Temple Israel

Moses Lavner (Lavender, Lavener)
Born: 1838-1840
Died: Unknown
Married to: Bloomer or Bertha Lavner
In Leadville: 1880

In March 1881, a “Pink Dominoe hop” was hosted by the “Ladies Hebrew Society” at the newly completed Turner Hall on West 4th Street. [1] An individual intriguingly appeared at the end of the list as “Rabbi Lavender”. While no individual named “Lavender” appeared in the 1880 Leadville City directory, “Moses Lavener” was listed as “with” “Sands, Pelton & Co. [2] He was not listed as a resident of Leadville and only appeared this year in a Leadville directory. Given this association with the prominent Jewish business Sands & Pelton, it can be interpreted that Moses Lavner visited Leadville occasionally due to business connections in the booming Carbonate city. He probably attended this mostly Jewish event at Turner hall during one of these trips. Whether he was a rabbi remains unverifiable, however.

Looking beyond Leadville, “Moses Lavener” is listed in the 1879-1880 New York City directory as a “peddler” [3] and he also appeared in the census of the same year as a resident of New York City. [4] His family consisted of 5 children between the ages of 18 and 4, as well as a wife named “Bloomer”. Moses, his wife, as well as two of the children were born in “Russia Poland” and three were born in New York. Given the ages of the children, and the fact that the family also appear in the 1870 United States census, their arrival date was probably 1870 or shortly before. [5] Most of the Lavner family’s neighbors on the 400 block of Orchard Street in New York were listed as born in “Russia Poland”. A majority were also employed in the clothing business: coat makers, seamstress, tailors and dressmakers. Moses was listed as “Dls. Peddler” in the 1880 census.

Leadville was an economic powerhouse in 1880 and 1881; it would not have been unusual for a salesman to travel from eastern cities to spend a season in the booming business of the Carbonate city. Moses (with the name spelled Lavner) is listed as a carrier of a $2,000 insurance policy with Traveler’s in Leadville during January of 1881, which potentially means he owned a building or stock of goods in Leadville. [6] Moses does not appear in newspapers or in any further city directories after 1881, and his movements are unknown beyond this brief appearance in Leadville.

1 “Pink Dominoes” Leadville Daily Herald, March 16, 1881 p. 4
2 1880 Leadville City directory p. 224
3 1880 New York City Directory p. 870
4 1880 United States Census
5 1870 United States Census
6 “The Traveler’s Insurance Co.” Leadville Daily Herald, January 1, 1881 p. 11


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 Second to 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 1880-1918”. Democrat Printing Company; Leadville, CO; USA. 1880-1883.

Trow, “Trow’s Ninety-Third New York City Directory For The Year Ending May 1, 1880” Unknown Printing Company; New York, NY: USA 1879-1880, Public Library, Newark, NJ Business Branch. Ancestry.com. US City Directories, 1822-1995 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.

“United States Census, 1880,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MZ6Q-623 : 17 August 2017), Moses Lavner, New York, New York, New York, United States; citing enumeration district ED 198, sheet 526D, NARA microfilm publication T9 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), roll 0875; FHL microfilm 1,254,875.

“United States Census, 1870,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M866-5ZV : 12 April 2016), Moses Lavner, New York, United States; citing p. 57, family , NARA microfilm publication M593 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 552,523.

Leadville Daily Herald (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/Lavner
PUBLISHED BY: Temple Israel Foundation. Leadville CO; USA. 2019
STABLE URL: http://www.jewishleadville.org/lavner.html

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