Auditor-Controller/Treasurer/Tax Collector (ATC) Ensen Mason is honored to present another riveting story of the many great county residents that have served in his position since 1853.

Marcus Katz, a pivotal Jewish civic leader and businessman, was born in Hesse-Darmstadt, Germany on Sept. 20, 1820. In 1845, he set sail for America, eventually landing in Baltimore, Maryland where he remained until the California Gold Rush prompted his migration to San Francisco.

After spending two years in San Francisco, Katz moved to Los Angeles and then to San Bernardino in 1852, where he established his home. He was the first person to open a stationery and bookstore in town. In 1853, he moved to San Diego, where he met and married Leah Jacobs and moved back to San Bernardino in 1857. During the same year, Katz was appointed county treasurer, a position he held until 1864.

During this time, he was also appointed as a notary public from 1857-1869 by the following former governors of California: Governor L. Nealy Johnson, Governor John G. Downey, Governor Leland Stanford, Governor Henry Haight and Acting Governor James P.T. Carter.

In addition to these roles, Katz was also in charge of the United States Commissary in San Bernardino until about 1859.

Katz and his wife had five children including Maurice, who married Zara Harris; Grace, who married Adolph Horwitz; Victoria, who didn’t marry; Glady, who married Robert Parsons; and Edmund, who married Helen Lothrop.

Katz passed away in 1899 at the age of 79 was buried locally in the city of San Bernardino.

Additional County Update News – February 22, 2024

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