Temple Israel

Robert M. Lamm
(In Leadville 1880-1881, business visits 1887-1890)
Born: August 15, 1857
Died: February 12, 1938
Married to: Flora Lamm née Kamak (1888)

Joseph C. Lamm (In Leadville 1880-1881)
Born: About 1855
Died: 1917
Married to: Minnie Salomon (1886)

Robert M. Lamm (August 15, 1857- February 12, 1938) was born in Brooklyn, New York. His parents were Prussian immigrants Amelia Levy and Selig Lamm. [1] He had one sister named Sarah. In 1875 the family had a servant, suggesting some level of prosperity. [2] Robert’s first appearance in the new city of Leadville was as a member of the first B’nai B’rith meeting on the evening of October 22, 1879. Robert was cited as the member who put forth the motion to have a banquet for the members of the Rocky Mountain Lodge no. 322 B’nai B’rith. This banquet took place on November 9, 1879 and Robert was a member of the reception committee. [3] This was the first identified Jewish function in the city of Leadville. Robert joined a number of other similarly aged and successful Jewish men in this organization including Issac Kamak, [4] David May, [5] Lee Shoenberg, [6] and Adolf Baer. [7] Like Kamak, May, and Shoenberg, Robert’s profession was clothing sales and merchandizing. [8] In 1880, he was employed at Isaac H. Kamak’s clothing store at 106 Harrison Avenue and lived at 106 Upper (East) Chestnut Street. His residence on Chestnut was a false front two story wood frame structure. Like most commercial structures, the residence space was on the second floor above an affiliated or non-affiliated business. Robert lived there with Issac A. Kamak, Richard Martin and Judah Levy. [9] Both Judah and Robert were clerks for Kamak’s store on Harrison Avenue.

Robert worked on Harrison Avenue (blue) and lived on Chestnut Street (red).

Robert worked on Harrison Avenue (blue) and lived on Chestnut Street (red).

Sanborn Fire Insurance Map 1883.

Courtesy of the Library of Congress.

In 1880, the business on the first floor of this building was Hanson Parlin’s Saloon. [10] In 1879 Kamak was involved in an unstated petition litigation with Parlin. [11] Perhaps this was as a result of noise from the saloon. Upper Chestnut was clearly a lively and prosperous place.

On October 1, 1880, Issac A. Kamak dissolved I. A. Kamak and Co. for unknown reasons. The company apparently sold its assets to Fred Butler, who was in business across Chestnut Street at the Palace of Fashion. [12] Robert took this opportunity to move on. He became involved in the saloon business over the winter of 1880-1881. In February 1881, he was mentioned as associated with Hudson, Rhine, and Shannon, a saloon with a rotating list of owners which is difficult to trace. In 1880, the saloon is listed as under the management of Dorr and Price at 104 Harrison Avenue. [13] At some point after October of 1880, Price departed and Louis Dorr partnered with Robert Lamb in the saloon operation. They operated the establishment that winter. In early February the saloon was sold to Caspar Twifei and Lon Webber. [14] Perhaps the saloon business or Leadville no longer suited Robert. Later that same month, he left Leadville for New York and the notice which printed his departure indicated he planned to be gone for a month or more. [15] He would never return to Leadville permanently.

There is no existent evidence of Robert’s presence in Leadville for several years after his departure in February of 1881. He does not appear in Leadville city directories and he is not listed in newspaper notices.

In the summer of 1887, however, Robert appears in the personal column of the Leadville Daily/Evening Chronicle. The listing stated that Robert was in town as a representative of “A. Levy & Co.” of New York, and elaborates that he is, “…advocating the boy’s and children’s clothing to merchants of this city. Mr. Lamm is an early resident of Leadville, and dates back to ’79.” [16] Aside from business trips, Robert never returned to live in the Carbonate City. He returned in the summer of 1888 on his business itinerary for A. Levy & Co. and shook hands with old friends. The Leadville Daily/Evening Chronicle elaborated, “Mr. Lamm lived in Leadville in early days and evinces the same interest as in days of old.” [17]

Robert was married in New York shortly before his visit to Leadville in 1888. He married Flora Kamak, who was the younger sister of Issac A. Kamak, his manager from the fledgling clothing business on Chestnut Street in late 1879 and summer of 1880. [18]

Hotel records for the Hotel Kitchen and Hotel Monte Cristo indicate Robert visited Leadville again in late 1889 as well as the summer of 1890. [19] He was referred to as “An old Leadville boy.” After 1890, Robert settled into a career and routine in the East. No evidence of a return to Leadville has been found. He died in New York on February 12, 1938, taking with him the memories of Leadville in the rollicking days of ’79.

Joseph C. Lamm’s presence in Leadville was temporary and like Robert Lamb centered around the most prosperous early years of the city. Joseph’s relationship if any to Robert Lamm is unknown. His father Samuel was a clothing merchant in Cinncinatti and was a Bavarian immigrant. [20] His mother was also a German immigrant named Caroline Leobolt. Joseph appears with weekly regularity in the newspapers of late 1880 and early 1881 as a holder of a Traveler’s Insurance policy covering $5,000. In the advertisement an extensive list of Traveler’s clients at that time claimed the patronage of prominent Leadville men such as David May, H. Tabor, and the Shoenberg brothers. It is unknown what Joseph owned to explain this relatively large insurance policy. [21] He was listed as a clerk at “S. Strousse” clothing store in the Wyman block in 1880. [22] Joseph does not appear in the directories or any Leadville newspaper after 1881. He died in Chicago in 1917. [23]

1 "New York, New York City Municipal Deaths, 1795-1949," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:2W2M-KS1 : 11 February 2018), Robert Lamm, 12 Feb 1938; citing Death, Manhattan, New York, New York, United States, New York Municipal Archives, New York; FHL microfilm 2,107,686.
2 "New York State Census, 1875," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VNJC-21P : 11 March 2018), Robert Lamm in household of Selig Lamm, Brooklyn, Kings, New York, United States; citing p. 26, line 44, State Library, Albany; FHL microfilm 1,930,217.
3 Griswold p. 386-387
4 For more information on the Kamaks, see http://www.jewishleadville.org/kamak.html
5 For more information on the Mays, see http://www.jewishleadville.org/may.html
6 For more information on the Shoenbergs, see http://www.jewishleadville.org/shoenberg.html
7 For more information on the Baers, see http://www.jewishleadville.org/baer.html
8 “B’nai B’rith” Leadville Weekly Herald, November 15, 1879 p. 3
9 Year: 1880; Census Place: Leadville, Lake, Colorado; Roll: 91; Page: 381A; Enumeration District: 078
10 1880 Leadville City Directory p. 288
11 “Petitions Denied” Leadville Daily/Evening Chronicle, Volume 1, Number 98, May 23, 1879 p. 1
12 “Notice” Leadville Daily Herald, October 29, 1880 p. 4
13 1880 Leadville City Directory p. 298
14 “Notices” Leadville Democrat, February 1, 1881 p. 8
15 “Sunday Law” Leadville Democrat, February 16, 1881 p. 2
16 “Personal” Leadville Daily/Evening Chronicle, July 8, 1887 p. 4
17 “Personal” Leadville Daily/Evening Chronicle, June 23, 1888 p. 8
18 Year: 1870; Census Place: New York Ward 19 District 23, New York, New York; Roll: M593_1005; Page: 433B; Family History Library Film: 552504
19 “Hotel Arrivals” Leadville Daily/Evening Chronicle, December 6, 1889 p. 4. “Hotel Arrivals” Herald Democrat, June 4, 1890 p. 1
20 Year: 1860; Census Place: Cincinnati Ward 14, Hamilton, Ohio; Roll: M653_976; Page: 378; Family History Library Film: 803976 Ancestry.com. 1860 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009. Images reproduced by FamilySearch.
21 “Advertisements” Leadville Daily Herald, December 16, 1880 p.4
22 1880 Leadville City Directory p. 222
23 "Illinois Deaths and Stillbirths, 1916-1947," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:NQZ4-Z7M : 9 March 2018), Joseph C. Lamm, 20 Jan 1917; Public Board of Health, Archives, Springfield; FHL microfilm 1,852,312.


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.

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.

Corbett, TB, Hoye, WC and Ballanger, JH. “Corbet, Hoye and Co’s First-Tenth 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 1880-1890”. Democrat Printing Company; Leadville, CO: USA. 1880-1890.

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

Census Records Accessed via familysearch.com and ancestry.com:

1860 United States Federal Census

1870 United States Federal Census

1880 United States Federal Census

1900 United States Federal Census


Leadville Daily Herald (Leadville, Lake County, Colorado)

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

Leadville Weekly Heard (Leadville, Lake County, Colorado)


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

AUTHOR: Trevor Mark
EDITOR: William Korn
SOURCE: Jewish Surnames/Lamm
PUBLISHED BY: Temple Israel Foundation. Leadville CO; USA. 2018
STABLE URL: http://www.jewishleadville.org/lamm.html

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