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Jacob Hait Papers, 1863-1931

Ms. Collection no. 249

Including records of Jewish organizations in Leavenworth (microfilm roll MS 1678)



Remarkably little is known about Jacob Hait. We do not know when he was born or when or where he died. Even the date of his arrival at Leavenworth, Kansas, is not known for sure. It is assumed that Hait was a member of B’nai Jeshurun, though his name does not appear in any of the congregational records in this collection. By 1891 he had established a furniture store in Leavenworth, which he (or members of his family) operated at least until 1931.

Scope and Content

This collection includes record books of B’nai Jeshurun, the Conservative Jewish congregation established in Leavenworth in 1859. The record book in this collection begins in 1863 and continues up to 1868. According to the American Jewish Archives, B’nai Jeshurun applied to be chartered in 1864, five years after its initial formation. Records for this congregation are few, as most were destroyed by fire, according a 1961 Kansas Centennial Commemoration booklet. Congregation B’nai Jeshurun dissolved in the mid 1970s.

This collection also contains receipt books for the Jewish men’s fraternity, the Independent Order of B’nai B’rith, Sholem Lodge, No. 78. Established in Leavenworth in 1866, it was the first B’nai B’rith chapter in Kansas. Another ledger book, for the Sons of Truth - an organization that administered a Jewish cemetery - is a part of this collection. The records for both organizations cover the latter part of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

These items are valuable not only because of their rarity, but because they reveal the actions and decisions made by a significant ethnic group in Leavenworth, Kansas, during the time of its early history.

In addition to the Jewish records, the collection contains business ledgers for the Jacob Hait Furniture Company from 1892 until 1931. These records consist of bookkeeping ledgers and do not appear on the microfilm.

Contents List

Items marked with an asterisk (*) appear on microfilm MS 1678. The microfilm is available through interlibrary loan.

Box 1 *Jewish Organizations-Records:
Folder 1 *B'nai Jeshurun. Congregational Record Book, 1863-1868.
Folder 2 *Independent Order of B'nai B'rith, Sholem Lodge, No. 78. Receipt books, 1887 - 1913
Folder 3 *Sons of Truth-Receipt Book, 1896-1916.
Box 2 Personal phone numbers books:
  Bank Books-First National Bank of Leavenworth:
  Hait Furniture Company:
  Receipt books:
  1931 (2 volumes).
  Ledger books:
Box 3 1894-1896
  Oversize Ledger books:

Notes on the Microfilm Copy

The microfilm, roll MS 1678, contains Jewish congregational and fraternal organization records, being one part of the Jacob Hait Papers, 1863-1931. This collection is in the possession of the Library and Archives Division, Kansas State Historical Society.

Notice: This material may be protected by copyright law (Title 17, U. S. Code). The user is cautioned that the publication of the contents of this microfilm may be construed as constituting a violation of literary property rights. These rights are derived from the principle of common law, affirmed in the 1976 copyright act, that the writer of an unpublished letter or other manuscript has the sole right to publish the contents thereof for the duration of the copyright. Unless he or she affirmatively parts with that right, the right descends to his or her legal heirs regardless of the ownership of the physical manuscript itself. It is the responsibility of an author or his or her publisher to secure permission of the owner of literary rights in unpublished writing.

Linear feet of shelf space: 3.6

Additional Information for Researchers


The donor of this collection is unknown.

Preferred Citation

Citations referring to this collection should include Jacob Hait papers, 1863- 1931, ms. collection no. 249, Library and Archives Division, Kansas State Historical Society.

Prepared for microfilming by

Robert A. McInnes, 1994.