Temple Israel

Simon Mooney
Born: 1838 (Bavaria)
Died: March 18, 1900 (Salt Lake City)
Married to: Emma Mooney née Rosenthal

Emma Mooney (Rosenthal)
Born: May 1846 (Württemberg)
Died: June 16, 1936 (Salt Lake City, Utah)
Married to: Simon Mooney

Milton Mooney
Born: 1867 (Alton, Illinois)
Died: March 1936 (New York)
Parents: Emma and Simon Mooney
Married to: Alice Mooney

Edward Mooney
Born: ?
Died: ?

Stella Mooney (S)
Born: March 11, 1870 (Alton, Illinois)
Died: November 1, 1963 (Kansas City, Missouri)
Parents: Emma and Simon Mooney
Married to: Unknown Hooper, Morris Block (1907)

Max J. Mooney (MJ)
Born: July 6, 1878 (Galveston, Texas)
Died: Unknown
Parents: Emma and Simon Mooney
Married to: Unknown

Carrie Mooney (C)
Born: December 20, 1879 (Galveston, Texas)
Died: November 23, 1923 (Salt Lake City, Utah)
Parents: Emma and Simon Mooney
Married to: Eugene Kahn

Dollie Mooney (BR?)
Born: June 1871 (Alton, Illinois)
Died: Unknown
Parents: Emma and Simon Mooney
Married to: Herman Borrman (1895)

Henrietta Mooney (H, Etta)
Born: March 1866 (Alton, Illinois)
Died: September 2, 1934 (Aspen, Colorado)
Parents: Emma and Simon Mooney
Married to: Diedrich P. Rohlfing

Theodora Mooney
Born: 1872 (Alton, Illinois)
Died: Unknown
Parents: Emma and Simon Mooney
Married to: Herman Borrman

Simon Mooney Household
(In Leadville 1880-1888)

There are multiple families by the name Mooney which can be traced in Leadville. The subject of this study will be a German-Jewish family which resided in the northeast part of Leadville during the 1880s. The Mooneys primarily resided and conducted business in the form of a small grocery on the 400 block of East 10th Street between 1880 and 1888. Due to the family’s distance from Harrison Avenue and the lack of advertisements for the store, their professional life is not well documented. Their social life, however is well recorded.

Emma Rosenthal (May 1846- June 1936) was born in the German principality of Württemberg. According to the 1900 and 1910 Census, Emma arrived in the United States in 1865 at the age of 21. Details of her arrival location in the United States were not available in the Census. Simon Mooney (1838- March 1900) was born in Bavaria and also arrived in the United Sates in the 1860s. Emma and Simon were married around 1866, given first daughter Henrietta’s birthday. The family subsequently arrived in Colorado by 1880. Before arriving in Leadville, the Mooneys spent the late 1860s and early 1870s in Alton, Illinois and the late 1870s in Galveston, Texas.

The 1880 United States Census listed the Mooney family by first initial only. Through deduction and comparison to the 1870 Federal Census and the 1885 Colorado State Census, the identities of the individuals are listed above. Two other children named Jerome and Bernice were born to Emma and Simon in Aspen during the late 1880s and early 1890s. Beginning in 1881, Edward Mooney was listed in the Leadville City Directory as a resident and proprietor of a grocery store at 401 East 10th Street. Edward is yet to be precisely identified and is likely a relation of Simon Mooney. For unknown reasons, Simon is not listed in the Leadville City directory until 1885, and which year he and his family are also listed at 401 East 10th Street. The seven children listed above, as well as Emma and Simon, shared the living space with Edward. The first appearance of Emma is likely a listing of “Mrs. Mooney” in a notice for the 2nd annual dinner of the Rocky Mountain Order of B’nai B’rith in November of 1880. [1] While doubtlessly present in Leadville during the ensuing years, Simon cannot be traced in Leadville newspapers until 1883. In October that year he was listed as vice-president for a then unnamed Jewish organization. The article explained that Simon lead a prayer for the Jewish New Year in English. The notice also detailed an elaborate Jewish New Year ceremony with addresses delivered in English, German, and Hebrew. The location is unnamed, but was likely the east or west Turnverein Hall or City Hall where the Jewish congregation often met before the construction of Temple Israel. [2] During Chanukah that year, a masked ball took place at City Hall at the end of December. Simon, Emma, as well as two “Misses” of the Mooney family attended. [3]

The Mooney family residence and store at East 10th Street.

The Mooney family residence and store at East 10th Street in the 1886 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map.

Colorado militia in camp near Rangely, Garfield County during the 1887 Colorow War.

Colorado militia in camp near Rangely, Garfield County during the 1887 Colorow War. While Milton Mooney was never deployed due to his injury, this is where he would have served.
Courtesy History Colorado Archives.

In April of 1884, two Mooney daughters, Stella and Etta, performed in a concert at an unidentified opera house as part of a “juvenile choir”. They were identified under the headline “Chorus of Rapturous Maidens”. [4] By September of 1884, the Jewish congregation of Leadville had completed a temple for worship on the corner of West 4th Street and Pine. Simon was elected as a trustee during the first meeting at the new synagogue. [5]

In October, the Mooney family attended several events put on by the Jewish community. The first was the Sixth Annual ball put on by the Ladies Hebrew Benevolent Society at City Hall on Sixth Street. The event was a dance to benefit the new Temple Israel and congregation. Mr. and Mrs. Mooney and daughter Dollie were listed among the guests. [6] Simon was also present for a Simchas Torah ball at Temple Israel the same weekend in October 1884. [7]

Ella was a singer and was listed as a performer at a Ladies Relief Corps meeting which her mother Emma helped to organize in April of 1885. [8] June was host to an excursion train from Leadville to Chaffee County which involved the Rio Grande Railroad and St. George’s Episcopal church. Simon and Emma’s son, Milton, was listed among the riders of the train. [9]

The following year Simon and Emma were listed as attendees of Jacob Schloss’s birthday. Jacob was an important Jewish liquor dealer and the list of attendees represented a large contingent of Leadville’s Jewish community in the 1880s. [10] The Mooneys were consistently located at 401 East 10th Street until 1887 and the house was also listed as a grocery until that year.

In August of 1887, war was brewing on the western slope of Colorado. A Ute war Chief named Colorow was accused of leading bands of horse and cattle thieves in present day Rio Blanco county. The Meeker Massacre of 1879 was still fresh in the minds of Coloradoans and tensions continued to remain high in the late 1880s. Ranchers around Meeker begged governor Alva Adams to deploy troops to the area in an effort to protect their interests.

According to History of Leadville and Lake County, Colorado, the threats which Colorow actually presented to the northwestern settlements may have been exaggerated. [11] The tensions escalated when Garfield County Sheriff J.G Kendall tried to arrest two Utes after a theft report on a ranch near Rangely. The result was a further escalation of tensions in the area. The Utes under Colorow were reportedly in Colorado to hunt. Ranch fences had interrupted formerly unbroken wilderness in Colorado and many Utes who were riding with Colorow reportedly resorted to begging and theft to make up for lost hunting potential. [12]

On August 15, Governor Adams acquiesced to Sheriff Kendal’s war stance and state militias throughout Colorado were called up. Leadville was the second most populated city in Colorado in the 1880s and thus mustered two companies for deployment; the Pitkin Guards (Company B, Colorado National Guard) and the Rocky Mountain Rifles. The atmosphere on the streets of Leadville— especially around the East 5th Street Armory— was tense excitement. Calls to “wipe Colorow off the earth” were heard. The Herald Democrat elaborated,

“The drum corps of the Grand Army of the Republic was called out, and the call to arms sounded. The rattling of drums and the activity displayed recalled scenes of other times, and old soldiers, whose scarred faces told of many hard-fought battles, gathered about the boys at the armory, and during the lull in preparations told of their experiences on the frontier. Shortly after 7 o’clock the armory was crowded by members of the cavalry company, and hundreds of applications were made by parties desiring to join the company…”

One young recruit enticed by an expedition against the Utes was Milton Mooney. He became the first militia casualty during the conflict when he was accidentally shot on the troop train a few minutes after it departed Leadville. The Herald Democrat elaborated,

“…The troop cavalry had just taken their seats in the coach when one of the members was shot by the accidental discharge of a revolver. The injured member is Milton Mooney, and while at first he was not thought to be seriously injured, it was reported last evening he was suffering intensely from the wound.

Mooney was half standing, half sitting on the arm of one of the seats, when a private entered the car hurriedly, fearing he would not get aboard in time. In some manner his revolver fell from its scabbard and the hammer striking the floor the pistol was discharged, the ball striking Mooney in the fleshy part of the thigh, ranging upward and coming out near the hip bone joint. Dr. Dougan examined and dressed the wound and recommended that Mooney be taken to his home. The hole made by the bullet, which is a .45 caliber, was large enough to admit a lead pencil. An express wagon was called and Mooney driven to his home at 401 East Tenth Street. Mr. Galloway was summoned and pronounced the wound, while not particularly dangerous, one that may entail serious consequences. He probed the wound, the probe coming out near the bone. It is fortunate that the bullet did not kill someone, and the only wonder is that Mooney escaped with his life.” [13]

During the campaign, rain and wind pelted the soldiers on their march from Glenwood Springs to Rangely. At least one editorial claimed that the Utes were better armed than the militia companies. One reporter also claimed that a large proportion of the militia force of 1,000 was made up of men from Leadville. The first and only battle took place on August 25 and amounted to the entire campaign’s casualty count. Eight Utes and three militia men were killed in an engagement close to Rangely. Following the battle, Colorow and his men returned to the Unitah Reservation in Eastern Utah and thus ended the final conflict between Aborigines and Americans in Colorado. One of the men killed in the battle near Rangely was former Lake County deputy Sheriff Jack Ward. [14] The hostilities were over by early September and most Leadville militia men were home by September 10th. [15] On September 19, Milton had recovered enough from his wound to be listed as a patron on a Colorado Midland train excursion and picnic to Loch Ivanhoe west of Leadville. [16]

Few additional notices about the Mooneys are extant after 1887, although “Maxy” Mooney is among a list of pupils in room 3 of Ninth Street school at the end of that year. [17]

The final mention of the Mooney family in Leadville came in January of 1888. The Leadville Daily/Evening Chronicle elaborated,

“A Storm Party
A very pleasant social event occurred on Friday evening at the residence of Mr. M. Mooney No. 401 East Tenth street, the occasion being a surprise tendered to Mrs. Mooney by the members of the Ladies’ Relief corps of this city. The affair was apropos of Mr. and Mrs. Mooney’s departure for Aspen where they will reside in the future. At 8 o’clock they bevy of ladies came down on the household, laden with cakes, fruits and other delicacies dear to the ‘surprise party’ of heart and prepared to have a good time. Games and other amusements were indulged in until a late hour when the ladies dispersed, all declaring the impromptu affair to be the most enjoyable they had ever attended.” [18]

The Mooneys relocated to Aspen in 1888 and this detailed study of the family ends with their departure from Leadville. New mining activities and prosperity beginning in 1887 likely lured the family to Pitkin county. Simon and Emma left Aspen and relocated to Salt Lake City by 1900. Daughter Henrietta and her family remained in Aspen until the middle 1930s. Emma and Simon as well as Milton, Jerome H. (Born in Aspen in 1891) and Bernice (Born in Aspen in 1889) are buried in Salt Lake City. [19]

1 “Social” Leadville Daily Herald, November 14, 1880 p. 4
2 “The Jewish New Year” Carbonate Chronicle, October 6, 1883 p. 8
3 “Selected Social Scraps” Leadville Daily Herald, December 30, 1883 p. 4
4 “Patience” Carbonate Chronicle, April 26, 1884 p. 9
5 “Congregation Israel” Leadville Daily Herald, September 23, 1884 p. 1
6 “The Sixth Annual Ball” Leadville Daily Herald, October 9, 1884 p. 4
7 “Day of Atonement” Carbonate Chronicle, October 4, 1884 p. 6
8 “A Happy Event” Carbonate Chronicle, April 25, 1885 p. 8
9 “A Festive Crew” Carbonate Chronicle, June 6, 1885 p. 3
10 “Birthday Party” Leadville Daily/Evening Chronicle, March 16, 1886 p. 3
11 Griswold & Griswold 1870
12 Griswold & Griswold 1872
13 “Troops Go To Glenwood” Herald Democrat, August 18, 1887 p. 4
14 Griswold & Griswold 1873
15 Griswold & Griswold 1875
16 “The Heroe’s Happy Host” Leadville Daily/Evening Chronicle, September 19, 1887 p. 4
17 “Our School’s Honor Roll” Herald Democrat, December 24, 1887 p. 4
18 “A Storm Party” Leadville Daily/Evening Chronicle, January 21, 1888 p. 4
19 Find A Grave, Jerome Henry Mooney, Sr (22 Jul 1891–21 Oct 1936)



Blair, Edward. Leadville: Colorado’s Magic City. Boulder, CO: Pruett Publishing Company, 1980.

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 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 1880-1918”. Democrat Printing Company; Leadville, CO: USA. 1880-1888.


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

Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from Leadville, Lake County, Colorado. Sanborn Map Company, Sep, 1886. Map. https://www.loc.gov/item/sanborn01031_001/.

Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from Leadville, Lake County, Colorado. Sanborn Map Company, Oct, 1889. Map. https://www.loc.gov/item/sanborn01031_001/.

Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from Leadville, Lake County, Colorado. Sanborn Map Company, 1895. Map. https://www.loc.gov/item/sanborn01031_001/.

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

"Colorado State Census, 1885," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:K8WN-GCB : 1 April 2016), Mooney, 1885; citing NARA microfilm publication M158 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 498,507.

1870 United States Federal Census

1880 United States Federal Census

1900 United States Federal Census

Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 26 November 2018), memorial page for Jerome Henry Mooney, Sr (22 Jul 1891–21 Oct 1936), Find A Grave Memorial no. 32435533, citing B’nai Israel Cemetery, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah, USA ; Maintained by Cemetery Guy (contributor 47087641).

Newspapers accessed via Colorado Newspaper Online Archive:

Leadville Daily Herald (Leadville, Lake County, Colorado)

Herald Democrat (Leadville, Lake County, Colorado)

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

Carbonate Chronicle (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/Mooney
PUBLISHED BY: Temple Israel Foundation. Leadville CO; USA. 2018
STABLE URL: http://www.jewishleadville.org/mooney.html

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