University of Arizona

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Jacobs Family Papers

Letter from London Paris and American Bank Limited

L.M. Jacobs and Company, formerly M.I. Jacobs and Company, was a family business serving the mining camps and military establishments in Arizona during the 1870s. Their money exchange business grew significantly by 1871; gold coin from San Francisco was exchanged for paper money in Tucson. The brothers gave up the mercantile part of the business in 1880 to concentrate on banking.

The banks went through several changes over the years. Pima County Bank became Consolidated Bank of Tucson in 1887 with Merrill P. Freeman as the cashier in 1887. He resigned and established the Santa Cruz Valley Bank. In 1890, the Jacobs brothers sold their ownership of Consolidated Bank of Tucson, purchased the Santa Cruz Valley Bank, and changed its name to the Arizona National Bank.

Lionel and Barron were active in Tucson social life and resided for a time at the Owl's Club, a bachelor's residence for prominent businessmen. They were active in forming the Tucson Literary Society in 1873. Lionel was appointed to the Pima County Board of Supervisors in 1871, was Treasurer of the Territorial Legislature in 1873, and also served on the Tucson City Council. He married Bertha Frank (1865-1955) of San Francisco. He died February 7, 1922 in San Francisco. Barron served as Treasurer of the Territorial Legislature for the two months prior to Lionel. He married Henrietta (Yetta) and they had one daughter, Hilda. Barron died on November 15, 1936 in Washington, D.C., where his daughter resided.

The collection consists of correspondence, letter books, invoices, financial statements, ledgers, journals, receipts, cancelled checks, debit and credit memos, certificate of deposit stubs, draft registers, collection registers, and remittance registers produced by the daily mercantile and banking business of Lionel and Barron Jacobs.  

This collection provides detailed evidence of mercantile and banking practices at the end of the 19th century. Additional highlights include 1875 bankruptcy papers for the mercantile company of Philip Drachman and Isaac Goldberg; agreements to supply goods to military camps; daily sales blotters from as early as 1867 showing customer name, items purchased and price paid for each item; an 1870 Citizens Subscription of Indian Campaign giving names and amount contributed; receipt books that show customer name, items shipped, and where shipped, including many for Camp Grant; Distilled Spirits Received and Sold records which give customer name, place, and number of gallons of whiskey delivered; lists of bank depositors showing names of Tombstone and Tucson citizens with amounts they have on deposit; and other bank transactions for individuals showing what they deposited, borrowed, and paid out.

Materials in this collection are in Spanish and English.