City Ice Delivery Co.


A 1988 photo shows Bill Morgan, vice president and manager
of City Ice Delivery Co., surrounded by bags of ice as he
 stands in the cold storage room at the
 company’s 7th Avenue icehouse.


HUNTINGTON — For decades, E.S. Morgan was Huntington’s iceman.

Morgan’s father started making ice in Oak Hill, Ohio, in the years just
before World War I. “He had a creamery business,” Morgan said
in a 1988 interview with The Herald-Dispatch. “He needed
ice to cool his butter and cream to ship it by rail.
 So he built an ice plant for that purpose.”

In 1934, Morgan’s father moved to Huntington and built an ice plant
 and warehouse at 139 7th Ave. That was in the days when nearly
every home had a wooden ice box, and every ice box needed
regular deliveries of block ice. Back then, Morgan’s was
 one of four ice houses in Huntington. Ultimately, his
City Ice Delivery Co. would be the sole
survivor of the four.

As families began replacing their old ice boxes with electric refrigerators,
Morgan had to watch as his business melted away before his eyes.
 Accordingly, he switched to selling mainly packaged ice
 to supermarkets and convenience stores.

At their peak, Huntington’s ice houses once sold more than 400
tons of ice a day. By the 1980s, City Ice was selling maybe
 25 tons of ice on a good day, Morgan said. “Every
third or fourth summer we have a real heat
 wave, and our sales go way, way up.”

A record-setting heat wave in July of 1977 emptied the City Ice
cold storage room, which normally held 8,000 10-pound bags
of ice. Bill Morgan, who had joined his father in operating
 City Ice, said the record heat wave forced the company
to ration its ice sales. “Customers don’t understand
 why we can give them only 50 bags of ice
when they ask for 200.”

According to records in the West Virginia Secretary of
State’s office, City Ice Delivery Co. went out of
business in 1991. Today, the 7th Avenue site
 of the company’s former ice house
is a vacant lot.


Note:  This Article and picture appeared in the Herald-Dispatch Newspaper on July 13, 21.15


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