Heritage Gateways

Official Sesquicentennial K-12 Education Project
sponsored by the Utah State Board of Education, the BYU-Public School Partnership and the Utah Education Network

Pioneer 1848-1868 Companies

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1864, Auerbach Family (Jewish)

To Main Street (SLC) from California
One hundred years ago, in the spring of 1864, three brothers, Frederick H., Samuel H. and Theodore H. Auerbach, moved to Salt Lake City and established "The People's Store." Their mercantile business at Rabbit Creek, a gold mining camp in Sierra County, California had gradually declined, and looking eastward, they felt that Salt Lake City, situated as it was on a direct transcontinental route, would be an ideal spot to locate. Frederick came first and talked with Brigham Young, obtaining from him a location for their first store, on Main Street a few doors below the southwest corner of First South Street.

Herbert Auerbach Remembers
In those early days the pioneers were primarily interested in the real necessities of life. They demanded merchandise that would stand hard service. Herbert Auerbach, who devoted so much of his time to the collection of pioneer history, books, relics, etc., said: "It must be remembered that in those days there were good reasons for these demands. Streets in the city and valley were poor, often very muddy or very dusty. Sometimes bands of sheep or cattle were driven down Main Street and the dust would be so thick that it was necessary for storekeepers to close their doors. Then, too, the problem of getting merchandise into the valley was a difficult one. Ox teams were used, mostly, and when there was a particular urge for speed mules were used."

The early Auerbach stores carried every type and description of merchandise from drugs to clothing, food, hardware, home furnishings. Trading was common; articles carried by the store were exchanged for produce raised by the farmers of the valley. Today [1965] Auerbach's Store is one of the relatively few companies in the nation and particularly in the west which has endured for 100 years under the management of a single family without reorganization. [It went out of business in the 1970s.] It can truly be said that they have made a valuable contribution to the growth and development of the state.

Eveline Brooks Auerbach was born Nov. 16, 1859, in a placer mining camp near Oroville, California, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Julius G. Brooks, pioneers of 1854, who crossed the plains by ox team from Nebraska to Salt Lake and the following year moved to California. The family returned to Salt Lake City in 1864 and for several years resided on Main Street just north of the Clift Building and later on Broadway [northwest corner of 300 South and State Street].

Tribute to Eveline Brooks Auerbach
On Dec. 16, 1879, Eveline married Samuel H. Auerbach, a member of the firm of F. Auerbach and Brother. An accomplished musician, she was exceptionally well educated, especially in languages, speaking German, Italian and French fluently. Prof. Anthony C. Lund, an intimate friend of the family, paid the following tribute to Mrs. Auerbach:

To one well acquainted with Mrs. Eveline Brooks Auerbach, Oroville, California can make no greater claim to distinction than that of being the birthplace of this estimable woman. Her early life was fraught with all the dangers and privations of pioneer life, which training has produced so many characters that are real. It would be difficult to say in which noble characteristic she excelled. She seemed to possess them all in wonderful balance. Her ambitions and ideals led her even in those early days to make the most of her environment, and her love of books and music resulted in a culture that pervaded her home, and was felt by everyone who was favored to visit her. She possessed the faculty of making all feel at perfect ease in her presence, retained a youthful enthusiasm for the current events in our big world, and discussed these with an insight and philosophy that was convincing and caused us to marvel. Her home was her realm, and though quick to answer any call of need, or any charity whatever, she preferred to leave public affairs to others. No one ever left her door in want, and her neighborhood felt no affliction or destitution which she did not seek to alleviate. The well being of others was her chief concern, and unselfish service a crowning attribute.

She was a beautiful woman, whose superior culture and noble ideals became an inspiration to all who knew her.

Source: Our Pioneer Heritage © Carter, Kate B., ed. 20 vols. Salt Lake City: International Society, Daughters of Utah Pioneers, 1958-1977. All rights reserved. No part of this material may be reproduced in any form or by any means without permission in writing from the publisher. Documents and images are exerpted by permission from the LDS Family History Suite CDROM from Ancestry.