Savitz Department Store


1636 Bridge St
St. Matthews, SC


Savitz Department Store operated in St. Matthews, South Carolina from 1908 to 1992. The store got its start when an immigrant Latvian peddler by the name of Solomon Savitz (1876-1947) made a deal to buy an existing store in St. Matthews in 1904. At first, Savitz Department Store functioned as a general store. As time passed, however, the store only sold dry goods. Of the eight children birthed by Savitz’s wife, Ida Read Savitz (1879-1948), sons Maurice (1914-2008) and Daniel (1920-1985) involved themselves the most in the operation of the family business. After World War II, Maurice and Daniel took over management of Savitz Department Store. The brothers bought out their siblings’ shares in the store in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Daniel retired in 1984, and Maurice sold Savitz Department Store in 1992.


Aside from Maurice and Daniel, other members of the Savitz family were involved in the operation of Savitz Department Store in the latter half of the twentieth century. Maurice’s daughter, Susan, worked as a cashier at the store before she attended Emory University. She would later complete her bachelor’s degree at American University and then earn a law degree from Washington College of Law at American University in 1969. President of the Women’s Bar Association of Maryland, Susan was named to the Top 100 Women in Maryland list three times. Maurice’s son, Peter, helped with sales and men’s clothing buying at the store while in high school and then managed a remodeling and expansion of the store while attending Emory University. He later graduated from Wharton School of Business and helped start Sportime, a mail order catalog company that was sold in 2000. Maurice’s wife, Ann Leider Savitz (1910-1982), worked as bookkeeper for Savitz Department Store for many years. Daniel Savitz’s wife, Charlotte Wolfe Savitz (1920-1983), worked as a buyer for Savitz Department Store.

Main Image: Mauice, Isaac (1916-1977), Samuel (1916-1996), and Daniel Savitz (c.1920s) Courtesy of Special Collections, College of Charleston Libraries.

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