Collis family papers
Papers, photographs, and correspondence of the Collis family of Charleston, South Carolina, and Kingstree, South Carolina. Documents include those related to the immigration and marriage of Meyer Collis and Lena Schiawitz, clippings of family appearances in local newspapers, the educational and Navy documents of Moses Collis, and a few related to Moses Collis Mechanical Contractors. Correspondence involves Moses Collis and is mostly letters he wrote to his sister Rebecca (Becky) Collis Schreiberg during his years of service in the Navy during World War II. Photographs are primarily family candids and portraits, along with some from Moses's Collis' Navy days, from Temple Beth Or in Kingstree, South Carolina, and from Jewish summer camps, accompanied by a 1967 yearbook from Blue Star Camps. Also included are some photographs of the Goldberg family of Kingstree, South Carolina. Notable photographs include those of creations of the Collis bakery at 165 King Street. Also included are a letter in Yiddish from family in Poland with an accompanying photograph and a large framed portrait of Meyer Collis in a Russian army uniform brought from Eastern Europe.
Most of the photographs are numbered and captioned on a series of inventories created by Lisa Collis Cohen.
- approximately 1900-2008
- Majority of material found within 1906-1967
- Collis family (Family)
Language of Material
Materials in English; one letter in Yiddish.
This collection is open for research.
The nature of the College of Charleston's archival holdings means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. Special Collections claims only physical ownership of most archival materials.
The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. copyright law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source.
Meyer Collis (1880-1944) immigrated from Bialystok to the United States sometime in the early 20th century; his future wife Lena Schiawitz (1884-1948) immigrated from the same place in 1905. The Collises married on Ellis Island and settled in Charleston, where they opened a Jewish bakery at 165 King Street and Lena ran a kosher catering business. David Collis (1909-1985) opened music company Carolina Instrument after he served in World War II. Located on King Street, with eventual locations in Goose Creek and Moncks Corner, Carolina Instrument supplied instruments on a lend/lease program to high school marching bands, orchestras, and the like. Around the same time, Moses Collis (1918-1993) opened a plumbing and heating business in Kingstree, SC which later became Moses Collis Mechanical Contractors, Inc. Sister Rebecca Collis Schreiberg (1915-2003) worked in the company’s office and when Moses married Jennie Goldberg (1918-1990), she became the office manager and bookkeeper.
4.33 linear feet (1 document box, 2 flat boxes)
The family papers of the Collis family of Charleston and Kingstree, South Carolina, reflect the experience of a family of Eastern European Jewish immigrants to South Carolina. Materials include migration, marriage, education, and military documents; photographs; clippings; ephemera; and correspondence. Meyer Collis immigrated from Bialystok, Poland, to the United States sometime in the early 20th century; his future wife Lena Schiawitz followed in 1905. They settled in Charleston, where they opened a Jewish bakery at 165 King Street and Lena ran a kosher catering business. Son David Collis opened music company Carolina Instrument after he served in World War II. Youngest son Moses Collis opened a plumbing and heating business in Kingstree, SC, which later became Moses Collis Mechanical Contractors, Inc. His sister Rebecca Collis Schreiberg and wife Jennie Goldberg Collis worked in the office.
Materials are described at the folder level.
Materials donated 2013 and 2019 by Lisa Collis Cohen.
Processed by Lauren Bickel, August 2022.
- Charleston (S.C.)
- Collis family
- Collis, Lena, 1884-1948
- Collis, Meyer, 1880-1944
- Collis, Moses, 1918-1993
- Family-owned business enterprises -- South Carolina
- Jewish families -- South Carolina
- Jewish merchants -- South Carolina -- Charleston
- Jewish merchants -- South Carolina -- Kingstree
- Kingstree (S.C.)
- clippings (information artifacts)
- family papers
- ships' manifests
- Cohen, Lisa Collis (Donor, Person)
- Inventory of the Collis Family Papers, approximately 1900-2008 (bulk 1906-1967)
- Processed by: Lauren Bickel; finding aid created by: Lauren Bickel
- Description rules
- Language of description
- Script of description
Part of the Special Collections Repository
College of Charleston Libraries
66 George Street
Charleston South Carolina 29424
(843) 953-6319 (Fax)