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KRAKAUER, ADOLPH (1846–1914). Adolph Krakauer, pioneer merchant, was born in Fürth, Bavaria, on May 23, 1846, the son of Joel and Babette (Elsasser) Krakauer. He was educated in the Latin schools and graduated from the Royal Commercial College of Fürth in 1862. He immigrated to New York in 1865 and was employed as a clerk there. In 1869 he moved to San Antonio, Texas, where he went to work for Louis Zork, a leading merchant. He married Zork's daughter Ada and became a member of the firm. Though he was presumably well established, he chose to move to El Paso in 1875, at a time when the town's population was listed as seventy-five Mexicans and twenty-five Anglos. There he clerked in the firm of Sam Schutz and Son and became manager when the business was sold; later he became a partner. In 1885 he sold his interest in the firm and organized the firm of Krakauer, Zork, and Moye with his brother-in-law, Gustave Zork. The company became a leading wholesale hardware dealer in the Southwest, with a branch in Chihuahua, Mexico. Krakauer also became president of Two Republic Life Insurance Company, the Krakauer-Zork Investment Company, and the Mountainside Realty Company and director of the First National Bank and the Rio Grande Valley Banking and Trust Company. He also owned extensive real estate in El Paso. He served as county commissioner and alderman and was elected mayor as a Republican after a bitter election campaign in 1889. He never assumed the office, for it was discovered he had not taken out his final citizenship papers. Krakauer was a leader in Jewish community activities and served as president of Temple Mount Sinai. He spoke fluent Spanish. He died of a heart attack in El Paso in January 21, 1914, and was survived by three children.


El Paso Herald, January 22, 1914. Floyd S. Fierman, "Insights and Hindsights of Some El Paso Jewish Families," El Paso Jewish Historical Review 1 (Spring 1983). Ruthe Winegarten and Cathy Schechter, Deep in the Heart: The Lives and Legends of Texas Jews (Austin: Eakin Press, 1990).

Arthur H. Leibson


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Arthur H. Leibson, "KRAKAUER, ADOLPH," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed March 26, 2015. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.