Samuel H. Drachman: Tobacco Merchant and Jewish Community Leader of Early Tucson

Samuel H. Drachman

Samuel H. Drachman, Tucson, AZ, #WS1224

Samuel H. Drachman, Tucson, AZ, #WS1224

Values Codes I – E – L – P


Samuel H. Drachman was born, in 1837, in Petrikev, near Lodz, in Russian occupied Poland.

After arriving in New York, in 1845, Drachman worked in the city for a while and then traveled to Charleston, South Carolina.

When the civil war broke out, Drachman served in the Confederate Army as a Major on the staff of General P.G.T. Boauregard.


Arizona Territory

Samuel H. Drachman arrived in Tucson in 1867, a town of about 1,000 people, where he joined his brother, Philip Drachman.

He engaged in merchandising for his first six years in Tucson.

Then he became a government contractor for the next 12 years.

Samuel H. Drachman carried mail between Tucson and Las Crusces, New Mexico for a while and, in 1870, was the agent for the mail line between Tucson and Santa Fe, New Mexico.

In 1885, he entered the wholesale and retail business in cigars, tobacco, and smokers’ articles.

His store was noted as the leading establishment of its kind in Tucson.

In his store, Drachman was the agent for the principal lottery companies in the United States, notably the great Louisiana State Lottery of New Orleans, as well as other Mexican lotteries.

Drachman also worked as an insurance agent, representing Traders and Travelers Accident Company of New York, and as a railroad ticket broker, having tickets on hand for all traveling needs.


In later years Samuel H. Drachman opened a second tobacco shop, in Phoenix.

“Mr. Drachman is one of our most popular and respected citizens, and has always taken an active part in the affairs of the city and county in which he has lived, and has held several important offices.” Arizona Daily Citizen, 1890



For two years, Samuel H. Drachman served as a member of Tucson’s Common Council.

In 1874, he was elected to represent Pima County in the Legislative Assembly of the Territory.

Drachman was heavily involved in the development of the Tucson school system.

“Drachman contributed much to education. . . . ‘Public education in Tucson owes Mr. Drachman a great debt, for during the nine years of his service as school trustee, he achieved great and lasting results doing work which still stands as a memorial to him.’ ”

— Arizona: The Youngest State



Samuel H. Drachman was a charter member of both the Arizona Historical Society, and the Masonic Order of Tucson.



A devout Jew, Drachman performed rituals in Hebrew at religious ceremonies such as weddings, since there were no Rabbis in either Tucson or Phoenix, until the early 1900s.



Samuel H. Drachma married Jenny Migal, in 1875, in San Bernardino, California.

The couple had three children; Herbert, Lucille, and Myrtle.



Herbert Avenue in Tucson is named after Herbert Drachman, one of his sons.


Samuel H. Drachman passed away in 1911.


  • “Samuel Drachman: Arizona Pioneer,” Western States Jewish History 20/1.