Name: Solomon Hecht
Born: Approximately 1855, Germany
Spouse: Fannie Rosenthal
Born: 1859, Germany
Children: Stella and Blanche Hecht
Occupation: Clothier4 and Merchant
Solomon, also known as Sol Hecht, was born in Germany in approximately 1855. His spouse Fannie Rosenthal was born in 1859 and the pair first met in Germany where they were known as “childhood sweethearts”. Though the two were involved Sol and Fannie would not immigrate together and Sol immigrated in 1870. Fannie would follow suit nearly a decade later in 1879. Sol and Fannie reconnected and eventually married in Gunnison, Colorado in 1883. The couple moved to Buena Vista and was well known in the city as one of the “early pioneer merchants”. In 1884, Stella Hecht, the Hecht’s first child was born. A few short years later, in 1889, the family had another daughter, Blanche. The Hecht family remained in Buena Vista for nearly a decade after Blanche’s birth and made the move to Leadville in 1898. Upon arrival, Sol set up a tailoring shop at 612 ½ Harrison Avenue. The locale of Sol’s shop became known as the Old Stand and he earned a reputation in Leadville for fine quality suits and even created a suit club for the city’s more enthusiastic dressers.
A year after their move to Leadville, tragedy struck the Hecht family with the death of their youngest daughter, Blanche. Blanche was 10 years old at her time of death and at this time the family is listed as living at 219 East Fifth Street. Blanche was interred in the Hebrew Cemetery. Following Blanche’s death, Sol joined a variety of fraternal and social orders within the community. Most notably, Sol was the Vice-President of the Odd Fellow’s Association and a leading member of the Woodmen of the World. Sol’s business continued to thrive and in conjunction with his membership to several fraternal orders, he was widely known and respected throughout the city.
Due to Sol’s reputation in Leadville, the comings and goings of his family were recorded as points of interest to the city’s population. In 1905, their daughter Stella’s connection to a young Dr. Samuel Berger was highlighted in the society pages. Like her father, Stella was well known in town, The Herald Democrat noted that Stella “was one of the best known young women in Leadville”. And on October 22, 1905, The Herland Democrat reported, “Miss Stella Hecht entertained Dr. Berger of Denver at Dinner of last Monday.” Stella and Samuel’s relationship blossomed from a simple dinner and they married the following year on January 25th. The ceremony took place at her family’s home at 124 East 4th Street. Shortly following her wedding, Stella became pregnant and the now Hecht-Berger family enjoyed their good fortune which unfortunately lasted but a short time.
On March 16, 1907, just three short weeks after the birth of the Hecht’s first grandchild, a girl named Irene Stella, Stella Hecht-Berger died. Since the birth of her daughter Stella had fallen ill from a fever, “[h]er condition was critical during the past 10 days, and death did not come unexpectedly.” Stella was buried in a quiet ceremony in the Hebrew Cemetery. Following the death of Stella, Samuel Berger moved into the Hecht family home at 143 West 7th Street. Samuel and his daughter lived with Sol and Fannie Hecht until approximately 1909. Samuel is listed as living and practicing in the city until 1913 and resided at 141 East 8th Street.
Sol continued to run his clothier shop at his original shop locale and maintained a flourishing business. However, in 1919, “Sol’s tailoring shop at 612 ½ Harrison Avenue was picked almost clean of all tailoring goods…” After the robbery life remained relatively uneventful for the Hecht’s and they remained in Leadville until their deaths. The couple died in quick succession with Fannie in 1923 and Sol the following year in 1924. Both Fannie and Sol were interred in the Hebrew Cemetery.
1 Chaffee County Republican [Buena Vista, Chaffee County], Friday, December 26, 1924.
4 Herald Democrat (Leadville, Lake County), Sunday, April 30, 1899. There are no known birth records for Blanche, but the Herald Democrat’s article on Blanche’s death states that the girl was “aged 10 years and 6 months” at the time of her death.
5 cite newspaper and city directories.
6 Herald Democrat (Leadville, Lake County), Sunday, November 13, 1898.
7 Herald Democrat (Leadville, Lake County), Sunday, April 30, 1899.
8 Hebrew Cemetery of Leadville (Leadville, Lake County, Colorado) Blanche Hecht Headstone, 2016.
9 Herald Democrat (Leadville, Lake County), Thursday, June 19, 1902.
10 Herald Democrat (Leaville, Lake County), Tuesday, January 30, 1906.
11 Herald Democrat (Leadville, Lake County), Sunday, October 22, 1905.
12 Herald Democrat (Leadville, Lake County), Sunday, March 17, 1907.
13 Hebrew Cemetery of Leadville (Leadville, Lake County, Colorado) S. Hecht Berger Headstone, 2016.
14 1910 U.S. census, Lake County, Colorado, Leadville, Solomon Hecht, Fannie Hecht, Irene Stella Berger and Samuel Berger.
15 Leadville City Directory (Leadville, Colorado, 1913), 143.
16 Carbonate Chronicle (Leadville, Lake County), Monday, March 17, 1919.
17 Hebrew Cemetery of Leadville (Leadville, Lake County, Colorado), Solomon and Fannie Hecht Headstone, 2016.
Copyright 2018 • Temple Israel Foundation • Leadville, Colorado