Editor's note: This is the 153rd in a series of articles recalling vanished Huntington scenes.
HUNTINGTON - The Standard Printing & Publishing Co. was founded in 1903 with C. L. Ritter as president and William W. McCue as superintendent.
McCue came to Huntington from Virginia where, when he began learning the printing trade, he lived on a farm several miles distant from the print shop in Lynchburg. To reach work each morning he left the farm about 3 a.m. and walked to the shop. Rising at 3 a.m. and walking to work became a life-long habit with him, and so he was generally at his desk at Standard Printing long before the sun came up.
In 1932, Herman P. Dean became the principal stockholder in Standard Printing and moved the business to a three-story building at 914 5th Ave. The building had been built in 1927 to house the Herald-Dispatch, but the newspaper's stay in it was brief as it soon merged with the Huntington Advertiser to form the Huntington Publishing Co. The Herald-Dispatch then abandoned its building and moved to the Advertiser's building at 5th Avenue and 10th Street.
Dean successfully operated Standard Printing until 1961 when he sold it to Robert P. McDonough of Parkersburg. Under McDonough, the firm encountered financial difficulties and was declared bankrupt. In 1968, its assets were purchased by Marshall Reynolds, owner of Chapman Printing.
Standard Printing had leased the building at 914 5th Ave. from the estate of former Huntington Mayor Rufus Switzer. With the printing firm's bankruptcy, the Standard Building was renamed the Switzer Building. In 1997, the law firm of Farrell, Farrell and Farrell LC bought the building from John Hankins, who had purchased it from the Switzer Trust, maintained by the former First Huntington National Bank.
At that time, the West Virginia Department of Employment Security was leasing the building's first floor. The law firm gutted and renovated the second and third floors. A year later, the Department of Employment Security vacated the premises which allowed the law firm to renovate the first floor. The building was then renamed the Farrell Building in honor of Dr. Joseph M. Farrell, the father of Michael, Paul and Joseph Farrell Jr.
The building's present occupant is the law firm of Farrell, White & Legg, PLLC. The Herald-Dispatch name can be seen carved in stone above its front entrance.
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"Lost Huntington: Volume 1" is a hardcover, full-color book of some of the city's lost landmarks. The book is likely to be of interest to anyone who enjoys history and loves Huntington.
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