Simon Bamberger Edit Profile
Brought to the United States, 1861. Educational public schools.
Born in Germany, Simon Bamberger went to the United States in 1860 on the eve of the Civil War. Too young to be drafted, he worked for an older brother in Wilmington, Ohio. Subsequently, the brothers became clothing manufacturers in Saint Louis. While trying to catch up with a company debtor, Bamberger relocated to a railroad work camp in Wyoming, where he provided shacks and tents as housing for railroad workers.
In 1869 after spending some time in Ogden, Utah, he settled in Salt Lake City, where he was soon joined by his brothers. Since they were more interested in the business than he was, he gravitated to the gold fields, ultimately finding his fortune in the Centennial Eureka Mines, Later he also built a railroad line from the coalfields in southern Utah.
Struggling for eighteen years against the interests of two existing railroads seeking to block a new competitor as well as the Union Pacific, whose lines he had to cross, he ultimately won out and the Bamberger Railroad, the only one ever named for a Jew in the United States, operated between Salt Lake City and Ogden. The line was opened in 1908 and electrified in 1912.
Bamberger was elected as member of the Salt Lake City Board of Education in 1898, and distinguished himself by fighting to improve the conditions for teachers.
Committed to the small Jewish community in Utah, Bamberger was a founder and president of its first congregation, Bnai Israel in Salt Lake City. He aided in the efforts of the Jewish Agriculture Society to create a farming community in Utah for Jews from the east.
Member Utah Senate, 1903-1907. Member School Board, Salt Lake City, 1898-1903. Member B’nai B’rith.
Married Ida Maas, November 23, 1881. Children: Sidney (deceased), Mistress.