by Kimberly Jew and edited by Eddie Wong
AIISF is very pleased to present the story of Henry and Miriam Haskin, Russian Jewish immigrants, who came to San Francisco in the early part of the 20th century. We wish to thank Gretchen Haskin and Ernie Haskin for sharing their remembrances of the family and the wonderful photographs that accompany this story.
Henry Haskin was a Russian Jew who immigrated to the U.S. through San Francisco on the ShinyoMaru, which arrived on January 25, 1916. Born Aron Hasankin in Russia in November 27, 1891, he grew up in the region that is now part of the Ukraine and went to work for a printing company when he was twelve or thirteen years old. His early experience as a printer in Russia would lead to his success as the founder of the California Printing Company in San Francisco.
His relatives had bought him a first class ticket on the Shinyo Maru to San Francisco. In first class, everybody dressed for dinner and looked very elegant, so Aron was very embarrassed that he only had the one suit he was wearing. He kept washing his shirt out in the basin overnight and that is what he wore all the way across the Pacific Ocean to Angel Island. It took him about three months to get from Romny, Ukraine to Japan and then from Japan over to San Francisco. According to stories Henry told his family, Angel Island inspectors renamed him Henry Haskin. However, when Henry registered for the draft in World War I, he was listed as Henry Hasankin. The name listed in the 1920 Federal Census was Henry Haskan, and later that year when he became a U.S. citizen, he was formally renamed Henry Haskin.
Place of Origin
Place of Settlement
San Francisco, U.S.