Isaac Strauss (1861-1923) was born in New York to German immigrants Seligman Strauss (died 1883) and Yetta Goodman Strauss (1839-1905). Isaac’s father ran a cigar and stationary shop, while his mother kept house. Sometime during the 1870s, Seligman became paralyzed. To keep food on the table, Isaac and his younger brother, Leopold (1863-1936), got jobs as store clerks. After Seligman’s death in 1883, the family moved to South Carolina, where they had relatives. Isaac initially lived in Mayesville for three years, before moving to Sumter around 1886. After his arrival in Sumter County, Isaac occupied himself as a dry goods merchant and saloon operator before going into the insurance business in the 1910s.