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Guide to the Charles L. Bernheimer Papers
1877-1935 (bulk 1906-1920)
 MS 58

New-York Historical Society
170 Central Park West
New York, NY 10024
(212) 873-3400

New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Andy Latoni

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on September 06, 2019
English using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Biographical / Historical

Charles L. Bernheimer (1864-1944) was a Jewish merchant, arbitrator, and businessman who was involved in several civic activities in New York City. He was born in Ulm, Germany in 1864 and immigrated to the United States in 1880. Upon his arrival, he worked at the firm of Adolph Bernheimer for wholesale dry foods, which later became the Bear Mill Manufacturing Company of which he was president from 1907 to 1929. As a merchant, he was chairman of both the Trade Relations Council and the Council of Textile Executives.

In addition to his work in business, Bernheimer was involved in the political scene in New York. He was the treasurer of the Citizens' Municipal Campaign, also known as the "Committee of 107," which helped elect John Purroy Mitchel as mayor of New York City. The Citizens' Municipal Campaign was an anti-Tammany effort that sought to elect non-partisan politicians that would support progressive reform. Bernheimer was also an arbitrator for labor disputes as he was Chairman of the Committee on Arbitration of the New York Chamber of Commerce. He helped settle numerous strikes regarding the garment industry.

Charles Bernheimer was also an explorer and took several trips to the Southwest where he discovered dinosaur tracks and Native American artifacts. Furthermore, he was a congregant of Temple Emanu-El, the first reform Jewish congregation in New York City. He was also member of the City Club of New York.

Throughout 1914 and 1915, Bernheimer drafted his proposed settlement to end World War I; he saw the United States as being in a unique position to act as an international arbitrator that would oversee a peace resolution and ensure its continuation.

He married Clara Silberman in 1893 and had two daughters, Mrs. Hellen B. Halle and Mrs. Alice B. Pallain.

After numerous years of civic service, Bernheimer died in 1944 at age seventy-nine.

[This biographical note is drawn from the New York Herald Tribune obituary of Charles L. Bernheimer (see box 6, folder 25).]