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Abraham Maas

Birthplace: Dolgesheim, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany
Death: June 07, 1941 (86)
Tampa, Hillsborough, Florida, USA
Immediate Family:

Son of Joseph Maas, Sr and Regina Maas
Husband of Philabena Wolf and Philabena Maas
Father of Jessie M Winston; Solomon Maas; Solomon Maas and Jessica Winston
Brother of Julius Maas; Isaac Maas and Henrietta Waterman
Half brother of Jacob Maas; Sol Maas; Betty Weil; Joseph Maas; Regina Hirsch and 1 other

Managed by: Private User
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Immediate Family

About Abraham Maas

Abraham Maas, a brother of Sol and Jacob Maas, was born on May 22, 1855 in Dolgesheim, Germany near Hessen-Darmstadt. When he was a child in grammar school, he longed to be a doctor. But before he finished school, his older brothers Jacob and Sol Maas had left for the US. Abe came to the US at age 20 in 1875 and like many Germans who came to America at this time, it is said that he came to escape conscription in the army. His parents, Joseph Maas and Regina Bacherach Maas, had scraped together what money they had from their small farm and sent young Abe by steerage to find freedom and success like Sol and Jacob. Abe joined his brothers and worked for Sol for 7 years as a traveling salesman and merchant. With the success of the Cochran store, Sol opened a second store in Dublin, Georgia which Abe was sent to run. By 1880 Abe had settled in Dublin, Georgia, not far from Cochran.

In 1882, Abe accepted a position as traveling salesman out of Macon, Georgia, and was on the road for 2 years. In 1883, Abe travelled to Cincinnati where he married his childhood sweetheart, a beautiful red-head, the lovely Philabena Wolf, on Sept. 19, 1883. "Bena" was born on March 9, 1863 in Gundesblum, Germany, the 2nd of 10 children of Joseph Wolf and Johanna Maria Koch.

On July 4, 1884, Abe and Bena had a son and named him Sol after Abe’s beloved brother and later they had a daughter named Jessie. In 1886, Abe's business in Dublin, Georgia was far from successful and he decided, like Isaac, to try his luck in Florida. He visited several towns in Florida and decided to open his store in Tampa, which back then was thought to be not much more than a fishing village. However, the railroad had already moved its terminus from Cedar Key to Tampa and the first cigar factory had moved here from Key West. Abe thought that someday Tampa would have a fine port and develop into a big city. He had been quoted as saying to his brother Isaac, "It's a waterfront town. Who knows? It may amount to something someday." Abe loaded his entire inventory into a railroad box car, and from this inventory would soon rise a multi-million dollar empire.

The first Maas store in Tampa, Dry Goods Palace, in the Field Building at Franklin & Twiggs, circa 1896 . Abe Maas leaning against column.

He returned to Tampa on December 1, 1886 and began setting up his store "The Dry Goods Palace", with his wife Bena at his side. The store officially opened on December 10, 1886, consisting of one 23 ft. x 90 ft. room in the two-story J. C. Field Building at the southeast corner of Franklin and Twiggs St.

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Abraham Maas's Timeline

May 22, 1855
Dolgesheim, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany
July 4, 1884
Cochran, Bleckley County, Georgia, United States
July 4, 1884
Cochran, Bleckley, Georgia, USA
April 13, 1887
Tampa, Hillsborough County, Florida, United States
April 13, 1887
Tampa, Hillsborough, Florida, USA
June 7, 1941
Age 86
Tampa, Hillsborough, Florida, USA