MS 30 Joseph Mannasse Papers

Summary Information

San Diego History Center Document Collection
Mannasse, Joseph S.
Joseph Mannasse Papers
MS 30
Date [inclusive]
0.25 Linear feet (1 box)
Language of Materials
English; Spanish; German.
This collection contains business papers and some personal papers of Joseph S. Mannasse, a Jewish immigrant and businessman who operated as a merchant and ran a general store in Old Town San Diego beginning in the 1850s.

Preferred Citation

Joseph Mannasse Papers, MS 30, San Diego History Center Document Archives, San Diego, CA.

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Biographical / Historical Notes

Joseph Samuel Mannasse (1831-1897) was a Jewish immigrant born in Filehne, Prussia. He was the son of Samuel and Lona Mannasse and was the oldest of seven children. At the age of nineteen he left Prussia for America. He arrived in New York in 1850 and three years later he made the trip out west to San Diego. He began his career in San Diego as a merchant and opened a dry goods store in Old Town. In 1856 he joined with Marcus Schiller to open a general store. This partnership lasted until 1888 and operated under the name of J.S. Mannasse and Company.

In 1860 J.S. Mannasse got involved in real estate speculation. That same year he bought Rancho Los Encinitas and Rancho San Dieguito, upon which he raised cattle. Between Mannasse and Schiller the two owned more than 6,000 acres of land. Mannasse was active in civic activities and was appointed County Clerk from 1862-1864. In 1867 he was elected to the City Council and also served as a member of the Board of Supervisors in 1868.

Schiller’s sister, Hannah, married Joseph’s brother, Hyman Mannasse. They were eventually divorced and after the divorce Hannah married Joseph Mannasse. They had one daughter, Celita Mannasse. Joseph Samuel Mannasse died on December 26, 1897 at age sixty-six.

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Scope and Content

This collection contains business papers and some personal papers of Joseph S. Mannasse, a Jewish immigrant and businessman who operated as a merchant and ran a general store in Old Town San Diego beginning in the 1850s. Business papers include correspondence, legal papers, petitions, bills of sale, deeds, and promissory notes. Also included are papers from Joseph’s brother, Moses, and a copy of the divorce decree for Hannah Schiller.

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This collection is arranged into two series, with materials arranged chronologically within each subject folder:

Series I: Business Papers;

Series II: Personal Papers.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

San Diego History Center Document Collection February 22, 2017

1649 El Prado, Suite 3
San Diego, CA, 92101

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The San Diego History Center (SDHC) holds the copyright to any unpublished materials. SDHC Library regulations do apply.

Processing Information

Collection processed by Andrew Wolfson on January 18, 2008 and Samantha Mills on February 22, 2017.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • J.S. Mannasse and Company.
  • Mannasse and Schiller.

Geographic Name(s)

  • Old Town (San Diego, Calif.)

Personal Name(s)

  • Mannasse, Moses
  • Schiller, Hannah
  • Schiller, Marcus


  • General stores
  • Merchandising

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Collection Inventory

 Series I: Business Papers

Correspondence, 1858-1895 and undated


Letters regarding mining activities, debts and payments, bankruptcy proceedings, and other business transactions. Some items in Spanish. Correspondents include Pedro Bovert (typed translation); Colonel Dun re: Dr. P.W. Randle and Lt. John D. Hunter; Placido Vega (in Spanish); Julius Eckman; Roundtree and McMillin; W.M. Pickham; Congreve Co.; I.M. Hellman; Mr. Ariola; M.H. Meyers; S. Lowenstein; R.A. Rodriguez (in Spanish); B.L. Machado; H.M. Smith; George Fleck (in German); Hannah Mannassee to Maxwell Silvas; W.W. Burgess, tax collector; Nat Chase; H.T. Christian; Charles G. Austin; and R.E. Doyle.

Bills of Sale, 1866-1896


Bills of sale to or from J.S. Mannasse for merchandise, building supplies, livestock, and other services. Buyers and sellers include M. Bernheun & Ehrensfort; Henry and Caroline Suverkrup; Alexander Sommerville; County Supervisor of Public Schools; J. Mattias; N. Overmire; P. Tomeney; Roderick McClellan; Robert Amna; Sam Brust; Theo Bolle; H.H. Moran (copy); John Roesner; John Berry; and Thomas M. Godfrey.

LP Foster (Brig), 1869 January 22 – 1871 January 31


Enrollment certificate for ship, insurance policies, and a ledger page.

Promissory Notes To J.S. Mannasse & Co., 1858 June 14 – 1887 November 11


Promissory notes from Juan Ariostomo Salgado; Moses Mannasse; G.W. Paul; Miguel Ybarra; Sacramento Valenguela; Jacob Goldman; Nicholas Meza; Juan Mendoza; Juan Jose Cruz; Andreas Medina; C. Montgomery; Edward Harms; B. Hornstein; Juan Rodriquez; Elijah Harris; John P. Chambers; Charles Reimbach to John Hosfield; Samuel C. Creisar; Albert B. Young and J.W.W. Escott; Pedro Paris; L.W. Leav; S. Casio; C.W. Eckert to Eugene Corrado; and A. Lambla.

Promissory Notes and Receipts From J.S. Mannasse & Co., 1866-1896


Promissory notes and receipts from Mannasse, primarily regarding payments of debts, purchase of a mule, promissory notes and loans, bank checks, mortgage payment, receipts for brand registration (# 812 and 813). Some items in Spanish.

Deeds: J.S. Mannasse, 1854-1895


Deeds to J.S. Mannasse from Sheriffs of San Diego; Trustees of San Diego; Oscar Palmer; Thomas Tigh; D.C. Reed; Henry Lampman; Reed & Hubbell; W.H. Carlson and Frank J. Higgins; Bryant Howard; Marcus Schiller; John Lauber; James Russell; George Holamn; Susan Niles; Metcalf, Hale, and Hitchcock; Theodore Metzenthin; F.E. North; B.F. Moody; Andrew Henshelwood; Alvina Whitworth, Lucy Barker and Martha Barker; Carrie and Joseph Theilan; T.J. Tate; and J.W. Kemp.

Deeds: J.S. Mannasse, 1871 November 27 – 1895 January 5


Deeds from J.S. Mannasse to Isaac Hartman and Louis Muller.

Deeds: Mannasse & Schiller, 1858-1888


Deeds to Mannasse & Schiller from George W. Sirrine; Juan Machado (copy); Martin Trimmer; Robert G. and Emily J. Mooney; S.W. Carigue; E.J. Smith; Henrietta Henck; Soloman Goldman; and a tax collector conveyance. Also includes deeds from Mannasse & Schiller to Luis Hauck and M. Peyser, and deeds for N.H. Conklin and the San Diego Land & Town Co.

Legal Papers, 1869 November 22 – 1888 February 13


Note of Isaac Lankershim and James Hill; agreement with Louis Rose re: Lankershim & Hill mortgage; Sheriff costs in several suits; testimony of Emilio Legaspy; judgment of W.J. Walken from J.S. Mannasse & Co. vs. Juan Rodriquez; and agreement between Mannasse and Schiller. Some papers in Spanish.

Mortgage Papers, 1871-1897


Paperwork for Bryant Howard; Adam Buck; California Mortgage Loan & Trust Co.; H.T. Christian; and Savings Bank of San Diego. Some papers in Spanish.

Tax Returns and Receipts, 1854-1895 1:11
Wharf Franchise, 1871 May 3 – 1871 July 1


Survey of wharf purchases and petition to City, and indenture between City trustees and Mannasse & Schiller for wharf franchise.

Miscellaneous Business Papers, 1860 December 17 – 1892 June 1


Property description from Andres and Juana Maria Morena de Ybarra; a memo re: silver bars; certificate of ownership in Water Witch Quartz Lode; information about accounts and payments; traders license from James McCoy; certificates of sale from tax collector; documents in Spanish regarding Real del Castillo and Territorio de Baja; and a handwritten list of deeds.


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 Series II: Personal Papers

Personal Papers, 1862 June 19 – 1873 December 26


J.S. Mannasse county clerk appointments, divorce agreement between Hannah Schiller and Hyman Mannasse, and a state and county tax receipt for Moses Mannasse.


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