While our physical offices are closed until further notice in accordance with Austin's COVID-19 "stay home-work safe" 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
Five of the Sanger brothers
Photograph, Five of the Sanger brothers. Image available on the Internet and included in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.
Morris Lasker
Painting, Portrait of Morris Lasker. Image courtesy of the Rosenburg Library Museum. Image available on the Internet and included in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.
The Sanger Bros. Department Store
Photograph, The Sanger Bros. Department Store, designed by Otto Lang. Image available on the Internet and included in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.
Grave of Philip Sanger
Photograph, Grave of Philip Sanger in Dallas. Image available on the Internet and included in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.

SANGER, PHILIP (1840–1902). Philip Sanger, merchant, the third of ten children of Elias and Barbetta (Mandelbaum Heller) Sanger, was born in Obernbreit am Main, Germany, in 1840. In 1856 he immigrated to the United States. From New York he went to work for a cousin, David Heller, in Savannah, Georgia. There in 1857 he met Morris Lasker, then seventeen, who bought from Heller the goods that Morris sold on foot through the Georgia countryside. Lasker later followed Sanger to Texas and at one time was his partner. Sanger remained in Georgia until the Civil War began. He enlisted in the Confederate Army, fought in battles in Florida and South Carolina, and was slightly wounded. After the war he made his way to Texas, where he joined his brothers Isaac and Lehman, who had opened the first Sanger stores in McKinney, Weatherford, and Decatur. Between 1866 and 1872 the Sangers opened stores in nine more towns-Millican, Bryan, Hearne, Calvert, Bremond, Kosse, Groesbeck, Corsicana, and Dallas, as they followed the Houston and Texas Central Railroad. Philip was dominant among the brothers. In 1867 he and Asher Mandelbaum, a cousin, ran the Calvert store. In 1868 Philip married Cornelia Mandelbaum, the daughter of his uncle in New Haven, Connecticut, with whom Isaac and Lehman Sanger had stayed. Lehman and Philip ran the store in Corsicana under the name L. and P. Sanger, and subsequently rented a location on the courthouse square in Dallas for a store. They sent for their brother Alex in Cincinnati. The Dallas store opened in July 1872. Philip, whom the family regarded as a merchandising wizard, dominated the retail operations, the firm's primary source of income. In 1885 he built a home in Dallas about which writer Edna Ferber later wrote, "It's worth a trip to Texas just to see it." Sanger died in Pasadena, California, on April 12, 1902. Sanger Brothers continued to prosper under the momentum given by his management.


Morris Lasker, "Letter from a Texas Pioneer, 1909," Western States Jewish Historical Quarterly 15 (July 1983). Natalie Ornish, Pioneer Jewish Texans (Dallas: Texas Heritage, 1989). Leon Joseph Rosenberg, Sangers': Pioneer Texas Merchants (Austin: Texas State Historical Association, 1978).

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, "SANGER, PHILIP," accessed July 13, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fsa50.

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Modified on May 4, 2016. 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...