Jewish Consumptive Relief Society, Denver, Colorado,
This database contains records of 7,190 patients at the
Jewish Consumptive Relief Society (JCRS) in Denver, Colorado,
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.
The society was founded by a group of immigrant Eastern European
Jewish men, many of whom were themselves victims of TB.
For decades, patients flocked to Denver from all over North America
and were admitted free of charge. In the early years, the
sanatorium was headed by Dr. Charles Spivak as secretary (1904-1927)
and Phillip Hillkowitz as president (1904-1948) and catered primarily
to Jewish patients in a distinctly Jewish environment.
In 1954, the institution changed its mission to cancer research,
becoming the American Medical Center.
The collection, housed at the University of Denver Penrose Library,
includes correspondence, patient records, minutes, reports, and
photographs from 1904 through 1973. The JCRS records shed
light on issues of tuberculosis treatment and medical history,
immigration and acculturation, the growth and development of
Colorado's Jewish Community, and women's history.
The collection is of significant genealogical importance.
A standard patient's file often includes the original application,
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 the 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, making the JCRS patient file the only record of death
in some cases.
The index is composed of a number of columns of information,
all taken directly from the individual patient files:
- SURNAME: patient surname
- GIVEN NAME: patient given name
- NAME VAR: other patient surnames
- SEX: male or female
- ADMIT AGE: age at which patient was admitted
- BIRTH CITY: patient's birth city
- BIRTH STATE: patient's birth state
- BIRTH COUNTRY: patient's birth country
- WHEN CAME TO USA: patient's immigration date
- OCCUPATION: patient's occupation
- CONTRACTED CITY: city where patient contracted TB
- CONTRACTED STATE: state where patient contracted TB
- CONTRACTED COUNTRY: country where patient contracted TB
- CIVIL COND: marital status
This index only contains a portion of each patient's available data.
Only patients from 1904 through 1940 are included in the index.
Once a person has been identified in the index, one needs to go to the
Library search engine and locate that patient name and PID number in the official site. The full patient file can then 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.
Information about dates of admittance and release, children of
the patient, notes about family members, burial information and all
correspondence between the doctors, the patients and their families
is not included in the index. All of this information is
available through the Beck Archives of the Penrose library, in
Collection B002. Only those records from 1904 through 1940
are included, due to privacy constraints that require 70 years before
the records can be released.
This database was put together by volunteers from the Jewish
Genealogical Society of Colorado and the staff of the Beck Archives.
The project was coordinated by Terry Lasky.
Last Update: 4 Apr 2018 MT