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S O L O M O N "SOL"   S T A R

Sol Star
The original
SOLOMON "SOL" STAR
1840-1917

Compare with
the HBO
character

Biography of Sol Star
Born: December 20, 1840 in Bavaria Germany
Died: October 10, 1917
Buried: New Mount Sinai Cemetery & Mausoleum, Affton, St. Louis County, Missouri [see note of thanks at bottom]

(Sections published 1901)
Some men have a genius for popularity. With no effort on their part they become a sort of social or political center frm which there seems to radiate an aroma of good fellowship, permeating the entire community. Frank and generous; genial in disposition; every ready with a helping hand for a fellow in distress; jovial and social, yet, in serious matters keen and penetrating; sound in judgment; full of resources in emergency; energy unbounded, and a public spirit ready for war in the interests of his town, country, or state. These are some of the characteristics of a naturally popular man.

The combination is not common, it is true, but it exists now and then, as if to demostrate the possibilities of human nature. Solomon Star, of Deadwood, S.D., comes very near to this ideal, if his fellow-citizens who know him best are fair in their estimate of him.

He writes his name "Sol," and is known everywhere as "Sol" Star. He came to the Black Hills in 1876 with a stock of good and settled in Deadwood as a merchant. From the very outset, with no public desire on his part, he became a leader. No public gathering was complete without his presence; no enterprise began without his active influence; no delegation left the "Hills" to a convention but Sol. Star was the animating spirit and "set the pace." Without assuming superior wisdom or ability, he was spontaneously accorded a leadership, if not even a guiding hand. He never sought to use his popularity for his personal advantage, but for his friends he was a great power.

His peculiar influence in the Black Hills spread his name throughout the territory of Dakota, from Bismark to Yankton. Solomon Star was born in Bavaria, Germany, in 1840. He came to this country when young and received a good academic education, although he is not "college bred." He is a stalwart Republican. He has filled numerous positions of honor and trust with fidelity and credit. He was appointed by President Grant receiver of the United States land office in Montana territory. He was also auditor of the same territory. He was postmaster of Deadwood under President Garfield. He was mayor of the city of Deadwood for thirteen years--a very remarkable career in a western city. It is doubtful if a parallel run can be found in the history of the Northwest. It is likewise strong testimony to his executive ability and integrity.

He was chairman of the first state Republican convention, when the state of South Dakota was admitted to the Union. He was also state auditor of South Dakota. In 1898 he was elected clerk of the circuit and county courts of Lawrence county, S.D., and was re-elected in 1900, receiving the highest vote and largest majority. Mr. Star is unmarried.

Although his interest in public affairs has been so conspicuous, his activity in fraternal affairs has been scarecely less marked. He is a member of the popular Olypmic club of Deadwood. He is a member of the Masonic order in which he has reached the thirty-second degree. He is also a Knight of Pythias and a member of the order of Red Men, as well as a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen. This brief epitome of Mr. Star's career gives only a meager idea of his strong personality, which has drawn to him in close friendship more associates than it is the good fortune of many men to enjoy. He is just in the prime of life, and whatever good fortune the future has in store for him, there are but few, if any, of whatever social or politicial position, high or low degree, but will rejoice in his success [1901].

US CENSUS RECORDS:
1900 > SOUTH DAKOTA > LAWRENCE > 3-WD DEADWOOD Series: T623 Roll: 1551 Page: 196
STAR, Sol Head W M Dec 1840 59 single Bavaria, Bavaria, Bavaria, immigrated 1850, living here 50 years, Broker, Real Estate
------------------------
1910 > SOUTH DAKOTA > LAWRENCE > 3-WD DEADWOOD Series: T624 Roll: 1483 Page: 102
Star, Solomon, Head W M 69 single Ger-Yiddish, Ger-Yiddish, Ger-Yiddish, immigrated 1850, Clerk of Courts, Lawrence County

SEE more photographs and drawings of the real Sol Star


Links

Sol Star - from Adams Museum web site

Sol Star - from Wikipedia

Solomon Star - Legends of America

Sol Star, the first Jewish mayor of Deadwood - The Jerusalem Post

Synagogue of the Hills, A Brief History

John Hawkes - the actor who plays Sol Star on HBO-Deadwood (acting career) from TV.com

         Information Sources

1. The Great Northwest and its Men of Progress, published under the personal supervision of Hugh J. McGrath and William Stoddard; edited by G.W.G. Hyde and Wiliam Stoddard; Minneapolis, The Minneapolis Journal, 1901, page 218-219
2. Encyclopedia of South Dakota, by Doane Robinson, First Edition, Pierre, S.D., 1925; page 669-670
3. My thanks to Jonathan Cardozo for pointing out that Solomon Star was buried in St. Louis, Missouri, NOT in South Dakota.



  
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