In 1988, The Centennial History of Hurricane, WV was published to commemorate the town’s 100th anniversary. In 1994, the Centennial Committee published a follow up book which included family histories which were not submitted in time for the 1988 Centennial History. This week’s selection is the 43rd history from The Centennial History of Hurricane WV Continued — 1994.
SMITH & SONS
The need for a concrete garage floor prompted the idea of putting a Ready Mix plant in Hurricane. The nearest suppliers were located in Charleston and Huntington and the cost per yard to have the product delivered was enormous. This idea was conceived by Claxton Frazier Smith, Sr., of 2603 Main Street, Hurricane.
After years of working to build bins, buying scales, building a supply shelter and getting the dry materials in, the first load of Ready Mix was ready to be delivered. This was in April 1953. Claxton and Suzy didn’t sleep that night, as this adventure was new to him and he wasn’t sure he had done everything right, so they loaded their five children in the car and went out to see if it was setting and it was.
Claxton continued to operate out of the Hurricane location until 1964, at which time they moved the plant to Poca along the Kanawha Rivers for the convenience of receiving materials on the river.
Claxton is the son of the late Harmon A and Elma Virginia Frazier Smith. He is married to the former Dorthy E. (Suzy) Sherman. They had five children, four of which still work in the business. Claxton Jr., is the Sales-Representative, Gary is Maintanence Engineer, Keith is Batch Manager and Marilyn works in the office. Suzy worked and managed the office until her retirement in 1988. Claxton Sr., was active in the business until his retirement in 1989. Pamela, their youngest child is deceased.
Claxton and Suzy have ten grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren that they hope will continue the business. Two of their grandchildren, Gary Smith Jr., and Robin Smith Davis, are now working in the business.
Claxton, while working to put the concrete plant in operation, continued to work at Union Carbide as a Crane Operator and worked with his bulldozer clearing lots and making roads for the citizens of Hurricane and the surrounding area as it was a growing community.
Claxton Smith & Sons continues to be a growing part of the Putnam County Community and operate as a family business. They take pride in the fact that their family members choose to work in different areas of the business and they provide a much needed product to the area.