Ethan Bennett Farnum owned and operated one the first general stores in Deadwood. He was also the town’s first mayor, helping Sheriff Seth Bullock tame the wild and wooly town. Being the first Mayor, School Board President and Justice of the Peace meant that Farnum was responsible for a lot of Deadwood’s firsts.
He sent the first telegram from Deadwood to the Mayor of Cheyenne, Wyoming. He helped establish the very first school and performed the town’s first marriage. He also levied taxes on business, established the first fire department and helped contain an outbreak of small pox by establishing a quarantine house. When the duties of the Mayor were split, Farnum ran for the position of Justice of the Peace. When he lost, he packed up his family and moved to Chicago.