John William Herman
John William Herman

December 2, 1888May 21, 1970 (81 years old)
Hometown: Vancouver, BC
December 2, 1888May 21, 1970
(81 years old) | Vancouver, BC

Life Story

The Herman, Grossman, Plant families have a very strong history tied to Vancouver and Mountain View Cemetery. Abraham Grossman came to Vancouver from Poland in 1884, married Minnie Rebecca and established himself in real estate and land dealings. They had 3 sons, one of them named Max who became a lawyer and was very active in Jewish affairs. His greatest contribution to the Jewish community in Vancouver was as Chairman and driving force for the building of the Schara Tzedeck synagogue.

Abraham’s brother Charles also came to Vancouver with wife Anna Berman, via Cleveland, in 1905, and had 4 children, Bertha, Harry, Pearl and Dorothy all of whom, except for Harry, are buried here at Mountain View Cemetery.

Harry moved to Ottawa and married Frances Rosner, sister to Saidye Bronfman. Harry worked for Samuel Bronfman, his brother-in-law, and then moved to California. Dorothy married Dr. Gerald Plant, son of Morris and Dora Plant in Vancouver in 1921. Gerald became one of Vancouver’s first periodontists. They had 2 children, who eventually moved to the US but Dorothy, Gerald, and his parents are all buried in MVC.

Hirsch and Yetta Herman arrived in Canada from England aboard the ship “Yorkshire” [year unknown] bound for Winnipeg.  Their youngest child, Jacob was born aboard the “Yorkshire” and was thereafter known as “Yorke”. The story goes that after he was born, the passengers chipped in to pay for the family to move from steerage to better quarters in his honour. Hirsch and Yetta had 6 children, 4 of whom are buried here in MVC: Yorke, Max, John William and Isaac, along with their parents, Hirsch and Yetta.

Another son, Norman, had an infant son, Charles William, who died in 1922 and is buried at MVC. After the death of his son, Norman moved to Los Angeles. John William Herman, known as “Jack” worked at the Hudson’s Bay Company and, in 1910, went on to become proprietor of “Herman’s Fine Apparel.” In 1960, he bought “McKee’s Ltd.” He was first married to Bertha Grossman and they had 2 sons, Alfred and Frank. Alfred married Layah and went on to have 2 sons who live in Vancouver. Bertha passed away in 1923, and is buried in MVC. A year later John William married his wife’s sister, Pearl Grossman who ran a women’s hat store on Granville St. called “Millinery World.” They had a son together named Bud who is also buried here. The stores were sold to “Fields” in 1970, shortly before John William’s death. Both he and his second wife Pearl, who died in 1978, are buried here in MVC.

John William Herman was the first chairman of the Jewish Western Bulletin Committee under the Vancouver Jewish Administrative Council, which came into existence on September 15, 1932.