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Early-morning shoppers wait for the doors to open at Bradshaw-Diehl's going-out-of-business sale in April 1971.

Editor's note: This is the 26th in a series of articles recalling vanished Huntington landmarks.

HUNTINGTON -- For more than half a century, the Bradshaw-Diehl Company was one of the community's best-known department stores.

The company had its beginnings in 1915 when J.R. McMahon and H.T. Diehl opened a small store at 8th Avenue and 20th Street under the name McMahon-Diehl. The next year they opened a second store at 1017-1019 3rd Ave. Later the first store closed. In 1919, the company erected a four-story brick building on the southeast corner of 3rd Avenue and 10th Street that would be its long-time home.

After McMahon's death, George D. Bradshaw bought into the business and the store was re-named Bradshaw-Diehl. Elected mayor in 1932, Bradshaw spent the next two years dividing his time between the store and Huntington City Hall. George E. Fargo of Toledo, Ohio, bought control of the company in 1940. Ten years later, in 1950, he sold his interest to New York financier Daniel Van Dyk.

In March of 1971, the company announced it was closing the store due to what it termed "a conflict with plans of the Huntington Urban Renewal Authority."

The company said that even though the authority was acquiring and demolishing a number of buildings in downtown Huntington, it originally was told its building was not on the list for demolition. When the authority reversed that stance, the store said it had no choice but to close as there was no "acceptable alternate site" in the downtown.

Later, Bradshaw-Diehl's corner building and all the other buildings on the south side of 3rd Avenue between 10th and 11th streets were acquired and demolished for construction of the Huntington Holiday Inn - the predecessor of today's Pullman Plaza Hotel.

For more Lost Huntington stories, visit www.Herald-Dispatch.com. Click on "News," then "Lost Huntington series."

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