Western Life

Solomon Star

Solomon Star was a famous politician and businessman in the late 1800s and early 1900s. He was a German-American businessman who turned into a politician in Deadwood South Dakota. He was honest, influential and had a strong character, and is included as one of the leaders of America due to his work and time he gave to the country

Solomon Star or as he was called Sol Star was born in Brava, Germany and moved to Ohio when he was 10 years old. In 1876, he and his partner Seth Bullock were attracted to the fortune of Deadwood and started a hardware store. This was because of the booming business caused by the gold rush in the area. They purchased from men like Al Swearengen and opened the office of Star and Bullock which was an office of auctioneers and commission merchants. Later, they expanded to livestock and even franchised in various other cities.

The two men contributed heavily to the economic development of the region. They convinced the rail road commission of Missouri to build a track through their land. Rather than a speculator, who bought right of way, they offered free lots to those who were willing to move home to where the check post was created. The town they founded was called Belle Fourche and at that time it became the leading and the largest railhead for livestock in the US.

Between 1877 and 1917, Star served as the mayor, post master and town councilman of Deadwood. He held the office of mayor for 5 terms which lead a local producer of tobacco to name one of his products after him. He was an officer of a Masonic Temple, a Knight of Pythias, and supported organisations like the “order of red men” which encouraged equality for all working men. He was a prominent and strong member of the Jewish community in Deadwood and was known for his generosity. He gave to needy families in Russia and Europe and was known for his work in his community. His goodness shows when he tried to win the trust of Chinese men in his community when they were considered second class citizens.

However, a scandal was raised which claimed misappropriation of government money while he was postmaster. This caused a lot of trouble in the community and ultimately Star stepped down from his position. Later, he was acquitted from the crime and did no wrong. He then tried to work on his image of a good, hardworking and honest citizen of the community.

Star’s funeral was the largest and grandest funeral in Deadwood. Star’s body was transported to St. Louis where he was laid to rest in Mount Sinai Cemetery. Star was an intriguing, honest and good man that led the American people in Deadwood. His contribution to the economic status of the country at the time is exemplary and his good nature of helping people around him showed people the kind of leader he was.

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