While our physical offices are closed until at least April 13 due Austin's COVID-19 "shelter-in-place" order, the Handbook of Texas will remain available at no-cost for you, your fellow history enthusiasts, and all Texas students currently mandated to study from home. If you have the capacity to help us maintain our online Texas history resources during these uncertain times, please consider making a 100% tax-deductible contribution today. Thank you for your support of TSHA and Texas history. Donate Today »


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.

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

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


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.
visit the mytsha forums to participate

View these posts and more when you register your free MyTSHA account.

Call for Papers: Texas Center for Working-Class Studies Events, Symposia, and Workshops
Hi all! You may be interested in this call for papers I received from the Texas Center for Working-Class Studies at Collin College...

Katy Jennings' Ride Scholarly Research Request
I'm doing research on Catherine Jennings Lockwood, specifically the incident known as "Katy Jennings' Ride." Her father was Gordon C. Jennings, the oldest man to die at the Alamo...

Texas Constitution of 1836 Co-Author- Elisha Pease? Ask a Historian
The TSHA profile of Elisha Marshall Pease states that he wrote part of the Texas Constitution although he was only a 24 year-old assistant secretary (not elected). I cannot find any other mention of this authorship work by Pease in other credible research about the credited Constution authors...