SmootAdvertising_08429.jpg

Courtesy James E. Casto In 1916, the Smoot Advertising Company erected a Huntington office building on the northeast corner of 4th Avenue and 6th Street and used it as a two-tiered gallery to display nearly a dozen of their colorful signs. Note the Rich Chevrolet name lettered on the side of the building next door.

Editor's note: This is the 243rd in a series of articles recalling vanished Huntington scenes.

HUNTINGTON - Over the years, the Smoot Advertising Company, founded in 1907, put up hundreds, if not thousands, of outdoor billboards in every corner of the Tri-State.

In 1916, the company, headquartered in Parkersburg, erected a Huntington office building on the northeast corner of 4th Avenue and 6th Street and used it as a two-tiered gallery to display nearly a dozen of their colorful signs.

According to General Manager R.C. Taylor, the Huntington office directed the company's operations in Ironton, Portsmouth, Ashland, Logan and Williamson.

In 1947, the original building was razed and replaced by a modern, two-story building built by the Persun Construction Co. of Huntington at a cost of $85,000. Originally, the company did only outdoor advertising, but Taylor told The Herald-Dispatch the new, larger building would enable it to expand into neon and other commercial sign work.

While the new building was under construction, the company temporarily relocated to 424 4th Ave., the former home of Watts Motor Co.

In 1962, Raynal R. Riggs was appointed general manager of the Huntington Division of Smoot Advertising. J.N. Fuller was named assistant manager and Curtis C. Jones sales manager.

According to records in the West Virginia Secretary of State's office, Smoot Advertising went out of business in 1967. The company's building was demolished as part of Huntington's downtown Urban Renewal Project.

Today, Nawab Indian Cuisine is located on the corner lot where the Smoot building once stood. The restaurant opened in 1997 in a former Rax Roast Beef restaurant.

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