Abraham Cooperman in Leadville (1889-September, 1902)

Compiled by Kenneth Wilson (grandson of Abraham and Fannie Cooperman)

Abraham and Fannie Cooperman immigrated to the United States from Austria in 1882. They took up residence in one of New York City's five boroughs. From the history of Jewish immigrants, we believe they probably settled in what is called Manhattan's Lower East Side. They resided in New York City long enough for the birth of sons Maurice (born December, 1885) and David (born June, 1887). They relocated to Leadville (Lake County) Colorado sometime in 1887 or 1888. The Leadville City Directory for 1889 has a listing for Abe Cooperman, tailor at 111 E. 5th Street, and it continued to be listed at that location through 1891. The 1892 city directory listing was Cooperman, Abe., tailor, 105 E. 6th. The tailor shop business had been relocated.


Abraham received his final Naturalization Document on the 8th of March, 1894 in the Lake County Courthouse at Leadville (the family has a copy of this Document in their Genealogy Notebook).


A listing for the Cooperman family is in the 1900 U. S. Census for Leadville (Lake County) Colorado (see V 01.-11, ED-46, Sheet #13, Lines 63 through 70). Data enumerated for the family shows it now included sons Maurice (age 14), David (age 13), Samuel (age 10), Leonard (age 7) and daughter Nettie (age 5). Also enumerated at  their residence address was a 55-year-old lodger named Celia Swanson who came from Sweden in 1872. The data shows that Fannie and Abraham had been married for 17 years, U. S. citizens for 17 years and in the United States for 17 years. The data indicates a possibility that their marriage took place after arrival in the United States. Abraham's occupation was listed as tailor, and their home at 112 West 4th Street in Leadville was free and clear of any mortgage.

Abraham died on Sept. 25, 1902 of meningitis, leaving Fannie with five children to care for. The Leadville Herald Democrat newspaper of September 25, 1902 included an article stating that Abraham had been a tailor in Leadville for the past sixteen years. The article also stated that Abraham had purchased a $1000.00 life insurance policy from United Moderns (a fraternal organization) to provide for his family in case of his death. The United Moderns Order refused to pay the death claim, stating Abraham was ineligible because he was not a member. We do not know how that matter was resolved.



Abraham was buried in Leadville's Evergreen Cemetery -Block B, Lot 1, Plot 1 of the Old Jewish Section. The couple's sixth child was stillborn on August 29, 1899. This child is buried next to Abraham under a common duplex grave monument. A Herald Democrat obituary stated Abraham was 41 years old at time of death, however the 1900 U. S. Census shows he was born during April, 1858 in Austria. If the census data were correct, he would have been 44 years old at the time of his death.


Obviously, Abraham was a good husband and parent, who worked hard to provide for his family. It is sad that he died at such a young age.

Cooperman family at Leadville, 1889

Fannie, David, Abraham, and Maurice


Names associated with this surname:

  • Abraham (Abe) Cooperman
  • Fannie Cooperman
  • Maurice Cooperman
  • David Cooperman
  • Samuel Cooperman
  • Leonard Cooperman
  • Nettie Cooperman
  • [stillborn] Cooperman
  • Philip Jeffries
  • Stella (Peterson) Cooperman
  • Leonard Cooperman [infant]
  • Nellie (Peterson) Cooperman
  • Orpha (____) Cooperman
  • Edna Delores Cooperman
  • Harold Cooperman
  • Louis Cooperman
  • Louise Cooperman
  • David S. Cooperman
  • Elizabeth Florence Cooperman
  • Walter Wilson

Fannie Cooperman in Leadville (1889-1925)

According to the 1900 U. S. Census for Lake County, Colorado, Fannie Cooperman was born in June, 1866, and immigrated to the United States from Austria in 1882. Her first husband, Abraham Cooperman, also immigrated to the United States from Austria in 1882, however we don't know whether they came together. Data in this Census shows they had been married 17 years on the June 11, 1900, enumeration date. This indicates they were married sometime after their arrival in the United States.


The couple settled in New York City, probably in Manhattan on the Lower East Side. We know Fannie had family living in that area as well. They lived in New York City for a few years and conceived two sons. The 1900 U. S. Census for Lake County listed the births of Maurice Cooperman as December, 1885, and David Cooperman as June, 1886, in New York. We suspect that David was born in 1887 rather than 1886 as listed in that census. The family relocated to Leadville, Colorado sometime in 1887 or 1888. A listing in the 1889 Leadville City Directory for Abe Cooperman-tailor indicates they were settled and in business.


The family purchased a home at 112 W. 4th Street and added three more children to the family. Samuel Cooperman, born June, 1889, Leonard Cooperman, born June, 1892, and Nettie Cooperman, born November, 1894. The 1900 U. S. Census data indicates that their home at 112 W. 4th Street was free and clear of any mortgage, and Abe Cooperman continued to list his tailor business in the Leadville city directory. In 1899, Fannie became pregnant again, however this child was stillborn on October 27, 1899. The worst disaster of all came on September 2, 1902, when Abraham died of meningitis leaving Fannie with five children for which to care.

We believe Fannie operated a boarding house and rented rooms in her home to keep up with expenses until some time later she married a person named Philip Jeffries. The wedding of Fannie Cooperman and Philip Jeffries took place on April 26, 1903. Justice of the Peace J. E. Paddock of Leadville officiated. In the marriage license documentation, Philip Jeffries gave his age as 28, and Fannie listed her age as 34. Fannie had five children needing a father, and one has to wonder about the motivation of Philip Jeffries to accept such a large family. Perhaps, in addition to Fannie's personal appeal, cooking skills and the Cooperman residence in a good business location, the four strong boys to help in the Jeffries Grocery business may have been factors. We will never find out!


The newly married couple established residence at 112 W. 4th Street, which had been the Cooperman family residence all along. Fannie may have been very elated with a new husband, but were all of her children equally delighted? An interesting fact to speculate upon is that Maurice Cooperman left Leadville sometime in 1903, and didn't return until sometime in 1913. These dates coincide with those of the Jeffries marriage and subsequent divorce.

The 1904 Leadville City Directory listed David Cooperman as a driver for P. Jeffries Grocery. Apparently, he began working at the Jeffries Market about the time Jeffries was courting Fannie. Then listings in the 1906 Leadville City Directory under GROCERS reads as follows:


 JEFFRIES, PHILIP -112 W. 4th St and 7th, Cor. Pine.


And a personal listing in this same directory reads:


JEFFRIES, PHILIP- Staple and Fancy Groceries, 112 W. 4th, and 7th, Cor. Pine.


From these listings, we presume they sold groceries at both locations, and the family maintained residence in the 112 W. 4th Street location as well. In 1910 city directory listings, a Sweitzer Mercantile Business was also operated out of the 112 W. 4th Street location. Samuel and Leonard Cooperman were each listed as employees of Sweitzer Mercantile from 1910 until 1917, and David Cooperman was continuously listed as an employee of Philip Jeffries Grocery from 1904 through 1914. In 1911, the location of the Jeffries business and residence was changed from 112 W. 4th Street to 216-218 W. 4th Street. It is presumed they sold or rented the 112 W. 4th Street and 7th corner Pine locations, and consolidated everything into this new address. All of the Cooperman children, except Maurice continued to reside with Fannie and Philip.



On November 16, 1912, David Cooperman and Stella Peterson were married, and established a residence at 115 W. 7th Street. That left Philip, Fannie, Samuel, Leonard, and Nettie living together at the 216-218 W. 4th Street location. David was still working for Jeffries Grocery. The Philip/Fannie Jeffries marriage lasted a little over ten years. They undoubtedly had many good times together, but on Oct 11, 1913, Fannie filed for a divorce. In November, 1913, David and Stella Cooperman became parents of a son whom they named Leonard. Unfortunately, this child only lived for two months and was buried in the Old Jewish Section of the Evergreen Cemetery on January 19, 1914.


We don't know all that happened after the divorce, but the 1914 Leadville City Directory listed the residence of Fannie, Samuel, Nettie, and Leonard Cooperman as 125 W. 4th Street. They had moved from the residence at 216-218 W. 4th Street, which had been shared with Philip Jeffries and his grocery business. David and Stella Cooperman's residence was listed at l40 W. 4th Street in 1914. Leonard Cooperman and Nellie Peterson were married at Glenwood Springs, Colorado, on July 25, 1914.


In the 1915 Leadville City Directory Fannie Cooperman's residence was changed back to 218 W. 4th Street with Leonard, Nellie, Samuel and Nettie listed as residents in her home. We presume that some kind of settlement in the divorce permitted Fannie and her family to move back to the 216-218 W. 4th Street residence. We also know that the grocery business' name was changed to Cooperman's Market.

Cooperman's Market at 218 West 4th Street, circa 1912-14.

Interior of Cooperman's Market.

David, Fannie, and Nettie Cooperman and, possibly, Philip Jeffries(?).

Of interest is the fact that Maurice Cooperman returned to Leadville in 1913 with his wife Orpha and two children; Edna Delores (age four) and Harold (age three). Their residence listed in the 1913 Leadville City Directory was 210 W. 4th Street. In 1914 the listing shows the family living at 124 W. 3rd Street. On July 12, 1914 his wife Orpha gave birth to twin children (Louis and Louise), and the family now included four children. Maurice had remained away from Leadville for the duration of Fannie's marriage to Philip Jeffries, and his return was nearly coincident with the time of his mother's divorce from Mr. Jeffries. The 1915 Leadville City Directory has no listing for the Maurice Cooperman family. There were no subsequent listings to indicate they were still living at Leadville. We understand they had moved to Sioux City, Iowa.


In June, 1915, Nellie Cooperman (Leonard's wife) gave birth to a son they named David S. Cooperman, and in August, 1915, Stella Cooperman (David's wife) gave birth to a daughter they named Elizabeth Florence Cooperman. David was still working in the Cooperman Market business. Leonard and Samuel continued working for Sweitzer Mercantile.


The 1916 and 1917 Leadville city directories listed Walter N. Wilson as a lodger at 218 W. 4th Street. Walter was a brakeman for the Colorado Midland Railroad (CMR) who rented a room from Fannie Cooperman during layovers on the Colorado Springs to Leadville trips. Nettie Cooperman married Walter Wilson on January 1, 1918, and after a honeymoon trip the couple moved permanently out of Leadville.

Late in 1915 or early 1916 David and Stella Cooperman and baby Elizabeth left Leadville and moved to Salt Lake City, Utah. We suspect the reason was to get their new daughter into a more suitable climate, especially since they had lost their first child after only two months of Leadville's cold winter weather. We understand they subsequently moved from Salt Lake City to Seattle, Washington.


Sometime in 1917 Samuel and Leonard went to work for the Yak Mine in Leadville and they continued to work for this mining company for the remainder of their time in Leadville. Also in 1917 Leonard and Nellie Cooperman moved to a home at 916 Poplar Street. They were listed as residents at that location in 1918 as well. We were unable to find city directories for 1919, but we know that Leonard and his family moved back to the 218 W. 4th Street residence before the 1920 U. S. Census was enumerated.


In Volume 21, Enumeration District 74, Sheet 2, Lines 10 through 14 of the 1920 U. S. Census of Leadville, Fanny, Samuel, Leonard, Nellie, and David S. (age 4) are listed as residents at Fannie's 218 W. 4th Street house.


Early in 1921 Leonard, Nellie and David S, relocated from Leadville to Seattle. Later in 1921 Samuel also relocated from Leadville to Seattle, which left only Fannie residing in Leadville. We believe Samuel had been awaiting word that Leonard's family was comfortably settled in Seattle before he left to join them.


I was told that David Cooperman took his wife and daughter back to Leadville around 1925. A good guess for the reason was to close out Fannie's unfinished business in that city, and help her move to Seattle. Fannie ultimately died at Seattle on February 12, 1939.


The Cooperman family had lived in Leadville from 1888 until 1925 with five children growing from infants into adults in this community.

David and Leonard Cooperman

Both grew up in Leadville.


Nettie Cooperman, born in Leadville in 1894 and grew up in this mining community.

Photo from 1912-13


Birth dates and locations for the Cooperman children are as follows:


Second Generation

  • Maurice Cooperman born December 13, 1885 at New York City
  • David Cooperman born May 27, 1887 at New York City
  • Samuel Cooperman born June ??, 1889 at Leadville
  • Leonard Cooperman born June 24, 1893 at Leadville
  • Nettie Cooperman born November 22, 1894 at Leadville
  • stillborn Cooperman infant, August 29, 1899 at Leadville


Third Generation

  • Leonard Cooperman born November, 1913 and died January 19, 1914 at Leadville
  • Louis Cooperman born July 12, 1914 at Leadville
  • Louise Cooperman born July 12, 1914 at Leadville
  • David S. Cooperman born June, 1915 at Leadville
  • Elizabeth Cooperman born August 1915 at Leadville

In Leadville during 1916, from left to right:

David held by his father Leonard, Samuel, Maurice, Elizabeth held by her father David.

Nellie (wife of Leonard), Stella (wife of David), and Nettie.

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