Herman Heyneman: Pioneer Jewish Tobacco Merchant of San Francisco

Herman Heyneman

Herman Heyneman, San Francisco

Herman Heyneman, San Francisco

Value Codes I – E – L – P


“That he was a kind, intelligent parent, a devoted husband, a true friend, a good neighbor, and an honest citizen is acknowledged by all who knew him intimately.”

–Rabbi Martin Meyer, 1916


Herman Heyneman was born in Hanover, Germany, in 1845.

At the age of 15, he came to the United States with his friend, Sol Wangenheim.

His schooling began in London and continued in Gilroy, California, where he also worked in Sol Wagenheim’s store.


San Francisco

Herman Heyneman then moved to San Francisco and began the manufacture of cigars and the selling of tobacco.

Later, he obtained the agency for Bull Durham tobacco for the Pacific Coast, as-well-as the West Coast agency for the American Tobacco Company.

Bull Durham Vintage Poster

American Tobacco Card

American Tobacco Co., card


Herman Heyneman was a member of Congregation Emanu-El.

Mrs. Heyneman took a great interest in Jewish charities, especially the Temple Emanu-El Kindergarten and Mount Zion Hospital.



Herman Heyneman was a member of the Concordia Club and the Masons.


Herman Heyneman married Rosalie Robertson of New York City.

Together, they had 3 children: Mrs. Clarence Jacobson, Mrs. Melville Schweitzer, and Walter.


Herman Heyneman died in 1915, just 3-months after the passing of his wife, Rosalie.


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

David Epstein is curator of this Herman Heyneman exhibit.


Jews in the News

— About This Time —

Purim at Warshauer’s Hotel in San Francisco — 1876

Purim Festivities — Open house was kept on Purim at the residences of many of our coreligionists in this city. Warschauer’s Hotel, 44 Third Street, presented all evening and far during the night a gay and brilliant appearance.

The hallways were enshrouded in flags; the immense dining room decorated in a tasteful manner, and the tables in adjoining rooms fairly groaned under the weight of delicacies of every description, which were offered to all guests without stint.

Masques of every description called and created great amusement and the light fantastic toe was indulged in til early in the morning.

— The Hebrew, San Francisco, March 17, 1876 [WSJHQ 9/2]