Biography
Silverberg
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Joseph H. Silverberg
Occupation: Bookkeeper, clothing merchant
Born: Est. 1840
Birthplace: Prussia/Russia
Died: N/A

Despite being a Leadville resident intermittently for nine years, Joseph H. Silverberg did not appear to be a fixture in the city’s social scene as local newspapers rarely mentioned him in attendance of any event, Jewish or otherwise. What little is available on his time in the city refers to his work in local clothing and dry goods businesses as well as minor legal involvement.

Joseph was born in Prussia or Russia around 1840. [1] It is not known when he immigrated to the United States as even his naturalization record states that the date and port of his arrival is “not of record.” [2] What is clear is that he arrived in Leadville by spring 1880 at the latest, the first year a city directory lists him and in time to be counted in the 1880 US Census. [3]

Joseph first worked for clothing and dry goods merchants Henry Frankle [4] and Fred Butler [5] at the Palace of Fashion located at 111 and 113 East Chestnut Street [6] until its destruction in the infamous Palace of Fashion Fire on May 19, 1882. [7] Despite the business’ complete destruction, Joseph remained an employee at the Palace of Fashion until 1883 when Frankle departed Leadville. He continued to work with Butler as a clerk until 1884. [8] In addition to his work at Frankle and Butler’s stores, Joseph became minorly involved in mine investment into the Scottish Chief lode. [9]

From 1885 to 1888, Joseph does not appear in Leadville’s city directories or newspapers, nor does he appear in the 1885 Colorado Census. The reason for his disappearance is not known, yet it was only temporary. Joseph returned to Leadville in 1889 to open a dry goods business at 428 ½ East 6th Street. [10] He shifted to men’s furnishing exclusively for his five remaining years in the city, the storefront being located at 203 Harrison Avenue until 1894. [11]

As previously indicated, Joseph either was not a particularly sociable person or he did not attend events notable enough to be reported in local newspapers. His only mentions in local newspapers outside of his work and mine involvement related to him being selected as a petit or grand juror in 1892 [12] and on him receiving writs of attachment against Fred Butler for unknown reasons. [13] References to him in Leadville’s local newspapers cease after 1893.

Though Joseph was naturalized in Lake County in 1896, there is no indication that he lived in the city after 1894. Instead, he next appears in Denver in 1895, noted in the city directory there as a “rag man” living in the Colfax neighborhood near Platte River [14] (now referred to as West Colfax) which was home to a large segment of the Denver Jewish community. [15] Though Joseph does not appear in the 1900 US Census, he remained in Colorado until 1902 at the latest when he advertised a going out of business sale at his Golden men’s furnishing store per the advice of his physician. [16] The advertisement was the final reference to his presence in the state. It is not known where he moved to after leaving Colorado as no one matching his vital records appears in later censuses or available cemetery records in the United States.

1 "United States Census, 1880," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MFDJ-C3W: July 4, 2021), Joseph H Silverberg in household of Henry Frankle, Leadville, Lake, Colorado, United States; citing enumeration district ED 78, sheet 382D, NARA microfilm publication T9 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), FHL microfilm 1,254,091.
2 Colorado, U.S., State and Federal Naturalization Records, 1868-1990, database with images, Ancestry (https://search.ancestry.com/cgibin/ sse.dll?indiv=1&dbid=61194&h=189380&tid=&pid=&queryId=f2a1e7b3c994e1dfd0cff48c498952e7&usePUB=true&_phsrc=R Ni958&_phstart=successSource: July 4, 2021), Joseph H Silverberg, Denver, Denver, Colorado, USA; citing Naturalization Records (Denver: National Archives at Denver), NAI number 1307044, record group number 85.
3 T. B. Corbett, W. C. Hoye and J. H. Ballenger, Corbett, Hoye & Co.’s First Annual City Directory of the Inhabitants, Institutions, Incorporated Companies, Manufacturing Establishments, Business, Business Firms, Etc. in the City of Leadville, for 1880 (Leadville, CO: Democrat Printing Company, 1880), P329.
4 For more on the Frankle family, see: Matt Hulstine, Frankle (Leadville, CO: Temple Israel Foundation), 2016: http://www.jewishleadville.org/frankle.html.
5 For more on the Butler family, see: Matt Hulstine, Butler (Leadville, CO: Temple Israel Foundation), 2016: http://www.jewishleadville.org/butler.html.
6 Semi-Annual Clearance Sale! (Leadville, CO: Leadville Daily Herald), August 24, 1880, P4.
7 “Palace of Fashion Fire,” Temple Israel, accessed July 5, 2021, http://www.jewishleadville.org/palaceoffashionfire.html.
8 T. B. Corbett and J. H. Ballenger, Corbett & Ballenger’s Fifth Annual Leadville City Directory: Containing a Complete List of the Inhabitants, Institutions, Incorporated Companies, Manufacturing Establishments, Business, Business Firms, Etc. in the City of Leadville, for 1884 (Leadville, CO: Corbett & Ballenger Publishers, 1884), P223.
9 Land Office (Leadville, CO: Leadville Daily Herald), October 19, 1882, P4.
10 J. H. Ballenger and W. H. Richards, Ballenger & Richards’ Tenth Annual Leadville City Directory: Containing a Complete List of the Inhabitants, Institutions, Incorporated Companies, Manufacturing Establishments, Business, Business Firms, Etc. in the City of Leadville, for 1889 (Leadville, CO: Ballenger & Richards, Publishers, 1889), P226.
11 J. H. Ballenger and W. H. Richards, Ballenger & Richards Fourteenth Annual Leadville City Directory: Containing a Complete List of the Inhabitants, Institutions, Incorporated Companies, Manufacturing Establishments, Business, Business Firms, Etc. in the City of Leadville, for 1894 (Leadville, CO: Ballenger & Richards, Publishers, 1894), P229.
12 County Commissioners (Leadville, CO: Herald Democrat), October 5, 1892, P5.
13 That Replevin Suit (Leadville, CO: Herald Democrat), January 14, 1893, P4.
14 J. H. Ballenger and W. H. Richards, Ballenger & Richards Twenty-Third Annual Denver City Directory: Containing a Complete List of the Inhabitants, Institutions, Incorporated Companies, Manufacturing Establishments, Business, Business Firms, Etc. in the City of Denver, for 1895 (Denver, CO: Ballenger & Richards, Publishers, 1895), P963.
15 “West Colfax Neighborhood History,” Denver Public Library, accessed July 5, 2021, https://history.denverlibrary.org/west-colfaxneighborhood- history.
16 Forced to Quit Business (Golden, CO: The Colorado Transcript), January 1, 1902, P4.

Bibliography

Ballenger, J. H. and W. H. Richards. Ballenger & Richards’ Tenth Annual Leadville City Directory: Containing a Complete List of the Inhabitants, Institutions, Incorporated Companies, Manufacturing Establishments, Business, Business Firms, Etc. in the City of Leadville, for 1889. Leadville, CO: Ballenger & Richards, Publishers, 1889.

Ballenger, J. H. and W. H. Richards. Ballenger & Richards Fourteenth Annual Leadville City Directory: Containing a Complete List of the Inhabitants, Institutions, Incorporated Companies, Manufacturing Establishments, Business, Business Firms, Etc. in the City of Leadville, for 1894. Leadville, CO: Ballenger & Richards, Publishers, 1894.

Ballenger, J. H. and W. H. Richards. Ballenger & Richards Twenty-Third Annual Denver City Directory: Containing a Complete List of the Inhabitants, Institutions, Incorporated Companies, Manufacturing Establishments, Business, Business Firms, Etc. in the City of Denver, for 1895. Denver, CO: Ballenger & Richards, Publishers, 1895.

Colorado, U.S., State and Federal Naturalization Records, 1868-1990. Database with images, Ancestry (https://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?indiv=1&dbid=61194&h=189380&tid=&pid=&queryId=f2a1e7b3c994e1dfd0cff48c498952e7&usePUB=true&_phsrc=RNi958&_phstart=successSource: July 4, 2021). Joseph H Silverberg, Denver, Denver, Colorado, USA; citing Naturalization Records. Denver: National Archives at Denver. NAI number 1307044, record group number 85.

Corbett, T. B., W. C. Hoye and J. H. Ballenger. Corbett, Hoye & Co.’s First Annual City Directory of the Inhabitants, Institutions, Incorporated Companies, Manufacturing Establishments, Business, Business Firms, Etc. in the City of Leadville, for 1880. Leadville, CO: Democrat Printing Company, 1880.

Corbett, T. B. and J. H. Ballenger. Corbett & Ballenger’s Fifth Annual Leadville City Directory: Containing a Complete List of the Inhabitants, Institutions, Incorporated Companies, Manufacturing Establishments, Business, Business Firms, Etc. in the City of Leadville, for 1884. Leadville, CO: Corbett & Ballenger, Publishers, 1884.

County Commissioners. Leadville, CO: Herald Democrat. October 5, 1892.

Denver Public Library. “West Colfax Neighborhood History.” Accessed July 5, 2021. https://history.denverlibrary.org/west-colfax-neighborhood-history.

Forced to Quit Business. Golden, CO: The Colorado Transcript. January 1, 1902.

Hulstine, Matt. Frankle. Leadville, CO: Temple Israel Foundation, 2016: http://www.jewishleadville.org/frankle.html.

Hulstine, Matt. Butler. Leadville, CO: Temple Israel Foundation, 2016: http://www.jewishleadville.org/butler.html.

Land Office. Leadville, CO: Leadville Daily Herald. October 19, 1882.

Semi-Annual Clearance Sale! Leadville, CO: Leadville Daily Herald. August 24, 1880.

Temple Israel. “Palace of Fashion Fire.” Accessed July 5, 2021. http://www.jewishleadville.org/palaceoffashionfire.html.

That Replevin Suit. Leadville, CO: Herald Democrat. January 14, 1893.

"United States Census, 1880." Database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MFDJ-C3W: July 4, 2021). Joseph H Silverberg in household of Henry Frankle, Leadville, Lake, Colorado, United States; citing enumeration district ED 78, sheet 382D, NARA microfilm publication T9. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d. FHL microfilm 1,254,091.

To cite any of the information in this biography, please use the following reference.

AUTHOR: Quinn Whittington
EDITOR: William Korn
SOURCE: Jewish Surnames/Silverberg
PUBLISHED BY: Temple Israel Foundation. Leadville, CO; USA. 2021
STABLE URL: http://www.jewishleadville.org/silverberg.html

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