Benjamin Davies was born May 15, 1846, in Russia to Russian-born parents according to the 1885 US census. His date of immigration is unknown.
The first record of Davies in the Leadville city directory appears in 1881 when he is listed as a jeweler at 204 Harrison Avenue. By 1885 he had relocated to 222 ½ Harrison and was listed in the directory as a jeweler and a pawn broker. Given this document, Davies also appears to have served as a local bondsman.
According to the 1885 US census, Davies lived at 222 Harrison with his wife Fannie (37) and their four children: Annie (13), Barney (12), Bertha (6), and Dora (8). Fannie was born in England to Russian-born parents while the Davies children were all born in New York.
Fannie died in 1886. She does not appear to have been interred in the Hebrew Cemetery.
While in Leadville Davies was active at Temple Israel where he was a cantor and led services in Hebrew until he became embroiled in a scandal in 1890 and was suspended from his duties. That year he became friendly with the married mother of three, Clementina Raabe, whose husband ran a grocery nearby. After Clementina and her husband, Julius, divorced, she immediately went with Davies to Denver where they were married. Ben and Clementina had two children together, who were later adopted by Raabe when he re-married his first wife six months after her second husband’s death (9/28/1893, Herald Democrat).
Benjamin Davies died of smoke inhalation on April 9, 1893, after his shop caught fire and he tried to put it out. He was interred at the Hebrew Cemetery.
Copyright 2018 • Temple Israel Foundation • Leadville, Colorado