Mailing Address:
Special Collections
College of Charleston Library
66 George Street
Charleston, SC 29424

(843) 953-8016

Title: Pearlstine-Strauss family papers

Collection #: Mss 1062

Dates: 1860-1980 (bulk 1880-1930)

Size: 1.5 linear ft.

Biographical Note: In 1885, Hyman Pearlstine and his brother, Shep, moved the general store (I.M. Pearlstine & Sons) their father, Isaac M. Pearlstine, founded in 1865 from Colleton County, South Carolina, to Charleston, S.C. Later (1897), Hyman Pearlstine married Esther Strauss of Florence, S.C. The couple had three children, Edwin (b.1898), Milton (b.1899) and Mary (b.1903). In 1950, I.M. Pearlstine & Sons liquidated its grocery and hardware departments and expanded its capabilities as a beer distributor. Milton and Edwin Pearlstine carried on the family business, and today, Pearlstine Distributors, Inc. is one of South Carolina's largest beer distributors and oldest family owned businesses.

Scope and Content Note:

Bulk of collection is photographs (1860s-1970s) of the Pearlstine and Strauss families. Images include: I.M Pearlstine (1860s-1890s); Hyman Pearlstine (1880s-1920s); Esther "Edie" Strauss Pearlstine (1880s-1930s); group images (1890s-1900s) of Hyman Pearlstine family; Edwin and Milton Pearlstine as children; photographs of Edwin S. Pearlstine (includes photos from World War I training camp); images (1904-1970s) of Mary Pearlstine Hornik and Gerald and Jane P. Meyerson family.

Includes photograph (1961) of Pearlstine Distributor's staff; carte de visite album with images of the Hyams, Cohen and Pearlstine family; photographs (1860s-1960s) of Fannie and Benedict Weinberg, A.A. Strauss, Blanche Baer Strauss, I.C. Strauss, Fannie Strauss Pearlstine, Lucien Strauss and Samuel Cohen; miscellaneous photographs of other Pearlstine and Strauss relatives including several relatives from France.

Collection includes genealogical material (marriage certificates, family trees, obituaries, etc.) for the Pearlstine, Strauss, Hyams, Weinberg, Hornik and Felsenthal families. Correspondence contains letter (1896) to I.M. Pearlstine re. bill to exempt manufacturers from taxation; letters (1897-1929) to/from Hyman Pearlstine re. his marriage and sons (includes misc. correspondence (1929) from Julia Peterkin re. poem written by an African American man); letters (1902-1937) to/from Edwin S. Pearlstine, majority sent from Camp Sevier, Greenville, S.C., and France during World War I.

Milton Pearlstine correspondence contains several telegrams (1918) re. his military training and letters (1970s-1980s) re. family history. Other correspondence includes letter (1945) to Mary Pearlstine Hornik re. the whereabouts of relatives in France; letter (1919) to Hattie Strauss from a sister touring France just after World War I (contains details of the devastation.) News clippings include obituaries for I.M. Pearlstine, Hyman and Esther Pearlstine, A.A. Strauss, Benedict Weinberg, John Hornik Jr., and John Hornik and Samuel Cohen.

Includes clippings (1950s-1970s) re. I.M. Pearlstine & Sons; Edwin Pearlstine's military service and 1928 automobile accident; Milton Pearlstine's life and career. Miscellaneous material includes paper token from I.M. Pearlstine Dry Goods, Forsyth, Georgia; Edwin Pearlstine's World War I material contains enlistment record and field journal kept while in Europe; photocopies of documents re. transfer (1935) of property at corner of Queen and Church streets; misc. booklets and programs, including program from dedication of Pearlstine Hall at KKBE.








Genealogical Information


Box 1



Pearlstine Family: Includes Marriage Covenant (1897) of Hyman Pearlstine and Esther Strauss (Hebrew and English); typed genealogical notes re. the Thomas and Jeanette Karesh Pearlstine Family; several versions of the Pearlstine family tree (all begin with Jeanette and Thomas Pearlstine) with some information re. the Karesh family (Jeanette’s parents); photocopied pages from books, The Book of Daily Prayers for Every Day in the Year and History of the Ancient and Honorable Fraternity of Free and Accepted Masons which contain handwritten genealogical notes about the Hyman Pearlstine family; photocopy of notebook with notes and newspaper clippings regarding weddings, deaths, etc. (1911-1971).





Strauss Family: typed document, "The Sisters of My Father, A.A. Strauss, Sumter, SC, Residing in France or the French Possessions in Northern Africa-for the use of 2nd Lieut. Lucien Strauss"- lists names, residences, children and places of business.





Hyams Family: genealogical notes re. Hyams Family connection to the Pearlstine Family; copies of Certificates of Death for Samuel and Rachel Hyams (1873, 1890); Hyams family tree (begins with Samuel Hyams and Rachel Harris Vineburg); genealogical study of Samuel Hyams, compiled by Leon Brown, ca. 1950s.





Weinberg Family: Certificate of Death (copy) for Caroline Winburgh, 1873; two Weinberg family trees (spelling of family name includes Vineburg and Weinburgh); typescript (photocopies) "Draft of a Weinberg Family Chronicle" compiled Jan. 10, 1983 by Robert A. Weinberg; misc. notes re. Weinberg family (most refer to Benedict Weinberg)





Hornik Family: information re. J. J. Klein (grandfather of John and Marion Hornik); obituary (1960) of John. K. Hornik






Felsenthal Family: book, The Felsenthal Family by Cecelia Felsenthal Felsenthal, 1939








Box 2



I.M. Pearlstine (1860s-1890s): formal portraits of Isaac M. Pearlstine (includes carte de visites and cabinet cards); image (cabinet card) of Rebecca Pearlstine, third wife of I.M.; several images taken at New York studios and one at Anderson Studio, Charleston, SC.





Hyman Pearlstine (1880s-1920s): Formal images of Pearlstine throughout his life (including several childhood pictures); cabinet cards and photographic prints; all taken at Charleston, SC studios including Cook’s, W.B. Austin, A. Savastano, Clarke’s, and Furchgott; several photographs made at Harris and Ewing Studio, Washington, DC.





Esther "Edie" Strauss Pearlstine (1880s-1930s): Includes image (1881) of Pearlstine as a child with Bertha Strauss Sternberger and Bubba Strauss; with Joe Strauss, ca. late 1890s; Esther with St. Josephs Academy graduating class, 1892; candid images and formal portraits, 1930s; includes cabinet cards and photographic prints; formal images made at Charleston studios including, J.A. Nowell and Furchgott.






Hyman Pearlstine Family (1890s-1900s): includes formal portrait (wedding portrait?) of Hyman and Edie Pearlstine, ca. 1897; image (ca.1899) of Blanche and A.A. Strauss, Edie, Hyman Milton and Edwin Pearlstine on front porch of family home in Mayseville, SC; images (1903, 1904) of the Hyman Pearlstine family at Seder dinner (in house at 249 Rutledge) includes Hyman, Edie, Milton, Edwin and Mary Pearlstine, Bertha S. Sternberger, Blanche Strauss, Blanche S. Benjamin, Carlisle Strauss, Dave and Sam Cohen; image (ca. 1908) of Sam Cohen with Edie, Edwin, Milton and Mary Pearlstine; image (ca. 1908) of the family and A.A. Strauss in England; includes cabinet cards and photographic prints





Edwin and Milton Pearlstine (1904-1910): formal image (1904) of Edwin and Milton with Rosa and Pena Brown; formal portraits of Edwin and Milton together (as children) and with their mother and sister, Mary; candid images taken at the beach with cousins; includes cabinet cards, photo postcards and photographic prints.





Edwin S. Pearlstine (1899-1970): formal baby portrait (1899); images (1917-1918) of Pearlstine in WWI uniform include pictures (Vernon Cogswell is in several) taken at Camp Sevier, Greenville, SC; portrait (ca. 1940s) of Jeanette Felsenthal Pearlstine (Edwin’s wife), ca. 1940s; photographic print (1961) of Edwin and Jeanette Pearlstine with Dave and Tootsie Silver at the Commodore Hotel [note: negative of this image stored in the JHC negative notebook]; formal portrait (1969) of Pearlstine; image of Pearlstine at work, ca. 1970.





Mary Amelia Pearlstine Hornik (1904-1964): Formal baby and toddler portraits of Mary Pearlstine; grammar school graduation portrait; portraits (photographic prints) 1926, 1930s; candid images (ca. 1930s) includes photo postcard of Pearlstine dressed in Spanish costume, Seville, Spain; includes cabinet cards, photo postcards and photographic prints made at Charleston studios including Clarkes and Marion Studio,





Gerald and Jane P. Meyerson Family (1950s-1970s): baby portraits of Catherine Cecile Meyerson; image (1968) of Gerald, Jane and Catherine Meyerson with Edwin Jr. and Jane Pearlstine and Edwin Sr. and Jeanette Pearlstine; Gerald Meyerson, 1975





Staff of Pearlstine Distributors (1961): Black and white print; taken at Waccendaw Lakes Fish Camp at WCBD Channel 2 party; identifications included




Box 3



Hyams, Cohen, Pearlstine Family Photo Album (1860s): all images are carte de visites; includes, Samuel Hyams, Hannah Baer Rice, Wolff Pearlstine, Mary Hyams Pearlstine, Rosa Hyams Cohen, Sally Hyams Floyd, Adeline Friedman, Ned Cohen, Flora Pearlstine, Amelia Hyams Pearlstine, Jake Cohen, Shep Pearlstine and Gussie and Mitchell Harris; several portraits are unidentified.





Weinberg Family (1860s-1900s): images of Fannie Rice Weinberg and Benedict Weinberg; includes carte de visites and photographic prints; carte de visites taken at Houston Studio, Charleston, SC.





A.A. Strauss (1870s-1910s): formal portrait (ca. 1877) of A.A. and Amelia Strauss with children, Esther ("Edie"), I.C. ("Bubba") and Mordie; candid images (early 1900s) of A.A. Strauss with Fannie Strauss and with Lena Hirsch; formal portrait, ca. 1916; cabinet cards and photographic prints; early cabinet card of Strauss Family taken at Anderson Studio, Charleston, SC





Blanche Baer Strauss (1910s): Formal portraits (photographic prints and photo postcards); includes image (1912) of Blanche and A.A. Strauss.





Fannie Strauss Pearlstine (1880, 1910-1911): carte de visite of Fannie Strauss as an infant (made at Anderson Studios, Charleston, SC); two formal portraits (1910, 1911) printed on photo postcards





I.C. "Bubba" and Hattie Strauss (1910s): formal portrait (ca. 1910s) of Hattie Strauss; portrait (ca. 1910s) of I.C. Strauss reading.





Lucien Strauss (1917, 1930s): World War I portrait (in uniform) and candid image, ca. 1930s; WWI portrait taken by E. Bieber, Berlin





French Relatives of the Strauss Family (1890s, 1910s): Alphonse Bomberger, "Elisa", Raymond Mayor, and "Renee"; all images taken in Marseille; includes cabinet cards and carte de visites.





Samuel Cohen (1940s-1960s): Sam Cohen with Edie Strauss, ca. 1942; photograph (ca. 1950s) of Cohen in front of I.M. Pearlstine and Sons Liquor Dealers; formal portrait, 1960.





Bertha and Emanuel Sternberger (1910s): Formal portraits (ca. 1910s) of each; taken in Greensboro, NC





Misc. Pearlstine and Strauss relatives and friends (1870s-1940s): cabinet card (ca. 1870s) of Uncle Jake [Cohen?]; portrait (ca. 1910s) of Dora Harris (Sam Cohen’s aunt); group photograph (ca. 1920s) of Mrs. George Block, Aunt Anna, Cousin Blanch Mayor, George Block and Raymond Mayor; portrait (1922) of Leo Paalz, (inscribed to Mary Pearlstine); Jacob C. Felsenthal (father of Jeanette Felsenthal Pearlstine), ca. 1930s.





Unidentified Individuals (1850s-1910s): three tin types: unidentified toddler boy, teenage girl and young girl; print of unidentified man and two women; includes photo postcard of the Masonic Temple, Georgetown, SC.




Oversize Photographs: image (ca. 1899) of Hyman Pearlstine and family (Grandma and Grandpa Strauss, Carlisle, Hyman, Edie, Edwin and Milton Pearlstine, Lucien, Mordie and Fannie Strauss, Bertha, Uncle ???, and I.C. (Bubba) Strauss) taken on porch of family home in Mayseville, SC; portrait (ca. 1915) of Hyman Pearlstine taken at Harris and Ewing, Washington; portraits (ca. 1920s, 1930s) of Esther "Edie" Pearlstine; formal portrait (ca. 1930s-40s) of Sam Cohen.


Box 4






Box 5



To I.M. Pearlstine (1896): from Charles Inglesh, Grand Secretary, Office of Corporation Council; sent to "Alderman Pearlstine" re. preparation of a bill to exempt manufacturers from taxation; handwritten on South Carolina state letterhead






To/From Hyman Pearlstine (1897-1929): letter (1897) from Hyman to his sister, informing her he is engaged; letter (1904) to Esther S. Pearlstine, on the occasion of their 7th wedding anniversary; several telegrams (1915) sent to Hyman from the camp Edwin and Milton attended in Brevard, NC, which note Edwin wished to spend the night away from camp; includes Hyman’s response (which was no); letter (1917) from Hyman to Col. Holmes B. Springs, informing him that Edwin joined the Col’s command; includes the Colonel’s response; letter (1929) to Jeanette Felsenthal re. a poem written by an African American man who had his tonsils out; Hyman also sent the poem to Julia Peterkin and her response is included among this material; letter (undated, ca.1915) re. a visit to Edwin and Milton’s camp (possibly from Esther Pearlstine); letter (undated but ca. 1917) from unidentified friend of Hyman Pearlstine who was with a military outfit in Texas.





To/From Edwin Pearlstine (1902-1937): includes "Edwin’s first letter to Papa, Jan. 1, 1902" (scribble); several letters (ca. 1905-1911) from Edwin to "Papa," written as young boy (many sent from Mayesville, SC) which describe daily activities and updates about Milton and Mary; Edwin’s new year resolutions for 1908; letters (1915) from Edwin to Hyman sent from camp in Brevard; letter (1915) to Edwin from Hyman re. expenses at camp, Milton’s health and homesickness; series of letters sent to Hyman from Camp Seveier (Greenville, SC) describe camp activities, mention the fact that there is "very little religion up here," describe how strict Greenville is re. soldiers wandering in town; letter to Sam Cohen (May 1918) written just before leaving Camp Sevier for "over there"; letter to family written while on a train to New York where his company was to "ship out" for Europe (writes not to worry as he expects to be home for the next Purim Ball); misc. cards and telegrams informing the family that Edwin’s ship arrived safely in Europe; several Field Service postcards sent from overseas; letter (June 1918) to Sam Cohen from "somewhere in France" inquires about the business; all letters sent from Europe are vague and most inquire about home, several mention the weather, hardships and the possibility of looking up French relatives; letter mentions that Edwin’s outfit is near one of the "largest cities in France," another describes liberated towns near "the front"; letter (Dec. 1918) sent to Edwin by I.C. Strauss, provides family updates and mentions the armistice; letter (April 1919) from Uncle Lucien Strauss congratulates Edwin on returning from war and becoming a man; letter (1928) to Edwin from Aunt Lena (Hirsch?) expresses get well wishes after an automobile accident; letter (1937) from Mrs. C. W. Rosa of Georgetown SC, contains a history of Edwin and Vernon Cogswell’s time at a training camp in Georgetown; include Edwin’s response; misc. letter remnants sent from France (during WWI) mention sickness at camp and describe his job as a mail clerk.





To/From Milton Pearlstine (1918-1982): telegrams (1918) from Milton to Hyman Pearlstine sent from Plattsburg, NY re. military training; letter (1928) from Eva re. Edwin’s accident and Mary’s time in New York; several letters (late 1970s-early 1980s) to/from Milton re. family genealogy.





To Mary Pearlstine Hornik (1945-1970): letter to Mary from a cousin in France provides information re. the fate of their French relatives (post-Holocaust); letter (1965) from Sadie Zbar re. family history; letter from Leroy M. Want re. Weinberg family history.





To Jane Pearlstine Meyerson (1978-1982): letters from Leon Brown, Laz Schneider and Robert Weinberg re. Pearlstine family history (and related families).





Misc.: letter (ca. 1918) to Esther Pearlstine from Vernon Cogswell, mentions a visit and Edwin Pearlstine’s upcoming birthday; letter (1919) to Hattie Strauss from a sister touring France provides descriptions of the destruction in France (particularly Rheims); several letters (1938, 1940) to Jeanette F. Pearlstine, both from Hannah Solomon re. upcoming visit and general updates about her life.





Misc. Envelopes: includes envelope (1917) with I.M. Pearlstine and Sons logo; First Day of Issue envelope for U.S. Post Office (July 1,1971); Hirsch Company envelope (1943) "Mfgrs. U.S. Navy Wiping Cloths"






News Clippings


Box 6



I.M. Pearlstine (1911): obituaries re. death (1/29/1911) of I.M. Pearlstine.





I.M. Pearlstine and Sons Distributors (1950s-1970s): article (1950) re. Pearlstine and Sons decision to liquidate part of the business; article (1970), "Wholesaling Firm to Relocate"; advertisement (1971) re. opening of I.M. Pearlstine and Sons new facilities in North Charleston; several articles (early 1970s) re. condominiums planned for former site of I.M. Pearlstine Warehouse; article re. oldest businesses in Charleston.






Hyman and Esther Pearlstine (1934, 1948): Obituaries for Hyman Pearlstine and Esther Strauss Pearlstine





Edwin Pearlstine (1910s-1920s): article (1910) from Washington Daily News re. Edwin Pearlstine’s visit to the White House; clipping (1912) mentions Edwin Pearlstine as member of KKBE confirmation class; article (ca. 1917) "Former Citadel Cadets in Service" lists Edwin Pearlstine among others; several articles (1928) re. an automobile accident in which Pearlstine was seriously injured.





Milton Pearlstine (1933-1984): Article (1933) announcing Charleston Chamber of Commerce board, (Milton Pearlstine pictured as Treasurer); several articles (1965) re. Milton Pearlstine’s honorary degree from the Citadel; clipping (1969) re. publication of a history of Citadel class of 1919 (Milton and Edwin Pearlstine listed among biographies); editorial (1973) by W.H. Orvin Jr. expressing appreciation to Pearlstine for service to the ports; News and Courier article (1984), "Pearlstine’s Years Packed With Living."





Strauss Family (1920s): obituaries (from Sumter newspapers) for A.A. Strauss, 1924; obituary for Mordecai A. Strauss of Birmingham, AL (date?)





Samuel Cohen (1937-1962): article (1937) "40th Year with Same Concern is Observed by Day of Work" re. Cohen’s 40th anniversary with Pearlstine and Sons; also (1947), "Samuel Cohen Marks 50th Year with Pearlstine’s"; clipping re. Cohen outliving the mortality table set by his insurance company on his policy; several versions of Sam Cohen’s obituary (1962)





Weinberg Family (1890, 1984): copies of Benedict Weinberg obituary (1890, Darlington News); article (1984) re. Robert Weinberg’s achievements in study of the genetics of cancer.





Hornik Family (1935-1970): Clippings (1935) announcing the marriage of Mary Pearlstine to John Hornik; obituary for John Hornik, Jr. (1956) and for John K. Hornik, 1969; page from Preservation Progress (Nov. 1975) re. Mary Hornik’s bequest of $1000 to the Preservation Society of Charleston.





Misc. (1918-1983): article (1918) from Charleston Evening Post, "Brothers in Arms" which chronicles the movements of Edwin Pearlstine’s military unit in Europe; clipping re. Cecelia Felsenthal’s involvement with the Grand Lodge women’s group; article (1934) re. Joseph Tobish; clipping (1954) "Old Pearlstine House Bought for Educational Center"; article (1973) re. complex of buildings on East Bay, Cumberland and State Streets slated for demolition; obituary for Evelyn Pearlstine Goodman, daughter of I.M. Pearlstine’s third wife; death notice for Mary Brown Pearlstine; article (1983) "Immigrants Play Role in History" re. Jacobs and Pearlstine families.






Misc. Material


Box 7



Isaac M. Pearlstine Dry Goods: paper token (denomination of 50) printed with "Isaac M. Pearlstin, Dealer in Dry Goods, Clothing, Hats, Caps, Boots, Shoes, Etc. Forsyth, GA"; copy of invoice (1867) re. funds owed (by I.M. Pearlstine and Son) to Wm. Marscher, Wholesale Grocer and Dealer in Wines, Liquors, etc."





Hyman Pearlstine Speech (1927): made to the Mason’s (?) thanking them for an honor bestowed upon Milton Pearlstine; speech is also a tribute to lodge members who passed away.





Edwin/Milton Pearlstine Misc. Material: two pages (1912) of handwritten rules created by Edwin and Milton Pearlstine to govern a childhood club; also speech/poem Edwin wrote to honor Milton (on a birthday?) ca. 1960s?





Edwin Pearlstine WW I Material: Booklet, Operations/Thirtieth Division/Old Hickory (Edwin Pearlstine’s signature and rank information inside front cover) is a history of the division’s participation in World War I; calendar/ journal kept by Edwin Pearlstine while in Europe includes handwritten notes re. rules of conduct with civilians, spies, traffic, etc., some record of his division’s movement, first aid notes, addresses of friends and French relatives; document (1920) "Extract From Discharge Certificate of Enlisted Man to Secure Victory Medal" includes Pearlstine’s enlistment record; original of The Bulletin (newspaper) American Embarkation Center. A.E.F. in Le Mans France, Feb. 19, 1919, contains article re. 30th Division, their route home and accomplishments during the war; inside (page 7) Edwin wrote a message to his family and sent the entire paper to the states (requesting his family save it)





Edwin Pearlstine WWI Artifacts: brass military belt buckle; souvenir item from the Battle of Ypres; two brass souvenir (?) items, each with phrase, "Gott Mit Uns" (God with us)





Documents re. Pearlstine Property at Church and Queen Streets: real estate papers (copies) documenting transfer of lot on southwest corner of Church and Queen streets, Charleston, SC, May 1935 (property was purchased by Hyman Pearlstine in 1920); letter (1983) from T.R. Waring to Susan Quattlebaum re. possibility of a plaque to acknowledge the Pearlstine family’s gift of the property to the City of Charleston.





Misc. Notes on Family History: re. James J. Klein and Jake Weinberg





Booklets/Programs (1940s, 1980s): booklet, The Story of the Jews in the United States, published by the Jewish Welfare Board, 1943; program(1982) from fortieth reunion, Citadel Class of 1942; program(1986) from Dedication of Pearlstine Hall and the Mildred Bernstein Kitchen at KKBE