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100 N. 5th St.
Leavenworth, KS 66048
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The Landing Retail District (#8)

Directions

From 4th Street (7 Hwy), turn east on Delaware to the 200 block. The wayside is on the north side of the block, midway through the 200 block.

About This Location

Historic Wayside Tour #8
The Landing Retail District - "Our Jewish Heritage"
 
 
Leavenworth - Gateway to the West and Headquarters of the Department of the Missouri - was the supply base for settlers and emigrants to the vast region lying west to the Pacific Ocean. Selected because of the excellence of its site, the navigability of the Missouri River and the protection offered by the military stationed at the nearby Fort, merchandise and commodities of every type and description arriving by boats from the east were deposited at the Landing. Upon receipt goods were loaded on wagon trains and later on railroads moving westward or transferred to nearby retail and wholesale business locations for storage and sale. By 1870, Leavenworth, with a population of over 25 thousand, the largest city between St. Louis and the Pacific Ocean, was a major commercial center with a paved levee at the river bank, miles of graded and macadamized streets and long rows of three and four story brick and iron buildings along Cherokee, Shawnee and Delaware Streets.

A diverse group, men and women, both native and foreign born, some acting on their own behalf and others as agents of eastern business houses, arrived at the Leavenworth Landing attracted by the opportunities presented by the commercial activity. Prominent among the entrepreneurs settling here, dedicated to making Leavenworth the most important business community west of St. Louis, were many Jewish merchants, mostly well educated immigrants, from Central Europe - Germany, Austria and Hungary. While men of different ethnic backgrounds engaged in various occupations and professions, the Jews of Leavenworth predominated in selling clothing and dry goods ordered ready made from eastern establishments or tailored in Leavenworth from bolts of fabric. Many were quite successful, playing important roles in the growth and development of Leavenworth, serving in numerous public and charitable positions.

Among the more prominent Jewish merchants were Simon Abeles, George Einstein, Simon Kohn, Philip Rothschild, Jonas Wollman and Samuel Woolf. Jews of Leavenworth were elected to City Council, appointed to City offices, participated in organizing the Free State Party, and served as officers of the Board of Trade, Mercantile Library, Hook & Ladder Society and Masonic Lodges. Colonel R. N. Hershfield, a jeweler, commanded the Leavenworth Militia during General Price's incursion into western Missouri in September 1864.

These early merchants built a Jewish community, established a Jewish cemetery, founded Congregation Bnai Jeshurun and organized a B'nai Brith Lodge. They were proud of their city and wanted Leavenworth to be an integral part of their lives and the lives of their children. As enthusiastic volunteer civic leaders the Jews of Leavenworth generously contributed their time, effort and money to their community. They personified what America and Leavenworth offered to the diverse ethnic and religious groups settling here. They met the challenges presented and they prospered, always giving back to the community that had provided them opportunities found nowhere else but in America. The Jews of Leavenworth Landing are forever an important part of the history of this community.

Amenities

  • Wayside

Contact Information

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