Sam Dunie

Sam Dunie was the first prominent Jewish merchant in Fairmont. Arriving as an itinerant peddler in 1899 when the community had just been incorporated as Union City, he remained active in business until 1940 when his health forced him to sell out and retire.

Dunie married Simon Weinstein's daughter Rosa in 1907 under curious circumstances. He was arrested for seduction with charges being brought by Rosa's father and was jailed overnight. Early the next morning he married her and charges were dropped. He was 32 at the time; she was 21.

Dunie operated his department store at the same corner for more than 30 years. He became such a fixture that folks would give directions using his store -- turn at Sam Dunie's corner. In 1927 he rebuilt his store, giving it the basic look that it has today. Dunie always made multiple buying trips to Baltimore to purchase goods for the upcoming season. On arriving back in Fairmont he would have a large sale to show off his new wares. His nephew, Jake Shocket, live with Dunie after the death of his father and eventually became manager of the department store. Active in community affairs and generous to all, he was one of the wealthiest men in the area at his death in 1941.


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