“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Leavenworth in Leavenworth County, Kansas — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)

The Landing Retail District

“Our Jewish Heritage”


—Historic Wayside Tour #8 —

The Landing Retail District Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., August 12, 2011
1. The Landing Retail District Marker
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
The Landing Retail District Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., August 12, 2011
2. The Landing Retail District Marker
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.
Erected by City of Leavenworth. (Marker Number 8.)
Location. 39° 19.112′ N, 94° 54.683′ W. Marker is in Leavenworth, Kansas, in Leavenworth County. Marker is on Delaware Street near 3rd Street, on the left when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 213 Delaware Street, Leavenworth KS 66048, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Landing (a few steps from this marker); Ackenhausen Saddlery Company Building (within shouting distance of this marker); The First Bank in Kansas (within shouting distance of this marker); Manufacturing Metropolis of the Midwest (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); General William Tecumseh Sherman (about 500 feet away); Law Offices of Sherman, Ewing, and McCook (about 500 feet away); The Great Railroad Era (about 500 feet away); Leavenworth's Union Depot (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Leavenworth.
Regarding The Landing Retail District. The marker is one of a series of audio historic wayside markers - push a button on the marker and the narration (transcribed above) is given.
Also see . . .
1. Oldest Kansas Temple Found in Leavenworth. (Submitted on December 26, 2011, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. Leavenworth County Podcast Series. (Submitted on December 26, 2011, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
3. Jewish Families of Leavenworth of the Old Time (1925). (Submitted on December 26, 2011, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
4. History of Mount Zion Cemetery, Leavenworth County KS. (Submitted on December 26, 2011, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
Categories. Industry & CommerceSettlements & Settlers
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on December 25, 2011, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 326 times since then and 2 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on December 26, 2011, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.
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