EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the 342nd in a series of articles recalling vanished Huntington scenes.
UNTINGTON — The National Mattress Company — known as NAMACO — began in 1905 in a single room located above a Huntington livery stable. By the 1950s, it was operating four manufacturing plants in Huntington and six others in various cities elsewhere in the nation. It would open even more plants in the years after that.
Three of NAMACO’s local plants were located in adjoining buildings on Jackson Avenue west of West 14th Street. One of three fashioned specially treated and tempered wire into coiled bed springs. A woodworking plant made wooden frames for box springs and parts that a third plant used in crafting couches, sofa beds, chairs and other products.
The company’s home plant, located at 21st Street and 2nd Avenue, used the materials from the Jackson Avenue factories to manufacture mattresses and box springs that were sold nationwide.
C. Fred Edwards, who started out in life as a $6-a-week furniture store clerk, founded NAMACO. His son, James F. Edwards, followed in his father’s footsteps as the company’s president.
In 1982, the younger Edwards moved the NAMACO offices from the plant building at 21st Street to a historic downtown building at 422 9th St., built in 1915 to house the former Deardorff-Sisler department store.
When James Edwards died in 1991, his will called for multimillion-dollar bequests to a number of community projects. His widow not only carried out those bequests but went on to donate millions more of her own money. Overall, James and Joan Edwards donated more than $65 million to Marshall University and various projects in the Huntington community.
NAMACO was last listed in the Huntington City Directory in 1999.