Alexander Levi

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Alexander Levi, a French Jew of Sephardic origin, was the first foreigner to be naturalized in Iowa. He was born in 1809, in Hellimere, France near Strasbourg and settled in the town of Dubuque in 1833 where he became a civic, business and religious leader. A grocer, miner, mine provisioner and successful department store owner, he founded the first two Jewish congregations in the city, was a loyal Whig, served a term as Justice of the Peace and was the first Mason to be sworn in after the Dubuque lodge received its charter. He was naturalized in 1837 and died in 1893.