Star Bargain House | Dixie Shoe Company

Merchant
1906-1981

211 Meeting Street
Charleston, SC 29401

FAMILIES: Karesh, Cohen

Wolfe Meier Karesh (1861-1927) and his wife, Sarah Cohen, immigrated from Russia to New York in 1885. They had four children: Hyman Karesh (1888-1950), Gertrude Karesh (1893-1935), Marie Karesh (1903-1975), and David Karesh. The family moved to Bamberg before 1900, where Wolfe worked as a dry goods merchant. In 1901, the couple opened SS Karesh at 493 King Street. The following year they established Southern Clothing House at the same location. In 1906, Wolfe partnered with Harris W. Cohen to open Star Bargain House, which sold “wholesale clothing and notions” at 227 Meeting Street. The partnership lasted approximately three years. Wolfe moved the business to 225 Meeting Street in 1918, and in 1922, his cousin, Louis Karesh, opened Dixie Shoe Company in the same building. Both business moved to 211 Meeting Street in 1923, where they remained until 1981. Wolfe remained Star Bargain Company’s president until his death in 1927. Through the 1930s and 1940, his sons and Louis Karesh maintained management roles in both companies, until Hyman assumed sole control in 1942. After Hyman Karesh’s death in 1950, his eldest son, Leonard Karesh (1912-1986) became the proprietor of Dixie Shoe Company until his retirement in 1981, when the business closed. He sold Star Bargain Company to Sam Bielsky by 1955, who managed that company until it also closed in 1981.

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