Explosives Plant "C"
Minter Homes Corporation,
"Ready-to-Build" Housing
The Minter Homes Corporation, a manufacturer of ready-to-build housing, was
Company. Founded in 1912 by William E. Minter, the lumber company was well situated
to capitalize on the logging in southern West Virginia. It was located near three major
logging streams, Twelvepole Creek, and the Guyandotte and Big Sandy rivers, while the
Chesapeake & Ohio, Baltimore & Ohio, and Norfolk & Western railway lines converged
at Huntington and nearby Kenova.

The Sears, Roebuck Company and Montgomery Ward already had established a market
for pre-cut houses. Minter Homes emulated these better-known competitors by issuing a
catalog of house plans and supplying the specifications and all materials needed for
construction. Customers could choose anything from three-room cottages to elaborate,
columned mansions.

In addition to supplying custom millwork, doors, windows, interior trim, mantels, and
other building supplies, the corporation shipped individual house packages and entire mill
or industrial villages throughout the South and East.
Notable among these villages was the
town of Nitro, established in 1917 by the U.S. War Department for the manufacture of
munitions for World War I. Minter Homes supplied the plans and materials for 1,724
houses, which were built at Nitro between February and July, 1918
. The company did not
limit itself to supplying individual cottages and bungalows. In addition to school buildings
and churches, the catalog also listed bunkhouses, boarding houses, and multi-family
dwellings, all suitable for construction in mining or lumber camps.

At the peak of its operations, the company employed 125 people in the mill in addition to
10 traveling salesmen and had an annual business of $3 million. By 1954, Minter Homes
had gone out of the ready-cut home business, concentrating its work on custom mill work,
finished lumber, windows, doors, and other items for building contractors. With only six
employees in 1982–83, the company finally closed its doors.
Supplied 1,724 "Ready-to-Build"
houses for the town of Nitro between
February and July 1918.
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