Jefferson County Historical Society

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Hermann Haas, coal contractor for the Crystal City Plate Glass Company,
at Crystal City, is a native of Prussia, born in 1832 and received a
good common school education.  He was engaged in merchandising for four
years, and in 1851 came to the United States, and from 1853 to 1857 was
contractor for furnishing rock for St. Louis by river.  In 1852 he was 
clerk on the steamer "Warrior," on the Mississippi River, where he had
the misfortune to lose his eye by the explosion of the boat.  One year
later he purchased the "Clermont" a tow boat, and in 1855 purchased one
half interest in the steamer "Burnette."  From 1853 to 1876 he was en-
gaged in business with a Mr. Schreiber, the firm title being Haas &
Schreiber.  He was married in 1855 to Miss Anna M. Neun.  From 1857 to
1862 Mr. Haas was at Alton, Ill., coal mining and rock quarrying, and
erected the levee at East St. Louis.  He was also, for six months during 
the war, deputy collector of customs at Alton.  In 1863 he returned to 
St. Louis, and was rock contractor until 1876, building a large portion 
of foundation for the levee in St. Louis.  From 1876 to 1881 he was 
engaged in furnishing rock for the Government works from the quarries 
at St. Louis, giving employment to 150 men.  In 1881 he came to
Crystal City, and for five years operated a hotel in connection with
his other work.  He was owner and ran the tow boat "Dictator," from
1868 to 1872.