Cahn’s Auto & Implement Co.


Kingstree, SC


Harry Cahn (1902-1961) was born in Pavalys, Lithuania to Joseph Cahn (1854-1928) and Margaret “Maggie” Moscowitz Cahn (1869-1931). In 1911, the Cahn family immigrated to the United States, and by 1920, they were living in Baltimore, Maryland. There, Joseph owned a butcher shop and Margaret maintained the home. By the time of the 1920 Census, Harry had moved out of his parent’s home. In 1925, he married Nellie King (1899-1988), a relative of the Levinson family of Bishopville, South Carolina. Five years later, the couple and their first son, Sylvan Lee Cahn (1926-1967) were living in Washington, D.C., where Harry owned a dry goods store. The family remained there through at least 1931, when their second son, Joseph Marvin Cahn (1931-2019), was born. By 1940, Harry and Nellie had separated, with Nellie taking the children and remaining in D.C. Around 1945, Harry moved to Kingstree, South Carolina, where he founded Cahn’s Auto & Implement Co. The business started off selling mules, and it later added farm machinery and became an Oldsmobile dealership. Harry operated the business until his death in 1961.

Main Image: A help wanted advertisement for Cahn’s Auto & Implement Co. Reprinted from The Columbia Record, April 7, 1959.

The Jewish Merchant Project is supported by the generosity of the Henry & Sylvia Yaschik Foundation and the Stanley B. Farbstein Endowment at the Coastal Community Foundation.

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