Biography
Eppstein
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Henry Epstein (In Leadville 1881)
Born: 1855 (Austria-Hungry)
Died: Unknown
Married to: Unknown

Henry Epstein had a sordid and very brief history in Leadville. His first engagement in the new city was as the head waiter at the Grand Hotel on Chestnut Street in early 1881, before he moved to the Monheimer Brothers store to be a clerk sometime that summer. [1] In November of 1881, he was caught stealing men’s clothing from his employer. Henry was arrested and convicted of theft. He spent a month in the Leadville city jail where he was to stay until March of 1882 before an escape plan took hold. On a cold late December day, he was sent to gather firewood behind the jailhouse and took advantage of the brief liberty to disappear. He quickly vanished into the wilderness which surrounded the Carbonate city. The Leadville Daily Herald described Henry as Hungarian in origin, with a dark complexion, and a face younger than his 26 years. In addition, the newspaper reporter claimed he could speak seven unspecified languages. The article concluded with the poignant fact that he would be shackled down tight for the remainder of his sentence if he were captured. [2] His later movements are unknown.

Julius Eppstein (In Leadville 1879)
Born: Unknown
Died: Unknown
Married to: Unknown

Julius Eppstein had a short lived presence in Leadville. He appeared as an employee of “Shimberg” on upper Chestnut. Further investigation does not produce information on “Shimberg”. [3] This may be a misspelling of “B. Shinberg” who was listed at “56 Upper Chestnut” in the Leadville city directory of 1879 as a cigar and tobacco dealer. [4] The 1880 United States census lists a “Julius Eppstein” in Denver, with an origin nation of Poland and an occupation of “miner”. [5] Whether this is the same Julius Eppstein is unknown, but uniqueness of the name and geographic proximity make the connection likely. In 1883, a legal notice in the Leadville Daily Herald lists a court proceeding between “Jules Epstein et al. the Denver City Consolidated Silver Mining company” and “Louis F. Rivoux”. [6] His further movents are unknown and evidence for later presence in Leadville was not found.

Harry Eppstein (In Leadville 1880-1881)
Born: 1865 (New York)
Died: Unknown
Married to: Unknown

Harry Eppstein (sometimes Epphstein) was present briefly in Leadville during the prosperous, hectic, and lively early days of the city. The 1880 United State Census listed “H. Epphstein” at 221 1/2 Harrrison avenue as a clerk at N. Cohn’s pawn shop. [7] Comparison to the 1881 Leadville city directory can deduce that this is Harry Eppstein. He was born in 1865 in New York to Russian parents. [8] Harry was listed in the 1881 Leadville city business directory as a clerk at Nathan and Joseph Cohn’s pawn shop at 221 1/2 Harrison avenue. His residence was at 221 1/2 Harrison avenue which was likely a residence above the shop. Jospeh Eppstein was also listed as a clerk at the store in 1882. These two Eppsteins were likely relations and lived on the second story residence of 221 1/2 Harrison. Harry does not appear in the 1882 city directory and his later movements are unknown. [9]

Joseph Eppstein (In Leadville 1882-1883)
Born: Unknown
Died: Unknown
Married to: Unknown

Like Harry Eppstein, Joseph was a clerk at Nathan Cohn’s pawn shop for a few years in the early days of Leadville. Joseph Eppstein first appears in the Leadville city directory in 1882 and remains as a clerk at that store until 1883. The store gained a reputation for selling stolen goods, and the store was raided by local officials in early 1881. [10] There was another raid in 1885 when Mrs. Mulligan accused the Cohn brothers of allowing her husband to pawn a watch at their store. [11] The store was likely a place of unusual and shady characters. Joseph Eppstein was a clerk there before he departed Leadville sometime in 1883. He was no longer listed in the directory of 1884 and his later movements are unknown.

The location of N. Cohn’s pawn shop at 221 1/2 Harrison Avenue.

The location of N. Cohn’s pawn shop at 221 1/2 Harrison Avenue.

Sanborn Fire Insurance map 1883.

The Cohn’s store from 1881-1885 “Harrison Avenue west side”

The Cohn’s store from 1881-1885 “Harrison Avenue west side”

Courtesy Denver Public Library Western History Collection, circa 1880.

1 1881 Leadville City Directory p. 55
2 “A Jail Break” Leadville Daily Herald, December 28, 1881 p. 4
3 1879 Leadville City Directory p. 55
4 1879 Leadville City Directory p. 140
5 Year: 1880; Census Place: Denver, Arapahoe, Colorado; Roll: 88; Page: 287B; Enumeration District: 014 1880 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2010. 1880 U.S. Census Index provided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints © Copyright 1999 Intellectual Reserve, Inc. 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.
6 “District Court” Leadville Daily Herald, March 15, 1883 p. 4
7 For more information on the Cohns visit: http://www.jewishleadville.org/cohn.html
8 "United States Census, 1880," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MFDJ-W7P : 19 August 2017), H Epphstein in household of Newton White, Leadville, Lake, Colorado, United States; citing enumeration district ED 75, sheet 355D, NARA microfilm publication T9 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), roll 0091; FHL microfilm 1,254,091.
9 1882 Leadville City Directory p. 100
10 “Byrnes Raid” Leadville Democrat, February 8, 1881 p. 5
11 “His Wife’s Watch” Carbonate Chronicle, January 24, 1885 p. 1

Bibliography

Corbett, TB, Hoye, WC and Ballanger, JH. “Corbet, Hoye and Co’s Second-Sixth 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 1880-1884”. Democrat Printing Company; Leadville, CO: USA. 1880-1884.

Gurnsey, Byron H. “Harrison Avenue West Side” Western History Collection, Denver Public Library, Denver, Colorado http://digital.denverlibrary.org/cdm/singleitem/collection/p15330coll22/id/2410/rec/39

Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from Leadville, Lake County, Colorado. Sanborn Map Company, Sep, 1883. Map. https://www.loc.gov/item/sanborn01031_001/.

WM Clark, WA Root And HC Anderson. “Clark, Root and Co’s First Annual City Directory of Leadville and Business Directory of Carbonateville, Kokomo and Malta for 1879”. Daily Times Steam Printing House And Book Manufactory; Denver, CO: USA. 1879.


Census data accessed via familysearch.org and ancestry.com:

1880 United States Federal Census

1900 United States Federal Census


Newspapers:

Leadville Daily Herald (Leadville, Lake County, Colorado)

Leadville Democrat (Leadville, Lake County, Colorado)

Carbonate Chronicle (Leadville, Lake County, Colorado)

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