Philip Drachman, Early Jewish Pioneer of Tucson in the Arizona Territory

Philip Drachman

Philip Drachman of Tucson, Arizona Territory, #WS1223

Philip Drachman of Tucson, Arizona Territory,

Values Codes I – E – L – P


Philip Drachman was born in 1833 in Piotrkow, Trbunalski, Lodz, Poland.

His siblings were Sam and Augusta (Mrs. Hyman Goldberg), both of whom played a role in his American adventure.


Along the way

Philip Drachman arrived in the United States in 1852, on same ship that carried members of the Goldwater family.

All were evading Russian military service, and escaped Eastern Europe via England.

Drachman found his way to San Bernardino, California to visit his sister Augusta, now Mrs. Hyman Goldberg. 


Arizona Territory

Philip Drachman then traveled with his cousin, Isaac Goldberg, to Tucson in 1857.

Drachman visited San Bernardino, California again in 1860 where he became an American Citizen.

While in Tucson, he followed his friends, the Goldwaters, east to the Colorado River.

In 1863, Philip Drachman was a member of the Colorado River Farming and Stock Raising Association.

The 1864 Territory Census shows P. Drachman having $1,000 in real estate and a personal estate of $4,000.

Drachman was the hired by A&L Zeckendorf to manage their Tucson store, specifically to sell remaindered goods.

He traveled the territory, by wagon a mule selling off excess inventory.

He would deposit Zeckendorf’s money in a Los Angeles bank — traveling at night to keep the gold and silver away from dangerous eyes.

In 1870 he had a store with Isaac Goldberg in Tucson called Goldberg & Drachman’s.

Downtown Tucson, Arizona Territory in 1874, #WS1275

Downtown Tucson, Arizona Territory in 1874, #WS1275

Philip Drachman and Isaac Goldberg, purchased land along the Colorado river at La Paz.

They merchandised to La Paz, Prescott and Tucson.

“Dry Goods consisting of Hats and Caps of every description. . . .  Cloaks, Shawls, Boots, Shoes. . . .  A large stock of old Rye Whiskey and the best California Wine and Brandy. . . .  A large stock of groceries, Butter, Honey, Cheese, and Dried Fruits which we offer for sale; wholesale and retail.”

— Advertisement for Drachman/Goldberg Tucson Store

They also did the freighting.

Government contracts needed to be filled.

This lasted until the Southern Pacific Railroad put a stop to “freighting,” convincing the government to use only the railroads.

In 1881 Philip Drachman ran a saloon called the Post Office Exchange, in Tucson – probably backed by the Zeckendorfs.

“Phil Drachman has filled up his new saloon in a costly manner.  The counter is inlaid with rare pictures, and the whole place has an air of tone and elegance.”  The Arizona Daily Star

In 1886, Drachman opened his own cigar store in Tucson.



Philip Drachman represented Pima County in the 3rd and 4th Arizona Territorial Legislatures in 1867, when it met in Prescott, Arizona.



Drachman was a charter member of the Society of Pioneers, in 1884.

Later, he was one of the founders of the B’nai B’rith Lodge in Tucson.

Drachman was also a member of Arizona Lodge No. 1 of the Ancient Order of United Workmen.



In 1868 Philip Drachman married Rosa Katzenstein in New York City.

The match was initiated by Rosa’s cousin, Louis Zeckendorf.

Children: Emanual, Albert, Esther, Harry, Rebecca, Lillian, Phyllis, Mose, Myra, and Minnie.

The 1900 Census shows 16 children born, with 10 living at the time.


Philip Drachman passed away from pneumonia in 1889, in Tucson, Arizona Territory.

Philip Drachman's Gravestone Plauque, #WS7639

Philip Drachman’s Gravestone Plauque, #WS7639

He was buried in Tucson with Masonic rites in the Masonic Plot of Evergreen Memorial Park Plot: Section – 17

“The death of Mr. Drachman has cast a gloom over the entire community, and many were the expressions of sorrow heard this morning, in the business houses and on the streets, when the sad news was announced . . .”

— The Weekly Citizen



  • Floyd S. Fierman, “Philip and Samuel H. Drachman and the Goldberg Brothers: Arizona Pioneer,” Western States Jewish History 31/2.
  • Rosa Drachman, “From New York to Tucson in 1868,” Western States Jewish History 22/1
  • Lyons Bettina O’neil, Zeckendorfs and Steinfelds, Merchant Princes of the American Southwest, Arizona Historical Society 2008, available at the Tucson Jewish Museum.

Regina Merwin is curator of this Philip Drachman exhibit.