Jacob E. Cohen

Merchant
1912-1921


Meggett, SC 29449

FAMILIES: Beja, Cohen, Klarer, Lehrman, Schwartz, Friedman

Jacob E. Cohen, (born Yankle Kiegel, 1884-1943) immigrated to the United States from Odessa, Russia via Bremen, Germany aboard the vessel Rhine in 1907. He married Jennie Friedman (born Jennie Dreizyk, 1892-1962), an immigrant from Stutzen, Poland, on September 3, 1912. The couple moved to Meggett, a small town in Charleston County located about 30 miles south of Charleston and worked as the proprietor and saleswoman of a small general store. Oral tradition states that Jacob was also a truck farmer. Between 1913 and 1926, they had seven children: Tillie Cohen Lehrman (1913-2003), David Ephraim Cohen (1914-2001), Dorothy Cohen (1916-2005), Henry Cohen (1918-1992), Rose Cohen Schwartz (1920-2005), Sylvia Cohen Klarer (1922-2003), and Paula Cohen Beja (1926-2004). Jacob closed the store when the family moved to Charleston. After a stint as a City of Charleston police officer, Jacob opened a new store at 170 Ashley Street called Riverside Grocery. He later owned groceries at 111 Line Street and 714 Rutledge Avenue. After his death in 1943, his family continued to operate the final store until 1961.

Main image: Jacob Cohen, his wife Jenny Friedman, and their children, Tillie (standing) and David (sitting) pose for a photographer, circa 1914. Image courtesy Stuart Cohen

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.

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