Abraham Hass: Pioneer Entrepreneur, Part 2, San Francisco Years

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Abraham Haas 

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Abraham Haas was born in Reckendorf, Baveria in 1847.

Haas came to the West via the Isthmus of Panama route and started work in his cousins wholesale food business, Hass Brothers, in Portland, Oregon.

Hass became a U.S. Citizen in San Francisco in 1873

 

 

Business

Hass’s brother, Jacob was in partnership with Herman W. Hellman and Bernard Cohn. Abraham headed to Los Angeles to join the firm that same year. Hellman and Cohn eventually left and the company became Haas Baruch Co.

Abraham Haas WS4?0503

Abraham Haas
WS4?0503

Hass Baruch Co. soon became the major food wholesaler in the Southwest.

Whilein Los Angeles Abraham became involved in many other ventures including the Capital Milling Company, both early gas and early electrical production, and real estate. He also became one of Los Angeles’s major benefactors.

 

 

Family

One of Abraham’s responsibilities was traveling to San Francisco to make arrangements for shipments to Los Angeles for his firm. There he met the “vivacious” Fannie Koshland, daughter of one of the leading wool merchants in the county.

Fanny Koshland and Abraham Haas were married in 1886 and set up housekeeping in Los Angeles.

Abraham & Fannie returned to San Francisco in 1900 when Fanny’s widowed mother “needed company.”

 

San Francisco Business

An office of Hass, Baruch Co. was opened in his cousin’s Haas Brothers Building.

Abraham Hass also became involved in the “business” of San Francisco. He became a director of Wells Fargo Bank, the San Francisco Savings & Loan, the California Insurance League, and the Union Sugar Company.

 

Community

Abraham Hass was active in the Eureka Benevolent Society (Today’s Jewish Family Service), Federation of Jewish Charities, and the Pacific Orphans’ Asylum and Home Society.

Abraham Haas’s favorite expression was, “It is better to wear out than to rust out.”

 

In the summer of 1920, at the dedication of a new power dam in Fresno he had a heat stroke from which he never fully recovered.

Abraham Haas passed away the following year, 1921.

Abraham Haas is remembered as  one of the great Pioneer Jewish Entrepreneurs that helped build the foundations of modern California.

 

More information can be found in the following issues of Western States Jewish History:

  • Haas, Abraham; Abe Haas: Portrait of a Proud Businessman; Los Angeles; Scharlach, Bernice; 12/1
  • Haas Brothers, Pioneer Jews of San Francisco, Part One, A-L, Norton Stern, 41/1

Photo Gallery [New photos always welcome]

Note: To enlarge any photo, click on the middle of it.

 

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