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In about 1891 a young man named J. Howard Frew (1870-1929) – of the pioneering Frew family of Slippery Rock Township – found employment in the W. G. Offutt furniture business in New Castle. He then became a partner in the furniture and undertaking business of Dunn, Buffinger, Rice, and Frew. That firm reorganized in 1898 and he took control of the newly established Frew Furniture Company – at #131 East Washington Street. In August 1924 he moved his business into his new Frew Building (shown above) on North Mill Street. (1924) Full Size
J Howard Frew (shown above), who established the Frew Furniture business in 1898, passed away at his home of East Moody Avenue in January 1929. He had been ill for some time and was only fifty-eight years old. I believe his brother James Milton Frew (1873-1931) continued to manage the business, but he too passed away soon after. J. Howard Frew’s son James R. Frew (1895-1971) and his grandson James M. Frew managed the business in the coming years. (1924) Full Size
The Frew Furniture Company occupied the top two floors of the Frew Building (shown above) from 1924 until about 1940. At that time the Frew family turned the building over to the Strouss-Hirshberg company and relocated into the upper floors of the Wallace Block on the Diamond. In April 1966 the Frew business was sold and essentially merged into Haney’s Furniture, and became the Haney-Frew Studio for Decorating and Design. That ended sixty-eight years of family ownership and the Frew name was phased out in the 1970’s. The Frew family had plans to build a 12-story Howard Johnson’s motor lodge at the site in the mid-1960’s, but it fell through. The Wallace Block/Frew Building was vacated after a fire in April 1987 and was demolished in late 1995. (1924) Full Size
(1924) Full Size
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