business that now looms up three floors in Sacramento city. It is one of the largest stores in Northern California, modern in every respect, and is a department store, a city emporium. It was practically begun in 1904 and finished in 1909, being changed and remodeled at different times.

Charles Nathan was married October 26, 1873, to Miss Anna Joseph, the daughter of Michael Joseph, a clothing merchant in Sacramento. He died in 1876, and his wife in 1911. In the Nathan family were born four children. Birdie, now the wife of Dr. Arthur Lachmen, professor in the University of Oregon for several years, but now head of the Arthur Lachmen Wine Company of San Francisco. They have two daughters, Gertrude, aged twelve years, and Ruth; aged six. Mrs. Lachmen was born July 25, 1874, and graduated from the San Francisco high school. Lillian Nathan was born in Sacramento July 27, 1878, and graduated from the state university, and is now the wife of Morris Ballin, a wholesale manufacturing and furnishing goods merchant of San Francisco. Their two children are Edwin, aged five, and Richard, two years old. Mitchell W. Nathan was born in Sacramento September 26, 1879, graduated from the University of California, and is now general manager of the C. P. Nathan store in Sacramento. Mr. Nathan practically has always been associated with the business, and under his competent management the establishment thrives commercially. In May, 1905, he was married to Miss Isabell Hammond of Sacramento, formerly of Utica, N. Y. They have a daughter, Caroline, born in May, 1906. Mitchell W. Nathan is a di- rector of the Sacramento Chamber of Commerce, and was president of the "100,000 Club" organized for the purpose of lifting Sacramento's population to that figure. Emile Nathan, the youngest son, was born December 3, 1883, and after passing through the city schools, graduated from the University of California. He was an earnest student and prominent in class debates. He is now manager in a ladies' department in the store and spends much of his time in New York selecting for the store. In 1909 he married Miss Lillian Cottrell of Berkeley a fellow university student. Mrs. Charles Nathan comes from a family of high educational attainment, many of its members being graduates of well-known institutions, and her brother had the distinction of receiving his college degree, in France, from Emperor Napoleon III.

Mr. Nathan is largely interested in real estate and farm lands, owning six hundred and forty-five acres five miles from the city and three hundred and twenty acres fronting on the Sacramento river, besides which he owns the entire store property. He has practically retired from active business, and spends much time in Paris and New York City, although his winters are spent in California. Mrs. Nathan's mother died in June, 1911, at the age of eighty-one. She left an estate valued at one-half million dollars. 

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