Temple Israel

Samuel Tittman [1]
Born: 1888 (Russia)
Died: March 2, 1940 (Philadelphia, PA)
Married to: Lena Ecoff (1909)

Lena Tittman (Ecoff) [2]
Born: 1890 (Russia)
Died: June 9, 1962 (Philadelphia, PA)
Married to: Samuel Tittman (1909-1940)

John Tittman [3]
Born: 1875 (Russia)
Died: Unknown
Married to: Minnie Tittman (1894)

Oscar Tittman [4]
Born: September 21, 1882 (Russia)
Died: July 27, 1950 (Denver, CO)
Married to: Nellie Tittman

The brothers Samuel and Oscar Tittman managed to sustain themselves during some of Leadville’s most economically troublesome years. An older brother or uncle named John (J.S.) was also present in Colorado and made appearances in Leadville during the early 20th century. Samuel and Oscar immigrated to the United States in 1896 and John immigrated in 1894. [5] The 1910 census documents give their birthplace as Russia and their language “Russian Yiddish”. Samuel was likely first in Leadville during 1905 and 1906; although he did not appear in the Leadville City directory, his brother John appeared as a “rug dealer” on the 300 block of East 6th. Samuel likely worked at this store during his early years in Leadville. In the spring of 1906, Samuel left Leadville for Cheyanne, Wyoming, to “make a home”. [6] However, this new home to the north did not work out; Samuel was naturalized in September of 1906 in Ft. Collins and would soon return to the Carbonate City. [7] By 1907, Samuel was once again in Leadville and appeared alongside his brother Oscar as dual managers of the “Rocky Mountain Installment Co.” located at 144 East 6th Street- a building which would be known later in the 20th century as the “Moose Lodge”. [8] Throughout 1907- which was one of Leadville’s worst years economically, the result of a stock market panic- Samuel and Oscar published a series of advertisements which read, “Your Credit is Good at the Rocky Mountain Installment Co.” [9] The installment company made loans on interior furnishings including drapes and curtains.

Samuel was caught up in legal issues in late August, as a result of a disgruntled former employer and missing pair of red curtains. According to a legal notice in the Herald Democrat, Samuel’s former employer filed a complaint against Samuel after $52 in curtains went missing from his store. This corresponded with Samuel’s departure from said store. Samuel had decamped to open his own with Oscar at 144 East 6th Street in late 1906. Samuel’s attorney claimed in a preliminary hearing that the former employer constantly tried to accuse Samuel of crimes while working in his store. [10] The larceny charge was dropped in January. [11]

John joined Oscar and Samuel as a co-manager of the Installment store in 1908. It is unclear if John lived full time in Leadville during 1908- a residence place is not listed for any of the Tittman brothers during this year. [12] The store was moved from 144 East 6th Street, to a more prominent location at 711 Harrison Avenue. There is contradictory evidence on this move- the directory lists 709 and several newspaper advertisements list 711. [13] The most likely reason was multiple moves during the course of the year, but this cannot be verified. 711 Harrison Avenue was the northernmost suite of the commercial storefronts in the Tabor Grand Hotel block, while 709 was a two story wood frame structure directly north of the Hotel. This was a two story wood frame structure which was built after 1895 and was located between the Tabor Grand Hotel and the Herald Democrat building. [14] The Tittman brothers likely did business from one or both of these storefronts during 1908.

In March, Samuel went to New York and Philadelphia for six weeks, “…combining business with pleasure.” [15] His business activities were likely to buy wholesale household items in the east to have them shipped back to Leadville to re-sell.

In the middle summer of 1908, a strange and unfortunate incident befell Oscar. The Court Exchange restaurant was a popular dining institution located in a two story frame structure directly north of the County Courthouse. Oscar frequented the well known establishment for nearly a year before trouble arose on a late July day. The incident was detailed in a Herald Democrat article elaborately entitled “Lunchers Sicken at Bloody Scene- H. J. Hensley Savagely Attacks Two Men in Restaurant and Patrons Flee in Terror.” One of the two men was Oscar, who, according to the article, had brought a “worthless mongrel cur” into the restaurant against the established rules. When owner “Jap” Hensley spotted the dog, the reporter elaborated,

Samuel had his first installment loan office in the this building during 1907, pictured here in 1941.

Samuel had his first installment loan office in the this building during 1907, pictured here in 1941. It was later known as “The Moose Lodge”. The second story was removed after a fire in the 1950s and it was demolished in 2014.
Image courtesy Library of Congress, Marion Post Wolcott Collection.

The Tittman installment office moved to the middle building in 1908 and 1909.

The Tittman installment office moved to the middle building in 1908 and 1909.
Image courtesy Denver Public Library Western History Collection.

“In another moment, according to eye witnesses, he was lambasting Oscar with a cudgel or shilalah [a cane or club] or some such thing, which he carried in his hand and which came in pretty handy for the purpose. Oscar jumped up and looked around in surprise, and unheedful of his injuries started to argue with the infuriated man. But the argument was interspersed with frequent connections of that instrument of torture, whatever it was, deftly wielded by the restaurant keeper, with the young man’s arm…”

As Oscar left the restaurant, another patron named Crowe was also attacked by the restauranteur, and this time blood was drawn. The reporter elaborated with questionable accuracy that blood from Crowe’s head spayed on patrons and a nearby stand of lemon pie. Crowe went to a nearby doctor and Oscar went to the Courthouse next door to issue a complaint against Hensley on assault charges. The dog was “…seen going in the direction of Mount Massive with his tail between his legs and speeding along as though he had been shot from a catapult.” [16]

Hensley, Samuel and Oscar appeared in court a few days later and statements were taken. All the witnesses agreed that the instrument of the attack was a “steel poker” from a fireplace. Hensley claimed that he had ordered the small dog out of the restaurant on many occasions for at least a year, but it had continued to follow Oscar to his spot in the establishment. The restaurant owner claimed that he had originally intended to kill the dog with the poker, but turned it on Oscar when he laughed at the attempt. Crowe was also hit and was injured more heavily. At the end of the deliberation, Hensley was fined $50 and costs. The charges for his attack on Crowe were addressed in a later trial. [17]

Oscar, Samuel and John were again listed in the 1909 City directory as managers of the Installment store and yet another move was made further south down Harrison Avenue. That year the store was relocated to 312 Harrison Avenue. This would be the last year Oscar and John were in Leadville. Samuel married Lena Ecoff in Philadephia in 1909 according to a Pennsylvania marriage index. [18] This is substantiated by Lena’s presence in Leadville for the 1910 United States census; their residence that year was 218 West 6th Street. That same census lists John and Oscar as both residents of Ft. Collins. [19] Samuel is the only Tittman listed in the Leadville City Directory in 1910 and the sole proprietor of the Installment store. [20] In late October, he was listed as the Secretary of Temple Israel. [21 This would prove to be one of the final years during which Temple Israel existed as a congregation and also one of Samuel’s last in the Carbonate City.

Samuel appeared for a final time in the 1911 Leadville City Directory. The exact date Lena and Samuel departed Leadville is unknown; they were likely gone by the end of 1911. Samuel was drafted during the First World War and his draft card reveals he lived in Philadelphia by 1918. [22] He spent the remainder of his life in Pennsylvania until his death in 1940. His wife Lena died in 1962 and lived in and around the Philadelphia area until that year. Oscar lived in Colorado the remainder of his life, and was buried in the Rosehill Cemetery in Commerce City upon his death in 1950. The later movements of John are unknown.

1 1910 United States Census “Saml Tittman”
2 findagrave.com “Lena Ecoff Tittman”
3 1910 United State Census “John Tittman”
4 findagrave.com “Oscar Tittman”
5 1910 United States Census
6 “Personal Mention” Herald Democrat, April 4, 1906 p. 4
7 National Archives at Denver; Broomfield, Colorado; Naturalization Records, Colorado, 1876-1990
8 1907 Leadville City Directory p. 292
9 “Your Credit” Herald Democrat, July 8, 1907 p. 5
10 “Bound to District Court” Herald Democrat, August 29, 1907 p. 5
11 “District Court Session Three Cases Heard” Herald Democrat, January 22, 1908 p. 3
12 1908 Leadville City Directory p. 275
13 “Installment Store Moved” Herald Democrat, January 28, 1908 p. 5
14 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map 1895
15 “Society” Herald Democrat, March 29, 1908 p. 8
16 “Lunchers Sicken at Bloody Scene” Herald Democrat, July 26, 1908 p. 5
17 “Hensley Given Heavy Penalty” Herald Democrat, July 31, 1908 p. 4
18 Pennsylvania, Marriages, 1852-1968
19 1910 United States Census “Tittman”
20 1910 Leadville City Directory p. 258
21 “Annual Election of Officers” Herald Democrat, October 14, 1910 p. 5
22 Registration State: Pennsylvania; Registration County: Philadelphia; Roll: 1907645; Draft Board: 25



Ballenger, JH and Richards. “Ballenger & Richard’s Twenty-Fourth through Thirtieth 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 1905-1911”. Corbet and Ballenger and Richards Publishers. Leadville, CO; USA. 1905-1911


Records accessed via ancestry.com and findagrave.com

Year: 1910; Census Place: Leadville Ward 3, Lake, Colorado; Roll: T624_121; Page: 13A; Enumeration District: 0071; FHL microfilm: 1374134

Year: 1910; Census Place: Fort Collins Ward 4, Larimer, Colorado; Roll: T624_121; Page: 30A; Enumeration District: 0226; FHL microfilm: 1374134

Year: 1910; Census Place: Fort Collins Ward 2, Larimer, Colorado; Roll: T624_121; Page: 2B; Enumeration District: 0225; FHL microfilm: 1374134

National Archives at Denver; Broomfield, Colorado; Naturalization Records, Colorado, 1876-1990; ARC Title: Naturalization Cards, 1880 - 1906; NAI Number: 1307044; Record Group Title: Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, 1787 - 2004; Record Group Number: 85

Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Marriages, 1852-1968 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2016.

Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 21 December 2018), memorial page for Oscar Tittman (1882–27 Jul 1950), Find A Grave Memorial no. 132086253, citing Rose Hill Cemetery, Commerce City, Adams County, Colorado, USA ; Maintained by Mark S (contributor 46813597) .

Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 21 December 2018), memorial page for Lena Ecoff Tittman (1890–9 Jun 1962), Find A Grave Memorial no. 147133857, citing Har Nebo Cemetery, Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, USA ; Maintained by Crypt Tonight (contributor 48494116) .


Ford, Wm. L Collection. “Leadville, Colo, main street (Harrison) south 1937” Western History Collection, Denver Public Library, Denver, Colorado http://digital.denverlibrary.org/cdm/singleitem/collection/p15330coll22/id/1018/rec/2

Wolcott, Marion Post, photographer. Stores in old mining town. Leadville, Colorado. Colorado Lake County Leadville Leadville. United States, 1941. Sept. Photograph. https://www.loc.gov/item/2017808465/.

Newspapers accessed via coloradohistoricnewspapers.org:

Herald Democrat (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/Tittman
PUBLISHED BY: Temple Israel Foundation. Leadville CO; USA. 2018
STABLE URL: http://www.jewishleadville.org/tittman.html

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