I. From & Son

c. 1905-1974

Union, SC 29379

FAMILIES: From and Kessler

Israel From (1879-1935), and his wife, Bertha Kessler From (1879-1969), immigrated from Lithuania to South Carolina on the advice of a relative. They settled in Union by 1901 and for several years Israel worked as a peddler, selling clothing and housewares on foot until he could purchase a horse and wagon. By 1905 he opened I. From on Main Street, which later became I. From & Son. Their six children, Ellis From (1909-2004), Rosa From Poliakoff (1914-1999), Mary From Antopolsky (d. 1958), Sara From Friedling, Harry From (1917-1993), and Lena From Reiner (1905-1993) all worked at the store, although Harry assumed management while he was in high school after their father’s death. After World War II, Ellis returned to help manage I. From & Son, and Harry left soon thereafter to form his own business, Harry From’s, down the street. I. From & Son closed after Ellis’s retirement in 1974.

Main Image: Israel From, 1930s. Reprinted from the Union Daily Times, February 29, 1935. 

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.

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