Biography
Menkin
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Joseph Menkin
Born: Unknown
Died: Unknown
Married to: Unknown
In Leadville: 1884

Julius Menkin (Monkin and Menken, variants)
Born: Unknown
Died: Unknown
Married to: Unknown
In Leadville: 1883- 1890

Joseph Menkin was a bartender at Ben Loeb’s Delmonico Restaurant during 1884 according to that year’s city directory. [1] This mention constitutes the singular evidence of Joseph’s presence in the Carbonate City. Further movements, background, and details of his life in Leadville were not found by this researcher.

Julius Menkin was a police officer and miner who appeared in Leadville city directories and newspaper stories between 1883 and 1890. Like the above Joseph Menkin, demographic and historic details were not found by this researcher, although more detailed information of his presence in Leadville was documented in Leadville newspapers and directories.

Between 1883 and 1884, Julius appeared regularly in Leadville newspapers as a result of his experiences enforcing the law as a beat officer. He was first mentioned in an April 1883 issue of the Carbonate Chronicle under a list of 14 men titled “nomination for patrolman”. All of the men including Julius were appointed “by a vote of 10 to 2”. [2] Julius was listed as “J. W. Menkin Policeman” with an address of 144 West 3rd Street in the 1883 Leadville city directory. [3] That year, the same address was listed as the Mayor’s office, City Hall, police headquarters, as well as the offices of a number of other fellow police officers. [4] Interestingly, the city authorities did not move to the County Courthouse on Harrison until 1885 and maintained this location at 3rd and Pine up to that year according to city directories.

Julius’s first mention in a Leadville newspaper was published in a June addition of the Carbonate Chronicle. Late on the night of June 1st, a man on Elm Street reported via telephone suspicious activity in a store across from his house. Several police officers were sent to investigate but found nothing suspicious, until two boys with large sacks of produce began to run from them. They ran in the direction of Pine Street and met Julius and a fellow officer walking the opposite direction. Julius and his colleague arrested the boys and found they had stolen goods from a warehouse. [5] Later that summer, Julius broke up a fight at a gymnasium on 4th street between a well-known boxer and another young man. [6] In November, Julius and a fellow officer arrested a drunken Englishman; Julius had his finger badly bit by the man before he could be wrestled into an “express wagon” to the city jail. [7] Julius appeared in a list entitled “Police Personals” at the end of November. A commentator touted his “herculean strength” and compared his presence to Davey Crocket’s ability to hunt. [8] That same week, Julius was complemented with a short sentence in the social columns, “Officer Menkin is exercising constantly and is keeping himself in train for the first who comes along”. [9] That same day, Julius arrested a woman named Mrs. Gonzales for beating her adopted son. [10] The following day, Julius was commended by shopkeepers on Chestnut Street as a “terror to petty thieves and housebreakers” in the vicinity. [11] On January 1, 1884, a list of Leadville Police officers was published to recognize their service; Julius appeared as one of 11 patrolmen. [12] Several weeks later, Julius was listed as “Officer Menken” in a brief mention of arrests made. [13] This constituted the final mention of Julius in a police capacity in Leadville. In February, Julius arrested “Madame Brunette” for breach of the peace. [14]

In July, Julius had apparently made a career change, and appeared in a brief social column which explained that “Ex-Police Officer Menkin” narrowly avoided an accident in a mine on Yankee Hill. [15] The 1884 Leadville city directory did not list Julius as a resident. The above profiled Joseph Menkin was the only individual listed with Julius’ last name in Leadville. It is possible that given the above evidence of his employment at a mine on Yankee hill, he lived outside of the city and was thus not listed during that year.

Julius was listed as a resident of 116 Harrison Avenue in the 1885 city directory; an address also listed as the storefront for the Baer Brother’s Liquor business. In this directory his name was spelled as the variant “Menken” and his profession was listed as “Mining”. [16] Additionally, the 1885 Colorado State Census enumerated an individual listed as “J. Monken” employed in Mining as a resident of 116 Harrison Avenue- interestingly, also the residence of Ben Loeb and his wife. [17] Given the fact that Ben Loeb was also Joseph Menkin’s employer the previous year, it is likely that Julius and Joseph were relations. Without substantial evidence to the contrary, there is a small likelihood they were the same person- as Julius was not listed in the 1884 directory, while Joseph was. It is clear that 1884 was the same year Julius ended his career as a policeman. It is possible he was briefly a bartender before employment in mining which was well documented in 1884 and 1885; the name discrepancy could be a not-so-uncommon error on the part of the 1884 city enumerator. Julius did not appear in Leadville newspapers during 1885, probably because he was no longer a police officer.

In the 1886 city directory, Julius was listed as a miner renting a room at the Grand Pacific Hotel; it was common for un-married men or men in Leadville without their wives to rent rooms in hotels as long term accommodation. During the spring of that year, he attended a Calico Ball hosted by the city’s East Turnverein, indicating potential affiliation with the German club; he also may have simply attended as a guest. [18] Several weeks later, Julius appeared on a list of Republican delegates in an upcoming municipal election. [19]

Julius did not appear in newspapers until 1887, when he was listed as a 4th ward judge of registration in the municipal election. [20] That year, he again changed his profession and was listed in the city directory as a bartender at the saloon of Emil Beckmann with a residence at 322 West Chestnut Street. [21] Julius was mentioned once in an 1888 Leadville newspaper as a member of an unspecified pollical convention in May of that year. [22] He again returned to mining in 1888 and was once again listed as a boarder at the Grand Pacific Hotel on East 3rd Street. Between 1888 and his probable departure from Leadville in 1890, Julius was not mentioned further in local newspapers. City directories traced his movements however and he continued to consistently live at the Grand Pacific Hotel and work at an unspecified mine in 1889 and 1890. [23]

After 1890, Julius’ movements and ultimate fate are unknown. Due to the fact that he did not appear in further verifiable census records or other documents, his death date, location and burial place were not found this researcher.

1 1884 Leadville City Directory p. 182
2 “The Old and New” Carbonate Chronicle, April 21, 1883 p. 3
3 1883 Leadville City Directory p. 198
4 1883 Leadville City Directory p. 34
5 “Youthful Burglars” Carbonate Chronicle, June 2, 1883 p. 2
6 “The Wrong Tom-Cat” Carbonate Chronicle, August 25, 1883 p. 3
7 “A Bad Man” Carbonate Chronicle, November 3, 1883 p. 9
8 “Police Personals” Carbonate Chronicle, November 24, 1883 p. 6
9 “Rope and Ring” Carbonate Chronicle, December 1, 1883 p. 1
10 “Mrs. Gonzalez Again” Carbonate Chronicle, December 1, 1883 p. 6
11 “Appreciation” Leadville Daily Herald, December 2, 1883 p. 8
12 “The Leadville Police Department” Leadville Daily Herald, January 1, 1884 p. 3
13 “Tuesday’s Tickings” Carbonate Chronicle, January 12, 1884 p. 3
14 “Last Night’s Arrests” Leadville Daily Herald, February 6, 1884 p. 4
15 “Narrow Escape” Leadville Daily Herald, July 18, 1884 p. 4
16 Leadville City Directory 1885 p. 179 and p. 256
17 1885 Colorado State Census
18 “The Calico Ball” Herald Democrat, May 11, 1886 p. 2
19 “Republican Primaries” Leadville Daily Herald, February 6, 1884 p. 1
20 “Municipal Election” Leadville Daily/Evening Chronicle, March 21, 1887 p. 3
21 1887 Leadville City Directory p. 192
22 “Election of Delegates” Herald Democrat, May 11, 1888 p. 3
23 1889 Leadville City Directory p. 183 and 1890 Leadville City Directory p. 185

Bibliography

“Colorado State Census, 1885,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:939N-D782-F?cc=1807096&wc=M83M-YPX%3A149199201%2C149207201%2C149200101 : 1 April 2016), Lake > Leadville > Population > image 108 of 120; citing NARA microfilm publication M158 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).

Corbett, TB, Hoye, WC and Ballanger, JH. “Corbet, Hoye and Co’s First to Twenty-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 1883-1890”. Democrat Printing Company; Leadville, CO: USA. 1883-1890.


Newspapers:

Leadville Daily Herald (Leadville, Lake County, Colorado)

Carbonate Chronicle (Leadville, Lake County, Colorado)

Leadville Herald Democrat (Leadville, Lake County, Colorado)

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

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