Sartori Avenue

Banker Joseph Francis Sartori (1858-1946) was born and raised in Cedar Falls, IA, the only surviving child of German immigrants. (His little brother drowned in 1865.) He obtained his law degree from the University of Michigan in 1881 and set up practice back in Iowa, but his interests soon turned to banking – and to California. In 1887, a year and a half after marrying Margaret Rishel (1864-1937), he took her to the new town of Monrovia and cofounded its first bank. They relocated to Los Angeles by 1889, when Sartori established the Security Savings Bank with Isaias Hellman and others. In time it would become Security-First National, one of the largest banks in the country, and Sartori would be its president. With such wealth and influence, Sartori helped finance countless developments, including what became the city of Torrance. (Sartori Ave. was named by 1922.) He also cofounded the Los Angeles Country Club and spearheaded development of DTLA’s Biltmore Hotel. The Sartoris, who had no children of their own, adopted Juliette Boileau (1892-1964), the orphaned daughter of a French jeweler, in the early 1900s.