Louis Stadiem

Name: Louis Stadiem 7/04/78-7/15/1962

Family: Wife, Sophia, sons Abraham and Jacob

Louis Stadiem emigrated with his family from Poland when he was 3, settling in New York in 1881. He was typical of many immigrants who lived in Northern towns and then wandered through the South. Stadiem moved to Richmond, Va. in 1886, then to Danville, Va. in 1889. From Virginia he wandered further south -- to Rocky Mount, Greensboro and finally to Durham in 1910.

In 1915, he and his son, Abraham, opened the Union Loan and Pawn Company, the town's first. The thrift shop had a thriving business with gamblers and prostitutes, according to historian Leonard Rogoff's book "Homelands." His clients also included black and white farmers and factory workers to whom he pawned cars, watches and jewelry at 20 and 30 percent of their value.

When he sold the pawn shop, he opened up a men's store and later, during World War II, he opened S & G Men's Store.

The Stadiems lived at the corner of Liberty and Queen. Stadiem was very shy, but always pleasant. He was one of the founders of the synagogue at Holloway and Queen streets.