On July 14, 1904, Louis (1874-1922) and Mary Alpert (1887-1960) and their son Benjamin (1904-1929) arrived in New York City via Hamburg after emigrating from Odessa, Russia (present day Odesa, Ukraine). Around 1908, the Alpert family had moved south to Sumter, South Carolina, where Louis and Mary opened clothing and dry goods store L. Alpert’s. Located at 13 North Main Street by 1913, L. Alpert’s, like other businesses in small southern towns, sold merchandise on credit to local cotton farmers. After a fire in 1918 destroyed $10,000 of the store’s approximately $40,000 stock ($9000 of which was covered by insurance), Louis and Alpert moved the business to 6 North Main Street. Sick with cancer in the early 1920s, Louis died after undergoing an operation at the Hebrew Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland at the end of 1922. Despite the pain caused by his death, Mary continued to run L. Alpert’s through 1926 to provide for herself and her children. Mary and her children Fannie (1908-1988) and Maxie (1909-1993) went on to found Sumter ladies’ ready-to-wear clothing store Alpert’s in 1930.
Main Image: Advertisement for L. Alpert’s. Reprinted from The Watchman and Southron, September 19, 1914.