Solomon Bernstein (1886-1981)
Solomon Bernstein was born in Odessa, Russia on June 22, 1886. In 1907, he was drafted into the Russian Army and served 39 months in the North Pacific. He married in Odessa in 1912 and left soon after the birth of his first daughter because they found Russia too antisemitic. Sol traveled through China and Korea and eventually took a Japanese ship to Seattle. His first job in America was working at the Seattle Cap Company and he moved to Portland when Max Tonkon offered him a job at the Metropolitan Cap Company. After working in several cap and uniform companies, Sol went to work for himself in 1922, selling caps to Hirsch-Weis, Pendleton, and other companies until he retired in 1965.
Sol and his wife had three daughters: Fannie Usher, Tillie, and Tessie. The family lived in several locations in South Portland until 1930, when Sol bought a house on 13th and Thompson. When the school board purchased those blocks of Irvington to build the Irvington School, Sol and his wife moved to the Robison Home.