One of the city’s oldest businesses is no more. On January 11 Eddie Lentz, a fourth generation owner, told his employees that Lentz Transfer and Storage was closing its doors after 96 years in the Twin City. Lentz told the Clemmons Courier that the economy was the culprit.
His great grandfather, Adam Wiley Lentz, was a partner in a Salisbury moving company in 1914 when he met R.J. Reynolds at a convention. Reynolds encouraged him to come to Winston-Salem. Lentz joined Paul M. McGraw at his already established transfer company on East Third Street. By 1918, McGraw was operating a restaurant and a bowling alley and Lentz was flying solo.
At its peak, Lentz had 20 moving vans and close to 100 employees. When Wake Forest moved to Winston-Salem in 1956, Lentz moved them. Lentz had contracts with most major businesses, including Piedmont Airlines, Reynolds, Hanes and Lowes. But as local headquarters moved away to other cities, so did the business.
“Wachovia Bank used to be my best customer,” Eddie Lentz told the Courier. “We moved them to Charlotte, and that ended that.”
Lentz will continue to lease space in five warehouses, but the trucking business is gone with the wind.