Deadwood’s Hebrew Hill (Mt. Zion) Cemetery Historical Marker

Deadwood’s Jewish Cemetery, Hebrew Hill


From the Historical Marker Below . . . .

Deadwood is recognized as the site of the first organized Jewish Community in South Dakota.

On August 28, 1892, the Hebrew Cemetery Association became the first organization to purchase a section of land in Mount Moriah Cemetery.

The section is located higher up on Jerusalem Ave., to the right.

Hebrew Hill, or Mt. Zion, as it was known in the Jewish Community, holds the graves of some of Deadwood’s many respected Pioneering Jewish citizens: among those are members of the Franklin, Colman, Schwarzwald, Wertheimer, Blumenthal, and Jacobs families.

Together with their non-Jewish brethren, they contributed significantly to the civic, commercial, and the social life of early Deadwood, helping to stabilize and develop the community.


Harris Franklin, a Black Hills Pioneer, was born Harris Finkelstein in Prussia.

His Deadwood interests included mining, banking, and cattle ranching.

His son, Nathan, served two terms as Deadwood’s second Jewish Mayor.

Harris Franklin died in 1923; his eulogy noted, “He was never known to foreclose a mortgage.”


Blanche Colman, who was born in Deadwood, became the second woman from the Black Hills to be admitted to the South Dakota Bar, 1911.

Her father, Judge Nathan Colman, was Deadwood’s life-long elected justice of the peace and lay Rabbi for the Jewish community for many years.

The Black Hills Daily Times, on endorsing the reelection of Judge Colman wrote, “If you want an honest (man) elect Judge Colman.  He is no slouch. . . . He is a Western man.”

Deadwoods Jewish Cemetery, The Hebrew Hills, #WS7621

Deadwoods Jewish Cemetery, The Hebrew Hills, #WS7621

This Historical marker was created by the Deadwood Historic Preservation Commission and the Jewish American Society for Historic Preservation: