James Martin Eder , known in Colombia as Santiago Martin Eder Kaiser, don Santiago Eder or simply "El Fundador", is considered the pioneer of the sugar industry in Colombia, and is widely recognized as one of Colombia's leading 19th century industrial pioneers.
Eder was born in Mitau in the Duchy of Courland in the Russian Empire. He was the son of Martin Sass Eder and Dorina Kaiser, and was the youngest of their seven children. In 1851 Santiago Eder immigrated from Courland to New York City where his older brother and most of his siblings already lived. He completed his education and after some work experience entered Harvard Law School in 1858. In 1861 he moved to San Francisco, and from there moved to the Colombian sea port of Buenaventura where he worked as a lawyer and a commercial representative for Panamanian trading firms when Panama was still part of Colombia. In 1864 he bought the Manuelita sugar and coffee farm near the city of Palmira in the Cauca Valley of Colombia. He bought this farm at a public auction from the father of leading Colombian novelist Jorge Isaacs. In 1866 Eder became the consul of the United States in Buenaventura, as well as the vice-consul of Chile. In 1867 he traveled to London where he met and married Elizabeth 'Lizzie' Benjamin in the New Synagogue. In their marriage certificate, the name of don Santiago's father is given as 'Moses Eder'. From this marriage were born his children Henry, Charles, Luisa, Phanor, Fanny and Edith Eder.
In 1901 Manuelita became the first Colombian sugar mill to move from mule to steam powered mills. As such, don Santiago became one of Colombia's first industrialists. In 1903 he left his children Charles James and Henry James Eder in charge of his business interests and moved with his wife to New York. He remained there until his death at 83 in 1921. Eder is buried at the Shearith Israel Cemetery in Cypress Hills, Brooklyn. Considering he married in a synagogue without conversion or circumcision, that his father was called Moses, that all his siblings married Jews and his nephew was one of England's Leading Zionist Montague David Eder, and that he is buried in a Jewish cemetetry, his birth religion is most certainly to be the Jewish specifically of the Latvian Jewish descent.
Phanor James Eder Collection
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Santiago Eder