One of Dayton’s longest standing landmarks is still doing business daily in downtown Dayton. Morgan Furniture since 1909 has been a cornerstone of the downtown area.
The family-owned business was started by John Morgan back in the days when deliveries were still being made by horse and wagon. Morgan also started a furniture factory over in Morgantown, which operated for many years.
John Morgan’s son, Whitney, succeeded him in the business in the mid-1920’s. Whitney Morgan endured some lean years at Morgan Furniture, particularly during the great depression.
At the time of this interview in 1995 Sam Morgan, who was then current owner, had been involved in the family business for over 40 years. This same year, 1995 Morgan Furniture Store was listed as the second oldest family owned, continuously operated furniture store in the state of Tennessee. Sam began driving a truck making deliveries in 1954. Sam Morgan sons, Terry and Whit, were both involved in the business with their father for several years. Over the years, as the business grew, additional employees were hired.
The recessions of the 1980s and 1990s were tough on the business, but as history has shown, the business always managed to survive. The widening of Hwy 27 and the two new bridges across the Tennessee River provided an opportunity for the business to attract new customers from the outlying areas.
As most Rhea Countians know, Morgan Furniture had many expansions in downtown Dayton throughout the years, acquiring more space in the adjoining buildings.
With the shopping centers built along the bypass over the years, the downtown area businesses began to slowly close. Morgan Furniture Store, however is fortunate to still be going strong in downtown Dayton.
Sam Morgan, along with all of his ancestors, have now passed on, but the business is still in operation under the leadership of Matt McClure, a family member.
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