Editor’s Note: This is the 354th in a series of articles recalling vanished Huntington scenes.
HUNTINGTON — George James Dickerson was born at Ravens Eye in Fayette County in 1878. As a young man, he worked as a surveyor.
In 1902 he became a stenographer in the office of the O.L. Packard Machinery Co. in Chicago. He followed that with a stint as a telegrapher with the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, and then worked as an assistant cashier in the Bank of Mount Hope.
In 1905, Dickerson came to Huntington and worked at the Carolina Pine Lumber Co. for 13 years.
In 1918, he left Carolina Lumber to organize his own firm, the Dickerson Lumber Co., to sell all kinds of lumber and building supplies.
He built his company into one of the largest and most successful in the state’s retail lumber trade.
Located at 520 22nd St., it was a busy part of the Huntington business community for more than 40 years.
In 1961, Dickerson announced his retirement and sold his business to a newly organized company, DANCO Inc., described by a spokesman as a “lumber discount house.”
According to a news report in the Herald-Dispatch, “The $90,000 sale included $67,531.65 for the real estate and the remainder for inventory, equipment and business good will.”
Dickerson was a member of the Huntington Chamber of Commerce, the Guyan Golf and Country Club and Huntington Lodge 313, B.P. O. Elks. He died in 1964 and is interred in Woodmere Memorial Park.
In 1972, DANCO expanded, moving to a new location at 2240 5th Ave. In 1978, it was hit by a three-alarm fire. William Bart Andrews, the company’s president and general manager, said the blaze caused more than $500,000 in damages to the building and the materials stored in it. After repairs were made, the firm quickly reopened.
According to records in the West Virginia Secretary of State’s office, DANCO went out of business in 1993.