Boothe Business School


In the 1920s and ‘30s, J. Edwin Boothe was a well-known
 member of the Huntington business community.

 Sketch courtesy Jerry Suphin


When an unknown artist did a series of sketches of Huntington business leaders
 in the 1920s and ’30s, the artist’s drawing of J. Edwin Boothe was included
 in a paperback collection of the sketches. However, the operator of the
 Boothe Business School apparently wasn’t well known enough
 to prevent the artist from misspelling his name on his
 office door (the drawing lacks the “e”
 on the end of Boothe’s name).

Huntington City Directories identify Boothe as the school’s
 principal and his wife, Stella E. Boothe, as a teacher at
the school, which opened in 1916 in the Ritter Arcade
at 941 4th Ave. The following year, it moved to a
three-story building Booth built on the northwest
 corner of 4th Avenue and 14th Street. An
unidentified grocer occupied the
 building’s first floor, while the
 school was located on
 the second and
 third floors.

In an ad in the 1917 edition of the Marshall College yearbook,
 Boothe boasted that his was “The only School in West
 Virginia that has constructed its own building.”
The ad proclaimed the school’s “Location,
Courses, Work and Teachers” to be
“first-class in every respect.”

The building Boothe built is still standing. Over the years the
 first floor has seen a variety of businesses with the second
and third floors housing apartments. City Directories
show that the school had moved in 1936 to a
building at 5th Avenue and 10th Street
and then moved again in 1938
to 1018 6th Ave.

 Oddly, both Boothe and his wife died within a
few weeks of each other in 1939. She died
in January and he died March.


Note:  This Article and picture appeared in the Herald-Dispatch Newspaper on Apr. 25, 2023.


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