A. Schwab Company (Memphis - Shelby County)

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A. Schwab Company (Memphis - Shelby County)


Abraham Schwab is best known for starting the longest running store in the mid-south, A. Schwab Dry Goods. Schwab emigrated from Alsace Loraine, France in 1874, first arriving in the United States in New Orleans, Louisiana. After a failed attempt to live and thrive in New Orleans, Schwab rejoined his family in Memphis. Local lore indicates that in 1876 Abraham joined the Hirsch family’s “Boots and Shoe Company” on Beale Street. The first listing for Abraham Schwab is in the 1877 Memphis city directory as a “grocer” at a business located at 68 Beale Street. Splitting away from the Hirsch family, Abraham opened his own mercantile establishment in a rented space at 149 Beale Street. Though adequate in meeting his business needs, Schwab relocated to its present location at 163 Beale, initially occupying just the first floor. Following Abraham’s death on May 25, 1923, the firm expanded in 1924 to include the second floor and the neighboring building at 165 Beale. The business remained in the family until 2011 and today still remains in the oldest building on Beale Street. The A. Schwab building was listed as a contributing structure within the Beale Street Historic District entry on the National Register of Historic Places on October 15, 1966 (NR-66000731).


A. Schwab Trading Co. "History." Accessed January 23, 2019. http://a-schwab.com/history/.




Johnson, Elizabeth, photographer.


19th century; 20th century


“A. Schwab Company (Memphis - Shelby County),” Tennessee Jewish Heritage Digital Archive Project, accessed September 29, 2020, http://tennesseejewishheritage.org/items/show/97.

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