Editor’s Note: This is the 350th in a series of articles recalling vanished Huntington scenes.
UNTINGTON — In 1907, a small man with a gray, cropped mustache, wearing glasses and carrying a black bag, entered a lawyer’s office in Huntington.
The man was John Parks, then the president of the Buckeye Savings & Loan Association of Bellaire, Ohio, who said he was interested in opening a branch office in Huntington and would need an attorney to represent his company.
The two men arrived at an understanding and Colonel George S. Wallace would go on to be the company’s Huntington legal counsel for more than 50 years. During that 50 years, the Buckeye S&L loaned an estimated $30 million to help Huntingtonians build, remodel or purchase their homes.
Parks said Buckeye’s mortgage loans were offered at 6% and he authorized Wallace to offer a free suit of clothes to any man who could show that the firm had made a loan at any higher interest rate, but no one ever did.
In 1924, the noted Huntington architectural firm of Meanor and Handloser designed a handsome three-story building for the Buckeye S&L at 522 9th St.
When the Buckeye firm moved out of the 9th Street building, the Huntington Chamber of Commerce, with Don Baker as executive vice president and Jane Aldridge as office manager, moved in. (The Chamber would later move twice, first to the former Huntington Water Co. office on 4th Avenue and then to the River Tower on 3rd Avenue, where it’s now located.)
Later, the former S&L building would house an A.G. Edwards brokerage office and still later the Duffield, Lovejoy, Stemple & Boggs law firm until it built a new building on 16th Street Road.
The building is currently vacant.