Editor's note: This is the 127th in a series of articles recalling vanished Huntington landmarks.
HUNTINGTON - Today, it's an office complex, but originally the building at 422 9th St. in downtown Huntington was home to the Deardorff-Sisler Co., one of the city's most popular department stores.
Edgar N. Deardorff was born in Putnam County in 1864. When he was 16 years old, he moved with his family to Gallipolis, Ohio. For a time he was employed on a steamboat that traveled the Ohio and Kanawha rivers. In 1893, he opened a dry goods store in Gallipolis.
In 1912, he partnered with E. B. Sisler to purchase the former Valentine-Crew ready-to-wear store at 4th Avenue and 10th Street in Huntington. Deciding that the existing store building wasn't big enough, the partners resolved to build a new one. They leased the former City Hall site on 9th Street behind the Carnegie Library and hired Edwin B. Alger, one of the city's best known architects, to design a suitable structure.
The new 50,000 square-foot Deardorff-Sisler store - three stories, plus a "bargain basement" - opened in August 1915. An art glass and cast iron marquee (long since vanished) stood at the entrance of the new store, described by The Herald-Dispatch as "spacious, light and artistic." With its opening, Deardorff moved from Gallipolis to Huntington, where he quickly became one of the city's best-known merchants.
Deardorff died in 1926. The store he founded remained open for a time but closed in 1930. When the 1937 Ohio River flood inundated much of Huntington, the American Red Cross utilized the former department store to shelter refugees from the floodwaters.
For a number of years, the Huntington Store (originally Huntington Dry Goods) used the building to house its furniture department. In 1981, the National Mattress Co. (NAMCO) remodeled the structure for use as its corporate headquarters. Today, various concerns lease office space in the building.