Jewish American pioneers significantly contributed to the commercial development and establishment of responsible government in Deadwood. Gritty Jewish Westerners, such as Sol Star, arrived with his business partner Seth Bullock in the midst of the Gold Rush in 1876. The firm of Star & Bullock, located at Wall and Main Streets, proved to be one of the most prosperous in the Black Hills. Sol Star served as mayor of Deadwood for 14 years. Star established the Deadwood Flouring Mill with partners Ben Baer and Harris Franklin, two other early Jewish Deadwood pioneers. It was said that as long as Star was with the company, no one in Deadwood ever went hungry. The families of Harris Franklin and his son, Nathan Franklin (Deadwood's second Jewish mayor), Jacob Goldberg, Nathan Colman, Joseph Hattenbach, Ben Baer, Jacob Wertheimer, Sam Schwarzwald, Sidney Jacobs and many of their Jewish friends, took their places beside their non-Jewish neighbors in helping to tame the wild Dakota frontier.
The efforts of the Jewish business community helped bring prosperity, recognition and jobs to the region. Not only did they help build the town and helped rebuild it after its many fires and floods, but they also were able to convince the railroads that Deadwood was entitled to take its place as a major commercial center with a railroad link to the outside world.