In 1897, South Carolina native Samuel “Sam” Weinberg (1861-1955) opened his own mercantile business in Sumter, South Carolina. To stock his store, Weinberg made frequent buying trips to northern port cities, occasionally being accompanied by his wife, Kate Hirschman Weinberg (1871-1951). In 1925, Weinberg sold his business to Gentile Carl Vincent Wilkes, Sr. (1895-1968). Before he opened his store, Weinberg was a partner in German immigrant Alfred Abraham Strauss’s (1841-1925) general store A. A. Strauss & Co. in Sumter.