Biography
Guthman
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Solomon A. Guthman
Born: 1871, Chicago, Illinois
Death: Unknown
Married to: Unknown
Other Family: Bertha Guthman (Sister), Carrie Mayer (Cousin)

Solomon A. Guthman (in Leadville 1895-1899)

According to the 1900 United States census, Solomon Guthman was born in Cook County, Illinois in 1871 and spent time in Chicago before and after he lived in Leadville. Solomon appears first in Leadville in November of 1895 as a participant in a dance at City Hall. [1] He appears again on a list of attendees at a surprise 35th wedding anniversary party for Marx and Fannie Kahn at their 10th Street home in early May of 1896. [2] In May of 1896, Solomon’s sister, Bertha, was in Leadville for a month long visit and she stayed with the family's cousin, Carrie Mayer. [3] In mid-June, 1896, Mrs. Mayer had a party at the family residence on West 7th Street which Solomon and Bertha attended. Many other Jewish families attended the party including members from the Schayer, Leppel, Kahn, Katz, and Baer clans. Solomon was also listed as a “floor committee member” for the Hebrew Ladies Benevolent Association annual strawberry festival in the same social column on June 14. [4]

In September of 1896, he sung a solo at a gathering of Elks Lodge members. [5] While clearly socially active, Solomon does not appear in the 1895 Leadville city directory and the 1896 Leadville city directory is not extant. He is listed as S.A. Guthman in the 1897 Leadville city directory employed as a clerk for H. Kahn grocery located at 504 East 6th Street. His residence was listed at 506 East 6th Street. [6] In January, 1897, Solomon attended another Kahn family gathering, this time on 6th street [7] and in February he joined a number of other prominent Jewish families including Schayer, Kahn, Wiel, and Baer in a “straw ride” to the new racetrack outside of the city. [8] In March of 1897, he participated in a charity tea event at the home of the president of the Hebrew Ladies Benevolent Association. He sang a solo and joined several others in group songs throughout the evening. [9]

Solomon worked at 504 and lived at 506 East 6th Street in the mid-1890s.

Solomon worked at 504 and lived at 506 East 6th Street in the mid-1890s.

1895 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map, courtesy: Library of Congress.

Troop transport “China”, from Freidel, Frank, The Splendid Little War, Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1958.

Troop transport “China”, from Freidel, Frank, The Splendid Little War, Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1958.

Image accessed from spanamwar.com http://www.spanamwar.com/China.html

Despite the happy social life and pleasant parties, the larger world visited Leadville when word of the newly declared War with Spain arrived in April of 1898. Patriotism was high in the 1890s and the draft was not yet in place. When young men in Leadville heard of the destruction of the USS Maine in Havana Harbor, a number answered the call to arms. Solomon Guthman was one of them. He enlisted in the 1st Colorado Volunteer Infantry, Company F on May 1, 1898, in Leadville. [10] Two weeks later, on May 14th, he is listed in the roster of Leadville “boys” who left for California on a Colorado Midland troop train. The troops were sent off by family and friends at Arkansas Junction (now known as Leadville Junction). Companies F and L joined volunteers on the train from the mining city of Cripple Creek. The mountain companies of 1st Colorado Infantry were bound for the Philippine theater of the war. The Herald Democrat reported, “Everybody that went down to the military train carried a bundle of some sort and there were cigars and fruits and candies and lots of good things to eat for all the boys.” [11]

In July of 1898, Solomon wrote Jacob Kahn from Honolulu while aboard the troop ship China, “…all are well and happy and he enclosed the card of the ‘Cloud City quartette’ of which he is a member…” Other Leadville soldiers aboard the troop ship China wrote home describing the eventful departure from the port at San Francisco. All the ships in the port blew their horns as the China and other troop ships cleared Golden Gate. Sea sickness was rampant early in the voyage, probably more common among the Lake County mountain soldiers of Company F and L. The “boys” reported singing many patriotic songs touting American power and the demise of the Spanish. Like soldiers from any era, many reported poor food. A fellow Leadville soldier crafted a mock menu in one of his letters home contrasting an officer’s dinner and a soldier’s dinner on the ship. Among the poor items jokingly listed for the soldier were “Roast Umbrella”, “Wind Sauce", “Saw Dust Pudding”. [12]

Solomon wrote another letter in September of 1898 to Jack Kahn which was submitted to the Herald Democrat. Solomon described his experiences as part of the Philippine invasion force and details several engagements with Spanish soldiers in the push toward Manilla. The Spaniards surrendered to the Americans on August 13. The Leadville companies with the 1st Colorado entered Manilla to the tune of “Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight”. He signed the letter “Yours affectionately, Solly”. [13]

According to an entry in the American Jewish Yearbook from 1900-1901, Solomon served honorably and participated in all engagements prior to the fall of Manilla on August 13, 1898, and continued to participate in military operations until July of 1899. He returned to the United States and was mustered out at San Fransisco on September 8,1899. [14] By September 13, Solomon was back in Leadville accompanied by the rest of Company F and L. The photograph above and the story of the homecoming of the troops was published on the front page of the Herald Democrat. [15] On September 16, 1899, he participated in a homecoming event at the Elk’s Lodge. The Herald Democrat reported, “The musical feature of the reception was most enjoyable. The military quartet, Guthman, Shert, Bloss and McGlynn sang some of the old songs that they had rehearsed while in camp about Manilla, thinking of home and loved ones thousands of miles away.” [16] While Solomon did not return to Leadville, Bertha came back for another visit to their cousin Carrie Mayer in the summer of 1901. [17] The 1900 census counted Solomon in Illinois after the war, where he lived with an older brother and a number of extended family. [18]

Company F, 1st Colorado Infantry shortly before or after they returned to Leadville in the early autumn of 1899.

Company F, 1st Colorado Infantry shortly before or after they returned to Leadville in the early autumn of 1899.

“There Was A Hot Time in the Old Town Last Night” Herald Democrat, September 13, 1899.

1 “Sons of Scotland Dance” Leadville, CO; USA, Herald Democrat, November 30, 1895 p 2
2 “Society” Leadville, CO; USA, Herald Democrat, May 3, 1896 p 5
3 “Society” Leadville, CO; USA, Herald Democrat, May 31, 1896 p 7
4 “Society” Leadville, CO; USA, Herald Democrat, June 14, 1896 p 5
5 “Local Society News” Leadville Daily/Evening Chronicle Leadville, CO; USA, September 7, 1896 p 3
6 1897 Leadville City Directory
7 “Society” Leadville, CO; USA, Herald Democrat, January 24, 1897 p 6
8 “Society” Leadville, CO; USA, Herald Democrat, February 28, 1897 p 5
9 “The World of Society” Leadville, CO; USA, Herald Democrat, March 21, 1897 p 6
10 "United States Index to Service Records, War with Spain, 1898", database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:2HXJ-7X3 : 13 March 2018), Solomon A. Guthman, 1898.
11 “Pleasant Recollections” Leadville, CO; USA, Herald Democrat, May 19, 1898 p 6
12 “Life Aboard Troop Ship Bound for Philippines” Leadville, CO; USA, Herald Democrat, July 11, 1898 p 1
13 “Solly Tells a Story’ Leadville, CO; USA, Herald Democrat, September 27, 1898 p 1
14 Jewish American Year Book 1900-1901 (accessed through Hathi Trust Digital Library)
15 “There Was A Hot Time in the Old Town Last Night” Herald Democrat, September 13, 1899 p 1
16 “Elks Entertained” Herald Democrat, September 16, 1899 p 6
17 “Society” Herald Democrat, July 14, 1901 p 6
18 United States Census, 1900

Bibliography

Adler, Cyrus. The American Jewish Yearbook 5661. Philadelphia, PA: The Jewish Publication Society of America, 1900. (accessed through Hathi Trust Digital Library)

Freidel, Frank, The Splendid Little War, Boston, MA: Little, Brown and Company, 1958.

Griswold, Don L. Griswold and Jean Harvey. History of Leadville and Lake County, Colorado, Vol. I and II. Boulder, CO: Colorado Historical Society in cooperation with the University Press of Colorado, 1996.

"United States Census, 1900," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MS7S-8F3 : accessed 14 August 2018), Solomon A Guthman in household of Max Guthman, Precinct 18 Hyde Park Town Chicago city Ward 32, Cook, Illinois, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 1009, sheet 13B, family 298, NARA microfilm publication T623 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1972.); FHL microfilm 1,240,286.

Ballenger, JH and Richards. “Ballenger & Richard’s Fifteenth 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 1894”. Corbet and Ballenger and Richards Publishers. Leadville, CO; USA. 1894.

Ballenger, JH and Richards. “Ballenger & Richard’s Sixteenth 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 1895”. Corbet and Ballenger and Richards Publishers. Leadville, CO; USA. 1895.

Ballenger, JH and Richards. “Ballenger & Richard’s Eigteenth 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 1897”. Corbet and Ballenger and Richards Publishers. Leadville, CO; USA. 1897.

Ballenger, JH 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 Leadville for 1898”. Corbet and Ballenger and Richards Publishers. Leadville, CO; USA. 1898.

Ballenger, JH 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 Leadville for 1899”. Corbet and Ballenger and Richards Publishers. Leadville, CO; USA. 1899.

Ballenger, JH and Richards. “Ballenger & Richard’s Twenty-First 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 1900”. Corbet and Ballenger and Richards Publishers. Leadville, CO; USA. 1900.

Leadville Daily/Evening Chronicle (Leadville, Lake County, Colorado)

Herald Democrat (Leadville, Lake County, Colorado)

Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from Leadville, Lake County, Colorado. Sanborn Map Company, 1895. Map. https://www.loc.gov/item/sanborn01031_001/.

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