Mr Herman Klaber

Herman Klaber

Mr Herman Klaber was born in San Francisco, California on 18 November 1870.

He was the son of George Klaber (b. 1825) and his wife Bertha (b. 1844). His father, a coal merchant, was born in Prague, Bohemia, now part of the modern-day Czech Republic, and had come to the USA whilst still young, being naturalised in New York in 1848. His mother was a native of Baden, Germany. Herman had just one sibling, his elder sister Sarah (1869-1904, later Mrs Herman Kaufman).

Herman first appears on the 1880 census, still living in San Francisco. His father died on 16 December 1893.

When the 1900 census was conducted Herman was living and working as a hops merchant in Tacoma, Washington, looking after the interests of the hops firm Klaber, Wolf & Netter in the northwest region. He had come to Payallup, Washington in the early 1890s and worked as a hops buyer and warehouse manager. Later moving to Tacoma he developed his business and became a hops broker, wool merchant, cigar store owner and insurance agent.

He was married around 1907 to Gertrude Ginsberg (b. 3 September 1885), a native of Sacramento, California and the daughter of a wealthy merchant. Their only child, a daughter named Bernice Janet, was born in Portland, Oregon on 8 February 1910. The small family had homes in San Francisco, Tacoma and Portland. Herman appears on the 1900 census twice: at home with his wife and daughter in Portland; and secondly with his widowed mother at the home of Herman Kaufman, a hotelier, and his family, the husband of his late sister Sarah. His mother later died on 14 February 1911.

Herman departed from San Francisco in January 1912, crossing the Atlantic aboard Olympic with the intention of visiting the hop-producing districts in Europe with which his business was associated. For his return to the USA he boarded the Titanic at Southampton on 10 April 1912 as a first class passenger (ticket number 113028 which cost £26, 11s).

Herman Klaber died in the sinking and his body, if recovered, was never identified. His estate was valued at in excess of $500,000 and his brother-in-law Herman Kaufman was his will's executor.

He is remembered on his parents' gravestone in Salem Memorial Park, Colma, California.

After Klaber's death on the Titanic, his widow Gertrude took herself and her daughter back to Sacramento to live with her parents. She later settled in San Francisco and never remarried and died on 17 March 1961. She is buried with her family in the Home of Peace Cemetery in Colma, California.

Herman's daughter Bernice later married Samuel Isador Jacobs (1907-1997), an attorney from Sacramento. The couple resided in San Francisco where Bernice died on 23 February 1962 aged 52.


Articles and Stories

News Tribune (2001) 
Chicago Examiner (1914) 
Camden Post-Telegram (1912) 
San Francisco Examiner (1912) 
The San Francisco Call (1912) 
The San Francisco Call (1912) 

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Gavin Bell, UK
Hermann Söldner, Germany
Michael A. Findlay, USA
Angela Smith

References and Sources

The News Tribune (Tacoma WA), April 12, 2001, King of hops: The legacy of Herman Klaber
Search archive British and Irish newspapers online

Link and cite this biography

(2020) Herman Klaber Encyclopedia Titanica (ref: #180, updated 13th January 2020 03:44:50 AM)