WILLIAM HAAS AND
When William Haas married 19 year-old Bertha Greenebaum in 1880, he was a successful, 31 year-old business man, well prepared to start a family. Prior to building and occupying 2007 Franklin St, William and Bertha rented a house on Van Ness at Pacific, where they began raising their three children, Florine, Charles, and Alice.
William (originally, Wolf)) Haas immigrated to America from Reckendorf, Kingdom of Bavaria, in the mid- 1800s. At that time, there were laws that forbade the sons (except the firstborn) of Jewish families to marry and have children. As a result, many young Jewish men emigrated from the region.
Not yet twenty, William sailed to New York with his older brother, Abraham. They visited Missouri, Idaho, and Los Angeles before settling in San Francisco in October 1868. Once settled, William went to work at Haas Brothers, a wholesale-grocery concern headed by his older cousin, Kalman. William's brothers and cousins later joined the firm, quickly making it one of the largest general supply companies of its kind in the American West.
In the span of a decade, William ascended from clerk to salesman and finally to partner. A successful and respected businessman at 31, he married and began a family. In 1886, at the age of thirty-seven, he built the house on Franklin Street for himself and his young family.
Bertha was born June 17, 1861, in San Francisco, the daughter of Herman Greenbaum and Rosalie Kaufmann.
Bertha was an active and influential member of the community, particularly amongst the Jewish-immigrant enclave in San Francisco.
Bertha established the Philomath Club, an organization of Jewish women which sought to promote the general cultural level of its members through lectures and discussions on educational, moral, and social topics.
She served as a director of the Temple Emanu-El Sisterhood of Personal Service (est. 1894). They founded a boarding home for Jewish working girls. She was also a member of the Council of Jewish Women, and served as a director at Mt. Zion Hospital.