Isaac Knopf's parents were buriedin the Fairfax Cemetery. I don't know that there is a marker as I've never found one but I do know that they are there. Their names were Abraham W Knopf and Jane Still Knopf. Abraham was one of the early auditors of Barnwell Co and very important in the Jewish Community from what stories handed down and letters found indicate. He also served in the Confederate Army in the War of Northern Aggression. Are there any records that the town would have on the earliest burials? I can give you dates if that is needed.
I must first let you know that after Abraham, most of his children became Baptist. He married Miss Jane Still of Barnwell County. They set up home in the George's Creek area. I'm not sure how they came to be in the Allendale County area, but I believe it was to follow some of his children to the area in his older years after they had married. He first appears in Allendale in the 1910 census before that he is always listed in either Barnwell or Blackville.
Abraham William Knopf was born in Poland September 18, 1834. I am not sure when he arrived in America as the spelling of the name Knopf is often mistranslated in the records online. I will now have to go to my mama's hometown and do some research there since Barnwell's records are still intact. He married Jane Still around 1855. It was earlier reported that he had married her on November 30, 1856, however his first child was born in April of 1856. I have not found any records or heard any stories of his being married before this time to someone else.
Abraham left his native Poland and moved to Germany as a small boy. He went back to Poland to attend college and graduated from Crocrow University [Kra-ków or Cracow (krak'ou, krä'kou; Pol. kRä'koof) a city in S Poland, on the Vistula: the capital of Poland 1320-1609.)]. After his graduation he was asked to swear allegiance to the Kaiser. He decided he wouldn't, so he traveled to China, then Africa and finally to the United States. The only sibling I can find that came to America was Samuel Knopf (father of Alfred Abraham Knopf - Knopf Publishing). He met Jane Still after his arrival, fell in love and from what I've heard it was something love stories are written about. I personally do not have any of the letters he wrote home during the War of Northern Aggression, however I've heard of them from members of the family that came down from one of his daughters. He made two trips back to Poland by sailboat and was said to read several foreign newspapers regularly.
Upon his arrival in Barnwell Co he was an interpreter and bookkeeper for Simon Brown in Barnwell. When the War between the States came he volunteered and served for four years in the Confederate Army (22nd Regiment, South Carolina Infantry). I believe he is actually listed as Abram on the roster. He is one of only three Knopf's to serve in the Confederate Military. The others were all Union soldiers. He was captured during the war and held as a prisoner for a time. After the war he opened a general mercantile store on Wall Street in Barnwell (the store is still there). He was Postmaster of Barnwell at the time also. He was appointed County Auditor on December 25, 1874 and served until December 1878.
Abraham had nine children. Of those nine I believe 2 are buried in Fairfax Cemetery with him. Isaac Knopf (July 3, 1879 to February 22, 1947) - Isaac was a business owner in Fairfax; and Jinat Knopf (February 12, 1869 to April 29, 1938).
The stories I have been told by several people from my family are about Abraham being a sort of early Rabbi for the Jewish and non-Jewish people of the area in Barnwell where they lived. It is said that others would bring animals to him for him to say blessings over so that they would be Kosher. He continued to carry out his Jewish traditions, however the Jewish faith is passed through the mother. When he married Jane all his children were born Baptist. The Knopf family is one of the earliest families of the Friendship Baptist Church in Barnwell Co. One of the grandsons married into the Hartzog family which was the family that donated the land for the church to be built on. There are today still members of the family attending that church.
Most of this information was written about in The State when it did a series of articles on early Auditors of the different Counties.
In family history there is a story that was related to me about Abraham's home coming from The War. Jane and Abraham had an old dog, who mostly lay around on the porch. After The War was over, Jane did not know if her husband was alive or dead. There was no word from him at all. One day she was working in the house when she heard the dog out on the porch make the strangest noise she'd ever heard him make. When she went out to see what was going on, she saw Abraham coming up the road. She ran to him wildly, and threw her arms around him, and then noticed that he was laughing. She asked him what was funny. Then he told her that, in making her way to him, she had jumped over a five-foot fence. In long skirts! She had no memory of it whatsoever. From the time she left the porch until she was in his arms was a blur in her mind.
Most of the stories were told to me by Bob Byrd who was descended from Abraham through his daughter, Margaret "Maggie" Hallman. They were told to him by Isaac Hallman the grandson of Abraham and Jane. He related he often heard the stories from his grandmother as a small boy.
I do not have any stories of other earlier life of Abraham before he came here. My mama has told me of a trip my Uncle Sam - great-great-grandson of Abraham and Jane - took to meet the Knopf family of Abraham's brother. (My Uncle Sam was named for his great-grandfather who was named for Samuel Knopf, Abraham's brother.) He traveled as a young man to meet the other family and was impressed by the servants and the opulence of the home of Alfred Knopf Sr. (the publisher). Growing up in a small town in South Carolina he had never really seen all of the things like he observed in New York after being met at the Train Station by a chauffeur.
In all of the non-Jewish upbringing we did however keep one thing through the birth of all my grandmother's children - Jewish names for the boys. The Abraham's, Myre's, Samuel's, Joseph's and Benjamin's are very common before the 1940's in my family.
As to Isaac Knopf of Fairfax, he owned a drug store that also served as a sort of pawn shop. Isaac's son was Benjamin Knopf who was the pharmacist there in Fairfax. The last time I was there (prior to 1996) the store was still standing and some of the merchandise was still visible in the store through the window.
I hope some of this information is useful. I am just starting on my family history research although I did compile some of the information years ago when after I attended a genealogy class. I then put the information up and only this past year with the passing of so many of my older family members attempted to start in earnest compiling information. I guess I finally realized that even though I am relatively young I am fast approaching being a part of the oldest generation of my particular branch of the family (my mother was the 12th of 13 children and therefore had nieces and nephews either older or the same age as she is so that put me more in either line with their children or between them and their children.)
Copyright ©2007, Cheryl Cottingham. These documents may be freely used for private purposes, and included in your own genealogy. However, this document is copyrighted and may not be sold, nor given to anyone who may attempt to derive profit from same.
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