The Franklins’ Fine Home in Deadwood: An Historical Marker

The Franklins’ Fine Home in Deadwood


From the Historical Marker Below . . . .


Harris Franklin, his wife Anna, and son Nathan arrived in Deadwood, Dakota Territory, in 1877.

A Jewish immigrant from humble beginnings, Harris Franklin earned his fortune through the wholesale liquor business and gradually diversified into cattle, gold mining and banking.

Between 1883 and 1890, the Franklins purchased four parcels of land in order to build their lovely home with all the modern amenities.

In 1891, Harris and Anna Franklin commissioned Simeon D. Eisendrath, a Jewish architect from Chicago, to design their home.

While the Queen-Anne-style house was being built, a local newspaper reporter wrote:

“When completed the residence will equal in point of beauty anything of its kind west of Omaha.”

That the house was the focus of considerable attention and admiration is apparent by the many news articles written about the house.

The Franklin’s house was centrally heated, plumbed with hot and cold running water, and lighted by electricity; servants were summoned by electric bells, and the owners communicated by telephone – the beautiful ideal of a modern American house in any urban center.

The Franklin’s moved into their elegant residence, in 1893, and immediately began entertaining, including hosting a party for their only child, Nathan, who married Ada F. Keller, on September 14, of that same year

A mere three years later, Anna Franklin hired the Chicago firm of Mitchell & Halbach to redecorate the interior of the house.

Soon after the house redecoration was completed, Anna’s health began to fail, and on January 10, 1902, she died.

Three years after Anna’s death, Harris Franklin sold the home for a token $1 to Nathan and Ada.

Like his father, Nathan Franklin was an important businessman and community leader.

In addition to owning the Palace Pharmacy, he was President of First National Bank.

Nathan and Ada Franklin raised their only child, Anna Mildred (b. 1894) in the elegant home at 22 Van Buren Street.

Like their parents, the younger Franklins continued to entertain in the home and also made improvements to the interior, in 1904.

In 1914, and again in 1916, Nathan Franklin was elected Mayor of Deadwood.

At the conclusion of his second term in 1918, Nathan and Ada made plans to move to New York City to be closer to their daughter Mildred and father Harris Franklin.

The home passed from the hands of the Franklin family on June 12, 1920, when they sold their fine Deadwood home to William E. and Alice Adams for $8,500.

The Franklins' Fine Home in Deadwood, #WS7613

The Franklins’ Fine Home in Deadwood,

This Historical Marker was created by the Deadwood Historic Preservation Commission and the Jewish American Society for Historic Preservation.