Paul Garber was born in Kobryn, Russia (present-day Belarus) in 1886. On May 25, 1903, he boarded the ship Batavia in Hamburg, Germany and arrived in New York on June 8 of that year. He then made his way to Williston, South Carolina, where he worked in a relative’s dry goods store. In 1906, Paul moved to Batesburg, South Carolina and established Garber’s, a department store that sold clothes, shoes, and accessories for men, women, and children. In 1912, Paul married Tillie Morris (1890-1983), the daughter of Sumter merchant Julius Morris (1848-1901) and Rosa Rosendorf Morris (1862-1932). Paul and Tillie would raise four children together: Sarah (1913-2006), Julius (1915-2005), Miriam (1918-2011), and Leon (1923-2012). In 1949, Paul established a branch store at 715 Saluda Avenue in Columbia’s historic Five Points commercial district. Named Garber’s Dress Shop, the store sold women’s dresses, coats, suits, hose, and undergarments. After Paul’s death in 1950, the business was passed on to his sons. In 1953, Garber’s Dress Shop moved one door down to 717 Saluda Avenue. Two years later, Julius Garber and his wife, Bessie Brenner Garber (1919-1987), bought out Leon’s share of the dress shop. Garber’s Dress Shop closed in 1983.
Main Image: Garber’s Dress Shop advertisement. Reprinted from The State, January 31, 1954.