Samuel Cohen: Early Jewish Pioneer and Merchant of Montana

Samuel Cohen

Values Codes I – E – L


Samuel Cohen was born in 1837, in New York City.

After working for seven years in the jewelry and brush making trade, Cohen headed West in search of new opportunities.


Along the way . . . .

Samuel Cohen opened the first clothing and men’s furnishings firm in Bannack, Montana.

He opened a second store in Virginia City, Montana.

After the stock market panic of the 1870s, the Cohens headed to Leadville, Colorado’s mining town.

There, Samuel opened another clothing store there.


Helena, Montana

Eventually, Samuel Cohen moved to Helena, Montana.

He opened a store and stayed for twenty years.

Main Street, Helena MT, 1879, vintage postcard


In 1872, Samuel Cohen married Yetta Posnanski in New York.

Samuel and Yetta Cohen’s son, Lew Allen Cohen, worked for the Sands Brothers Dry Goods Store, eventually becoming President of the firm.

Lew married Yetta Feldberg, daughter of another Helena, Montana pioneer.



Samantha Silver is our Curator for this Samuel Cohen Exhibit.