Biography
Amter
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Leadville Branch:

Samuel J. Amter [1]
Born: 1867 (Prussia or Russia)
Died: 1926 (Denver, Colorado)
Married to: Anna Laser
In Leadville: 1899- 1923

Annie E. Amter (nee Laser) [2]
Born: 1870
Died: 1937
Married to: Samuel J. Amter
In Leadville: 1899- mid to late 1920s

Sarah Amter (Berezin) [3]
Born: March 29, 1899
Died: June 11, 1982
Married to:
In Leadville:

Ethel Amter
Born: 1900
Died: Unknown
Married to: Unknown
In Leadville: 1900- mid to late 1920s

Joseph Arthur Amter [4]
Born: December 18, 1903 (Leadville, Colorado)
Died: December 15, 1982 (Englewood, Colorado)
Married to: Anna Amter
In Leadville: 1903-1924

May Amter
Born: February 13, 1907
Died: Unknown
Married to: Unknown
In Leadville: 1907- mid to late 1920s

Gerson Amter
Born: 1910
Died: Unknown
Married to: Unknown
In Leadville: 1910- mid to late 1920s

Clara Amter (possible niece or cousin
also possibly Cora Amter)
Born: Unknown
Died: Unknown
Married to: Unknown
In Leadville: 1917

Florence Branch:

  • Samuel R. Amter (1860-1926)
  • Sarah Arnstein Amter (1861-1952)
  • Cora (1889 -1968)
  • Isadore S. Amter (1886-1928)
  • Mae Amter Isaacs (1887-1980)
  • Anna Amter Shapiro (1890-1956)
  • Hattie Amter Spitzer (1895-1992)

Denver Branch:

  • Marks (sometimes Max) Amter
  • Julia Amter
  • Hattie Amter
  • Cora Amter
  • Isadore “Israel” Amter
  • Sara Amter

The Amter family is a large and varied group of merchants, homesteaders, and business owners who established themselves in a variety of mining and supply cities in Colorado during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Due to a large number of overlapping Amters located in Colorado during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, it is important to initially outline the storylines of each, in order to properly differentiate them. Primarily, this section will document and differentiate Samuel R. Amter (1860-1926), from his cousin Samuel J. Amter (1867-1926). These two men by circumstance share very proximate birth and death dates, in addition to having children and spouses with similar names. As this article is designed principally to investigate the Leadville branch of the family-the branch of Samuel J.-this section will be less detailed in the exploration of the other Amter branches in Florence and, Denver.

Since at least 1869, there were individuals named Amter in Colorado Territory. Marks (sometimes Max or Marx) Amter- the father of 1920s era Communist Party leader, Israel Amter- settled in Colorado during the early territorial period. [5] According to his obituary published in Denver Jewish News in January 1921, Marks initially settled outside Denver as a homesteader, and later became a merchant in the growing frontier city. Marks married Julia Sept in 1871 and the couple eventually had 4 children; Hattie, Cora, Sara, and Isadore. [6] All of the children graduated from Denver High School and are pictured here, although no photograph of Cora has surfaced. [7] Marks had a varied career and worked as a merchant, in real estate, farming, in a harness shop, and as a secretary.

Another prominent Amter branch which lived outside Leadville were the aforementioned family of Samuel R. Amter. Like his cousin Samuel J., Samuel R. also lived in Denver prior to relocating elsewhere in Colorado; with an eventual return to Denver. Samuel R. and Samuel J. were approximately 7 years apart in age; the former was older. As a result, Samuel R. arrived in Denver earlier than Samuel J. They were certainly related to Marks Amter. Exactly how they were related has not been established, but he is of the age to have been a father or uncle to both Samuel J. and Samuel R. Further exploration in a separate study could explore the two Samuel’s relation to Marks.

Hattie Amter (Denver Branch), high school senior photograph, 1889.

Hattie Amter (Denver Branch), high school senior photograph, 1889.

Courtesy Denver Public Library Western History Collection.

https://digital.denverlibrary.org/digital/collection/p15330coll22/id/80581

Sara Amter (Denver Branch), high school senior photograph, 1892.

Sara Amter (Denver Branch), high school senior photograph, 1892.

Courtesy Denver Public Library Western History Collection.

https://digital.denverlibrary.org/digital/collection/p15330coll22/id/81488

Isadore “Israel” Amter (Denver Branch), high school senior photograph, 1897.

Isadore “Israel” Amter (Denver Branch), high school senior photograph, 1897. (Later in his life, Isadore went by the name of Israel)

Courtesy Denver Public Library Western History Collection.

https://digital.denverlibrary.org/digital/collection/p15330coll22/id/81611

In October 1885, Samuel R. married Sarah Arenstein. [8] That year, Samuel R. was employed at the clothing store of Mortiz Amter; another branch of the family which will not be explored in this document but which eventually located to Victor, Colorado. [9] According to census data, Samuel R. immigrated to the United States from Russia in 1879. [10] Details of his early life are not part of this scope of work, however, he likely had a similar path to many of his contemporaries in his path West. The same census document indicates that Sarah immigrated from Russia in 1882. Samuel R. first appeared in the Denver city directory during 1881, in which he was listed as a clerk with a residence of 503 Arapaho Street; the same address as Marks (Max) Amter. [11] The following year of 1882, he was a clerk in Marks’ second hand store at 484 1/2 Larimer Street. [12] Sarah did not appear in Denver city directories. However, an individual named Julius Arenstien appeared in the 1884 city directory, suggesting this was a close family member- probably father- and Sarah lived there as a dependent before marrying and moving in with Samuel R. the following year. The year of their marriage, Samuel R. and Sarah lived at 476 Larimer Street, with both Marks and Moritz Amter; probably in quarters above a commercial block. Samuel R. and Sarah lived in Denver until 1897, during which time they established a clothing store and resided at 2451 Lawrence Street. Between 1887 and 1895 the couple had five children: Cora; Mae; Isadore; Anna; and Hattie. In August of 1897, the family moved to Florence, Colorado, a small city west of Pueblo along the Arkansas River. A local newspaper article announced their arrival, suggesting they had prior connections in the city. [13] The only Florence city directory available is from 1905; that year, Samuel and the family lived at 521 3rd Street, and their store, The Globe, was located at 107-109 West Main Street. [14] By 1920, Sarah and Samuel R. relocated to Denver, and all of the children had moved out of their household. [15] Samuel R. passed away in 1926 and is buried in Denver’s Congregation Emanuel Cemetery.

Samuel R. Amter’s store was located in both storefronts of 107-109 West Main Street during the early 20th century.

Samuel R. Amter’s store was located in both storefronts of 107-109 West Main Street during the early 20th century, which is a surviving building in downtown Florence, Colorado.

Photo from Google Maps Street View.

Samuel J. (henceforth referred here as Samuel or Samuel J.) and his wife Anna, as well as their newborn child Sarah, moved to Leadville during 1900. The couple ran several successful stores which they operated along Harrison Avenue between 1902 and 1921. Additionally, they were active in religious affairs; Samuel became the president of Leadville’s Orthodox Jewish congregation, Keneseth Israel, shortly after his arrival. Five children were eventually born to Annie and Samuel during their active years in Leadville.

Both Samuel J. and Anna were immigrants from Russia, although the precise location within Russia is not forthcoming. During the late 19th century, many Russian Jews were fleeing pogroms in the Baltic states, Prussia, Galicia, and Greater Poland- areas dominated by Greater Russia to varying extents during this period. It is likely that the family originated in the Baltic states, but solid evidence for this was not found by this researcher. Amter is likely an Anglicization of a longer, more complex native name, but which is not documented.

Samuel J. and Anna (nee Laser) were married in Denver on February 12, 1898. No public marriage notice was found in Denver or statewide newspapers. The couple’s first daughter, Sarah, was born in March of 1899; one year after the couple’s marriage. Prior to moving to Leadville during late 1899, Samuel J., Anna, and Sarah lived in Denver, although it is unclear if Sarah was born in Denver or Leadville. The year before the family moved to Leadville, Samuel appeared in the 1899 Denver city directory as the manager of Amter Installment Company- a personal loan office- with a residence at 2621 Larimer Street. The fact that Samuel appeared in the Denver directory for 1899 suggests the family was located in that city for the majority of 1899. Samuel’s naturalization papers- which were issued in Leadville- prove that the family was located in that city by October of 1900. Their inclusion in Leadville’s city directory of 1900 indicates they arrived between the spring and summer of 1900. As early as 1898, Samuel J. is documented in a Florence newspaper as scouting his cousin Samuel R. Amter’s newly adopted hometown for business and living prospects.

Samuel J. was located in Denver for at least several years prior to his marriage to Anna. According to later census documents, he immigrated to the United States in 1885 and his first appearance in Denver was as a solicitor at the American Wringer Company with a residence at 2451 Lawrence in 1893. Like many contemporaries, he likely disembarked in New York and worked his way West, probably as a result of familial connection. However, details of the period between 1885 and 1893, remain unknown.

One year before her marriage to Samuel, Anna appeared as “Miss Annie Laser” in the 1897 Denver city directory as a resident of 1910 Larimer Street. The honorific “miss” suggests that she was a single young woman living alone- probably in a women’s boarding house, or a house owned by extended or primary family members. Solomon Laser was a shoemaker listed as living several houses away from Anna at 1914 Larimer Street, and was likely a relative with whom she had prior old-world connection, probably an uncle or other relation. Census documents also list Anna’s origin point as Russia, like Samuel. It is possible they originated in the same region, or even the same city. Indeed, it is likely that most, if not all, of the Amters in Colorado originated in the same region within Greater Russia, Eastern Europe, or the Baltic states.

During their first year in Leadville, Samuel, Anna, and daughter Sarah lived at 313 ½ East 5th Street. That year, Samuel operated a home furnishing goods store at 222 ½ East 6th Street. In March, a brief ad in the wanted section of the Herald Democrat read,

“Delivery horse, weight about 10 hundred pounds. Call afternoons, 222 ½ East Sixth Street”.

This suggests that Samuel J. regularly needed to move various items he was selling at the store around Leadville. [16] 1900 was the only year during which the family lived on East 5th Street and did business from East 6th Street. The building which housed the family business at 222 ½ East 6th in particular was a small two store wood frame vernacular house or small commercial space which probably suited a young entrepreneur, but became cramped quickly. According to the 1900 census, the family lived at 313 1/2 East 6th Street, confirming the accuracy of the directory. At the time, Samuel was 30 years old, Anna was 26, and their daughter Sarah was 1 year old. Anna was listed as immigrating to the United States in 1896, which is in accordance with her appearance in the Denver Directory of 1897. [17] Samuel was listed as a merchant, with no specific niche identified, but we know from the directory that he sold house furnishings, but probably not furniture.

In 1901 the family moved to more spacious and visible business quarters on Harrison Avenue. While it is clear that the business moved to 711 Harrison Avenue, it remains unclear if the family also moved their residence as the directory only lists the storefront location under their entry. [18] It is unknown if the family continued to live at 313 ½ East 6th while only moving the business or if they also moved to quarters at 711 Harrison. As is well documented, merchants often lived above or behind their stores during this period. At least 7 other individuals are listed as residents of 711 Harrison that year, indicating there was some residential space at the location. As some context for the building, a Singer Sewing machine manufacturing space was located in the adjacent storefront at 711 ½ Harrison Avenue. [19] By 1903, the family were certainly residents of 711 Harrison. While the store operated during 1901, there are no known advertisements from that year. No personal notices were published in local newspapers during 1900 or 1901. It was also during this time that Anna and Samuel’s second daughter Ethel was born. This can be deduced from later census documents, although no birth notice appeared in Leadville newspapers.

This photo was taken between 1900 and 1910. See the next photo for a detail of Samuel J.’s building.

This photo was taken between 1900 and 1910. See the next photo for a detail of Samuel J.’s building.

Source: Denver Public Library Western History Collection

https://digital.denverlibrary.org/digital/collection/p15330coll22/id/78339/rec/83

Samuel J. relocated to this building in 1901 and did business here until 1903.

Samuel J. relocated to this building in 1901 and did business here until 1903. On the side of the building “FUR…” can be read. This is potentially a sign for Samuel’s furnishings store. A sign reading “Your Credit is Good” is hanging above the storefront, a known advertising slogan for Samuel’s store, suggesting this photo was taken between 1901 and 1903.

Starting in 1902, Samuel began to advertise his furnishing store in local newspapers. The first advertisement read, “Where your credit is good. All kinds of household necessities. Also ladies garments. Best wool blankets a specialty. Call and examine our goods, no trouble to show them.” The advertisement reveals the fact that “home furnishing goods” was not the same as a furniture store during this time. Instead, “furnishings” were likely anything used domestically, including clothing like aprons or smocks, as well as carpets and decorations, in addition to other implements for cleaning and service. An identical advertisement to the one shown here appeared in the Herald Democrat between September and November of 1902. During Thanksgiving of 1902, Samuel appeared as one of an extensive list of donors to a charity drive at Annunciation Catholic Church; he donated a rug. [20] For the remainder of 1902 a separate series of ads appeared for the store, but no other personal or social references for the Amters appeared.

This “business card” advertisement for S. J. Amter Mercantile Company was listed in the Business Directory of The Herald Democrat, September 7, 1902.

This “business card” advertisement for S. J. Amter Mercantile Company was listed in the Business Directory of The Herald Democrat, September 7, 1902.

“Business Directory”. The Herald Democrat. Sunday, September 7, 1902. Page 11.

Starting in the spring of 1903, Samuel began to appear in local newspapers associated with Leadville’s Orthodox Jewish congregation, Keneseth Israel. In March, the by-laws and constitution for the congregation were announced to have been published for the County Recorder by Samuel J., who was listed as president and acting secretary. [21] The organization existed since at least 1892 and had been located in a former Presbyterian church at 117 West 5th Street since that time. It is unclear if this filing was a renewal of a previous set of documents which had expired, or a completely different filing for an organization separate from, but a replacement of, the Keneseth congregation. Curiously the advertisement referred to the organization as “Kenneth” Israel; which is more than likely a misspelling of “Keneseth,” in itself a misspelling for the Hebrew word for “council”.

One week later, Samuel was listed as an attendee of a large banquet of business and political leaders which took place at the Vendome Hotel; known today as the Tabor Grand. Many of Leadville’s businessmen were in attendance, including a number of other Jewish individuals, including men from the Kahn, Miller, Janowitz, Cohn and Baer families. One speaker by the name of J. W. Smith touted the benefits of commerce as a solution to world peace saying, in part, “All that gives grace and dignity to men, letters, philosophy, the arts and sciences, are each and all indebted to commerce for the best they have produced. It breaks down barriers of ignorance and prejudice, of creeds and polities, of tribes and colors and races”. [22]

The following month, Samuel was elected as president of Keneseth Israel congregation with Abraham Sandusky vice president, J. Harwitz as treasurer, Goldberg as secretary, and Zieler and Barnet as trustees. [23] While Samuel was clearly active in religious and community affairs, advertisements or social notices did not appear for the Amters during nearly the entire remainder of 1903. However, at the end of the year the furnishings store moved again. On December 6, he published a notice to the public that he moved to 618 Harrison Avenue and changed the name to “Boston Bazaar”. This building is still standing as of 2020, and the space which the Boston Bazaar occupied is currently the Manhattan Bar. The ad continues,

“…He has put in stock a complete new line of the latest styles in ladies ready made suits, waists, gents furnishings, rugs, and general novelties. It is strictly a cash one-price store and therefore goods can be sold cheaper than by any other house in the city. Mr. Amter during his long business career here has given general satisfaction and has the reputation for honest dealings and close prices. He will be pleased to have you call at his new store assuring you high grade goods at all times at the very lowest prices. In fact the biggest bargains ever shown in Leadville…” [24]

This photo taken in the early 20th century shows Harrison Avenue around the 600 block.

This photo taken in the early 20th century shows Harrison Avenue around the 600 block. See the next photo for a detail with Amter’s building.

Source: Denver Public Library Western History Collection

https://digital.denverlibrary.org/digital/collection/p15330coll22/id/988/rec/90

Highlighted here is 618 Harrison Avenue. Samuel, Anna, and the children lived in, and did business at, this storefront for a number of years.

Highlighted here is 618 Harrison Avenue. Samuel, Anna, and the children lived in, and did business at, this storefront for a number of years.

The following week Samuel elaborated further on his sales pitch,

“…Mr. Amter has secured plenty of extra help to handle the trade. No trouble to show goods, even if you don’t buy. But you will generally buy, because the Boston Bazaar makes the cheapest prices on the best goods in the city…” [25]

Several days after this advertisement was published, a new member of the Amter family arrived. On December 21, a notice in the social column announced the December 19th birth of a son. [26] While children were often not named in newspaper notices during this time, according to later census documents, this child born in late 1903 was eldest son Joseph.

By the start of 1904, the family consisted of Samuel, Anna, Sarah, Ethel, and Joseph. By this time, the family were residents of 618 Harrison Avenue, according to Joseph’s birth notice and the 1904 Leadville city directory. This consisted of living quarters above the store at the corner of East 7th Street and Harrison. The family remained at this location for several years, evidently with varied success. In May of 1904 a short advertisement explained in matter of fact terms the benefits of a recent sale. [27] Throughout the remainder of 1904 and 1905 few mentions of the family appeared in local newspapers, and no further advertising campaigns were published.

Samuel J. Amter and family lived at 224 West 6th Street (highlighted) between 1905 and 1907.

Samuel J. Amter and family lived at 224 West 6th Street (highlighted) between 1905 and 1907.

Source: 1895 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map, map section number 13.

At some point during 1905, the family moved from quarters above the store at 618 Harrison to a house at 224 West 6th Street. [28] Presumably, the store continued to operate during this time. However, early in 1906, it was clear Samuel was experiencing financial issues. In a notice published by Harry Mamlock of the district court, the items of Samuel’s store were documented as having been put up for auction several days previous. [29] Ten days later, an advertisement announced that the bankrupt stock had been bought by “A. E. Amter” and that another sale was forthcoming. [30] “A.E.” was almost certainly Anna, and it is clear that the incident was either an advertising stunt, or simply a strategy in which Samuel could erase his debt by selling the business to his wife. In mid-1906, the downturn, which peaked in 1907 as the Knickerbocker Crisis was beginning to take shape, and economic difficulties nationally may have precipitated this incident. Whatever the strategy and outcome, the technique worked and the store operated at 618 Harrison during the remainder of 1906. While the store continued to operate as Boston Bazaar, Anna was noted in the city directory as the owner and Samuel as the manager. [31] In June 1906, Samuel was quoted as a member of the Board of Trade during a discussion of the functions and effectiveness of recent “schemes.” Samuel suggested that the board meet more often, but in smaller committees in order to plan out various business promotional schemes. [32] In early July of 1906, the Boston Bazaar moved locations a third time. This time, the new location was 619-621 Harrison Avenue, which a lengthy advertisement explained was due to cramped quarters at 618 Harrison. [33] This store was located in a two story brick structure which was demolished in 1909 to make way for the Masonic Temple at the corner of West 7th and Harrison. For the remainder of the year, the store continued to operate, but no further social notices mentioning the family appeared.

Throughout 1907, social mentions continued to remain sparse, and no advertisements for the store were published. In February, another child was born to the family. [34] As was common at the time, the name of the child was not published, but using the 1910 census as a reference point, this child was 3rd daughter, May. [35] At the end of the month, the Boston Bazaar appeared in the Herald Democrat as a profiled business demonstrating continued confidence in Leadville’s future. [36] In late March, a debate between two Jewish scholars on the subject of Zionism was hosted jointly by the orthodox Knesseth congregation and the reform Temple Israel congregation at the Temple on West 4th Street. Adolph Schayer took the cause of anti-Zionism while H. Fischlowitz visiting from St. Louis was pro-Zionism. The public notice as it appeared in Leadville newspapers was signed by presidents S.J Amter of Knesseth and Julius Leon of Temple Israel. [3]

In April of 1907, another article which surreptitiously takes the form of an advertisement, touted the thriving Boston Bazaar during a weekend sale. Part of the article explained, “

“…The well known store, which has long enjoyed the confidence of Leadville’s fair shoppers has been given a new dress and completely remodeled, a new line of goods has been placed on the shelves, and last night the beautiful decorations and sweet music added to the attractiveness and splendor of the popular fashion center.

Samuel handed out candy to patrons, which the article claimed was exhausted within several minutes of opening. The description continued,

“The most noticeable new features of the Bazaar are the plain and simple trimmings which are done principally in white. This together with the neat and cleanly display of goods make an attraction to the ladies eye which does not fail to please and to tempt. Lillies and cut flowers were added here and there. The force of handsome accommodating clerks added in receiving the visitor to the store. Schiller’s mandolin club, consisting of ten pieces furnished excellent music.” [38]

Perhaps the above quotation regarding the prosperity of the store was not entirely for show: only 3 days later a public notice appeared which announced the transfer of lots 22 and 23 of block 67 of the Stevens and Leiter Subdivision from John D. Evans (no relation to the former Territorial governor) to A. E. Amter. [39] This corresponds to 137 East 9th Street; the family residence in 1908. [40] The family would continue to live at this address for nearly 15 years. The remainder of 1907 remained quiet for the family as they settled into the new house on 9th street.

In early 1908 Samuel J. and Aaron Walpensky appeared before Leadville city council to ask for an abatement on the bill for sidewalk improvements in front of the synagogue on West 5th Street, a request which was granted. After the meeting Samuel gave the city clerk a check for partial payment of the repairs. [41] One month later Samuel R., aforementioned cousin residing in Florence, Colorado, visited the family at 137 West 9th Street. [42] Although there was some activity in local newspapers during the spring of 1908, neither the family nor the store appeared again that year. As in 1907, the store continued to operate at 621 Harrison Avenue.

In the spring of 1909 Samuel J. joined a new civic improvement organization, the Leadville Citizens Mining and Improvement Association. At one meeting, Samuel was appointed alongside several other local businessmen, including fellow Jew, Sol Kahn, to encourage local businesses to contribute to coming 4th of July festivities. [43] Several months later, Samuel J. appeared again in local newspapers encouraging citizens to clean up the city, suggesting that any scavengers hired by the city who fail to do their jobs should be arrested and fined. [44] In the late summer of 1909, Samuel departed Leadville for Colorado Springs to attend a yearly meeting of the state conclave of the Knights of Pythias. [45] During a Leadville Improvement District meeting in late 1909, Samuel made several comments and proposals related to a vehement debate over the prices paid for sewer service by some property owners. In the end, he was appointed to a committee to investigate sewer fees charged. 1909 was the final year that the store appeared in city directories as located at 621 Harrison. By the city directory of 1910, Samuel was located at 613 Harrison Avenue. As of 2020, 613 Harrison Avenue is the location of “Aspen Traders” storefront. While no formal “removal notice” was found, the first advertisements which state the store had “removed” appeared in August of 1910. [46] During that summer, the building which formerly occupied 619-621 Harrison, and served as Samuels store was demolished, and the Masonic Hall was built in its place. This would prove to be one of the last commercial developments on Harrison Avenue until a number of banks were built on the sites of the demolished Union, Boston, and DeMainville blocks in the 1970s.

This photo shows the 600 block range of Harrison Avenue.

This photo shows the 600 block range of Harrison Avenue. See the next photo for details of Amter’s buildings.

Source: Denver Public Library Western History Collection

https://digital.denverlibrary.org/digital/collection/p15330coll21/id/14450/rec/101

Samuel’s Boston Bazaar moved just a few doors down into the building at 613 Harrison Avenue (orange) during the summer of 1910.

Samuel’s Boston Bazaar moved just a few doors down into the building at 613 Harrison Avenue (orange) during the summer of 1910. The business was in the building at 619-621 Harrison Avenue (blue).

The sewer report promised by Samuel’s citizen’s committee in late 1909 was not ready until early February of 1910. [47] Several days later, a report appeared in the Herald Democrat which announced that Samuel J. and the committee recommended the old sewer be completely replaced to account for the differences in how certain citizens were served by the old sewer. On February 12, Samuel stated that the recommendations of the committee would proceed and asked citizens to provide suggestions and information regarding how to expand the current system. [48] A follow up meeting was documented in local newspapers in which Samuel made a speech which rebutted a Sewer Company representative who argued that the installation of the sewer in 1885 had been a favor to the public. Samuel J. said, “The people of today were not under obligations to for favors done 25 years ago.” [49] Further developments in the sewer debate did not appear in newspapers during the remainder of 1910. Several times during that year, A.E. Amter appeared among the delinquent taxes list for the house at 137 West 9th Street, and at the end of 1910, a public auction of the property was published. [50] Presumably, the $47.74 in back taxes was paid before the house was auctioned off.

In early February 1911, Samuel participated in the Leadville Chapter festivities celebrating the anniversary of the start of the Knights of Pythias. [51] Later in the year, Samuel donated to and participated in a dance hosted by the Moose Lodge. [52] For a second year in a row, the house at 137 West 9th Street was put up for auction following multiple notices for delinquent taxes. [53] As was the case in 1910, the taxes were likely paid eventually as the family continued to reside there for many more years. For the 1910 tax year, $58.24 was owed. During the summer of 1910, a census enumerator visited the Amter household on West 9th Street and recorded 8 individuals, including a 25-year-old Swedish servant. The children listed were Sarah, 11 years old, Ethel, 9, Joseph 6, May 3 and Gerson 3 months. Samuel was 43 and Anna 38 years old. Curiously, the enumerator gave Anna’s national origin as Ger-German and Samuel’s as Ger-Russian. This suggests a possible origin in German speaking Poland or another German speaking enclave within the Russian Empire. As has been well documented, shifting boarders during this time meant identifying a specific nation of origin, especially for Jews, is difficult. [54]

On November 4, the newspaper reported on a minor incident which befell one of the Amter children. A 3-year old child was found by the bookkeeper of a plumbing company located at 312 Harrison Avenue crying and evidently lost. It was cold outside, but the child was well dressed. Due to the fact that the bookkeeper was unable to find out the child’s name, she took him to the undersheriff in the courthouse. Shortly after, Samuel J. arrived and was relived to find the child safe. The final sentence of the report joked that the child had evidently read some advertisements and was attracted to the Avenue on a shopping expedition by various bargain signs. Presuming the child escaped from the house on the 100 block of West 9th Street, he walked a fairly significant distance. Due to the fact that Anna and Samuel did not have a 3-year-old son at the time of the incident, it is unclear which child this was. Presumably, the error was in the age of the child, as son Joseph was in fact 7 at the time. Daughter May was in fact 3 years old in 1911, despite the fact that the article repeatedly refers to the child as male. However, during this time, it was not uncommon for a child’s gender to be either neutral (i.e. use of the pronouns “it” or “its”) or sometimes indistinguishably as “he” or “his”. Before the age of 5, most children wore indistinguishable gender-neutral clothing in the form of a smock or dress, and as result a toddler’s gender was often not immediately clear in public. If this were Joseph, he would have been 6, and thus clearly a boy, having by that time traditionally graduated from his child’s smock to knickers or other boys clothing. If the child was indeed 3-year-old daughter May, she may have been indistinguishable as a girl or boy due to a gender-neutral dress or smock. In the end, it is unclear which child this was, but it was probably Joseph, and the newspaper reporter simply misreported his age. [55]

The following year of 1912 was quiet for the family. Their residence location remained the same, and the store continued to operate at 613 Harrison.

In early 1913 eldest daughters Ethel and Sarah made their first appearance in local newspapers as attendees of a musical recital hosted by music teachers Miss Pelta and Miss Block, both members of Leadville’s Jewish community. [56] One month later, Samuel issued an affidavit stating the fact that others had used the name “Boston Bazaar” without permission, stating he was the sole proprietor of the store, and had exclusive use of the name. [57] Several days later, Samuel and daughter Ethel participated in a joint Knights of Pythias and Woodsmen of the World celebration during which Ethel played a piano solo and Samuel was a member of the arrangement committee. [58] Samuel again became involved in public affairs following a student “strike” at Leadville’s High School. He was appointed to a citizens committee dedicated to deciding whether to re-instate a controversial superintendent. Additionally, the committee debated whether an apology was required from a striking group of students, who claimed unfair treatment during an assembly. [59] As told by newspapers, Samuel demonstrated an unusual level of civic engagement which was not common among his merchant contemporaries in Leadville at the time.

At the end of November, 1913, Ethel again appeared as a member of a musical group affiliated with Leadville High School. [60]

At some point in 1914, the Boston Bazaar store moved locations yet again, this time- across the street from the previous location. The new store was located at 602 Harrison Avenue, a storefront in the now-demolished DeMainville block, formerly on the northeast corner of 6th and Harrison. [61]

The Boston Bazaar moved to this storefront at 602 Harrison Avenue in 1914.

The Boston Bazaar moved to this storefront at 602 Harrison Avenue in 1914. This DeMainville Block has since been demolished.

In early 1914, an obituary notice for Samuel J.’s mother was published in the Herald Democrat. According to the report, Samuel’s mother lived in Denver for 15 years after the death of her husband, who the newspaper reported was named “Hie”. Samuel’s father was documented as a participant in the Battle of Sevastopol during the Crimean War and he and his wife had been residents of St. Petersburg before coming to America in the 1890s. [62] The remainder of 1914 remained busy but relatively quiet for the family; Ethel and Sarah appeared as part of a piano duet at a Knights of Pythias event in October. [63] In November, Sarah and Ethel also appeared at a party hosted by two Sandusky family sisters, with additional attendees of girls form the Isaacs and Mankuss families. [64] The Sandusky, Isaacs, and Mankuss families were a fellow orthodox Jews with origins in Russia and Austria who shared many social connections. [65] During this time it was common for young women, as well as young men, to form clubs named with various acronyms which were presumably secret to the members. In the case of the Amter sisters, they belonged to a group of girls which posted intermittent meeting notices under the name “L.O.T.V Club”. [66] The significance of the letters and the subject of the meetings has been lost to time.

At the end of December, again demonstrating what would be considered today as “community mindedness”, Samuel J. published a letter to the editor of the Herald Democrat. In its entirety, it read,

On the wings of time another Christmas is rapidly being ushered in. The Christmas spirit is in the air. On every side we see happy faces, everyone eager to bring a little gladness to another. Yet in Leadville as in every other place there will be found many poor people that will not only be forgotten when the presents are given out but who have not the necessities of life and are unprotected from the winters biting frost.

Leadville people have always been noted for their big heartedness and generosity, so now at this time of the year let them not be slow in showing they deserve the title they bear, and that while deserving poor elsewhere are being remembered those at home will not be forgotten.

I would suggest that the merchants of our city and the public at large make this a Merry Christmas for every poor family, let not one be forgotten. This can be easily done if everyone contributes willingly according to his means.

I would also suggest that the distribution of the funds be left to the judgment of the clergymen of all denominations who would select committees from the Women’s Club or active members of the respective churches.

Let us all be for Leadville.
To start the ball rolling I will contribute $10.00.
-S. J. Amter

The suggestion of Mr. Amter of a Christmas fund for local charity is very commendable and at his request the Herald Democrat has consented to act as custodian for whatever amounts may be donated, the same to be turned over in accordance with the wishes of the donors.” [67]

This letter suggests not only the charitable nature of Samuel himself, but also his multiple references to Christmas suggest that, as an active member of the Jewish congregation, he was not only open to integration with Christians, he actively worked to foster cooperation. One week later, it was announced in a short notice that Anna was traveling to Denver and hence to California for an extended time. [68] What precipitated such an extended absence is unknown, however later notices indicate that she was experiencing some illness; not uncommon at Leadville’s high altitude.

Advertisement for The Boston Bazaar in The Herald Democrat, September 5, 1915.

Advertisement for The Boston Bazaar in The Herald Democrat, September 5, 1915.

“The Boston Bazaar”. The Herald Democrat. Sunday, September 5, 1915. Page 4.

Advertisement for The Boston Bazaar in The Herald Democrat, September 6, 1915.

Advertisement for The Boston Bazaar in The Herald Democrat, September 6, 1915.

“The Boston Bazaar”. The Herald Democrat. Monday, September 6, 1915. Page 4.

In late January 1915, the L.O.T.V Club with Sarah and Ethel as attendees, met again at the house of Freida and Leah Sandusky. [69] One week later, Ethel participated in a High School debate club discussion over question of “Should the telephone and telegraph service be owned and operated by the government?”; Ethel’s side of the argument triumphed in the affirmative. [70] In late March, Samuel left on an emergency trip to Denver due to the “serious illness of his wife”. [71] After departing Leadville in December, it is clear that Anna was spending time in Denver for health reasons. Although the illness was dubbed serious, Anna returned to Leadville one month later, “fully recovered in health” at the end of April. [72] Ethel and Sarah spent the summer in Denver, according to a notice published in a late August newspaper. [73] For the first time in several years, the Boston Bazaar was advertised in local newspapers at the beginning of September. [74] Curiously, the first ad (illustrated here) noted that “A. J. Amter” was the proprietor. The following day however, an identical ad appeared with “A. J.” changed to “S.J.” (shown below). The significance of this change is unknown. This is the first time since the tax sale in 1906 that “S.J” instead of “A.J.” as proprietor appeared on local advertisements. The reasoning behind this shift is probably lost to time, but it is clear that A.J. referred to Anna, who legally gained ownership of the store in the aftermath of the sheriff’s sale.

The 1915 city directory is the first time that daughter Sarah appeared and she was recorded as a clerk at the store at 602 Harrison Avenue. [75] An extensive advertising campaign which began in early September extended into the following year. In late September, an “Around the City” column gave some insight into a charitable action evidently spearheaded by Samuel J. and supported by “Temple Israel”. Sam Wiess was a young Jewish druggist who contracted tuberculosis and was forced to retire from business in Leadville. [76] The congregation, under the leadership of Samuel J., who was president at the time, raised funds for a train ticket to the Jewish Consumptives Hospital in Edgewater, as well as securing a “room” in the popular and fully booked hospital for the destitute Samuel Wiess. [77]

In January 1916, evidence of Samuel J’s continued involvement in local clubs was published when he was announced as an “inner guard” in the organization after an election. [78] In April, Ethel attended a party for her Sophomore class at Leadville High School at a residence on West 8th Street. [79] Several mentions of activity in the Knights of Pythias revealed Samuel continued to be active in that organization during 1916.

In November, son Joseph experienced a minor accident. Joseph was reportedly riding with a load of packages on his bicycle at the corner of Harrison and 7th Street when he collided with a Leadville Power Company “motor truck”. He was uninjured and the packages were undamaged. [80]

For the 5th year in a row, “S.J. Amter” appeared under the list of delinquent taxes for the family house at 137 West 9th in November. [81]

Throughout 1917, Ethel and Samuel J. appeared frequently in society columns for their participation in a variety of club meetings and gatherings; most within the same social circles as previous years, including the Knights of Pythias, Moose Lodge, and citizens committees in the case of Samuel, and High School debate clubs, and musical and social groups in the case of Ethel. Additionally, Ethel was mentioned with increasing frequency as a rising pianist within Leadville. In mid-May, during a Red Cross ticket selling fundraiser, Samuel offered a silk umbrella as a prize for the individual with the most tickets sold. [82] In late May, Ethel was recognized for giving a speech at the High School Junior Class Banquet on the topic of “Submarines”. The United States joined the War in Europe in early April- the previous month- and many of the students made speeches on the topic of service in the military. [83] On Memorial Day, 1917, Samuel was profiled in a short column remembering the death of his brother Isadore in an early engagement on San Juan Hill, Cuba, during the Spanish-American War in 1898. [84]

In mid-July, Samuel went to Denver as part of delegation of mediators in a mining labor dispute instigated by the Cloud City Miners Union. He was reported to have been in conferences with state government officials throughout the day on July 14th. By the evening, the strike had been postponed. [85] Throughout the summer of 1917, Samuel J. advertised the Boston Bazaar daily. On August 2nd, the work Samuel J. put into mediating for the miner’s strike earlier in the summer paid off. On a front-page article of the Herald Democrat, it was announced that mine operators agreed to a settlement with union employees on a minimum $4 wage. Samuel J. was present at the announcement of the deal at the Bank Annex on East 4th Street and made a sort statement in support of harmony and continued negotiations between unions and operators. [86]

It is clear that Samuel J’s influence on the strike was fairly significant. The day following the wage agreement, Samuel received a letter from the executive committee of the Cloud City Miner’s Union which read,

“Greeting: We, as the executive board of Cloud City Miners’ Union No. 33 in conjunction with out unorganized miners in our meeting on July 23, 1917 have unanimously passed a resolution endorsing the actions taken by Mr. S. J. Amter in the passed strike situation, and we find that he was trustworthy, neutral in all respects, for the interests of humanity and patriotic to his state and country and also to the Leadville community. Thanking you for your interest on our behalf, we remain
Respectfully yours,
Cloud City Miner Union Ex. Committee.
Eli Follett, Secretary-Treasurer.”
[87]

August and September of 1917 proved to be very busy for the Amters. At the end of August, Samuel J. was elected as the Grand Lodge Trustee for the Leadville chapter of the Knights of Pythias. [88] At the end of September, he read the obituary of Harry Mamlock at the funeral at the Masonic Hall and Nathan Miller read the burial service in the Jewish cemetery. [89] The following day, he addressed the congregation at the Knesseth Israel on the patriotic importance of donating to a $10,000,000 Jewish national fund for war victims in Europe; he was successful in organizing a local committee to handle the money and campaign for funds. [90] In late October, the rarely mentioned eldest daughter Sarah was announced to have been recently on a weeklong trip to visit friends in Denver, Colorado Springs, and Cripple Creek. [91] In December, Anna left for a brief visit to Denver following the death of her mother in that city; her father had passed several years previous. During 1917, an individual named Miss Clara Amter appeared as both an employee of the store at 602 Harrison and a resident of the house on West 9th Street. As this was the only year in which the young lady appeared, she was probably one of many cousins, or perhaps a niece, of Samuel J. who was in Leadville for a short time to work. [93]

In early 1918, ever the vocal local spokesman, Samuel J. attended a meeting of the Midland Railroad, which was nearing bankruptcy. He spoke in support of the railroad, saying the lack of competition, if the Midland were to fold, would be bad for the public. [94] Throughout the following spring, daughter Ethel appeared regularly in academic and musical notices for events throughout Leadville, including debates on various subjects, as well as several piano solos and poetry recitations. Later in the spring, youngest daughter May appeared for the first time in local newspapers as an attendee of a children’s gathering. [95]

In September, Knesseth Israel sent holiday greetings of Shanna Tovah to several Leadville soldiers training for the war in Europe. In response, several sons of Leadville wrote to Samuel J. Sergeant Miller, son of Nathan Miller wrote the following letter from Fort Dix, New Jersey published in the Herald Democrat,

“On my arrival at the camp this morning, (September 10) from Pottsville, PA, where I spent Rosh Hashana, I found your kind telegram. Please accept my heartfelt thanks and let me say that I will do my utmost to live up to the doctrines of my country with duty, honor, and obedience.”

Jake Sandusky, wrote from the Presidio, San Francisco,

“Words cannot express my appreciation of the New Year greeting I have received from you. I only feel disappointed in that I cannot thank each and every one of you in person.

I hope that this time next year with the help of God, we will have victory. Until that time I shall do the best I can to make a good soldier, and try my best to help win the war for the country that has been so grand- practically the only country that his given our people liberty.”

Additionally, Meyer Stager wrote in much bolder terms from Camp Cody,

“With the greatest appreciation, I received your New Year message. And with the help of God, we shall have victory. I will do all in my power to fight the good fight and lick the Kaiser to a finish.” [96]

In late 1918, Leadville was still in the midst of the global influenza pandemic. Early in December, the board of health organized a patrol of citizens to ensure any flu cases were reported and treated, and that houses with ailing victims were fumigated. Samuel J. joined one volunteer patrol along with several other men. [97] At the end of January, a renewed wave of the virus necessitated a second school closure. Samuel J. was quoted regarding aid to families experiencing hardship,

“A suggestion for S.J. Amter to the effect that many families in destitute circumstances will not accept free aid because of their pride and that people acquainted with their condition should be asked to report to the board with agreement that ‘no names will be mentioned’, did not meet with favor from Alderman Rogers and others, who declared that this would open the gates to flood of requests for aid at places where it was not really deserved.” [98]

It is clear that Samuel J’s charitable philosophies were not always met with support. The remainder of the winter remained quiet among the family as the Influenza pandemic slowly faded away. In March, Samuel was listed among the pall bearers at the funeral of Minna Heimberger- wife of the late David Heimberger- who died unexpectedly while visiting Leadville from Chicago. [99]

Several days later, eldest son Joseph -rarely mentioned in newspapers heretofore- appeared with Helen Sack as the winner of a waltz contest at the 1919 annual Sophomore dance at Leadville High School. [100]

Later in the spring, Samuel was appointed by Leadville’s new mayor- Dr. Jeannotte- to again act as a mediator in a new mining labor dispute. As the strike was beginning to take shape, on April 15, the mayor sent a letter to Samuel J. which read,

“As you are aware a serios labor problem confronts us at the present time in Leadville, I feel that our citizens should make some effort to bring the mine authorities and their employees to a satisfactory understanding.

Realizing that on a former occasion you were very successful in bringing about an amicable agreement between the mine owners and miners, I now urge you to use your good offices toward settling the present controversy.” [101]

Working quickly, Samuel J. sent a message two days later to the governor of Colorado, which read:

“As the miners in the Leadville district have voted to quit work April 20 in protest against the proposed $1.00 wage reduction and as Mayor J. A. Jeannotte has requested me to employ my efforts in effecting a settlement for the situation, I respectively urge you to use your good offices in bringing the influence of the state administration to bear in effecting an amicable adjustment and aid of local efforts to this end.

I took a part in settling the strike here two years ago and respectfully refer you to Hon. Verner Z Reed and Hon. Judge W. Musser for information concerning myself. At that time the miners were very loyal and patriotic and again this time they are acting for what they consider only their fair and just rights. Thru the efforts of Hon. Verner Z. Reed and Hon. Judge W. Musser and others, the miners and companies reached an agreement in 1917 in a business-like and orderly manner which was a credit to Colorado.

A good many returned soldiers are represented among the protesting miners. They accomplished their patriotic work at the front; the miners who remained here aided in making Leadville’s war record a leader in the state with every Liberty bond and other war fund oversubscribed.

Sincerely Yours,
S. J. Amter
[102]

Results were quick to materialize, and just 6 days later, the strike was called off as operators decided on a reduction of just 50 cents, instead of the planned $1.00. On the 20th, Samuel J. and several businessmen met with prominent mining operators to amicably mediate the terms of the union. This is yet another example of Samuel’s devoted community mindedness.

Advertisements for the store resumed on a daily basis in the May of 1919 and continued throughout the month. During the summer both Ethel and Sarah appeared regularly as attendees of several “novelty balls” hosted by a group called the IHX Club as well as the local Turnverein.

In November, eldest son Joseph- now a Junior in high school- appeared as part of a debate and oration team. [103] In late December, Samuel published a series of advertisements for the Christian holiday. Many of them- such as the one which appears here- made a reference to their constant sales. Samuel signed them, “Yours for Prosperity, Amter” [104]

The Boston Bazaar continued to advertise prolifically throughout early 1920. It was clear from this set of advertisements that the emphasis at the store had evolved over the course of 20 years from general household “furnishings” to women’s clothing and dry goods. In April, Samuel opened another store at 815 Santa Fe Drive in Denver, according to a notice in the Herald Democrat. [105]

While he and the entire family appeared as Leadville residents in the 1920 United States census enumerated in January, by the summer of that year, he and the family began to pull up their roots in the city. 1920 is well known as a difficult year economically for Leadville and lack of business may have been a contributing factor in the sudden transition to Denver. It was also clear that Anna occasionally had bouts of ill-health as a result of the altitude. According to the census enumerator, both Ethel and Sarah- aged 19 and 20 respectively- were employees of the Boston Bazaar, while the other children were in school. [106] Samuel was 50 years old, and Anna 47.

Throughout the summer of 1920 it became clear that Samuel J. was beginning to make Denver his more permanent residence, although some of family remained in Leadville. One notice in June stated that he was visiting Leadville from Denver to look after business interests. [107] Throughout the summer, Samuel continued to advertise in Leadville, and both Ethel and Sarah continued to appear in social columns. In August, son Joseph moved to Denver for the summer. [108] Several days later, Ethel joined him to manage the Amter store on Santa Fe Drive. [109] In late August, Samuel J. retired from the Knights of Pythias, and made the statement,

“We are in the midst of troublous times and every man should be concerned with a speedy settlement of every controversy between capital and labor”. [110]

Advertisement for Boston Bazaar in The Herald Democrat, December 12, 1919.

Advertisement for Boston Bazaar in The Herald Democrat, December 12, 1919. The term “rubbers” refers to galoshes, also called rain boots.

“Are We Quitting Business?” The Herald Democrat. Friday, December 12, 1919. Page 4.

In early September, a notice appeared in the social columns which announced Sarah returned Leadville to manage the Boston Bazaar. It is unclear where she returned from, but it is likely she returned from Denver where much of the family was beginning to relocate. [111] In September, Joseph again also returned to Leadville after the summer stint there. [112] It is likely during this time that the family managed at least two households, one in Leadville and perhaps several in Denver, as they were active in both cities for several years in the early 1920s.

In late September, Samuel J. announced his intent to invest in a new mining company called Prospect Mountain Mines and Exploration, and published a short letter calling for more citizens to commit to investment in the venture, calling for a “Live Leadville”. [113] In October and November, Samuel traveled to Chicago and other cities on a merchandise buying trip. [114]

In January 1921, Samuel J. took part in a meeting of the business committee which was discussing the effect mail-order catalogues were having on the business of the local merchants. Samuel stated he thought more meetings were a waste of time and suggested a sperate committee be formed to investigate how prices and business has been affected by catalogue and mail order shopping. [115]

In late January, the shed in the rear of the Amter house at 137 West 9th Street caught fire, resulting in some damage which was covered by insurance. [116] Throughout the autumn and winter of 1920-1921, son Joseph was active in the high school debate team, and in February, he traveled to Colorado Springs as the captain of Leadville’s team. [117] Later in the spring, he was first prize winner in a oratory contest, which took place in Boulder, with the speech “The Basic Principles of Success”. [118] Ever known for his skill in speaking, Joseph was chosen to give the salutary address of his high school class at their final theater production in early June. [119] The next week, Joseph graduated valedictorian of his high school class. [120] In late August, local papers announced that Joseph was visiting University of Denver in preparation of attendance in the fall. [121] The remainder of 1921 remained quiet, and Joseph departed for college classes in Denver.

This photo of Joseph appeared in the University of Denver 1924 yearbook in the “Sophomores of Liberal Arts” section.

This photo of Joseph appeared in the University of Denver 1924 yearbook in the “Sophomores of Liberal Arts” section.

Source: University of Denver Yearbook 1924, page 130.

In January 1922, the Boston Bazaar was shut down as a result of a default to a creditor. The stock was seized by G. W. Jackson of Denver’s Equitable building on January 14th. Samuel was visited by a reporter that evening and was depressed and despondent over the closure of the store; his assets were said to be less than $3,000 with $12,000 owed. [122] The stock of goods was put up by G. W. Jackson for public auction on January 25th. [123] Two days later, it was reported that a single bid of $300 was rejected by the creditor: Samuel remained in a depressed state. According to the report, a representative of Leopold Guldman’s Golden Eagle clothing store was coming to Leadville on January 28th to inspect the stock for a possible bid. [124] On February 3, the stock was purchased for an undisclosed amount by an individual named G. S. Sabath. Daughter Sarah was then appointed manager until the stock was sold.

Throughout the spring, the Boston Bazaar probably operated on a tenuous basis. In May, Joseph left college to revive the store, under a new business model. He solicited the sponsorship of an outside tailoring company called Binstock & Co. and reopened the Boston Bazaar as a men’s specialty tailoring shop, maintaining the former storefront address of 602 Harrison Avenue in the DeMainville Block. Joseph advertised prolifically for the tailor shop throughout the summer of 1922. By the autumn he returned to Denver for his education, potentially leaving the Leadville store in the care of Sarah or another family member. [126] During the winter and summer of 1923, advertisements for the Boston Bazaar continued, although it is unclear if Joseph was in Denver for college or if another relative was operating the store. Certainly, during the summer and school holidays, Joseph was in Leadville operating the store. On July 1, a fire destroyed the family garage with their Ford touring car inside. [127] It is clear that at least some of the family besides Joseph and Sarah continued to reside in Leadville during 1923. In November, young son Gerson Amter was driving the family Ford touring car out the alleyway behind the Presbyterian Church at the corner of 8th and Harrison when he struck a young man on a bicycle. Gerson was probably between 13 and 14 years old at the time of accident but was not determined at fault due to the speed of the cyclist. Although dragged some yards on the fender of the car the young man was uninjured, however the bicycle was destroyed. [128]

Advertisement for Boston Bazaar in The Herald Democrat, June 1, 1922.

Advertisement for Boston Bazaar in The Herald Democrat, June 1, 1922.

“Attention Men!” The Herald Democrat. Thursday, June 1, 1922. Page 4.

In December, a short notice revealed that Joseph was enrolled in the Law School of University of Denver and was visiting his mother and sisters in Leadville. [129] The fact that father Samuel J. was not included in this visit suggests that by this time, he lived in Denver or elsewhere. In April, Joseph again returned to Leadville to visit the family. [130] Throughout the spring and summer of 1924, Anna, Ethel and Joseph were documented as frequently traveling between Leadville and Denver, as advertisements for the Boston Bazaar continued until the early autumn. On September 12, 1924, a local paper reported that Joseph was leaving Leadville to attend Law School at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. [131] One week later, for at least the 3rd time in 10 years, a fire in the rear of the house was extinguished; it was the result of another carelessly disposed box of ashes. [132]

In February of 1925, Joseph was honored at the University of Michigan for an article he published in the student newspaper of that institution. According to a Leadville newspaper, the article was titled “Wanted; Students” and was summarized,

“…Joseph A Amter laments the ‘college type, as he is pictured to the world, the slick-haired youth dressed in the extreme fashion of the day, with a reckless, thoughtless, careless, quasi-immoral air. He is not pictured as a student, but either as an athlete or a social butterfly’

He expresses his regret that more and more, the newspapers and other publication are pointing to this type as the representative student, as the one to be glorified and praised. What is the danger, he says, is that this type, now in the minority, is constantly tending to become more of a majority, just because of the model the modern press is giving publicity to. He declares that if Socrates ‘himself were here to discourse with the students he would have few listeners.

He makes a plea for the type of student who is ‘hardworking, eager, receptive, willing that there should be play but determined that it will be strictly subordinated to the business of making himself worth of himself, his parents, his nation.

‘This inscription ought to be written in bold type in our catalogues. Only those students are welcome at Michigan whose prime object is to make themselves mentally, morally, and physically better. All other are not wanted’…” [133]

While it is unclear the precise year Anna, Sarah, Gerston, and the other children left Leadville, the family had certainly relocated to Denver by 1930, according to the United States Census. [134] The family’s name and enterprise continued at 602 Harrison Avenue through 1927 as the Boston Bazaar and from 1928 until 1933 as Amter Stores (ladies apparel, phone #324-J). [135] Although living in Denver, it appears that the family continued to do business in Leadville for some years after their move. The family house at 137 West 9th Street is no longer standing although a modern garage is near the site. Samuel J. was unwell though the middle 1920s and passed away in Denver in 1926 at the age of 58 or 59 and was buried in Englewood’s Mount Nebo Memorial Park. [136] Anna lived until 1937 and was also buried at Mount Nebo. Unfortunately, the lives of Gerson, Ethel, and May are difficult to trace. Gerson likely lived in and around Denver for the remainder of his life. Ethel and May are difficult to trance after 1930; they were likely married after that year and it is unknown what their husbands’ family names were. Sarah and Joseph remained the entirety of their lives in Denver. Joseph was buried with his wife near his parents in Englewood’s Mount Nebo and Sarah with her husband in Fairmont Cemetery. Both passed away in 1982.

As we have seen, the Amters were exemplary of the tenacity of Colorado Jewish pioneers, immigrants and businessmen in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Their efforts and industrious nature allowed them to survive and indeed prosper in Leadville and among the cities of Colorado’s Front Range.

1 Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 29 September 2020), memorial page for Samuel J Amter (1867–1926), Find a Grave Memorial no. 126272632, citing Mount Nebo Memorial Park, Aurora, Arapahoe County, Colorado, USA ; Maintained by WalksWithAngels (contributor 47205696) .
2 Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 29 September 2020), memorial page for Anna E Amter (1870–1937), Find a Grave Memorial no. 126272663, citing Mount Nebo Memorial Park, Aurora, Arapahoe County, Colorado, USA ; Maintained by WalksWithAngels (contributor 47205696) .
3 Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 29 September 2020), memorial page for Sara A. Berezin (29 Mar 1899–11 Jun 1982), Find a Grave Memorial no. 175162173, citing Fairmount Cemetery, Denver, Denver County, Colorado, USA ; Maintained by SwHoot (contributor 49054756) .
4 Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 29 September 2020), memorial page for Joseph Arthur Amter (18 Dec 1903–15 Dec 1982), Find a Grave Memorial no. 171761374, citing Congregation Emanuel Cemetery, Denver, Denver County, Colorado, USA ; Maintained by SwHoot (contributor 49054756) .
5 “Obituaries” Denver Jewish News, Volume 7, Number 3, January 19, 1921 p. 6
6 Year: 1880; Census Place: Denver, Arapahoe, Colorado; Roll: 88; Page: 247C; Enumeration District: 011 Tenth Census of the United States, 1880. (NARA microfilm publication T9, 1,454 rolls). Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29. National Archives, Washington, D.C.
7 Sara, Hattie and Isadore Amter. C Photo Album 391. Denver High School, District Number One, Denver, Colorado. Album, class of 1889 and 1890; Denver High School albums. Denver Public Library Western History Collection
8 "Colorado Statewide Marriage Index, 1853-2006," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:33S7-LB2W-Z2X?cc=1932434&wc=M6YP-PTR%3A228703201: 20 May 2014), Allen, Edward-Armstrong, David > image 2131 of 4547; State Archives, Denver.
9 Denver City Directory p. 96
10 Year: 1900; Census Place: Florence, Fremont, Colorado; Page: 9; Enumeration District: 0033; FHL microfilm: 1240123Enumeration District: 0033; Description: Florence Precinct including Florence City Wards 1-3, Lower Beaver Precinct and West Florence Precinct
11 Denver City Directory p. 76
12 Denver City Directory p. 76
13 “Local and Personal” Florence Daily Herald, Volume 2, Number 139, August 28, 1897 p. 4
14 Florence City Directory p. 33 and 59
15 Year: 1920; Census Place: Denver, Denver, Colorado; Roll: T625_162; Page: 10B; Enumeration District: 260
16 “Wanted” Herald Democrat, March 16, 1900 p. 7
17 Year: 1900; Census Place: Leadville, Lake, Colorado; Page: 4; Enumeration District: 0047; FHL microfilm: 1240125 Source Information Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004.
18 Leadville City Directory p. 67
19 Leadville City Directory p. 383
20 “Society” Herald Democrat, November 30, 1902 p. 11
21 “Around the City” Herald Democrat, March 8, 1903 p. 6
22 “Hope, The Keynote of All Speeches” Herald Democrat, March 19, 1903 p. 4
23 “Kenesseth Israel Officers” Herald Democrat, April 16, 1903 p. 6
24 “The Boston Bazaar” Herald Democrat, December 6, 1903 p. 5
25 “The Boston Bazaar” Herald Democrat, December 20, 1903 p. 5
26 “Born” Herald Democrat, December 21, 1903 p. 5
27 “Boston Bazaar’s Big Sale” Herald Democrat, May 8, 1904 p. 8
28 1905 Leadville City Directory p. 63
29 “United States District Court” Herald Democrat, January 14, 1906 p. 12
30 “Wait, Wait!” Herald Democrat, January 21, 1906 p. 91
31 1906 Leadville City Directory p. 64
32 “Planning Work for the Board” Herald Democrat, June 21, 1906 p. 6
33 “To the Public!” Herald Democrat, July 2, 1906 p. 7
34 “Born” Herald Democrat, February 13, 1907 p. 6
35 Year: 1910; Census Place: Leadville Ward 3, Lake, Colorado; Roll: T624_121; Page: 10B; Enumeration District: 0071; FHL microfilm: 1374134 Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2006.
36 “Boston Bazaar Building Evidences of Prosperity” Herald Democrat, February 24, 1907 p. 10
37 “Church Services” Herald Democrat, March 31, 1907 p. 2
38 “Boston Bazaar Opening Success of the Season” Herald Democrat, April 9, 1907 p. 6
39 “Filed for Record” Herald Democrat, April 11, 1907 p. 5
40 1908 Leadville City Directory p. 63
41 “Economy is Watchword” Herald Democrat, January 15, 1908 p. 1
42 “Personal Mention” Herald Democrat, May 3, 1908 p. 6
43 “Select Officers for Coming Year” Herald Democrat, March 24, 1909 p. 3
44 “Clean City is Demanded” Herald Democrat, June 24, 1909 p. 1
45 “Society” Herald Democrat, August 29, 1909 p. 6
46 “We are Moved” Herald Democrat, August 1, 1910 p. 5
47 “Committee Reports Tonight” Herald Democrat, February 9, 1910 p. 3
48 “To Investigate Further” Herald Democrat, February 12, 1910 p. 5
49 “Around the City” Carbonate Chronicle, February 14, 1910 p. 3
50 “A List of Delinquent Taxes for 1909” Herald Democrat, November 7, 1910 p. 16
51 “Pythias Have Birthday Party” Herald Democrat, February 28, 1911 p. 6
52 “Moose Order Gives Dance” Herald Democrat, September 30, 1911 p. 5
53 “List of Deliquent Taxes for the Year 1910” Herald Democrat, November 1, 1911 p. 7
54 Year: 1910; Census Place: Leadville Ward 3, Lake, Colorado; Roll: T624_121; Page: 10B; Enumeration District: 0071; FHL microfilm: 1374134
55 “Three-Year-Old Boy Gets Lost” Herald Democrat, November 4, 1911 p. 5
56 “Society” Carbonate Chronicle, January 27, 1913 p. 8
57 “Amter Files Affidavit” Herald Democrat, February 20, 1913 p. 5
58 “Knights of Pythias Celebrate” Herald Democrat, February 25, 1913 p. 5
59 “Refuse to End Strike if Forced To Apologize” Herald Democrat, June 2, 1913 p. 1 and 2
60 “Public School Column” Herald Democrat, June 2, 1913 p. 4
61 1914 Leadville City Directory p. 62
62 “Death of Mr. Amter’s Mother” Herald Democrat, February 24, 1914 p. 5
63 “Jubilee Program of the Knights of Pythias” Carbonate Chronicle, October 12, 1914 p. 3
64 “Society” Herald Democrat, November 1, 1914 p. 2
65 For more information on the Sanduskys see http://jewishleadville.org/sandusky.html on the Isaacs see http://jewishleadville.org/isaacs.html and on Mankus see http://jewishleadville.org/mankuss.html
66 “Society” Herald Democrat, December 13, 1914 p.2
67 “Home Christmas Fund” Herald Democrat, December 18, 1914 p. 4
68 “Society” Herald Democrat, December 27, 1914 p. 2
69 “Society” Herald Democrat, January 24, 1915 p. 2
70 “Public School Column” Herald Democrat, February 7, 1915 p. 2
71 “Society” Herald Democrat, March 28, 1915 p. 2
72 “Society” Herald Democrat, April 25, 1915 p. 2
73 “Society” Herald Democrat, August 29, 1915 p. 2
74 “The Boston Bazaar” Herald Democrat, September 5, 1915 p. 4
75 1915 Leadville City Directory p. 62
76 For more information on Samuel Wiess family see http://jewishleadville.org/weiss.html
77 “Sent to Jewish Sanitarium” Carbonate Chronicle, September 27, 1915 p. 1
78 “Moose Elect Officers” Herald Democrat, March 12, 1916 p. 5
79 “Society” Herald Democrat, April 30, 1916 p. 2
80 “Knocked from Bicycle” Carbonate Chronicle, November 6, 1916 p. 1
81 “List of Delinquent Taxes for the Year 1915” Herald Democrat, December 18, 1916 p. 8
82 “Around the City” Herald Democrat, May 18, 1917 p. 5
83 “Around the City” Herald Democrat, May 28, 1917 p. 5
84 “Reminded of Brother’s Death on Battlefield” Herald Democrat, May 30, 1917 p. 5
85 “All Nights Session Results in Strike Postponement” Herald Democrat, July 14, 1917 p. 1
86 “Miner’s Strike Called Off New Wage Scale Announced” Herald Democrat, August 2, 1917 p. 1
87 “Resolution of Thanks” Herald Democrat, August 3, 1917 p. 5
88 “Grand Lodge of Pythias Elect State Officers” Herald Democrat, August 30, 1917 p. 2
89 “Deaths and Funerals” Herald Democrat, September 24, 1917 p. 4
90 “Relief for Jewish War Sufferers” Herald Democrat, September 27, 1917 p. 5
91 “Society” Carbonate Chronicle, October 29, 1917 p. 5
92 “Personal Mention” Herald Democrat, December 19, 1917 p. 3
93 1917 Leadville City Directory p. 62
94 “Midland Saves Large Amount” Herald Democrat, January 3, 1918 p. 2
95 “Society” Herald Democrat, April 14, 1918 p. 2
96 “Message from Jewish Boys in Service” Herald Democrat, September 17, 1918 p. 5
97 “Schools to Stay Shut” Herald Democrat, December 1, 1918 p. 2
98 “Urgent Call for Nurses” Herald Democrat, January 30, 1919 p. 1 & 2
99 “Mrs. Minna Heimberger” Herald Democrat, March 3, 1919 p. 4
100 “Public School Column” Herald Democrat, March 9, 1919 p. 3
101 “Local Strike is Settled- Fifty Cents Reduction” Herald Democrat, April 23, 1919 p. 1
102 “Message Sent to Governor Shoup” Herald Democrat, April 17, 1919 p. 6
103 “Cavender Contest Takes Place Nov. 21” Herald Democrat, November 15, 1919 p. 3
104 “Are We Quitting Business?” Herald Democrat, December 12, 1919 p. 4
105 “Personal Mention” Herald Democrat, April 17, 1920 p. 3
106 Year: 1920; Census Place: Leadville Ward 3, Lake, Colorado; Roll: T625_165; Page: 5A; Enumeration District: 76
Source Information Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010. Images reproduced by FamilySearch.
107 “Society” Herald Democrat, June 6, 1920 p. 2
108 “Personal Mention” Carbonate Chronicle, August 2, 1920 p. 3
109 “Personal Mention” Herald Democrat, August 30, 1920 p. 3
110 “Knights of Pythias Elect Officers” Herald Democrat, August 26, 1920 p. 1
111 “Society” Carbonate Chronicle, September 6, 1920 p. 3
112 “Personal Mention” Herald Democrat, September 12, 1920 p. 2
113 “Wants to See a Live Leadville” Herald Democrat, September 29, 1920 p. 5
114 “Personal Mention” Herald Democrat, November 4, 1920 p. 3
115 “Merchant Vs. Mail Order” Herald Democrat, January 14, 1921 p. 1 & 2
116 “Fire in Shed” Carbonate Chronicle, January 24, 1921 p. 1
117 “High School Debaters Leave for Colorado Springs” Herald Democrat, February 16, 1921 p. 5
118 “Joseph Amter Won Contest” Carbonate Chronicle, April 25, 1921 p. 2
119 “Senior Class Presents” Herald Democrat, June 4, 1921 p. 5
120 “Graduation Exercises” Herald Democrat, June 10, 1921 p. 1
121 “Society: Carbonate Chronicle, August 29, 1921 p. 3
122 “Boston Bazaar Closes its Doors” Herald Democrat, January 14, 1922 p. 5
123 “Notice of Sale” Herald Democrat, January 25, 1922 p. 4
124 “Bid For Amter Stock Rejected” Herald Democrat, January 27, 1922 p. 5
125 “Amter Store Sold” Herald Democrat, February 3, 1922 p. 5
126 “Personal Mention” Herald Democrat, December 20, 1922 p. 3
127 “Local Chronology, 1923” Herald Democrat, Volume 46, January 1, 1924 p. 3
128 “Young Bicyclist Narrow Escape” Herald Democrat, November 2, 1923 p. 5
129 “Personal Mention” Herald Democrat, Volume 45, December 23, 1923 p. 2
130 “Personal Mention” Herald Democrat, Volume 46, April 27, 1924 p. 2
131 “Personal Mention” Herald Democrat, Volume 46, September 12, 1924 p. 3
132 “Hot Ashes Cause Fire” Herald Democrat, Volume 46, September 24, 1924 p. 5
133 “Former Leadville Student Wins High Honor” Herald Democrat, Volume 47, February 8, 1925 p. 5
134 Year: 1930; Census Place: Denver, Denver, Colorado; Page: 8A; Enumeration District: 0099; FHL microfilm: 2339971.
135 Holly Henning. Amter & Boston Bazaar Phone Directory Listings 1919-1934. [Email Attachment] Leadville, CO: Lake County Public Library; Colorado Mountain History Collection. October 7, 2020.
136 Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 29 September 2020), memorial page for Samuel J Amter (1867–1926), Find a Grave Memorial no. 126272632, citing Mount Nebo Memorial Park, Aurora, Arapahoe County, Colorado, USA ; Maintained by WalksWithAngels (contributor 47205696) .

Bibliography

Corbett, TB and Ballenger, JH. “Corbet, and Ballenger’s Seventh Annual City Directory: Containing A Complete List Of The Inhabitants, Institutions, Incorporated Companies, Manufacturing Establishments, Business, Business Firms Etc. In The City Of Leadville For 1886”. Corbet and Ballenger Publishers. 1886.

Corbett, TB and Balanger, JH. “Corbet, and Ballenger’s Eighth Annual City Directory: Containing A Complete List Of The Inhabitants, Institutions, Incorporated Companies, Manufacturing Establishments, Business, Business Firms Etc. In The City Of Leadville For 1887”. Corbet and Ballenger Publishers. 1887.

Ballenger, JH and Richards. “Ballenger & Richard’s Ninth-Thirty Second Annual City Directory: Containing A Complete List Of The Inhabitants, Institutions, Incorporated Companies, Manufacturing Establishments, Business, Business Firms Etc. In The City Of Leadville For 1888-1918”. Corbet and Ballenger and Richards Publishers. 1888-1918.

Corbett, TB and Balanger, JH. “Thirteenth Annual Denver City Directory Containing A Complete List Of The Inhabitants, Institutions, Incorporated Companies, Manufacturing Establishments, Business, Business Firms Etc. In The City of Denver For 1885.” Corbet and Ballenger and Richards Publishers. Denver, CO. 1885.

Corbett, TB and Balanger, JH. “Ninth Annual Denver City Directory Containing A Complete List Of The Inhabitants, Institutions, Incorporated Companies, Manufacturing Establishments, Business, Business Firms Etc. In The City of Denver For 1881.” Corbet and Ballenger and Richards Publishers. Denver, CO. 1881.

Corbett, TB and Balanger, JH. “Tenth Annual Denver City Directory Containing A Complete List Of The Inhabitants, Institutions, Incorporated Companies, Manufacturing Establishments, Business, Business Firms Etc. In The City of Denver For 1882.” Corbet and Ballenger and Richards Publishers. Denver, CO. 1882.

Thomas & Gordon, “Florence City Directory 1905-06” The Tribune Printing and Publishing Company. Florence, CO. 1906.

Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from Leadville, Lake County, Colorado. Sanborn Map Company, 1895. Map. https://www.loc.gov/item/sanborn01031_001/.

Year: 1880; Census Place: Denver, Arapahoe, Colorado; Roll: 88; Page: 247C; Enumeration District: 011 Tenth Census of the United States, 1880. (NARA microfilm publication T9, 1,454 rolls). Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29. National Archives, Washington, D.C.

Year: 1900; Census Place: Florence, Fremont, Colorado; Page: 9; Enumeration District: 0033; FHL microfilm: 1240123Enumeration District: 0033; Description: Florence Precinct including Florence City Wards 1-3, Lower Beaver Precinct and West Florence Precinct

Year: 1910; Census Place: Leadville Ward 3, Lake, Colorado; Roll: T624_121; Page: 10B; Enumeration District: 0071; FHL microfilm: 1374134 Thirteenth Census of the United States, 1910 (NARA microfilm publication T624, 1,178 rolls). Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29. National Archives, Washington, D.C.

Year: 1920; Census Place: Leadville Ward 3, Lake, Colorado; Roll: T625_165; Page: 5A; Enumeration District: 76 Original data: Fourteenth Census of the United States, 1920. (NARA microfilm publication T625, 2076 rolls). Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29. National Archives, Washington, D.C.

Year: 1930; Census Place: Denver, Denver, Colorado; Page: 8A; Enumeration District: 0099; FHL microfilm: 2339971 United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Fifteenth Census of the United States, 1930. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1930. T626, 2,667 rolls.

Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 29 September 2020), memorial page for Samuel J Amter (1867–1926), Find a Grave Memorial no. 126272632, citing Mount Nebo Memorial Park, Aurora, Arapahoe County, Colorado, USA ; Maintained by WalksWithAngels (contributor 47205696) .

Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 29 September 2020), memorial page for Anna E Amter (1870–1937), Find a Grave Memorial no. 126272663, citing Mount Nebo Memorial Park, Aurora, Arapahoe County, Colorado, USA ; Maintained by WalksWithAngels (contributor 47205696) .

Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 29 September 2020), memorial page for Sara A. Berezin (29 Mar 1899–11 Jun 1982), Find a Grave Memorial no. 175162173, citing Fairmount Cemetery, Denver, Denver County, Colorado, USA ; Maintained by SwHoot (contributor 49054756) .

Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 29 September 2020), memorial page for Joseph Arthur Amter (18 Dec 1903–15 Dec 1982), Find a Grave Memorial no. 171761374, citing Congregation Emanuel Cemetery, Denver, Denver County, Colorado, USA ; Maintained by SwHoot (contributor 49054756) .

Herald Democrat (Leadville, Lake County, Colorado)

Carbonate Chronicle (Leadville, Lake County, Colorado)

Denver Jewish News (Denver, Arapaho County, Colorado)

Florence Daily Herald (Florence, Fremont County, Colorado)

To cite any of the information in this biography, please use the following reference.

AUTHOR: Trevor Mark
EDITOR: William Korn
SOURCE: Jewish Surnames/Amter
PUBLISHED BY: Temple Israel Foundation. Leadville CO; USA. 2020
STABLE URL: http://www.jewishleadville.org/amter.html

Temple Israel Foundation
208 West 8th Street
Leadville, Colorado 80461
303.709.7050

Temple Israel Museum
201 West 4th Street
Leadville, Colorado 80461
Wm.A.Korn@gmail.com

Hebrew Cemetery
SW Corner of Evergreen Cemetery
North end of James Street, Leadville
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