Leslie Friend built the largest department store in the county in the 1890's where the First United Bank now stands. Leslie also helped charter and built the First National Bank of Friendsville in 1902, now the Friend Family Association Heritage Museum (both buildings pictured above). Friendsville became a bustling hub for the farmers and families in the surrounding countryside and an important center of commerce.
Business was booming with the railroad bringing salesmen as well as merchandise for the local stores to sell. Barrels made at Kendall were shipped out and poles for mine supports were sent to the mines in Pennsylvania. Records show lumber and coal were shipped to WV, VA, PA, DE, NY and Ohio.
The department store was noted for its "stitch Gothic' ornamentation and classic 19th century architecture. The store failed during the Great Depression and from 1930-1963 the building was partitioned and one side used as a Post Office. The building was eventually torn down around 1970. Ornamentation was saved and is on display at the Friend Family Association Heritage Museum. Some ornamental parts of the store were used to build a new altar at the Methodist Church on Water Street.
"For a small town Friendsville has had a long and impressive record of service to our country. Available records show five
Revolutionary War veterans buried in the area, two from the War of 1812, 63 from the Civil War, 2 from the Spanish American War, 47 from WW I, 141 from WW II, 31 for the Korean War, 17 from Vietnam and 4 from the Iraq War. The VFW post 10077 places 375 flags on graves in the Friendsville Area."
Friendsville Bank notes were in circulation until the crash of 1929.
Leslie Friend outside his department store. (Marker Number 12.)