Nicholson-Kendle Furniture Co.


In 1916, an unidentified artist published “Just for Fun,” a portfolio
of sketches of leading Huntington businessmen, including
C.W. Kendle of the Nicholson-Kendle Furniture Co.

Sketch courtesy Jerry Sutphin


HUNTINGTON — G.C. Nicholson, who operated the Nicholson Furniture Co.
 in Mansfield, Ohio, grew convinced his business was located on the wrong side
 of the Ohio River. He decided to move his firm to West Virginia and in
1902 set up shop in Huntington, attracted by the city’s superior
 transportation facilities and its nearby supply of timber.

Not long after the furniture company relocated to Huntington,
 C.W. Kendle joined it and before long the firm’s name
was changed to the Nicholson-Kendle Furniture Co.

The big Nicholson-Kendle plant, located at 20th Street and 2nd
Avenue, employed more than 100 workers in the manufacture
 of bedroom, kitchen and hotel furniture. In addition it
 kept a force of salesmen on the road, traveling
 to retail stores in half a dozen states.

In a 1911 article on the company, The Herald-Dispatch warmly
praised Kendle as “a man who seemed to have been born
for Huntington. When he came to Huntington, he came
to stay — to be a part of the progressive army
of men who are laboring to make
 Huntington better and bigger.”

The Nicholson-Kendle plant needed a great quantity of glass
to install on its furniture. To meet that need it organized
 the Huntington Plate Glass Co. as a subsidiary.

In 1917, Kendle retired from the furniture company and took
 active charge of the glass company, merging it with the
Central Glass Co. In 1922, Nicholson also retired,
and management of the furniture company
 passed to M.J. Whalen and
Charles R. Voss.

In 1907, C.L. Ritter and C.W. Watts organized the Empire Furniture
Co and opened a factory adjacent to the Nicholson-Kendle
plant. The 1929 arrival of the Great Depression hit the
 furniture industry hard. In 1930, in an effort to cope
with the Depression, the two companies
 merged, forming Huntington Furniture
Lines Inc. By 1933, the merged
company was bankrupt and
out of business.


Note:  This Article and picture appeared in the Herald-Dispatch Newspaper on Sep. 20, 2022..


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