EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the 119th in a series of articles recalling vanished Huntington landmarks.
HUNTINGTON - A native of Nicholas County, West Virginia, Oscar Lee Stanard came to Huntington in 1913 and quickly became one of the city's leading businessmen.
When he arrived in Huntington, he first established the Croft-Stanard Co. and, shortly thereafter, the O.L. Stanard Dry Goods Co., a wholesale dry goods and merchant house. In its first four years, the business grew from a sales volume of $500,000 a year to more than $1.5 million.
In 1921, Stanard built a five-story warehouse building on the northwest corner of 7th Avenue and 10th Street to house his growing business.
Stanard was a director and first vice president of the Huntington Bank and Trust Co., served on the boards of the Huntington Chamber of Commerce and the Huntington Rotary Club and had extensive statewide investments in the dry goods business. He died in 1950.
It's not clear when Stanard Dry Goods went out of business, but by the 1940s the Stanard warehouse building was occupied by the first of a series of garment factories. A 1959 newspaper article reported the Huntington Manufacturing Co. was turning out 180,000 dresses a month at its factory in the building. In 1960, the dress factory in the old building had a distinguished visitor - John F. Kennedy, who was busily campaigning for that year's Democratic presidential nomination.
By the 1970s, a successor company, Huntington Industries, was operating in the building. Huntington Industries closed in 1983 and the building remained vacant until 1998 when it was acquired by the city of Huntington and remodeled for use by the Huntington Police Department and the J. Seaton Taylor Municipal Court.
For many years, the Stanard name could still be seen, carved in stone above the building's 7th Avenue entrance, but it's now been replaced by the Municipal Court sign.