Byron S. Henry and Schmitt & Henry Furniture Manufacturing

Byron Henry must have been feeling quite prosperous in 1918 when he and his wife Anna, along with their son Norman, moved from 1234 Ninth Street to 4995 Country Club Boulevard. At that time it was one of only a handful of houses in the area and backed up then to the Des Moines Golf and Country Club. Henry's new home was designed by Sawyer & Watrous, Architects. Mr. Henry, who lived in the house until his death in 1947, had joined the Carman and Schmitt Manufacturing Company in 1890, rising over the years from secretary/treasurer to president and chairman of the board. In 1903 the business, by now renamed the Schmitt and Henry Manufacturing Company, moved into their new factory on Southwest 8th and Elm. The prominent Des Moines architectural firm of Proudfoot, Bird and Rawson, known for such notable structures as the Hotel Fort Des Moines, the Equitable Building, Roosevelt High School and the Masonic Temple, was the original architect for the series of buildings.

Schmitt and Henry grew rapidly to eventually include not only the already successful mattress factory, but also a mill, upholstering and woodworking shops, shipping and warehouse space and retail furniture sales. In 1942, it became a manufacturer of Sealy mattresses until that company was sold in 1989. Schmitt and Henry moved to West Des Moines in 1978 and finally went out of business in 1985, 101 years after its founding. The downtown building was converted to an “income-restricted apartment community” in 2011 by Hubbell Realty and is now known as Riverpoint Lofts. If you look closely at the picture of the lofts, you can still make out “Schmitt & Henry Manufacturing” at the top of the north side of the building.