Humble Flooring celebrates 50 years in Waynesburg

Humble Flooring, at 1000 E. High St., Waynesburg, has been a family-owned and operated business since it opened in 1974.

In 1974, John Humble and his oldest son, Danny, launched a store that would become a cornerstone of the Waynesburg business district. It was a home supply shop that, over the next half-century, would expand and evolve into Humble Flooring & Decorating Center.

It was not an easy start for the father, though. Danny was a talented baseball player, an outfielder whom the Chicago Cubs selected in the 13th round of the 1971 Major League Baseball draft. Danny was just out of Waynesburg Central High School when he signed with the Cubs – a mere four months after the store opened.

His father had a Plan B for filling this early void, but it involved his slightly younger son, Johnny, a top-flight athlete as well. Johnny likewise had an appealing offer, a track scholarship to Alderson Broaddus University. He had run the half-mile in a time that would endure as a Waynesburg and Greene County record for 18 years.

“My father offered me a partnership in the business,” Johnny said recently. He accepted and has since been as comfortable running or helping to run a showroom as he was on a running surface.

Humble Flooring, at 1000 E. High St., has been a family-owned and operated business from the start. It sits on its original location, the previous site of a grocery store, and has found room to grow. The company built a large warehouse and has a showroom with 4,000 square feet.

“We have a lot of showroom space and great selection. We’re proud of that,” said Johnny Humble, now the sole owner of the operation.

The company, according to its website, sells and installs “an extensive line of flooring and window treatments” and blinds and specializes in “custom bathroom renovations.” Its wide range of products includes carpeting, area rugs, natural stone floors, porcelain and laminate flooring.

“We’re also really big with ceramic tile, blinds and custom-made draperies,” said Johnny, who will turn 70 in January.

Humble Flooring serves a large area, including a number of regular clients. “We travel to three homes in Deep Creek (Md.) and go up to Cranberry. We do work on the flooring of Primanti’s (in Mt. Lebanon). We also do speed cleaning.”

Johnny purchased the business from his father in 1996. “He wanted to retire,” Johnny said of his dad, who died in 2015. Danny Humble, who played in the Cubs’ minor-league system for two-and-a-half years, passed away in 1986 at age 33 of pancreatic cancer.

Humble Flooring has 10 full-time employees and remains family-oriented. The owner’s wife, Rebecca, a psychology professor at Waynesburg University, remains involved with the store.

Their daughter, Elizabeth McAllen, manages sales, the books and the store. Son Ben also works in sales and is head of installation crews, specializing in shower renovations.

Scot Smerdel, who is not a family member, is a full-time salesman who travels a lot.

Humble Flooring is not the oldest operating business in Greene County. Four have hit the centennial and beyond: Waynesburg U. (174 years); Waynesburg Milling Co. (138); Community Bank (123); and First Federal Savings & Loan Association of Greene County (100).

The flooring firm on East High Street could attain that milestone.