The collection pertains to Achille Levy's personal and business life. Levy was a businessman, banker, and community leader
in Ventura County. Born in 1853 in Mommenheim, France, he was 18 years old when he immigrated to California. After a two-year
stay in San Francisco, California, he moved to the farming community of Hueneme in Ventura County. He first worked with Moise
Wolff and operated a successful general merchandise business. He returned to France briefly, married his wife, Lucy Meinette
Levy, in 1882 and returned to Hueneme. Levy worked closely with many local farmers and businessmen and in earning their trust
he began to offer banking services, eventually officially incorporating the Bank of A. Levy in 1905. The bank grew and became
central to the local economy, until it was sold to a larger bank in 1995. This collection contains materials related to Levy's
personal and family life, as well as the Bank of A. Levy's day-to-day activities. Materials include newspaper clippings, financial
records, Bank of A. Levy calendars, assorted pamphlets and booklets related to banking, books and diaries that belonged to
the Levy family, negatives and photographs, audio reels for radio advertisements, artwork for logos, a manuscript of A. Levy
and the bank's history, photo albums, contracts, deeds, mortgages, and account registers.
Achille Levy was a businessman, banker, and community leader in Ventura County. Born in 1853 in Mommenheim, France, he was
18 years old when he immigrated to California. After a two-year stay in San Francisco, California, he moved to the farming
community of Hueneme in Ventura County. In 1873, at the age of 20, he partnered with Moise Wolff and opened a successful general
merchandise business. Working at the Wolff and Levy General Store, Levy worked closely with many local farmers and businessmen.
He returned briefly to Europe, where he married Lucy Meinette Levy in Paris. Upon his return, Thomas Bard and Levy, at the
urging of local farmers formed the Bank of Hueneme. Levy was vice-president of the bank. He also started the Agricultural
Brokerage, a new business that served as a middleman between the farmers of the Santa Clara River Valley and markets in San
Francisco. For example, lima beans became a profitable product in the area largely due to Levy's advice and market research.
His brother-in-law Henry Levy also worked for him and was integral to the business. In fact, when Levy took an extended vacation
in Europe in 1900 he left his business affairs in Henry's care. In earning the trust of local farmers, his brokerage business
led to the establishment of the Bank of A. Levy in the 1880s. The bank was incorporated in 1905 in California with Levy as
president. Levy always remained very active in community affairs. He and his wife, Lucy, had four children: Julia Milligan,
Joe Levy, Anna Waterman, and Palmyra Lucie Weil. The family maintained control of the Bank of A. Levy after Levy's death in
1922 through Joe Levy and the Milligan family line. As Oxnard and the Port of Hueneme boomed and became economic centers,
the bank became an economic pillar of the county. Following Levy's death in 1922, his son Joseph was elected president of
the bank. The bank was a central pillar of Ventura County's economy until it was bought by First Interstate Bank in 1995.
By the time it was sold off to First Interstate Bank the Bank of A. Levy had 17 branches in the county and 65,000 customer
accounts. The bank president at the time of the sale was Marshall Milligan, Achille Levy's great-grandson.
43.83 Cubic Feet
(5 cartons, 1 small flat box, 1 negative box, 2 oversize folders, 131 ledgers)
Property rights to the physical object belong to the Museum of Ventura County. Literary rights, including copyright, have
not been determined. Contact the Research Library for further information: firstname.lastname@example.org
COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE: Open for research. Collection is minimally processed. All requests to access materials must be
made in advance by contacting the Research Library staff via email: email@example.com