Emil Rosenthal, a well-known citizen of Riverside, is a pioneer of that colony, and since 1872 has been one of the leading businessmen of the city. Mr. Rosenthal is a native of Germany, born in 1845. At the age of twenty years he started in life, casting his fortunes with the New World.
In 1865 he came to the United States, and located in New York; was employed in business pursuits for the next four years. He then crossed the continent, and established himself in San Francisco, but later came to Los Angeles, and thence, in 1872, to Riverside, where the rich and populous city now stands; there being then but a straggling hamlet. Mr. Rosenthal early saw what would be the result when the rich and prolific soil of the valley should be brought under cultivation.
He established a general merchandise store, the pioneer store of the valley, on the west side of Main Street, near the corner of Eighth, under the firm name of Lyon & Rosenthal. Their business increased with the growth of the colony, and they erected the Lyon block, on the corner of Main and Eighth streets, which the firm occupied. This firm took the lead in mercantile enterprises, and retained it throughout. Mr. Lyon died in 1882, and Mr. Rosenthal conducted the business until 1886, when he sold out to Frankenheimer & Lightner. During his years of mercantile operations, he had also conducted an extensive insurance business, and upon his retirement from merchandising, he formed a partnership with J. T. Jarvis, under the firm name of Rosenthal & Jarvis, establishing a real estate and insurance business. This enterprise, under his successful management, ranked as the leading real-estate firm in Riverside. Mr. Rosenthal was the prime mover in the business, and was one of the largest operators in Southern California; the placing upon the market and the sale of the lands of many additions to Riverside were entrusted to him.
In public improvements and enterprises he has taken an active part; among the incorporations that have added so much to the building up of the city, and with which his name is associated as a stockholder, are the Citrus Fair Association, Riverside & Arlington Railway, Riverside Gas and Electric Light Company, Rubidoux Hotel Company, and others. He is a director of the Riverside Land and Irrigation Company. Besides his extensive business pursuits, he has for years been engaged in horticultural enterprises, and placing upon the market some of the finest groves in the colony. His home place, of ten acres, is one of the representative orange groves of the city. It is located on Pine Street, corner of Eleventh, where he has a beautiful residence. The orange trees of his grove are of budded fruit, planted in 1881 and 1882, and his success as an orange grower is best attested by stating the fact that his orange crop of 1889 sold for $3,000.
Mr. Rosenthal is well known throughout the city and county. His years of association with the leading businessmen have been characterized by honesty and integrity, and have gained him a large circle of friends. In political matters he is a Republican. In 1886 he was appointed a Notary Public, and has since retained the office. He is a member of Evergreen Lodge, No. 259, F. & A. M., and also of Riverside Chapter, No. 67, Royal Arch Masons.