1st Generation of Triest Agency
Montague Triest started our family’s business in 1903 as Triest & Israel. The Charleston News & Courier reported, “Setting up for himself, Mr. Montague Triest establishes an office on Broad Street…. Mr. Triest is one of the most popular and capable young businessmen of the community.” The business started as an insurance agency with his brother in law, Melvin Israel. Montague was a true southern gentleman. Montague was the epitome of a successful second generation Jewish Charlestonian. He was very active in Charleston civic organizations including the Elks. He served for nineteen years on the City of Charleston School Board including commissioner and Chairman of the South Carolina Jewish Welfare Fund. Montague died suddenly while at the office on Broad Street. He was 55 years old at the time of his death. The article of his death in The Charleston News and Courier said, “In the death of Mr. Triest Charleston has lost one of her outstanding citizens, one who had been very active in educational, civic, and fraternal affairs, and the Jewish community has lost a leader who was prominent in Jewish circles of this section, through his activities in philanthropy and charitable organizations.”
2nd Generation of Triest Agency
Maier Triest was the only son of the agency’s founder. He joined the agency with his father in the early 1920’s after graduating from the College of Charleston. Only a few years after joining the firm, Montague died and young Maier was thrust into keeping the family business running. A few years later, his brother in law, Samuel H. Jacobs joined the firm and under their leadership, Triest Agency was one of the most respected insurance agencies in Charleston. Both men remained active at Triest Agency until their death.
3rd Generation of Triest Agency
Henry H. Freudenberg married Maier Triest’s only child, Maxine Triest in 1951. Henry was a Holocaust survivor and came to Charleston at 11 years of age as a refugee from Germany. The Triest family invited Henry and his family to their home for dinner and 11 year old Henry and 10 year old Maxine met for the first time. Henry and Maxine just celebrated their 63rd year of marriage. After graduating from The Citadel and a brief tour in Korea, Henry joined the firm in 1953. Henry passed away December 30, 2019.
4th Generation of Triest Agency
Larry W. Freudenberg grew up in Charleston but left for the University of Georgia in 1977 where he found his bride, Marsha Jacobs. After graduation in 1981, Larry worked for a large bank in Atlanta as a commercial loan officer and Assistant Vice President. In 1986 he moved his family back home to Charleston to join the family business. A few years later, Larry purchased his father’s interest and remaining interest from other family members and has been the sole owner of the family’s venerable business. Larry is active in the community. He is also well known in Charleston because of a small advertisement that he ran everyday in the local paper for about 15 years for term life insurance. A photo of Larry was in each ad. Larry also is known for being the voice of the agency’s successful radio commercials. The commercials ran in the early 1990’s and creatively made fun of the way the agency’s name has been mispronounced and misspelled over the years. Neither program, newspaper nor radio is currently active.
Larry Freudenberg is also a published author. Writing four books about his family and the agency. The books are available from AMAZON or if you call Larry, he’ll send you an autographed copy!