Birth: March 6, 1870 in Syracuse, New York, USA
Death: April 21, 1905 in Victoria, B.C.
Moses Hamburger, often called Morris was the eldest child in a family of three. His parents were both born in Bavaria. Not long after his birth, his parents moved to Madison, Wisconsin where in 1871 his brother Harry and in 1874 sister Fanny were born. Their mother, Letta Koch Hamburger, died on February 20, 1876 in Madison. Their father, David, died on August 3, 1894 in New York.
According to the 1901 Canadian Census, Morris immigrated to Canada in 1890. The next reliable record of Morris’ life is his marriage to Ella Leiser on March 6, 1894 in Victoria. Ella was the eldest daughter of Caroline and prominent businessman, Simon Leiser. The young couple moved to Wellington, now Nanaimo so that so that Morris could manage his father-in-law’s business. Known as Leiser and Hamburger they sold an array of goods both retail and wholesale. The business was later moved to Ladysmith, B.C. Simon and Morris were plaintiffs in over 30 law suits on file with the Nanaimo Supreme Court.
In 1894 St. John’s Masonic Lodge, No.21 was formed in the Dunsmuir coal mining town of Wellington. It later relocated to Ladysmith. Morris was a member.
On January 30, 1895 their daughter Norma Jenetta Hamburger Lobe (1895–1966) was born in Wellington. Their son Gustave Leiser Hamburger (1897–1974) was born on March 6, 1897; also in Wellington.
By 1898 Morris was sent to Dawson with a consignment of goods from his father-in-law’s business. It’s not clear how long Morris was in Dawson. At some point the family moved back to Victoria where, on June 13, 1900, their daughter Adele Gella Hamburger Levy (1900–1971) was born.
According to the 1901 Canadian Census, the Hamburger family was living with Ella’s parents, siblings, and two Chinese servants at the Leiser residence then on Pandora Road. It also records that Morris became a Naturalized Canadian in 1896.
Morris died at the age of 35 on April 21, 1905 at Simon Leiser’s home. The Daily Times reported that Morris had been ill for ‘some time’. His illness was blamed on a cold that he got while traveling over ice to Dawson. He made the trip so that he could give testimony at a murder trial.
The funeral for Morris took place at the home of Simon Leiser. It was well attended. Numerous bouquets of flowers were sent. Many paid tribute, including members of the Masonic Lodge in Ladysmith. Victoria Lodge No.1 lead a march to the cemetery where Masonic rites were given. Dr. Hartman conducted the Jewish services both at the residence and at the cemetery.
Gravesite Details: Row E – Plot 59
March 6, 1870
April 21, 1905
Letta Koch Hamburger (1846–1876)
David J Hamburger (1835–1894)
Harry Hamburger (1871–1956)
Fanny Cook Hamburger (1874–1955)
Ella Leiser Hamburger
Norma Jenetta Hamburger Lobe (1895–1966)
Gustave Leiser Hamburger (1897–1974)
Adele Gella Hamburger Levy (1900–1971)
Vancouver Island Masonic History Project