Italy has contributed to California many citizens of notable worth, but none surpassing the late Paul Barbieri
of San Francisco, capitalist, civic developer, and merchant, whose death occurred January 21, 1931. He was born
in Genoa, Italy, in the year 1855, and came to the United States in 1867, when he was twelve years of age. He settled
in California, and soon thereafter was employed in the mining business in Amador county, also in Jackson county.
Later, he came to San Francisco, and when he was twenty five years old he became a partner of G. B. Levaggi in
the commission business. For many years, he was a partner in the firm of Gray & Barbieri, commission merchants.
In real estate and financial circles of San Francisco, he became a figure of prominence, and exerted a most beneficial
influence upon those projects with which he was associated during his career. He was a director of the Italian
American Bank, president of the Italian Building & Loan Association, president of the Western Addition Club,
and also president of the Haight Street Improvement Association. He was one of the principal owners of the Montgomery
block, which is among the oldest buildings in the city. He was the first to start the improvement at Geary and
Sixteenth streets, and at that location built the first store.
In the year 1876, Mr. Barbieri was married to Anna Marie Carsten. They became the parents of the following: Minette,
who is the widow of Luther Wagner; Clorinne, who married B. Trobock; and Gus S., who is mentioned in detail elsewhere
in this publication. In addition to his immediate family, Mr. Barbieri is survived by two sisters and a brother,
namely: Mrs. Rose Levaggi of Berkeley; Mrs. Theresa Cuneo of Oakland; and Stephen Barbieri, who resides in Otsego,
Paul Barbieri's political affiliation was with the republican party, and he was a communicant of the Roman Catholic
Church. He was an enthusiastic worker in civic affairs of San Francisco, and was once a candidate for school director.
The excellence of character and the honorable business ethics possessed by Mr. Barbieri are well indicated in the
resolution of condolence prepared by the Montgomery Block Real Estate Associates after his death. This statement
"Whereas, it has pleased Almighty God in His infinite wisdom to remove from our midst our beloved Fellow Director
"Paul Barbieri was the principal owner and director of the Montgomery block since 1898 and president for the
past twenty five years and was unsurpassed in the services he rendered to the corporation. He was a man of large
and imposing physique, with a magnificent head bespeaking thought and intellect, and a clear eye that met all men's
gaze fearlessly and directly.
"Transcending all these attributes were his wonderful kindness and cordiality to his fellowmen that never
failed to fascinate and to foster affection.
"Early in his career in San Francisco he was selected to represent various important clubs and political associations.
Upon all these occasions, whether before courts, before boards of supervisors, or before different civic associations,
he acquitted himself with distinction and to the credit and honor of his city and his family.
"Paul Barbieri was fair, logical and reasonable. He never threw javelins of malice and ill will. His conduct
in this community was such that each succeeding year found him held in high regard by all the people in his community.
To his fellowmen he radiated good will and cheerfulness. He believed implicitly in immortality of the soul. He
wished ill fortune to none. A great many who came within the circle of his friendship will hold him in the gentleness
The History of San Francisco, California
Lewis Francis Byington, Supervising Editor
Oscar Lewis, Associate Editor
The S. J. Clark Publishing Company
Chicago-San Francisco 1931
San Francisco, CA
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