Jack’s Department Store

Merchant
c. 1928 - 2017

3 N. Main Street
Sumter, SC

FAMILIES: Adelsburg, Edelsburg, Kolestski, Stern

Jack Adelsburg (1895-1965) immigrated from Poland in 1911 and settled in Mayesville by 1920, where he worked as a salesman for a dry goods store. He married Esther Kolestski (1895-1969) sometime in the 1920s and opened his first dry goods store in Mayesville in 1922. By 1928, he had expanded to Sumter, and closed the Mayesville store shortly thereafter. Esther worked as a clerk and later buyer for Jack’s Department Store in Sumter, as did Jack’s brother and sister-in-law, Fishel (1906-1975) and Tabua-Lea Edelsburg (1904-1981), who immigrated from Kalisz, Poland to Sumter in 1938 and took the names Max and Toby. Abe Stern, who immigrated to the United States after surviving the Holocaust, married Max’s daughter, Rhea, in 1950 and became a partner in the business. Abe and Max later expanded the Jack’s brand, now called Jack’s Name Brand Discount Shoes, with stores in Columbia, Florence, and Charleston. The Sumter store moved to 337 W. Liberty Street in 1970, and Max retired some years later. The store closed in 2017.

Main Image: 

Darrell Thompson (left) poses with Abe Stern (center) and Jenkins McElveen (right. 

Image courtesy Sumter County Museum

The Jewish Merchant Project is supported by the generosity of the Norman and Gerry Sue Arnold Foundation and the Stanley B. Farbstein Endowment at the Coastal Community Foundation. Longtime members of the JHSSC, Mr. Arnold obm, a merchant himself, and Mr. Farbstein obm were both children of South Carolina Jewish merchants.

JHSSC Office
Sylvia Vlosky Yaschik Jewish Studies Center
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Charleston, SC 29424
Phone: 843 953 3918
Email: jhssc@cofc.edu