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Simmons second century

A story of money

few examples of his energy and
-During and just after World
War I, he acquired several
small mattress companies in
Newark, Atlanta, San
Francisco and Montreal.
-In 1919, he moved corporate
headquarters to New York.
-In 1924, he arranged for listing
of Simmons Common Stock on
the New York Stock Exchange.
-In 1926 he launched the
Beautyrest mattress.
-In 1929, he acquired B. F.
Huntley of North Carolina;
Berkey and Gay of Grand
Rapids; and the Rosemary and
Patterson mills in Roanoke
Rapids, North Carolina.
Alas, this shining period of
progress ended with the Crash in
1929. In three days Simmons stock
fell from $188 a share to $98. By
1932, it hitan all-time low of 27/8 a
share. From 1930 through 1934, the
company experienced the only loss
years in its history.
For the third Mr. Simmons, Grant
Simmons, Sr., the great depression
was a baptism of fire. He became
President in 1 929-the worst
possible time to become president
of any company. Simmons was a bit
of a shambles. We were a national
business mostly on paper. Old
Kenosha ideas rasped against
new viewpoints, east, south, and
west. Control over regional
products, prices and policies were
ineffectual and often quixotic.
Worst of all, we were weak
Grant Simmons, Sr.'s
rehabilitation of the company under
these conditions will always remain
one of the proudest chapters in our
history. Just when we were at rock
bottom, on a very black day on the
New York Stock Market, he
completed the $15 million loan that
kept our corporate head above
water. Later, he retired the bulk of
this loan at a very handsome
Then, with the assistance of
Messrs. Guthrie, Terrell, Burke, and
Wrightson, he put the company
back on its feet. They liquidated our
investment in the Berkey and Gay
and B. F Huntley furniture companies
-now a "horror case" at the
Harvard Graduate School of
Business Administration. By 1933,
they nursed operations to a
break-even point. By 1935, we were
Grant Simmons, Sr.

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