We hear it all the time; “Ensley Fairfield Mattress Company in Pelham?” If you don’t know who we are, it is a strange name. We used to reside in that old brick building on the township lines of Ensley and Fairfield in Birmingham, Alabama back in 1915. That is where we began to manufacture our mattresses; the old dirt floors of that building and it’s where our colorful history begins. The first generation owners, Louis H and Dixie A. Holtzclaw worked their way here from South Carolina after opening a mattress factory with his brother in Montgomery, Alabama. The American spirit of entrepreneurship and pride is all the fuel they needed to survive the World War along with the Black Tuesday stock market crash of 1929. At one point they refurbished old mattresses by running the old cotton of the mattress through a Garnet machine replacing the same cotton with brand new ticking. Even to this day, you can come by our showroom and see the old Toledo scale that was used to weigh out the old, Southern grown cotton, before they put it into the mattresses. Also, in our showroom, you can also see the old Model T Ford with wooden sides that we used to make our deliveries all over Birmingham.
After the second World War, there was a decision to be made on the direction of the company. At that time the business was booming and manufacturing was a part of their soul. Louie and Dixie’s son, Claude had married his high school sweetheart, Dorothy “Dot”, and returned home from the war. It was then that the second generation began their stewardship of the family business. They manifested the same humble approach, with the spirit and pride of owning their own business in America. At one time, Claude and Dot were living in the back of the manufacturing warehouse, all while raising their family and continuing to run the store. By now it was a full scale family operation with multiple family members all playing an important role in developing and maintaining the business. There were several “Mom and Pops” (Yes, they were actually called that!), that worked in the business well into the 1970s with several retail locations around the greater Birmingham area.
Another 35 years passed and the company was at yet another critical crossroads. The company had grown to 50+ employees and multiple locations that old dirt floor of the manufacturing plant years back. The son of Claude and Dot, William “Bill” Holtzclaw and his wife, Sherry, made the decision to move back to Birmingham to work in the family business. Soon after that, the direction was clear; Bill and Sherry would become the third generation of the family business and would carry it into a new century. They ushered the business out of manufacturing because they found they could offer their customers a better value without sacrificing quality. Another staple of the business has been the manufacturing of odd-sized mattresses, which we still do to this day. The generational spirit we continue to offer is to make our own deliveries and not contract it out.
Now our children have grown from jumping on the mattresses in the warehouse to propelling themselves into the next generation of stewardship and tradition. To this day, we carry the American spirit of entrepreneurship and pride. The spirit is still strong, and our commitment of quality and service is our highest priority. We are as proud of the mattresses and beds we offer in our showroom in Pelham today, as we were of the ones we manufactured many years ago. We only partner with businesses that have the customers’ best interest in mind when developing a product and are willing to stand behind their name like we continue to do.
As a family owned and operated business, our goal is for you to be as proud of your purchase as we are. With our 103 years of combined experience, we always strive to ensure customer satisfaction with the mattresses we offer…no matter the brand. We make sure of that by offering high quality, American made items, manufactured with passion and care from an American craftsman.
From all four generations, we thank you for your business and appreciate the opportunity to serve you and your family!