Birth: Approximately 1840, Sweden
Spouse: Approximately 1830, Samuel Morris, German Prussia
Children: Rachel and Benjamin
Christine Morris came to Leadville in the early days of the silver boom. Morris arrived with her husband, Samuel Morris, a tailor, in approximately 1880. Samuel was born in German Prussia in approximately 1830 and Christine was born in Sweden in approximately 1840. The date of the couple’s immigration and when they met and married are unknown. Christine and Samuel had two children at the time of their move to Leadville, Rachel and Benjamin. Rachel was three years old and Benjamin was possibly a newborn at the time of the family’s arrival in the city.
Morris’ husband Samuel was found guilty of abuse in 1882 and the Leadville Daily Herald describes the event in which an warrant was issued for his arrest. The Leadville Daily Herald reported, “[Christine] Morris caused to be issued a warrant, for the arrest of her husband, Samuel Morris, on the charge of breach and disturbance of the peace by using foul and abusive language to the affiant.” According the Leadville Daily Herald’s report Samuel’s verbal mistreatment of Christine had gone on for two years before it prompted Christine to action. The reason for her filing for the warrant was that Samuel’s abusive threatened the well being of her children when he swore, “that he would not furnish anymore “grub” for the house.” When deciding to press the warrant or not with authorities, Christine was “completely overcome by her feelings and dreaded to take the step that seemed inevitable…” However, with the welfare of her two small children, Rachel at five years old and Benjamin at two years of age, Christine “finally mustered the courage to protect herself from further abuse.” The warrant was served and Samuel Morris was brought into custody on the charges.
The outcome of the warrant against Samuel Morris is unknown though the family remained in town. The 1885 city census lists the Morris family as living at 406 Popular Street. Sadly, the 1885 census listing occurred mere months before Benjamin Morris died on December 13th. Benjamin is buried in the Leadville Hebrew Cemetery. Whether or not Benjamin’s death was the death knell for Christine and Samuel’s marriage, the 1885 city census is the last record of Samuel. By 1900, Samuel effectively disappears from record while Christine and Rachel remain in the city. The mother and daughter relocated from their earlier residence to 1010 Popular Street. After the abandonment of her husband, Christine continued to live and work as a housekeeper in the city until 1904. Rachel, Christine’s daughter, continued to live with her mother and worked as a clerk for the Women of Woodcraft. Christine and Rachel remained in the city until roughly 1905 before the pair disappears from record and their subsequent whereabouts remain unknown.
1 Leadville City Directory, 1880.
2 1885 U.S. census, Lake County, Colorado, Leadville, pg. 2, Samuel Morris, Christine Morris, Rachel Morris and Benjamin Morris.
4 Due to the closeness in dates and unclear documentation it is unknown whether or not Benjamin Morris was born just before or shortly after the Morris’ arrived in Leadville.
6 Leadville Daily Herald, February 28, 1882, pg. 4.
11 Hebrew Cemetery of Leadville (Leadville, Lake County, Colorado), Benjamin Morris, Headstone, 2016.
13 1900 U.S. census, Lake County, Colorado, Leadville, pg. 49, Christine Morris and Rachel Morris.
14 City Directory, 1904, pg. 234.
15 City Directory, 1904, pg. 234.
16 City Directory, 1901, pg. 255.
Copyright 2016 • Temple Israel Foundation