Our Company’s History

Ben O'DellUncategorized

Huntington Steel Logo

Huntington Steel & Supply was founded in 1904 by James A. Diddle. Diddle opened the company's predecessor, Huntington Boiler Works. Sterling Hall, fourth generation owner and Diddle's great-grandson, says, "The direction of the company was boiler repair and manufacturing of small 20 hp boilers mainly used in the dry cleaning business (Huntington Steel). Simply wanting to capitalize on the demand for boilers in the local dry cleaning business, Diddle had no vision for the company to become a steel supply and fabrication center.

This small company was located on the banks of the Ohio River on 4th Street in Huntington until 1939, two years after the great Ohio River Flood of 1937. This flood took the lives of 385 people as the waters were 19 feet above official flood stage, peaking at 69.45 feet. This catastrophic flood warranted the construction of a flood wall, which is the reason that Huntington Boiler works was forced to move to its current location, 100 3rd Avenue, Huntington, WV (Floodwall History).

In an interview, Sterling Hall, fourth generation owner and great-grandson of the company founder, recalls this of the company restart after their forced relocation: "Over the passing of time, the company evolved into more plate ,miscellaneous fabrication, and steel supply. Our name, in turn, was changed to Huntington Boiler and Supply Company," a change that occurred in 1939. Fifteen years later, the company's name was changed to its current name, Huntington Steel & Supply. This was just after World War II which brought demand for steel to an all-time high. At this point, the company began to focus primarily on miscellaneous steel services. From there, after Sterling Hall, grandson of Sterling Diddle, was named President of Huntington Steel, the modernization of the company began. Sterling Later detailed this transition and said that he expanded the plant, added new equipment, and thereby increased the processing capabilities of the company. Three divisions were established -- Service Center, Structural Fabrication, and Miscellaneous Fabrication (Company Records). At this point, the company opened their Pikeville, Kentucky, branch in 1978.

Upon Sterling Hall's retirement, the company was handed over to his son-in-law, Mike Emerson, the current CEO of the company. Under Emerson, the company opened its third branch in 1995 in Westover, West Virginia. In 2004, Mike Emerson and Huntington Steel celebrated 100 years of business in the Greater Tristate Area.

Today, the company continues to do business from these three locations.