Edwin Bruce Potts, Sr., hailed from Dover, a village west of Powhatan in the Captina Valley, Ohio. Initially involved in the mercantile trade in Belmont County, Ohio, he later achieved great success in steamboats and river floating stores. In the late 1880s, he established the E.B. Potts grocery store, which occupied the entire ground floor of Wheeling’s Hawley Building.
His interests shifted towards the hotel industry, starting with his involvement in the construction of the seven-story Grand Central Hotel (also known as the Potts Building) at 1145-1147 Market Street. Managing the hotel for years, E.B. Potts, Sr., relocated his grocery store to the first floor. The Security Trust Co. temporarily occupied the hotel’s first floor until they moved into a new building nearby.
After selling the Grand Central Hotel in 1922 for a record price, E.B. Potts, Sr., remodeled a building at Tenth and Main streets and added an extension, resulting in the creation of the Hotel Wheeling. He eventually relocated to Miami, Florida, eight years before his passing. His son, Edwin Bruce, Jr., carried on the family business and served as the Manager of the Wheeling Hotel until his death on October 6, 1950.