M. Greenewald

Clothier
1886-1991

109-111 West Main Street
Spartanburg, SC 29306

FAMILIES: Greenewald

M. Greenewald, a men’s clothing store known as “Outfitters to Men and Boys, opened at 23 West Main Street in Spartanburg, South Carolina in 1886. Moses Greenewald (1863-1926), the store’s founder and namesake, arrived in the city by 1882, where he served as captain of the Spartanburg Fire Engine Company. His older brother, David Greenewald (1858-1919), arrived around the same time and worked at the store. Their younger brothers, Isaac (1865-1947) and Max (1870-1953), arrived in the 1890s and, in addition to working at M. Greenewald’s, managed the Spartanburg Opera House, which was sometimes called Greenewald’s Opera House. The brothers’ parents, Barney Greenewald (1813-1885) and Bertha Weil Greenewald (1820-1911), were born in Munich and had three additional children: Ellen (c. 1854-1895), Hannah (1856-1953) and Jacob (1861-1890). Both Ellen and Hannah, as well as Bertha, joined the brothers in Spartanburg by the early 1900s.

Of the brothers, only Moses and David married. Moses married Annie Milan (1876-1927) of Charleston in 1907. Their first-born son, Bernard “Barney” Greenewald (1907-1974), worked at Greenwald’s Inc. as a salesman. Within two years of Moses’ death, both his wife, Annie, and their second son, Bertram (1917-1929) had died. Isaac and Max took over management of the store after Moses’ death, with Max serving as president and Isaac serving as Vice President. Their estates passed to their older sister, Hannah, who also never married. By 1926, David’s only child, Ethel (1895-1992), had married James W. Cobb, and he assumed a role in the store’s management. Ethel and James’ two sons, James (b. 1920) and John “Jack” Cobb (1931-2009), would eventually take over, managing the store until its closure in 1991.

The store moved locations several times: to 23 Morgan Square by 1905, where they began to market themselves as a millinery in addition to clothing; to 123 West Main Street by 1908; to 105-107 West Main Street by 1910; and finally to 109-111 West Main Street by 1926, where it remained until its closure. During the early twentieth century the store also changed names several times, from M. Greenewald to Greenewald & Co. to Greenewald’s, before finally incorporating as Greenewald’s, Inc. sometime before 1926. Greenewald’s was also granted a charter to incorporate as Greenewald Clothing Company in Greenville, South Carolina, in 1925.

At the time of its closure, Greenewald’s was Spartanburg’s oldest retailer and considered a store of the highest quality and service.

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
96 Wentworth Street
Charleston, SC 29424
Phone: 843 953 3918
Email: jhssc@cofc.edu