Biography
Bernstein
Download

Millie Bernstein
Occupation: N/A
Born: N/A
Birthplace: N/A
Died: N/A

Little is known about Millie Bernstein. The only mentions of her presence in Leadville are three newspaper articles between January and March, 1890, which indicate that she was very much involved with Leadville’s Jewish community for a brief time. Millie attended two parties hosted by the Baer [1] and Kahn [2] families respectively along with many prominent Jewish community members. [3] She was also listed as a guest at the 1890 Purim Ball, a large event hosted by the Ladies’ Hebrew Benevolent Society at Leadville’s City Hall. [4] She was seemingly unmarried as the guest list for the ball referred to her as Miss M. Bernstein.

Her connection to Isaac, Esther, and Bettie, if any existed, is not known. Her name does not match any of their siblings listed in the 1880 census.

Isaac (“Ike”) Bernstein
Occupation: Store owner
Born: est. 1871
Birthplace: Kansas, United States
Died: N/A

Esther Bernstein Bergerman
Occupation: Worker at wholesale liquor store
Born: est. 1864-1870
Birthplace: Kansas, United States
Died: N/A

Bettie Bernstein
Occupation: Clerk
Born: est. 1873
Birthplace: Kansas, United States
Died: N/A

The three Bernstein siblings arrived in Leadville at different times. Esther likely arrived first due to her and Isaac’s early connections with the Bergerman family. [5] All three were born in Kansas with Esther’s birth estimated sometime between 1864 and 1870, Isaac’s as 1871, and Bettie’s as 1873. [6] Their family was large and included their father and mother, immigrants from Poland and Germany respectively, and four additional siblings. Prior to the siblings moving to Leadville, the family had moved from Kansas to Ophir, Colorado, a mining town located in the southwest corner of the state near Telluride. [7]

Esther married Jacob Bergerman, a prominent Jewish merchant in Leadville, sometime between 1880 and 1890. [8] She lived in Leadville until 1895 when the Bergerman family moved to Salt Lake City. [9] It is estimated that Isaac arrived in 1890, using his sister’s connection to the Bergerman family to eventually become proprietor of the Gem candy store located on Harrison Avenue. Isaac lived in Leadville between 1890 and 1894, the first and last years he appeared in Leadville’s city directories and local newspapers. Bettie was the last of the siblings to arrive and subsequently resided in town the shortest amount of time, from 1892 to 1894. [10]

Isaac first appears in the 1890 Leadville city directory working as a porter at the Bergerman’s wholesale liquor store and living at the Bergerman’s 208 West 5th Street residence. [11] By 1891, Isaac was listed as a clerk at the Bergerman store and continued to live with the family. [12] Isaac moved to a new residence in 1892, listed in the directory as 130 East 5th Street, and had become a bartender at the Bergerman business. [13] Bettie visited her sister, Esther, reportedly for a few months in 1892, eventually obtaining a job at Beggs Dry Goods Co. and started living at the Bergerman residence sometime prior to the publication of the 1892 city directory. [14] The final mention of her presence in the Leadville area was her attendance of a basket picnic arranged by the Jewish community of Twin Lakes on August 12, 1894. [15]

1893 was perhaps Isaac’s defining year in Leadville. He became the owner of the Gem candy store located at 418 Harrison Avenue in late January and quickly began renovations to make the business more appealing. [16] Soon after, it became clear that the store’s original owner, William Slatore, had debt troubles and was being chased by a “small army of creditors” after he alighted from town. [17] The Herald Democrat article relaying the events noted that some of Slatore’s creditors considered “bringing proceedings against Bernstein for settlement.” [18] The article mentions that Slatore, upon returning to town, met with Jacob Bergerman who had apparently furnished the check to transfer ownership of The Gem to Bernstein.

Renovations of The Gem continued for months after the original purchase; however, Isaac quickly hired a candy maker and was open for business by January 29. [19] By March 26, Isaac had refurnished the store’s ice cream parlor and was continuing renovations of other portions. [20] A soda fountain was the final major addition to the store, added only a month after the ice cream parlor renovation. [21] The Gem was highly regarded by reporters for the Herald Democrat who lauded it as the finest candy store west of Denver.

Management of The Gem changed once again in February 1894 to J.C. Moorehouse, a partner of Bergerman & Co. [22] Isaac’s time in Leadville ended sometime prior to the change in management, though it is not clear why he left or where he went.

1 For more information on the Baer family and their time in Leadville, please visit: http://www.jewishleadville.org/baer.html.
2 For more information on the Kahn family and their time in Leadville, please visit: http://www.jewishleadville.org/kahn.html.
3 Mrs. Baer Entertains, (Leadville. CO: Herald Democrat) January 26, 1890, P4; The People You Know, (Leadville, CO: Herald Democrat) March 2, 1890, P4.
4 The Season of Rejoicing, (Leadville, CO: Herald Democrat) March 8, 1890, P4.
5 For more information on the Bergerman family and their time in Leadville, please visit: http://www.jewishleadville.org/bergerman.html.
6 "United States Census, 1880," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MFDV-K2J) Bettie Bernstein in household of Isador Bernstein, Ophir, Ouray, Colorado, United States; citing enumeration district ED 91, sheet 153B, NARA microfilm publication T9 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), FHL microfilm 1,254,092.
7 "United States Census, 1880," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MFDV-K2J) Bettie Bernstein in household of Isador Bernstein, Ophir, Ouray, Colorado, United States; citing enumeration district ED 91, sheet 153B, NARA microfilm publication T9 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), FHL microfilm 1,254,092.
8 Jeffrey P. Grant, Bergerman (Leadville, CO: Temple Israel Foundation), 2018: http://www.jewishleadville.org/bergerman.html.
9 Jeffrey P. Grant, Bergerman, 2018.
10 J. H. Ballenger and Richards, Ballenger & Richard’s Twentieth Annual City Directory: Containing a Complete List of the Inhabitants, Institutions, Incorporated Companies, Manufacturing Establishments, Business, Business Firms etc. in The City of Denver for 1892 (Leadville, CO: Ballenger and Richards Publishers, 1892), P70.
11 J. H. Ballenger and Richards, Ballenger & Richard’s Eleventh 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 1890 (Leadville, CO: Ballenger and Richards Publishers, 1890), P68.
12 J. H. Ballenger and Richards, Ballenger & Richard’s Nineteenth Annual City Directory: Containing a Complete List of the Inhabitants, Institutions, Incorporated Companies, Manufacturing Establishments, Business, Business Firms etc. in The City of Denver for 1891 (Leadville, CO: Ballenger and Richards Publishers, 1891), P68.
13 Ballenger and Richards, Leadville, CO: USA, 1892, P70.
14 Personal Mention, (Leadville, CO: Herald Democrat) August 7, 1892, P7; Ballenger and Richards, Leadville, CO: USA, 1892, P70.
15 In Realms of Gaiety, (Leadville, CO: Herald Democrat) August 12, 1894.
16 A Business Change, (Leadville, CO: Herald Democrat) January 25, 1893, P8.
17 Chased by Creditors, (Leadville, CO: Herald Democrat) January 26, 1893, P8.
18 Chased by Creditors, (Leadville, CO: Herald Democrat) January 26, 1893, P8.
19 It’s a Gem, (Leadville, CO: Herald Democrat) January 29, 1893, P8.
20 The Only Gem, (Leadville, CO: Herald Democrat) March 26, 1893, P8.
21 It’s the Gem, (Leadville, CO: Herald Democrat) April 30, 1893, P8.
22 Truly a “Gem,” (Leadville, CO: Herald Democrat) February 24, 1894, P6.

Bibliography

A Business Change. Leadville, CO: Herald Democrat. January 25, 1893.

Ballenger, J. H. and Richards. Ballenger & Richard’s Eleventh 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 1890. Leadville, CO: Ballenger and Richards Publishers, 1890.

Ballenger, J. H. and Richards. Ballenger & Richard’s Twelfth 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 1891. Leadville, CO: Ballenger and Richards Publishers, 1891.

Ballenger, J. H. and Richards. Ballenger & Richard’s Thirteenth 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 1892. Leadville, CO: Ballenger and Richards Publishers, 1892.

Chased by Creditors. Leadville, CO: Herald Democrat. January 26, 1893.

Grant, Jeffrey P. Bergerman. Leadville, CO: Temple Israel Foundation, 2018. http://www.jewishleadville.org/bergerman.html.

In Realms of Gaiety. Leadville, CO: Herald Democrat. August 12, 1894.

It’s a Gem. Leadville, CO: Herald Democrat. January 29, 1893.

It’s the Gem. Leadville, CO: Herald Democrat. April 30, 1893.

Mrs. Baer Entertains. Leadville. CO: Herald Democrat. January 26, 1890.

Personal Mention. Leadville, CO: Herald Democrat. August 7, 1892.

The Only Gem. Leadville, CO: Herald Democrat. March 26, 1893.

The People You Know. Leadville, CO: Herald Democrat. March 2, 1890.

The Season of Rejoicing. Leadville, CO: Herald Democrat. March 8, 1890.

Truly a “Gem.” Leadville, CO: Herald Democrat. February 24, 1894.

United States Census, 1880. Via FamilySearch.org. https://www.familysearch.org/.

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

AUTHOR: Quinn Whittington
EDITOR: William Korn
SOURCE: Jewish Surnames/Bernstein
PUBLISHED BY: Temple Israel Foundation. Leadville, CO; USA. 2020
STABLE URL: http://www.jewishleadville.org/bernstein.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
Contact Us