Biography
Friede
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Isaac M. Friede
Born: Missouri, 1857
Died: Kansas City, Missouri, 1942

There are few records for Isaac Friede; he came to Leadville in 1887 and lived there likely less than one year at 113½ East 4th Street. [1] Isaac was a peddler while in Leadville and after returning to his hometown of Kansas City [2] he operated a successful clothing operation until his death in 1942. [3]

Isaac was involved in an interesting case that stems from a jewelry peddling trip to Douglass City, Colorado, [4] now a ghost town about fifteen miles west of Leadville. However, in its day, this was a bustling makeshift railroad town with eight saloons and a dance hall. [5]

This photograph of the Midland Saloon is one of few that can be found of Douglass City during its brief existence.

This photograph of the Midland Saloon is one of few that can be found of Douglass City during its brief existence. The tented structure to the left more closely resembles descriptions of the skyline in this railroad town.

Janice Fox. Midland Saloon, Douglass City. Leadville, CO: Colorado Mountain History Collection at Lake County Public Library. 2018.

Isaac allegedly visited the dance hall in July of 1887 and, capitalizing on the cloister of ladies who worked there, sold much of his on-hand stock to them. When Isaac left the dance hall, former Leadville Marshal Mart Duggan arrived and began to tell the ladies they had been swindled and had bought cheap trinkets from Friede. Likely an attempt to impress these women, Duggan accepted their request to have Friede return the money. Duggan quickly hunted down Isaac, placed him in handcuffs, and returned him to the scene to stand an immediate trial. At the end of the proceedings, Isaac reportedly exchanged all of the jewelry and returned their money. [6] This material came from a secondary source, The History of Lake County, by Don and Jeanne Griswold, and there are conflicting details reported of this incident by newspaper articles that do not corroborate these claims; those accounts describe an incident in which Duggan “held up” Isaac, and put him in handcuffs as a “joke”. [7]

A reference to Duggan’s 1888 assault on “S.W. Rice” which also appeared in Griswold’s History of Lake County, reinforces the established nature of Duggan’s violent and reckless behavior. The victim of this incident was likely Solomon Rice, [8] a Jewish jeweler who lived in Leadville from 1880 to 1885. [9] Duggan, a well-documented nineteenth-century gunfighter and lawman, is also known to have been a bit of a bully and his two stints as a Leadville peace officer were ended abruptly amidst complaints about his law enforcement tactics. [10]

The following is a pre-trial account made by Friede to the Herald Democrat newspaper on July 23, 1887:

A somewhat startling story was related to Judge Quigley last evening about 9 o’clock by Isaac Friede, who sells cheap jewelry. Friede who is a Jew, says he went to the tunnel yesterday morning for the purpose of displaying his wares to the laborers and residents of Douglass City, and had with him a considerable quantity of the stuff. He arrived about noon, and after visiting several of the places about there, went to Mart Duggan’s saloon, where he met the proprietor, who he says informed him that if he was made a present of one of the articles he (Duggan) would assist him to dispose of his goods. The balance of Friede’s story is better told in his own language. ‘I gave him a pin, worth about $3.50’ continued Friede, in relating his story in the presence of several gentlemen, “after which he called a number of those about the saloon to come and look at the goods I offered for sale. Quite a crowd came around and I sold a pin to a girl who was present for $2.50. No one else wanted to buy anything, and I closed up my grip and went out. I had gone only a short distance when Duggan came after me, saying I had stolen something from the house. I protested I was innocent and offered to go back with him. As soon as I got in the saloon Duggan handcuffed me, and after doing that told me I must give back the $2.50 to the girl who purchased the pin because it was no good. I agreed to this, at the same time requesting to take off my handcuffs, so I could get my hand in my pocket where I had the money. Duggan wouldn’t do it and said he would get the money himself. He took out my pocketbook and took a $10 gold piece, three $5 gold pieces and $2.50 in change out of it, leaving me $1.35...”

…On arriving in this city Friede went immediately to some of his friends, who advised him to swear out a warrant for Duggan’s arrest. [11]

Isaac, in the company of police, convinced Justice of the Peace Peter J. Quigley to swear out an arrest warrant and Duggan came back to Leadville swiftly to answer the charges of assault and battery and attempted robbery. [12]

After surrendering himself to authorities, Duggan gave the following account to the Herald Democrat on July 27:

“I arrested myself and brought me in,” said Duggan, good naturedly, “and I am ready to furnish proof to knock the complainant’s story higher’n a kite. There was nothing in the affair but a little harmless fun, nor was a cent of money taken from him.” [13]

Duggan testified that the incident was merely a joke that got out of hand, however, his admission that he placed Friede in handcuffs was enough for Quigley to find him guilty on the assault charge, and fined Duggan $3 as a result. [14]

Isaac does not appear in city directories after 1888 and likely left Leadville shortly after the incident.

1 JH Ballenger and Richards. “Ballenger & Richard’s Ninth 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”. Corbet and Ballenger and Richards Publishers. Leadville, CO; USA. 1888. P123.
2 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.
3 Ancestry.com. U.S., Find A Grave Index, 1600s-Current [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012.
4 During the summer of 1887, the Midland Railroad’s Hagerman Tunnel from Lake county into the Roaring Fork district neared completion. This tunnel was highly coveted as the first fully Standard Gauge rail route through Colorado’s central mountains. Douglas City, a hardscrabble settlement for workers and their families sprung up near the east portal of the tunnel in the early 1880s and furnished housing and entertainment. By the summer of 1887, Mart Duggan acted as proprietor of a saloon in the small encampment for several years. (Griswold, Pp. 1864-66).
5 Morris Cafkey. Colorado Midland. (Denver, CO: World Press. 1965). P29.
6 Don L., and Jean Harvey Griswold, History of Leadville and Lake County, Colorado: From Mountain Solitude to Metropolis. Vol. 2. Denver, CO: Colorado Historical Society, 1996. P1932.
7 Griswold. History of Leadville and Lake County, Colorado. 1996. P 2031.
8 For more information on Solomon Rice and his family, please visit: http://www.jewishleadville.org/rice.html .
9 Griswold. History of Leadville and Lake County, Colorado. 1996. P 2031.
10 Robert K. DeArment, Deadly Dozen: Forgotten Gunfighters of the Old West, vol. 1 (Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 2010). Pp 39-42.
11 A Persecuted Peddler. Leadville, CO: Herald Democrat. July 23, 1887. P4.
12 Duggan In Court. Leadville, CO: Herald Democrat. August 2, 1887. P3.
13 Duggan’s Rejoinder. Leadville, CO: Herald Democrat. July 27, 1887 P3.
14 Duggan In Court. Leadville, CO: Herald Democrat. August 2, 1887. P3.

Bibliography

Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 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. All rights reserved. All use is subject to the limited use license and other terms and conditions applicable to this site.

Ancestry.com. U.S., Find A Grave Index, 1600s-Current [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012.

Ballenger, JH and Richards. Ballenger & Richard’s Ninth 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. Leadville, CO: Corbet and Ballenger and Richards Publishers. 1888.

Cafkey, Morris. Colorado Midland. Denver, CO: World Press. 1965. P29.

Corbett, TB and Ballenger, 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”. Leadville, CO: Corbet and Ballenger Publishers. 1887.

DeArment, Robert K. Deadly Dozen: Forgotten Gunfighters of the Old West. Vol. 1. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 2010.

Duggan In Court. Leadville, CO: Herald Democrat. August 2, 1887.

Fox, Janice. Midland Saloon, Douglass City. Leadville, CO: Colorado Mountain History Collection at Lake County Public Library. 2018.

Griswold, Don L., and Griswold, Jean Harvey. History of Leadville and Lake County, Colorado: From Mountain Solitude to Metropolis. Vol. 2. Denver, CO: Colorado Historical Society, 1996.

Mark, Trevor. Rice. Leadville, CO: Temple Israel Foundation. 2018. http://www.jewishleadville.org/rice.html

Stanley, Deb. "This Co. Ghost Town Welcomed 'jaded' Prostitutes." Denver, CO: 7NEWS. October 07, 2016. https://www.thedenverchannel.com/lifestyle/discover-colorado/colorado-ghost-towns-visiting-douglass-city-near-leadville .

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.

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