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Jewish Consumptive Relief Society, Denver, Colorado, 1904-1940

Compiled by Terry Lasky

This surname index contains 7,190 patients at the Jewish Consumptive Relief Society (JCRS) in Denver, Colorado, 1904-1940. At this time, additional patients 1940-1954 have not yet been included but can be accessed directly through the University of Denver Beck Archives.

The Jewish Genealogical Society of  Colorado (JGSCO) was awarded the IAJGS Stern Award to increase visibility of and access to this collection in 2003.

The Jewish Consumptive Relief Society (JCRS) was founded in Denver, Colorado in 1904 as a non-sectarian sanatorium to treat tuberculosis (TB) patients in all stages of the disease. It was the second Jewish tb hospital in Denver at the time; the first was National Jewish Hospital, which primarily catered to the German-American Jewish community.

JCRS was founded by a group of immigrant Eastern European Jewish men, many who were themselves victims of TB. For decades, patients flocked to Denver from throughout North America and were admitted free of charge. This hospital catered primarily to Jewish patients in a kosher environment with Yiddish and English communication. In 1954, the institution changed its mission to cancer research, becoming the American Medical Center.

The collection is of significant genealogical importance. A standard patient file often includes multiple applications, landsmanshaften affiliation, and personal correspondence between the hospital, patient, and the patient's family in other American and Canadian cities. There are often names and addresses of relatives, ages of a patient's children, Denver burial location, and the patient's birth city. The earliest death dates in the collection are of importance since the State of Colorado did not always issue death certificates at the turn of the twentieth century, potentially making the JCRS patient file the only record of death.

The index includes:

  1. SURNAME: patient surname
  2. GIVEN NAME: patient given name
  3. NAME VAR: other patient surnames
  4. SEX: male or female
  5. ADMIT AGE: age at which patient was admitted
  6. BIRTH CITY: patient's birth city
  7. BIRTH STATE: patient's birth state
  8. BIRTH COUNTRY: patient's birth country
  9. WHEN CAME TO USA: patient's immigration date
  10. OCCUPATION: patient's occupation
  11. CONTRACTED CITY: city where patient contracted TB
  12. CONTRACTED STATE: state where patient contracted TB
  13. CONTRACTED COUNTRY: country where patient contracted TB
  14. CIVIL COND: marital status

This index only contains a portion of each patient's available data, and only patients from 1904 through 1940 are included in the index. Once a person has been identified in the index, a full patient file can be requested through the Beck Archives at the University of Denver, by contacting Thyria Wilson at Thyria.Wilson@du.edu. Patients who were in the hospital after 1940 can only be researched by directly contacting Thyria Wilson. 

This database was put together over many years by dedicated Jewish Genealogical Society of Colorado volunteers including Myndel Cohen z’’l, Ann Fendrich, Ellen Kowitt, Terry Lasky, Eileen Price, Ed Richard z’’l, and Rita Jo Tensly, as well as Thyria Wilson of the DU Beck Archives staff. Many thanks to all.

As of July 2020, a direct link to the database housed at the University of Denver is https://jcrs.library.du.edu/jcrs.

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