Seaton Alexander

From “History of Wheeling City and Ohio County, West Virginia and
Representative Citizens,” by Hon. Gibson Lamb Cranmer, 1902.

Typed by Laurie Birks Dean

pp. 428-429

Seaton ALEXANDER, of the firm of Alexander & Company, the largest
retail shoe dealers in Wheeling, West Virginia, has been a resident
of the city since 1881. He was born in Clarksburg, West Virginia,
and is a son of Thomas B. Alexander, who is deceased. Mrs. Thomas B.
Alexander, who came from an old Virginia family, still resides at
Clarksburg.
Seaton Alexander started in the shoe business at the age of
fourteen years, and had seven years experience in that business
before he located in Wheeling. After settling in Wheeling he worked
for the J. H. Locke Shoe Company for a period of eight years, and in
November, 1889, engaged in business for himself, under the firm name
of Alexander & Company, being associated with the Vance Shoe Company
until 1899. At that time he took George J. Mathison into
partnership, and they are now doing business at No. 1049 Main street.
Mr. Alexander’s store is purely retail, and is the largest
store of the kind in Wheeling. He carries an immense stock, which
occupies the space of two floors. Ten people are employed regularly
to assist him, and on Saturdays and during the busiest seasons five
or six extra hands are engaged. This firm also owns and operates the
Walkover Shoe Company at No. 1351 Market street, which is in charge
of Hugh Hood. Mr. Alexander is a progressive man in every way, and
his success has been due entirely to his own efforts.
Mr. Alexander was wedded to Flora Kaiser, a daughter of
Frederick Kaiser, who was a pioneer of Wheeling. Mr. and Mrs.
Alexander have two children, – Bernard and Mary. Their home is at
No. 824 Main street. Politically, Mr. Alexander is a Democrat.
Socially, he is a member of the Knights of Columbus, Ancient Order of
United Workmen and Knights of St. George. He is a prominent member
of the Carroll Club of Wheeling. In religious belief he is a
Catholic.

Richard V. Green

From “History of Wheeling City and Ohio County, West Virginia and
Representative Citizens,” by Hon. Gibson Lamb Cranmer, 1902.

Typed by Laurie Birks Dean

pp. 484, 487

Richard V. GREEN, manager of and stockholder in, the Cooperative
Stove Company, of Wheeling, West Virginia, is one of the city’s most
substantial, enterprising, and public spirited citizens. He is a
native of Pittsburg, and is a son of Richard and Bridget (Smith)
Green, both of whom were natives of Ireland.
Richard Green was a prosperous farmer and died in 1864, aged
fifty-eight years. His wife died in 1869, aged sixty years. They
had five children, namely: Mary, Helen, Jennie, Katherine, and
Richard V.
Richard V. Green first attended the district schools of Ohio
county. He went to Wheeling in 1854, when but a child, with his
parents. After finishing his studies in the district schools, he
entered the old St. Vincent College, of Wheeling, after which he
commenced working at his trade, that of a stove molder in Sweeney’s
foundry. He found employment in many different foundries in the
city, but worked principally in Fisher’s stove foundry. By his
diligence he became an expert at his trade, and soon entered the
Cooperative Stove Company, as a partner and as general manager. The
company manufactures stoves that have become so popular that it has
too many new orders, and cannot meet the demand.
Mr. Green was joined in hymeneal bonds, in 1875, with Mary E.
Foose, a native of Wheeling, who died at the age of thirty-two years.
Two children blessed this union, Edna, deceased; and Elmer. The
family are devout members of the Catholic church.
In politics Mr. Green is a Democrat. Fraternally he is a
member of the A. O. U. W. He has ever fulfilled the obligations of a
dutiful citizen, and is held in high esteem by a large circle of
acquaintances.

Fidelius Riester

From “History of Wheeling City and Ohio County, West Virginia and
Representative Citizens,” by Hon. Gibson Lamb Cranmer, 1902.

Typed by Laurie Birks Dean

pp. 415-416

Fidelius RIESTER, who is secretary of the German Fire Insurance
Company of Wheeling, which is by far the leading company of its kind
in West Virginia, has been a resident of Wheeling for a number of
years. He was born in Wurtemberg, Germany, and in 1869 came to the
United States. He located at Zanesville, Ohio, where he remained for
two years, and in 1871 settled in Wheeling. For three years he was
in the employ of P. Welty & Company, wholesale liquor dealers, as
traveling salesman.
Mr. Riester became secretary of the German Fire Company of
Wheeling in 1874, and has held that position ever since, with the
exception of three years, – from 1884 until 1887. This company was
organized May 15, 1867, by a company of 145 German citizens of
Wheeling, who from their number chose officers and directors who
attended to the business of the organization. All records have been
kept in the German language from the outset. The first officers
were: President, John Oesterling, deceased, who was also president
of the Central Glass Company; vice-president, August Wiedebusch;
secretary, Joseph Seybold, who is also deceased, and who was cashier
of the Bank of Wheeling; and treasurer, Anton Reymann. The first
directors were John Oesterling, August Wiedebusch, Anton Reymann,
John Pfarr, John Roemer, B. Kammer, Philip Schnehle, William Klieves
and Christian Hess. The present board of directors consists of
William F. Stifel, Henry Bieberson, Augustus Pollack, Frederick
Schenk, H. F. Behrens and F. Riester.
The headquarters of this company were originally at the office
of Mr. Seybold, who was at that time sheriff of Ohio county. One
year later the company removed to the Beck Block, on Market street,
and in 1878 to its present location at No. 29 Fourteenth street,
where it occupies two large rooms. William G. E. Goering is
assistant secretary and S. W. Rice is special agent, while Christian
Vieweg, Jr., is city agent. The company started with a paid-up
capital stock of $10,000; it now has a paid-up capital of $100,000,
besides a surplus, over all liabilities, of $140,000. The stock has
been paying dividends regularly since 1876. The company operates in
West Virginia, Ohio and Illinois, having local agents in those
states, who are supervised by the special agents.
Mr. Riester married a daughter of Sebastian Welty. Mr. Riester
is a Democrat. He is a member of the Arion Association, of which he
was once of the founders. He is a member of St. Alphonsus’ German
Catholic church. He is an honest, upright citizen, and is highly
esteemed by all as a man worthy of the confidence reposed in him.

Robert F. Hill

From “History of Wheeling City and Ohio County, West Virginia and
Representative Citizens,” by Hon. Gibson Lamb Cranmer, 1902.

Typed by Laurie Birks Dean

p. 480

Robert F. HILL, embalmer and undertaker, with place of business at
No. 41 Fifteenth street, Wheeling, West Virginia, was born in
Allegheny county, Pennsylvania, August 19, 1869. He is a son of
William and Agnes (Fleming) Hill.
William Hill was born in Pennsylvania, in 1832. He was a
farmer by occupation, and served in the Civil War. His wife, Agnes
Fleming, was born on the same day, month and year, and in the same
place he was born. They had five children, namely: Jennie, who was
born in September, 1867, and is living with her brother, Robert, the
subject of this sketch; William H., who was born March 20, 1875, and
is professor of Greek and Laten at Linsly Institute; Clyde, who died
in infancy; and Charles, who was born July 10, 1885. Mr. Hill and
his wife were members of the United Presbyterian church. Mrs. Hill
died in October, 1896. Politically Mr. Hill was a Republican.
Robert F. Hill attended the schools of Davenport, Iowa, and
later was graduated from the United States College of Embalming at
New York City. He is one of the many well-known business men of
Wheeling and is held in high esteem by his fellow citizens. Mr. Hill
married Bess Pomeroy, a daughter of Dudley and Lilian (Olds) Pomeroy.
This marriage occurred November 6, 1901, at “The Little Church Around
the Corner,” in New York City. Mrs. Hill was born in Denvery,
Colorado, January 10, 1879. Her father is a native of Missouri, and
her mother was born in Michigan.
Mr. Hill is a member of the United Presbyterian church, while
his wife is an Episcopalian. Mr. Hill is a Republican in politics,
and was elected to the second branch of the city council, in January,
1901. He has held the office of president of the council. He
belongs to the B. P. O. E. and also to the K. of P.

George Rentsch

From “History of Wheeling City and Ohio County, West Virginia and
Representative Citizens,” by Hon. Gibson Lamb Cranmer, 1902.

Typed by Laurie Birks Dean

pp. 437-438

George RENTSCH, of the firm of George M. Snook & Company, a
prosperous business house of Wheeling, West Virginia, has been
connected with that firm since its inception in 1884, and devotes his
time exclusively to the business. This company is engaged in the
retail dry goods business; besides George Rentsch, George M. Snook,
Albert L. Wilkie, Louis Rentsch, Thomas Carnahan, Jr., H. Day Hewey,
and R. Truxell are interested in it.
Mr. Rentsch was born in Wheeling, on the Island, in 1856. His
father is a carpenter and resides in Center Wheeling. George Rentsch
was reared in his native city, where he attended public school until
he was eleven years old. He worked as errand boy for several years
afterward, first, with Fisher & Seaman, and later, with A. D. Seaman.
He subsequently worked five years with C. T. Brues, and in 1878
accepted a position as bookkeeper in the mercantile house of George
E. Stifel & Company. He remained in their employ until 1884, when
the present company was formed, with which his interests are still
identified. Previous to the formation of this company, Mr. Rentsch
and also Mr. Snook owned stock for some time in, and were members of,
the firm of George E. Stifel & Company.
Mr. Rentsch has a comfortable home at Pleasant Valley, where he
has resided for the past ten years. His marriage with Lydia Anna
Ritter, a native of Wheeling, was productive of the following
offspring: Edward Charles, Minnie Lydia, Catherine Amelia, George
Daniel, Marion Ritter and Julia Elizabeth. The family attend divine
services at the Methodist church. In his political preference, Mr.
Rentsch is a Republican, but does not allow politics to interfere
with business. He is one of the early residents in his vicinity, and
is esteemed by all who know him.

Henry W. Redman

From “History of Wheeling City and Ohio County, West Virginia and
Representative Citizens,” by Hon. Gibson Lamb Cranmer, 1902.

Typed by Laurie Birks Dean

pp. 429-430

Henry W. REDMAN, of the firm of Redman & Company, proprietors of
large machine shops in Wheeling, West Virginia, is regarded as one of
the most prominent business men of this vicinity, which has been his
home since 1840. Mr. Redman was born in England, April 18, 1830, and
is a son of John and Mary (Exley) Redman, both of English nativity.
Mr. Redman’s parents came to this country while he was young,
and settled in Wheeling, where the father found employments as a
teamster. Later he did gardening for prominent and well-to-do
citizens of this city. His death took place in September, 1862, at
the age of sixty-seven years. Fifteen years later he was followed to
the grave by his widow, whose birth occurred about the year 1800.
This worthy couple reared the following children,eight in all:
Thomas, deceased; Henry W.; Eliza, deceased, who married James R.
Cockran; Subina, wife of George Hibbard, of Wheeling; Bathia, the
wife of H. D. Delaney, of Brownsville, Pennsylvania, who died October
29, 1901; and Elizabeth Ann and Mary Jane, deceased.
Henry W. Redman was principally reared and educated in
Wheeling, where he attended private institutions of learning. After
leaving school he entered the machine shop of Arthur Philips and
served a full aprenticeship, completely mastering the machinist’s
trade in all its details. He remained in the employ of Mr. Philips
for a period of twenty-one years. He subsequently spent a brief
period in Pittsburg, but returned to Wheeling and embarked in the
machine business for himself. About thirty-five years ago, in
company with Edward Martin, the foundation of the present business
was begun. They rented a small repair shop on Market street, between
Sixteenth and Seventeenth streets, and did general repair work. The
business increased and some time afterward the old shop of Miller
Morehead was rented. This plant was fitted out with machinery. A
little later the Fisher foundry was rented, new machinery purchased,
and the company did work at that stand several years. The business
was then moved to the Bodley Building, which was a wagon shop, etc.,
and was conducted there about fourteen years.
The firm of Redman & Company was organized in the early
“seventies” by Henry W. Redman, Edward Martin and G. G. McKown.
About twenty years ago William J. Hamilton was admitted into the
business. Later Mr. Hamilton sold his interest to Albert Redman and
Isaac Frey. The latter sold to William Hobbs, so the present members
of the firm are Henry W. Redman, Albert Redman, his brother, G. G.
McKown and William Hobbs. These gentlemen are all expert machinists,
and several of them are actively engaged in other enterprises several
additional men are also employed.
August 25, 1890, the firm signed indentures, and commenced
erecting the present building, which is 100 feet front by 135 feet
depth, including the blacksmith department. The front part of the
building has two stories and is well equipped with machinery for
repairs, and for the manufacture of engines. The firm have
manufactured engines quite extensively.
The subject of this sketch married Nancy C. Haymaker, who was
born at Winchester, Virginia, June 18, 1833. Six children have
blessed this union, as follows: Mary Jane, who married James
Robbins, a resident of Martin’s Ferry, Ohio, who is employed as a
heater in the steel works; John B., who was a successful plumber of
Clarksburg and died November 2, 1901; Henry Thomas, also a plumber at
Martin’s Ferry, Ohio; Harriet Ellen, the wife of Charles Morris, a
glass-blower of Wheeling; Bathia Chambers, who resides at home; and
Charles Howard, also of Martin’s Ferry, Ohio, who is employed in the
Laughlin Tin Mill as a machinist. The family residence is at No. 118
Fifteenth street. Mr. Redman is a member of the North Street M. E.
church.
Henry W. Redman was reared a Democrat, but his last Democratic
vote was for Buchanan. He next voted for Lincoln and has since voted
the Republican ticket. Fraternally he is a member of Wheeling Lodge,
No. 9, I. O. O. F., which he joined fifty-one years ago; he has
filled all the chairs. His son Henry is a Knight Templar, and also
belongs to the I. O. O. F., and to the K. of P., of Martin’s Ferry,
Ohio.

Robert D. Cline

From “History of Wheeling City and Ohio County, West Virginia and
Representative Citizens,” by Hon. Gibson Lamb Cranmer, 1902.

Typed by Laurie Birks Dean

pp. 493-494

Robert D. CLINE, chief of the fire department of Wheeling, Ohio
county, West Virginia, whose portrait is herewith shown, was first
appointed to the important position in 1899 by the mayor and city
council. The department under him has been conducted so well that
his yearly reappointment has followed as a matter of course,
especially since his executive ability has been shown throughout the
whole department. Mr. Cline was born June 8, 1856. He is a son of
W. W. and Rebecca M. (Deggs) Cline.
W. W. Cline was born in Wheeling, and during his life was an
expert blacksmith. He died at the age of seventy-nine years.
Rebecca M. (Deggs) Cline was born in 1826, and was the daughter of
Robert T. and Rebecca (Evans) Deggs. Her father was a saddler by
trade, and owned and conducted one of the finest saddlery shops in
Wheeling. His death took place at St. Louis, Missouri, at the
advanced age of eighty-five years. The maternal grandmother of
Robert D. Cline attained the age of eighty-one years.
Mr. Cline’s parents were married in 1843, and had 24 children,
all of whom are deceased except Robert D. and two sisters. One
sister married and left home, but the remaining sister and Robert D.
still reside at the home place, the solace and comfort of the aged
mother, who has been a devout member of the M. E. church since her
childhood. Some time after their marriage Mr. Cline’s parents
purchased a family Bible, in which they placed the records of their
marriage and of the birth of their children, and which they keep to-
day as a family relic. Mr. Cline’s mother also has a little chair,
given to her by her father sixty-five years ago, when she was a
child, which she also keeps as a relic.
Mr. Cline’s early years were spent in obtaining mental
instruction in the Wheeling public schools, and at the age of
seventeen years he began work as a railroad contractor, and continued
at this for several years. At the age of twenty-seven he entered the
fire department of the city of Wheeling, and has been interested in
this work ever since, with the exception of a short time spent in the
hotel business.
Mr. Cline is a Republican, and has taken an active part in
politics for several years. Fraternally, he is a charter member of
Wheeling Lodge, No. 114, K. of P.; Reliance Lodge, No. 18, A. O. U.
W., and Lodge No. 28, B. P. O. E. In religious views he favors the
M. E. church. He resides at No. 1516 Jacob street. Mr. Cline is a
man of studious habits, and has improved himself much by traveling.
Each year he takes a vacation, spending it at different points of
interest, and through these means he has become an accomplished
conversationalist.

William T. Otto

From “History of Wheeling City and Ohio County, West Virginia and
Representative Citizens,” by Hon. Gibson Lamb Cranmer, 1902.

Typed by Laurie Birks Dean

pp. 413-414

William T. OTTO, who has been engaged in his present line of business
since entering upon a business career, is superintendent of the North
Wheeling Glass Company. He was born in Wheeling, West Virginia, in
1850, and is a son of F. W. and Mary (Hamm) Otto, natives of Germany.
F. W. Otto came to Wheeling as a boy and was an iron worker by
trade. He was a strong Democrat in political attachments. His
brother, George Otto, has for many years occupied a responsible
position in the engineering department of the Top Mill. Mr. Otto
died about 1891 and his widow is still living at the age of seventy-
seven years. Mrs. Otto’s father, Thomas Hamm, came to Balitmore
about 1830, and three years later removed with his family to
Wheeling, West Virginia. His sons, William, Thomas and Jacob, all
of whom are deceased, started to work as boys in a glass plant and
followed the trade during their lives. A sister of Mrs. Otto, Mrs.
Catherine Sweitzer, died a short time ago at the advanced age of of
eighty-two years. The subject of this sketch had one brother, who is
now deceased, but he still has sisters residing in this city.
William T. Otto was reared and schooled in Wheeling, and before
he had reached the age of twelve years he began to learn the trade of
glass blowing, which he has followed throughout his entire life. He
assisted in the organization of the North Wheeling Glass Company in
1878, and has since served in the capacity of its superintendent. He
is possessed of excellent business qualifications, and has been very
successful in his position.
Mr. Otto was united in marriage with Margaret Donovan, who was
born and reared in Wheeling and is a daughter of Timothy and
Catherine Donovan. Six sons have blessed their union, as follows:
Harry, deceased; George W.; F. W.; Richard D.; Jacob H.; and Archie
T. George W., who is a dentist of Wheeling, attended Western Reserve
College, of Cleveland, and was graduated from Western University, of
Pennsylvania, in 1898; he married Daisy Flanagan, and has one
daughter, Margaret Helen. F. W., who is living at home, is a glass
blower in the employ of the North Wheeling Glass Company. Richard D.
is in the office of the North Wheeling Glass Company. Jacob H. is
attending Washington and Jefferson College. Archie T. is attending
Linsly Institute, of which his four brothers are graduates. Mr. Otto
is a Republican, in politics, and in the early “eighties” served as a
member of the board of public works of Wheeling. He has been a
member of the city council from the first ward since 1890, with the
exception of the years 1898 and 1899. Fraternally, he is a member of
the Knights of Pythias and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. He
was reared in the German Evangelical Lutheran church and adheres to
that faith.

Oscar P. Mckee

From “History of Wheeling City and Ohio County, West Virginia and
Representative Citizens,” by Hon. Gibson Lamb Cranmer, 1902.

Typed by Laurie Birks Dean

pp. 489-490

Oscar P. McKEE, bookkeeper for the Warwick China Company at No. 115
South Front street, Wheeling, was born in Warrenton, Jefferson
county, Ohio, October 7, 1866, and is a son of Joseph and Rachel C.
(Sweasey) McKee.
Joseph McKee was born in Jefferson county, Ohio, October 6,
1838, and at an early age began work for his father, who conducted a
woolen factory on Short Creek. He continued until the outbreak of
the Civil War, and in 1861 enlisted in Company D, 126th Reg., Ohio
Vol. Inf. which became a part of the Army of the Potomac. He saw
much hard service, and in the Battle of the Wilderness was severely
wounded in the knee, and taken captive. He was held a prisoner for
three or four days, but made his escape with a comrade, James Dennis,
the night previous to their intended removal to Andersonville Prison.
They made crutches with a pen knife, both of them being injured, and
on these walked a distance of 60 miles. They were obliged to cross
streams, and the water washed sand into their wounds causing much
pain. Joseph McKee was frequently obliged to stop and lie down for a
time, but his will power was strong, and despite the almost
intolerable pain continued his journey. He and his comrade
immediately went to a hospital upon reaching the Union lines, and
after recovery returned to their regiments and served until mustered
out at the close of the war. Mr. McKee enlisted as a private, was
promoted to be first lieutenant, and would have been elevated to the
rank of captain had the war lasted a few days longer. He married
Rachel C. Sweasey, who was born in 1836, and is now an honored
resident of Portland, Jefferson county, Ohio, being about sixty-five
years of age. She is a member of the local Methodist Episcopal
church, of which her husband was recording steward. Mr. McKee died
February 10, 1892. He and his wife had three children, of whom Oscar
P. was the oldest. The others are, – Dr. W. B. McKee, a dentist of
Wheeling; and John A., a telegrapher and clerk in the office of the
Cleveland, Lorain & Wheeling Railroad, in Wheeling.
Oscar P. McKee attended the common schools of Warrentown, Ohio,
and was graduated form the Wheeling Business College of the class of
1887. He served five years as cashier for George M. Snook & Company,
Wheeling, and then, in April, 1893, ? his present position with the
Warwick China Company. He has been a resident of Ohio and West
Virginia all his life, and is known in parts of both of these states,
character, he is one of the most straight-foreward and upright men,
and merits the universal respect and esteem which are accompanied
him.
Mr. McKee was married, March 10, ?, to Lillie Thompson, a
native of Wheeling, only child and daughter of W. W. and S. E.
Thompson. Her father was formerly the operator in one of the mills
of Wheeling. Their beautiful home and home surroundings, indicate
happiness, culture and refinement. McKee and his wife have one child,
Ed Thompson. The parents are members of the Fourth Street M. E.
church, of which the father is recording steward. He is a member of
Reliance Lodge, A. O. U. W. Though ardent Republican, he takes
little part in politics.

Nicodemus Riester

From “History of Wheeling City and Ohio County, West Virginia and
Representative Citizens,” by Hon. Gibson Lamb Cranmer, 1902.

Typed by Laurie Birks Dean

pp. 452, 455

Nicodemus RIESTER, general manager of the plant and furnaces of the
Wheeling Steel & Iron Company, has reached his present position step
by step. He has charge of 400 men, and is considered one of the most
indispensable employees of the company.
Mr. Riester is a native of Wurtemberg, Germany, and was born in
September, 1831. His parents were John G. and Cordelia (Detting)
Riester, also natives of Germany. They reared three children namely:
Blasisus, one and a half years older than the subject hereof, who
served in the Civil War under Captain Plankey, and died in September,
1901; Nicodemus; and Katherine, who has been twice left a widow, and
who now makes her home with Mr. Riester. John G. Riester and his
wife came to this country in 1831, and located in Wheeling in 1832.
Mr. Riester was a soldier in the Mexican War, and died in 1849, at
the age of forty-five years, from the effects of diseases contracted
in the army. His widow lived to the advanced age of eighty-six
years.
Nicodemus Riester found employment in the glass factories at a
very early age, and in 1852 became a nail feeder in the iron and
steel works. In 1863, he was promoted to be manager of the nail
factory, while Jacob Snyder was manager of the puddlers and mill.
Besides this position, he also had charge of the coal bank, where
about 50 men and boys were at work. Ten years later he assisted in
breaking the first ground for the blast furnaces, of which George
Wynn first had charge. In the Belmont Mills, Martin Mallally is the
present chief engineer, having succeeded Michael Haley, the first
engineer. Mr. Riester is interested in this mill and in the Wheeling
Steel & Iron Company, of which Mr. Hubbard is president.
Mr. Riester continued as manager of the nail factory until the
winter of 1874-75, and was then promoted to be manager of the plant;
three years later he succeeded C. P. Perin in the management of the
furnaces. He was united in marriage with Mary Carney, daughter of
John Carney, deceased, who was a contractor on the Baltimore & Ohio
Railroad. She was a native of Maryland, and is now sixty-five years
old. Twelve children blessed the union, but four of whom are now
living, as follows: N. C., who assists in the management of the
Belmont Mills; Frank, manager of the Furnace at the Top Mill; Susie,
the wife of Dr. Carroll, of Wheeling, a dentist; and Gertrude, living
at home, who is prominent in musical circles as a vocalist. The
family residence is at No. 2329 Market street, and Mr. Riester has
been a resident of the sixth ward since 1852. The family attend the
Catholic church. In politics Mr. Riester is a Democrat, and was for
many years very active in party campaigns. He served in the militia
during the Civil War.