Walpensky (or Walpansky)
The earliest mention of the Walpensky name (sometimes Walpansky) associated with an address in Leadville occurs with the 1906 city directory wherein is found Aaron renting at 201 West 6th Street and an “M. Walpansky, groceries, (at) 206 West 6th Street”. The relationship between the two is unknown although they shared the same vocation and it seems likely that they were close. By 1907 M. had disappeared. Aaron remained to live, sell groceries, and raise a family at his original address throughout his tenure in Leadville until 1917.
Aaron, born in Russia to “Russian-Yiddish” parents, had emigrated to America during 1886. He was a naturalized citizen, fluent in English, and on the 1st of April, 1900, had married Minnie Oliner, daughter of Herman and Hannah. Helen was born to the union during 1901 and Jacob the year after. Oddly, a Jacob Walpensky is listed in the 1909 city directory at the 201 West 6th Street address. Since seven year olds are not normally recorded in these volumes, it is possible that another, older Jacob was somehow related to Aaron. The anomaly recurs in 1912 when Jacob Walpansky, residing at 201 West 6th Street, is in business at 502 Harrison Avenue under the name of Walpansky & Son (A & J) selling “notions”. An eleven year old already in trade, but just for the one year.
Helen Walpenski with her grandparents Herman and Hannah Oliner about 1903.
The only other noticed event in the Walpensky saga concerned Aaron's mugging during a visit to Denver seeking a cure for an unspecified illness. On Friday January 3, 1913, Aaron was relieved of $935, mostly in bank drafts, and left with a headache from the assault near the intersection of Seventeenth and Glenarm Streets. Walpensky, according to Minnie, commonly traveled with large sums of money and her anxiety had been augmented by an attempted burglary at their store the preceding November 26, 1912.
Copyright 2018 • Temple Israel Foundation • Leadville, Colorado