The Goldsmith Family
The Goldsmith family, originally from Germany, faced the challenges and rewards of being true Jewish pioneers in New Mexico. Clara Straus Goldsmith was the first Jewish (and possibly the first white) girl born in Denver. Her mother, Clara, died in childbirth and she was largely raised by her Uncle Abe and Aunt Rosa Goldsmith (originally Goldschmidt), whose farm was flooded by the waters of Cripple Creek. The Goldsmiths then settled in Las Vegas, New Mexico. Clara married Sam Bowman, a Jew and newspaperman. They had three children before he passed away. Then, Clara married a French Jew named Nathan Weil, who rode the range in Texas before settling down in Colorado and then New Mexico. Nathan eventually became a very successful merchant, sheep raiser and dealer, farmer, and the “Patron” of Ocate, a village north of Las Vegas. The fascinating and rich history of the Goldsmiths and related families was provided by Dorothy Bernheim Shipman, the granddaughter of Nathan and Clara Weil, and Robin Berry, the great granddaughter of Sam Bowman and Clara Straus Goldsmith.