William H. Magee

Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Chris & Kerry
December 5, 1999

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.
Chicago and New York, Volume II
pg.68 & 69

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.
Chicago and New York, Volume II
pg.65 & 66

WILLIAM H. MAGEE, who was born in the country north of Wheeling, is now designer
for the Central Glass Works of Wheeling, has concentrated the energy and study
of his mature career to the glass industry, and has filled a number of expert
and responsible offices with glass plants all over the Ohio Valley.

Mr. Magee was born at Wellsburg, West Virginia, October 15, 1878. His father,
Joseph Magee, was born in Donegal, Ireland, in 1841. He lived there until he was
twenty, then crossed the ocean to Hamilton, Canada, and for two years was
employed as a physician’s assistant in a hospital. On leaving Canada he went to
Akron, Ohio, learned the tinner’s trade, and followed it as a journeyman for
seven years. In 1870 he located at Wheeling, and owned and operated a tin shop
and store at the corner of Eleventh and Market streets until 1877. In that year
he removed to Wellsburg, where he continued the same line of business. From 1888
to 1898 he conducted his business at one of the leading centers of the Ohio oil
fields, Findlay. For twenty years following he was in business at Newark Ohio
and in 1918 retired and now, at the age of eighty, is living at Charleston,
West Virginia. He is a republican, a stanch member of the Episcopal Church, and
is affiliated with the Knights of Pythias. Joseph Magee married Hannah
Richardson, who was born at Wheeling in 1849. Her father, William Richardson,
was a native of England, came to the United States and settled at Wheeling when
a young man, and was a merchant tailor for many years. He married in Wheeling,
Elizabeth Barrett, who was born in Ireland in 1808 and died at Findlay, Ohio, in
1892. Joseph Magee and wife had three children, William H. dying in infancy and
the third son was also named William H., he being the glass maker at Wheeling.
The second son, Charles Frizzell, is a clergyman of the Episcopal Church with
home at Charleston, West Virginia. There was also an adopted daughter, Hannah
Ethel, who died at Newark, Ohio, in 1918, wife of Franze Bahlke, who is now an
employe of the Republic Truck Company at Alma, Michigan.

William H. Magee spent the years of his childhood and early youth in Wellsburg,
West Virginia, and Findlay, Ohio, acquiring his public school education there.
He left school at thirteen, and his labors as boy and man have been entirely
devoted to the glass industry. He was a boy worker in the mold department of
the Dalzell, Gilmore & Leighton Company at Findlay for seven years. From 1898 to
1902 he was mold maker for the A. H. Heisey Glass Company at Newark, Ohio. He
first came to the Wheeling industrial district to take charge of the mold
department of the West Virginia Glass Company at Martins Ferry. This plant was
abandoned in 1904 and Mr. Magee was then put in charge of the mold department
of the Jefferson Glass Company at Steubenville, Ohio, in 1906 went to Rochester,
Pennsylvania, to fill a similar position with the H. C. Fry Glass Company, was
there two years, and did similar work for the McKee Glass Company at Jeannette,
Pennsylvania. He then returned to the Jefferson Glass Company, who had relocated
at Follansbee, West Virginia, and was general manager of that plant until 1910.
For nearly a year he was in charge of the mold department of the Imperial Glass
Company of Bellaire, and on January 1, 1911, he organized and opened the Grafton
plant of the Columbia Tile Company. He continued as general manager of this West
Virginia industry until January, 1915. From that date until January 1, 1921 Mr.
Magee had charge of the mold department of the Libbey Glass Company at Toledo,
Ohio. On leaving Toledo he came to Wheeling as designer for the Central Glass
Works. This is one of the prominent industries of the Wheeling District, located
at Fifteenth and McColloch streets.

Mr. Magee is a republican in politics, a member of the Episcopal Church, and is
well known in glass manufacturing circles and as a citizen of a number of
communities. During the war he acted as salesman in every one of the five loan
campaigns. He owns a modern home at Park View, Elm Grove, Wheeling. He married
at Wellsburg, West Virginia, in 1903, Miss Margaret Frances Spooner, daughter
of Samuel and Anna (Carless) Spooner, now deceased. Her father was a rolling
mill heater in sheet iron mills. Mrs. Magee was reared and educated in Wheeling,
and died at Toledo, Ohio, February 23, 1921. She is survived by four children:
William Spooner, born at Steubenville, Ohio, May 1, 1904; Nancy Lee, born at
Rochester, Pennsylvania, April 7, 1906; Samuel Joseph, born at Follansbee, West
Virginia, December 11, 1908; and Robert Barrett, born at Grafton, West Virginia,
November 7, 1912.