Leff’s Department Store


East Carolina Avenue
Hartsville, SC

FAMILIES: Leff, Richman

David “Dave” Leff (1900-1958) was one of four children born in Russia to Barnett (1872-1962) and Tillie Malina Leff (c.1880-1924). When Dave was still a young child, his father left for the United States in search of a better life for his family. Around 1910, Tillie and her children joined Barnett in New York and then continued to grow their family. By the 1920s, at least three of the Leff children moved to South Carolina. Settling in Manning, David managed Sardinia Mercantile Company until March 1922 and then began working for his brother-in-law Sam Richman (1895-1970) at Sam Richman’s Shoe Shop. Around 1925, Sam and Dave established Richman & Leff together on East Carolina Avenue in Hartsville. In 1930, Dave bought his brother-in-law out of the business and renamed the shop Leff’s Department Store. Around this time, he married Georgia native Blanche Annette Berendt (1901-1966), started a family of his own, and hired his brother Al (1912-1980) to work in the shop. Dave later encouraged his brother to open another branch of Leff’s Department Store in nearby Darlington.

Main Image: Store buyout announcement. Newspaper clipping dated February 6, 1930, courtesy of the Darlington County Historical Commission & Museum, Darlington, SC.

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