Kenova Box Co.


Kenova Box Workers.jpg

A 1950 photo shows some of the workers at the Kenova Box Co. mill.

Kenova Historical Commission


For more than 100 years, the Kenova Box Co. turned out an
 endless stream of apple crates and other wood products.

The company was established in 1909 by S.O. Wood, a Michigan man
 who was a traveling salesman for a box manufacturing company.
 Wood was determined to set up a similar business of his own.
 He selected Kenova as a site, attracted by the hardwood
 forests of West Virginia and Kentucky.

Wood bought about an acre of ground near the town and set up
 his mill, which steadily prospered over the decades ahead.
He died in 1942 at age 81, leaving his business in the
competent hands of his children and their children.
 By the 1950s, Kenova Box had more than 30
employees who processed more than
4,000,000 board feet of lumber
every year.

In a single year, it might make as many as 40,000 wooden apple crates,
 but it also produced a bewildering array of other wood products. It
 crafted wooden furniture frames for manufacturers to turn into
 upholstered couches and chairs. At one time, the Kenova
plant was making 1,500 chair frames a week for a
Huntington furniture manufacturer. It regularly
made wood skids and pallets for the shipment
of heavy machinery. And each year at
Christmas time, the plantís workers
 were kept busy making wooden
bases for holiday trees.

In 2002, Kenova City Council honored Kenova Box owner
Stanley Wood by naming him to the Kenova Hall of
 Fame. In 2012, Wood sold the 100-plus-year-old
company to the Queen family that operates
 Kenny Queen Hardware.


Note:  This Article and picture appeared in the Herald-Dispatch Newspaper on Jan. 16, 2024.


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