Wheeling Steel Corporation was organized on June 21, 1920, as the successor to the Wheeling Steel & Iron Company, the Whitaker-Glessner Company, and the LaBelle Iron Works, which were previously engaged in the steel business. Headquartered in Wheeling, West Virginia, Wheeling Steel operates numerous plants along 30 miles of the Ohio River from Steubenville to Benwood. These include the Steubenville North, South, and East steel works; the Benwood pipe mill, which produced the first commercial steel pipe in the U.S. in 1888; the Yorkville cold rolling and tinning mills that pioneered cold reduced black plate production in 1928; the Martins Ferry galvanizing and roofing mills; the LaBelle cut nail plant in Wheeling operating since 1852; and the Wheeling factories producing steel containers, furnace pipe, and automobile parts. Wheeling Steel's integrated mills and factories produce a range of products including hot and cold rolled steel, galvanized sheets, tinplate, continuous weld pipe, cut nails, and fabricated metal parts.
Wheeling Steel merged with Pittsburgh Steel in 1968 to form Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel Corporation, the 9th largest steelmaker in the U.S. at the time. However, the company struggled to modernize and was burdened with debt, filing for bankruptcy in 1985 and 2001. After emerging from bankruptcy in 2003, Wheeling-Pitt installed a new electric arc furnace in 2004 to revitalize aging facilities. The company went through multiple changes in ownership from 2007 to 2012, with mill closures and job losses along the way. In 2012, new owner RG Steel filed for bankruptcy and idled most remaining Wheeling-Pitt operations. The former Wheeling-Pitt plants have since been sold off, with limited steel production resuming at the Steubenville mill under new ownership.
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Photo Credits: Ohio County Public Library Archives, Wheeling WV; West Virginia Encyclopedia