Courtesy of James E. Casto Wender’s Apparel was one of the oldest businesses in downtown Huntington when it closed in 2009.

Editor's note: This is the 228th in a series of articles recalling vanished Huntington scenes.

HUNTINGTON — As one of the oldest businesses in downtown Huntington, Wender's Apparel, on the corner at 901 4th Ave., outfitted many of the area's most sophisticated women for 75 years.

The store closed in 2009 after the death of its longtime owner, Edna Dunkle. A victim of a heart attack, she was 72 and still running the women's clothing store, where she had worked almost 55 years.

Dunkle owned the store for 45 years after she and her first husband, John Griffith, bought it from the Elderman family.

Following her mother's death, daughter Lisa Bragg recalled it was a big treat to help out at the store when she was a little girl, unloading boxes or hanging up merchandise on Saturdays. And when she got older, it was an exciting day when she could fit into Wender's clothing for the first time.

Her mother not only dressed to the nines, but knew what fashions were right for other people, Bragg said. "She had a flair for it. Something would come in, and she'd say, this looks like so-and-so, and she'd call them."

Her job was one that she loved, with the exception of the bookkeeping, her husband Ronald Dunkle said. "She hated the paperwork, but she loved the people. She loved to talk."

She also loved selling, Dunkle said. "She really enjoyed that part of it. She's probably the only one in town who still did everything with pencil and paper. I bought a cash register several years ago, and it stayed out in the garage - still in the box it came in. She didn't want it. Everything was done just like it was 50 years ago."


Do you enjoy the "Lost Huntington" series?

"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.

Books are $29.95 plus tax, shipping and handling. To order, visit media.herald-dispatch.com/ecom/ or call 304-526-2720.


Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.