Harvey, Hagen & Co.


The Harvey, Hagen & Co. building was located at 1018-20 3rd Ave.

Drawing via the West Virginia and Regional History Center


Harry C. Harvey came from Putnam County to attend Marshall College.
After graduating, he first went to work for the Wall and Buffington
 Drug Store, then the Harrison General Store. Later he persuaded
 his father, Robert T. Harvey, to move to the city, where
 the father and his two sons, Harry and Clayte,
opened a dry goods store.

H.C. Harvey continued working with his father until 1887,
 when he joined with two partners — F.D. Fuller and
 H.B. Hagen — to form the firm of Harvey, Fuller
and Hagen, the city’s first wholesale grocery.

In 1893, when Fuller retired, H.C. Harvey and Hagen organized
a new corporation, Harvey, Hagen & Co., and continued the
 wholesale grocery business. In 1901, John F. Ratcliff
came to Huntington from Louisa, Kentucky. He
and W. Wiatt purchased Harvey’s interest
in the corporation and the company’s
 name was changed to Hagen,
Ratcliff & Co.

John Ratcliff died in 1924, but his name was retained by the company.

When it first opened, the wholesale firm briefly operated on the
 first floor of the Davis Opera House at 3rd Avenue and 8th
Street. Then it built its own building at 1018-20 3rd Ave.
When that building burned, the company built back
an even grander building at the same site.

The company began business at a time when general stores flourished,
 selling virtually everything that rural communities needed. The company’s
 salesmen would travel from Huntington on horseback, spending hours
 making their way along roads either cloaked in dust or covered in
mud. Obviously, the advent of motor cars and the spread of
 paved roads speeded things along as the firm continued
selling food items to stores throughout southern West
Virginia and adjacent portions of Ohio and Kentucky.

According to records in the West Virginia Secretary of
State’s office, the firm went out of business in 1961.



Note:  This Article and picture appeared in the Herald-Dispatch Newspaper on May 30, 2023.


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