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OPPENHEIMER, ANTON

Natalie Ornish

OPPENHEIMER, ANTON (1840–1906). Anton Oppenheimer, merchant and banker, was born in 1840 in Burgkunstadt, Bavaria, to Joseph and Yetta Oppenheimer, the third of eight children. His brothers included Daniel Oppenheimer. Anton immigrated to the United States in 1858 when his older brother, Daniel, sent for him to become a full partner in a new business, D. and A. Oppenheimer. From 1858 to 1861 they operated as small merchants in Rusk, Texas, and the surrounding area near Palestine. In 1861 they joined the Confederate Army. They served the entire years of the Civil War in different brigades. Anton served in Hood's Texas Brigade and has also been reported as serving in Ector's Brigade. At the end of the war the brothers moved to San Antonio. By bartering and trading their merchandise for cattle when ranchers had no cash, the brothers became significant cattle and land owners. In the 1890s the wholesale business was incorporated into the American Hat and Shoe Company. By 1902 the retail store was closed. In 1908 they sold their ranch and cattle for $1 million and invested it in the D. and A. Oppenheimer bank, one of the oldest banks in Texas. Anton married Adelaide Pfeiffer of New York, and they had three daughters and a son. For thirty-two years Anton was a member of the Independent Order of B'nai B'rith. He died on March 16, 1906, in San Antonio at the home of his brother Julius, whom he had been visiting for two months. Anton at the time was living in New York, where Adelaide preferred to live. After his death his remains were shipped to New York. He was survived by two brothers, Daniel and Julius Oppenheimer of San Antonio, three sisters in Germany and one in New York, and four children. The bank continued to carry the name D. and A. Oppenheimer for eighty-two years after his death; it closed on December 1, 1988.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 
Natalie Ornish, Pioneer Jewish Texans (Dallas: Texas Heritage, 1989). San Antonio Daily Light, March 17, 1906.

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Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Natalie Ornish, "OPPENHEIMER, ANTON," accessed April 02, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fop03.

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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