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Hirsch, Solomon


HIRSCH, SOLOMON (1839–1902), U.S. politician and merchant. Hirsch was born in Wuerttemberg, Germany. He immigrated to America in 1854 and worked as a clerk in the East before entering business with his brother, Edward (1836–1909), in Oregon in 1858. In 1864 he was a founder of the Fleischner, Mayer Company in Portland, which became the West's largest general wholesale and dry goods firm outside San Francisco. Taking an interest in politics, Hirsch secured his brother Mayer's (1829–1876) election as Republican National Convention delegate in 1864. In 1872 Solomon was elected a Republican state representative. In 1874, 1878, and 1882 he was elected state senator, serving as senate president in 1880 and as Republican state chairman in 1882. He was defeated in the election for U.S. senator by one vote in 1885. Hirsch served as minister to Turkey during 1889–92, and declined the nomination as minister to Belgium in 1897. He was president of Portland's Congregation Beth Israel during 1900–01. His brother Edward was state treasurer of Oregon for two terms.


H.H. Bancroft, Chronicles of the Builders of the Commonwealth, 2 (1892), 594–603; J.J. Nodel, Ties Between: A Century of Judaism on America's Last Frontier (1959), passim; H.W. Scott, History of Portland, Oregon (1890), 511–4.

[Robert E. Levinson]

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