Riter Furniture Co.

February 11, 2019

EDITOR’S NOTE:This is the 274th in a series of articles recalling vanished Huntington scenes.

HUNTINGTON — David Riter was president of the Riter Furniture Co. for more than 40 years before his death in 2002. The store was an integral part of the city’s once-thriving 20th Street business community

Born in 1920 in Boston, he was the son of Charles and Celia Riter. The family soon moved to Huntington, where he graduated from the old Huntington High School and Marshall College. Later, he earned a master’s degree in retailing from New York University. During World War II, he served with the Army Air Corps in the South Pacific.

After the war, David and his brother Morry both worked with their father at the family furniture store. At first, the store sold used furniture but ultimately sold only new items. Morry preceded David in death.

In 1965, the family’s store, then located at 1941 3rd Ave., moved to a building at 1921 3rd Ave., which had been occupied by State Electric Supply.

In December 1987, the store was destroyed in a spectacular four-alarm fire that left the building a smoking ruin, with only the brick walls standing. Days later, high winds toppled two walls of the burned-out building.

In January 1988, Riter Furniture reopened for business in a former Star Furniture Co. store building at 1102 3rd Ave. According to records in the West Virginia Secretary of State’s office, Riter Furniture ceased operation in 2001.


“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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