STREET SMARTS

Herbert Avenue named for Drachman offspring

2012-10-30T00:00:00Z Herbert Avenue named for Drachman offspringDavid Leighton Special To The Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

Herbert Drachman was born in 1876 in Tucson to Samuel and Jennie Drachman at a time when the Old Pueblo was still part of the Old West.

He grew up with his cousin Harry Arizona Drachman, who is said to be the first Anglo born in Tucson.

Toward the end of the 1800s, Herbert journeyed by stagecoach to Berkeley, Calif., where he studied at the University of California for five years. After graduating, he returned home and worked in his father's cigar store downtown. He also became active in athletics, with a particular fondness for baseball.

In 1909, after 10 years of business and civic duty, he went to San Francisco and founded a curio shop.

After the death of his father, he returned home in 1916 and set up a real estate and insurance company in which he flourished and was active until his death in the spring of 1937. He was married to Eda Drachman and had a stepson, Richard Drachman, who worked with him in his real estate and insurance business.

In 1934, he spearheaded a campaign to save the Orndorff Hotel downtown, but the landmark fell the following year to make room for a parking lot.

He spent more than two decades aiding the Tucson Chinese colony, the Yaqui Indians of Pascua Village and in many other civic activities. He also advocated against attempts to legalize gambling but seemed most proud of being a member of Tucson's first volunteer fire department - he often showed off pictures of himself and other firefighters.

According to a file at the Arizona Historical Society, his father purchased the block between Broadway, Fifth Avenue and Ochoa Street for $48 around 1880 and named the street to the east Herbert Avenue after his son.

Sources:

"It Must Not Come Down," Arizona Daily Star, May 1934

"Herbert Drachman, Pioneer Tucsonian, Is Taken By Death," Tucson Citizen, October 1937

"Death Reaches Local Pioneer," Arizona Daily Star, October 1937

"An Old Timer and Gambling," Arizona Daily Star, February 1937

Editor's note

Each week the Star tells the stories behind Tucson street names. If you have streets to suggest or stories to share, contact writer David Leighton at streetsmarts@azstarnet.com

Special thanks to Phillip Drachman of Drachman Insurance Services.

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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