Biography
Kern
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Adolph Kern
Occupation: Grocer, mine investor
Born: N/A
Birthplace: N/A
Died: N/A

Henry Kern
Occupation: Grocer, bookkeeper
Born: N/A
Birthplace: N/A
Died: N/A

Very little is known about the origins of Adolph and Henry Kern or of their exact relation to each other, though they were clearly related. Despite residing in Leadville during the 1880 US Census and the 1885 Colorado Census, there is no definitive listing for Adolph or Henry in either. Two Henry Kerns can be found in the 1885 Colorado [1] Census [2] living in Leadville; however, both are recorded as living with roommates whereas the 1885 Leadville city directory does not list anyone else besides the Henry Kern in question living at 135 East 6th Street. [3] Despite the uncertainty regarding the census, what is clear is that Adolph [4] and Henry [5] first arrived in Leadville by 1880 and made their names working in local grocery and food service.

Upon his arrival in the city, Adolph began a business partnership with Julius B. Ikelheimer of Leadville [6] and L. Siegel of New York City, owner of a champagne factory there that produced Siegel’s “extra dry” champagne. [7] The business, located at 519 Harrison Avenue, was aptly named Siegel, Kern & Co. and was a branch of Siegel’s New York business. Yet the store was not limited exclusively to Siegel’s products; instead, Adolph, as manager, sold a variety of groceries and provisions. [8] For both Adolph and Henry, 519 Harrison also served as their residence until 1883. [9] By 1883, Adolph had also expanded his business interests to include mine investment, having shares in the Excelsior lode. [10]

Siegel, Kern, & Company was located at 519 Harrison Avenue, as highlighted in the above 1883 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map for Leadville.

Siegel, Kern, & Company was located at 519 Harrison Avenue, as highlighted in the above 1883 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map for Leadville. Curiously, the map shows 519 Harrison labeled as a restaurant.

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

Courtesy of Library of Congress.

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The first advertisement for Siegel, Kern, & Company announcing its opening on July 1, 1880.

New Store! New Goods! (Leadville, CO: Leadville Daily Herald), Thursday, July 1, 1880, Page 4.

Courtesy of Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection.

While Adolph began making inroads into the local grocery business and investing in the Excelsior, Henry opened a restaurant with a man named Charles Werner at 322 ½ Harrison Avenue. Henry and Charles advertised the restaurant, which they named Pacific Slope, as “first class in every particular” with “rooms for families and parties.” [11] Pacific Slope was in business only briefly, its first advertisement appearing in September 1880 and its last in April 1881. Henry would move on to work alongside Adolph at Siegel, Kern & Co. by 1882 where he managed the business’ financials. [12]

Adolph and Henry’s time in Leadville was not relegated purely to their business dealings. Both were involved in the city’s social life, but perhaps more so for Henry. Though not an exclusively Jewish event, the 1880 meeting of the Standard Club [13] included Henry Kern along with many prominent Jewish Leadville residents including Loebs, [14] Shoenbergs, [15] Londoners, [16] and Klopmans, [17] to name a few. In December of the same year, both Henry and Adolph attended a B’nai B’rith costume ball held at Turner Hall. [18] Adolph’s final reported appearance at a social event in the city was a benefit held for Van Valza, the treasurer of the Tabor Opera House, on July 20, 1882. [19]

Henry was far more prolific in Leadville’s social life than Adolph, in part due to his apparent musical talents. His instrument of choice was the zither, a type of string hand instrument, with which he performed at numerous events. His first reported performance was an operetta and a post-operetta concert performed at New Turner Hall on February 6th, 1881 alongside Charles Bochler, August Fack, and, curiously, a Jule Kern. [20] Possibly a relative of Adolph and Henry, Jule does not appear in city directories or censuses, nor does he appear in local newspapers beyond the reporting on the operetta, indicating that he probably did not live in Leadville. Henry continued on to play the zither at the Mines D’Avignon Concert at New Turner Hall on February 26th of the same year, [21] at a performance held by the Philo-Dramatischer Verein at Germania Hall in 1883, [22] and two small rehearsals with the Zither Club [23] in 1888. [24]

An advertisement in 1880 for the Pacific Slope restaurant of which Henry Kern was a proprietor.

An advertisement in 1880 for the Pacific Slope restaurant of which Henry Kern was a proprietor.

Pacific Slope Restaurant! (Leadville, CO: Leadville Daily Herald), Thursday, August 26, 1880, Page 2.

Courtesy of Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection.

Illustration of the Niblock Brothers building where Henry Kern worked as bookkeeper in 1884.

Illustration of the Niblock Brothers building where Henry Kern worked as bookkeeper in 1884. The building was located at 135 East 6th Street. This building no longer exists.

Niblock Bros., Wholesale Produce (Leadville, CO: Leadville Weekly Democrat), December 31, 1881, Page 17.

Courtesy of Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection.

The location of Londoner & Kern at 135 East 6th Street where Henry Kern worked and where he is estimated to have lived from 1885 to 1886.

The location of Londoner & Kern at 135 East 6th Street where Henry Kern worked and where he is estimated to have lived from 1885 to 1886.

Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from Leadville, Lake County, Colorado (Sanborn Map Company, September 1886), map, https://www.loc.gov/item/sanborn01031_002/.

Courtesy of Library of Congress.

Henry’s frequent public appearances compared to Adolph’s minimal appearances after 1882 raises the question of whether Adolph was still in Leadville. Leadville’s city directories last recorded Adolph in 1883 managing Siegel, Kern & Co. while Henry kept the books. [25] By 1884, the city directory listed only Henry living 124 East 6th Street and bookkeeping at Niblock Bros., [26] a grocery and provisions store located at 135 East 6th Street. [27] Like Adolph, Siegel, Kern & Co. was not listed in the 1884 city directory indicating that the store had closed and Adolph departed soon after.

Henry remained at Niblock Bros. for roughly one year after which he continued to find work in various grocery and dry goods businesses. By 1885, Henry had partnered with Moses Londoner [28] to open a wholesale grain and flour store at 135 East 6th Street where Henry also resided. [29] His final change in employment came in 1887 when he began bookkeeping for Wolf [30] & Schayer, [31] a wholesale liquor house located in the Quincy Block at 416 Harrison Avenue. [32] While working for Wolf & Schayer, Henry lived at Boston Block which was adjacent to Quincy. [33] 1888 was the final year city directories recorded Henry as he continued his work with Wolf & Schayer and lived at 424 Harrison Avenue. [34]

Henry’s sojourn in Leadville came to an end in 1889 by which time he had moved to Denver. [35] Henry’s travels after settling in Denver are unknown. Adolph, living in New York by 1892, continued to be involved with the Excelsior Gold and Silver Mining company as its secretary. [36]

Henry worked as a bookkeeper for Wolf & Schayer liquor wholesalers at 416 Harrison Avenue.

Henry worked as a bookkeeper for Wolf & Schayer liquor wholesalers at 416 Harrison Avenue.

Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from Leadville, Lake County, Colorado, 1886, https://www.loc.gov/item/sanborn01031_002/.

Courtesy of the Library of Congress.

1 "Colorado State Census, 1885," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:K8WN-82Z: accessed December 1, 2020), Henry Kern in entry for Will Baumer, 1885; citing NARA microfilm publication M158 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 498,507.
2 "Colorado State Census, 1885," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:K8WN-CNN: accessed December 1, 2020), Henry Kern, 1885; citing NARA microfilm publication M158 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 498,507.
3 T. B. Corbett and J. H. Ballenger, Corbett & Ballenger’s 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 1885 (Leadville, CO: Corbett and Ballenger Publishers, 1885), P152.
4 T. B. Corbett, W. C. Hoye, and J. H. Ballenger, Corbett, Hoye & Co.’s First Annual City Directory of the Inhabitants, Institutions, Incorporated Companies, Manufacturing Establishments, Business, Business Firms etc. in the City of Leadville for 1880 (Leadville, CO: Democrat Printing Company, 1880), P214.
5 Pacific Slope Restaurant! (Leadville, CO: Leadville Daily Herald), August 25, 1880, P2.
6 T. B. Corbett and J. H. Ballenger, Corbett & Ballenger’s Second 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 1881 (Leadville, CO: Corbett and Ballenger Publishers, 1881), P265.
7 Siegel, Kern & Co. (Leadville, CO: Leadville Weekly Democrat), January 1, 1881, P14.
8 Siegel, Kern & Co., January 1, 1881, P14.
9 T. B. Corbett and J. H. Ballenger, Corbett & Ballenger’s Fourth 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 1883 (Leadville, CO: Corbett and Ballenger Publishers, 1883), P167.
10 Land Office Business (Leadville, CO: Leadville Daily Herald), February 1, 1883, P4.
11 Pacific Slope Restaurant (Leadville, CO: Leadville Daily Herald), March 22, 1881, P1.
12 T. B. Corbett and J. H. Ballenger, Corbett & Ballenger’s Third 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 1882 (Leadville, CO: Corbett and Ballenger Publishers, 1882), P175.
13 The Standard Club (Leadville, CO: Leadville Daily Herald), October 24, 1880, P4.
14 For more on the Loebs, see: Crystal Turpin. Loeb (Leadville, CO: Temple Israel Foundation), 2015: http://www.jewishleadville.org/loeb.html.
15 For more on the Shoenbergs, see: William Korn, Shoenberg. (Leadville, CO: Temple Israel Foundation), 2012: http://www.jewishleadville.org/shoenberg.html.
16 For more on the Londoners, see: Matt Hulstine. Londoner (Leadville, CO: Temple Israel Foundation), 2020: http://www.jewishleadville.org/londoner.html.
17 For more on the Klopman family, see: Quinn Whittington, Klopman (Leadville, CO: Temple Israel Foundation), 2019: http://www.jewishleadville.org/klopman.html.
18 The B’nai Brith (Leadville, CO: Leadville Daily Herald), December 14, 1880, P4.
19 Van’s Benefit (Leadville, CO: Leadville Daily Herald), July 16, 1882, P3.
20 “After the Masquerade” (Leadville, CO: Herald Democrat), February 5, 1881, P8.
21 Mines D’Avignon’s Concert (Leadville, CO: Leadville Daily Herald), February 25, 1881, P1.
22 The Philo-Dramatic (Leadville, CO: Carbonate Chronicle), February 3, 1883, P8.
23 A Pleasant Dinner (Leadville, CO: Leadville Evening Chronicle), August 4, 1888, P8.
24 Zither Club Rehearsal (Leadville, CO: Leadville Evening Chronicle) August 6, 1888, P1.
25 Corbett and Ballenger, Leadville, CO: USA, 1883, P167.
26 T. B. Corbett and J. H. Ballenger, Corbett & Ballenger’s Fifth 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 1884 (Leadville, CO: Corbett and Ballenger Publishers, 1884), P153.
27 Corbett and Ballenger, Leadville, CO: USA, 1884, P193.
28 For more on Moses Londoner, see: Matt Hulstine. Londoner (Leadville, CO: Temple Israel Foundation), 2020: http://www.jewishleadville.org/londoner.html.
29 Corbett and Ballenger, Leadville, CO: USA, 1885, P152.
30 For more on the Wolfs, see: Janice Fox, Wolf (Leadville, CO: Temple Israel Foundation), 2019: http://www.jewishleadville.org/wolf.html.
31 For more on the Schayer family, see: William Korn, Schayer (Leadville, CO: Temple Israel Foundation), 2012: http://www.jewishleadville.org/schayer.html.
32 T. B. Corbett and J. H. Ballenger, Corbett & 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: Corbett and Ballenger Publishers, 1887), P163.
33 Corbett and Ballenger, Leadville, CO: USA, 1887, P163.
34 J. H. Ballenger and W. H. Richards, Ballenger & Richards’ 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: Corbett and Ballenger Publishers, 1888), P159.
35 Personal Mention (Leadville, CO: Herald Democrat), September 17, 1889, P4.
36 Stockholders Meeting (Leadville, CO: Herald Democrat), February 7, 1892, P8.

Bibliography

A Pleasant Dinner. Leadville, CO: Leadville Evening Chronicle. August 4, 1888.

“After the Masquerade.” Leadville, CO: Herald Democrat. February 5, 1881.

Ballenger, J. H. and W. H. Richards. Ballenger & Richards’ 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: Corbett and Ballenger Publishers, 1888.

"Colorado State Census, 1885." Database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:K8WN-82Z: accessed December 1, 2020). Henry Kern in entry for Will Baumer, 1885; citing NARA microfilm publication M158. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d. FHL microfilm 498,507.

"Colorado State Census, 1885." Database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:K8WN-CNN: accessed December 1, 2020). Henry Kern, 1885; citing NARA microfilm publication M158. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d. FHL microfilm 498,507.

Corbett, T. B. and J. H. Ballenger. Corbett & Ballenger’s Second 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 1881. Leadville, CO: Corbett and Ballenger Publishers, 1881.

Corbett, T. B. and J. H. Ballenger. Corbett & Ballenger’s Third 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 1882. Leadville, CO: Corbett and Ballenger Publishers, 1882.

Corbett, T. B. and J. H. Ballenger. Corbett & Ballenger’s Fourth 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 1883. Leadville, CO: Corbett and Ballenger Publishers, 1883.

Corbett, T. B. and J. H. Ballenger. Corbett & Ballenger’s Fifth 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 1884. Leadville, CO: Corbett and Ballenger Publishers, 1884.

Corbett, T. B. and J. H. Ballenger. Corbett & Ballenger’s 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 1885. Leadville, CO: Corbett and Ballenger Publishers, 1885.

Corbett, T. B. and J. H. Ballenger. Corbett & 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: Corbett and Ballenger Publishers, 1887.

Corbett, T. B., W. C. Hoye and J. H. Ballenger. Corbett, Hoye & Co.’s 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 1880. Leadville, CO: Democrat Printing Company, 1880.

Fox, Janice. Wolf. Leadville, CO: Temple Israel Foundation, 2019: http://www.jewishleadville.org/wolf.html.

Hulstine, Matt. Londoner. Leadville, CO: Temple Israel Foundation, 2020: http://www.jewishleadville.org/londoner.html.

Just Received. Leadville, CO: Leadville Democrat. March 11, 1881.

Korn, William. Schayer. Leadville, CO: Temple Israel Foundation, 2012: http://www.jewishleadville.org/schayer.html.

Korn, William. Shoenberg. Leadville, CO: Temple Israel Foundation. 2012. http://jewishleadville.org/shoenberg.html

Land Office Business. Leadville, CO: Leadville Daily Herald. February 1, 1883.

Mines D’Avignon’s Concert. Leadville, CO: Leadville Daily Herald. February 25, 1881.

New Store! New Goods! Leadville, CO: Leadville Daily Herald. July 1, 1880.

Niblock Bros., Wholesale Produce. Leadville, CO: Leadville Weekly Democrat. December 31, 1881.

Pacific Slope Restaurant! Leadville, CO: Leadville Daily Herald. August 25, 1880.

Personal Mention. Leadville, CO: Herald Democrat. September 17, 1889.

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

Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from Leadville, Lake County, Colorado. Sanborn Map Company, September 1886. Map. https://www.loc.gov/item/sanborn01031_002/.

Siegel, Kern & Co. Leadville, CO: Leadville Weekly Democrat. January 1, 1881.

Stockholders Meeting. Leadville, CO: Herald Democrat. February 7, 1892.

The B’nai Brith. Leadville, CO: Leadville Daily Herald. December 14, 1880.

The Standard Club. Leadville, CO: Leadville Daily Herald. October 24, 1880.

The Philo-Dramatic. Leadville, CO: Carbonate Chronicle. February 3, 1883.

Turpin, Crystal. Loeb. Leadville, CO: Temple Israel Foundation, 2012: http://www.jewishleadville.org/shoenberg.html.

Van’s Benefit. Leadville, CO: Leadville Daily Herald. July 16, 1882.

Whittington, Quinn. Klopman. Leadville, CO: Temple Israel Foundation, 2019: http://www.jewishleadville.org/klopman.html.

Zither Club Rehearsal. Leadville, CO: Leadville Evening Chronicle. August 6, 1888.

To cite any of the information in this biography, please use the following reference.

AUTHOR: Quinn Whittington
EDITOR: William Korn
SOURCE: Jewish Surnames/Kern
PUBLISHED BY: Temple Israel Foundation. Leadville, CO; USA. 2020
STABLE URL: http://www.jewishleadville.org/kern.html

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