Julius Kahn was born in Germany. After immigrating to the U.S. with members of his family and being raised in Calaveras County, Calif., Kahn worked as both an actor and attorney. In addition to helping found San Francisco's Jewish Education Society, he represented San Francisco in the U.S. Congress, in Washington, D.C., from 1898 to 1902 and 1904 to 1924. A playground in San Francisco was later named in his honor. Florence Prag Kahn was born in Salt Lake City. After she and her family moved to San Francisco, she found employment as a teacher. After her husband, Julius, died, she served as a Representative for the city of San Francisco, in Washington, D.C., from 1925 to 1937.
Collection includes biographical information about Mary and Conrad Prag (Florence Prag Kahn's parents), Julius Kahn, Florence Prag Kahn, and Conrad Kahn (Julius' and Florence's son); the writings of Mary Prag, including her essays "My Life Among the Mormons" and "Early Days" (which describes San Francisco in 1852); a small amount of political and personal correspondence; personal documents; a few speeches of Congressman Kahn; testimonials and tributes to Julius Kahn; articles written about Julius and Florence that appeared in both local and national newspapers; obituaries; caricatures of Julius Kahn; scrapbooks of clippings; a scroll presented to Florence Prag Kahn by the Women's Board of the Golden Gate International Exposition in 1940; materials relating to the theater career of Conrad Kahn (including programs of local performances in the 1920s), and documents relating to the military career on Conrad Kahn. The collection also includes photographs of Florence and Julius Kahn, photographs of the Prag, Kahn, Goldsmith, and Abrahams families, and photographs of Conrad Kahn (including photographs of a 1928 production of The Dybbuk that was staged at Congregation Emanu-El in San Francisco and that starred Conrad Kahn).