Today in Wheeling History: April 28--Explosion occurs at Benwood Mine of the former Wheeling Steel Corporation steel mill (1924). The explosion claimed the lives of 119 coal miners. There were no survivors. Wheeling residents killed included: Patsy Corbi, Antoni Hamill, John Galembieuski, John Malyska, Joe Hayda, Feliz Lisak, Mike Paradise, Gust Gannokos, Peter Simos, James Angelus, Karmierice Kar, Wasil Beily, Mike Koziemka, Nick Podola, Hugh Mcgill, William Webster, Alexander Snedden, Stanley Golmbivsky, Llewelyn Joseph, and Stanley Barnoskie. (https://tinyurl.com/4mj3n3h5) (https://rb.gy/moi7m)
Today in Wheeling History: April 26--Construction begins on August Pollack's storehouse on Main Street. It is Wheeling's first iron front building (1864). (https://rb.gy/4dr5r)
Today in Wheeling History: April 25--Mutual Savings Bank in Wheeling organized (1887). Howard Hazlett was elected President; W. B. Simpson, first, and Edward Robertson, Second Vice-President; W. G. Wilkinson, Secretary. (https://rb.gy/c5v7p)
Today in Wheeling History: April 24--Strike picket Charles McKinney shot by Humes DeVaughn, Whitaker-Glessner Company guard, not fatal (1905). (https://rb.gy/r258q)(https://rb.gy/h9pym)(https://rb.gy/p4tet)
Today in Wheeling History: April 23rd--Bids opened for installation of electric lighting in City of Wheeling (1891).
Today in Wheeling History: April 23--Bids opened for installation of electric lighting in City of Wheeling (1891).
Today in Wheeling History: April 20—A special ceremonial session was held by the West Virginia Legislature at the old U.S. Custom House in Wheeling (1963).
In commemoration of the 100th anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln’s proclamation of April 20, 1863 to certify West Virginia as a state on June 20th, the West Virginia Legislature convened a special ceremonial session at the old U.S. Custom House in Wheeling, which had a rich historical background. Once the Capitol of the pro-Union Reorganized Government of Virginia and the site of West Virginia’s statehood debates, the building had functioned as a custom house until a new federal building was constructed in 1907. It then served as a bank, liquor store, nightclub, and offices for Hazel Atlas Glass, and subsequently fell into disrepair until the 1963 legislative session brought about its rescue. The state purchased the building and leased it to the West Virginia Independence Hall Foundation, which undertook a restoration project spanning several decades. Today, the old Custom House, now known as West Virginia Independence Hall, is operated by the West Virginia Division of Culture and History. (https://rb.gy/1yrqp) (https://rb.gy/4gcs4)
Today in Wheeling History: April 20--Major General Jesse Lee Reno born in Wheeling (1823). He served in the Mexican War and tragically lost his life on September 14, 1862, at South Mountain, Maryland. At the time, he was leading the 9th Army Corps of the United States Volunteers. Major General Reno holds the distinction of being the highest-ranking U.S. officer from West Virginia to be killed in the Civil War. He was laid to rest in the Oak Hill Cemetery located in Georgetown, Maryland. (https://rb.gy/qbxll)
Today in Wheeling History: April 18--Daniel Q. Zane, son of Ebenezer Zane, dies from horse kick (1868).
Today in Wheeling History: April 17--Wheeling's city electric light plant first put in operation (1892).
Today in Wheeling History: April 16--Wheeling Register describes cut stone front residences being built on 12th Street by W. H. Frank (1893).
Mike Minder was born and raised in Wheeling, West Virginia. He is the author of Wheeling's Gambling History to 1976.