Editor’s Note: This is the 349th in a series of articles recalling vanished Huntington scenes.
UNTINGTON — For years, Pete Stinger, host of “Wake Up and Sing,” his popular early morning radio show on WSAZ, delighted in placing phone calls to his listeners. If the recipient would answer Stinger’s call by saying “You always do better at Fetter’s,” he or she would win $10.
The calls ended in 1973 when the Fetter Furniture Co. closed its doors.
The store’s founder, Maurice Fetter, started the business in 1912, when he brought his family from Bridgeport., Conn., to Huntington just in time for the 1913 Ohio River flood.
The first Fetter store was located at 4th Avenue and 11th Street. Later a second store was opened at 3rd Avenue and 8th Street. The two stores were combined in 1956 when the business moved to a building at 621 4th Ave., formerly occupied by Sears, Roebuck & Co.
Simon Fetter succeeded his father as the company’s president. A Marshall University graduate, he served in the 1960s as president of the Huntington Retail Furniture Dealers Association. (It’s been many years since Huntington had enough furniture stores to justify a trade association.)
Simon Fetter’s younger brother, Herman, was the company secretary. In a 1973 interview with The Herald-Dispatch, he announced that after being a part of the city’s retail picture for more than 60 years, the store was going out of business. “We’ve reached an age when we want to retire,” he said.
He said he couldn’t remember how long he and his brother had been using the “You always do better with Fetter” slogan and advertising on Stinger’s radio show “but it’s been years and years.”