Abraham Elias Hecht: Jewish Pioneer Partner of Buckingham & Hecht Shoe Co. of San Francisco

Abraham Elias Hecht

Abraham Elias Hecht, San Francisco Shoe Maker

Abraham Elias Hecht, San Francisco shoe maker

Value Codes I – E – L – P


Abraham Elias Hecht was born in Hamstadt, Grand Duchy of Baden, Germany, in 1838.

At the age of 10, along with his parents, brothers, and sisters, he immigrated, by way of London, to New York City.


Along the way

The family then proceeded to Baltimore, Maryland, where Abraham continued his education.

At about the age of 21, Abraham Hecht obtained a position at a well-regarded firm in Norfolk, Virginia.

He was then called to California by his older brothers, who had started a shoe and boot manufacturing firm in San Francisco.


San Francisco

Abraaham Hecht traveled to San Francisco by way of the Isthmus of Panama, arriving in 1861.

The family firm was known as Hecht Bros. & Co.

After a few successful years, the firm merged with Thomas Buckingham and became Buckingham & Hecht.


Abraham Hecht was a prominent member of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce.

He was a director of the German Savings & Loan Society.

He also served on the Finance Committee of the National Grand Army Encampment in San Francisco in 1890.

GAR Arm Band and Medal SF 1886

Grand Army of the Republic Encampment, arm band and medal, San Francisco, 1886


Abraham Hecht was President for many terms of the Eureka Benevolent Society.



Hecht was an active member of the Masons.



Abraham Hecht marriedAmelia Kaufman in 1874.

They had five children, three of whom were Edith Hecht, Joel K. Hecht, and Elias M. Hecht.


Abraham Elias Hecht died in 1898.

Amelia Hecht died in 1904 .

“Charitable to a fault during his lifetime, his will provided considerable sums to charities of various kinds.”  

— Rabbi Martin Meyer, 1916


  • Martin A. Meyer, The Jews of San Francisco (San Francisco: Emanu-El, 1916).

David Epstein is curator of this Abraham Elias Hecht exhibit.


Jews in the News

–About this time–

Jewish Youth Library Association

  In San Francisco — 1864

The Hebrew Youths’ Library and Debating Association held their semi-annual meeting last Sunday, when the following officers were elected for the term: President, Lamen Blum; Treasurer, Isaac Lang; Secretary, Monroe Ross; Trustees, Henry Wangenheim and Jacob Steppacher.

This association is composed of young men between the ages of sixteen and twenty, who are nearly all engaged in business. The library now contains 655 volumes, and additions are being made by the members from time to time.

The association is under great obligation to the Congregation Emanu-El, who have allowed them the free use of their vestry rooms since their organization.

—The Hebrew, San Francisco, Friday, December 30, 1864 [WSJHQ 2/4]