Joseph Karesh


Elloree, SC 29047


Joseph J. Karesh (1869-1927) was born in Trestina, Russian-controlled Poland. Joseph immigrated to the United States in 1884. By the early 1890s, Joseph had settled in Elloree, South Carolina, becoming the first Jew to make their home in that town. He opened his dry goods business in 1894. By 1897, he owned commercial property on Main Street and had been appointed a member of Elloree’s Election Commission. He remained in business until around 1906, when he moved to Charleston. The family moved to Boston, Massachusetts a decade later. In 1927, Joseph Karesh died, and his body was returned to Charleston for burial in Brith Shalom Cemetery.

Main Image: Elloree municipal leaders, including Joseph Karesh in center, 1890s. Image courtesy of the Elloree Heritage Museum.

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