In 1832, brothers Lipman Rich (1817-1891) and Moritz Rich (1819-1901) immigrated to the United States from Neustadt, Prussia. They initially settled in Charleston, South Carolina, where they owned dry goods stores on King Street. By 1870, Moritz, his wife Bertha (1826-1892), and their six children, had moved to Orangeburg, South Carolina. There, Moritz owned a dry goods and clothing store. In 1875, a fire wiped out “the entire business portion of the city.” The fire destroyed thirty buildings and was estimated to have caused between $230,000 to $500,000 dollars in damages (between about $5,800,000 to $12,630,000 in 2022 dollars). Moritz’s business was destroyed during the fire. According to the The Orangeburg News, Moritz lost $8000 in the fire, however, his goods were partly insured. It is unknown whether he ever reopened his store.1
1 “Disastrous Fire in Orangeburg,” The Orangeburg News, January 9, 1875.
Main Image: Moritz Rich advertisement in Personals section. Reprinted from The Orangeburg News, August 9, 1873.