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Mose Drachman: Arbuckles' Salesman of the Southwest

Posted by Josh Willis on

Mose Drachman:  Arbuckles' Salesman of the Southwest

Without a doubt, Mose Drachman of Tucson, Arizona, was the most colorful agent for Arbuckles' Coffee in the far flung Arbuckle Brothers' sales force.


Mos was born November 16, 1876.  Family finances forced him to go to work at an early age.  His first job at the age of eight was ringing a bell up and down Tucson streets crying an auction:  "Remate!  Remate! Zapatos muy barrato!" ("Auction!  Auction!  Shoes very cheap!")  He sold newspapers and worked in a gent's furnishing store owned By William Florsheim for three dollars a week. 


At the age of nine, Mose left school and started a five year stint in his Uncle Samuel Drachman's cigar store in the heart of Tucson's saloon and gambling district.  His next job was working for Julius Leiberman and Company, a wholesale dealer in Willcox, Arizona.  It was here that gambling changed his life.  One evening his employer caught him playing cards in a saloon.  The following morning he hailed Mose into his office:  "Instead of going around saloons playing cards, get yourself something to read; if you can't find anything else to read you see those copy books and invoice books there?  Well read them and you might learn something!"  Mose read and learned.  When he saw letters with such huge deposits of $50,000 and $100,000 it started him to thinking.  "Why wasn't he out doing something for himself rather than to be working for wages; so far as that was concerned he was not saving any money for he received a certain amount plus baord and sleeping quarters in the warehouse!"  He did send money to his mother. 

It made Mose disgusted with himself to think that he had accomplished so little.  Mose Drachman made up his mind right then to change his condition.


At that point, Mose resolved never again to work for someone else.  He quit his job, "jumped a freight train and landed in Tucson---broke."  He had noticed that one of the best selling items in the wholesale house was Arbuckles' Coffee.

Mose  was appointed Arbuckle Brothers' agent for the Territory of Arizona, a post he would hold for the next 21 years!  His first month's commission was a whopping eight dollars.  At the end of 1896 Mose received a check for $1200 dollars.  The Arbuckle Brothers had increased his commission and given him a bonus.  Mose got married in 1897. 

Later, his daughter wrote about he good times in the coffee business:

"Father certainly sold a world of coffee.  The evergrowing West was gulping up the java and most if was Arbuckle's.  Sometimes he'd come back from his trips with orders enough to make up 20 carloads, a whole train, Arbuckle's Ariosa.  He could barely keep up the demands.  The frantic telegrams would pour in...

"Out of Coffee!  Start another car!"

"Stock at Bowie Low!  Rush car!"

"Only seven cases on hand.  Is there anything in sight?"

"Last shipment just arrived, But We Need More!"


"Down the to the LAST CASE!"


Some months Father's commissions would amount to over $200, which for those days was tremendous.

Mose Drachman was an entrepreneur of the first order and an eternal optimist. 


To Be Continued...

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