Biography
Sonshine
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Louis/Lewis Sonshine
Occupation: Liquor distributor, saloon keeper
Born: Est. 1840
Birthplace: Germany
Died: N/A

Fanny Sonshine
Occupation: N/A
Born: N/A
Birthplace: N/A
Died: N/A

Details on the lives of Louis and Fanny Sonshine are obscure. [1] The 1880 US census records Louis, living in Leadville, as being born in Germany in 1840 while vital records on Fanny are not available. [2] Fanny was most likely Louis’ wife, though there is no clear evidence that defines their relationship.

A point of confusion is that of a Sonshine family made up of a Louis, Fanny, and their three daughters enumerated in the 1880 US census in Illinois [3] while a Louis Sonshine is also found in the 1880 census in a Leadville boarding house alongside Charles Weinberg. [4] Both Louises were in the liquor business, however the one in Illinois reported his birthplace and birthdate as Austria, 1832 whereas the one in Leadville reported Germany, 1840. Though a birthyear discrepancy that large in addition to the census recording them in two different locations makes it unlikely that they were the same person, it is not beyond possibility. For the sake of clarity, Louis Sonshine’s Leadville vital records in the census will be the major point of reference.

Louis first arrived in Leadville in 1879, beginning a business partnership with Charles Weinberg [5] who made his way to the town from Lake City, Colorado. [6] They opened Sonshine & Weinberg Wholesale Liquor Dealers (and later saloon) [7] by March of that year, located at 27 ½ Harrison Avenue. [8] Their business partnership only lasted until 1881, the third and final year local newspapers mentioned the liquor store. [9] Over the three years he lived in the city, Louis resided at three addresses: 22 E. Chestnut Street in 1879, [10] 110 E. 2nd Street in 1880, [11] and 328 E. 6th Street in 1881. [12]

Aside from an announced court case appearing in 1883 between a Samuel Schneider and Sonshine & Weinberg, [13] Louis does not reappear in any local sources after 1881. The court case is also the only evidence of a Fanny Sonshine having been in Leadville. It is not known where Louis and Fanny left for after departing Leadville.

1 Neither Louis nor Fanny are mentioned in relation to any Jewish events or organization in Leadville; however, nearly all individuals with the name Sonshine in the United States are buried in Jewish cemeteries.
2 "United States Census, 1880," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MFDJ-JH6: accessed May 26, 2021), Lewis Sunshine in household of John Crowder, Leadville, Lake, Colorado, United States; citing enumeration district ED 78, sheet 391B, NARA microfilm publication T9 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), FHL microfilm 1,254,091.
3 "United States Census, 1880," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MXNT-289: accessed May 26, 2021), Louis Sunshine, Chicago, Cook, Illinois, United States; citing enumeration district ED 115, sheet 148D, NARA microfilm publication T9 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), FHL microfilm 1,254,194.
4 “United States Census, 1880,” Lewis Sunshine in household of John Crowder.
5 For more on the Weinberg family, see: Quinn Whittington, Weinberg (Leadville, CO: Temple Israel Foundation), 2021: http://www.jewishleadville.org/weinberg.html.
6 City and Vicinity (Pueblo, CO: The Colorado Daily Chieftain), February 19, 1879, P4.
7 License (Leadville, CO: Leadville Daily Herald), January 1, 1881, P4.
8 Sonshine & Weinberg (Leadville, CO: The Leadville Evening Chronicle), March 21, 1879, P6.
9 District Court (Leadville, CO: Leadville Daily Herald), February 10, 1881, P4.
10 W. M. Clark, W. A. Root and H. C. Anderson, Clark, Root & Co.’s First Annual City Directory of Leadville and Business Directory of Carbonateville, Kokomo and Malta for 1879 (Denver, CO: Daily Times Steam Printing House and Book Manufactory, 1879), P144.
11 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), P336.
12 T. B. Corbett and J. H. Ballenger, Corbett & Ballenger’s Second 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 1881 (Leadville, CO: Corbett & Ballenger Publishers, 1881), P271.
13 Judge Goddard’s Court (Leadville, CO: Leadville Daily Herald), December 19, 1883, P4.

Bibliography

City and Vicinity. Pueblo, CO: The Colorado Daily Chieftain. February 19, 1879.

Clark, W. M., W. A. Root and H. C. Anderson. Clark, Root & Co.’s First Annual City Directory of Leadville and Business Directory of Carbonateville, Kokomo and Malta for 1879. Denver, CO: Daily Times Steam Printing House and Book Manufactory, 1879.

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 Second 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 1881. Leadville, CO: Corbett & Ballenger, Publishers, 1881.

District Court. Leadville, CO: Leadville Daily Herald. February 10, 1881.

Judge Goddard’s Court. Leadville, CO: Leadville Daily Herald), December 19, 1883.

License. Leadville, CO: Leadville Daily Herald. January 1, 1881.

Sonshine & Weinberg. Leadville, CO: The Leadville Evening Chronicle. March 21, 1879.

"United States Census, 1880." Database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MFDJ-JH6: accessed May 26, 2021). Lewis Sunshine in household of John Crowder, Leadville, Lake, Colorado, United States; citing enumeration district ED 78, sheet 391B, NARA microfilm publication T9. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d. FHL microfilm 1,254,091.

"United States Census, 1880." Database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MXNT-289: accessed May 26, 2021). Louis Sunshine, Chicago, Cook, Illinois, United States; citing enumeration district ED 115, sheet 148D, NARA microfilm publication T9. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d. FHL microfilm 1,254,194.

Whittington, Quinn. Weinberg. Leadville, CO: Temple Israel Foundation, 2021: http://www.jewishleadville.org/weinberg.html.

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

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

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