By Marshall Waren
I was told that in the 1950s and early 1960s, the Fayetteville phone book had several pages in it that had only the Fleishman name. After doing the research on this huge family I can believe it.
The first story in our pages (September/October issue) was on the Hyman Fleishman branch that came to Fayetteville via Baltimore. The patriarch was Max Fleishman and he had eight children. The Hyman clan was mostly haberdashers and made a major impact on the clothing industry in Fayetteville. The family we are doing in this issue is the Harry Fleishman branch. Most of the descendants from this side of the family were doctors, lawyers and business people. Unlike Hyman Fleishman, Harry never lived in Fayetteville, but he had nine children and most of them did live in Fayetteville. Our concentration for this episode will be on his children Edwin, Samuel (S.M.) and their descendants that had tremendous influence on life in Fayetteville. Harry’s youngest son Frank had three children. His oldest son Stephen was a psychiatrist in Fayetteville for over twenty years. He now lives in Florida.
Edwin was the oldest child and he had three children with his wife Minnie, two daughters and one son. Edwin was one the few children of Harry that was in the clothing business. He was the original manager and part owner of Fleishman’s Big Store. He sold his interest in the store in 1939 and started “The Army-Navy” store on Person Street. It closed in 1950. Edwin Fleishman lived and worked downtown and he walked to the synagogue on Cool Spring Street and to his business on Person Street. Edwin never drove a car nor had a driver’s license. He died in 1957. One of his daughters, Sylvia, married David (Jerry) Solomon. Local entrepreneur and businessman Ronnie Solomon is their offspring. His father, Jerry Solomon, with a tip from his brother-in-law, Burt Fleishman, purchased Parker House of Music in 1954. When Ronnie became owner and operator of the business, he added a pawn shop to the store when the record business got very slow in 1974. He eventually added four stores in Fayetteville as the music vinyl record business imploded. His business has been very successful since that transition. Ronnie has two children, Eric and Melanie Keefe, who is married to county commissioner Jimmy Keefe. Melanie manages the shops for her Dad as he lives in Florida eight months out of the year. I have known Ronnie for years and have seen him at many social functions. He was one of the founding directors of State Bank that was eventually sold to First Citizens Bank. The bank building they built in Westwood Shopping Center houses First Citizens now.
Samuel M. Fleishman (S.M.) had several prodigies as his offspring. S.M. owned Fleishman’s Style Shop on Hay Street for years. The Style Shop had three locations at its peak. One was located in Kings Shopping Center (now Sycamore Square) and the other at Fort Bragg. Samuel was given just a single first name at birth and added the initial “M” to distinguish him from all the other Sam Fleishman’s in Baltimore where he lived until he was 17-years-old before moving to Fayetteville. Most people referred to him as S.M. all his life. He had three sons, Irvin, Herbert and Malcolm. Most people in Fayetteville were very familiar with Dr. Malcolm Fleishman, who was referred to by family and friends as “Mac”. It was written in the Fayetteville Observer after his death in November, 2012 that he was a philosopher disguised as a doctor. He practiced internal medicine on Fort Bragg Road for 35 years. I first met his wife of 58 years, Ellie, in the early 1980s as she called on me for a local charity event. They were very active in philanthropic missions in Fayetteville. In the newspaper story after his death, it was stated he wanted to be a lawyer or teacher but ended up being a doctor and was a very successful one. Malcolm graduated from Fayetteville High in 1946 where he played multiple team sports. He then went on to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He was in the first class to graduate from UNC Medical School after it became a four-year school. Malcolm preached education to his children as did his parents. He has three sons that are also doctors. Two live in Fayetteville now, Sam and Ken. The third son, Larry, lives in Charlotte. All the sons graduated from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Larry was the first Morehead Scholar from E.E. Smith High School and practices internal medicine, like his father before him. Ken moved back to Fayetteville two years ago and is now the Medical Director of Behavioral Health at Cape Fear Valley Regional Medical Center, with Sam becoming the Chief Medical Officer for the hospital.
Sam is a psychiatrist and sleep medicine specialist by education. He went into full time sleep disorder therapy in the late 1990s. He diagnosed me with sleep apnea and prescribed a CPAP machine that I have used for 15 years.
One of Malcolm’s brothers, Herbert Fleishman, was the founder of Tiny Town on Fort Bragg Road. He and his wife Marylyn started the business on Bragg Boulevard in 1951 as a wholesale company. Herbert was a chemist by education and started his business selling supplies to drug stores across the region. They changed to retail a few years later and moved it to King Shopping Center (now Sycamore Square), then finally to their current location. It has expanded four times in their 50-year history. Herbert died in 2002 at 78. His son, Michael, operates the store now. Michael has two sisters, Minda and Marcia. My wife and I were on the Board of Directors at the Fayetteville YMCA in the early 1980s and the Fleishman sisters worked as directors for the “Y’s” daycare center at the time, so we had a close connection with them. Michael is currently very active in Community Concerts of Fayetteville and serves as the president.
Herbert and Malcolm’s oldest brother was Irvin and he had four children and they all left Fayetteville and have never returned. Irvin went into business with his father S.M. Fleishman at Fleishman’s Style Shop after World War II was over.
S.M. died in 1961 and the Style Shop closed in 1964. Irvin moved his family to Maryland and they never returned. My wife and I were in junior high school with his daughter, Sandra.
S.M. Fleishman had a tremendous influence on his sons to be good students, family men and be active in their community which they all did quite well. His teachings of his children has had a lasting effect on the community of Fayetteville and will have for years to come.