Oliners came to Leadville in two waves. First was Isaac, 30, and his family which, in 1885, also included his wife Gilla, 25, and the children: Jacob, 4; Fannie, 2; and Abe, 2 months. An Anna (or Hannah) Flaks, née Oliner, was also recorded in the 1885 census as the wife of Samuel Flaks and was probably a sister. Isaac was a tailor who worked out of 111 East 6th Street until 1888 when the family left the city. They lived next door at the rear of 113 East 6th Street in 1885 and then moved to the rear of 510 Harrison Avenue for the balance of their sojourn. While at the East 6th address the family suffered a boarder by the name of Peter Osika, a 35 year old married man who worked as a tailor for Isaac and appears to have lived in the shop after the Oliners moved to Harrison Avenue and matched their tenure in Leadville.

 In 1886 the city directory indicates that a Harris Oliner, a laborer, lived at 518 Harrison Avenue and he moved, in 1887, to the rear of 510 Harrison Avenue with Isaac and his family. It seems likely that he was a brother and one may speculate that Peter Osika was also a relative, perhaps to Gilla. The family suffered tragedy on February 17, 1891, when young Abe died two months short of his sixth birthday. He was laid to rest in the Hebrew Cemetery, (Block B, Lot 4, Grave 1). Curiously, there is no other evidence that these Oliners lived in Leadville after 1888 and it is possible that, even though they had left the city, the Leadville cemetery remained the closest consecrated ground.

After a hiatus of some ten years, the Oliner surname reappeared in the guises of Herman, Hannah, and, presumably, their children Minnie and Joseph in 1898. All were recent emigrants from Austrian Poland, Herman (born September, 1854) and Hannah (born November, 1854) in 1895 and Minnie (perhaps with her brother) in 1898 at the age of seventeen. The parents had been married in 1880 and produced four children (two with unknown names and histories), all of whom survived until 1900 and three until 1910. The Oliners made their home in a rental at 311 Pine Street from the time of their arrival in 1898 until Herman’s death in 1911. Initially working as a laborer, Herman was employed at the Arkansas Valley Smelter in 1899 and at the Boston Gold Smelting Company in 1900. Thereafter he was a self-employed peddler of wagon borne vegetables.

Names associated with this surname:

  • Isaac Oliner
  • Gilla Oliner
  • Jacob Oliner
  • Fannie Oliner
  • Abe Oliner
  • Anna or Hannah (Oliner) Flaks
  • Samuel Flaks
  • Harris Oliner
  • Herman Oliner
  • Hannah Oliner
  • Minnie (Oliner) Walpensky
  • Joseph Oliner
  • unknown child Oliner
  • unknown child Oliner
  • Aaron Walpensky
  • Louise (Dorn) Oliner
  • Rebecca Oliner
  • Robert Oliner
  • Max Oliner
  • Myron Oliner
  • Hersh Isaac Oliner

Minnie married Aaron Walpensky, also a grocer, on April 1, 1900, and Joseph began a career as a shoemaker at 110 East 6th Street in 1903. On January 15, 1905, he married Louise Dorn and the newlyweds took up residence at 203 West 6th next to his married sister. In 1907 Joseph moved to 130 West 4th Street and he left Leadville the next year.

On December 7, 1911, Herman met an untimely death “as the result of an accident in a runaway near Twin Lakes (fifteen miles south of Leadville). N. H. Miller and Harry Mamlock read the burial service at the residence of the deceased, 311 Pine Street, and at the grave” (Block C, Lot 10). “Those acting as pallbearers were: Joseph Harwitz, Hyman Isaac, Harry Isaac, M. Zeiler, N. H. Miller, and S. J. Amter.” The obituary noted only two surviving children, Minnie and Joseph, who was then living in Cripple Creek.

After Herman’s passing Hannah, who was never literate in English, moved to the rear of 205 West 6th Street which was two doors west of the Walpenskys. During May, 1915, she relocated to Victor to live with Joseph carrying the “hope that the change of climate would benefit her health”. This was not achieved and she died on January 23, 1916. “Harry Mamlock read the funeral services at the chapel and later at the graveside N. H. Miller and Joseph Harwitz read the committal service.” “The pallbearers were Joseph Harwitz, N. H. Miller, Sol Hecht, A. Sandusky, Hyman Isaacs and S. J. Amter.”

According to the obituary “Mrs. Oliner had lived most of her life in Leadville...She was born in central Europe in 1850(?). She spent her youth in her native country and married there Herman Oliner...While she was still a young woman(!), she and her husband came to America and journeyed at once to Leadville which was to be their future home.” She was buried next to her husband.

The following information was supplied by Joan Burger

(née Oliner and great granddaughter of Herman and Hannah Oliner)

1) Herman and Hannah Oliner had 4 children of whom only the history of 2 are known. There was another daughter named Rebecca Oliner who was born September 15, 1878, in Galicia (from the Colorado death certificate) and died November 30, 1906, in child labor and is buried at Rose Hill Cemetery in Commerce City, Colorado. She married Sam Dorn, the brother of Louise Oliner. Louise is the wife of Joseph Oliner, Rebecca Oliner Dorn is Joseph Oliner’s sister. I know nothing about a fourth child of Hannah and Herman Oliner.

2) Joseph and Louise Oliner lived at 216 W 6th in Leadville and were married at Temple Israel at Fourth and Pine Street in Leadville (article in The Herald Democrat on Monday, January 10, 1905). Joseph Oliner died in Oakland, California, on November 15, 1942, and is buried at Mt. Nebo in Denver along side his wife Louise Oliner who died in Denver in 1963. They had 3 sons, two of whom were born in Leadville. Robert Oliner, my father, was born December 10, 1905, in Leadville and died in 1982 in Denver, Colorado, and is buried at Mt. Nebo in Denver. Max Oliner was born in 1907 in Leadville and died in Denver in 1973 and is buried at Farimont Cemetery Mausoleum in Denver. His son is Myron Oliner who is on the dedication stone at the Hebrew Cemetery, Leadville.


3) There is a Hersh Issac Oliner family in Salt Lake City. He was born in 1853 and may be possible that he would be the Issac that left Leadville in 1888...I can’t confirm this...just a note of interest.

Helen Walpenski with her grandparents
Herman and Hannah Oliner about 1903.

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