Instead of closing down the store in Half Moon Bay, the Levys took alternative action. Joe rode to San Francisco where he kept an appointment with Daniel T. Murphy [of Murphy & Grant, a dry goods dealer]. As young Joe sat in Murphy’s office, he explained the need for an immediate loan or extension of credit.
Otherwise, Joe said, he’d have to write his father in Europe for the money. Until that moment, the brusque Mr. Murphy contemplated throwing Joe out. But when he learned that Joe’s father trusted him, Murphy revealed his big warm heart. From that day on, the Levys easily secured credit with Murphy and Grant.
Once again the Half Moon Bay store prospered. By 1879, the Levys opened another general store in San Gregorio, run at first by Fernand [who was also postmaster]. They chose an excellent location beside a popular saloon on Stage Road [the coast highway between Half Moon Bay and Pescadero). Here the thriving little community supported a schoolhouse,a Chinese washhouse [part of the influx of Chinese who lived in shacks called Chinatown] and those who observed temperance attended meetings at Kineer’s Hall.
[Next: Part 5]