Florence Shoe Store


Evans Street
Florence, SC


The Florence Shoe Store was operated in the 1910s and 1920s by gentile Pinckney Johnstone Maxwell (1880-1949) at 3 East Evans Street. Another owner later moved the shop to 143 West Evans Street where Jewish merchant Ruben Fram (1905-1987) took over the business. Ruben was born to Russian immigrants in Worster, Massachusetts and moved to Union, South Carolina with his family as a small child. In South Carolina, Ruben’s father managed a shoe store and later a general store where Ruben worked as a clerk. In the 1930s, Ruben moved to Georgia and married Louise Simowitz (1905-1986). Louise gave birth to a son, Arnold (d. 2019), in 1936 and the family of three settled in Florence, South Carolina by 1940. There, Ruben established himself as the owner of Florence Shoe Store before serving in the army during World War II. Louise likely operated the store in her husband’s absence and was listed as a saleslady there even before the United States entered the war. Ruben died almost exactly six months after Louise in June 1987. They were both buried in Florence.

Main Image: Advertisement for Florence Shoe Store before Ruben Fram took over the business. Reprinted from The State, September 27, 1931.


Above Image: World War II Draft Card for Ruben Fram. Reprinted from Records of the Selective Service System, National Archives at St. Louis.

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.

JHSSC Office
Sylvia Vlosky Yaschik Jewish Studies Center
96 Wentworth Street
Charleston, SC 29424
Phone: 843 953 3918